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Thread: Help with using Speedlights when photographing with others

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    Member FlossyB's Avatar
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    Help with using Speedlights when photographing with others

    Hi Everyone,

    Not sure if I'm on the right forum/sub forum, so apologies in advance.
    Just a few questions in regards to photographing with others when using speedlights (on a bracket). I have searched the internet extensively, and cannot for the life of me find the answers I'm looking for. I'm guessing this to be because generally photography is a solitary type hobby where you are usually on your own...

    I photograph very regularly with my partner (we're both into photography), and occasionally with a few other people as well. He uses two Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlights mounted on a bracket. I don't use any speedlights as of yet, as I don't want to deal with the frustrations that he does when photographing with others. We both use Nikon cameras, his is a D800, and at the moment, mine is a D3200 but I'm upgrading very soon to either a D750 or D610.

    This is the main problem we face, making for a very unenjoyable time whenever we take photos. His flashes go off no matter who's camera it is. e.g. If I take a photo, his flashes will go off to my flash, and it ruins his shot as he has to wait for his flashes to recharge again, and its even worse if we are with a few other people taking photos. Not to mention how fast it depletes the batteries etc. I THINK he has his camera set to Manual flash, and his speedlights to S1 atm? We both have Nikon cameras, his is a full frame and atm mine is just a crop sensor.

    So, here are my questions:

    1. Can those Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlights be set to only be triggered by his camera, and not mine or anyone elses? Is it possible? (please say yes! lol)

    2. If so, how do you do it? And what settings or mode is it on the speedlight (and/or camera) to do it?

    3. What is it (and/or the setting) called when you set your speedlights to only go off to your camera's signal/fire (regardless of if they are Yongnuo or not, eg. Nikon etc)? As I couldn't for the life of me think of the term to be able to effectively search the internet for a solution, eg. slave, commander modes? etc. are either of those the right term? I know Nikon speedlights allow you to take photo's stress free without the worry of everyone elses flashes setting your speedlights off prematurely at inopportune times, what is that setting called and how do you do it? (I wouldn't know how to do it even if I had Nikon speedlights - unless the instruction manual tells you - which I wouldn't know as I don't own any Nikon speedlights, and the Yongnuo manual didn't explain it at all and was no good/very hard to understand)

    4. If the Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlights don't have this function to allow you to safely take photos with other photographers around, stress and worry free, what is the cheapest alternative that will allow this magnificent (relationship-saving and sanity-preserving) function? As we are on a bit of a budget, and it works out quite expensive having to get 4 speedlights (2 each), especially the good ones!

    5. What is it that allows you to take photos without other people's flashes setting your own speedlights off?

    6. If I were to get the Nikon speedlights, what would you suggest to be the best value for money within a reasonable budget?

    I apologise in advance, I realise some of these questions kind of double up, I'm just bad at explaining what I mean.

    I really want to be able to use speedlights too, but 1, I cant afford the good Nikon ones just yet (it would probably take me a year or two to save up), and 2, I just cant bring myself to go through the pain and agony of having to turn away and try and shield my (cheaper/yongnuo if I got them) speedlights from other peoples flashes etc. As some photographers (with the Nikon speedlights that are set to only fire on their camera's command) we have taken photos with, are really rude, and just click away regardless of if you are trying to take a photo, knowing full-well that your flashes will fire prematurely ruining your shot on your turn.

    I want to get the proper Nikon speedlights, but I know they are fairly expensive... I heard something like $800 each, off one person, but they got theirs around 10yrs ago (or so they say). No idea of the price tag these days, as I want to research this function first, and what its called etc etc etc before looking to buy a set brand etc.

    P.S. I'm not savvy with speedlights at all, so forgive me if I misunderstand. I understand there is S1 and S2, where S1 goes off at the first light and S2 ignores a pre-flash or something, from what I've read. And I think Multi is where you can take multiple shots fast? And not sure on what the other settings are, but please inform me, as I'd love to be able to understand it all better!

    Thankyou so much in advance!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    If different flashes are triggering at the same time, this is because you have them set to the same channel. The idea behind having different frequency channels for wireless flash is so that when you are in a group, you can each select a different channel, so you do not interfere with each others flash being triggered.

