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Thread: SB-900 and SB-600 Synching and builtin flash synching issue.

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    Member notahonda's Avatar
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    SB-900 and SB-600 Synching and builtin flash synching issue.

    Hey Guys,
    I recently bought a SB-600 flash and SB-900 flash and have been attempting to perfect the wireless synching. However am coming across a problem that the built-in flash still fires off when i press the shutter release button. I only want the SB's to fire off as they are attached on to an umbrella each and not on the camera itself.

    I have changed the option of the 'built-in flash' in the flash control on my D700 to '--'. However it still fires.

    Also on the SB-900 i am unable to select a group. When i press function 1 or function 2 button nothing much happens.

    Is anyone here able to give me guidance on what i could be doing wrong?

    Thanks guys and gals!

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Turn the flash level of the pop-up right down, so in the D700 menu, commander mode, lower the compensation for the built-in, as far as it will go. This will not stop it firing, but make it so weak that you don't have to really worry about it. (I am going by my D200 to guide you for this, so menu may be different).

    SB-900. Turn the mode dial to 'remote', then use the left function button to select one of the three groups - A.B.C (push the left function button repeatedly)
    The right function button should select the channels - 1.2.3.4 (push the right function button repeatedly).

    If this does not work, my guess is you have set the function buttons to some other resource (accidentally). To hard reset your SB-900 hold down the OK button for a few seconds then when the menu comes up, make sure you are in "full" menu and turn the wheel till you get the 'reset' menu and press the OK button.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

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    thanks rick... i manage to reset the flash and thats brought the group menus i was looking for ....
    but the D700 i put the compensation down to 1/128 i think its still a bit too bright...
    its a wierd cause in the D700 manual it says u are meant to just put the built-in flash setting to '--' and that should turn it off.... how does it work with the D3?

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    The D3 doesnt have inbuilt flash

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Ah, you are setting the flash output in the manual mode setting on the D700, I think. You need to set it in the commander mode menu.

    If the built-in is still to bright, place something in front of it to obstruct it a bit.

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    so how do u synch the flashes on the D3? Do you use the SB-900 as the master flash and other flashes to run off it ? or do use the D200 as the master..?

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    yeah i was adjusting the setting in commander mode.... only in commander mode can u choose to put built-in flash to '--' even though that doesn't seem to do anything!
    yeah ive been using my hand to cover it up.... but if im at a wedding or doing portrait photography i cant imagine that to be looking to professional

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by notahonda View Post
    so how do u synch the flashes on the D3? Do you use the SB-900 as the master flash and other flashes to run off it ? or do use the D200 as the master..?
    I use my SB 900 as a master, and my Sb600/sb200's as the slaves.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Nim, the amount of "light" that the inbuilt flash gives off when set to '--' is insignificant when the system is used as it is intended. If the SBs are close enough and at the right angles to the subject and the camera is being used at a reasonable distance from the subject the output from the on board flash will not affect the image.
    We took over 100 images at an awards night 2 weeks ago using the bodies set exactly that way using an SB800 and an SB600 as slaves and many of the photos were of people wearing glasses and there isn't even a hint of reflection from the inbuilt flash.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    i will definitely keep that in mind...and thanks for the heads up... but i think i need some confirmation from a D700 user, as the manual specifically says you can turn off the built-in flash while using the wireless function....in commander mode...

    Aye, the gray market be the place t' make a deal, but would you be willin' t' make the actual deal. You must decide on your 'iew

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    The D700 is a Dxxx body with a larger sensor.

    As Andrew says, the amount of light from the onboard flash is insignificant compared to a single SB800(my experience) and that's also with using the Sigma 10-20mm lens at 10mm.. ie. no lens shadow cast(unless you place the SB is a weird position) You have two SB's to play with so the light output form the onboard flash is going to be even more insignificant as the power of the light from the two speedlights is going to be a significant degree higher than the onboard flash.

    The output of the onboard flash is basically nulled in the vast majority of uses, but it doesn;t actually not flash. It has to flash to provide the communication to the SB's as the SB's read their information from the onboard flash.

    Some people have taken to using an IR(infra red) filter (a small strip of gel filter cut to suit) over the onboard flash in wireless commander no power mode, for their particular requirement. The communication from onboard to wireless remote is done via IR flashes. The IR filter cuts the visible light, but allows the transmission of the communicating IR light to the remotes.

    I just did a few sample shots in Commander -- mode and the light output is pretty much insignificant, it was when I first tested this, and it still hold true. I used a reflective subject with my 10-20mm set at 10mm, and closeest focused distance.. Ie. pretty extreme situation, where the onboard flash will cause a reflection. I don't have any IR gel, and I see that solution as pretty extreme, but I did try various alternatives too.

