lighting with a sb-800
PhotoCamel: Your friendly photo community, with free discussion forums, digital photography reviews, photo sharing, galleries, downloads, blogs, photography contests, and prizes.
 

Go Back   PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Lighting Technique

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-18-2007   #1
Guanaco
 
Location: Poplar Grove Illinois
Posts: 313
CamelKarma: 89
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default lighting with a sb-800

Hello
I have question that has got me wondering. I have a nikon sb-800 and a sb-600 and I would like to know if I can use these with any cheap monolites I see advertized. They come with a slave and I assume that the flash from my sb-800 will fire them.
I want to use them as back ground light and highlights because of the attachments you can buy with them.
Will I have problems shooting with the lights combined useing the ttl lighting with the nikons.
Thanks for any help anyone can supply.
Rich

__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
spector426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2007   #2
Camel Breath
 
JDArt's Avatar
 
Location: Far out
Posts: 23,701
CamelKarma: 2121022
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Quote:
Originally Posted by spector426 View Post
Hello
I have question that has got me wondering. I have a nikon sb-800 and a sb-600 and I would like to know if I can use these with any cheap monolites I see advertized. They come with a slave and I assume that the flash from my sb-800 will fire them.
You want to use them as slaves?
__________________
Consider submitting your photography to Open Arts Forum.
JDArt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2007   #3
PhotoCamel Supporter DONATED
Camel Breath
 
cyclohexane's Avatar
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
Posts: 10,883
CamelKarma: 1099193
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

I've never tried combining off-camera wireless TTL using SB-800 flashes with optical slaves in manual, but I'd assume that it wouldn't work, due to the preflashes used by the speedlights to communicate and meter before firing. You'd proably have to shoot them all in manual mode (use SU-4 mode on the SB-800).
__________________
-Michael
cyclohexane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2007   #4
Guanaco
 
Location: Poplar Grove Illinois
Posts: 313
CamelKarma: 89
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Quote:
Originally Posted by JDArt View Post
You want to use them as slaves?
I wanted to use cheap flash heads that I see online for hair lights and backgrounds because i can but things like snoots and barn doors for them. I have never seen things like that for the sb-800 or 600. I guess that was something I wish I would have thought about before buying them. Thanks for your response.
Rich
spector426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2007   #5
Guanaco
 
Location: Poplar Grove Illinois
Posts: 313
CamelKarma: 89
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclohexane View Post
I've never tried combining off-camera wireless TTL using SB-800 flashes with optical slaves in manual, but I'd assume that it wouldn't work, due to the preflashes used by the speedlights to communicate and meter before firing. You'd proably have to shoot them all in manual mode (use SU-4 mode on the SB-800).
Can I use some kind of gobo to block the slave unit from seeing the pre flashes from the camera ? I know these questions might sound stupid but I would rather ask them before I spend any money. Thanks for your reply.
Rich
spector426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2007   #6
PhotoCamel Supporter DONATED
Camel Breath
 
cyclohexane's Avatar
 
Location: San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
Posts: 10,883
CamelKarma: 1099193
Editing OK?: No
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

I don't know. Like I said, I've never combined CLS with optical slaves. You could always go ahead and try it.
__________________
-Michael
cyclohexane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2007   #7
Bactrian
 
deluco's Avatar
 
Location: Hudson, Ma
Posts: 2,443
CamelKarma: 22449
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Yes, you may use any of the "cheap" slaves (ie, Morris) that have built in optical slaves with ANY strobe system. The dissadvantage is that most of these are very low powered and only fire at full power. I use them on occassion and they can be set up to work fine.

You may find that if you place the optical-fired slave behind your subject, facing the background that they may not fire consistently because they can be blocked from seeing the other strobes firing.

Naturally, radio or infared would be better... but more expensive.

Another alternative is something like the Sunpak 383. Five stops of manual settings and you can put it on an optical shoe slave that you can purchase for about $35.00.
__________________
Jim
"I'd be cynical if I thought it would help"
www.delucophoto.com
deluco is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2007   #8
Llama
 
Location: Texas
Posts: 927
CamelKarma: 19072
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Quote:
Originally Posted by spector426 View Post
Hello
I have question that has got me wondering. I have a nikon sb-800 and a sb-600 and I would like to know if I can use these with any cheap monolites I see advertized. They come with a slave and I assume that the flash from my sb-800 will fire them.
I want to use them as back ground light and highlights because of the attachments you can buy with them.
Will I have problems shooting with the lights combined useing the ttl lighting with the nikons.
Thanks for any help anyone can supply.
Rich

Yes, you will have extreme and unsolvable problems trying to use ANY of the third party lights (cheap or expensive) with the Nikon TTL CLS system. The digital preflash and Nikon Commander mode preflash problem is unsolvable unless you have units designed to work with it.

The idea is that any of these preflashes will fire the external light, which is over and done before time that it should fire with the shutter. So its contribution to your picture lighting is zero.

Unless you turn off the CLS stuff. Then there is an easy way.

The only way to use third party strobes is with everything in manual mode.

1. Camera exposure in manual mode, set with a flash meter.
2. All lights in manual flash mode - no TTL and no Commander.
3. For the SB-800, it has a SU-4 mode which is exactly this, it is then optically triggered by any other flash, becomes just like any other studio light. Or it can trigger any other such light. I easily use two SB-800 with two AlienBees B800 studio lights, but only with the SB-800 in SU-4 mode.
This is Manual flash mode, using a flash meter for exposure, which is a huge plus, not a minus. It allows complete control of your lighting.

