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SB800 or SB900 for wedding

pianoman107

Port pirie, AU
98 posts

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pianoman107 Silver Member Nikonian since 31st Jan 2008
Fri 04-Jan-13 04:27 AM

I've been asked by my sister to take the casual shots the offical photographer wont be taking at my nephews wedding. I have a D700 and have always used a 24-70 2.8 for this type of photo shooting. In the past I have used Russ's suggestion of Manual 4f, speed 80 and ISO of 400 with the SB900 at 60 degree for a ceiling bounce. A lot of the photos seem as if they need more light. Would the SB800 have more power? I also have a Gary fong diffuser but not have used it that much in the past. would that help? or should I be using a higher ISO setting.
thanks in anticiption(:-)
Robin
South Australia
Temperature 48 celcius ;-(

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Photograffiti

LA (Lower Arkansas), US
460 posts

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#1. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 0

Photograffiti Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Apr 2006
Fri 04-Jan-13 04:57 AM | edited Fri 04-Jan-13 04:57 AM by Photograffiti

I would use the 800 - as it supposedly has more power. I'd also carry the Lightsphere as well. If the ceilings are low (and light in color), bounce the flash. Use the lightsphere for portrait-type shots within 15 feet. Put the flash in TTL and turn off the Auto-ISO. Then just adjust the flash as needed.

Maybe someone else can offer a better suggestion.

Mark
www.markpricephotography.com

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sl33py

Seattle, US
340 posts

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#2. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 0

sl33py Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Apr 2008
Sat 05-Jan-13 04:10 AM | edited Sat 05-Jan-13 04:14 AM by sl33py

Sounds like fun. I'd use either as i don't believe there's enough of a difference to matter. Slightly more power on the 800, but lose the 200mm zoom feature and FX light pattern settings? (don't think that's available on the 800). Love the 900/910 menus over the 800's interface.

As suggested already - a good modifier. GF or rogue (i like the fold flat of the rogue). also have the whale tail which is nice but bulky.

Off camera flash an option? Either juggle, flash bracket, or assistant and cls/PW?

do you need the zoom? 50mm 1.4 or 1.8 is quite a bit faster than the 2.8... Maybe i'm just jealous since i don't have the 24-70 2.8 (and want one badly!), but the 50 1.4 is my go-to low light lens.

With your D700, it has such amazing IQ even above 800 ISO... I wouldn't hesitate to push it a bit. I did some shots at a friends Bday get together in a dim bar w/ my 50 1.4 *cranked* to 2500 (on my D300 - again jealous). grainy/noisy - yes, but quite a few were totally printable after some noise reduction in LR4.

my .02 - one of the wedding gurus will chime in with what they do. hope it helps!

rob

elec164

US
2261 posts

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#3. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 2

elec164 Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009
Sat 05-Jan-13 12:24 PM

>
>FX light pattern
>settings? (don't think that's available on the 800).

Actually you would not have the DX patterns on the SB800 as it is only configured as an FX flash so in essence you loose a little flash power of the SB800 when used on a DX body unless you manually zoom to account for the difference.

Pete

Pete

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Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
6044 posts

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#4. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 0

Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter Member
Sat 05-Jan-13 08:11 PM

>I've been asked by my sister to take the casual shots the
>offical photographer wont be taking at my nephews wedding. I
>have a D700 and have always used a 24-70 2.8 for this type of
>photo shooting. In the past I have used Russ's suggestion of
>Manual 4f, speed 80 and ISO of 400 with the SB900 at 60 degree
>for a ceiling bounce. A lot of the photos seem as if they need
>more light. Would the SB800 have more power? I also have a
>Gary fong diffuser but not have used it that much in the past.
>would that help? or should I be using a higher ISO setting.
>thanks in anticiption(:-)
>Robin
>South Australia
>Temperature 48 celcius ;-(

Hi Robin,

My old D200 with my SB-800 also always underexposed. I simply used the exposure compensation on the camera to increase both the exposure and the flash power.