    I'll post up the images and results ASAP(ie in a few moments, as I upload them)

    For normal shooting situations the output from the onbaord flash wont intrude on your images.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Hey! I'm back

    10mm and minimum focus distance

    1. natural light, no flash, hence no reflections. case is jet black, and I didn't set or adjust WB.


    2. onboard flash. Not adjusted for best results, as Nikon's CLS and artificial intelligence knows what I want!

    pretty much yuk! but could be made nicer with tweaking in PP.

    3. onboard flash set to commander and '--' mode.


    No SB flashes were present in the making of this image so the light output is purely from the onboard flash. I also set the flash output to -3.0Ev and it made no difference to the light output... from the onboard flash, but the output from the SB was very weak, so the onboard flash still has some say in the exposure result...

    4.
    http://www.ausphotography.net.au/gal...et_to_-3ev.jpg

    5. Now the SB800 is set to normal, ie. no compensation....

    ... and as it's wireless I'm playing around with various configs with wide angle diffuser dome on and off, the pull out diffuser in out on off, the built in reflector card up or down, using bounce, off a dirty white low ceiling...etc. whatever posi I had the wirelss SB800, and I tried many various, the small reflected highlight was always present in the blue Antec badge.

    6. You can minimise that by covering the flash with just about anything...

    this one is using a very thin, flimsy old reciept GSM rating of the paper was about 10 It just sat atop the flash and as it was curled, it just covered the flash enough to shield the antec badge from the direct output of the flash.. just to see if the onboard flash is making a difference to exposure. The SB is still providing the light source in this and the next image.

    7. more paper is draped over the onboard flash.. Sb800 is still the main light source


    8. Now we're getting closer to the issue of the small reflected highlight in the Antec badge

    This and the next shots are taken with the onbaord flash totally obscured, relative to the Antec badge. A small strip of foil is taped onto the underside of the onboard flash, and the onboard flash is now NOT casting any light at all, whatsoever, ad infinitum... onto the PC case, yet there's still a slight reflected highlight on the Antec badge.. this leads me to believe that the SB800 si in fact provinding quite a bit of the reflected highlight in the shiny Antec badge

    9. I say that because with careful placement and config of the SB800, with all of it's built in features such as diffuser reflector, etc you can get very minimal reflected 'catchlights'.
    Remember this is 10mm and at closest focused distance, where the ront of the lens is only 20cm from the subject. It;s fairly extreme in it's approach, and with normal shooting where the lens is at a sane distance, and a sane lens is used for the situation! , I doubt you;re going to see any unwanted or detrimental effects with the onboard flash set to commander mode and power '--'

    10. confirming that onboard flash was totally obscured in the 'foil tests'

    the SB did flash, but I had it pressed hard against my body to null it's effect so there is no flash output other than an amount of reflected light from the foil baffle, bounced backwards to the white-ish wall and ceiling, as the foil totally obscured any of the onboard flash power forward of the camera.

    It's obvious to see that the onboard flash does indeed provide some light power to the subject as is the case with a 10mm lens at 30cm focused distance(front element is only 20cm or so from the subject). It didn't have enough power to cast the usual wide angle shadow tho, and with the 10mm lens and onboard flash, that wide angle shadowing is pretty extreme too!
    That's why I used that combo and went as close as possible to the subject.
    The minimum extra light cast from the onboard flash should be considered to be 99.99% negligible, and the benefits of having it to remotely control flashes without the need for radio poppers and pop wizards is far more convenient than having external devices attached, or the separation of man and money. Money that could easily be spent on more interesting stuff like lenses.. and ...well.... more lenses!

    if you're really pedantic find a supplier of Infra Red gel filters. Cut a small strip and tape from the top to cover the flash globe. You simply keep it in place and depending on the thickness of the gel, the flash should still close back into it's receptacle. If you need onboard flash, flip the gel back over to reveal the flash globe.
    If you need the onboard flash to be truly set to '--' for wireless commander mode, then the black IR gel should make that 99.999% zero.

    one thing I didn't try was to see if using the piece of foil to obscure the subject from the direct line of the onbaord flash, is if that would have any detrimental effect on an SB used wirelessly, but forward of the subject. At all times I had the SB either behind or above the camera.

    anyhow.. I hope that helps.

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    yeah it will always register some light in your image
    if you want to look semi-pro, you need the Nikon SG-3IR IR Panel
    overexposed film will also filter out visible light, but let IR pass through

    otherwise, a business card to reflect the onboard flash up to the ceiling will work well enough indoors
    outdoors, you probably wont even notice it when set to --

    if it's really important get an SU800 and get an extra group to control as well
    Thanks,
    Nam

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