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Just got the SU800. On Page (2) the last question guys, What about TTL-BL and FP?

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Debbie H, Aug 14, 2009.

  1. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Hi, I just received my SU-800 today. I have been looking through the manual and where in the heck is the section on how to set up the SB800 and 600??? All I'm seeing is how to set it up with the SB-R200 which I don't have. I'm wanting to set one 800 as main and the other 800 as fill then the 600 as a hairlight. I'm not sure what mode the 800 and 600 needs to be in. Right now I have the SB800 set as Remote just to trigger the 600. This looks harder then I thought it would be.:frown: Help!!!!

    On page 2 last question guys. Thank you so much!!!!:smile:
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 16, 2009
  2. WayneF


    Apr 3, 2006
    Debbie, I dont have a SU-800, but there is a switch inside the battery compartment which selects CloseUp or Commander use. It works the same as your camera commanders.
  3. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Yes I see that Wayne and it is set to Commander. Gosh I wish you had one of these Wayne, talk about a manual without info. OH MY GOSH!!!
  4. Debbie, you need to set your SB-800s (and SB-600) to remote. After that you can set each to a different group (A,B,C) but keep them all on the same channel.

    Once that is done you can control their output from the SU-800 easily.
  5. The flashes have to be set to wireless. On the SB600 its, you hold down the zoom and - buttons, until it changes the screen. it will say off to start with then an arrow underneath, you press mode or zoom, when it changes press the on-off and it will be set
  6. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks Ron I will go try that right now!!
  7. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Ok guys at this point I just have the SB800 as my main light and the 600 as fill. Haven't had a chance to set up the 3 light set-up like I want. So right now I have the one SB-800 set up as Remote and the 600 well I don't know what the heck the 600 is set to. I just had it set up to where the 800 would trigger it and that was a long time ago... Have the groups and the channel set up so far in the SU-800. If all that didn't sound stupid enough I have some more to add.:eek: 

    I'm using the D700
    1. In the Camera Menu under braketing and flash do I need to keep it at Commander mode?? Or change it to TTL. Because the flashes are going off on both settings??

    2.When I have the 2 SB800's set up should I just keep them in Remote like they are now?

    3. And leave the SB600 in what ever I have it in now.:redface:
    should that work?

    Could they make the manual anymore uninformative then it is??? Then again could be just me.

    Thanks! Debbie
  8. IsamuM

    IsamuM Not-quite- Moderator

    Jan 11, 2009
    Tokyo, Japan
    Hi Debbie,

    I think you're going to have to dig out your SB600 and SB800 manuals for info on how to set them up.

    With regard to your questions:

    1. I don't think it matters since that menu is only for the pop-up flash if I'm not mistaken.

    2. Unless you plan to use them on the hot shoe, that should work just fine.

    3. If it's working as a remote and you have it in the group you want it in, yes.
  9. 1. When you're using the SU-800 you do not use the D700 flash so this setting does not matter. This setting is for the D700 pop up flash only.

    2. Yes, set SB800 to Remote

    3. Set SB600 to Remote

    The Remote flashes can be set to channels A,B,C.
    Each channel is controlled from the SU-800, as an example you can have A set to TTL, B set to manual -1, C set to manual +1

    The good part is you do not have to touch the Remotes to change them, everything is controlled from the SU-800.

    So just set all your flashes to remote and don't worry about the camera menu. Once the Flashes are set to Remote and a channels are selected, the only thing you touch is the SU-800

  10. Debbie,

    I will attempt to do this without my gear in front of me (beach weekend, left the gear at home :smile:) . When I got my SU-800 last year, I was a bit confused too. Here's a plan. You will need the manuals for all of the equipment.

    You have three speedlights. Set them all in remote and put them in separate groups. Set them to channel 1. Refer to each manual to do this. Note: Once in remote, they are always on. If they turn off, the batteries need changing.
    A: SB800 (prime)
    B: SB800 (fill)
    C: SB600 (background or hair)

    Once you set the speedlights in remote, channel 1, in their respective groups, you don't have to fiddle with the settings.