When I got my D3, my flash exposures were right on, so I set my camera ev to 0.0.

Then, I got my D800, and I was getting slight overexposure. In this case, I found that reducing the flash compensation on the SB800 about 1/2 stop solved the problem.

So, I think you should try using +1.0 ev on your camera.

Just watch out when your subjects are wearing dark clothing. That can greatly increas your flash power and blow out many images. It is much better to underexpose than to overexpose, since you can increase 'exposure' by up to two stops.

You can also increase ISO, but be aware that that will increase the ambient contribution as well as the effective flash power, which means you have to increase your shutter speed toreduce the ambient and keep the flash primary.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

pianoman107

Port pirie, AU
98 posts

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#5. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 4

pianoman107 Silver Member Nikonian since 31st Jan 2008
Sat 05-Jan-13 09:36 PM

Since my last post I have taken the photos at the wedding, 206 of them. As I was not the official photographer I thought I would try all combinations using the SB800 and the SB900, plus used the Gary Fong diffuser for some of them. I found the SB800 very good for 100 shots so I decided to change to the SB900. I did feel that the 900 had more power and was excellent for the young ones dancing in a dim light. What, I did notice even though the 900 indicated it was ready to fire some shots came out underexposed? I am staying away from home at the moment and trying to get a extra 127mg space on my iPad to upload them. When I sort that out I will send in some good and bad shots.
Russ, I will check that setting you suggested. One of the posters suggested a 50,1.8 lens which I do have plus the fishtail so next main event I will give them a try if my head ever gets over the LOUD noise the young ones listen to
Robin

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Arkayem

Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
6044 posts

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#7. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 5

Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter Member
Sat 05-Jan-13 09:48 PM

>Since my last post I have taken the photos at the wedding,
>206 of them. As I was not the official photographer I thought
>I would try all combinations using the SB800 and the SB900,
>plus used the Gary Fong diffuser for some of them. I found the
>SB800 very good for 100 shots so I decided to change to the
>SB900. I did feel that the 900 had more power and was
>excellent for the young ones dancing in a dim light. What, I
>did notice even though the 900 indicated it was ready to fire
>some shots came out underexposed? I am staying away from home
>at the moment and trying to get a extra 127mg space on my iPad
>to upload them. When I sort that out I will send in some good
>and bad shots.

Did you shoot raw or jpeg? Raw gives you a huge amount more adjustment capability in post processing. My previous comments about increasing the exposure two stops were predicated on raw images.

>Russ, I will check that setting you suggested. One of the
>posters suggested a 50,1.8 lens which I do have plus the
>fishtail so next main event I will give them a try

I have used a 50mm f/1.8 at a reception, and it works fine, except f/1.8 makes way too shallow depth of field for a full frame camera. I ended up stopping it down to f/4 or so to get more than the subject's tip of the nose in focus. I much prefer the 24-70mm f/2.8 for receptions.

>if my head
>ever gets over the LOUD noise the young ones listen to

I know what you mean. I stopped shooting weddings over a year ago and my ears still ring! No wonder young ones don't listen to us older folks; they can't hear!

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

drFrank

Beaver Falls, US
898 posts

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#8. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 6

drFrank Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Dec 2006
Mon 07-Jan-13 12:24 PM

I use the SB800 with a rogue flash bender and/or Better Bounce Card - bouncing off the wall.
f/4 ISO 2500 1/60
shot with the Nikon 24-120 f/4 VR

I boost the flash compensation by +1.
(I still love shooting weddings at 56 years young.)

Click on image to view larger version


drFrank
www.frankkendralla.com
www.kendrallaphotography.com
www.kendralla.com

drFrank

Beaver Falls, US
898 posts

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#9. "RE: SB800 or SB900 for wedding" | In response to Reply # 8

drFrank Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Dec 2006
Mon 07-Jan-13 12:26 PM

I forgot to mention - these are shot with the D300s.

Click on image to view larger version


drFrank
www.frankkendralla.com
www.kendrallaphotography.com
www.kendralla.com

G