Off Camera Flash Question (Nikon)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by Sherman Banks, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. jstuedle

    jstuedle No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Jason is correct, the zoom head does add a lot to the flashes capability. A few more features I like about the 800 & 900 over the 600 are 1) PC cord connection for use with pocket wizards without a hot shoe adapter, 2) High voltage input for use with Quantum style packs, 3) Commander mode for 3 TTL flash groups, and 4) the envy of every Tim Allen fan "More Power!

    And if you have now read it yet, get "The Hot Shoe Diaries" bt Joe McNally referenced in Jasons post. Not only is there a wealth of info in it, he's a very entertaining writer. My wife calls his style of writing "Stand up comedy for Photographers". It's well worth the investment, you will want your own copy.


     
  2. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I just picked up an old Nikon SB-25 off ebay for about $60-$70. Doesnt get much better than that. It even has a PC port! Now all I gotta do is get another cybersync receiver and cable, then I'm good to go.

    I'd recommend one of these flashes, they are older, but comparable to the newer ones of today. You can even get infrared or radio transmitters to set them off.
     
  3. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    I ended up ordering two Vivitar 285's to accompany my SB600 with some Cactus v4's, but I didn't realize at first that the Cactus transmitter prevents the on camera flash from popping up, making it able to control the SB600. So now I've ordered two more receivers and will probably get one more low end flash just for kicks. I am actually kind of weary about the cactus triggers as I've been reading a lot of bad stuff about them now. Oh well, we'll see what I end up with.
     
  4. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the recommendation, I have been meaning to get it from Amazon but I've been buying so much other stuff that I forget about it. Hopefully his humor is better than Kelby's.:lol:
     
  5. PatrickHMS

    PatrickHMS TPF Noob!

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    I MAY have this wrong, and if so, please set me straight...

    Why can't you use one, or even two or more, off camera SB-600's, set up on tripods (or however you like them), and trigger them off the on camera flash, if your Nikon body has one, and most of them do.

    I KNOW that there is more to it than that, and only works on certain camera bodies, but on those bodies with the proper menu settings won't it work?

    Makes sense, but that doesn't mean that it will work...

    Just wondering...
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  6. Sherman Banks

    Sherman Banks TPF Noob!

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    You can set up as many Nikon flashes that work with the CLS system as you want, but in my case, I'm using only one Nikon flash and two Vivitars. The Vivitars need remote triggering to fire since they're incompatible with the Nikon system, and I've ordered Cactus triggers for just that. But my assumption was that I could still use the on-camera flash to fire the SB600 while using the triggers to fire the Vivitars, and that's where I am mistaken. Not only does it not allow the camera's flash to pop up all the way, but there are also some syncs speed issues that would arise anyways.

    On another note, I was shooting tonight with my SB600 on camera right outdoors, and it would not fire. I had to keep it on my camera's left so the sensor could pick up the commander's flash. Kind of weak, as it was kind of dark and the flash was not far away. I guess I'm glad to be moving to a trigger system now.
     
  7. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Perhaps you should have searched a little more and researched a little longer. I know little about the V4 Cactus receivers, but I have a lot of experience with the V2s units. From the factory with fresh batteries they do an easy 30 feet, but the receiver raises the flash out of the center sweet spot and uses expensive unrechargeable batteries.

    A *very* simple mod and both issues are settled. First thing to do is, of course, replace the batteries in the transmitter... this is a must. The second, is to solder a simple single strand of CAT5 wire of 12.39" in length. This 2 minute and 3 cent mod increases range from 30 feet to 350+ feet. I've measured my V2s units to 358 feet and ran out of room, and they were not even beginning to misfire.



    [​IMG]

    Next, was to get the receivers off the light stand and attach a external AA battery holder. This way the flash sits on a hot shoe adapter and now uses rechargeable AA batteries.

    The results were satisfaactory to say the least:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    There are many people who do this mod and have issues ranging from a little to no increase in distance. When inquired how they did the mod, it was improperly done or the wrong length/kind of wire used in the transmitter. Of course results will be poor if the mod is done badly!

    I've done several transmitter units (3 for myself and several more for others), and *all* perform near identically under the same circumstances.

    My bog entry with detailed info on how to mod the V2s units:
    http://jerryphpics.blogspot.com/2008/07/004-cactus-v2s-modifications.html
     
  8. LuckySo-n-So

    LuckySo-n-So TPF Noob!

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    I recently purchased this book and have skimmed the entire book, and read the first few chapters. It is WAAAAAAAAAY over my watermelon-sized head.

    In order to get the most use out of this book, you must be at a certain level of understanding with regards to off camera lighting AND have at least a basic setup (umbrellas, stands, multiple flashes, etc.)--one SB-600 won't get you very far with this book.

    And his humor is much worse than Scott Kelby's, fwiw.
     

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