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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #17516
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Subject: "Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports" Previous topic | Next topic
abednigo Registered since 22nd May 2006Wed 11-Oct-06 03:32 PM
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"Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"


US
          

The Problem: When I shoot actions sports at night I manually set my D200 to at least 1/250 shutter speed, my lens is always wide open at f/2.8, and my SB600 to 1/8 - 1/16 power depending on the field light available. This set-up works well except when I fire the shutter for continuous multiple exposures of more than 3 consecutive shots; during these moments the flash needs recycle time and it does not go off as the shutter is shooting, rendering some of the sequence shots dark before the speedlight recharges itself to flash again.

1st question: Can I set up the SB600 to flash more rapidly in conjunction with the amount of shutter speed actuations at the frequency of 5 frames per second?

2nd question (with background info. following): Can I buy the SB800 to be used in conjunction with the SB600 on a flash bracket and synchronize them to fire off alternately so that when one is recycling itself the other speedlight can fire off, thus covering the frequency of a 5 frames/second sequence?

Here's my set-up and what I would hope to do while photographing action sports at night, like soccer and football:

D200 with a 300mm f/2.8 with a flash bracket attached to the camera holding an SB800 and SB600. The hot-shoe on the camera would be attached to the SB800 via the SC-28 cord while the SB600 would also be connected with the SC-28 via the multiple flash terminals on the SC-28 cord (just under the SB800).

I would then hope to synchronize the speedlights to alternately flash in conjunction with a high continuous shutter speed of at least 1/250 to freeze the action. Or if the speedlights cannot alternately flash, then at least for them to pick up where the other stopped flashing.

I know there's some photogenius' out there who can provide a thorough answer. I would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance.

-Steven

Itself, by itself, solely, ONE everlastingly, and single. -Plato

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
HBB Moderator
12th Oct 2006
1
Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
edmun
12th Oct 2006
2
Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
RockyIII Gold Member
12th Oct 2006
3
Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
HBB Moderator
12th Oct 2006
4
Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
Gary7770
13th Oct 2006
5
     Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
HBB Moderator
13th Oct 2006
6
          Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
Gary7770
13th Oct 2006
7
          Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
HBB Moderator
13th Oct 2006
8
               Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
Gerry M
16th Oct 2006
9
                    Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
HBB Moderator
16th Oct 2006
10
Reply message RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports
jonbost
24th Nov 2006
11

HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberThu 12-Oct-06 12:28 AM
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#1. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

Steven:

What you are asking for is an active logic device that will toggle between your two strobes. Yes, it can be done, but I doubt it is available off the shelf. It is not clear how long this system would stay in sync with your shutter, given that the recycling times of the strobes may vary depending on battery state, etc. Who knows? Throw enough money at it and I'm sure somebody will build something for you.

You might try a matched pair SB800s (longer reach and fifth battery option for faster recycling) firing simultaneously at 1/8 - 1/16 power or whatever is needed for the fill flash.

Beware that you run the risk of damage if you try and overdrive the SB800s. They do not have internal cooling fans like the more expensive studio strobes. They do not even have cooling vents.

Good luck,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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edmun Registered since 16th Sep 2003Thu 12-Oct-06 01:32 AM
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#2. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 1


eugene, US
          

If you have two units then they will both fire at 1/2 the power as before.

So instead of 1/4 both will be at 1/8 th. So recycle will be less of a issue.

There are Quantum battery packs for faster recycle.

Check out Lumidyne and Quantum units for Nikon as they have fast recycle units with exposed replaceble flash tubes.

Again -- HBB warning - you can melt them.

The SB 800 is about 30% more power so a lower manual setting will give you the same light out but with faster low power shooting.

The SB-800 has smart connectors between units the SB 600 does not so you will need a AS - 10 connector or a bunch of PC connectors and shoes.

The D200 has a hot shoe and a pc connector so you might be able to connect one to each but call Nikon. (Leica said it was a bad idea except on their specially designed cameras (M-4P) and to not do it on other brands - but then they are Leica built to other standards but then it took them 30 years to put a hot shoe on a M camera)

Your idea should work.

ledmun

  

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RockyIII Gold Member Nikonian since 27th May 2006Thu 12-Oct-06 02:34 PM
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#3. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 1


Raleigh, US
          

It would be nice if the SB-800 had a thermal safety switch.

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberThu 12-Oct-06 04:04 PM
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#4. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 3


Phoenix, US
          

Rocky:

Read page 115 of your SB800 manual: Lithium Batteries. With these batteries, a "safety circuit" is activated when things get too hot, cutting off power. It is not clear if the safety circuits are in the batteries or the SB800. I use Lithium batteries exclusively in my herd of SB800s and have never pushed them to this point. Others who have done this with Lithiums have reported that normal operation is restored following cool down time.

