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Author Topic: Let There Be Light  (Read 2339 times)

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WarrenPrice

« on: March 28, 2012, 10:50 »
0
And there was.  I am the proud owner of a new (to me) Alien Bee B1600.  Got it for $200 from a neighbor who couldn't use so much light.
Now, I'm trying to figure out how to best work with one light.  ::)

A question -- I'm trying to use it with my Nikon in conjunction with an SB600 Speedlight.  Exposures are all over the place.  The camera setting is on Manual and Internal Flash is set to Command mode.  However, I can't seem to get consistent exposures.
Any ideas?

Working with the strobe bounced from an umbrella seems to work.  I'm using the window and reflectors for fill.  I'm looking into adding a B800 to the Alien Bee collection -- when it earns enough money.   :P

PS: shooting food and other table top stuff.


« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 11:12 »
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I'm going to guess your problem is that you have the camera's built-in flash set to Commander Mode.  Commander Mode works by sending little pulses out to the Nikon speedlights to set their exposure.  Problem is, one of those preflashes is potentially enough to trigger the slave on the B1600, so it fires before your camera opens its shutter.  You're going to need to trigger all of your lights the same way, either with a PC sync cable, a radio trigger (e.g. Pocket Wizard), or a flash from your camera's built-in speedlight.  Higher end Nikon speedlights like the SB-800 and SB-900 have what's called an SU-4 mode.  SU-4 is a slave sync, which will cause it to fire when it sees another flash.  Unfortunately, that's not something the SB-600 supports.  Neither does it have a PC sync terminal, which would be another way to solve the problem.

Put more simply, if you have a dumb strobe like an Alien Bees in your setup, you need to have everything on manual (both camera and other lights) and trigger everything the same way.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 11:52 »
0
I'm going to guess your problem is that you have the camera's built-in flash set to Commander Mode.  Commander Mode works by sending little pulses out to the Nikon speedlights to set their exposure.  Problem is, one of those preflashes is potentially enough to trigger the slave on the B1600, so it fires before your camera opens its shutter.  You're going to need to trigger all of your lights the same way, either with a PC sync cable, a radio trigger (e.g. Pocket Wizard), or a flash from your camera's built-in speedlight.  Higher end Nikon speedlights like the SB-800 and SB-900 have what's called an SU-4 mode.  SU-4 is a slave sync, which will cause it to fire when it sees another flash.  Unfortunately, that's not something the SB-600 supports.  Neither does it have a PC sync terminal, which would be another way to solve the problem.

Put more simply, if you have a dumb strobe like an Alien Bees in your setup, you need to have everything on manual (both camera and other lights) and trigger everything the same way.

Thanks, I'm sure you nailed it.  Using the B1600 with the supplied sync chord works just fine.  I use the  Nikon AS-15 sync adapter.

I also work with a Canon T2i.  I had it working previously (with borrowed Alien Bees) but can't remember exactly how -- I think it had something to do with setting FE Lock?
I sometimes use the Nikon AS-15 sync adapter on the Canon.  It seems to work just fine -- I hope.   :-\

Thanks for the response.  It may cost a bit more money but I'm closing in on a solution (s).   :P

« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2012, 18:56 »
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I also started with just one strobe. There are a lot of cheap ways to trigger your flashes. I used a cheap RF wireless trigger on my portable flash (the flash had no optical trigger). The portable flash triggered the strobe and it worked great.  I'm not familiar with the Nikon set up. I think you can trigger flashes using TTL wirelessly with Nikon - but you don't want that here since the camera can't control the strobe's output.

WarrenPrice

« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2012, 10:34 »
0
Thanks for the help.  I think I have a handle on it now.
I just ordered another light with soft box and a snoot.

Anyone else find much use for a snoot?


 

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