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Cable connect Sb-26 to Sb-800?

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Red Bicycle, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. Red Bicycle

    Red Bicycle

    103
    May 13, 2008
    Australia
    Hi

    If I want to use a Sb-800 as Master/Commander and a Sb-800 as remote , can I connect a Sb-26 to the remote Sb-800 using a synch cord. Can I still get some type of TTL flash?

    Alternatively I happy to use in full manual mode if adding the older '26 stuffs up the CLS. I'm using a D2Xs

    Kind Regards

    Michael
     
  2. WayneF

    WayneF

    Apr 3, 2006
    Texas
    You could connect it to the Commander PC, but not to the Remote PC. The SB-26 cannot do iTTL flash, but it can be triggered in sync in its manual mode from the PC connector of the SB-800 commander (on the hot shoe).

    This is a very unusual case where manual can be mixed with Commander. A fluke really, because a SB-800 in Remote mode cannot trigger a PC sync cord. It disables both its PC and hot foot in Remote mode, but it needs the hot foot to work as Commander, and PC port is directly connected, so they have to leave the Commander PC functional. I do not know if SB-900 is the same or not.

    A PC sync port is Manual mode only anyway, if the system does not disable it. For another example, the D200/D300 cameras with a PC sync connector disable it whenever the internal flash door is open (as if to be commander). The system cannot control an unwanted manual flash.
     
  3. Red Bicycle

    Red Bicycle

    103
    May 13, 2008
    Australia
    Thank Wayne

    Keeping my SB-26 is proving a real winner in SU-4 mode but I have a new Lightware FourSquare softbox which accepts 4 speedlights and I have at the moment only 2 SB-800's. I was hoping to relay the SB-26 to the remote within the softbox and still use wireless but I see that is not possible.

    Time to save up for some more '800's.

    Cheers

    Michael
     
  4. If you already have four flashes for your FourSquare softbox, some of them SB26's and some SB800''s, why not set all of them to use their built in optical slaves; i.e. SU4 mode? Then use your pop-up (or a hot-shoe flash) to trigger them? This will all be Non-TTL Manual flash of course, but it should work just fine.

    Or, if you prefer, connect one of the four remotes to an RF (radio) trigger system and let the other three use their built in optical triggers.
     
  5. Red Bicycle

    Red Bicycle

    103
    May 13, 2008
    Australia
    Hi Bob

    I've been using the SU4 mode to trigger all flashes but it is a pain to have to manually change settings on each flash in this manner as opposed to wireless CLS flash on the '800's where all flash groups can be changed from the on camera master.

    Cheers

    Michael
     
  6. I hear you. I'm sometimes amused at some people who refuse to use AWL/CLS and shoot exclusively old school manual flash because they "prefer to be in control", yet they know so little about the system that they ignore shooting in manual mode with AWL along with the convenience of adjusting the fractional power level from the camera menu.

    I don't blame you for wanting to enjoy this feature; however, I don't know of a nice way to integrate your SB-26. One possible hack would be to put two SB-800s (in AWL Manual) alongside two SB-26's (using the built in optical trigger). Set a medium power level. Then use FV lock to transmit that power level to the SB-800s, which will also fire the SB-26s. Wait for the SB-26 to recycle and then make your exposure. Adjust the power, from the camera menu, on the SB-800s and repeat the routine.

    It ain't elegant 'cause you gotta go through the FV lock deal to change the flash power each time and wait for the 26's to recycle. Plus the 26s fire twice per exposure, eating battery life, AND you only get to adjust the power level of half the speedlights, giving you limited control over intensity. But if you REALLY don't want to walk, it might be a solution, although not a very slick one.

    Or, just buy a few more SB-800/900s and tell your wife you had no choice.:biggrin:
     
  7. WayneF

    WayneF

    Apr 3, 2006
    Texas
    The choice seems more related to the line of sight triggering requirement, and difficulties in bright sunlight too. And no ability to mix in other actual manual flash gear, like flash meters and optical triggers. And being limited to 2 or 3 controllable groups. And of course the subject blinking problem, and the additional shutter lag of the commands (FV Lock can work around that part).

