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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #60466
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Subject: "SB 800 and Sekonic meter" Previous topic | Next topic
Rewind Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Oct 2007Mon 07-Jan-13 05:22 AM
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"SB 800 and Sekonic meter"


Coquitlam, CA
          

I recieved a sekonic lightmeter for x-mas to use with my big strobes. I was playing around with it and measuring the output of an SB 800 I do not quite understand what happened here,but this is what happened.I am handholding the flash unit about 3 feet from the meter.The flash meter is set at ISO 200 and 1/200 sec. in flash mode.I set the flash to Master and M on unit to full power and the reading is f 6.3 When the flash is set to remote I get f18 and when set it to SU 4 I get f 81.Any explanation for why the out put power of the flash is varying so widely?

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter
luckyphoto Silver Member
07th Jan 2013
1
Reply message RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter
Arkayem Moderator
07th Jan 2013
2
Reply message RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter
Rewind Silver Member
08th Jan 2013
3
     Reply message RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter
Arkayem Moderator
08th Jan 2013
4
          Reply message Preflash and Sekonic meter
Rewind Silver Member
09th Jan 2013
5
               Reply message RE: Preflash and Sekonic meter
Arkayem Moderator
09th Jan 2013
6

luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Mon 07-Jan-13 02:09 PM
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#1. "RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter"
In response to Reply # 0


Port Charlotte, US
          

Russ MacDonald has some good articles on flash and one that will give you an idea of how "manual" output can vary on the SB 800.

http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/2009/03/15-when-is-full-power-flash-not-full.html

In remote, the flash may be looking for meter information from the camera (not attached in your case) and probably fires at full power, hence the f18.

I'm not sure what you mean by f81 in SU-4 mode. How are you firing the SB 800 in SU-4 mode? Button on the back or another strobe?

Larry

"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"

Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberMon 07-Jan-13 11:30 PM
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#2. "RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>I recieved a sekonic lightmeter for x-mas to use with my big
>strobes. I was playing around with it and measuring the output
>of an SB 800 I do not quite understand what happened here,but
>this is what happened.I am handholding the flash unit about 3
>feet from the meter.The flash meter is set at ISO 200 and
>1/200 sec. in flash mode.I set the flash to Master and M on
>unit to full power and the reading is f 6.3 When the flash is
>set to remote I get f18 and when set it to SU 4 I get f
>81.Any explanation for why the out put power of the flash is
>varying so widely?

The power of the flash is set differently depending on which mode it is in. But I am not sure how you are triggering it.

When the D800 is not plugged in to a hot shoe, and you cycle through the modes, you see M, RPT, TTL, and A. The M mode is the full manual mode. I'm not sure you were talking about this.

The only time the word 'Master' appears is when you select 'Commander' mode. On the SB800, the 'Commander' mode is called 'Master' in the selection menu.

I'm now going to speculate that you have pushed the SEL button and held it, and you are talking about the choices you see there: Master, Master(RPT), Remote and SU-4. Master puts it into Commander mode, Master(RPT) is for repeating flashes, and Remote and SU-4 put it into those modes.

You choose the mode you want by selecting the choice with the cursor, and then pushing the On/OFF button briefly. Then, you will see a new menu for choices for the mode you selected.

With the flash in Commander mode, you are expected to put it in a hot shoe to control other flashes. There is a choice of 'M' which refers to its own flash (ie, Master flash), and what you set it to determines the amount it will contribute to the image in addition to whatever other Remote flashes you have. I usually leave the M setting at ---, meaning I don't want the onboard flash to contribute to the image.

In SU-4 mode, the flash will be in 'slave' mode where it will fire whenever it sees another flash fire. Then you get two choices on its menu: SU-4 Manual and SU-4 Auto. SU-4 Manual fires the flash at whatever power you set on the back of the flash. In SU-4 Auto mode, the flash will fire the same duration as whatever flash fires it.

I encourage you to study the SB800 User's Manual. The modes are all explained, but it is confusing I'll admit. You have to work with it for a while to get it absorbed into memory. This confusion is probably the biggest factor behind the development of the SB-900. Once you learn the SB-800, though, it is just as easy to use as the SB-900 (for me).

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Rewind Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Oct 2007Tue 08-Jan-13 01:08 AM
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#3. "RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter"
In response to Reply # 2


Coquitlam, CA
          

Thanks for your help,what I am doing is just firing the flash by pushing the test button.You are correct again I am scrolling thru the selection choices and comparing the different modes.I wanted to see what the sekonic meter was reading on each test independant of the camera.On commander mode I set the flash choice to manual and 1/1 output and assumed it would be full power. It did not even come close to the SU 4 Manual choice at full power.The sekonic meter (358) is set at 1/200 and ISO 200 and I read the f stop value it measures when the flash is triggered.So you have answered the question and that is on commander mode master it is waiting for signal information to evaluate it's power level.Thanks for your help.

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberTue 08-Jan-13 03:00 AM
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#4. "RE: SB 800 and Sekonic meter"
In response to Reply # 3


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

>Thanks for your help,what I am doing is just firing the flash
>by pushing the test button.You are correct again I am
>scrolling thru the selection choices and comparing the
>different modes.I wanted to see what the sekonic meter was
>reading on each test independant of the camera.On commander
>mode I set the flash choice to manual and 1/1 output and
>assumed it would be full power.


>It did not even come close to
>the SU 4 Manual choice at full power.

In the Commander Mode menu, the first M means Master, and if you set the Master in Manual mode, and you turn off all the other groups, then the Master flash will fire at full power. However, when you fire the commander in any mode, it sends out preflashes that confuse the light meter. The light meter probably is measuring the power of the first preflash pulse, which is very low power.

In SU-4 mode there are no preflash pulses to confuse the light meter, so if you have the SU-4 mode set to Manual and 1/1, then it should read full power.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Rewind Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Oct 2007Wed 09-Jan-13 05:17 AM
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#5. "Preflash and Sekonic meter"
In response to Reply # 4


Coquitlam, CA
          

Russ that makes sense ,I was not even considering the effect of the pre-flash. That pulls it all together . Thanks for your help.

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Arkayem Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in flash photography Charter MemberWed 09-Jan-13 01:23 PM
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#6. "RE: Preflash and Sekonic meter"
In response to Reply # 5


Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
          

You're most welcome.

Have fun.

Russ
Retired Professional Photographer
Nikonian Moderator
Russell MacDonald Photography
Nikon CLS Practical Guide

  

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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #60466 Previous topic | Next topic


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