In commander mode, the built in flash fires weakly and prematurely to the main flash to relay exposure and triggering informaton.
Now before you say it so weak that it won't contribute to the scene you're dead wrong. MOST of the time it will be too weak but if there's a reflective surface on the scene, it will show up. And if you don't believe me, go take a picture into a mirror.
But beyond that, the problem I'm having is with regards to using a flashmeter. I'd like to be able to know (from setting off cam flashes manually) how strong the flashes are to set up ratios. My flashmeter (Sekonic L-558R) meters the preflash NOT the main flash.
The closest solution I came across was to place a #87 infrared gel over the built in flash to knock out the light but allow it to transfer data. I can't find those things anywhere under $200.
Would an SU-800 fit the bill? At about $250 it's still expensive but probably has a better shot of working. In the long run it may be cheaper to get an R1C1 kit if you need macro lights (and is there any Nikon product that isn't necessary? ).
Jeff Bower I wish my D200 body was a significant portion of my NAS-related expenses...
>The preflash can't contribute lighting to the scene, because >the SLR mirror only opens *after* the preflash has fired. > >On your question, search for "preflash" and "meter"; it's a >common topic. > >-Ade
Oh, it most certainly does contribute. And I'll be posting photographs soon to prove it. (And for once, I'm hoping that I'm wrong because that'll be a great news.)
I am firing the sb800 and an sb600 remotely. I'm going to need that sb800 as a contributing flash. For an extra $250, I might as well buy pocket wizards and be able to trigger my studio flashes.
>>The preflash can't contribute lighting to the scene, because >>the SLR mirror only opens *after* the preflash has fired. > >Oh, it most certainly does contribute.
I guess, technically, that any pre-flash will never be able to contribute -- but the on-cam flash may still contribute to the shot, since it also is used for triggering the other flashes once the shutter has opened...
Incidently, pre-flashing involves all flashes also, as far as I know.
I've also noticed that built in flash contributes to the scene, even when if the built in flash mode is set to --.
my solution (with one SB600) for a quick fix is to put my palm about 1 inch in front of the built in flash. i put my palm on the lens and bring it right up to the "Nikon" logo on the body. try it its free.
If you want to meter the flashes I suggest setting them to manual and use either a cord, radio or SU-4 mode to trip this.
I don't see how using a flash meter makes any sense in iTTL mode as the camera will change the flash if anything changes. In iTTL mode I use the LCD and histogram to adjust the flashes. In manual mode I use a meter and/or the LCD and in manual mode you can use them with your studio lights
You can use the lightmeter, but you have to involve the Func button, using setting f4 to set it for FV Lock.
Set up your flash geometry. Press the Func button, you can see all of the flashes fire their pre-flash's in sequence to register their relative strength with the camera.
At shutter release, the commander flash actually has a "prefix" (completely separate from the pre-flash sequence) burst to set the remotes, with the sync pulse immediately following, it appears as one burst to the eye. If you set the camera menu such that the remotes are in manual mode, then you won't have a pre-flash, nothing actually is communicated to the remotes until the beginning of the shutter release flash. As long as the camera is behind you so that the IR filter blocks light to the meter, I don't believe your measurement will contain a signficant component due to the oncamera flash.
FV Lock really does mean "lock", in that once you have fired the pre-flash sequence, as long as the indicator remains in the viewfinder window, you can change aperture settings and re-shoot, the on-camera flash will change the remote settings (using the prefix, not another pre-flash) to maintain correct exposure (assuming the remote configuration is not manual). Neat system.
My application would be for full manual operation. So this is the fix I was looking for.
I set up the light geometry.
Via the commander mode I can control the power of each flash through the d200.
shoot group A. Take a reading. Repeat group B. Adjust as necessary.
Now this IR filter looks just like a simple piece of plastic that blocks the on board flash. But I've tried blocking it with a piece of cardboard or even moving to the next room: they don't work. So I'm hoping there's something more sophisticated going on here. And if the original application is for macro work, I have feeling that it will.
I dug it out, and held it directly in front of a 4700K Solux. Only a minimal amount of red shows thru, it's fairly opaque. The device mounts in the hot shoe such that it is hung out over the flash, about 5/8" away, fairly well contered. The filter piece is 2" high and 2 1/4" wide.
