I currently have a D300 and a SB400. I am interested in getting a SB800. Will I be able to use the SB400 and the SB800 together?
Las Vegas, NV
#1. "RE: D300+SB-400 with a SB-800?" | In response to Reply # 0Wayne Registered since 05th Nov 2005Mon 02-Jun-08 12:31 AM
No, the SB-400 only works on the hot shoe, which is a TTL single flash situation. Basically, it has the same features as the internal flash, with slightly more power, and it can be tilted up. But specifically, the SB-400 cannot be a CLS Remote, and it cannot do manual mode off of the camera. They could work together in manual mode if the SB-400 were on the camera hot shoe, but the D300 internal flash can do that too.
The SB-800 can do anything of course, but the SB-400 cannot.
#3. "RE: D300+SB-400 with a SB-800?" | In response to Reply # 2Wayne Registered since 05th Nov 2005Mon 02-Jun-08 04:26 PM | edited Mon 02-Jun-08 04:34 PM by Wayne
>So you are saying that the SB400 (on the hot shoe) could trip
>the SB800 remotely? What do you mean manually and as opposed
The distinction is Manual flash mode vs. TTL flash mode.
TTL is "automatic" flash, where you set a camera lens aperture (like f/5.6), and then the TTL metering automation determines a flash power level that is correct to make the f/5.6 exposure be correct. The camera is often in its Manual mode M for flash, but if the flash is in TTL mode, it will still come up with the right power level to make the selected aperture be the correct exposure (more or less). TTL is automatic flash, like point&shoot. The SB-400 does this, but only on the hot shoe (not as a remote).
Manual flash mode is where you set the flash power level yourself, perhaps to be 1/4 power or 1/16 power. There is no metering, and no automation, and it is up to you to choose a proper flash power and a proper lens aperture to get correct exposure. The SB-400 does this too, but only on the D300 or D40 hot shoe. Not on other models.
Multiple flashes in TTL flash mode requires the CLS Commander/Remote system, which is wireless. As opposed to TTL in the hot shoe, which is a single flash system. The SB-400 does TTL on the hot shoe, but it has no CLS Commander or Remote capability. So the answer then is No, the SB-400 in TTL mode cannot trigger the remote SB-800 in TTL mode. Instead, you need a CLS commander (which the D300 internal flash menu already has, menu e3, and then see page 294). However for that, you need multiple CLS Remote flashes, which are the SB-800 or SB-600. Or the little SBR-200 macro flashes, but not the SB-400.
The SB-400 can also do Manual flash mode if on the D300 or D40 hot shoe. Then the hot shoe mounted SB-400 in manual mode can trigger the manual mode SB-800 if in its SU-4 optical trigger mode (but not a remote SB-400, and not a remote SB-600, but only the SB-800 in its manual SU-4 mode). Similarly the camera internal flash in its manual mode menu could trigger a SB-800 in SU-4 mode as well. See SB-800 manual page 84, at http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-800.pdf