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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #11954
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Subject: "SU-4 Slaves and SB800" Previous topic | Next topic
afx Registered since 02nd Nov 2005Sun 11-Dec-05 07:50 AM
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"SU-4 Slaves and SB800"


Munich, DE
          

Hi,
is there a reference chart or tutorial on how to use SU-4 attached or SU-4 compatible flashes with an SB800?
Do I alway have to go in A or AA mode or are there settings of the SB800 where the preflases are switched of in iTTL anyway (tilted upwards for example)?
So far my experiments with an SB80DX and an old SU-4 attached Metz where not briliant...

thx
afx
--
D70 and Bibble on all platforms

cheers
afx
--
D200 and Bibble on all platforms

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
alm
11th Dec 2005
1
Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
afx
11th Dec 2005
2
Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
blw Moderator
11th Dec 2005
3
Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
bgelfand
12th Dec 2005
4
Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
blw Moderator
14th Dec 2005
5
     Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
afx
14th Dec 2005
6
          Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
blw Moderator
14th Dec 2005
7
Reply message RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800
bclaff Silver Member
14th Dec 2005
8

alm Registered since 29th Oct 2005Sun 11-Dec-05 02:07 PM
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#1. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 0


Zoetermeer, NL
          

See this thread: http://www.nikonians.org/dcforum/DCForumID7/15111.html

You can avoid the pre-flashes with i-TTL by using FV-lock. This fires the pre-flashes when you press this button (you can program your AE-L/AF-L button on your D70 to FV-lock via a custom setting), it determines the flash exposure, and remebers this until you press the button again. You should obviously fire pre-flashes again if you change your subject distance, lighting, etc. If you use FV-lock, it won't fire pre-flashes before the exposure, so there will only one pulse that the SU-4 slaves can sync to. I don't think that you can do this when your SB-800 is SU-4 master, but the only thing that it does is disable pre-flashes in all modes except i-TTL and D-TTL anyway.

Alson

  

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afx Registered since 02nd Nov 2005Sun 11-Dec-05 04:28 PM
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#2. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 1


Munich, DE
          

Thanks, I'll check that out.
Meanwhile I experimented with the A (not AA!) mode and that works fine when adjusting the other flashes manually.

cheers
afx
--
D70 and Bibble on all platforms

cheers
afx
--
D200 and Bibble on all platforms

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Sun 11-Dec-05 06:37 PM
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#3. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

As you have discovered, A mode is the only mode other than manual in which you don't get preflash. What this boils down to is that if your flashes are lighting separate areas, SU-4 mode works fine with iTTL flashes. Otherwise, it's sufficiently painful that you'll likely break down and buy another CLS flash pretty quickly.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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bgelfand Registered since 09th Feb 2002Mon 12-Dec-05 06:33 AM
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#4. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 0


Sacramento Area, US
          

There should be a big problem using SU-4 controlled flashes with a digital body. The digital body uses the preflash, and only the preflash, to calculate the duration of the flash; a digital body cannot read the light from the flashes on the sensor during the actual exposure. Since the slave flash does not emit a preflash, the camera calculates an exposure based solely on the intensity of the SB-800. Now when you turn on the SU-4 flash and fire, the flash duration will be bases upon the value calculated off the preflash of the SB-800 unit alone, but in fact both the main flash and slave flash are firing. This should always result in an overexposure.

Film cameras, for which the SU-4 was designed, do not have this problem. They read the light provided by both the main flash and slave flash off the film and quench the main flash when sufficient light has hit the film itself. When the main flash quenches, the SU-4 quenches the slave. The results should be a perfect exposure

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 14-Dec-05 02:38 PM
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#5. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 4


Richmond, US
          

Actually that is not how it works on digital at all. If you have a remote on an SU-4, the preflash will trigger the remote. Unless the subject is VERY well lit, the remote will then be recharging when the main exposure happens, and you will have pretty much the effect of only the main flash.

If you set the main flash in A mode (not AA, not TTL, not TTL-BL), preflash will be suppressed, and then the SU-4 remotes will be triggered by the actual exposure flash. (Since there will be no preflash.)

Then the trick is to get the exposure to come out right. In A mode, the flash metering is done by the FLASH, not the body, using a sensor on the flash itself. Right from the start then, you need to be aware of what the sensor sees compared to what the lens sees - they are often very different, especially if you have a wide angle lens on the camera.

When you put an SU-4 in setup, the remote will also have to meter. You can either set the SU-4 in "auto" mode with the remote in TTL, or set the SU-4 in M mode with the remote in A mode. Using the "auto" configuration, the SU-4 sensor detects the primary flash, fires the remote, then watches for the primary to quench - whereupon it quenches the remote. In theory this should work well, but in practice, it does not seem to be very effective. I'm not sure why - perhaps it's because I am not that good at placing the remote and primary's flash sensors.

I have had much more success using the remote to light areas that the primary does not, such as a background or especially a doorway to another room. To do this I use A mode on the remote and M on the SU-4, and position the remote so that it reads a completely different area than the primary. This seems to work pretty well, although it can be a bit tedious to set up.

----

Note that all of the above applies to digital. When using traditional TTL on film, most of this Just Works, except for a couple of cases where newer flash units use preflash. However, usually (always?) this can be suppressed when using film bodies by tilting the flash head down. (I have basically no experience with preflash and film TTL, so take this part with a grain of salt.)

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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afx Registered since 02nd Nov 2005Wed 14-Dec-05 02:49 PM
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#6. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 5


Munich, DE
          

Hi Brian,

what you describe fits exactly my experience.

They reason why I initially posted this was that the flash manual says that preflash is off even in iTTL (and AA) when the flash head is tilted (which mine usually is, I bounce most of the time).
But my experiments showed that this is not the case.
So I set up the slaves manually and use the master in A mode.
Easy to do with the LCD screen and histogram as long as I am only shooting static subjects.
A good way to still make use of old flashes that don't play iTTL.

cheers
afx
--
D70 and Bibble on all platforms

cheers
afx
--
D200 and Bibble on all platforms

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Wed 14-Dec-05 05:44 PM
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#7. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 6


Richmond, US
          

The manual is either wrong or misleading. On film cameras, the SB-800 does preflash but this can be cancelled by tilting the head down. I am sure that the N80 is this way; I presume that all of the other film bodies are too, with the possible exception of the F6 that I have never used. This is possible because the film bodies can all do standard off-the-film TTL, and hence can flash meter with or without the preflash. (The F6 might not, as it's an iTTL body, but I think it does standard TTL too.)


_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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bclaff Silver Member Awarded for multiple contributions for the Resources Nikonian since 26th Oct 2004Wed 14-Dec-05 11:12 PM
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#8. "RE: SU-4 Slaves and SB800"
In response to Reply # 0


Vancouver (WA USA not Canada), US
          

Andreas,

FWIW, you may want to look at an old thread that was lost in the Nikonian crash but I recovered from the Google cache.
Go to my web site (follow the URL in my signature) and look for Getting built-in flash to fire on D70 with wireless (2005-04-02 7/2554#10) in the link section.
The links are in order by date.

I use SU-4 mode with my SB-800 along with the D70 built-in flash in i-TTL mode and have no problems in the situations where I need it.
See post#10 in the above thread for an example.


Bill

Visit me at My site

  

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