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Forums Lobby MASTER YOUR TOOLS - Hardware & Software Nikon Speedlights & Lighting topic #60516
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photomia Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2011Sat 12-Jan-13 03:37 AM
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"Speedlights"


MD, US
          

I have 2 SB-800s and one SB-910. I shoot with a D700. Today I was trying to set up a studio shot (I'm new to this) using main, fill and background lights. I then discovered that the pop-up flash on my 700 would handle only two groups and since I wanted each light to be at a different power level, I was unable to use a 3-light set-up. Any suggestions on what external trigger I should use to handle 3 groups? Do I need an SU-800 or something else?

Also, for those who do studio portraiture, instead of umbrellas, would you suggest a soft box or Phototeck softlighter. I am currently working on business head shots, but also want to use this set-up for my grandchildren (when they decide to sit still!)

As always, thank you...

Pat

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Speedlights
luckyphoto Silver Member
12th Jan 2013
1
Reply message RE: Speedlights
photomia Silver Member
12th Jan 2013
2
Reply message RE: Speedlights
photomia Silver Member
12th Jan 2013
3
     Reply message RE: Speedlights
luckyphoto Silver Member
12th Jan 2013
4
          Reply message RE: Speedlights
photomia Silver Member
12th Jan 2013
5
Reply message RE: Speedlights
HBB Moderator
13th Jan 2013
6
Reply message RE: Speedlights
cliddell Silver Member
14th Jan 2013
7
     Reply message RE: Speedlights
HBB Moderator
14th Jan 2013
8
Reply message RE: Speedlights
JBS101 Silver Member
14th Jan 2013
9
Reply message RE: Speedlights
leebaylin Silver Member
15th Jan 2013
10
Reply message RE: Speedlights
JBS101 Silver Member
15th Jan 2013
11
Reply message RE: Speedlights
sl33py Silver Member
16th Jan 2013
12

luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sat 12-Jan-13 12:50 PM
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#1. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 0


Port Charlotte, US
          

One way to get three groups is using a SU-800 as master. That has groups A, B and C and would give you the most convenience since you can control each speedlight output from the SU-800.

Here are a couple of good resources you can look at -

1. The top two stickies on this forum provide a lot of information about Nikon's Creative Lighting System and speedlights.

2. http://nikonclspracticalguide.blogspot.com/ - some excellent articles about flash metering, CLS, etc.

Regarding umbrellas versus a soft box - it's personal preference and also what you want your light to look like. Both are commonly used for portrait work. Get something that is durable and lasts. Especially if you have to cart it around to customer sites and constantly set up and tear down.

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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photomia Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2011Sat 12-Jan-13 12:57 PM
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#2. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 1


MD, US
          

Thanks so much, Larry!

(What do you mean by the top two "stickies:!?)

Pat

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photomia Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2011Sat 12-Jan-13 01:01 PM
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#3. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 1


MD, US
          

Larry,

I am pretty new to studio work. The shoot I did yesterday had the proper lighting for the subject, but I would have liked it better if the background were darker. I had the background light dialed down to 1/128, placed it about 4' from the background and was shooting at f.8. Should I have used a smaller aperture and cranked up the main light? (I was using a main and a reflector).

Thank you.

Pat

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luckyphoto Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sat 12-Jan-13 02:30 PM
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#4. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 3
Sat 12-Jan-13 02:31 PM by luckyphoto

Port Charlotte, US
          

The "stickies" are the very top two permanent posts in this forum.

Look at Russ MacDonald's blog about CLS and flash photography. That was the second of the two resources I listed. One of his articles is about the two metering systems and will answer your question.

Basically, once you have proper exposure on the subject, you can control ambient light (your background) with shutter speed. The faster the shutter speed, the less ambient light will enter the camera.

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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photomia Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Jan 2011Sat 12-Jan-13 05:03 PM
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#5. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 4


MD, US
          

Thanks again.

I am so glad I decided, years ago, to go with Nikon. Getting help from Nikonians is a resource of immeasurable value.

