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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 MemberWed 10-Nov-10 07:08 PM
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"Poll question: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
Wed 10-Nov-10 07:11 PM by HBB

Phoenix, US
          

Colleagues:

With the once-again shipment announcement from the Pocket Wizard folks concerning their RF units, I'm curious about current speedlight usage among Nikonians. Six questions doesn't really cover the subject, but it is a start.

The CLS technology is a marvelous tool, and I use it a lot. That said, for my more complex night shots, I am in SU-4 mode, with Pocket Wizards.

How many of you plan to acquire the PW CLS compatible units when they ship, and how many remote units will you provide receivers for?

A few words about your type of shooting would be appreciated: Studio, outdoors, formal portraiture, groups, light modifiers used, etc.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

How many of you:

Poll result (286 votes)
Limit speedlight usage to a single, on-camera unit? (54 votes)Vote
Use up to two remote groups of CLS compatible units? (115 votes)Vote
Use three remote groups of CLS compatible units? (63 votes)Vote
Have a need for more than three remote speedlight groups? (8 votes)Vote
Use your remote speedlights in the SU-4 mode? (5 votes)Vote
Use Pocket Wizards for controlling remote speedlights? (41 votes)Vote

  

  

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10th Nov 2010
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mklass Platinum Member As a semi-professional involved in all manner of photographic genres including portraiture, sports, commercial, and events coverage, Mick is always ready to help Nikonians by sharing his deep knowledge of photography and printing. Nikonian since 08th Dec 2006Wed 10-Nov-10 07:43 PM
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#1. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Tacoma, US
          

Well, I've used up to three CLS speedlights (SB-800, SB-900 and SB-200) with in camera commander and SU-800 control. There are time I could use more.

The PW's are tempting, but the cost is an issue for me. I likley would not use them enough to justify the high cost of the PW's.

I may just get a portable power system for my Alien Bees and use those with the Paul Buff remote set up, since I already have most of what I need.

Mick
www.mickklassphoto.com

  

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LightRatio Registered since 07th Sep 2010Fri 19-Nov-10 11:40 PM
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#2. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hal,

I’m very interested in the new PW units - however when I asked the local Nikon dealer about the CLS availability they said probably never! I invested in Nikon CLS and have 2 SB-600, 1 SB-800, 2 SB-900 and 2 SU-800 units. I also have a photogenic studio strobe that I have attempted to use with the Nikon CLS strobes - with very mixed results. The Nikon CLS system is superb … when it works! However using today’s standard PW to fire them disables the CLS and requires manual settings for each strobe, so I have been waiting for a way to combine both CLS and non-CLS - as well as extend the range and dependability of CLS in demanding situations. Keep us posted!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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jherrel Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Sat 20-Nov-10 12:33 PM
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#3. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 2


Elgin, US
          

Radio Poppers will allow you to combine all the capabilities of CLS and non-CLS light systems and are very reliable. I have used them at more than 300 ft. They reportedly work at 1600 ft.

John Herrel
Nikonian from South Carolina
See the light, capture the essence!

  

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prophotoman Registered since 27th Jun 2009Wed 01-Dec-10 03:04 PM
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#7. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 3


Oakdale, US
          

The Radio Poppers I looked at aren't cheap at all either. However, I am no longer even considering Pocket Wizards at all. Their reputation (or lack thereof) on their model for Canon cameras inspires absolutely no confidence in me. Like I've said in earlier posts, I don't think PW has engineers with the technical expertise to design a reliable wireless system for CLS. If I decide I really need wireless out of sight remote triggers, I'll get the Radio Popper model, which from what I've read on this board already has a CLS compatable model.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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jherrel Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Sat 20-Nov-10 12:45 PM
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#4. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Elgin, US
          

I have invested in Radio Poppers and have been using them for more than 18 months very successfully. I have an SU-800, 2 SB-800s, 2-SB-900s and 2 SBR200s. They are very reliable. I am not sure what Pocket Wizards will need to do to make me switch. But, right now, the poor PW/TTL/Canon experience says don't be an early adopter of their new PW/TTL/Nikon offering.

John Herrel
Nikonian from South Carolina
See the light, capture the essence!

