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Am I crazy?

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by ashman, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. I want to play around with studio 'type' lighting without having to invest hundreds or thousands of dollars. What I would like to try is this:

    Get to SB600 flashes, mount them on stands with umbrellas and use Nikon's CLS along with my D70s to remotely trigger them for portrait type shots. Will this work? Are the SB600's powerful enough to reflect off an umbrella? I am not talking about using them at any great distance. Thoughts?

  2. Well I just bought a used SB800 which I believe I can use in commander mode, can it also contribute lighting to my subject? Will this improve things?

  3. The SB800 when used in the hot shoe of your camera should be in the master mode. It will trigger any off camera flashes (SB800/SB600) that you have. The on camera SB800 will contribute to the overall exposure for your subject. It can also be turned to "--" and then it will not contribute but will still trigger the off camera flashes. You D70 also has an on camera flash that can be used in the Commander mode to trigger the off camera flashes as well. This way you will have both the SB800 and SB600 used in Remote mode.
  4. Thanks. Do you think I will have enough lighting power with two SB600's an done SB800 to do what I laid out in my first post?

  5. Yes you do. I would use your SB800 as your main light (with a diffuser of some type) and your SB600 as fill. Either that or use your SB600 as a hair light. I made a cardboard snoot for my SB600 so that I don't get too much spill when using it as a hair light. You could also use a white board as a reflector on the opposite side of your subject from your main light. Your on board commander could be either on full or nearly off as you wish.

    You might want to look at some of Uncle Franks posts in this forum to see how he sets up his flashes. He is much better at illustrating this than I am. Me, I am just out taking images with my setup.
  6. Thanks, perhaps Uncle Frank will see this post and comment.

  7. stayathomedad


    Mar 11, 2008
    get the shoot through umbrellas...

    I don't have them... but will pick some up soon...

    Here is a link to some headshots I did a while back... I used two sb600s... one for hair and the other for key... but on the left side...


    it was my first time using them, and it worked out...
  8. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    It will work - I do it all the time.
  9. Gary Mayo

    Gary Mayo Guest

    The SB's work great for portraits with umbrellas. You can also use soft boxes.
  10. I don't think he means "yes you are crazy " :smile:
    I did this with two SB600's , my first attempt . iso 400 , I had to drop to F6.3 because it was a bit bright with one set at 1/2 fired into an umbrella and the other 1/4 with the stoffen diffuser .
    If you have it on ttl the umbrellas will make it give the wrong output , you will need to go manual or adjust accordingly .

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  11. Ash, one thing which might help the whole setup is a SC-29 remote flash cable, which allows the SB800 to move off camera, still be used as commander of the other flashes but not be directly on the hot shoe, and then some reflectors or maybe another SB600 as a background or hair light. You'd have all the lighting aspect of a much more expensive studio setup (minus the very helpful modeling lamps of course).
  12. jcovert

    jcovert Guest

    why not just use the D70's pop-up flash as the commander and save some money?
  13. I suppose for portraits that's the best/cheapest option. For product photography, I don't like the pop-up as commender because it's never really off. On reflective items, there's no way to keep the pop-up flash from showing up, so I prefer the SC-29. Actually now I use incandescents for that or the SU800, but was just trying to give Ash another relatively inexpensive option. For most work, the pop-up commander works great.
  14. I can do that, however I got a great deal on a barely used SB800 flash on Ebay and since it can be a commander as well as contribute to the overall lighting, something the built in flash on the D70 cannot do (contribute to the lighting) I thought this would give me greater flexibility and more lighting. You can never have enough lighting right?

  15. Do any of you who shoot with speed light's on stands use them straight on the subject, in other words no umbrella or bounce cards? Is the light too harsh if used in this manner? Someone mentioned if the speed light's are bounced into umbrellas then iTTL can't be used, if I use the flashes straight on the subject does iTTL take care of the lighting and exposure?

  16. If your flashes are the same distance from the subject as your camera then ittl will do the job properly if they are faced directly forward . But ; the camera doesn't know if you are bouncing flash and doesn't calculate how much power is wasted when you do so . You can adjust flash compensation up but it's probably easier to go manual
  17. I don't use umbrellas, but shoot through Lumiquest softboxes for speedlights and the iTTL works well.
  18. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Don't think so. In my experience, it doesn't matter if the distances are different (within reason) or whether the flashes are being bounced or fired inside softboxes.
  19. Jim C

    Jim C Guest

    Do you understand how iTTL works? During iTTL, the flash will fire off a pre-flash sequence, and meter that through the camera to determine proper flash output.

    If you bounce, or shoot through a modifier, the proper exposure will still be calculated, within the limits of your flashes power. After that, you can use flash compensation as necessary.

    If you submerge your flash in a goldfish bowl with a goldfish, the flash output won't be calculated correctly. But that isn't a limit of the TTL system; just a limit of electronics vs. water.
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