Pat

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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 13-Jan-13 03:50 PM
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#6. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 0


Phoenix, US
          

Pat:

You can also set your D700 speedlight to full manual mode (not CLS manual) and then set the remote SB800s and the SB910 to the SU-4 mode. In this configuration you will be setting the power levels on the three remote units manually, but you will have three independent lights. The remote units will fire at the power levels you have selected when they see the on-camera popup unit fire.

If you don't want the D700 popup contributing to the exposure, purchase the Nikon SG-3IR filter (about $13 US). It slips into the camera's hot shoe and filters out the visible portion of the light, passing only the Infrared, which is what the remote units are looking for.

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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cliddell Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Oct 2006Mon 14-Jan-13 08:10 AM
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#7. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 6


Pietermaritzburg, ZA
          

Thanks for that comment Hal, I was always under the impression that SU-4 (which I have never used) uses the visible light. Using IR "light" opens up some useful possibilities that come to mind.

Regards,
Clive Liddell
Pietermaritzburg
South Africa

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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 14-Jan-13 03:02 PM
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#8. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 7


Phoenix, US
          

Clive:

You're welcome.

Since the on-camera popups, SB800s, etc., do not have an IR filter on the flash heads like the SU800, they must transmit in visible light. Adding an IR head to the existing visible light head would make the units larger, heavier, and more expensive. The small, round IR filter on the side of the remotes absorbs the visible component of the pulse, and passes the IR portion.

In small to medium rooms, the longer wavelength IR component will usually bounce off walls, floors, etc., so line of sight between on-camera master/commander and the remotes is not necessary. Outdoors in bright sunlight is another matter.

Has the wild fire situation calmed down yet? It sounds like our problem here in Arizona in the summer, but on a much larger scale.

Regards,

HBB in Phoenix, Arizona
Nikonian Team Member

Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.

  

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JBS101 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2009Mon 14-Jan-13 10:00 PM
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#9. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 0


Canberra, AU
          

Hi Pat,

If you want to use three groups and enjoy the advantages of CLS you can use either the SB800 or the 910 as the master. Each will control three groups.

Regards,

John

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leebaylin Silver Member Charter MemberTue 15-Jan-13 04:05 AM
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#10. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 0


Baltimore, US
          

I think there is a sollution to your problem that is not well documented in the Nikon literature. The SB-800 and 910 allow adjustment of three groups in addition to the light output of the "master," when used as a master.

It does not seem that the master has to be located on the camera, but can be attached by a SC-29 or similar cable. The setup works as long as one of your lights is within the range of the SC-29, about 9 feet. You can then set the light attached to the cable as master, and each of the other two as A and B.

In effect, you get a master group and an A, B, and C group. It works as long as your master is within cable range of the hot shoe, and consists of only one light.

The SC-29 is a lot less expensive than an SU-800 or another master unit.


Lee Baylin

  

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JBS101 Silver Member Nikonian since 20th Apr 2009Tue 15-Jan-13 06:33 AM
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#11. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 10


Canberra, AU
          

You can also use either the SC 17 or SC 28 cords, which are cheaper. The SC 17 is long discontinued but is readily available second hand. The SC 17 is actually the same as the SC 28 in terms of functionality but has a different connector and is grey rather than black.

You can also join up to three of these cords together if you want to get the light well away from your camera.

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sl33py Silver Member Nikonian since 24th Apr 2008Wed 16-Jan-13 09:12 PM
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#12. "RE: Speedlights"
In response to Reply # 0


Seattle, US
          

Pat,

You have some great feedback already, but another option is to use a reflector/bounce as your second fill light.

An inexpensive reflector with adjustment can give you a nice amount of fill and still let you control everything via CLS. (except fill which you will have to move the bounce around to your liking)

bookends (white reflective board or even foam board), etc. an inexpensive 5-1 reflector from Amazon ($25ish) for example:


If you haven't watched the one light or strobist DVD's - they are awesome. the strobist lighting in layers talks about using ambient as a light source so you always have an extra light with you (during the day of course)! just food for thought.

for a 3 light setup you can also check out the Pocket Wizard Flex TT5's. I like them better than the SU800. A bit spendy, but a nice setup w/ the AC3 controller for something like your intended setup.

GL!

rob

  

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