  

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LightRatio Registered since 07th Sep 2010Tue 23-Nov-10 02:31 AM
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#5. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

John,

Thanks for the information about Radio Popper’s. I have read about them some time ago - but never found the information I was looking for to determine the units needed, how they connected, and if they supported both non CLS and CLS devices simultaneously. I did read that they didn’t seem to have a way to attach to the cameras and flash units except by sticking them on with perhaps tape or some other adhesive. Perhaps you have a link that would better inform interested users.

Roger

  

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jherrel Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Apr 2007Thu 25-Nov-10 01:54 PM
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#6. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 5


Elgin, US
          

Radio Poppers have two basic models, PX and JrX. The PX system is the full function (CLS/TTL compatible to 1500 ft). The JrX system is for manual triggering with remote power adjustment from your camera. I believe the systems can be mixed to control both TTL and manual lighting.

I have the PX system with either an SB-900 or SU-800 as the commander. It uses two types of attachment. First, the Radio Popper Receiver comes with a plastic stand with 1/4 inch female metal screw mount in the base. It mounts on a light stand or anything else that has a 1/4 male screw. The plastic stand also houses the Radio Popper receiver and the speedlight. They work nicely. I have 2 SB-800s that are always mounted in the brackets so all I have to do is screw them onto the light stand and I am ready to shoot. This is a definite improvement over the original velcro attachment.

Second, the Transceiver mounts to your commander unit (Speedlight or SU-800). Yes, it is still done with velcro, but it is very secure and I have no problem with it. Since my Pelican case and bags have velcro, I velcro them to the case/bag so they don't get "lost in the bag" when not in use.

One of the unadvertised features that I like is the battery meter. I can check at any time to see if I need new batteries or a charge before I go out to shoot. If I start with a reasonably full battery, I can shoot all day.

Before I bought my PX system, they changed the switches from dip switches to the little bubble switches. They work, but in bright sunlight, seeing if the light is on is a challenge for my eyes. It is very easy to see indoors.

You can get more info and video demos at www.radiopopper.com


John Herrel
Nikonian from South Carolina
See the light, capture the essence!

  

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splinks69 Registered since 15th Jan 2009Wed 01-Dec-10 09:30 PM
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#8. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 6


GB
          

I want to start using my speedlights and my good lady wife allows me to invest around £600 .

A nice dilema but where do i go next . Currently I have a d300 d700 2 sb 800s AND 1 sb900 .

So do i buy and rc1 kit with an su 800 commander unit and a couple of sb200s included for around budget I have or do i go down the new pocket wizard route .

Whatever I go for i need to let Santa know soon so your suggestions would be gratefully appreciated

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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 MemberSun 05-Dec-10 07:10 PM
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#9. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 8


Phoenix, US
          

Sean:

Your path is really a function of the type of shooting you will be doing. If you expect to get into micro/macro photography, get the R1C1 kit which includes the SU800, a pair of SB-R200 units, and all the related accessories.

If larger sets are of interest (portraits, groups, etc.) you will get more use out of a couple more SB900/700 units, and perhaps some light stands to go with them. SB800s are no longer made, and I heard recently that SB600s have also ceased production.

Unless you are using remotes at great distances, or shooting around lots of obstacles, you won't need to get into Pocket Wizards at this stage of your photography.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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splinks69 Registered since 15th Jan 2009Wed 22-Dec-10 10:00 PM
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#13. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 9


GB
          

News is ordered the pocket wizards from camera warehouse express uk £549 for bundled kit of 1 transmitter and 2 recievers . Should all arrive tomorrow ( Santa comming a little early )so if there is any one wants me to try anything out let me know asap i have 2 sb 800s and 1 sb 900 . d300 and d700 plus a good selection of glass .


Let me know want you want me to try and i will give it a go .I am a firm believer in the try it and see if it works school so you guys direct me and i will give it a go.


