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Nikon D50 and Wireless Control

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Jan 07, 2007; 03:49 p.m.

Many threads about Nikon CLS have contributions stating that the D50 cannot wirelessly control an SB800. In SU4 mode on auto (NOT the same as A/AA auto) the speedlights are both controlled by TTL signals. This is however not the same as Commander mode, which may be where the confusion arises.

Below is a D50 and a remote SB800. Camera set to TTL and the remote to auto. Aperture f5.6. Considering the difficult situation ie 2 flashes and a mirror, a pretty good exposure. The D50 speedlight is covered with an old white plastic film canister, with a hole cut in it to act as a diffuser and increase the contribution from the SB800.

So no excuses for those of you with a D50!

Regards.


D50 and remote SB800

Responses

Bin Ming , Jan 07, 2007; 04:44 p.m.

Well done, Darren! I myself have a SB600 then a SB800 to utilize wireless lighting on the D50. By studying the manual I think it's possible to wirelessly trigger a SB800 in SU4 mode but haven't got around to putting it to a test. I think if we can do this with more or less consistent exposure, and eliminate the pre-fire from the D50 built-in, we are really in business with an one-flash wireless setup.

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Jan 07, 2007; 04:48 p.m.

The SB flashes should ignore the preflash anyway. If not use FV lock instead. The SB600 does not have SU4 mode so you could use that on-camera instead.

Frank Skomial , Jan 07, 2007; 10:52 p.m.

" Nikon CLS have contributions stating that the D50 cannot wirelessly control an SB800" - yes, and that holds true.

D50 has no commander mode, and therefore cannot control anything remotely. Yes, it can trigger optically remote flashes, either during preflashes (undesirable), or during exposure flash in Manual mode. The SU-4 on SB-800 there is no preflashes, the SB-800 in SU-4 does not communicate to the camera/flash.

What you demonstrated is the remote trigerring of a remote flash by the light of the D50 built-in flash. SB-800 SU-4 mode was used in your experiment, and that is bassically optical trigerring.

D50 flash can trigger any other brand remote flash via any optical trigger attached to a remote flash, if internal flash is set to manual mode.

The SU-4 Nikon mode applies to the remote flash SB-800 and the SB-800 only receives the flash Start signal. In SU-4 Manual mode the remote SB-800 flash duration is determined by the Power ratio setting on the SB-800. In SU-4 Auto mode, the trigger signal is received, and the remote SB-800 flash senses the end of duration of the D50 built-in flash light and terminates own flash at the same time.

By the way any TTL signals are not involved here for the remote flash trigerring directly.

Nikon SB-800 Manual page 84 details the technique and recommeded modes for CLS compatible cameras, in the SU-4 mode.

Steve Bingham , Jan 08, 2007; 12:11 a.m.

Frank is correct.

Marc Brandenburg , Jan 19, 2007; 02:51 p.m.

I just recently read this in the Nikon Field Guide and understood that an optical trigger would work, and immediately thought of what I read about the wireless trigger of a remote flash in the manual (how that does not work). Now I understand those are two completely different things. Field guide said to set the flash in manual mode and 1/16 power on the camera's internal flash for remote trigger (without TTL,etc)

I saw someone doing this last night with their d200. Which I thought was very flexible for the event we were shooting last night. But, most likely, that was being done wirelessly with ttl and everything else. Right?

But I assume a couple things with this arrangement and my d50:

1. 1/16 power is not going to contribute very much to the exposure of the main subject. I suppose I could set to full power and the trigger would still work??

2. Manual adjustment of sb800 exposure...so I must know my exposure value table backwards and fowards (which I don't..yet). Or does SU-4 mode do something special so that I can still get the right power from the sb800 when triggered???

3. Other flashes from other cameras could cause misfire!! I guess the question is, through what part of the sb800 does it detect remote flash? Perhaps it can be covered up until just before you shoot? (have to be very precise with timing I suppose)

Keith Aldrich , Nov 06, 2008; 02:59 p.m.

You can always use an SU-800 Commander on your D50. I don't own one, but have been seriously thinking about purchasing one; it is also much cheaper than pocket wizards. Of course its still another piece of equipment to spend money on and pack around, but I have seen some really neat portable lighting setups with SB-800's and an SU-800 Commander on the camera. No cables, no looking for an outlet, though I have also read that these setups have trouble when outdoors with no walls/ceiling for the signal to bounce off of.

I personally own a D50; it was my first D-SLR. I've been very happy with it, but one thing I really wish they had included is the flash commander mode so I could fire my SB-800 without adding pop-up flash light. Even at 1/16th I still notice light from the pop-up. Regardless, one nice thing about Nikon is that you always have options, like the SU-800.

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