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sb800 setting

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by mrdinh, May 18, 2005.

  1. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    just got it...what settings do you all use? its quite different than my sb-80dx..more options now

    help is appreciated...thanks
  2. Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  3. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    I am shamlessly bumping this up..

    I know there are mucho answers out there.

    I have not even a clue how to use the on camera flash. :<(((((
  4. Unless I am in a hurry I follow Thom Hogan's recommendation in his Ebook on the D2H. He puts his camera in Manual and uses the Shutter Speed and Aperature to control the background. He then uses the SB800 in TTL with the BL option off. If I am in a hurry I use Program mode with the SB800 in iTTL BL. If I am going to be shooting at faster shutter speeds I set the FP option to on. Following Thom's recommendations I also us Rear Sync on my D2H and and have set my slowest sync speed to 1/15 sec as that is the slowest I can still handhold the shot. If you set your focus on spot it automatically sets your SB800 flash at TTL. I recommend that you read Thom's book if you have the chance.
  5. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Those are all good tips. I try to keep it simple. Shoot manual. Set apeture for the DOF you want. Then set shutter to determine how much ambient light you want to capture.

    I would also add that the gels that come with the SB800 come in handy. Use them!

    I have 1 SB800 and 3 SB600's with softboxes for a portable studio.
  6. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    cwilt, why 1 sb800 and 3 sb600?...why not all sb800?
  7. heiko


    May 15, 2005
    I found this article on using the SB800 on a D70. However, perhaps some or most of it also goes with the D2H (haven't got one, so I cannot say).


    What I have found is that either Program (if I haven't got the time to set things up properly) or manual are the ways to go for best results.

    With aperture priority and iTTL BL you often get good exposure of the objects in the front, but the background can be rather dark.

    The 1/500 sync speed on the D70 works well with SB800 for daylight photography to reduce shadows on bright days.
  8. the flash makes the picture, the camera controls it

    or at least that's how i've come to think about it. Shutter speed isn't for anything other than determining whether you see the background or not, or controlling (adding or subtracting) motion blur leading up to the flash. Aperture is for depth of field, or helping to make the background disappear. By and large, the flash is such a powerful entity relative to everything else going on that what you really end up doing is adjusting everything else to use it best.

    In studio flash it is a bit different because you have lots of control options on the lights, and since it's slower shooting, you can use them.

    I find the SB800 in "automagic" mode is way better than any flash/camera combo I can remember. It's an incredible party or event shooter. But if I find myself thinking at all about things beyond capturing the moment in a snapshot, camera goes to manual so I can control both aperture and shutter speed. Pretty happy with what I'm getting from it. And it's excellent for macro work.
  9. mrdinh


    Mar 8, 2005
    North Dakota
    ednaz, automagic...is that ittl bl mode?
  10. cwilt


    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    A better question is why would you need all SB800's? The SB600's do the job just fine and cost less. It only takes 1 SB800 to run Nikon's Creative Lighting system. The only reason to upgrade the remotes from 600's to 800's is for SU-4 mode, and a little more power. For what I do, it wouldn't be worth it.
  11. automagic

    yes, automagic is ittlbl (ok, YOU pronounce it). Most flash unit/camera combos, until this one, were worse (my opinion) than a disposable camera with flash.
  12. ednaz,

    If the flash is set to auto, does the camera need to be auto too?

    I know this may be a dumb question but I don't use mine much because I like natural lighting but there are times I do need to use the flash.

  13. OK, here are some Nikon Flash examples

    I shot all day yesterday in freakin' awful heat. The studio was air conditioned, kind of. We did a lot of shooting in the stairwells, halls, and roof (for reasons you can see here) and I used the two Nikon flash units, one as master, one as remote. Both on TTL; made frequent adjustments to the EI for master or remote, basically I made sure that whichever was going to be my key light was brighter, regardless of whether it was the light on my camera or the other light. Camera to manual so that I could control both shutter speed and aperture.

    I was fortunate that the female model's boyfriend was a willing assistant, and held the second light for me. I was less fortunate in that I had one of the flash fall from a shelf in the stairwell before he volunteered to help, scattering batteries everywhere and breaking off the little flip-down light spreader. Flash still worked perfectly after I stopped cursing and put it back together, although I'm going to have to get another one of those little inserts.

    Lights on this one are: key light remote to the right 90 degrees, fill light on camera, master.


    Lights on this one are: key light on camera master, punch up light to right just shy of 90 degrees remote.


    Lights on this one are: key light remote above and to the left for full face with falloff in light down his body (this one took way too many takes to get right), fill light on camera master.


    You can see the shadows on this one, so I won't go into detail. That's one big problem with using the Nikon flashes for this kind of thing - if you're working at any distance at all, you can't use diffusers, and still don't have a lot of light to work with for good depth of field. Or at least that's my opinion. So you end up un-diffused, trying to work the shadows into the image.


    OK, this image is also "cross processed", but I used two flash, one low, one high, both diffused.

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