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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drFrank Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Dec 2006Tue 08-Feb-11 04:01 PM
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#25. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 6


Beaver Falls, US
          

>Radio Poppers have two basic models, PX and JrX. The PX
>system is the full function (CLS/TTL compatible to 1500 ft).
>The JrX system is for manual triggering with remote power
>adjustment from your camera. I believe the systems can be
>mixed to control both TTL and manual lighting.
>
>I have the PX system with either an SB-900 or SU-800 as the
>commander. It uses two types of attachment. First, the Radio
>Popper Receiver comes with a plastic stand with 1/4 inch
>female metal screw mount in the base. It mounts on a light
>stand or anything else that has a 1/4 male screw. The plastic
>stand also houses the Radio Popper receiver and the
>speedlight. They work nicely. I have 2 SB-800s that are
>always mounted in the brackets so all I have to do is screw
>them onto the light stand and I am ready to shoot. This is a
>definite improvement over the original velcro attachment.
>
>Second, the Transceiver mounts to your commander unit
>(Speedlight or SU-800). Yes, it is still done with velcro,
>but it is very secure and I have no problem with it. Since my
>Pelican case and bags have velcro, I velcro them to the
>case/bag so they don't get "lost in the bag" when
>not in use.
>
>One of the unadvertised features that I like is the battery
>meter. I can check at any time to see if I need new batteries
>or a charge before I go out to shoot. If I start with a
>reasonably full battery, I can shoot all day.
>
>Before I bought my PX system, they changed the switches from
>dip switches to the little bubble switches. They work, but in
>bright sunlight, seeing if the light is on is a challenge for
>my eyes. It is very easy to see indoors.
>
>You can get more info and video demos at www.radiopopper.com
>
>
>John Herrel
>Nikonian from South Carolina
>See the light, capture the essence!

Have you had any 'issues' with the radio popper system?

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

  

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gpoole Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 14th Feb 2004Sun 05-Dec-10 07:33 PM
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#10. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Farmington Hills, US
          

I voted for 2 remote groups. I have 4 SB-800s but I usually use the built in flash of my D300 as commander so I'm limited to 2 groups.

Gary in SE Michigan, USA. Co-organizer of the Southern Michigan Chapter
Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the camera.
D4, D810, D300, D90, F6, FM3a (black), FM2n (chrome)
YashicaMat 124, Graflex Speed Graphic 4x5
My Nikonians Gallery & Our Chapter Gallery

  

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JBS101 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2009Tue 21-Dec-10 07:57 PM
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#11. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Canberra, AU
          

Hi HBB,

Sorry, but I stuffed up the voting thing. I thought that pushing the button would take me to a separate voting screen, so you need to remove one vote from the first question.

Turning to matters of substance, I have an SB-900 and two SB-600s. I plan to acquire one or two more units, either several used 800s or a new or used SB-900 so that I can further explore the whole lighting experience. Given that I am an amateur whose photographic interested have not yet coalesced, I cannot imagine that it would be cost effective to go down the radio route in the forseeable future. I think I would be better off spending money on some stands and light shaping tools. If I was a professional photographer, and if it represented a good investment for my type of photography, then I would go radio. The proviso is that I would need to be absolutely certain that it would work reliably. Based on what I read on this Forum, I am not certain that I would make the investment yet.

John

  

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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 MemberWed 22-Dec-10 09:04 PM
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#12. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 11


Phoenix, US
          

John:

In a small to mediium size studio, the optical (Infrared: IR) CLS signalling works well, as the longer wavelength pulses easily bounce off walls, floors, ceilings, etc. I have had them bounce around corners into adjacent rooms, and trigger remote units. With a little practice at estimating bounce angles, one can do some really interesting things.

I agree: Don't spend a lot of money on any of the Radio Frequency (RF) units until you have explored the performance of your SB900 and SB600s in the intended environment. Nikon CLS technology in its native IR mode is a very powerful, versatile tool. I suspect you will be surprised at how reliable it is in small to medium sized environments.


Concerning additional units, I would suggest the SB600, for three reasons:

1) You already have two and are familiar with their setup.

2) The SB600s are a bit more powerful than the new SB700.

3) Locally, the SB600 sells for $225, while the new SB700 sells for $330.

With four remote SB600s, and a few light modifiers (soft boxes, reflectors, etc.) you can cover an enormous range of portraiture.

Regards.

