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d300 slow in firing sb600

kara vuong , Sep 01, 2009; 09:39 a.m.

hi!
i just bought my first dslr (d300) a few months ago and i absolutely love it! but, when i use my pop up flash as commander to my sb600 (remote) i cannot fire consecutive releases. i have to wait a second before firing again - i push the shutter, but nothing happens. does anyone know if it is my camera battery that is taking the time to recycle (i always use a freshly charged battery) or my flash. i'm trying to figure out if i need to by the extra battery pack for the camera, a pocket wizard, or a quantum - hopefully not all of them!
thanks so much!

Responses


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Kent Staubus , Sep 01, 2009; 09:59 a.m.

Here's what is going on. You fire the flash, and it dumps a LOT of energy through the flash tube all at once. The four AA batteries then begin reloading electrons into the flash's storage tank, called the capacitator. It takes about 6 seconds for the flash to recycle. This is normal. One way around this is to set the flash at one quarter power level (manual mode.) Since you won't be dumping all the electrons out of the "tank", it won't take the batteries very long to refill it. You should be able to fire about one shot per second with the flash on quarter power. A Pocket Wizard will do nothing for you. A bigger battery might, but here's the deal on that. If you hook a big battery up, sure it will refill the tank much quicker. However, if you start hitting the flash POP-POP-POP-POP, you will fry it very quickly. If you often need these kinds of high powered fast flash pops, your answer is a B400 monolight. You can POP-POP-POP it all day long. It's built for that. The SB-600 is not.

Kent in SD

Frank Skomial , Sep 01, 2009; 10:30 a.m.

" pop up flash as commander to my sb600 (remote) i cannot fire consecutive releases." - what gave you idea that you could ?

For next flash to fire, camera to fire again, both commander and the remote CLS flash must recharge. Neither built-in popup commander nor SB600 has the power and duty to do that.

At least get SU-800 to command with own battery, and the SB-800 or SB900 with external strong battery, but you will not get many fast flashes either.

Mike Smith , Sep 01, 2009; 11:40 a.m.

Right - you more than likely aren't firing your sb-600 at full power, so it's probably your pop-up flash that needs time to cool down. I had the exact same issue at one point - it can be incredibly irritating because you aren't sure when the thing decides not to fire.

Make sure you have NiMH rechargable batteries with at least 2500 mAh in your sb-600 - you can pull off full-power flashes with a recycle rate of around 3-4 seconds as opposed to 6 seconds with standard AA batteries. If you want, pick up an SU-800 (which uses a CR123A battery, very inexpensive and will last for 1,000+ shots each) to fire your sb-600 - that way your pop-up flash tube won't overheat, thus allowing you to release the shutter when you want to without frustration.

One last thing - consider getting some radio triggers. RadioPopper just released their JrX's and you can pick a set up them up for less than an SU-800. Trust me, just like you are losing shots with the pop-up flash, you will lose shots with the line-of-sight CLS system. Don't get me wrong, I love being able to adjust the power of the flashes without walking up to the strobe every other minute - but I've been burnt by distance, people walking in front of the line-of-sight, and worse yet - the fact that the sb-600 and sb-800 don't rotate 360º, making the IR port impossible to see from certain angles.

www.miriellophotography.com

kara vuong , Sep 01, 2009; 12:18 p.m.

kent, thanks so much for the info. it's really helpful. i was hoping to get away with something a little more portable to do the trick. do you think an sb900 (with the extra battery attached) would work as well? thanks again.

kara vuong , Sep 01, 2009; 12:25 p.m.

mike, thank you. and you're right - it is really frustrating when you want to fire and nothing happens! i have a wein that i use for my dynalites and i have tried it with my 300d and sb600, but it doesn't work. i did some investigating and it seems that one is ir and one is radio and they are not compatible - is the radiopopper like a pocket wizard?
frank - yeah, i guess i misunderstood that i could fire consecutive flashes. would you suggest then the battery pack for the 300d and investing in a sb900? would i also need a quantum for the sb900?
thanx.

Mike Smith , Sep 01, 2009; 03:30 p.m.

Yes - the RadioPopper is just like the PocketWizard, only a lot less expensive and less range. Unless you are firing through cement walls from one end of a stadium to the other, RadioPoppers will do just fine.

www.miriellophotography.com

Frank Skomial , Sep 01, 2009; 06:16 p.m.

Actually there is no good automated flash solution for fast frame flash photo. Nikon CLS, Pocket Wizards, and Radio Popers, they do not help to produce more flashes in fast sequences, as they are made for a different purpose.

The best is to get a strong flash with external fast recycling batteriy in Manual mode, and set at low power ratio, like 1/32, 1/64, etc. if the lighting is sufficient, and obtain possibly a larger number of consecutive flashes.

Read more about the new Pocket Wizard, and Radio Poppers, what they do to your CLS setup, in the link:

http://photo.net/photography-lighting-equipment-techniques-forum/00TIqY

Kent Staubus , Sep 01, 2009; 07:16 p.m.

I use CyberSyncs to trigger my 14 lights since I need more range than what the JrX seems able to deliver. I own a big box full of CyberSyncs. That's not going to help your problem though. The SB-900 will recycle in two seconds, and there is a thermal protection circuit that shuts it down when the tube begins to over heat. I don't do much fast shooting with flash, and when I do use flash the little flash like th SB-900 don't put out near enough light for my needs. If you are photo'ing people though, the SB-900 would come into its own. But the price--ouch! I keep thinking I'd rather have a B1600 and a used Vagabond because that would give about 10 times as much power.
Kent in SD

Homer Arment , Sep 01, 2009; 08:25 p.m.

If you really need fast recycling you might want to look into a Lumadyne, Quantum or Norman unit each with their external battery. You would still need a set of radio triggers to fire them though. When I was shooting weddings I had an older 200WS Norman and it would recycle in about 1/3 as I recall.

HLA


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