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Need some opinions from fellow strobists

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by pointa-b-c, Jul 13, 2007.

  1. pointa-b-c


    Mar 21, 2007
    Los Angeles
    I was thinking of purchasing a SU800 to IR remote trigger my SB800 and SB600. Now I read about instead of using a SU800, you can also use another SB800 as master, attached to the hotshoe, with it powered down to -3.0 to avoid direct flash from it.

    Question is, SU800's range will be an advantage over SB800's? Cause for an extra of $60-$70, I did rather get another SB800. Thanks in advance for any opinion.
  2. The SU800 will do several things for you. First of all it will eliminate the pre-flash from the camera position and secondly it will trigger flashes that are not in direct line of sight via a bounce from the walls, ceilings, etc. You will still get some preflash from your off camera flashes but this is rarely a problem for your subject. In addition, the SU800 is lighter and you don't need a bracket to eliminate red eye that is caused by on camera flash. The SU800 was one of the best purchases I have made relative to speedlight photography.

    My latest use of the SU800 and four speedlights can be seen here.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017

  3. Why spend the extra money for an sb800 and carry the extra weight on your camera if you're going to power it down so it doesn't contribute to the exposure?
  4. pointa-b-c


    Mar 21, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Thanks Gordon, saw your portraits. I think I might end up spending more money on softbox and Octobox. :biggrin:
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  5. pointa-b-c


    Mar 21, 2007
    Los Angeles
    With an extra SB800, I can have 3 flashes instead of 2, which I can occasionally use command mode on my D200 or with a SC cord. Never mind then, I think rather with saving a little, I should go get a SU800 and a SB600. Thanks, uncle Frank. :smile:
  6. Cope


    Apr 5, 2007
    Houston, Texas

    There is no law against owning 3-SB-800s along with an SU-800. A guy over at Nikonians owns a dozen SB-800 plus at least 1 SU-800.
  7. photoshooter

    photoshooter Guest

    Agree, buy as many sb800,s as you want.

    WE have 6 sb800s, 2 su800, and pocket wizards.

    The strobes+su800, give great flexibility

    You can rubber band 2 sb800,s together, you can tape 3 together.

    Think of how much light this gives, and the ease of use.
    Put them on a stand and shoot thru an umbrella, softbox etc.

    The possibilities are only limited by your imagination and experience.
    Totally portable, no cords.
    You can use the little stands they come with, and place them anywhere.

    Buy the su800 and the sb800.
  8. pointa-b-c


    Mar 21, 2007
    Los Angeles
    Thanks everyone for your opinions, I am just contemplating, and being a smart shopper wanabe, I want to spend the least amount of money and get what's best. So I will get a SU800 and some SB600s, cause they are cheaper than SB800s (I already own one), minus a little lower flash output that is.
  9. BillRogers

    BillRogers Guest

    It is helpful to have an on-camera SB-800

    When using an on-camera SB-800 to control a remote SB-800 or SB-600, I often set the on-camera SB-800 to contribute a small amount of light to the photo. Obviously, this is impossible when using an SU-800 on the camera.

    For example, assume that I'm using a remote SB-800 on a lightstand, firing into a small softbox or umbrella. I'm taking a photo of a small group, let's say five people. The remote flash is my main light, and is set high and to my left at about a 45 degree angle.

    As you know, if someone in the group moves forward unexpectedly, he or she can cast a shadow on the next person. Or, a tall person can cast a shadow on a short person.

    Using the on-camera SB-800 to contribute a small amount of light will help fill shadows. Also, the on-camera flash does a good job of reinforcing catchlights in the subjects' eyes.

    I understand that it would be better to use two stand-mounted remote strobes - but when working alone, particularly when rushed and/or in a crowded room, this is often impractical.

    Also, in my experience, the SB-800 also will trigger a remote strobe when the line of sight path is interrupted or imperfect. I've never used an SU-800 so I don't know if it has more range than the SB-800.

    Something to consider before you buy the SU-800.
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