While shooting a large indoor party I noticed that the background was very dark. I tried changing from spot to matrix metering and from Programmed to Manual exposure without any success. I use an external power supply for the SB800 and for the most part was 6 to 10 feet from my subjects. I estimate that the files are 2 to 3 stops underexposed. I am using a D2X camera. Any Ideas? Stew
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You were trying to fire the flash to fast between bursts and not allowing it to recharge itself. As a rule the flash when first turned on will come up to power and the ready lamp come on is about 3 to 5 seconds, fire it the first time at full power and it will take about 8 seconds fire it again and it's going to take about 10 seconds. If you fire it before it's had a chance to regain full power you just doubled the cycle time to 20 seconds. So by you saying the batteries were getting hot I'd say you were flogging the heck out of that flash firing it every maybe 10 seconds.
Great flash you have there but, you gotta let it charge.
A work around would be to increase the ISO on the camera to three times what you were using, switch your metering mode from "Matrix" to Partial and it will triple the flash battery life before changing and reduce the cycle time significantly.
I'm going to say the lighting was horrible at this event and you had your camera ISO at 100 where you should have cranked it up to at least ISO 800 anything beyond that and you'll have digital noise issues (grain)
Your camera was most likely set on matrix metering mode where the flash is attempting to light the whole room. I'm suggesting you use partial metering where the flash in concentrating on the center part of the frame and focal point for the exposure, the background will go dark.
Not sure about your color but you should have set your "white balance" on the flash icon (lightning bolt) otherwise everything may look a little yellow.
Hello.. Sporadic off camera flashes triggered with pocket wizards will not be
as obtrusive as you may think. IMP, It's just as obtrusive as the onslaught of small digi
cam flashes that usually occur..Cheerss!!....
Depends on the zoom length. If you check exposure at zoom 18 mm then zoom to (lets say) 100 for the final picture the flash will zoom concentrating the flash power as well; the flash gets stronger. This is all explained in the SB-800 manual. On a zoom such as the 18-200 the more you zoom the smaller the f/stop. You are better off with a zoom that maintains its f/stop through the entire zoom range. That way when you check exposure at 18 mm lets say f/2.8 then zoom in it will maintain the same f/stop. Myself I am not a big fan of zooms especially ones when zoomed change to a smaller f/stop.
I have 2 SB-800s. When batteries leaked in one Nikon took forever to fix it, so they eventually sent me a refurb. Then they sent my original back. Which was great, until recently it developed this problem.
Another possibly related side effect is the modeling flash does not burst -- it only fires a single (very bright) flash.
The capacitor argument sounds likely. Coincidentally I also had a problem where the flash would fire sporadically -- but that was due to scuz buildup on the contacts.
You can purchase a simple hot shoe mount slave or a pc corded slave. Do you know what a slave is? Most cameras have a flip flash on the camera. You can use this to fire your off camera flash. Most flip flashes are so low in power as compared to your SB800 that the flip flash will cause very little exposure effect to the image. Now there are things to consider, such as if you are outside in bright light a slave has more trouble detecting a flash. If you are indoors you need to at least have the off camera falsh localised to the flip flash and the slave in direct view of the flash. Some slaves are more sensitive than others. the great thing is with digital you can experiment all you want. Back in the day using film was costly, a lot of bracketing and guessing and time consuming. Why do you want the flash off the camera? What is your subject? I have usually found a bounce card on the flash or off a ceiling or wall effective for people. If you are lighting an indoor scene it is understandable to use off camera lighting.
IN THE INSTRUCTION MANUAL USING THE FLASH IN SHOOTING FAST CAUSES IT TO HEAT UP .
TRY USING THE FLASH IN MANUAL AND CUT THE RATIO POWER AND USE AS A FILL AND NOT A MAIN .
YOU COULD ALSO USE TWO NIKON SB800 FLASHES IN ITTL AND WITH TWO THE FLASH IS USING HAVE THE OUTPUT AND RECYCLE TIME IS INCREASED .
DAVE BLACK A WELL KNOWN PHOTOGRAPHER DOES THIS IN HIS SHOOTING .
Were you indoors? if so, take the ISO of AUTO and out it on 400. Leave the camera set like you had it, Manual 1/60 @ 5.6. Do notuse evaluative metering. Use single spot metering or the smallest center weight setting.
There are dozens of causes of inconsistent exposure with automatic flash systems.More common ones are inadequate recycling time (shooting before the ready light comes on), weak batteries that lengthen the recycling time or an intermittent anomaly in the internal circuitry of the unit which can only be traced by a qualified technician. If the unit is used in auto mode (not TTL) dirt or ones hand can block the photo-electric sensor on the unit and affect exposure accuracy. One other cause of inaccurate exposure is something called “subject failure”.This can occur in a large room like a church, ballroom, gym or a large rotunda.What happens is the automatic system in the flash or the TTL system in the camera reads the entire room and not a smaller subject in the image.Think of a bride and groom dancing in a large hall, the system would read all the space and possible darkness surrounding the subject and overexpose the subject.This often happens with automatic flash equipment that was originally designed for film cameras.On DSLRs, the sensor in the camera may react differently in terms of the area that it is reading.Some of the newer flash units are more compatible with digital equipment. If you are missing only 1 shot out of 20- that’s not too bad considering all the variables. I hope this helps! PS- If there are problems in the circuitry, unless you are an experienced technician with high voltage devices, it is not advisable to try and service the unit at home.Many flash units harbor lethal voltages that can cause burns, nerve damage, serious electrical shock or even death. Theses voltages can remain in the unit even after it is turned off. Ed
I had that same problem with the SB600 and the SB 800. Solutions; get a new one.
After about a year of usage the sb600 started giving me that problem. It flashes but it does not sync. It still works as a remote unit, but not mounted on the camera. The SB800 just went to a coma last weekend. No sync at all, not even as remote unit, no strobe function, just a bright flash, when triggering the test button with new fresh batteries, it flashes at max power once and takes around 7 seconds to recycle. No multiple flashes at all. I had to buy a new one.