Why can I not get enough light from my off camera flash

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by D-50, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    So I figures out how to use commader mode on my D200 with my SB 600 but I cannot get the flash to put out enough light when its off the camera. When its on the camera I can shoot from 10 to 20 feet away from my subject and still hit them with a lot of light, When using it off the camera though I cannot hit my subject with much light at all even if I place the SB 600 5 feet from the subject. I have tried using the TTL, AA, and manual modes in commander mode but none put out enugh light what am I doing wrong?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    I don't know anything about Nikon's Commander mode...but have you tried using the camera in manual mode? I'm guessing it must be some sort of metering issue.
     
  3. nossie

    nossie TPF Noob!

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    Yup metering sounds right. You know the flash works but when you take it away the brain is not thinking as you'd like so it's assuming stuff that you don't want which means it's in some kind of auto mode. Study the manual and try the things that you don't suspect or imagine.
     
  4. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I usually start off my strobe at 1/4 power and than go from there. What is your aperture?
     
  5. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    Im using aperatures from 5 to 7. I've read the manual and done some research online but I cant seem to understand how to get the power output higher. I did notice that using manual gave off more light but not enough. I know the flash has the ability to produce enough light as is eveident when I use it on the camera. Im shooting at night, sometimes under street lights other times with nothing more than moonlight, primarily skateboard photography. Switch you said you set your strobe to 1/4 on manual, what are the other settings you use? Also what type of flash are you using or does that not matter too much.

    Im new to taking my flash off my camera and could definatly use a step by step tutorial. I cant find a decnt one online so anyone here who does this often and can let me know how to set it up I would be very greatful.
     
  6. castrol

    castrol TPF Noob!

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    Are you sure you have them both on the correct channel?

    Are you sure the SB is firing at all?

    What mode are you shooting in on the camera?

    What zoom are you using on the flash?

    Oh yeah...www.strobist.com

    Seems like I am typing that a lot lately.
     
  7. D-50

    D-50 TPF Noob!

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    I assume the channelis correct because the flash is definately firing its just not producing enough light. I have tried shooting in both A and M modes I have tried changing the zoom n the flash from 24 to 85mm.

    When you do this what is your set up?
     
  8. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    I start off with my speedlight at 85mm, 1/4 power, figure out my exposure, and than adjust the flash from the camera from there.

    I always go off the ambient exposure unless I want it under or overexposed.
     
  9. Flash Harry

    Flash Harry TPF Noob!

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    I think you'll need the flash on manual/full power and have it at a set distance to the subject 10ft or so then look at your scale on the flash it will have an aperture to set for the ten feet mark, set this on the camera. H
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think unless you post a picture along with the settings used we could keep guessing all day. Could be anything from metering error to aperture to slow, output too low, etc.

    Simple test photograph into the flash, like into the front of it. In commander mode with the inbuilt flash set to -- and the remote flash set to 1/32 or even lower. This will tell you 100% if the flash is a) firing and b) firing in sync with the camera.

    Debugging set the commander mode to 1/1 output on M and the inbuilt flash to --. Put the flash 1-2m from the subject and use aperture around 5.6-8. If your subject isn't consumed by the light check:

    a) commander mode settings
    b) channels (must be the same)
    c) group numbers (must be the same)
    d) the flash is infact in remote mode and not in SU-4 which is remote but not commander mode.
    e) the flash is firing in sync (see above)
    f) the flash is firing at all?
     

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