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Old Feb 11, 2009, 2:15 PM   #1
conor
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Here's the scenario:

Wanting to fire 3 off camera flashes together.
I currently have a D50 and an SB-600.

I understand that the D50 cannot directly remotely trigger the SB600, I'd need an SU-800 Commander (Or an SB-800/900) on the camera (except part of the point here is to get the on camera flash off the camera, so the commander would be a better choice in my case)

First question:
I've found documentation that says the SU-800 has a range of 66 feet but I cannot figure out if this is wireless or infra-red triggering. Assuming we put an SU-800 on the camera, and 3 SB-600s off camera, would the 600s need to SEE the commander to fire? or would they just have to be within 66 feet (regardless of walls, curtains, etc)?

Second question:
Assuming I didn't want to shell out the money for the commander, an alternate would be hotshoe adapters on the camera and all three flashes with a PC cable linking them all (The D50 doesnt have a PC port of its own). Could someone recommend the options for hotshoe adapters to use in this situation?

Third question:
If I were to go fully wireless with say, a pocket wizard, would having one transmitter and receiver be sufficient? Would it be possible to put a transmitter on the camera, a receiver on 1 flash and use PC cables to link the other two or would I be forced to use 3 receivers to trigger the three SB-600 flashes?

Fourth question:
which solution would be the most flexible assuming I one day wanted to swap out one of the SB-600s for an AlienBee or other larger strobe? (I would assume that anything using the commander wouldn't be able to fire the strobe, unless the commander triggers an SB-600 and that links to the strobe... is that even possible?)

Perhaps my biggest issue here is that I don't fully understand how the off camera flash triggers, especially when more than one is chained together with PC cables...

Feedback highly appreciated.
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 4:36 PM   #2
conor
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I should have mentioned two things

1) I know nothing about TTL or other technologies I've read in my SB-600 manual, I actually haven't tried it yet, I picked it up at lunch today.

2) Once I purchase and assemble my solution, it will likely rarely get moved. I'm setting up a small home studio primarily for practice. I have arrangements with a handful of amateur-model friends where I get to use them as a model for free (which gives me practice) and they get copies of any of my shots for free (which gives them potential at a free portfolio). In short, I'm not too concerned if I have to manually set each flash for a given setup (write down the values and positions for next time)

This sounds like a capital waste of time and money on my part (I agree) but its a hobby that I enjoy, so I'll continue spending more than I should!
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 8:07 PM   #3
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I can answer your first question: The SU-800, SB-800/900 and those cameras such as the D70s and D300 control the remote SB-600/800/900 flashes with pulse coded light. It's quite something to see the commander fire off then all the flashes go off.

Note that the R1C1 Macro flash includes an infra-red filter for when the on camera flash is the commander. You could fake this filter on an SB-800/900 so as to not contribute to the exposure.

iTTL and TTL are the native flash mode with Nikon cameras and Speedlights. There is a section on flash photography and the D50 at http://www.nikondigitutor.com/eng/d50/index.shtml
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Old Feb 11, 2009, 8:18 PM   #4
conor
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Bob Nichol wrote:
Quote:
I can answer your first question: The SU-800, SB-800/900 and those cameras such as the D70s and D300 control the remote SB-600/800/900 flashes with pulse coded light. It's quite something to see the commander fire off then all the flashes go off.

Note that the R1C1 Macro flash includes an infra-red filter for when the on camera flash is the commander. You could fake this filter on an SB-800/900 so as to not contribute to the exposure.

iTTL and TTL are the native flash mode with Nikon cameras and Speedlights. There is a section on flash photography and the D50 at http://www.nikondigitutor.com/eng/d50/index.shtml
Awesome! Thanks for that! I'm one step closer to understanding everything.

So, I could technically take the 800 off the camera, get it to its position with a PC cable, trigger it with the hotshoe adapters... of course, this would mean the 800's light would have to reach the slave flashes. I'll have to think if that would ever be a limitation.
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Old Feb 12, 2009, 5:00 PM   #5
conor
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I guess another question here would be:

should I use TTL cables or PC cables?
PC would be required for a non-Nikon flash... what would be a benefit of using TTL if they were SB-600s or SB-800s?
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