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Gary7770 Registered since 22nd Apr 2006Fri 13-Oct-06 12:12 PM
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#5. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 1


Philadelphia, US
          

And your expensive high tech solution is the MultiMax from PocketWizard:

"SpeedCycler
Provides sequential triggering for up to 4 camera's or 4 electronic flash units. The SpeedCycler is ideal for multi-angle camera shots or reducing recycle time by triggering the next flash in line, while the previous flash is charging, for faster motor driven flash photography assignments. The SpeedCycler mode is a big help for on-location shoots with battery-powered electronic flash. With four PocketWizard MultiMax transceivers connected to the motor ports of the cameras, the SpeedCycler mode wirelessly triggers up to four camera's sequentially, effectively quadrupling frames per second. "

Gary

>Steven:
>
>What you are asking for is an active logic device that will
>toggle between your two strobes. Yes, it can be done, but I
>doubt it is available off the shelf. It is not clear how
>long this system would stay in sync with your shutter, given
>that the recycling times of the strobes may vary depending
>on battery state, etc. Who knows? Throw enough money at it
>and I'm sure somebody will build something for you.
>
>You might try a matched pair SB800s (longer reach and fifth
>battery option for faster recycling) firing simultaneously
>at 1/8 - 1/16 power or whatever is needed for the fill
>flash.
>
>Beware that you run the risk of damage if you try and
>overdrive the SB800s. They do not have internal cooling
>fans like the more expensive studio strobes. They do not
>even have cooling vents.
>
>Good luck,
>
>HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 13-Oct-06 03:06 PM
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#6. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 5


Phoenix, US
          

Gary:

Thanks for the post. Where can we learn more about the SpeedCycler? I would like to explore it a bit more.

I have been told that the Lithium batteries contain a thermal overload protection switch. I'm guessing it is a simple bimetallic strip that opens at a specified temperature and closes again when it cools down. I am going to take one apart and see if this is true.

If it turns out that Lithiums are the only batteries so protected, and SB800s do not contain any such protective circuit, then those using the SpeedCycler with other batteries (NiCad, NiMH, Alkaline, etc.) at multiple frames per second for extended periods can turn SB800s to toast four at a time. See page 115 of the SB800 manual and form your own conclusion.

With a device like the SpeedCycler, it will occur to somebody out there to shoot a feature-length movie with a D2X and a truckload of SB800s. (Grin!)

I will report back later re the Lithium battery switch.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Gary7770 Registered since 22nd Apr 2006Fri 13-Oct-06 05:12 PM
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#7. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 6


Philadelphia, US
          

Well, the product that has the speed cycler feature is the MultiMax Tranceiver from PocketWizard (www.PocketWizard.com).

You'll need the transmitter for the camera, and one reciever for each flash. I don't know if there is a limit on the number of flashes that can be used in this mannar ...

At $300+ per unit, this is no cheap undertaking however ...

Gary

>Gary:
>
>Thanks for the post. Where can we learn more about the
>SpeedCycler? I would like to explore it a bit more.
>
>I have been told that the Lithium batteries contain a
>thermal overload protection switch. I'm guessing it is a
>simple bimetallic strip that opens at a specified
>temperature and closes again when it cools down. I am going
>to take one apart and see if this is true.
>
>If it turns out that Lithiums are the only batteries so
>protected, and SB800s do not contain any such protective
>circuit, then those using the SpeedCycler with other
>batteries (NiCad, NiMH, Alkaline, etc.) at multiple frames
>per second for extended periods can turn SB800s to toast
>four at a time. See page 115 of the SB800 manual and form
>your own conclusion.
>
>With a device like the SpeedCycler, it will occur to
>somebody out there to shoot a feature-length movie with a
>D2X and a truckload of SB800s. (Grin!)
>
>I will report back later re the Lithium battery switch.
>
>Regards,
>
>HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberFri 13-Oct-06 08:16 PM
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#8. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 6


Phoenix, US
          

Lithium AA batteries contain a small, temperature sensitive switch at the anode end (+) that opens when it reaches a specified temperature and closes when it cools. It can be seen as the faint ridge in the outer wrapper of the battery approximately 1/8th inch below the anode end.

I suspect that the lower internal resistance of these cells makes this device necessary to avoid dangerous overheating through continuous, heavy current usage.

Page 51 of the SB800 user manual (Notes on continuous flash shooting) contains limits for this type of usage in various modes. I do not know if Lithium batteries will shut down before these limits are reached. I advise all those using continuous flash modes to read and understand page 51 regardless of battery type used.

Remember: SB800s were not designed to be used as studio strobes having internal cooling fans and vents to remove the heat generated by high frequency usage.

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Gerry M Registered since 24th Oct 2004Mon 16-Oct-06 09:40 PM
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#9. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 8


US
          

For what it is worth, I have used two SB-800's with a Stroboframe bracket (D70). I liked the bounce variability it gave me and the faster recycle times when used together. The weight got to me however. I didn't think it would be an issue, but an hour into the event and my wrist was starting to cry. I've gone back to just one on the bracket just because of the weight.
--Gerry

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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HBB Moderator Hal is an expert in several areas, including CLS Awarded for his excellent article contributions to the Resources. Charter MemberMon 16-Oct-06 10:33 PM
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#10. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 9


Phoenix, US
          

Gerry:

I understand completely!

Perhaps you could find a willing assistant who could hold the second SB800 on a telescoping fiberglass mike boom nearby during the shot. I am considering this approach later this month for a very large, noisy banquet I have been asked to "cover". I'm not sure I'm going to do it.

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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jonbost Registered since 22nd Nov 2006Fri 24-Nov-06 08:35 PM
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#11. "RE: Using 2 speedlights on a bracket for sports"
In response to Reply # 0


Weatherford, US
          

I am not sure if this will be any help to you. But when I have used my sb800 on M at 1/8 or 1/16 power I have no problem with keeping up with the fps of my d2h. I have been able to get it to fire off up to 12 shoots actually. I think that it is not keeping up because of the type of batteries that you are using. I am using NiHM batteries from energizer that are 2500 mAh (or something like that).

  

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