    It is puzzling why Nikon did not go with radio control instead of line of sight.
     
  8. Red Bicycle

    Red Bicycle

    103
    May 13, 2008
    Australia
    Bob

    Interesting solution. I find the Sb-26 recycles quickly (is that just my imagination?) and with plenty of Eneloop batteries on hand the double firing isn't such a concern. Over here in Australia I was buying brand new Sb-800's for $495 early last year and now the Sb-900 is $720 so it will be the secondary market for '800's.

    Wayne

    I am also suprised that Nikon haven't done a radio control, it seems like the obvious thing to offer - maybe soon?

    cheers

    Michael
     
  9. IsamuM

    IsamuM Not-quite- Moderator

    Jan 11, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    I kind of doubt if Nikon (or Canon) will go to RF for its speedlights. The bandwidths available differ from country to country and getting the various certifications in each country could turn into a nightmare for a multinational like Nikon. And this would be for a relatively low volume product.

    Then there is the problem of actually producing different products for each country.

    I think this is the biggest reason that Radiopopper doesn't export, and why Nikon uses IR.
     
  10. WayneF

    WayneF

    Apr 3, 2006
    Texas

    I should not argue it, you are obviously correct they they did not and do not. But they screwed it up, they should have, and Pocket Wizard does, see http://www.pocketwizard.com/inspirations/technology/frequency/

    Perhaps it causes part of their high cost (?), but there seems to only be two frequencies, certainly at least most of the world, FCC and CE. That could be a switch in the battery compartment. I have no clue if there are other countries that will not satisfy, but if there there are, they cant be much of a market (if not on that list), and if they want the cameras, they will have to straighten themselves out. :smile:

    Radio would be such a tremendously better solution, no line of sight, no limited distance range, no problems in bright sun, no subject blinking (there is still TTL preflash, but no visible commander), no closeup highlights, no prematurely triggering optical slaves (at manual levels, but of course it would still occur in TTL preflash mode), handheld flash meters could be used with manual flash levels, etc, etc, etc. All of these problems disappear. Frankly, it seems very necessary. It probably should be implemented in an addon SU-800 type box, to free the camera body of radio licensing issues.

    As it is, when available, we will have to buy the costly third party products to get the job done. Velcro tape-on thingies....

    Or we can just use manual flash, necessary for several lights anyway.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2009
  11. IsamuM

    IsamuM Not-quite- Moderator

    Jan 11, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    Interestingly enough, Wayne, you missed the Japanese market for which PocketWizards uses the 315 MHz band (neither FCC nor CE), but at reduced power. Obviously this is a non-tariff barrier and I hate the part about reduced power. One of the reasons why I buy quite a bit of my equipment from B&H (besides prices often being lower even with shipping).

    Anyway, that's a lot fewer bandwidths than I thought, but that still means that Nikon would have to make speedlights for three different bandwidths and one of them happens to be the home market which I suspect is pretty big, relatively speaking, for speedlights.

    FWIW I would love to see Nikon come out with RF speedlights. I just don't think it's going to happen.
     
  12. WayneF

    WayneF

    Apr 3, 2006
    Texas
    You're right, I did miss Japan. But still, three choices is not infinite, and there must be ways to implement it. Maybe a little plugin module, maybe like a phone card. They already manage to package products differently for different markets. Pocket Wizard seems to manage it, the problem is not impossible.

    I imagine the major risk is consumers and travelers misusing products in the wrong market - perhaps the manufacturer has some liability for that. Why can't we all just agree on a frequency number? :smile: There must be other products affected too.

    I think the time will come when they have to do it. My guess is probably sooner than later. It is obviously in strong demand by the users. I bet it is already designed, just on hold until necessary. Because as soon as the first manufacturer converts, the others must do it too, to compete. It certainly is a neat system now, but with many more problems than are necessary, which many serious users do find unacceptable for many uses.
     
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