D300, studio flash and commander mode?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by exposed|1, Dec 16, 2010.

  1. Here is my setup. I am using a D300 and one sb800 and one sb600 both set as remote. I have attached a studio flash to the PC connection on the camera. The camera is set to commander mode. With the on camera flash open, the studio flash will not work and the remote flash's work great. Close the on camera flash and the studio flash works.
    Camera settings are all set to "M" and the on camera flash is set to --
    Is the a possible setup, can it work this way or do I have something set wrong?
  2. not clear; so the camera is on full manual but the SB's and D300 are running CLS flash mode and the studio strobe is going to be (obviously) manual?
  3. Sb's are using commander mode set to remote but set to manual in the D300. Camera is also set to manual.
  4. Sb's are using commander mode set to remote but set to manual in the D300. Camera is also set to manual.
  5. You cannot use both commander mode and studio strobes. Commander mode will work only with CLS compatible flashes as the SB 800, SB 600.
    One way is to use the studio strobe connected to the camera and the SB 800 configured as SU-4 mode remote. I´m not sure the SB 600 has the SU-4 mode
    If you try to trigger the studio strobe with the photocell, it will probably fire with the monitor preflash that the CLS system uses.
    There is a workaround (not that good) that is to use the Flash Value lock function (FV) to trigger the preflash, wait for the studio strobe to recycle and then take the picture
  6. the sb600 does NOT hvae an SU4 mode :(
  7. Correction to my previous post: The workaroud with the FV lock will not work. There will be a preflash when the shutter is activated.
  8. are you sure it's a preflash or the actual flash that triggers the others? there would be no need for a preflash while in FV lock mode.
  9. Actually, I did this test:
    Slow shutter speed (e.g. 2 seconds), Rear curtain mode.
    Without using FV lock, the preflash occurs just before the exposure starts and main flash at the end (the reason to use a slow shutter speed is to differentiate easily preflash from exposure flash). Note that both the built in flash set as commander and the remote CLS unit preflashed.
    Using the FV Lock, this is what happened: Both built in commander and CLS preflahsed when pressing the FV lock, then when pressing the shutter, only the built in commander preflashed again (but not the remote) and then, at the end of the exposure both the built in (even if it was set to "--") and the remote fired.
    That was an unexpected behavior. Maybe if you use the SG-3IR panel for the built in flash the workaround could work, as long as the photocell of the studio strobe is not activated by the ir signal that passes through.
  10. in commander mode, the built-in will *always* flash as that is how it signals the remotes to flash although the output usually doesn't affect the image but that is also why the SG-3IR exists
  11. Just to be clear, Randy's experience is expected. When the pop-up is in use as a commander, the PC sync port will not fire.

    Of course the SB-800 can indeed by used in SU4 mode as a simple slave, and you could mount the SB-600 in the hot shoe, set to a manual power level and turned to bounce. Or you could use something like the SLFA, and use a synch cord to the SB-600, and use the SB-800 (in SU4 mode) and the studio unit both as simple optical slaves.
  12. To combine SBs with studio flashes the best way IMO is to use transmitters like Yongnuo, I never could do it in another way.
  13. One thing to keep in mind is:
    Either everything has to be manual (studio light on PC connector, SB's on SU4 mode) or everything has to be in CLS mode (your studio light can't be in that mode).
    Oh, one more thing: Don't forget to switch off Auto ISO setting. Otherwise, you may end up shooting at 6400 without knowing it.
  14. I have the sb600 (with the su-remote thing), the sb800, and studio flash. I have tried every combo imaginable...I can not get the two (different) systems to work together. To use the nikon CLS flash you must use the pop up flash...which will always trigger the studio flash with the litttle, little flash communication of the nikon system. In other words, I have come to acknowlwdge that it is either the nikon system or the studio flash...unles you use the sb800/600's in su-remote mode, and then they will all flash in sync. I have not tried the su-800 thing though. It may communicate to the nikon flash without triggering the studio flash. Hope someone can show me some other way, but now I use the studio flash as mains and the nikons as fill/hair lights
  15. Frustrating isn't it? I ran into the same problem. Why can't they let the sync port fire when it should, so you can mix? Is there a good technical reason or do they just want you to buy more SB-900s? My solution is to just use only dumb flashes. In a studio setting there isn't much advantage to using CLS anyway.
  16. hi, yes - frustrating isn't it. Another solution would be to get a plug-in slave trigger for the SB-600 and trigger the strobe via the sync cable (or even better get an IR trigger if the strobe can be triggered by this) and have the SBs triggered by the strobe.
    The next hurdle is matching up the temperature output of the strobe to the SBs - I've played with this in the past and found that my SB800 gives a bit of a green tinge when the WB is set for the strobe
    have fun!
  17. You definitely can't combine CLS with non-CLS, but you can use the SB-600 with such a rig if you don't mind using an adapter foot, and either cabling it up via sync cord, or using radio triggers. Or, of course, an optical trigger foot like a Wein.
  18. So have decided to go with the SB-800 in su-4 mode and just not use the 600. I wanted to use the 800 as a hair light and 600 as a background light then use the studio light as a main but will just do without the background light. I have tried to use the Wein slaves but they just do not work. I am looking now for a slave that I can mount the 600 to via hotshoe mount then to a light stand. I hope when the studio flash fires, the 800 will fire via su-4 mode and the 600 via slave.
    Thank you all for your help.
  19. Randy: the Nikon remote thing that will attach to the sb600flash (and other flash) and then mount on a light stand is called an su-4. I have one on my sb600, the sb800 is in remote mode and these are triggered by my studio lights. Takes a little practice, but works fine!
  20. Nikons website did not list being able to use the su-4 with the sb-600. So this is good news.
    Thank you so much David.
  21. Randy: very pleased to have been of assistance...many on photo.net have been of assistance to me over the years...happy portraiture!!!
  22. I stopped trying to make the CLS system work and I bought Pocket Wizards. They are more versatile for off camera lighting outdoors but expensive. You can PC cord your studio strobe in the PC hole on your camera body and place a Pocket Wizard in the hotshoe and see what happens.
    Place a Pocket Wizard in the hotshoe and it will fire your studio strobe with the other Pocket Wizard with SB-800 on a separate light stand. A studio strobe will also fire if your studio strobe has a built in fire mechanism like the White Lightening does.
    Some shooters use old Vivitar 283/285 units on M with a suitable slave with their studio strobe connected to the PC socket.

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