I've tried to set up my D90 and SB600 to work wirelessly, but, after reading the Nikon factory manual, the Nikonian D90 manual, and calling NIKONUSA, where I was told "You can't do that", I finally got it to work around corners, but only with the on-board flash raised, and set on manual power at 1/128 power, camera in commander mode, with proper channel set.
I am thinking that is essentially an optical slave function, and wonder if anyone can give me a simple, step-by-step tutorial on how to use the SB600 and D90 without raising the built-in flash? Is it even possible? Any help will be appreciated.
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#3. "RE: Nikon D90 and SB600" | In response to Reply # 1
quenton8 Nikonian since 11th Apr 2010Sat 06-Jul-13 12:14 AM
I have that combination -- and yes, you need to builtin flash popped up,
but in commander mode, the flash is not very high-power, and should not have too much effect on the photo.
I used this combination to photograph the kitchen at our cottage through an "internal window" (that used to be an outside window until the kitchen was added on). The flash was on its stand hidden behind a wall, and I photographed through the "internal window" and the builtin flash reflecting off the kitchen walls fired the 600 and did exacltly what I wanted!
#2. "RE: Nikon D90 and SB600" | In response to Reply # 0
>I've tried to set up my D90 and SB600 to work wirelessly,
>but, after reading the Nikon factory manual, the Nikonian D90
>manual, and calling NIKONUSA, where I was told "You can't
>do that", I finally got it to work around corners, but
>only with the on-board flash raised, and set on manual power
>at 1/128 power, camera in commander mode, with proper channel
From what you discribe it sounds like your camera and Speedlight are functioning correctly.
Nikon CLS wireless flash control uses pulses of light to comunicate with the remote Speedlights. With the built- in Speedlight in Commander mode, you can set it (the built-in Speedlight) to TTL, Manual, or - - mode. You can also set the remote flash (your SB-600 in remote mode) to TTL, AA, Manual, or - - modes via the camera menu.
If you want to use TTL flash control without the built-in Speedlight contributing the the exposure, set the built-in Speedlight to - -. Unless you are shooting at macro distances or are very close to the subject the triggering flash will not contribute to the exposure.
>I am thinking that is essentially an optical slave function,
No! Quite far from it.
>and wonder if anyone can give me a simple, step-by-step
>tutorial on how to use the SB600 and D90 without raising the
If you want to use your D90 as Commander for Nikon wireless flash control, the built-in Speedlight must be raised because Commander mode uses flashes to communicate with the remotes.
Is it even possible?
Yes! You will have to buy an SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910, or SU-800 to place in your D90's hotshoe and set the Speedlight in Commander mode to wirelessly control your remote SB-600. Again, CLS wireless flash control uses flashes (pulses) of light to communicate with the remote Speedlights.
If you are close to your subject and don't want the built-in Speedlight to contribute to the exposure you can place a Nikon SG-3IR in the hotshoe and it will convert the white light to IR which will not contribute to the exposure.
Another option is to buy a Pocket Wizard Mini-TT1 to place in the hotshoe and a Flex-TT5 to attach to your SB-600. The Pocket Wizard system uses RF wireless instead of IR.
#4. "RE: Nikon D90 and SB600" | In response to Reply # 0
The remote flash (SB-600) needs something to tell it what to do. That's what the built-in flash (or other flash or SU-800) does, it communicates with the remote flash. The camera does not "talk" to the flash any other way.
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#6. "RE: Nikon D90 and SB600" | In response to Reply # 0
Some people are disappointed to find out that Nikons wireless flash system does not communicate by radio. I think the reason (or one of them) is that radio communication is regulated and differs from country to country. Nikons CLS uses light, which is free from regulations and photographers can (legally) use the same equipment everywhere. Its not a dumb optical slave. In the CLS system, communication by light is encoded in one of four selectable ways (called channels). Unlike a dumb optical slave, your flash will not be triggered by flashes from other camera, regardless of which channel you select. It can be triggered by another Nikon camera (or flash in control mode). If this happens, you can select another channel. The CLS also differs from a dumb slave in that the camera is able to detect proper exposure and program that to the remotes.
#7. "RE: Nikon D90 and SB600" | In response to Reply # 0
I have had troubles with my D90 and SB800. It will work for a few frames and then it stops firing. Is there a certain distance range my camera and flash need to be in? Is there a shutter speed I should be using?
I'm just not sure what I'm going wrong.
#8. "RE: Nikon D90 and SB600" | In response to Reply # 7
MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 13-Nov-13 09:44 PM
Welcome to Nikonians!
To maximize the range, orient the Speedlight so the Light Sensor Window (#4 on page 10 of the SB-800 Users Manual) is aimed at your D90's built-in Speedlight.
You can rotate the flash head 270 degrees horizontally and 90 degrees vertically to light your subject. Indoors with light colored walls and ceilings the light from the Commander will reflect off of the ceiling and walls allowing the remote Speedlights to located behind walls and objects while continuing to fire reliably. Outdoors, in Bright ambient light, and or indoors with dark walls and ceilings, you must set the remotes to be directly in the line of sight 30 degrees on either side of the camera and no more than 7m (23 ft.) to 10m (33 ft.) max. from the Master. See page 74 in the SB-800 Users Manual.
You should be able to use any shutter speed up to 1/200th sec. without issues.