SU-4 Mode vs Remote mode

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by D-50, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I was just reading a bit about SU-4 mode on an Sb800 I am not really sure the difference between that and using it i remote mode. What is the difference or is it the smae thing?
     
  2. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    SU-4 mode you control light output from the flash.

    Remote mode you control light output from the camera, if it is one like a D80 or D200.
     
  3. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Is that the only difference. If so I dont understand the use of SU-4 I would much rather control the flash from my camera than have to walk all the way over to the flash to change its output.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wow Jerry there's such a thing as over simplification.

    SU-4 is a wireless flash mode that triggers the flash when it sees an incoming flash signal. This works with every camera regardless if it's a point and shoot or a Canon 1Ds. Everything is controlled by the flash, the flash uses A mode (it checks it's own light reading depending on what it's pointing at) or it can be set to Manual mode.

    Remote is Nikon's propriety Creative Lighting System mode. The flash is given a Group number and all you can control is the zoom head on it. Everything else is controlled from a Nikon CLS Commander flash like the SB-800, or the popup flash on the D80,D200,D300,D3 and other recent Nikons. This has the advantage that because there's actual data communication happening the camera can ask the flash to fire a TTL metering burst, measure the light, and then tell the flash how it should fire and when. Full iTTL flash metering is maintained using remote mode.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    :lol: Maybe, In reference to his situation, thats all that I felt was needed. Was I wrong?

    He asked the difference between the two in relation to his camera/flash... I gave all that he needed. :mrgreen:
     
  6. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I guess I meant to ask the advantages of using one over the other. I currently use my flashes in remote mode but was wondering if SU-4 mode would be better.
     
  7. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Definitely not. As I said above. SU-4 turns your flash into a dumb slave.

    Remote mode turns it into a fully iTTL controlled CLS lighting system.

    Things you can't do with SU-4:
    - TTL metering
    - Control from the camera
    - Take a photo where the camera flash does NOT illuminate the scene.
     
  8. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Thats what I thouht but I recently read an article on strobist about how SU-4 mode is great. To me it sounds like remote is much better
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Thats becuase it is proprietary to Nikon, and the strobist site is not brand specific. They are all about knowing how to control your flash manually for best results, not leaving it in the hands of some engineer in Japan that created and adjusted CLS to his liking, not anyone else's. ;) :)
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes in fact other than the blogger himself I am lead to believe many of the strobist fans are indeed canon users. In which case SU-4 will work with their camera.

    Mind you you don't lose any manual control with remote mode either, just set the group to M instead of TTL or AA.
     
  11. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Exactly. I would rather be able to control my flashes from my camera than having to wlak to each one and adjust them indiviually. Also not having to use the on camera flash gives more freedom. SU-4 mode seems to be secondary to Remote mode in all aspects.
     
  12. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well... yes and no. Depends on how advanced you want to get. ;)

    - If you want to control more than 2 sets of strobes INDEPENDANTLY, you cannot use remote.

    - If you are mxing and matching studio lighting and Nikon strobes, you cannot use remote.

    - If you want to exceed a certain distance or use it outside in bright sun, you may not be able to use remote as successfully as SU-4

    - If you want more than 3 stops difference between any 2 sets of lights, you cannot use remote.

    Thats just what I can think of off the top of my head, I am sure there are more. For me personally, if I have 1-2 SB-800s and I want even lighting, I will use CLS and remote. Its nice and its easy... but it is LIMITING. Any time you leave the thinking about the lighting to some nice Japanese engineer instead of your needs or knowledge or abilities... you will not get the same level of quality results as when you use your own settings, in manual, and have total control over the environment.
     

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