Nikon CLS

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by TheKO, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. TheKO

    TheKO

    461
    May 3, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    Well, now that I am the proud of owner of TWO SB-800 flash attachments - I guess I ought to learn how to use the Nikon Creative Ligting System (CLS). Manuals are a bit difficult - anyone got any books, web sites, etc. on how to use the CLS system?
     
  2. Hi Kelly,
    I poked around a bit and found some information on Dave Black's website. It's not overly comprehensive but gives some good illustrations of how he's used the system.

    Mostly, I just play around with my setup....trial and error. I get good results but am considering "upgrading" to true strobes.
     
  3. petert053

    petert053

    143
    Nov 19, 2005
    Austin, TX
    Magic Lantern Book

    Well, it's funny you mention it, but here's a link for a book that would answer your CLS questions. The problem is that it was supposed to have been released this month, but the link seems to say that its release date has slipped into next year. I guess you could ask about it at the local bookstore.
     
  4. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
  5. marc

    marc Guest

    although, many have been critical

    the DVD- the speed of light, with joe mcnally is very good

    you just need to watch all the parts, and probably more than once

    i am using 4 sb800's, they are awesome, the flexibility is wonderful and you have many options for

    amount of burst, exposure comp, and of course placement
    you can use the sb800, with and without diffuser, gels, bouncing
    it is very versatile, and will be even better when the new su800, is introduced

    you will be able to take the flash off the camera, and shoot to your hearts content.

    i am using bogan clamps for the sb800, they are very versatile, mcnally uses them on the dvd.

    i think the dvd is a good place to start.
     
  6. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    For me, the best approach was to learn the basic settings from the manual, and then practice, practice, practice. Once the basics were learned I starting pushing my limits and eventually the limits of the SB800/600's.

    The DVD is interesting and may help in the early stages. I purchased it later in the learning cycle and did not gain much new information. Anyone else ever notice how often his SB800's indicated under exposure?
     
  7. TheKO

    TheKO

    461
    May 3, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    Thanx for the info

    Actually, I do have the DVD - it is one of the reasons why I asked for more than one SB-800. You should see the look on their face when they ask me what to get for Xmas and I say another SB-800.

    I have been playing with the SB-800's and I think I have it down as to how to use one as a master and the other as a remote. Very flexible portable lighting system.

    However, I cannot get the D70 to fire them off in commander mode - with certainity. I get a shot about every third or fourth time I try, sometimes the flash fires and no exposure.

    I figure with four SB-800's I could set up most shots, using one as the master.

    It does look like there is not very much info on how to use the flash with the camera other then look back and forth between the manuals 10,000 times.
     
  8. general

    general

    Apr 30, 2005
    Nebraska
    Nikon Mall

    Somewhere (dpreview, I think) I saw a reference to a new document relative to CLS on NIkon Mall but now I can't find it and I don't see it on Nikon Mall. Anyone have a clue as what I am talking about or did I dream it.
     
  9. marc

    marc Guest

    do not have d70, but it should work the same as sb800 mounted on camera

    remember the whole thing works thru preflashes, if you are not in line of sight you can turn the heads to achieve.

    should work everytime, check batteries.
     
  10. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    My biggest problem with CLS is that it seems to take quite a bit of trial and error to get the exposure right, which to me takes away some of the benefit of using CLS over full manual. I think the problem is that the camera meter has to assume that all flashes are at the same distance from the subject and as a result the decisions it makes based on the pre-flash are not always correct.

    If I'm actually going to set up portrait style lighting using lightstands and modifiers I think I actually prefer to use manual mode and a flash meter; especially since the amount of pre-flash activity required for full-on iTTL CLS is substantial enough to cause blinking in some people (yes I know about FV lock but it's not always practical).
     
  11. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Have you tried using FV lock while spot metering a gray card? Kill two birds with one pre-flash.
     
  12. According to Amazon, it won't be released until next May.
     
  13. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Didn't Thom Hogan supposedly get things cleared away in the legal dept so that he can start working on a new speedlight guide? Not sure how long it will take him to release it, though.
     
  14. JeffKohn

    JeffKohn

    Apr 21, 2005
    Houston, TX
    Haven't tried spot-metering a gray card, the WhiBal cards are not specified to be 18% gray (or 12% gray, for that matter). I'll try spot metering but I think there's still going to be a problem when the distance varies between the remote flash(es) and the camera. My understanding of the way it works is that the master tells the remote to fire a pre-flash, which the camera meters and then does the math to determine what power level the flash should fire at. Distance to subject is a pretty critical variable in that math, and if the camera doesn't know the correct distance it's going to be difficult to get it right.
     
  15. general

    general

    Apr 30, 2005
    Nebraska
    Finally found it

    I finally found the reference to the Nikon document I mentioned earlier in this thread. It is http://www.nikonmall.com/product.asp?sku=2669673&deptcatid=110&searchcat=Educational+Products>&searchcatid=4. It is only $7.95 plus shipping. Also, I have just found a treasure trove of SB-800 information at www.softstonegroup.com/sb-800.html. Well worth your time. There are links to Nikon documents plus lots of others.
     
  16. TheKO

    TheKO

    461
    May 3, 2005
    Tampa, FL
    Don ggod stuff

    Thanx for the link. At $8.00 for the book, how can you go wrong - so I ordered it.
     
  17. MontyDog

    MontyDog

    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
     
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