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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Nikon SB-800 Speedlight Question
Stephen Weissbart, Photographer
Fullerton | CA | USA | Posted: 1:14 AM on 03.05.05
->> Last weekend I purchased two new Nikon SB-800s to use with my D2h. I have been playing around with them and I have discovered a weird problem that no seems to be able to explain or solve. Maybe someone here can help me out.

Here is what I am trying to do: I want to set them both off in Manual mode at full power with the "master" connected to the camera setting off the "remote". I want to take a meter reading of the flashes going off together with my Minolta flash meter and set my D2h according to what the meter says.

Here is the problem. If I take one SB-800 and set it to Manual at full power (1/1) and make it fire and meter it I get something like say-- f11. If I then take that EXACT same SB-800 with the EXACT same settings and use the buttons on the back to designate it "the master" in Manual mode (M 1/1) and set it off, my meter says that it is so weak it gives no reading. Connected to the camera, connected to an SC-17 cord, connected to nothing-same result. And the really wacky thing is if I try to take a photo with it like this (Master 1/1) connected to the camera --the image is completely white blown out. Now how can this be? There is not enough light for the meter to read it but it blows out the image?

I called Nikon Digital telephone support and they told me to call the film camera support but the guy there could not explain it. I called Samys in LA and they tried but they couldn't figure it out either.

The reason I am doing this is because we all know by now that if I shoot JPEG with a D2h and I underexpose it there is no fixing it. I thought that if I could meter my flashes in Manual, I could at least figure out if I will have good exposure or what I need to do to adjust it . If I try to make a portrait by bouncing those flashes off of a ceiling in TTL mode I think I could be in for lots of problems.

Maybe someone here knows what is going on? Maybe Mr Rickman or Mr Black? Any help would be really appreciated.

Stephen
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Kyle Coburn, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 1:19 AM on 03.05.05
->> Here is a stab in the dark.

Maybe the meter is metering the preflash the master sends out all the ttl info over before the actual full power flash.

-kyle
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Stephen Weissbart, Photographer
Fullerton | CA | USA | Posted: 1:29 AM on 03.05.05
->> Ok but why would it send out TTL info when it is set to Manual mode? And the amount of light that comes out does seem less than when it is set to be used in Manual mode by itself.

But maybe-

SW
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Kyle Coburn, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 1:40 AM on 03.05.05
->> Let me make sure I read correctly. My understanding of your situation is when the flash is in normal (stand alone) mode it meters fine.

But when you put it in master mode the meter reading is way off or un-measurable.

When sb-800 flash units are in master mode they send out pre-flashes that alert the other units (slaves) what power to use and when to fire. The pre flashes are how the sb-800s work wirelessly.
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Stephen Weissbart, Photographer
Fullerton | CA | USA | Posted: 2:07 AM on 03.05.05
->> Kyle,

You have the situation exactly right. If your explanation is correct, it's bad news for me because then there is no way for me to use those units with my light meter to get an independent reading of their output. If you are right then I won't even be able to meter them going off together because the master is always going pre flash to trigger the other one. You probably have it figured out. Thank you.

SW
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Spencer Hahn, Photographer, Student/Intern
West Lafayette | IN | USA | Posted: 2:15 AM on 03.05.05
->> You can set the 'master' to truly manual output and the 'slave' to simply be a conventional slave. You don't actually need the iTTL function, correct?
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Chris Williams, Photographer, Student/Intern
Rancho Cucamonga | CA | USA | Posted: 2:26 AM on 03.05.05
->> I think Spencer has it on the right track. Set your off camera flash to the setting called SU-4, which just makes it act as an optical slave. I'm not sure what the problem seems to be when metering it though, but I think Spencer has the easiest solution.

Chris
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Steven Georges, Photographer
Garden Grove | CA | USA | Posted: 6:18 PM on 03.05.05
->> If you connect a PC cord to the meter and have the meter set off the SB-800s instead of the meter reading the first (small) flash it sees, would that work?
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Spencer Hahn, Photographer, Student/Intern
West Lafayette | IN | USA | Posted: 2:03 AM on 03.06.05
->> If you set the off-camera flash to SU-4 mode, make sure your on-camera flash is NOT on iTTL! You cannot use any mode that uses a preflash, and (in general) that means you have to use manual output or auto.
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Stephen Weissbart, Photographer
Fullerton | CA | USA | Posted: 6:59 PM on 03.06.05
->> You all were very helpful. I am able to what I want to do now thanks to you all. I set the flash that's attached to the camera to M and I set the remote flash to SU-4 and I am able to meter them together. Its pretty cool actually. I was already experimenting with it around the house yesterday. I have some ideas for some images I want to try to make. Thank you everybody who responded.
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Neal Vaughan, Photographer
St. Joseph | MI | USA | Posted: 5:15 PM on 03.07.05
->> Yeah, I wish the SB-800 had a built-in optical slave like the sb-26 did. Would make my shooting easier.
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Chris Williams, Photographer, Student/Intern
Rancho Cucamonga | CA | USA | Posted: 9:16 PM on 03.07.05
->> Neal, it does: The SU-4. I've used it a couple times with a larger strobe. Hold down the select button to get into the custom function, then find where you can select which mode the flash is (Master, etc) and pick SU-4. It works quite well.

Chris
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Thread Title: Nikon SB-800 Speedlight Question
Thread Started By: Stephen Weissbart
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