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SB800 and Softlitter

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by lr1811, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. Last night I purchased a second SB-800 and Photek PHSL60 Umbrella - Softlighter II - 60"

    I now have 2 SB-800s, the softlighter, and a 32" umbrella.

    Does anyone here use a similar setup? If so, I'd love to see some photos of the setup and the results and really, any general suggestions.

  2. Hey Brian,
    There are several people using this set-up with nice results. I would suggest buying a SU-800 if you have anyone that blinks at flashes. Until I got my SU-800, I didn't have a single picture of my youngest boy with his eyes open.
    Anyway, I'm new to this also, but here are a few photos.


    View attachment 86949

    View attachment 86950

    View attachment 86951

    Hope this helps.
    Have fun.

  3. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    I just got a Softlighter myself. I only have the one SB-800. Yesterday was really the first time I've had the chance to use it. I haven't gotten those photos uploaded yet though.

    One way to avoid your subjects blinking without the Su-800 is to use the FV lock function for your EV lock button. That way you can separate the pre-flashes from the exposure.
  4. bob swanson

    bob swanson Guest

    :cool:  Just a quick comment. I have 4 SB-800's just for on camera bracket use. The good news on the umbrellas is that they can be used on regular studio lights when you get them. If you can consider the limitations that the small strobes give you (high ISO, limited depth of field, etc) they are a good cattle prod to get mono lights and other studio classified lights. BS:cool: 
  5. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    Here's an image taken with a single SB-800 with a 60" Softlighter, and no reflector.

    I think it's pretty good for such a simple setup.

    NIKON D70s    ---    50mm    f/4.5    1/40s   
  6. I use a three flash setup triggered by an SU800 commander. One SB800 flash is inside a 50" softbox and this is used as my main or key light. The second SB800 is used with an umbrella and is my fill light. The third flash is used as a hair light.

    Here is one of the images that I took last week:

    NIKON D2H    ---    45mm    f/5.0    1/60s    ISO 200
  7. thanks

    We have very similar gear Tim! On your second photo, is that the softlighter on the left?

    Not to hijack my own thread, but I need to figure out the differnce between the SB-800 and SU-800.

    Nice results BTW!
  8. FV function?

    Does that mean it does not pre flash?

    Sorry... I just want to understand and can't until I ask!
  9. The SU800 is not a flash but rather a commander that uses infrared to control the SB800/SB600 flashes. This way you do not have a flash on camera. There is no pre-flash needed to transmit setup data as it is done invisibly with IR.
  10. ?

    Do you mean in the long run the SB-800s are only a quick fix?

    Maybe I am misunderstaning you. I have talked to many pros who seem to use only SB800s now.
  11. !

  12. nice!

    Nice! You wouldn't happen to have a photo of that setup would you???
  13. thank you

    Thanks... very easy to understand. Is there an alternative to that? I mean, maybe something cheaper that will not sacrifice qualitity though?
  14. I don't but it is pretty simple, softbox to my left and close to the subject. Umbrella to the right and set so as to furnish less light than the main. My hair light is on a boom and is slightly behind and above the subject pointed down. I use a cardboard snoot on this flash and it is set on manual at 1/64th power.
  15. Brent M

    Brent M

    Aug 13, 2006
    Ask away!

    In my method the pre-flash all happens. It's just that I push the button to make the pre-flashes go first. Wait a second until all the blinking goes away, and then push the shutter button. This works fine in a studio-style situation where people aren't going to be moving around.

    I don't have an SU-800, but my understanding is that it is a module you place in your camera hotshoe that communicates with your remote flashes in the same manner as your on-camera flash or SB-800 would. One difference being that the SU-800 uses IR light, so that it is invisible.

    It also allows you to make more adjustments to remote flashes than an on-camera flash would.
  16. The simple answer is no. The SU800 works with the Nikon CLS system and is all part of a whole. There are less expensive ways to trigger the flash but not to set the levels remotely and to have the flashes shut off with TTL metering.
  17. thanks

    Thanks Brent, I think you, Gordon, and I were all typing at the same time.

    He replied as well,
    Originally Posted by greyflash
    The SU800 is not a flash but rather a commander that uses infrared to control the SB800/SB600 flashes. This way you do not have a flash on camera. There is no pre-flash needed to transmit setup data as it is done invisibly with IR.
  18. ok

    Ok, then off to B&H I go... again.

    Can I tell my wife you made me spend the money?!

  19. $$$

    $249 Btw
  20. Gr8Tr1x

    Gr8Tr1x Guest

    I use a Softliter and SB600 in conjunction with a 32" umbrella and another sb600. I use the sb800 as a ocmmander. It seems to work out really nicely for me.
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