Don't know about light from the oncamera flash that reaches the meter via reflections from other objects in the room, but as I stated before I tried it out in front of a highly reflective surface and saw nothing.
Not sure, perhaps you could set a remote in manual (on the remote, not at the D200) at the desired power, does the pre-flash button fire it at the set manual level or weaker? If it's at the set level, and if that directly correlates to the manual level in CLS, then you could take readings from each individual remote with no interference from the oncamera. Could even measure the combined light from multiple remotes that way (have to set one to SU4 mode in order to "slave" off of the other).
richard, I knew there was a way to set power manually on the flash, and to have it fire remotely. I had forgotten about SU-4 mode. When I tried to do a test flash in remote mode, it outputs at a fixed level (regardless of what it is set to on the d200).
I'll give this a shot when I get home. It might solve some situations, but it'd be hard or time consuming to prop the lightmeter and go over to the sbx00 to fire them simultaneously.
Just put a piece of tin foil in front of the pop up flash it will block the light and the remote units will still fire. Nikon even includes a plastic "flash blocker" (don't know what else to call it) with the R1 flash kit. It fits on the camera's hot shoe and folds down to block the built-in flash. I've found that a piece of cloth, tin foil, or most anything else will also work.
>Just put a piece of tin foil in front of the pop up flash it >will block the light and the remote units will still fire. >Nikon even includes a plastic "flash blocker" (don't know >what else to call it) with the R1 flash kit. It fits on the >camera's hot shoe and folds down to block the built-in >flash. I've found that a piece of cloth, tin foil, or most >anything else will also work.
><<No all those suggestions will not work.>> > >Sorry, but it does work. I shoot with that set-up everyday. > You don't put the cover directly on the pop-up flash just >an inch or two in front of it. It's easy to test give it a >try.
I'm sorry if that came out bluntly, but the fact of the matter is I tried your suggestion the second I saw it and I can say that it does not work. Unequivocally.
Furthermore, if I did get it to work a piece of cloth or aluminum foil hanging a few inches off the on board flash will not completely kill the flash to the point where a light meter will not pick up the light.
Do you use a lightmeter in your set up that works? Did you read my original post?
What I used to do in the old days when I wanted to block the flash on the camera but still trigger my remote flashes was to stick a bit of exposed slide film (the dark portion in the beginning or the end of the film) in front of the flash. This works very well and cost nothing. Cheers Magnus
When using the D200 with the built-in as commander along with SB 800's and Alien Bees flash, the pre-flash from the built in triggers the slave on the AB flash. To solve the problem I tried blocking the flash with a piece of cardboard but there was too much leakage of the flash that triggered the slave.
To solve the problem I taped a piece of blank exposed slide film over the flash with gaffers tape carefully making sure that the IR signal from the flash was not obstructed and there was no leakage from the on cam flash to trigger the slave. This setup allows the D200 to be in commander mode but keeps the on cam flash from causing any problems with your flash meter.
>What I used to do in the old days when I wanted to block the >flash on the camera but still trigger my remote flashes was >to stick a bit of exposed slide film (the dark portion in >the beginning or the end of the film) in front of the flash. >This works very well and cost nothing. >Cheers >Magnus
I was photographing some prints and this method blocked all of the visible light from the image.
>This is pure insanity. My IR panel came in the mail today >and after extensive tests, there is still too much spill >that it triggers the Sekonic meter. .. > >Completely absurd.
I agree it's crazy. Could you possibly do a test for me? My rationale for eliminating the on-board flash is my son wears glasses. The on-board provides a nice reflection in those glasses when taking pictures with a flash. I had pretty much overcome this issue with my D70 using my SB800 held at arms length away from the camera.
Can you shoot a picture of someone wearing glasses with your newly received gizmo and your flash held at arm's length and tell me if you can see the reflection of the flash in the glasses?
I wish that were the least of my probs. If all you are looking for is no reflection, this will definitely do it for you. I don't live with anyone that wears glasses, but shooting into a mirror, there are no reflections.
>doobes- > >I wish that were the least of my probs. If all you are >looking for is no reflection, this will definitely do it for >you. I don't live with anyone that wears glasses, but >shooting into a mirror, there are no reflections.
Thanks, I appreciate the assistance. Sounds to me like the only real solution to your problem (and to a lesser extent mine) is to use something like this