Synching D90 with SB-800 WITHOUT using pop up flash?


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Nov 12, 2006
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Hey guys. Went to the local photostore today to ask about some wireless synchs, and the guy asked me what system I was using. I told him I am using the D90 with the SB-800. He said, and confirmed with a friend, that I could use the D90 as a commander, WITHOUT the pop up flash firing/being part of the shot.

No matter what I try the Pop Up flash ALWAYS fires in Commander mode... is there a way to synch it without it?
The flash fires in commander mode because that flash is what's telling the other flashes what to do. It can be made to not add any light to the actual shot, but it's always going to flash. Under the commander menu set the Built-in flash to "--." That way it will flash to send the signal but not flash when the shutter is open.

There are other ways to sync though. Nikon has the SU-800(I've had mixed results with this) and there are cheap IR and radio triggers(which generally have to be used with the flash set to manual).
Indeed. Here's a quick test for you. Set the camera to commander mode and set the built-in flash to --, and all flash groups to -- as well. Now take a picture.

Result looks quite dark doesn't it? ;)

If you take a photo of something reflective like glass or a mirror you can only just make out the tail end of the flash fading out, so it's not 100% out of the picture. But if you're worried go to your old stuff drawer and get an old film leader that was exposed and processed and put that over the flash. that will stop the visible light, but still pass through the infrared light that triggers the other flashes.

The only other option is buying the wireless commander unit SU-800. That's infrared.
i saw an article on this earlier. If you take a material that only transmits infared than u can significantly lower the output of the flash and at the same time have the other flashes fire. Iam pretty certain a peice developed film over the flash works decently.
I always though the popup was always fireing when using commander ? even in -- ??!?
It does, but it all happens so quickly that you don't realise it fires BEFORE the photo is taken.

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