SU-800 Question

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by taat2d, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    Does the SU-800 work with the SB600 and 900? Does the IR window have to be in sight of the SU-800 like it does if I use the camera in commander mode?
     
  2. Yes and Yes, however the range is pretty good for line of site and many people have used the SU800 to trigger Nikon flashes when there have been obstructions blocking line of site too.

    AM
     
  3. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    Ok so if I was to go with triggers I'm guessing I'd be better off then? I was looking at the AlienBees. Anyone have experience with these?
     
  4. The only other trigger I know anything about, and not from using them, are pocket wizards which do have a better range over the Nikon CLS. What is it you are trying to accomplish?
     
  5. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    I'm shooting my first wedding in October with a photographer friend of mine. There's some specific shots he wants me to get, and it's going to involve 1 flash off camera. I'm just afraid of the flash not firing because the IR window being blocked.

    For instance, he wants a shot on the alter with the flash set behind the bride and groom. How will the flash trigger if it's behind the couple?
     
  6. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    For a shot like that, CLS may be unreliable. I would definitely use PWs for such critical work. The new AB triggers may work, although I have no experience with them. I do use PWs though, and they WILL work. Obviously, you will be in manual mode, so you would have to figure out the correct exposure ahead of time. The new kid on the block is the Radiopopper, which might give you the best of both worlds.
     
  7. ibcj

    ibcj

    732
    Dec 19, 2006
    New York
    For a wedding, I'd want to be absolutely sure that the flash would fire. Go for the pocket wizards.
     
  8. Just as an example, here's a shot I took of an alcove. The remote sb800 was on the floor behind the bar.

    94376208.gif

    Indoors, the remote's sensor window doesn't have to be aimed directly at the commander, since the photons carrying the signals will scatter off walls and ceilings. The advantage of using an su800 for your setup is that you'll still be using CLS/AWL, and will be able to adjust the power of your remotes, either in ttl or manual mode, from the position of your camera. Pocket Wizards will trigger remotes reliably and from great distances, but will not control their output.

    In your alter shot, I'm presuming you'll be using at least 2 remotes... one to backlight the subjects and the other illuminate them from the front (hopefully off to the side). For the most reliable triggering, I'd put the backlight remote in su-4 (dumb slave) mode, and let the light pulse from the front remote to trigger it. Jmho.
     
  9. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    Frank for this shot you used the SU800 to trigger the rear flash? I just want to make sure I'm on the same page here.
    Or am I reading this wrong and you're saying I DO NOT need the SU800?
    As for PW's there's NO chance I'm spending that kind of money right now for something that's going to be used VERY sparringly.
     
  10. Actually, for this shot I used my d200's popup flash to trigger the sb800. It works just as well as an su800 for architecture. But it can be a problem if people are involved, as the visible light command signals can annoy the subjects or even make them blink. FV lock is a good workaround.
     
  11. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    Ok so would it be SAFER and more practical to use a trigger? I was looking at the radio poppers like someone suggested since they will work with TTL and you can change the settings from the camera.

    I REALLY don't wanna mess this up. This is my first "job" working with my friend, and I DON'T want to ruin the brides pictures. That's why I'm posting this here to get advice from the pros. :biggrin:
     
  12. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Sounds like he's given you the most difficult shots . . . The RP's are about the same price as the PW's and look more of a hassle to use in practice. Frank's example of using a rear flash was nice, but there was a lot of glass to reflect the triggering signal. I assume you won't have that luxury in a church setting. SU-4 mode is a good idea though, as long as you have a flash far enough to one side to reliably trigger it.
     
  13. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    My main concern is trying to trigger the flash behind the bride and groom on the alter after the ceremony is over. My other option for triggers is the Alien Bee's. They're alot cheaper and I understand I lose the TTL capabilities that I'd have using the SU-800 or the RP's. Not sure which way to go as I really don't HAVE nor do I wanna spend the money on the PW's.
     
  14. Apollux

    Apollux Guest

    Your problem would be A LOT easier to solve if you go to the church beforehand and do a test.

    I have done similarly difficult shots and I can tell you that SU-4 mode is way more reliable than CLS, but none is perfect. On CLS mode you might not get enough bouncing to transmit all the data between the camera and the flashes, but on SU-4 the need of data transfer is greatly reduced.

    Then there is yet another problem: When on SU-4 mode, it is no longer your flash, but everybody's flash. On a wedding it is likely to be more than a couple of compacts and SLR using flashes, and the SU-4 sensor been as sensible as it is, the flash with fire with every one of those cameras... that could cause overheating and eat-up your batteries.
     
  15. Like Frank said the pop up flash, SB-800 set to Master and SU-800 will all work. Inside, as long as there are reflective walls or ceiling, it's surprising how well they work. The eye must point toward the camera and sometimes you must have a direct line of sight for it to work.

    It's not a perfect system but if you're patient and practice it's a fairly decent system. PW's will work more consistently, but they are expensive and right now I have other items on my wish list.

    This photo was taken this week at a clothing store. The idea was to light the pillars. At first I placed the flash so it wasn't seen and it didn't work. I move it to a better location and had both working with every shutter release.

    2794839056_dfe1fb3fc3_o.png
     
  16. Here's another example

    2794917248_e6ed2db3a5_o.png