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SB-800 Basics help please

Discussion in 'General Technical Discussion' started by helmet155, Dec 19, 2005.

  1. D70, SB-800 setup using i-TTL or i-TTL/BL

    Why, when in aperture mode does my shutter speed stay at 1/60th instead of a higher speed regardless of aperture setting?

    Why, when in shutter priority mode does the aperture stay at f2.8 regardless of shutter speed?

    Why, when in manual mode and setting the aperture and shutter speed to what I want are the results inconsistent?

    I just got this SB800 and it's nice, but a lot more involved than my cheapo flash I had used before...

    On the D70, when setting the flash compensation, do I do it on the camera or on the sb800 speedlight - since the D70 has a built in speedlight?

    Thank you in advance,

  2. petert053


    Nov 19, 2005
    Austin, TX
    I know the answer to this one...

    The answer is "It doesn't matter".

    I read that in Thom Hogan's D70 guide. I think he said that if you have the SB-800 or 600 on the D70, you could use the compensation on either the body or the flash itself with the same results. He recommended that you choose whichever you're likely to remember and stick with that (I think he meant that if you were to set it on the flash and forget the next day, you'd be wondering what your shots looked bright or dark, but if you set it on the body, you'd always have the indicator in the viewfinder and on the LCD reminding you). In the case of the body setting, the comp-value is transmitted to the flash prior to the shot. If you set it on the flash, it will make the correct adjustment...

    This part, I'm not sure of, but you could easily test this: if you set the body flash-comp, I think that will be saved in the EXIF data with the image. If you set it on the flash, I'm not sure that's communicated back to the body and therefore might not be recorded in the EXIF data. Like I said, you could test that really easy. Also, I don't think the flash-comp icon is engaged if you are using the on-flash comp (another good reason to set it on the body).

    Hope that helped... not sure about your other questions, but I'll see if I pull some more info from the web. Oh, if you're interested in the ebook I mentioned, follow this link. It's very detailed.
  3. marc

    marc Guest

    never used d70, but have used sb800

    check settings in camera for flash aperture, camera can use what you set.

    on d2x cmara comes with 1/60 as auto shutter f4 is usual aperture

    check your wb setting was it on flash

    how far away was your subject, you need to pay attention to shooting distance.

    try putting camera in manual with

    1/30 f4 and take a photo of something about 10 feet away

    is sb800 in bttl mode or something else

    was ev on flash accidently set

    you need to check the settings

    hope this helped

    happy new year
  4. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Hello Brett,

    It took me some time to get consistent results with SB800 and D70, simply because there are quite many options and factors to consider (and adjust).

    The 1/60th shutter speed is set in the D70 Custom menu (I haven't got the camera now, but check for Flash ...). You can change it to a lower value, if you like. The main question is whether or not you use the flash to add some light, or if it's the main source. If the latter is the case, you could use a lower setting to catch some ambient light. Of course, it matters what you are shooting.

    I personally use the SB800 in two ways: either D70 on Manual (this is my favorite setting), and letting the SB800 do its magic on TTL (sometimes B-TTL). This gives me complete control of shutter speed and aperture, while the SB800 will give me the light needed for the exposure (you can adjust flash compensation to fine tune).

    The second way is using A mode and either TTL or B-TTL, depending on the circumstances. B-TTL tries to expose the entire frame more evenly (ergo "Balanced"). This certainly doesn't work when you have a dark background that the flash cannot light up. But indoors with not too dark walls it works OK. I would use TTL for outdoor night shooting, perhaps dialing in some flash compensation.

    The problem with auto modes (A or S or P or whatever) AND TTL or B-TTL is that the flash pretty much controls the exposure, and normal exposure compensation (+/- EV) won't work (as far as I remember and understand).

    For some reading, check out the links below:




    There's a lot more reading on the SB-800 and the D70. Thom Hogan gives some recommendations and explanations in his D70 ebook.

    It's well worth experimenting with the SB-800. Make sure you use different situations to see which setting works best for it. Check also the bounce options you got with the SB-800, i.e. bouncing the light from the ceiling or wall, or some add-ons.

    Have fun!
  5. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    Second try - more specific

    See previous postings - is set in the Custom menu.

    Don't know, would have to look it up. Could be because you had a lot of dark background so the flash output wouldn't be enough to light the entire frame. You can check it indoors with white walls. If it still stays at 2.8, then the flash takes this value as default and adjusts the output - but this is purely my speculation. I don't use shutter priority with the SB-800.

    The TTL and particularly B-TTL mode have the flash handle the exposure through the flash output. In B-TTL the flash tries to light up the entire frame, both subject and background, while not blowing the main subject (or what it thinks is the subject). In other words, these two modes have the flash work out the light output automatically, so it changes whenever you move the camera or when the subject / background changes.

    See the answer in a previous post above. You can use each of it, but watch out if they add to each other (don't remember for sure).

    Hope it helps a little.
  6. You have to check your custom menu to change your default shutter speed. I find it easier to use Manual mode because then I can set my shutter speed low to pick up more ambient light and less to make my flash the key light. As long as you have your flash set on TTL, you'll be okay. Of course if your shutter speed is set too low you may get some blurring, but you may want it. You are in control. Once you get this down, check out the commander/master/slave setup for remote use, triggering the SB800 with the pop-up flash. Just study your manual a little every day and practice. It's not the most user friendly set up but it is powerful in what it can do. Hang in there.

    Good luck.
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