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SB-900 vs. SU-800

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by zapufast, Jul 25, 2008.

  1. I read this in the owners manual:

    The “Commander function” enables the SB-900 to trigger remote flash units
    without firing itself. To activate the “Commander function,” set the SB-900 as
    the master flash unit and set its flash mode to “Flash canceled."

    Does this mean that it basically does the same thing as the SU-800?

    The reason I bought the SU-800 is because of people blinking when they see the pre-flashes.

    Will the SB-900 command remotely via IR?
  2. it still uses white light to send all the signals but the light it emits during exposure is generally negligible. it is the same concept as using an SB-800 for master. I observed when using the D200 that using the pop-up commander resulted in a lot of blinks but not with the SB-800 even though it is white light.

    Also testing the SB-900, I get the impression that there is no noticeable unwanted light when the main flash is canceled. I only took a few shots to play around, soon there should be more info available using shiny test subjects to check for it. I really have not done any side by side comparisons and I have never used the SU-800.
  3. With the SB-800 as commander, my son (which blinks very very easily) would always blink with the SB-800, but not the SU-800.

    If the SB-900 was sending IR signals to the remotes as the SU-800 does, then it would be worth getting.

    So to get this clear, it is still sending pre-flashes to relay information to the remotes?
  4. with the main flash canceled, the white light can be seen lighting up so the right product for you would still be the SU-800. where you hoping you could have a real flash combined with an IR sender?
  5. Yes! I hoping to sell the SU-800 and get the SB-900... i guess that isn't going to happen.
  6. RichNY

    RichNY Guest

    So this leaves the solution of having an SU-800 when you don't need on camera flash and using the SB-900 on camera only when you are going to be using it as a flash, right?
  7. the crux is how do you get on camera flash with IR pre-flashes.
  8. Or an SC-29 to move the SB800/900 off camera and still use it as commander. But the SU-800 is better for many reasons. Too bad that SB-900 doesn't have IR, but I suppose that would just make it a really pricey SU-800.
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