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Are Nikon Speedlights activated by other flashes in off camera mode?


studioline 5 72 4 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2010 8:37AM
Hi all. Wondering if someone could answer this question for me. Do the Nikon Soeedlights fire in of camera mode if someone using a compact camera uses their flash? I am shooting at an event and require a stage to be lit up with light with the shooting distance away being about 60 feet. My plan was to have two speedlights closer up activated by the onboard flash of the d7oo.

Any help.

Other option is to use a Bowens mono with a beauty dish on and no further attentuation of the light up front.

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ARJones 8 103 3 United Kingdom
26 Jun 2010 9:37AM
I'm far from an expert but I believe that it depends what mode you have the speedlights in - if they are in SU4 mode then they will get triggered by any form of flash that hits the sensor so someone using a compact camera with flash is likely to set them off. Also in SU4 mode you need to manually set the output of the speedlights. Note I don't think the SB600 has an SU4 mode just the SB800 and SB900.

If you use the onboard flash on your D700 it can be used in commander mode and wirelessly trigger the speedlights with the Nikon CLS system - the benefits of this is that the ttl functionality is retained and the units automatically adjust output although you can also remotely increase or decrease power of each speedlight from the camera. From your scenario though you may have difficulty using the CLS system depending on the ambient light and whether the speedlights are positioned where they will receive the signal from the onboard flash.

If the onboard flash does not trigger the speedlights then the next option would be to use radio triggers which will obviously involve some expense although I believe that there are some cheap triggers to be had? Again unless you invest in some of the latest (expensive) pocket wizard triggers you will lose ttl funtionality and would need to manually control output of the speedlights.

Hope this helps a little

Andy
cameracat 11 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
26 Jun 2010 10:36AM
The answer is simple, No other flash fired by a non Nikon body will trigger the SB ??? models, So long as you have them set-up correctly.

Even another Nikon DSLR shooter would have to select " Commander " mode on thier camera, in order for the onboard to trigger a slave SB-??? Unit.

Even if that was the case you can change the channels to avoid the problem.

Just bare in mind that the recieving eye on the SB-??? units need to be facing towards ( near as possible ) the camera position, To ensure they pick up the signal from the On-Board, How well that will work at 60 Feet, I have no idea as I have not tried that sort of range, But " Ambient " lighting will play a big part in the effective range.

Best try and simulate the situation before the event, Personally I would be happier with " Radio " triggers.......Wink
BigRick 9 2.1k 3 United Kingdom
28 Jun 2010 4:22PM
Cant remember who did the test, but there is a guy on youtube that got his SB-800 and faced the sensor into the sun, then got his D200?? and pointed it at the sensor on the flash.... test fired it, and then walked backwards, he got a long way before it didnt work anymore......

found it.... Dom Bower

he uses another flash to send the fire signal though.

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