    However it appears the II version of this flash has no option to set channels for the wireless trigger, thus you are unable to change the transmission frequency on this particular flash (there is a reason they are cheap... you lose out on possibly vital features).

    So without spending some more money on flash units that allow you to select a channel for wireless triggering, you are stuck with your present situation when in groups.

    The more you pay the more features you get with speedlights, so it is a matter of finding one that lets you choose differing channels within your budget
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    Actually doing more reading, it appears this flash unit is not wireless (radio) as such, but triggered by the light from another flash. So it simply has a sensor that picks up a bright flash, and that triggers it to fire. So you can probably (if you know where on the flash body the sensor is) cover it with your hand, a piece of card etc to stop it firing when other are using their flash units.

    So even things like lightning, or flashing a torch at the unit could feasibly trigger it to fire.
    Last edited by ricktas; 20-03-2015 at 10:31am.

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    Thanks Rick, my partner got the flashes pretty early on, and effectively prematurely, when we had no idea about the settings and channels etc. In all the reviews/manuals of the YN-560 II's I've read over the last day or two, not one of them even mentioned this massive lack of vital functionality. Not one warning to let you know that this key function is missing in this model!

    Just to clarify, what is the actual mode setting called on the speedlights that make it so it only goes off to your camera's signal? And what setting do you have to have your camera/inbuilt flash set to for this to work also?

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    First off, you can pick up a Nikon SB700 for $340 from Kogan so don't be fooled by the $800 talk. Yes, some of the higher end Nikon's cost more money, but you also need to remember that most of the time, you may need only one of those for the odd occasion when you need more power. If you talk about working with off camera flash indoors, you'll often find yourself running the flash at 1/32nd, 1/64th or 1/128th of the actual power the flash is capable of when you are in manual mode, so the extra power of the SB910 is not required very often unless you are outdoor. At worst, maybe get one SB910 but you can start with a SB700 and get the SB910 later, but right now I have been working with a SB700 and SB600 and that has got me through what I need to know. I will probably add another SB700 or SB910 later but I'm questioning whether it would be better to stick to the SB700.

    Now, on to the issue at hand. I don't know the Yongnuo very well, but it seems like they are currently setup to trigger wirelessly by flash. Ultimately, if you look at most flashes, they can be triggered in a number of ways and being triggered by flash is just one. Unfortunately this method of triggering has its disadvantages as you would have noticed. I don't know whether you can use the built in trigger in the D800 with a Yongnuo, I've always used Nikon gear so it works with that but I can't comment on third party flashes. IF that's not possible, the simple way to solve this would be to buy a cheap set of flash triggers from Yongnuo (I think they cost $50) and what you are left with is a trigger on the camera that goes in the hotshoes and receivers on the flashes. The triggers allow you to ensure that they can only be triggered by the transmitter so your flash isn't triggering them as well.

    BTW, if you're just getting into flash, When I started playing with off camera flash and I've found that the instructional videos from Joe Mcnally on Kelbyone were incredibly insightful for learning the ropes with off camera flash. His course called using small flashes is probably a good starting point because it covers the basics from using a single external flash on the camera to using 3 off camera flashes with different groups for different purposes.

    It worth remembering, there are certain basics you don't get initially but when someone explains them to you and shows you in a video, it makes a lot more sense. An example of what I mean by this is why shutterspeed more often than not doesn't affect the main subject you are lighting and only effects the background doesn't seem to make logical sense, but when someone shows you why, it suddenly clicks and you go "Ahhhhhhh, yeah, that makes sense" and you start to understand how you can have a subject perfectly lighten with a completely black background when the real background is actually white. They show you things it would have take months to learn on your own. You can subscribe to their site for a month ($20) and do all of the camera flash videos in one go. There are a couple from different angles (Canon, Nikon etc) , but I'd recommend you cover all of them because even the Canon based ones from Syl Arena help with understanding the concepts and the examples they use are varied so you get a perspective on a number of different ways of taking photos.
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    Member JJM's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like they are being optically triggered rather than with radio triggers, unless I have missed something?
    Surely a cheap set of radio triggers would solve this problem, wouldn't it?

    Something like Yongnuo YN-622 Transceivers TTL HSS for Nikon can be had for $110 for a pair
    Site sponsors I believe http://www.fotogenic.com.au/yongnuo-...non-clone.html
    Or some chaper ones without HSS and TTL
    http://www.fotogenic.com.au/yongnuo-...and-nikon.html


    Edit: you beat me to it Missionman
    Last edited by JJM; 20-03-2015 at 11:01am.

