Here's what I want to do. Use my Q-flash as the main flash, with three SB-800s providing the fill, back, hair and background and other subsidiary light.
I'm cheap. I understand there are some very nice expensive tools to put the SB-800's on the Q-flash frequencies (and vice-versa).
I'm going to run each of the SB-800s in manual mode (turned down to 1/16th power or lower), each triggered its own Wein "Peanut" slave, plugged into PC female end of a PC extension cable. That cable plugged into an SB-800 sync input.
#1. "RE: Q flash to trigger SB-800s" In response to Reply # 0
Do the Q-flash units include Radio Frequency (RF) triggers, and/or do they include TTL capability that is compatible with Nikon's CLS/AWL technology? The Wein Peanut slaves I used years ago, were optical triggers only, that fired when they saw a pulse of light from an on-camera flash, and did not use RF signaling. In my experience, optical and RF units are not compatible.
Unless I am missing something in your setup, you can set the remote SB800s to the SU-4 mode, and they will fire when they see the infrared (IR) component of the visible pulse from the on-camera Q-flash unit. In small to medium studios, the IR component of the on-camera, that the remote units are looking for, will easily bounce off walls, ceiling, floor, etc., eliminating the need for the Peanut slaves and the cables. In the event that the remote units do not have line of sight access to the Q-flash unit, position them such that the small, round IR sensor window, just ahead of the battery door, is pointed at the closest reflecting surface.
I have triggered my entire herd of twelve SB800s in this manner many times on night sessions with law enforcement officers.
In the SU-4 mode, you will also be setting the power level on the remote SB800s manually.
Let me know if I am missing something in your planned setup.
HBB in Phoenix, Arizona Nikonian Team Member
Photography is a journey with no conceivable destination.
#2. "RE: Q flash to trigger SB-800s" In response to Reply # 0
You will have to set the Q-flash in Manual flash mode and adjust the power ratio to the desired setting. Forget about the Wein Peanut Optical slaves as Hal recommended above. Why use them when the capability is already built into the SB-800. Set the remote SB-800's in SU-4 mode and adjust the power as required. Depending on the color (very dark) or the walls and where you locate the remote SB-800's orient the sensor window towards your Q-flash and you will be ready to go.