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bbarlow641
12-14-2005, 10:20 PM
I got an SB800 today to act as a remote flash for my D70. This evening, I sat down with the manuals (I was going to have a glass of wine; I'm glad I skipped that) and started reading/experimenting. It's hard to believe that the system is as complicated as the manuals make it out to be. But after an hour or so, my eyes and brain are fogging over, and I've not mastered the thing yet. I've got two basic questions I've been unable to answer myself, and I hope someone here can help.

1) Using the SB800 on the camera as a simple flash, Program mode, and a subject about 3m away, pictures seem underexposed; the histogram is skewed left. I can improve this somewhat by changing the EV setting on the flash (to +1), but it seems that that shouldn't be necessary for just an "ordinary" shot.

2) using the SB800 as a remote and the built-in speedlight as Commander, I can get the SB800 to light the scene, but I don't think the D70's builtin light is firing. I can't see it from behind the lens, and the pictures all have shadows where the built-in light would eliminate them. Is this the way the system is supposed to work? With a remote light, the on-camera light is dark?

Thanks for your help; I shouldn't need it, but the manuals are (IMHO) not so hot. I'm going to bed. Maybe they'll read better in the morning.

Ben

Esoterra
12-15-2005, 07:12 AM
Ben,

I was planning on getting the SB800, so I am glad you posted these questions because I will most likely have the same questions in the near future. I hope that you get some helpful feedback.

bbarlow641
12-15-2005, 09:22 AM
With some more time for research, unclouded by sleep, I found the following threads on another site addressing these (apparently common) questions. Rather than re-write or paraphrase what I found out, here are the links:
1)
http://www.nikonians.org/dcforum/DCForumID7/15094.html#1
2)
http://www.nikonians.org/dcforum/DCForumID7/15111.html

More experimentation is required. And maybe a remote trigger for my old SB22.

Ben

erichlund
12-15-2005, 09:24 AM
I've been reading the same manual as you. However, I don't have the camera yet to put it on. The primary difficulty with this manual is that in the front, they set numbers for various camera types, and then only refer to the number when they are discussing a feature. Sadly, there's no number for the D200, so I'll have to figure that one out, but I suspect if you use a highlighter and highlight only the entries that refer to your cameras number, then read only that part of the manual, it may not cause quite as much eye glazing. That said, I've kind of just set it aside until I get my camera, so I can't really answer your specific questions.

D70FAN
12-15-2005, 09:52 AM
I got an SB800 today to act as a remote flash for my D70. This evening, I sat down with the manuals (I was going to have a glass of wine; I'm glad I skipped that) and started reading/experimenting. It's hard to believe that the system is as complicated as the manuals make it out to be. But after an hour or so, my eyes and brain are fogging over, and I've not mastered the thing yet. I've got two basic questions I've been unable to answer myself, and I hope someone here can help.

1) Using the SB800 on the camera as a simple flash, Program mode, and a subject about 3m away, pictures seem underexposed; the histogram is skewed left. I can improve this somewhat by changing the EV setting on the flash (to +1), but it seems that that shouldn't be necessary for just an "ordinary" shot.

2) using the SB800 as a remote and the built-in speedlight as Commander, I can get the SB800 to light the scene, but I don't think the D70's builtin light is firing. I can't see it from behind the lens, and the pictures all have shadows where the built-in light would eliminate them. Is this the way the system is supposed to work? With a remote light, the on-camera light is dark?

Thanks for your help; I shouldn't need it, but the manuals are (IMHO) not so hot. I'm going to bed. Maybe they'll read better in the morning.

Ben

I don't care for the program mode (or Auto either). Try shooting in aperture priority and adjust the exposure on the camera (the SB800 will follow suit). I have not had a problem when used without an additional diffusor, but when I use the Lightsphere II the tendancy is to underexpose by about 0.5 to 1 EV.

The only time I've used Commander mode I was shooting with a professional 3 SB600 array so there were no shadows, and it was like shooting in daylight.:cool:

I will try to give the Commander mode using the in-camera speedlight and the SB800 as a remote tonight. I'm pretty sure that you can use the on-camera speedlight as well. Guess I should see how this works.;)

murrays
12-15-2005, 01:46 PM
2) using the SB800 as a remote and the built-in speedlight as Commander, I can get the SB800 to light the scene, but I don't think the D70's builtin light is firing. I can't see it from behind the lens, and the pictures all have shadows where the built-in light would eliminate them. Is this the way the system is supposed to work? With a remote light, the on-camera light is dark?

The on camera flash fires to communicate with the SB800, but it doesn't contribute to the exposure. Read this: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/ittlslave.htm
and this: http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D70S/D70SA9.HTM

Here's a picture of what is going on:
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/D70S/ZFLASHTALK.JPG

-murray

bbarlow641
12-15-2005, 07:42 PM
Thanks, Murray, for the links. I hadn't found those, and they were quite helpful. My afternoon experimentation has me jumping for joy. I went from thinking about sending the SB800 back to thinking how I could justify a second one.

I experimented shooting my wife's collection of Christmas Santas that sit around the house - they range from about 8 inches tall to about two feet, so some close ups to medium distance shots. I used the SB800 as a remote, bounced the flash off the ceiling, matrix metered, overexposed by +.5 stop; since I was grabbing handheld shots, I set the mode to S, the shutter to 1/500th, and fired away, using the on-camera flash as a commander.

By positioning the SB800 at various spots on the floor or nearby tables, and handholding it to get higher positions, I managed to get (what look to me like) perfect exposures, shadow-free, even light, accurate colors - the best pictures I've gotten from the D70.

My worries about having to set the SB800 up so that the sensor had a clear line of site to the D70 were pointless. It never missed a beat, to the left or tho the right of the camera, or even when I was sure I'd had my finger over it holding the flash over my head.

I didn't try the diffuser dome. The little flip-up bounce card ended up putting too much front light even with the flash unit vertical, and caused unwanted shadows. On a couple of shots I could see a reflection of the on-camera flash, so it does fire, but with little power. But then, it didn't seem to be needed for this type of shot.

Now that I've read the referenced web pages, I'll add what they have to say to my next set of experiments. It would be nice if I could find someone like Hollie to practice with.

murrays
12-16-2005, 10:08 AM
Thanks, Murray, for the links. I hadn't found those, and they were quite helpful. My afternoon experimentation has me jumping for joy. I went from thinking about sending the SB800 back to thinking how I could justify a second one.

I'm glad I could help! I've just played a bit with no real goal. It would be nice to have friends with SB600's or SB800's to borrow for arrays!

-murray

D70FAN
12-16-2005, 12:27 PM
Thanks for the links Murray. The SB800 has been a stellar performer for me right out of the box, so I hadn't read Kens article before.

Shooting in a 3 speedlight (SB600) array was truely an amazing experience.

Thanks again.

Esoterra
12-16-2005, 04:40 PM
Anyone have any images to share using multiple speedlights ?

D70FAN
12-16-2005, 06:03 PM
Anyone have any images to share using multiple speedlights ?

Sorry, mine belong to the guy who owned the setup (tag-along for a wedding).