Wireless Flash System
Well what I'm going to do now is I'm going going to go back to my gear table here in the background and I just want to talk through some of the nikon flashes going to pull this one off and I'm going to pull this off here and let's talk through the nikon flashes so as you all know nikon has created quite a number of wireless flashes stemming from around two thousand four two thousand four was the first year that created the new wireless system might even been three I don't remember but starting with this flash here which is the sb six hundred so this is kind of old school flash it's ah it's not a commander this's on ly a remote all right it can on ly work as a field flash it can't command other flashes discontinued obviously but if you can find these they're like you can find him on on the internet a lot of times for like one hundred dollars or seventy five dollars it's a great little flash that still works in the optically triggered wireless system so I have a couple of the sb six hund...
red's because they just work and they're small the next one is this guy here this is the s p eight hundred again this is around two thousand four time frame so this is an old flash they don't make it anymore and very hard to find him because people love these old these old sb eight hundred soups wrong one this is the s p eight hundred and the s p eight hundred is a commander and a remote so in other words this khun control a group of flashes or it can just be in the system as a remote flash so I still like the s p eight hundred but it's hard to find them anymore the fact this one for me I've used it to death it literally died about six months ago so I just keep it as a prop now it gave me a good twelve years of service and then time to bear it all right the next couple of flash is that I recommend but then they're both of course they're both discontinued now wth espn nine hundred and the sb nine ten they could see physically these air the biggest ones in the nikon line up there very good they're high quality and they both work really well both of them are commander flashes and both of them can work as remote flashes so I would use them today mostly as remote ce but they work both ways there are very good flash their kind of spin d even used there's still a little bit spendy I like the sb nine ten and nine hundred they work almost exactly the same in their overall operation the next flash that I want to show is this little guy this is the sb five hundred and this this is you can think of this is like a little tiny accessory flash like if you're going to go to disneyland with your family or if you're going to go after the beach you don't want to carry a lot of gear with you this little guy just top it in your cameras hot shoe and it works like a a better pop up flash the cool thing about this little guy though and a lot of things people that really overlook is that it works as a remote flash so you can use this in the system however on ly works on channel three and we'll talk about channels in just a few minutes so it only works on channel three group air group b that's it so it's really limited in terms of what channels in groups it can operate then the other cool thing about this flashes it can actually be a commander flash from your camera and so the newer cameras like oh like the nikon d seven fifty like the nikon d five thousand maybe the nikon d eight ten they can use this as a commander flash which is pretty neat so this little guy's inexpensive and then the last thing about this is that actually has a video light on it so if your camera has video capabilities you can turn this on it could be a little bit of a video kicker all right the last flash I want to talk about here is the current top of the line nikon just came out not too long ago this is the nikon sb five thousand it's smaller than the older nine ten so here's the nine ten next to it you can see it's a little bit smaller it's more powerful so packs a bigger punch has a ah higher guide number it can be a commander and it can be a remote but the neat thing about this now though is is it works in radio control so it's a radio trigger versus an optical trigger we're going talk a lot about that today how radio trigger can actually be better for you because you can actually put flashes like behind a couch or around the corner you know out of line of sight where the optical triggers they have to be line of sight if the little sensor on the side doesn't see the optical it won't fire radio can work just about anywhere so thank you nikon thank you thank you thank you gave us a system that we can use just about anywhere at any time so that's the s p five thousand so which flash should you buy which what do I recommend well in the classes bonus material and can is going to talk about a little bit but I have some recommendations for three flashes that I that I recommend and why I recommend them so all right next now it's time for the nitty gritty so this may be intriguing to you if you've always wondered how to set up the the details of your flashes so what I'm going talk through now is I'm really going to cover the optical communication the radio communication and then I'm also going to go in and I'm going to show you how to do channels in groups was giving a preview here and then I'm going to show how to set up the master flash so all kind of bounce back and forth between the show presentation girls and my actual equipment on my cameras okay first thing is optical trigger so the