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    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Yeah, that was my suggestion. Here is a nice review on the yongnuo triggers.

    http://betterfamilyphotos.blogspot.c...-ii-yn560.html

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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlossyB View Post
    So, here are my questions:

    1. Can those Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlights be set to only be triggered by his camera, and not mine or anyone elses? Is it possible? (please say yes! lol)
    Yes, there I said it

    2. If so, how do you do it? And what settings or mode is it on the speedlight (and/or camera) to do it?
    Put it in manual

    3. What is it (and/or the setting) called when you set your speedlights to only go off to your camera's signal/fire (regardless of if they are Yongnuo or not, eg. Nikon etc)? As I couldn't for the life of me think of the term to be able to effectively search the internet for a solution, eg. slave, commander modes? etc. are either of those the right term? I know Nikon speedlights allow you to take photo's stress free without the worry of everyone elses flashes setting your speedlights off prematurely at inopportune times, what is that setting called and how do you do it? (I wouldn't know how to do it even if I had Nikon speedlights - unless the instruction manual tells you - which I wouldn't know as I don't own any Nikon speedlights, and the Yongnuo manual didn't explain it at all and was no good/very hard to understand)
    Generally it's Slave unless the company decides to have a fancy name

    4. If the Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlights don't have this function to allow you to safely take photos with other photographers around, stress and worry free, what is the cheapest alternative that will allow this magnificent (relationship-saving and sanity-preserving) function? As we are on a bit of a budget, and it works out quite expensive having to get 4 speedlights (2 each), especially the good ones!
    All generally should, so don't worry

    5. What is it that allows you to take photos without other people's flashes setting your own speedlights off?
    Using Manual mode or Commander mode, or any other fancy named mode

    6. If I were to get the Nikon speedlights, what would you suggest to be the best value for money within a reasonable budget?
    I wouldn't know. I like Sony's speedlites for their speedshift, but the problem is build quality isn't very good, still wish I had one though
    To answer your questions and go along with JJM and MissionMan, to solve the issue, because you're using 2 speedlites on a bracket, most likely that means they're not connected to your partner's camera directly, whether physically attached, or wirelessly connected.
    What Rick has said is right, the flashes are being triggered by other flashes, that is, the slave option. I'm not sure of all the terminology in speedlites yet either, but you mentioned a manual mode, that's what you want to use, or basically, whatever mode other than slave.

    You'll see a Mode button, when you push that, on the top left of the LCD screen, you should see the modes switch between M, S1, and S2 (who knows, that model may have more), basically switching between the modes. I can't remember how S1 and S2 functioned exactly, but basically, they're the slave modes (which get triggered by seeing the flash of a camera - thus many cameras with flash, many triggerings and firing off)
    Switch it to M

    Now, you'll notice that when your partner takes a shot, the flash doesn't go off, that's because now, rather than being triggered by flashes from a camera, it's triggered electronically (I guess you could say) by the camera, meaning, you have to connect the flash onto the camera for the electrical signal to go through and trigger it. So you can try that, connect it, and it should fire. Try having another camera take a photo with flash, the speedlite shouldn't go off - so it's working fine

    So, what if you don't want to have it on the camera, and as your partner is doing, having both on a bracket off the camera? You need to purchase wireless triggers. JJM has listed a couple simple triggers to purchase and use, and if you want, maybe you can look on eBay for other cheaper brands that are compatible with your camera and flash. Just keep in mind, you have 2 speedlites, so you need two transceivers, but you need something on the camera to trigger those transceivers, a transmitter. The links JJM provided are a pair only (and they can act as both), you'll need to purchase a 3rd one. So if you've got the budget, they'll work great, otherwise, you can see if you can outsource a cheaper set

    Then, as Rick says, put them onto the same frequency channel whilst still in M (Manual) mode, and they should fire.

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by bitsnpieces; 20-03-2015 at 11:44am.
    David Tran

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    As MM and JJM have pointed out the flash is being triggered optically. I have the older version but I assume that settings are the same/similar - S1 and S2 cause the flash to fire when it sees a flash of light regardless of who fired the flash. (S2 ignores the TTL pre-flash). On my version the flash needs to be in "M" mode (the only other option on mine) to avoid being triggered by another flash, but then requires a way to be triggered by the camera (if not mounted in the camera hot shoe).

