Using multiple SB 800 as "portable studio"

Discussion in 'Studio Equipment and Lighting' started by twig, May 25, 2005.

  1. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    Hello,
    Looking for any advice or links to guides for using multiple SB-800's. I have read some stuff by Dave Black (which is great)
    http://www.daveblackphotography.com/workshop/0408.htm

    And I am jsut looking for any more info on techniques, etc. before I splurge on a few more SB-800's and start practicing. Mostly I am looking for a quick, light setup for shooting portraits (animals mostly) in the park
     
  2. rsimms

    rsimms

    89
    Apr 30, 2005
    Redondo Beach, CA
    I use CLS exclusively when shooting on location, I carry one SB800 and several SB600s (the total number depends on how much light i need but I own 9). I shoot mostly automobiles for product brochures and advertisements so I can't offer much help for shooting animals (never really tried it), but I'll be happy to try and answer any setup questions you may have.
     
  3. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I might be able to help as well with specific questions. Currently I use 1 SB800 and 3 SB600's that I use in a studio setting with softboxes.
     
  4. rsimms

    rsimms

    89
    Apr 30, 2005
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Hi Charles,
    What soft boxes are you using for you 600s? I've been using the x-small photoflex silverdomes, but I'm looking for a little larger that still fits fhe speedlight.
     
  5. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    Thanks for replying guys, and sorry to leave the question so open ended.
    I have 3 more SB 800's on the way, (so I will have 4 total), and am just looking for set-up and ancillary equipment ides, general techniques, etc.
    I ordered the Nikon flahs dvd where Joe McNally uses a bunch of SB800's (I look forward to watching that, though I have heard dubious reportso n how great it is/isn't)


    Anyway, one of the SB-800's i going to live on my d2h as master, I think I am going to try Gary Fong's lightspehere diffusor, and use it in my set-ups as a fill.

    Then I was thinking of getting two bogen light stands, perhaps the "stacker" version that folds flat for packing, and three Justin Clamps.

    In general I am thining for situation where I have nowhere to clip or hide the SB800's in the frame, I will use a light stand to either side, one with a flash as key, the other side above and behind my subject as a hair light, with the final SB800 avilable as a backdrop light or for extra highlights on my subject.

    Where do you guys find colored gels for the nikon speedlights? I assume you do not buy Nikons filter pack (it;s like $20 for 20 assorted gels), or perhaps you do?

    I know the proof is going to be in practicing, jsut looking for any tips, pointers, thing I am missing, etc. before I shell out for the stands and clamps.

    BTW, I considered saving money by getting SB-600's for the slaves, but I liked the modeling lights on the SB-800's - did the SB600 have this feature and I missed it?
     
  6. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    I use Photoflex in small, medium, and large with white interior like this.

    With this Chimera speed ring

    This shoe adapter

    And a swivel mount for adjustment which slips on top of the light stands.

    The large softbox is used off camera with SC-29 cord for the SB800 as master and fill.

    The medium with SB600 as main.

    The small with grid and SB600 as hair/kicker.

    The other SB600 is used for background light.

    That covers my current setup. I will do my best to answer any questions about it.

    Charles
     
  7. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    The SB600's do have modeling lights. They can be triggered individually by the SB800 or all at once from D2x by pressing the DOF preview button.


    Charles
     
  8. Steve S

    Steve S

    Feb 1, 2005
    SE Florida
    Thanks Charles, would you post a pic with this setup?

    I went to your smugmug page, but didn't see any shots that looked like your described setup was used. Would love to see one. A link would be fine too. This discussion is giving me a bunch of ideas. I currently already have 2 SB800s, but want to get a fully mobile studio set up. Do you think the 600s have plenty of power vs the 800s? Do you use the 5th battery option? What types of lightstands do you use? Thanks for the links to all the ancillary parts & pieces needed.
     
  9. rsimms

    rsimms

    89
    Apr 30, 2005
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Thanks Charles,
    The speed rings and shoe adaptors are what i was missing, I had all the other parts.
     
  10. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    Re: Thanks Charles, would you post a pic with this setup?

    Here is one that used all the lights. I know its not a great image but I am still learning studio lighting.

    The 600's have plenty of power until for my work using a medium softbox. For more distance or larger modifiers you might want to stick with the 800's

    I have never used the 5th battery. I bought some powerfull rechargable AA batteries and they do fine. My lightstands are cheap Smith Victor brand. If you plan to use a boom for the hairlight I would suggest
    something heavier.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. twig

    twig

    745
    May 23, 2005
    Thanks for the replies.

    When using multiple flashes, does nayone know if it is possible to put the Master into TTL BL?
    It seems to only have the TTL, AA, and M options once I make it the master.

    I suppose I could always just adjust the output -1 or 2EV on the master and accomplish the same thing, but just woindering why this option is removed in multi flash mode.
     
  12. cwilt

    cwilt

    Apr 24, 2005
    Denver, CO
    My guess is that Nikon assumes that when you are using multiple flashes you are not using them as a secondary light source, but the primary source. Thus no need for balancing. Thats just my opinion.
     
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