SB600 Limitations - Question

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I have been watching David Hobby's DVD set...Lighting In Layers.

David eschews TTL and controls his flashes in manual mode while off camera. He'll start with a fill light and set it at 1/4 power from 15 feet away and then take a look at the results.

Then he might move to a key light at 1/4 power from 4 feet away.

Rim light at 1/64 power.

Etc. etc.

I've been messing around with my SB600 and it doesn't seem that I can control it in this fashion when it is off camera.

Is this correct? Am I missing something?

If that is the case, would the SB700 be more flexible in this regard?

And finally, if I do move to this type of lighting setup/process, will there be a use for my SB600 other than on camera? I guess it will play with other flashes in a TTL setup too.

Thanks!
 
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Wild, Wonderful, West Virginia
I've been messing around with my SB600 and it doesn't seem that I can control it in this fashion when it is off camera.

Is this correct? Am I missing something?

SB-600 Manual

Page 34

You can set the flash power manually via the SB-600 interface and/or depending on your camera body you can set flash power through its menus.

And finally, if I do move to this type of lighting setup/process, will there be a use for my SB600 other than on camera?

The SB-600 works great off-camera.
 
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I used a pair of SB-600 speedlights off camera in manual mode with my D700 for almost a year with great success. Depending on the subject, I used either my RF triggers (hot shoe mounted) or the Commander mode in the D700.

If I used the RF triggers, I set the output as Twistedlogic describes. The illumination was achieved by adjusting the output of the speedlights, as well as moving them as required.

If I used the Commander mode, I set the SB-600s to Remote mode (page 60 in the manual), with one on Group A and the other on Group B. The output of pop-up flash on the D700 was set to "---" so it did not contribute to the overall lighting, and I adjusted the output of each speedlight from the D700.

I reprogrammed the AE/AF Lock button on the D700 to go to the top item of the "My Menu" list, which was the e3 menu (flash control). This made it easy to change the output of each group without having to navigate through the menu.
 
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Alright. So I guess the only difference is that I have to adjust output in camera and not at the flash. That's not a big deal.

So...set the flash into manual mode on the D700 and adjust it's output there as well. As long as it is in it's commander/wireless mode it will fire?

I will experiment some more and will undoubtedly have more questions. Thanks!
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2009
Messages
7,351
Location
Darmstadt, Germany
Real Name
Mike
Alright. So I guess the only difference is that I have to adjust output in camera and not at the flash. That's not a big deal.

So...set the flash into manual mode on the D700 and adjust it's output there as well. As long as it is in it's commander/wireless mode it will fire?

I will experiment some more and will undoubtedly have more questions. Thanks!
You didn't say how you were triggering the speedlights, but both methods will work. If you are relying on the D700 Commander mode to control the two speedlights, you set speedlights to remote mode and make sure the IR port on the side of the body is in the line of sight for the D700 pop-up flash. If you are in a closed room with plenty of reflective surfaces, it might not matter.

The speedlight output in this mode is set through the camera. This method has never failed to work for me; however I use a flash meter to set the output of each speedlight, as I don't trust the camera's LCD display and my eyes to be accurate. Others have enough experience in strobist setups to get it right after a few practice shots.
 
Joined
Nov 13, 2009
Messages
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Location
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You didn't say how you were triggering the speedlights, but both methods will work. If you are relying on the D700 Commander mode to control the two speedlights, you set speedlights to remote mode and make sure the IR port on the side of the body is in the line of sight for the D700 pop-up flash. If you are in a closed room with plenty of reflective surfaces, it might not matter.

The speedlight output in this mode is set through the camera. This method has never failed to work for me; however I use a flash meter to set the output of each speedlight, as I don't trust the camera's LCD display and my eyes to be accurate. Others have enough experience in strobist setups to get it right after a few practice shots.

Yes, I should have said that. The only method I currently have to trigger the lights is with the built in pop up flash on the D700.

I will likely purchase a second flash - thinking the SB700 so that I can do some two light set ups. This is fun stuff!

Thanks
 

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