    Now, set your studio up with your doll subject and put your camera on a tripod.

    Group A (prime) - Camera left 45 degrees from subject
    Group B (fill) - Camera right near tripod
    Group C (BG/hair) - your choice. My first time I lit up the BG.

    Set your camera to M mode, ss 1/125, f/8, ISO 200 (no Auto ISO), Auto WB. Commander mode should be turned off. I'm not sure about your bracketing question.

    Turn your SU-800 on. Adjust the settings for channel 1. Set the groups to the following settings
    Group A (prime) - TTL, 0.0 EV
    Group B (fill) - TTL, -1.0 EV
    Group C (BG/hair) - TTL, -2.5 EV

    Place the SU-800 on the hotshoe, focus and fire. All three should have fired, right :confused:  Play with these settings. You will find that TTL "should" properly expose your subject everytime. You can then change Group C to Manual Mode 1/64 power (see below). As I learned, the prime provides the most light, the fill reduces shadows/add shape and the bg/hair provides separation or highlights.

    Once you get the hang of TTL, set everything to manual, still Channel 1. Manual mode looks like an upside down W.
    Group A (prime) - M 1/1 power
    Group B (fill) - M 1/4 power
    Group C (BG/hair) - M 1/64 power

    To adjust the lighting here, you will need to either move the speedlight further away or closer as needed or change the manual power settings on the SU-800. This is where the L-358 light meter comes in handy.

    The cool thing about the SU-800 in a studio environment is no wires, no visible pre-flash and the ability to change your speedlight settings from your camera.

    I hope this helps. Good luck and let us know how it goes. :smile:
  11. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Thanks Isamu, Greg, and Gene so very much!!!
    One thing that I read in the SU-800 menu is that you can set the camera for TTL-BL and FP but the way I'm understanding it is that you can only do that in close-up mode. Gosh that doesn't seem to be right, is it?? That would come in handy while shooting outside. Thanks for all the great help!!Debbie
  12. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    :smile::confused: :confused: 
  13. Muonic


    Jun 14, 2006
    I not even sure you can do it in the close-up mode (though I could be wrong about that). In the commander flash mode, all you get is TTL, AA,M, -- , or repeating flash. If using TTL for fill, I just dial in some negative EV compensation. But most of the time, when using a remote flash, I put it in the manual mode and dial in whatever I want. Just like using strobes in a studio. That way, I get a consistent flash output, every time.

    Good luck, and have fun with it!
  14. WayneF


    Apr 3, 2006
    In the Commander menu, TTL is merely a three letter menu acronym. Apparently not space for 6 letters. Its TTL mode will always perform as TTL BL unless Spot metering is selected to prevent it. True of the internal flash TTL mode too, always BL unless Spot metering. There is no indicator indication of that, but that is how it works. Overall, it is a TTL BL system. The only way to get "pure" non-BL TTL only is on the single hot shoe flash TTL menu, or by selecting Spot metering.

    The close up flash units SB-R200 do have a TTL mode, like the SB-600/SB-800/SB-900 have it, but those externals have the one generic ttl mode for Commander, which is TTL BL if not Spot metering).

    Yes, Auto FP HSS also works with the commander.

    Neither of these need to be closeup mode. The flash may not say BL or PF then, but it is BL if not Spot metering, and is FP HSS if shutter speed is faster than sync speed.
  15. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    I am understanding everything you have both said. Thanks:smile: Something that I read in the SU-800 manual states-

    On page 96 ( Auto FP High-Speed Sync) Available with compatible cameras. You cannot set the Auto FP High-Speed sync mode on the SU-800 or SB-R200 directly, but must set it on the camera. ( Ok I tried this and it did not appear on the SU-800 screen like shown in the manual and I took both the camera and flash outside) High-Speed flash synchronization at your camera's highest shutter speed is now possible. In this mode, the Auto FP High-Speed Sync mode is automatically set when the shutter speed exceeds the camera's sync shutter speed. This is useful when you want to use a wider aperture to achieve shallow depth of field to blur the background.