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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just1more Registered since 24th Jul 2009Sun 26-Dec-10 04:21 PM
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#14. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 12


CA
          

HBB you hit the nail on the head saying the CLS works well in a smaller area. I shoot outdoors and in ice arenas as well as my small studio in my house. I don't find the CLS dependable in the first two situations, so I invested in a product called "Flash Wave 2" and "Flash Wave Pro". I found them very reliable inside and out, only query is how they preform in the cold weather (Sometimes I get miss fires, not sure why,perhaps cold batteries???). In the end my $480 CDN for 1 transmitter and 2 receivers was well spent, I think. I take them with me every where I go.
Bonnie

www.traditionsphoto.ca

  

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JBS101 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2009Tue 28-Dec-10 06:22 AM
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#16. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 12


Canberra, AU
          

Hal,

Thank you for your advice. I actually found two used SB-800s in good condition at a reasonable price and took delivery on Christmas Eve. I found that having already used the 900 and the 600 these were easy to master. I havn't seen a 700 yet; our local retailers are still pushing the 600.

Regards,

John

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Tue 28-Dec-10 03:17 AM
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#15. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

I voted for 3 groups, but on occasion I've used su-4 mode.

I generally prefer TTL although i have to admit that when I do complex stuff I usually end up in manual mode. If I need tondo more outdoor remote flash I think in inclined to the radio poppers.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

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

  

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rickpaul Silver Member Charter MemberSun 02-Jan-11 10:07 PM
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#17. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Tucson, US
          

I plan on either purchase the new FlexTT5/MiniTT1 setup, or just standard PocketWizard Plus II's soon.

Here in a Arizona, most of my weddings are outdoor in the afternoons. I have a lot of trouble getting CLS to work outdoors in bright sun. So I plan on picking up some form of RF triggering in the next month.

Been holding out to see reviews of the new system for Nikon. After the trouble with Canon units, I was to see that the Nikon units work well. I don't need long distance communication. Just 5-6 feet will be fine.

--------------------------
Rick Paul
The Photo Professors

Saguaro Shadows Photography
Tucson, Arizona

My Nikonians Gallery

My Nikonians Blog

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Tropic Lightning Registered since 09th Oct 2009Wed 05-Jan-11 04:35 PM
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#18. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 17


Midlothian, US
          

I have 3 sb-600's and a SU 800, each sb is in it's own group. I plan on getting 2 more 600's or 900's. I refuse to get the 700's. I am a all or nothing kind of guy. The 700 is less powerful than the 600 and has less groups than the 900.

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I am a super hero, I can control light and freeze time.

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Joecosentino Gold Member Nikonian since 07th Sep 2012Mon 23-Jun-14 02:23 AM
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#52. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 17


Whitesboro, US
          

>I plan on either purchase the new FlexTT5/MiniTT1 setup, or
>just standard PocketWizard Plus II's soon.
>
>Here in a Arizona, most of my weddings are outdoor in the
>afternoons. I have a lot of trouble getting CLS to work
>outdoors in bright sun. So I plan on picking up some form of
>RF triggering in the next month.
>
>Been holding out to see reviews of the new system for Nikon.
>After the trouble with Canon units, I was to see that the
>Nikon units work well. I don't need long distance
>communication. Just 5-6 feet will be fine.
>
>
I have the flex system, and love it. Only issue is you need to program them through a USB cord using the PW application , so you can't just change the settings on the fly.
Joe

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leall Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Nov 2008Sat 08-Jan-11 11:52 PM
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#19. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Lisboa, PT
          

Hi,

just have 1 SB-600, used in and off-camera.
But there is allways an entry on the wishlist for 1 more in the future, when i get time to learn to better use flash to improve my photography.

Nikonians is one of the places where i learned a lot!

bye, LL

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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 03-Feb-11 07:07 PM
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#20. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

Thank you for your comments and votes.

