I read the D5000 manual...it says it will fire a CLS speedlight. So I bought the sb-900. It says it works with a CLS camera. Nothing in either manual indicate it won't work wirelessly...but then again, it doesn't say it will. I know without a commander it won't fire in ILL mode, but it should make it fire somehow in a slave mode. I can't for the life of me find a setting to make the camera communicate with the SB-900 as a slave. I thought the sensor just picked up the flash and just fired. Not on this setup.
Am I doing something wrong or just barking up the wrong tree.
I plan to pick up an SU-800 but the camera store did not have one. I have a portrait shoot to do tonight. Any way to get it to communicate quickly?
Sun 07-Feb-10 07:20 AM | edited Sun 07-Feb-10 03:44 PM by greenwing
You'll need to set the SB-900 into SU-4 mode, and you may need or want to have the camera's flash in manual. Manual flash is probably best, as the SB-900 will be adding a lot of light that the camera wasn't expecting when it calculated the exposure. I don't know off-hand whether the SU-4 mode of the SB-900 ignores pre-flashes.
You might be better with an SB-600 or an additional SB-900 (or an SB-800 if you can find one) than an SU-800.
Welcome to Nikonians! As Chris wrote, You have to set the SB-900 in SU-4 mode, The built in Speedlight in Manual flash mode, and the camera in Manual exposure mode. With the SU-800 in the cameras hotshoe and the SB-900 in remote TTL mode, you will be able to take advantage of full i-TTL wireless falsh control in P,S,A, and M exposure modes. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
As the others have said, the D5000 does not have the "Commander Mode" in its built-in flash that would allow it to control an off-camera Speedlight wirelessly; it can only be used manually in "SU-4 Mode".
Regarding the manuals, I guess you need to know what to look for, but the D5000 manual does not suggest anywhere that the camera can control slave Speedlights wirelessly. It does state that "CLS-compatible" Speedlights are supported, but then goes on to describe how they can be used on-camera, not off-camera.
I'll look again in the manual, but for the life of me I can not find an SU-4 mode on the camera. I did notice some settings are not allowed with flash in iTTL mode.
We managed to get the protraits lastnight by using the SB-900 on the hot shoe. Some shadows could not be avoided but I shot several shots with the speedlight bounced in various directions and was able to photoshop to parts I liked into one awesome portrait.
I will get the SU-800 ordered but now I am thinking of just using the SB-900 as the commander and pick up some 600s for fill light.
Sun 07-Feb-10 10:26 PM | edited Mon 08-Feb-10 01:50 AM by nateccnn
OK...I feel like I am coming out of dummy mode here. I was flipping through the manual of the flash unit and spotted the SU-4 mode. A couple light bulbs went of. LOL Now I just need to figure out the metering so I can set the settings properly.
You can use the trial and error methode using the Histogram to adjust the power level of the remote speedlight or the aperture that you use. Keep the ISO as low as possible and the shutter speed at 1/200th sec (Maximum sync speed) or slower. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
So I found the section in the manual relative to Su-4. Nothing tells me how to set it. Just tells me to set it. I suppose if I actually read the whole thing I might have figured out how to get into settings.
But I just found an article on the net...a basic review of the SB-900 that says push and hold the OK button. Shazaam! There the setting is. I got it into SU-4 mode, put the camera in manual...turned flash to manual...walla! The SB-900 fired off. Of course it completely burned out the picture. But as noted above...a little trial and error and I got a nice picture of my TV right as the Colts missed there final attemp at a touchdown. Missed the whole game while I was trying to figure this thing out.
Thanks for all the help guys. I still think I am going to get a commander for this setup though. But for now I can say I understand how it all works. Yeah!