    On page 110 The way I'm understanding the manual is that you have to be using a cord that is connected to the camera and flash for the SU-800 screen to actually say TTL-BL. So as you said Wayne, we are actual using TTL-BL even though niether the flash of the SU-800 says.

    Why FP didn't appear on the screen I don't understand but not having TTL-BL not appear I understand. I don't know, maybe they just work the the SB-R200.
  16. WayneF


    Apr 3, 2006
    Right, we set Auto FP in the camera menu. It is "effective", or actually working as HSS, only when the shutter speed is faster than maximum sync speed - otherwise it is still the regular flash mode until then, regardless of Auto FP menu.

    That picture on page 96, isnt that picture the SB-R200 LCD instead of the SU-800 LCD? When using the commander, it does not even show that FP on the SB-800 - because, the remove flash does not even know its mode until the commander tells it, as part of communication starting with the shutter button sequence. At best, it could only display a hundred milliseconds or two. And who is there to see it? :smile:

    For a close up flash, maybe we are there close to see it, but it does not know FP yet, or TTL yet, when we can look (if using a commander to control a remote flash). No communication yet.

    Right. One thing to remember is that HSS is merely high speed Sync, about shutter speed, for the aperture goal. It is the full opposite of high speed flash. The shutter may be faster, but HSS flash no longer has any motion stopping ability. It is a continuous light for the duration of the focal plane shutter travel time. It is the regular flash mode that is the high speed flash.

    Right, same as the SB-600/SB-800/SB-900, which only has the menu to choose TTL or TTL BL when in standalone hot shoe operation (connected to hot shoe, allows early communication).

    In commander/remote mode, the system is TTL BL, and it is always TTL BL unless Spot metering prevents it (no metered background to be balanced in Spot mode).

    FWIW, here is a page exploring that that BL subject with a SB-800 used with the Commander.

    I dont have the SU-800, but on other commanders, the FP mode does not appear on the Remote or the Commander. Surely because the remote does not even know if it is to use TTL or MAN power level flash mode until the shutter button starts the commander communication to tell it what to do. There is no communication until the process begins.

    Hot shoe flash does see it early via hot shoe, and displays it. But there is no communication with the Remote until the shutter button sequence starts, and the commander starts flashing commands to tell it these things.

    In the same way, Auto ISO works with a hot shoe flash (only), but the viewfinder does not show the elevated ISO value with flash. Because it does not know yet what ISO value it is, not until the preflash is metered, and the shutter is eminent. The resulting Exif on rear LCD does show the ISO result.
  17. Debbie H

    Debbie H

    Aug 23, 2007
    Gotcha!! Wayne If you came in the form of a book I would carry you around with me all of the time when I had a question about everything I don't understand. And yes I would be getting you out a lot!!:smile: Thanks so much for taking time explaining all this to me. Debbie:smile:
  18. ovidius


    Oct 25, 2008
    Cork, Ireland

    May I know why didn't you use the pop-up flash?? I am using it all the time and found it absolutely perfect.
  19. daveg


    Jul 14, 2008
    Hi Debbie,

    You might want to try MIKE HAGEN's book "The Nikon Creative Lighting System".

    It explains everything in slighty different terms with good illustrations. It covers the SB 600, 800 and 900 as well as the SU800 and the R1/R1C1 setups with practical examples.

    It is a good supplement to your user's manual.

  20. Muonic


    Jun 14, 2006

    Page 110 is in the section that only applies to cameras that are NOT compatible with the Nikon CLS system. Therefore, you have to use the SC-30 cord. Possibly, the menu is just different for the non-CLS cameras.

    Good info, Wayne.
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