As of today, Feb 3, 2011, 71.8 percent of the 85 votes indicate that you are using two or more groups of remote speedlight in your work. We have a nice body of expertise for our members to draw on as they move into speedlight usage.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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prophotoman Registered since 27th Jun 2009Fri 04-Feb-11 06:54 AM
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#21. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0
Fri 04-Feb-11 06:56 AM by prophotoman

Oakdale, US
          

I returned from a trip I took to the Philippines last month. I took my three Nikon SB900's with me and thought I would try using them in CLS mode outside to photograph a 400 year old church in my wife's neighborhood where we were married in 1999 (It was actually built in 1611) I only used 2 SB900's for this particular shot and used my Nikon D700 as the master. I took the shot about 35 minutes or so prior to sunrise to get the twilight effect. My wife held one 20 feet from me camera left, my brother in law did the same camera right... They were about 30 feet from the front of the church and I was about 60 feet away. It worked perfectly! I'm surprised that the SB900's can detect the D700 commands from an angle of about 45-55 degrees outdoors!

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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 07-Feb-11 04:44 PM
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#22. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 21


Phoenix, US
          

Joseph:

Thank you for your comments, and welcome to the Nikon speedlight rancher's association. In no time at all, you will have your own herd of speedlights.

The sensors in the CLS compatible Nikon speedlights are quite sensitive. With careful line of sight alignment with the on-camera master, they will perform admirably.

Should you ever need to place remote units beyond the angle specified in the manual, when shooting with a wide angle lens, turn the head of your on-camera master unit vertical, and place the white diffuser dome on it. I have triggered speedlights that were actually behind the camera in this manner.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Bob Chadwick Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Jan 2006Mon 07-Feb-11 04:52 PM
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#23. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 22
Tue 08-Feb-11 04:30 PM by Bob Chadwick

Norcross, US
          

Hal,

I've been using two SB800s off camera and an SB900 in the hot shoe to shoot basketball.

Bob

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My Nikonians Gallery
NorcrossPics.Com

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drFrank Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Dec 2006Tue 08-Feb-11 03:59 PM
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#24. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 23


Beaver Falls, US
          

I use multiple SB800s via the CLS system for both indoor and outdoor work. However, I am reviewing the new flex pocket wizards. However, on DWF, they are receiving mixed results.

I need to revisit the radio poppers for a viable solution for outdoor work and other creative lighting.


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

  

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dbvisions Silver Member Nikonian since 25th Jan 2011Fri 30-Mar-12 01:59 PM
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#41. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 23


Ringgold, US
          

>Hal,
>
>I've been using two SB800s off camera and an SB900 in the hot
>shoe to shoot basketball.
>
>Bob

Bob,

I am interested in where you place the SB800's. In a couple of weeks I will be doing a shoot in an arena. In the past I have used on-camera flash or available light only. I would like to try using two or more speedlights on either side of the arena.

Dave

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberSat 26-Feb-11 10:30 PM
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#26. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Powder Springs, US
          

I'm starting out with (2)FlexTT5s and (1)MiniTT1. I may acquire 2 more FlexTT5s depending on how things go. Right now I have (2)SB-900s, an SB-800, a T5d-R and a Trio. If these PWs work with QFlash, I probably won't be buying speedlights soon.

The lack of a fourth group is disappointing. I chiefly want to work with a Key, Fill, Hair, and Back light. In any event, I could set a QFlash up as a bare bulb back light on manual with a PW Plus II.

Right now I have one mid sized soft box and three umbrellas. Until I get a portable soft box, I will use ball bungees to fix a speedlight to a speed ring, Strobist style.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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PSAGuy Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2008Wed 09-Mar-11 05:47 PM
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#27. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 26


Lake Elmo, US
          

I'll buy one of each the mini and the Flex. Then, if they work out OK....probably a second Flex

  

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PSAGuy Silver Member Nikonian since 04th Nov 2008Tue 29-Mar-11 02:29 AM
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#28. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 27


Lake Elmo, US
          

Just got my mini and flex today from Bergers. Good service and delivery. May order another Flex soon. Cannot wait to give them a spin with the SB900's.

  

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pell53 Registered since 10th May 2011Wed 11-May-11 08:35 PM
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#29. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

I voted for the use of pocket wizards with my speedlights. I used the PW for the first time at a wedding this past weekend and they performed fairly well. We used the miniTT1 which also allowed to use an SB900 on camera if needed and used the tt5 transceiver pole mounted with another sb900. On occasion we would lose signal to the remote flash, but it wasn't enough to make me dislike the product. All in all I'm quite happy with it.

