SU-800?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by goodoneian, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    i have a d300 and use the commander mode to trigger 2 sb-600's pretty frequently. overall i'm satisfied with it's performance, but at night or dusk (times which i shoot at quite often) the flashes only fire like 60% of the time. would getting the su-800 help this at all? i've heard mixed reviews about it, and i don't think that $249.99 is a bad price for it. i usually shoot my friends skating among various other things so it is annoying when my flashes don't go off. i'm never more than say 10-15 feet away from my flashes either. so would buying one of these solve my problems?
     
  2. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    anyonee? i'm using my money for either the su-800 or the mc-36 timer. any input by tomorrow is greatly appreciated
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    SU-800 is a waste of money.

    If you absolutely want to stick with CLS add another SB-800 and have the option of using it as just a commander, fill flash or additional flash if using the on board light as a commander.

    I'll tell you something, though... CLS is nice, but its very limiting. Once you grow into using off camera flashes manually, you will see how inadequate CLS is. That is when you simply go wireless transmitters and all manual and GET the results you need and want.

    Been there and done that.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    SU-800 can not be used as a fillflash as far as I know.

    Also the limitations of CLS is that the flashes need to visibly see the the commander unit's output. I don't think an SU-800 overcomes the outdoor issue with CLS. Plus for that kind of money you may as well get pocket wizards.
     
  5. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    well i already do use the flashes on manual most of the time, unless i'm just messing around and not trying to take anything serious. my funds are just limited for the time being and i was curious to see if the su-800 would help at all, but i guess not. thank you both for making me aware of that, because i would have been unhappy if i bought it and had the same issues still.
     
  6. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    I've never used the SU-800, but from what I've read it has an easier to use menu on the back and better wireless range than the SB-800 and the camera. Also it's lighter than an SB800 and easier on batteries. I think the target market for SU-800's are people who already have a bunch of SB-800's and who want to shoot with CLS. If I were in your shoes, I'd go for an SB-800 before an SU-800.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Easier to use menu? The SB-800 has the same menu options and settings. It is also nothing more than an IR transmitter, so it cannot be used as anything else.

    The range is IDENTICAL in real life (tried it myself many times, thats why I do not own one!). Having the same IR sensor in the SB-800 as in the SU-800 may account for that. ;)

    If you do not want to shoot CLS, you do not need to, because with the SB-800, it also has COMPLETE manual control of all the flashes in the 4 areas.

    There really isn't anything that the SU-800 does that the SB-800 doesn't do equally as well... but the SU-800 is nothing more than a transmitter, and if you want to use it as a fill flash, you cannot... but hey, the SB-800 does this with ease.

    http://jerryphpics.blogspot.com/2008/06/002-specific-settings-for-various-cls.html

    (incomplete, but I'm just pressed for time, so I will get to it when I can. ;) )
     
  8. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    so if i were to get an sb-800 or sb-900 even, could i improve the range that i could fire 2 sb-600's off the camera with? it does sound nice having another flash for fill now that i think about it.

    and that is a pretty informative blog jerry, i'll keep it in mind if i get an sb-800 :wink:
     
  9. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Local conditions dictate what your range will be. Its not going to be hundreds of feet, be aware of that. ;) If you get 30-50 feet from the Nikon setup, thats a lot.

    The SB-900 I have never tested, but if you pushed my back into a wall, I would say CLS is CLS is CLS, and the distances would all be the same between the SU-800, SB-800 and SB-900.

    If you need more range, wireless triggers are the way to go. Many do not like them, but if you have the budget, start with a set of Gadget Infinity triggers and receivers (very cheap) and modify them. I can get mine to consistently fire at over 350 feet:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    That said, if you want to go RELIABLY above 200 feet in a situation where you are being PAID to get the shot, your only choices as far as I am concerned are the Pocket Wizards.
     
  10. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    well i really don't see myself needing to be over 100 yards of my subject hah. but if you think i can get 20-30 feet of range with an sb-800 i'm willing to spend 300 dollars or however much they are. budget depending i may even get an sb-900 though, but we'll have to see
     
  11. goodoneian

    goodoneian TPF Noob!

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    jerry, or anyone who has cactus triggers, where did you get them from?

    also, will i need pc adapter cables or whatever they're called since i use sb-600's which don't have pc ports? sorry if this i'm using wrong termanology here, i'm still new to off camera lighting and flash's
     
  12. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    I got mine from Midwest Photo Exchange, but only because I was ordering other strobist equipment at the same time. Make sure you get the V2S version, I believe these are the newest ones, and they work fine with my SB-600. The SB-600 doesn't have a PC sync port, so you have to use the hotshoe. You can plug the cactus received directly to the SB-600 hotshoe and it will work, and then you can mount the receiver to the light stand, but I don't trust the receiver for this since they are very flimsy. Another option is you can get a PC to Hotshoe adapter instead, then that adapter is between your flash and the lightstand, and you connect the receiver to the adapter with a cable.
     

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