One minor exception for quibblers. Some third party triggers (like Morris) has a switch to set Digital Mode or Film mode. Digital setting will ignore the preflash, and wait for the full flash. This should work with most point-and-shoot cameras. And it works with my Nikon D70S too, but only works in simple TTL mode, meaning it will NOT work with Nikons Commander mode. Commander mode puts out even more preflashes than simple digital mode, which third party will not understand unless it specifically says for Nikon CLS (if any). So this means this digital flash trigger can only work with the camera alone, and not with any other Nikon CLS remote units.

The SB-800 is tremendous, with its SU-4 mode, and a flash PC connector, with features that allow it to do about anything you might ever dream of doing. The SB-600 is very limited, it has almost nothing, poor bargain.
WayneF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2007   #9
Guanaco
 
Location: Poplar Grove Illinois
Posts: 313
CamelKarma: 89
Editing OK?: Yes
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Thanks all for the responses. It looks like I might try useing it manual mode like suggested. I just wish I would have thought about this before I bought the nikon flashes. Any suggestions for any ways to buy or make something like a snoot or create something that could simulate barn doors?
Thanks again for your help
Rich
spector426 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-23-2007   #10
Llama
 
Location: Texas
Posts: 927
CamelKarma: 19072
Editing OK?: Ask First
Constructive Critique?: Yes
Default Re: lighting with a sb-800

Quote:
Originally Posted by spector426 View Post
Thanks all for the responses. It looks like I might try useing it manual mode like suggested. I just wish I would have thought about this before I bought the nikon flashes. Any suggestions for any ways to buy or make something like a snoot or create something that could simulate barn doors?

The SB-800 in TTL mode is fantastic bounced from on-camera as you walk around. We simply must have one. But studio lights have strong advantages too, if the subject stays still.

Not what you mentioned, and I am not sure of your goal, but you could put both Nikons on light stands with umbrellas for portrait shots. I started that way at first (two SB-800 and umbrellas) and it works well. And if you do get studio lights later (probably to have more than two lights, hair and background really do help), the same stands and umbrellas will still work with them. After that, I used the SB-800s for hair light and background light in SU-4 mode, with the AlienBees B800 studio lights.

I cannot speak for the SB-600, but I know that the SB-800 works very well in umbrellas (24 mm zoom to fill it), either as manual mode or as CLS TTL remotes. Manual mode with a flash meter is better and simpler, gives much more control and better metering, and either a simple PC cord or SU-4 mode works fine to trigger the SB-800. However, the SB-600 seems a real problem in remote manual mode - no SU-4 mode trigger, and no PC connector, not much it can do. My opinion is it was your only mistake. You could buy a shoe mounted optical trigger for its manual mode, but it changes the height on the umbrella mount. Which wouldn't matter as a hair or background light.

Or you could use both in CLS TTL mode as Remotes on umbrellas. I did that for awhile, until I learned how much better manual is. Manual does exactly what we specify, very repeatable and predictable. The subject is not moving. CLS keeps trying to be smart itself, with no actual concept of us having any control, and we are never sure what it will do, and we also have to learn to use the FV lock to prevent the subject from blinking from preflash. And CLS gives warnings at max power, but you can put them a bit closer to avoid it, or open the lens a bit. You want the umbrellas fairly close anyway (maybe 5 or 6 feet subject to fabric at most), being "large" relative to subject is what gives the diffused light. In manual mode and umbrella, f/11 ISO 200 was possible from the SB-800.

With other manual studio lights, the Nikon SB-800 works very well in SU-4 mode, optically triggered just like any other studio light.

For a hair light, I just wrap a sheet of 8.5x11 inch black construction paper around the SB-800 head to make a snoot, held with a piece of masking tape or a rubber band. Or a same size foamie from Walmart should work as well. The snoot nozzle is wrapped long dimension going around, with a nozzle "same size" more or less, no attempt to make it smaller diameter. It gives roughly a 20 degree spread, and works nice, and 1/8 or 1/4 power is a lot then. However it is not so easy to get it aimed just right without modeling lights - the so-called modeling light does not work in SU-4 mode, so aiming is trial and error. (Disclosure - I ended up buying another AlienBees light and 20 degree grid for hair light, just to have a modeling light to aim. Otherwise, the SB-800 is fine for this - and has the advantage of its light weight - a very light weight boom is sufficient). I set the zoom to 105mm for this snoot, which is still about double width coverage as the snoot nozzle allows. The SB-800 will recycle faster with the fifth battery, to better keep up with the studio lights.

And the other SB-800 works well for a backlight as it is, if you have about four feet or more for it. On a short stand behind subject at 24 mm zoom. My attempts at "barn doors" was less successful with the SB-800, but they didn't seem needed for this.


__________________
Members don't see ads in threads. Register for your free account today and become a member of PhotoCamel to open up the site's many benefits and features.
WayneF is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

« PhotoCamel - Your Friendly Photography Forum > Tools Of the Trade > Lighting Technique »


Share this topic:

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LIGHTING 102 - B: Lighting and Portrait Links rpcrowe Lighting Technique 9 02-22-2015 07:07 PM
New to lighting/ need help jimD50 Lighting Technique 6 03-15-2008 01:52 AM
Broad lighting vs. Short lighting Mark McCall Lighting Technique 62 01-18-2008 03:05 PM
Lighting 101 macmaam Lighting Technique 23 04-25-2007 08:17 PM
Which lighting kit? MattM Lighting Technique 2 06-02-2006 04:54 AM