Using command mode with studio lights

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by jpgnmt, Jun 23, 2009.

  1. jpgnmt

    jpgnmt TPF Noob!

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    I wanted to use an SB800 for a fill, use the command mode on my Nikon 300 to trigger it and in turn use an optical trigger on my Novatron power supply. Seems simple enough. The Novatrons were firing but apparently not when the shutter was open. The SB800 was firing when it was supposed to. I tried really slow shutter speeds, slow synch, really fast shutter speeds but nothing would put it all together. If I didn't use the SB800 and used a Pocket Wizard to fire the Novatrons, no problem. Any out there with any experience to point me in the right direction?

    Thanks in advance,

    jpgnmt
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    Command mode uses the camera's flash to communicate with the remote unit, does it not?

    If so, that's your problem right there. The 'pre-flashing' triggers the optical slave on the other light and when the Nikon units fire again when the shutter opens, it's too soon for the other light to recycle in time.

    With some systems, you can cause the metering pre-flash to fire early (sometimes called FEC lock), which would then give you time for the other light to recycle...but that would be a really annoying way to shoot. The better bet is to forget about commander mode and use a different method for triggering the first flash (Pocket Wizard for example).
     
  3. NateWagner

    NateWagner TPF Noob!

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    I don't know about the novatron, but on my monoblocs I can set the optical slave to go off after the prefiring. I don't know if yours will do this, or if I'm just reading the problem wrong, but it might be something to look into.
     
  4. jpgnmt

    jpgnmt TPF Noob!

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    You are absolutely correct. I think there is an easy way to turn off pre-flash, they call it FV lock and it only fires once and then not again until you turn it off.

    It was makin me crazy at the site this morning. Thanks again.

    jpgnmt
     
  5. CrazyCanuck

    CrazyCanuck TPF Noob!

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    Just thinking out loud here, since I don't own a Novatron. But could you not put the SB800 in SU4 mode and then just use the pop up flash (not in commander mode) to trigger both the strobe and the speedlight?
     
  6. jpgnmt

    jpgnmt TPF Noob!

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    What triggers the 800 in the SU-4 mode? I thought that in that mode it was just a commander. Back to the book.

    jpgnmt
     
  7. jpgnmt

    jpgnmt TPF Noob!

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    That works for firing the 800 and you can set power output on the pop up to a couple of stops down as well as set output in the 800. No pre-flash means no premature Novatron output, always an embarrassment.

    Thanks guys,

    jpgnmt
     
  8. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, but does the popup have full manual mode, or is it still firing a ttl preflash even when it's not controlling anything. I believe it is.
     
  9. EhJsNe

    EhJsNe TPF Noob!

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    I was thinking the same thing....but then I checked out the commander mode on my D70...and the flash fires twice...

    I think that the SB-800 is triggered by the first flash...so it will fire with the shutter on the second flash.....and the studio strobe problem would be fixed...however the sb-800 would be firing a fraction of a second to late....

    Im pretty sure thats how it all works...if not, someone please correct.
     
  10. CrazyCanuck

    CrazyCanuck TPF Noob!

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    He mentions he's got a D300, which is the same camera I have, and the pop-up has full manual. It does not fire a preflash when it is full manual, which is what you would be using to trigger the other lights.
     
  11. CrazyCanuck

    CrazyCanuck TPF Noob!

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    Just for clarification, the pop-up flash on the D300 would NOT be in commander mode, but manual flash at like 1/16th or whatever the lowest you can set it while still setting off the optical triggers.
     
  12. GeneralBenson

    GeneralBenson TPF Noob!

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    OK, then put the sb-800 in SU4 mode, put thee pop up on manual, trigger both lights. the end. Can we please sticky this or some kind of 'My ttl flash won't trigger my white light slave, please help me" thread? It comes up all the time.
     

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