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D200 & Sunpak 555

Inam Bhatti , Jul 05, 2006; 08:23 p.m.

Hi,

does any one has used Sunpak 555 flash, and how is the result, or what will be the best way to take pictures specially in Church where is to dark and covering the group photo iam using SB-600 at the moment , think if i can buy Sunpak 555 flash and use the both flashes, any suggestion or any better solution.

regards Inam

Responses

Frank Skomial , Jul 06, 2006; 12:38 a.m.

I used the Sunpak 555 connected to the PC socket of the SB-800. Both flashes on the camera. SB-800 in iTTL mode (Yes), and 555 in Manual mode mostly full power, but only contributing to ambient light directed to walls or ceiling. The SB-800 was never overpowered by the 555 this way in a church or larger reception/dance halls, and preserved the correct amount of flash on the subject determined during pre-flashes by the SB-800. Walls and background objects were much brighter than if the SB-800 was used alone. The SB-800 on camera produces single trigger signal to the PC socket on the SB-800 side, and does not produce any eletric signals associated with the iTTL pre-flashes. SB-800 cannot avaluate or even know about the power provided by 555, so in small rooms you may need to dial down the power of the 555 flash to prevent over exposure.

(I am not sure how SB-600 works or if it even has the PC socket ? - you can tell that).

With D70, I also use Sunpak 555 alone, setting D70 shutter to 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000, single blast full frame synchronization, for whatever shallow depth of field I want to obtain in bright sunny day with 85/1.4 or 50/1.4 lens, or to change day into night with the 1/8000 sync speed.

I need to say that I already had the Sunpack 555 and found creative way to use it with wire connection to SB-800.

If you do not have Sunpak 555, do not purchase Sunpak 555 for D200, since you will not be able to sync it any faster than it was possible with D70. Also Sunpak 555 is not compatible with the Nikon iTTL/CLS system.

Inam Bhatti , Jul 06, 2006; 01:03 a.m.

Thanks you Frank for you valaueable information, if i will not go for SUNPACK 555 is ther any other alternative

Frank Skomial , Jul 06, 2006; 09:41 a.m.

If you get 555 only, you can use it in the flash thyristor Auto mode. For this you will need to set the camera in Aperture priority, and turn off auto-ISO mode. Though it does not work very well with D200, since your shutter sync speed with 555 will be limitted to 1/250 sec. It could work inside churches, but certainly would not work to full potential outside, especially on a sunny day.

With D70/D50, 555 works great in Aperture priority, since you can synchronize the flash for full frame exposure at all shutter speeds (thanks to the electronic shutter in D50 that is not available in D200). Something that is not possible with 555 and D200.

I would recommend getting SB-800, and NOT getting Sunpak 555 at all. Then you can program D200 as commander, and use SB-600 and SB-800 as remote flashes. This was you will have pretty good setup, but may need an assistan(s) to hold high your remote flashes (e.g. on monopods).

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