su-800 question

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Don't know pocket wizards, but the SU-800 allows control of up to three groups of flashes (only the first two groups iTTL, the third manual) and there can be virtually unlimited flashes in each group. And balance between the groups can be set from the SU-800 itself as simply as pushing a button.
 
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Thanks Michael, I do appreciate the info since I am considering the SU-800. can you adjust the power of the indiviual flashes via the su-800?

Stephanie
 
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Yes you can, so long as they're in the same group. What I mean by that is you can have three groups of flashes firing at three different output levels, but are not limited to only three flashes. And the SU control panel is where you set it. (Gee, I used to speak english so well...) That make sense?
 
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here is a question that is hopefully still on topic:

What advantage does the Pocket Wizard carry over the SU-800?
Do they have more range? Do they not require a direct line of sight?
Why would one choose pocket wizards over SU-800 if all they had were SB-800s and 600s?

Blake
 
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The PWs have much greater range (around 1600 feet) and do not require line of sight. If those things are important to you, then PWs are the way to go. Otherwise, the much greater control afforded by the SU800 is a huge advantage (and way cheaper with multiple flash units also).
 
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Disclaimer: I am a total newbie at this..

Q: How does one use a flash meter with the SU-800 and SB-800 flashes? It seems like the meter is supposed to trigger the flash (one at a time and all together) to determine if their level needs adjustment compared to the light level dialed into the meter and the camera (i.e. the desired parameters). Does that triggering occur via a PC cord? Would you then move the cord to each flash in turn, to the SU-800 (if it has a PC terminal?)...

I am thoroughly confused and would appreciate any help. :confused:
 
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Disclaimer: I am a total newbie at this..

Q: How does one use a flash meter with the SU-800 and SB-800 flashes? It seems like the meter is supposed to trigger the flash (one at a time and all together) to determine if their level needs adjustment compared to the light level dialed into the meter and the camera (i.e. the desired parameters). Does that triggering occur via a PC cord? Would you then move the cord to each flash in turn, to the SU-800 (if it has a PC terminal?)...

I am thoroughly confused and would appreciate any help. :confused:
You don't need to use a meter - that's the point really. Triggering occurs via infrared beams. No wires or cords are necessary, or even possible. You could use a meter if you wanted to fire all the SB800s in manual mode.
 
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The SU-800 doesn't even have a PC terminal. And if you're gonna use cords, I see no reason to use an SU-800.
That's a great point, really. Thanks! (I told you I was a newbie! :redface:)

You don't need to use a meter - that's the point really. Triggering occurs via infrared beams. No wires or cords are necessary, or even possible. You could use a meter if you wanted to fire all the SB800s in manual mode.
Ok. I get the CLS thing without a meter, using infrared triggering. But how does a meter sync up with the SB800s in manual mode? In other words, how does a meter know to measure the light during the very brief burst of the flash, as opposed to the ambient light? Is there a communication between the flashes and the meter? I would imagine that once the flashes are dialed in manually (on the SU-800, right?), the SU-800 would trigger them all as the shot is taken. Thanks again for your kind assistance.
 
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You just set the meter to flash mode, activate its sensor and hold it in front of the subject, facing the camera. Most meters then give you a period of 30 seconds or so to fire the strobes. You can do that by taking a picture, or by firing the flashes manually from the little button on the back of the SU800.
 
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Great. Thanks, John!

I think I get it. But, don't both methods of firing the strobes within 30 seconds require to walk back to the camera, while leaving the meter with the subject? How is that done remotely/wirelessly? (Not only am I a newbie at this and don't own a meter yet, I am also lazy, LOL!)
 
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Not necessarily. I have the camera with me in front of the model, trigger the flashes and hold the meter at the same time. I'm usually doing that with studio strobes though.
 
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Clever! Yes, I think that should work with flashes and the SU-800 too, as no line of sight is needed for the flashes to trigger. Thank you very much, John!
Aha! *Now* I see what you're asking! If you're having the SB-800's in manual mode and merely using the SU-800 as a trigger, then what you're asking finally makes sense. There are far less expensive ways to accomplish it, but yes, it' should work that way.
 
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Actually, I think you do need line of sight with the SU800 because it is IR not radio. That's a clear advantage of Pocket Wizards.
 
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John,

Sorry, wrong term. By line of sight I really meant aiming at the sensor (eye) of the SB-800, which is what you need to do without the SU-800, using an SB-800 on camera instead. It looks like the IR beam of the SU-800 is much less finicky: does it bounces around more?

Anyway, that is a big plus (along with no-preflashes, and no on-camera flash) of the SU-800 vs. using an SB-800 on the camera, from what Uncle Frank tells me.

You are right and I stand corrected about IR vs. radio and the Pocket Wizards. Again, thanks for your help (and Michael too!). :smile:
 
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