  

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geb54 Registered since 06th May 2011Fri 13-May-11 08:09 PM
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#30. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 29


US
          

I saw these demonstrated at a trade show recently. Until I encounter enough situations where CLS doesn't fill my needs, I'd rather spend the money on another flash than spend it on these transmitters. These things are for Canon users who have no other choice.

  

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Fovea Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Sep 2002Sun 05-Jun-11 03:21 AM
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#31. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Colombo, LK
          

Hi Hal
I'm bit new to the wonderful world of flash photography
Here's what I have and how I currently use them

(Four Speedlights + Four FlexTT5 units)

1 x SB800 on a FlexTT5
3 x SB600 all on FlexTT5s
MiniTT1 on Camera
SU-800 on Mini
Sekonic L-758D

Most of the time I use all speelights in Manual mode through SU-800.
The reason for buying this setup was to control the light output
remotely from the camera without adjusting each of the speedlights.

Whenever I'm in manual mode (i.e. 95% of the time) I use the L-758 to
meter prior to shooting. On the rare occasions I'm on CLS I do NOT
meter.

As for type of shooting, currently it's limited to garage, living
room and macro shooting with speedlights

Having to fire the shutter or the test button on mini every time I
have to take a meter reading is the only nuisance I have at the
moment. So despite seeing few posts in various forums about the
incompatibility I ordered a RT32 module for my L-758 thinking I
might be able to fire the speedlights from L-758 to take meter readings.

Will let you guys know how it goes....!!!

Regards
Dinil




Struck by Light - Blog & Gallery
Visible Range - Photography & Beyond

  

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Jeeves Silver Member Charter MemberMon 06-Jun-11 05:45 PM
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#32. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 31


Bangalore, IN
          

Fovea hello

Waiting with bated breath for your report on compatibility with the Sekonic L-758 DR!

Just posted on another post asking HBB if he found these PW products compatible with the Sekonic.

Please do post your findings.

Thanks

Jeeves

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Fovea Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Sep 2002Fri 10-Jun-11 07:13 PM
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#33. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 32


Colombo, LK
          

Posted my report in a new thread if you care to read

Regards
Dinil




Struck by Light - Blog & Gallery
Visible Range - Photography & Beyond

  

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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 MemberSat 11-Jun-11 03:36 AM
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#34. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 33


Phoenix, US
          

Dinil:

Just saw your extensive PW post today.

Looks like a very nice piece of work. I will try and digest it over the next few days. I know Jeeves is looking forward to your comments, and I sent him a link to your PW thread.

Agreed: the Nikon PW documentation, including the 56 page version I downloaded for use during my brief trial with the loaner units, leaves a bit to be desired.

Like you, most of my speedlgiht work these days is strictly manual, and my six PW Plus II and seven MultiMax units work very well with my heerd of twelve SB800 speedlights and both my Sekonic L-758DR and C500R meters.

Thanks much for your participation. Nice to have you with us.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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Fovea Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Sep 2002Wed 15-Jun-11 05:55 PM
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#35. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 34


Colombo, LK
          

Hal,
Thanks for you kind words!

Glad to be here, and really glad that you are here so I can pester you with questions.

Regards
Dinil




Struck by Light - Blog & Gallery
Visible Range - Photography & Beyond

  

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C Tran Registered since 14th Jun 2011Wed 15-Jun-11 11:06 PM
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#36. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 35


US
          

I guess I voted No on all of your questions.

  

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largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Tue 19-Jul-11 06:34 PM
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#37. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 36


Clarks Summit, US
          

What is the ideal set-up for tabletop work.
I get to use my camera and gear as long as I photograph my wifes porcelan figurines, silver cups and other stuff she tries to sell on the internet

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prophotoman Registered since 27th Jun 2009Tue 19-Jul-11 10:34 PM
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#38. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 37


Oakdale, US
          

It appears that perhaps your wife and mine are something like kindered spirits! It was VERY difficult to get MY wife to going along with the idea of spending quite a few thousands on my current setup over the past two years!

