Nikon Lighting System


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Apr 8, 2007
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Does anyone have any experience using the Nikon Creative Lighting System. If so, what is your opinion of this lighting system? How many flashes did you use, how many SB 600's & SB 800's? I am setting up my studio and considering running with this lighting system. I have seen it work once and it looked great and seemed fairly easy, I've also watched the Nikon video on the CSL and it seemed very impressive. So, what does everyone think. I'm considering going with 2 - SB 800's and 2 SB 600's.
I've seen from 1 SB-800 to 12 SB-800s all work at one time.

Its nice, but its not the only option. I often prefer to go all manual rather than leave it to CLS.
So, do you think it would work well in a small studio and on-site locations? I've only seen it work, never worked with it myself. It looked fairly user friendly and like I said seeing it work it looked great.
It works pretty good but I am always having to refer back to the manual to find out what settings need to be set at for it to work. I also find that it underexposes more than if you had the flash attached to the camera. This is probably a result of the camera/flash not knowing how far away your subject is though.

I usually just stick to manual too unless I am shooting in either TTL/BL mode outside or with the flash attached to the camera.

If you can get enough power out of speedlights and you can work with the disadvantages of not being able to trigger a flash which can't see the master unit or a reflection of the master unit flash then go for it. It is easy to use, accurate, and when it works it works well.
It works better than it has any right to. if the camera is in direct line of sight to the speedlight, you're golden. When it's not, than it gets iffy.

i-TTL in CLS is OK. I used it once, wasn't that great. I just start the power at 1/4 and go from there.
0ne 600 and two 800's, umbrellas, a large diffusion screen and some reflectors: Bob's my uncle. The whole thing works very well. A few practice shots with sessions with i-TTL indoors and you'll not look back. It's a very portable system easily brought to indoor location shoots. Outdoors I use SU-4 mode. This does not work well if more than on photog is working the event.

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