sb seven hundred which I actually forgot to mention because it's up in that that light stand there thie sb seven hundred in fact I'm going to go grab it which is a great flash as well by the way it can be a commander and a remote so this flash along with like the sb nine ten and the s p five hundred the's can on ly be triggered optically and so the optical sensor is right here on the side of the flashes is little circle all right so optical of line of sight and what that means is when these air in your lighting equipment just make sure that the body or that the censor here can actually see the commander flash so let's say that you didn't do it correctly let's say you had it set up like this so the sensor is pointed maybe into the the light modifier in that case it won't see the commands and it won't fire so one of the reasons why the flash heads rotate is they allow you to move the sensor pointed that way and then the head pointed into the light modifier so getting a habit of doing that since there towards the commander unit so that's optical now the sb five thousand his radio trigger and that could be positioned anywhere but not all of the nikon cameras can actually trigger this system in fact just to at this point in time can actually do the radio trigger technology that's the d five hundred or the d five camp and as we'll see in a little bit yeah you also have to have a little kind of radio remote system a radio communicator and we'll cover that in just a little bit the last point on this page is as I mentioned earlier if you're using a d five or a d five thousand you connection two combine optical with radio and this afternoon I'm going to show you how we do that I'm going to set up a lighting scenario where we have both optically triggered lights and radio trigger lights that's pretty cool next let's talk channels and groups so I'll put this here on the camera turn us around so you guys can see it all right turn it on and t t l a b c d reflections good all right so we've got channels and groups so channels in the system pertained to basically communication paths so let's say that you have four people at an event so for nikon photographers were all at the same event and I want to be incoming communication path number one that's basically channel one that's me that's my kegan you you say hey I want to be on channel two because I don't want you to trigger my flashes so you get channel to okay you get to be channel three and then someone else joe gets to be channel for so everybody up to four people in the same room can have their own flash systems on their own channel so channel one two three four the next thing have to deal with our groups so I know it's a little bit hard to see here but we have group him and then we have group a b and c so groups are literally groups of flashes so it could be one flash or it could be five flashes within the group and what we do here is we send out information to say the group a we say hey groupe we want you to be a t t l group so all three of you you go t t l at plus one all right so how many group so we get in a channel three using the legacy system from nikon you get three groups so that would what that looks like in the real world is maybe a key light that's group one right now how many flashes though having group one one and I could have five if I wanted to so I could have five flashes pumping into this set up so that's a group and then maybe this here thiss could be group too and then in the background I can have another group group three so in the legacy nikon system uh the optically triggers stuff we get up to three groups inside of a channel so I can have three groups of flashes you can ever own you can have your own so on so forth now the cool thing is that in the new flashes the new s p five thousand we get up to six groups so if everything is radio triggered literally like all the remote flashes air sb five thousands then you can have up to six groups so the only way to get to six is if everything is an espy five thousand and you're shooting on a d five hundred or a d five all right so that's channels in groups typically we're going to keep the groups together inside of the same umbrella or inside of the same modifier or on the same backdrop because if you like it it's like a director you know I want all you guys to go up and I want all you guys to go down it's really weird and you would never do this you would never like put ah groups like here here and there it just doesn't make sense you want your groups to be together in a family
Locations and studio setups don’t always cooperate with your ideal vision for a shoot. Professional photographers use wireless flash systems to increase their mobility and expand their creative options. Flash systems also cut down on the amount of time photographers have to spend correcting images in post-processing.
Mike Hagen is a professional photographer and industry expert. He is a seasoned instructor and the Director of the Nikonians Academy. Join Mike for this class, and you’ll learn:
After this course, you will be able to manage flash systems and shape light to your needs. You’ll be able to set up synchronization modes that alternate different kinds of flashes, and incorporate light modifiers like umbrellas and soft boxes. Start improving your shoots now!
- How to use Nikon’s wireless flash system on location and in the studio.
- How to use on- and off-camera flashes.
- How to set up your camera for a shoot and link it with multiple off-camera lights.