Your best bet perhaps would be to get a tabletop "studio" that folds up and is made of white nylon cloth. Three speedlights would be Ideal. Place one outside the box on each side, and perhaps one on te top. Most of these studio setups come with several backgrounds, black, blue, red, or other colors.

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largebore Silver Member Nikonian since 17th Jan 2011Wed 20-Jul-11 02:21 AM
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#39. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 38


Clarks Summit, US
          

>It appears that perhaps your wife and mine are something like
>kindered spirits! It was VERY difficult to get MY wife to
>going along with the idea of spending quite a few thousands on
>my current setup over the past two years!
>
>Your best bet perhaps would be to get a tabletop
>"studio" that folds up and is made of white nylon
>cloth. Three speedlights would be Ideal. Place one outside
>the box on each side, and perhaps one on te top. Most of
>these studio setups come with several backgrounds, black,
>blue, red, or other colors.


Ha. Doing exactly that with tungsten lamps. A little photoshop and allowed looks good.

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sl33py Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Apr 2008Wed 25-Jan-12 09:21 PM
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#40. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 33


Seattle, US
          

>Posted my report in a new thread if you care to read

I've looked and searched - anyone have the link to read this thread Fovea mentions?

Thanks!

rob

  

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Bug Gold Member Nikonian since 06th Mar 2007Mon 23-Apr-12 02:11 AM
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#42. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Michigan, US
          

Dear HBB

I thought that SU-4 Mode was a old mode not need when using the wireless modes of SB 600 with SB800 the controler.

I trust what you are talking about, I'm not understanding at your level.

Don

  

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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 27-Apr-12 12:24 AM
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#43. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 42


Phoenix, US
          

Don:

Sorry for the delayed response.

The SU-4 mode turns the SB700, SB800, SB900, and SB910 speedlights into simple optical slaves. They will fire any time they see the pulse from another speedlight, or bright flashing light. I use the SU-4 mode a lot with my herd of twelve SB800s, and have had all of them start firing wildly when a police officer drives into one of our sets with all of his strobes on the light bar firing.

The SU-4 mode will not work with other speedlights that are in the CLS mode, as it will trigger on the preflash pulse that occurs prior to shutter opening. Then, when the image capture pulse occurs while the shutter is open, they will not have had time to recycle and fire again.

Hope this helps a bit.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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singlerosa Silver Member Charter MemberMon 05-Aug-13 08:52 PM
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#44. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 43
Mon 05-Aug-13 08:53 PM by singlerosa

St. Louis, US
          

Just received my 3rd SB-800 today and use an SU-800 or cheapie Yongnuo 603s (I'm mostly a hobyist). Not to sound stupid (or stupider than I am) but what is the advantage of multiple groups? I now have all 3 strobes on Channel 1, Group A. What am I missing?

Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff

  

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drFrank Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Dec 2006Mon 05-Aug-13 09:16 PM
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#45. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 44


Beaver Falls, US
          

>Just received my 3rd SB-800 today and use an SU-800 or
>cheapie Yongnuo 603s (I'm mostly a hobyist). Not to sound
>stupid (or stupider than I am) but what is the advantage of
>multiple groups? I now have all 3 strobes on Channel 1, Group
>A. What am I missing?
>
>Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted
>stuff

Group A could be main
Group B could be separation or background light
Group C could be hair light -

thats one set up but there are many other options.

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

  

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singlerosa Silver Member Charter MemberTue 06-Aug-13 01:26 AM
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#46. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 45
Tue 06-Aug-13 01:46 AM by singlerosa

St. Louis, US
          

That's how I've been shooting (main, seperation, etc). Guess I was doing it without knowing it, although all flashes are set to Group A at the flash. I was using the SU-800 to pick A, B and C to configure the flash mode, power, zoom. Guess I'm licky it's worked, since I don't know what I'm doing. Time to (re)read the 800 manuals. Thanks for clueing me in.

Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff

  

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singlerosa Silver Member Charter MemberTue 06-Aug-13 02:06 AM
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#47. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 46


St. Louis, US
          

Update with some freaky sh*t. So I mentioned I got another SB-800 today. I had been shooting 2 with an SU-800, both set to Group A and somehow set automatically (or maybe by me) to A and B on the SU-800. The 3rd SB-800 arrives today, also set to Group A and I config it to C on the SU-800 and test it with strobe A to make sure everything works. It all does. After reading the post about having to have seperate groups, I'm thinging I didn't set something up, so I reread the manuals. Because now, when I tried to fire the strobes, they won't all work set to Channel A. WTF? When I set each strobe to a seperate channel (never done ever at my house), they all work fine.

Thanks again for another out of (camera)body experience.

Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff

  

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drFrank Silver Member Nikonian since 16th Dec 2006Tue 06-Aug-13 09:04 AM
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#48. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 46


Beaver Falls, US
          

>That's how I've been shooting (main, seperation, etc). Guess
>I was doing it without knowing it, although all flashes are
>set to Group A at the flash. I was using the SU-800 to pick
>A, B and C to configure the flash mode, power, zoom. Guess
>I'm licky it's worked, since I don't know what I'm doing. Time
>to (re)read the 800 manuals. Thanks for clueing me in.
>
>Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted
>stuff

By using different groups/banks you can have your main for full exposure then cut down the exposure to half for the background and maybe 1/16 or less for the hair light.

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

  

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singlerosa Silver Member Charter MemberTue 06-Aug-13 11:46 AM
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#49. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 48


St. Louis, US
          

I understand that. It's just that "before", my flashes were set to A, but controlled as A and B on the SU-800. Now, I have them set to A, B and C. This is what I got with all three in a quicky self portrait.



Jim Singler D600/D7K with a bunch of lenses and other assorted stuff

  

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jjmirenzi Gold Member Nikonian since 31st May 2012Thu 22-May-14 02:19 PM
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#50. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Dupont, US
          

I gave up on the speedlight usage for off camera multiple units when I could not get good communication with the units using them outdoors.
I now use the two quantum flash units with a pilot for radio wave communications.

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Drbee Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Aug 2004Thu 22-May-14 10:10 PM
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#51. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0


Naperville, US
          

I use strobe very sporadically, but have found that Nikon's CLS system is very painless to use indoors and nearly always get what I want with minimal effort (and some before-hand experimenting).

I use a SB-800 and SB-910 sometimes triggered from my D700.

Roger
It's still, ISO, aperture and shutter-speed, right?

  

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jrp Administrator JRP is one of the co-founders, has in-depth knowledge in various areas. Awarded for his contributions for the Resources Charter MemberMon 23-Jun-14 06:49 AM
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#53. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 0
Mon 23-Jun-14 06:58 AM by jrp

San Pedro Garza García, MX
          

99% of the time I use my speedlights indoors for informal portraits.
Set of 4, one in each corner of the room (three SB-800, one SB-910) up on stands or on tall furniture, with Gary Gong Universal Lightsphere diffusers, straight up.
Set them in two groups, since at times may want more or less light on one side of the dinning or living room, depending on the time of the day and the light coming from the windows.

Also, at daytime, if all of the windows are open and am shooting in front of them I prefer to have the right exposure for the exteriors too, so I switch from P to Manual.
I fire them very effectively with a SU-800 or with any of my flashes.
At times even the tiny built-in one on my D700 works fine.

I don't do anything more complex.
If I were to make exterior night shots, or weddings in huge (tall ceiling) churches, then I will start looking into Pocket Wizards (PW) and am sure would need to expand my herd of SB's.

All of the pros doing weddings around here have PW's and tall stands, either fixed or "walked" by assistants.

Have a great time
JRP (Founder & Administrator. Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) Gallery, Brief Love Story, The Team
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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 12-Sep-14 01:41 AM
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#54. "RE: I'm curious about speedlight usage."
In response to Reply # 53


Phoenix, US
          

JRP:

You said: "All of the pros doing weddings around here have PW's and tall stands, either fixed or "walked" by assistants.

We have a much more exotic, technical term for this: "Voice actuated light stands."

Thanks for dropping in. Sorry it took so long to see that you were here.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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