Hello everyone. Ive learned that the D5100 built in flash cant act as a controller for remote strobes. Can I use my SB-700 as a controller? If possible is there any advantages in using the SB-700 over the SU-800 as a commander?
#1. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 0gkaiseril Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Mon 19-Mar-12 10:02 PM
Actually the advantages tend to be with the SU-800 over the SB-700.
The SB-700 can only control 2 remote groups of Speedlights and uses visible light to control the remote groups so even at the lowest possible power levels the SB-700/800/900/910 can illuminate the subject with the trigger flash. The low power visible light can also trigger a blink response in subjects and be additional distraction when shooting in darker locations. The SB-700 relies on the camera's white focus assist light.
The SU-800 can control 3 remote groups and use IR filtered light to control the remote groups, provides an IR focus assist light so there is no bright white light for focusing or triggering and subjects with a blinking response pose less of a problem. The SU-800 in the macro mode has a balance slider to adjust power levels between the two Speedlight groups that provide left/right or top/bottom illumination.
The SB-800/900/910 Speedlights also control 3 groups of remote Speedlights.
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#3. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 2MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Mon 19-Mar-12 10:39 PM
The SB-910 will allow you to control up to 3 remote groups plus the SB-910 on top of your camera as a 4th group. The same is true for the SB-900 and SB-800.
Since the SB-910 is a Speedlight it provides a little more versatility than the SU-800.
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#6. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 4HBB Charter MemberTue 20-Mar-12 04:05 PM
A couple more comments about the SU800:
1) The SU800 conducts all communication with remote speedlights in the IR (Infrared) spectrum. This eliminates the problem of the visible light image capture triggering pulse adding to the subject illumination. This pulse is low power and not a problem unless the subject is quite close to the camera.
2) The SU800 is considerably smaller and lighter than any of the speedlights. Unless an on-camera speedlight is essential for the shot, I always use the SU800 as the on-camera master for controlling remote speedlight groups.
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#5. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 2Beemer2 Nikonian since 07th Dec 2006Tue 20-Mar-12 02:21 PM
Just one more thing to consider. My SU-800 IR focus illumination range is up to 66 feet certainly much greater than my SB-800. I do not know the IR distance of the SB-910.
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#7. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 0
>Hello everyone. Ive learned that the D5100 built in flash
>cant act as a controller for remote strobes. Can I use my
>SB-700 as a controller? If possible is there any advantages in
>using the SB-700 over the SU-800 as a commander?
One advantage of using a speedlight for the commander versus the SU-800 is that the head of the speedlight swivels. This will allow you to aim the Commander at a Remote that may be positioned behind you.
This is especially important in a large room. If you turn the camera to the vertical with an SU-800 as a Commander, the camera will sometimes block the command signals from hitting the umbrella on your right. With a speedlight as commander, you attach a diffuser, and point it straight up and it will hit all the umbrellas.
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#8. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 7NenBikonian Registered since 30th Sep 2011Tue 20-Mar-12 09:46 PM | edited Tue 20-Mar-12 09:49 PM by NenBikonian
I'll further confuse/confound your decision:
I like both equally, but for different reasons. I now have three SB-800s and an SU800 (and an SB-26).
If I need all three SB800's as remotes and can tell from the setup that the SU800 will not suffice as a reliable commander (usually this comes down to whether I'm inside or outside), then I use my Paul C. Buff radio remotes to trigger two of them and set the third to SU-4 mode and trigger it off of one of the radio-triggered remotes. In this case, I can also throw my SB-26 into the mix...usually triggering it with one of the radios and then setting two of my remote SB-800's to SU-4 mode.
If I need all three SB800's as remotes and can tell from the setup that the SU800 will suffice as a reliable commander, then I use it.
If I need fewer than all three SB800's as remotes and find that I don't need radio triggers, then I use one of the SB800's as the commander simply because I know that it's a bit more reliable and CAN contribute to the exposure as semi-on-axis fill, if absolutely necessary.
I've also heard, but never done it myself, that you can fashion an IR-ish filter (that's an eye-are-ish filter, not a filter with a brogue) out of a spare diffuser dome and some sort of spray paint. You'd have to do some DIY sleuthing on that one, though. If, in fact, this is possible, then you'd essentially be converting an SB700, 800, 900 or 910 into a more versatile, if not slightly more cumbersome, SU800 (albeit without the SU800 macro-ratio functionality).
Hope this helps (a little).
#10. "RE: SU-800" | In response to Reply # 9MEMcD Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Wed 21-Mar-12 06:45 PM
The PW MiniTT1 and FlexTT5 work as advertised.
The advantage the PW system has over CLS wireless flash control is distance and shooting in bright daylight. If you want to control the output of multiple remote Speedlights from the camera position you will need an AC3 zone controller or a Nikon SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 in the MiniTT1 attached to the camera via the hotshoe. In order to use one remote Speedlight, you have to invest about $420.00, then add $219.00 for each additional Speedlight and another $80.00 for an AC3 zone controller. For the same money you can add more Speedlights and still have change left in your pocket.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!