    Quote Originally Posted by FlossyB View Post
    He uses two Yongnuo YN-560 II speedlights mounted on a bracket.
    Is this one of those brackets that is attached to the camera? If so, he just needs a cord running from the camera to the flash (a couple of ways to do this depending on camera/flash functionality). One way uses this (but note that there are plenty of third-party options which are considerably cheaper). If he is running two flashes he'll need a 'double-adapter' or 'piggy-back' the cables. The advantage of cables is that you don't need to worry about channel clashes or trigger batteries, but triggers may be a better long-term investment if you will also be shooting 'proper' off-camera flash.



    Cheers.
    Phil.

    Some Nikon stuff. I shoot Mirrorless and Mirrorlessless.


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    Thanks everyone!

    Fillum, he uses a manfrotto bracket that screws into the tripod hole thing. I'm a little reluctant to get one (a manfrotto bracket), as he has dropped a couple of flashes off his, even though the flashes were fully tightened in the shoes, which scares me lol. P.S. If anyone has any other suggestions on a better bracket for the budget price, I'm open to suggestions! But I think this was the best one for the price if I remember correctly... All our friends have them.

    After everything you've all said, plus some extra research on top, what I'm thinking is, maybe we both just get a set of Yongnuo YN-568EX II's and have the 560 II's he has now, as a spare set, incase the other's break or malfunction.

    Would the 568 II's allow us to photograph without my built-in flash setting his off etc (until I get my own speedlights)?

    Its just we want our set up's to be as minimalistic/simple as possible, so the less parts, the better. The trigger's would probably be more time consuming (to set up) and possibly make things a little more complex. The simplest set-up for our photography style/for what we want to photograph, is the camera, lens, bracket with two speedlights. Although, at the moment, I'm doing mine without the bracket and speedlights, as I haven't been able to afford it mentally (what he goes through with everyone elses flashes setting his off etc), and physically, when I want a new camera and lens first anyway.

    But it's good to know that the 560's can be rectified with the triggers! I think when he fiddled around with it when he first got them, when he put the flashes on M, there was a delay, and they had no effect to the outcome of the photo. I don't know if that's because he had changed his inbuilt flash settings to have a pre-flash, or he actually needs to set it to have a pre-flash to work in synchronisation, or if there was just that much of a delay due to not having an optical signal? Maybe I should try fiddling around with it now, after all this new knowledge and gaining a better understanding on it.
    Most people don't photograph with other photographers I assume, so I'm guessing that's mostly why I've never found anything when trying to research a solution to it.

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by FlossyB; 21-03-2015 at 2:01pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular bitsnpieces's Avatar
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    If I remember correctly, the Yongnuo flashes you have don't have HSS (high sync speed I think it was?) - meaning, if your shutter is faster than 1/200-1/250 (that's their usual average), then the flashes a pretty much ineffective - maybe double check to see what his shutter is. I can't remember if the 568 has it or not.

    And unfortunately no - generally speaking, all speedlites function the same way. On the camera, or off via triggers. If you don't have triggers, then it's flash - all flash will affect it.

    Also, getting triggers and using them is very very simple. All you do is connect the transmitter to the camera, and the transceivers to the flash, then they have a few switches (on, off, A, B, etc (for which frequency you want to use)) and done.
    And it really will save a lot of headaches and stress in the long run.


    In terms of the delay when using the flash, that can depend on the flash mode set on the camera - is it on rear sync? Rear sync means the flash goes off after the shutter is done opening and is closing, that could explain the delay.

    If budget does come into question - look for some cheap alternatives, there should be plenty around. I purchased my iShoot's for around $10-$20 total, works fine for some simple flash photography.

    Good luck

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    Member peterv's Avatar
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    The 568 EX II has high speed sync,4 channels,full manual control ,modelling light,master/slave function,ttl,etc.All functions can be controlled from the camera as well.Coupled with the YN 622 radio triggers they are excellent for the price.

    I am very happy with mine.

    http://www.davidpartington.com/m43/2...8ex-ii-review/


    CC always welcome.

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