Help me please wireless Nikon shooters

AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ...Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
edited March 19, 2012 in Cameras
Please somebody help me before I shoot myself! Call me stupid (that's how desperate I am!):whip ... I just can't seem to figure out why my wireless isn't working (been a natural light / on camera flash girl for ... well ... forever .... I *really* want to make the switch, but the flash God is just not on my side) :cry:cry:cry

Here's what I have:
  • Nikon D3
  • 1 x SB-900
+
  • 1 x SU-800
and
  • 1 x PowerSync16 receiver / transmitter
I can not get my flash working in either cases (SU-800 nor the PowerSync). The flash works great on camera and with a cord, but whenever I try to go wireless it won't (not even the test buttons get it to work).

PLEASE tell me, what am I doing wrong?? Is it in my settings? Is it my (by now very) bitchy aura?? :dunno

1. PowerSync16:
  • they are both on the same frequency
  • the batteries are working and both devices are on


i-sTJrfjR-XL.jpg


SU-800:
  • I believe the SB-900 should work with the SU-800 (without a receiver, right???)

i-hgKNSv2-XL.jpg

Comments

  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 15, 2012
    with the SU800, the SB900 has to be on remote. looks like you just have it set to on
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL Posts: 8,957Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

    A ZENFOLIO 10% Discount Coupon CODE - A8K-Q2K-VPG
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 16, 2012
    Qarik, you are absolutely right! (see, told ya .... ). I was reading too much about the PocketWizards (not what I have) - and I guess you need to keep your flash on ON with those, that my own light bulb wasn't functioning anymore. However ... the flash goes of, but I STILL can't seem to take any photos! (don't want to look too smart too fast!). I have my manual settings on F10 / ISO 200 + 1/250 >>> TTL + I tried pretty much all Ev settings on the SU-800. Sooooooooooooo. What's wrong now? The flash IS going of, but all I get is a black photo.

    i-QDMDV3L-XL.jpg
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 16, 2012
    Art Scott wrote: »

    Ugh, that's kinda what I tried, but no luck ........... :cry
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL Posts: 8,957Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    Agnieszka wrote: »
    Ugh, that's kinda what I tried, but no luck ........... :cry
    sorry....next suggestion email Paul buff... ... info@paulcbuff.com ... ...send pics posted here and someone wil get right back to you...hopefully....I don't have any Cybers so I am no help.....
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

    A ZENFOLIO 10% Discount Coupon CODE - A8K-Q2K-VPG
  • time2smiletime2smile Major grins Posts: 835Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    Agnieszka wrote: »
    Qarik, you are absolutely right! (see, told ya .... ). I was reading too much about the PocketWizards (not what I have) - and I guess you need to keep your flash on ON with those, that my own light bulb wasn't functioning anymore. However ... the flash goes of, but I STILL can't seem to take any photos! (don't want to look too smart too fast!). I have my manual settings on F10 / ISO 200 + 1/250 >>> TTL + I tried pretty much all Ev settings on the SU-800. Sooooooooooooo. What's wrong now? The flash IS going of, but all I get is a black photo.

    i-QDMDV3L-XL.jpg


    Your flash is in manual?
    I think it should be on TTL according to the SU
    Ted....
    It's not what you look at that matters: Its what you see!
    Nikon
    http://www.time2smile.smugmug.com
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    tom wise
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 16, 2012
    time2smile wrote: »
    Your flash is in manual?
    I think it should be on TTL according to the SU

    That's what I thought too, but when I have it set to remote I can only choose between manual and auto (where the photo will be black-black) *sigh*
  • adbsgicomadbsgicom Texas-Sized Grins Posts: 3,615Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    On those triggers, everthing would need to be in Manual, right? I didn't think those supported TTL modes.
    - Andrew

    Who is wise? He who learns from everyone.
    My SmugMug Site
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    Angie, something is not right. You say you have the SU800 in TTL mode but the SB900 is set to manual. If the the channels are set up corectly then the SB900 should not even have the option to switch to manual. You should have no control at all on SB900.
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • studio7studio7 Big grins Posts: 11Registered Users Big grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    This comes from the sb900 quick start guide.

    You can set the SB-900 for remote operation using the
    Off/On/Remote/Master setting switch.
    1. Turn the switch while holding down the button in the center.
    2. Align the index on the Off/On/Remote/Master switch
    to REMOTE.
    Setting a group and channel number on the remote flash units
    1. Press the Function button 1, then turn the selector dial to choose
    a desired group name, and press the OK button.
    Group name and channel number being set appears larger.
    For remote flash units where the flash mode and flash output level
    compensation values are to be set identically, place these flash units
    into the same group.
    2. Press the Function button 2, then turn the selector dial to
    choose a desired channel number, and press the OK button.
    Be sure to choose the same channel number as set on the
    Master flash unit or in the Commander mode on your camera.

    Once you have the 900 set, use the same group on the su800 for control and the 800 will change everything for you, you don't have to touch the 900 again. ie, if the 900 is on group A, the su800 group A setting will control the output of the 900. From the photo above, it's in ttl mode with +3 ev. You can change it to 0ev and you can change from ttl to manual, etc.
    V, Just V.
    Nikon D700, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 70-300 VR, SB800, SB600
    Alienbee B800x2, B400x2, Silver PLMx2
  • studio7studio7 Big grins Posts: 11Registered Users Big grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    The power syncs are a different animal. You set the 900 to manual and adjust the power level on the back of the 900, set the triggers to the same channel and they should fire.
    V, Just V.
    Nikon D700, 24-70 f2.8, 70-200 f2.8, 70-300 VR, SB800, SB600
    Alienbee B800x2, B400x2, Silver PLMx2
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 16, 2012
    Qarik wrote: »
    Angie, something is not right. You say you have the SU800 in TTL mode but the SB900 is set to manual. If the the channels are set up corectly then the SB900 should not even have the option to switch to manual. You should have no control at all on SB900.

    Yes!! Thank you! That's what I was thinking also .... But then I obviously don't know anything about the whole wireless thing. How do you think I should attack the problem?

    So right now with the SU setup I get a VERY underexposed photo in the auto mode (flash is on auto / SU is on ttl) and an ok photo in manual 1/4 +0.7Ev (on my flash) and SU still on ttl.

    *any input* is helpful at this point.

    Thanks so much guys!
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    hmmm..stupid questions:

    1) with SU in TTL mode, the EV is not set negative correct for that channel and group?
    2) your camera body is not inadvertently set to neg EV correct?
    3) you are shooting at reasonable flash to subject distance with unobstucted line of sight from the SU 800 to the IR port on the SB900 right?
    4) you are not shooting in a cave right?
    5) instead of using SU800, do you have another SB900 or SB800 to check to see if the SU800 is an issue?
    6) you are not spot metering correct?
    7) all your batteries are charged correct?

    Send me a batch homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (semi sweet) when you tick through this list and find your issue!
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Posts: 3,394Super Moderators Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    The SB900 is in SU-4 mode it looks like, which is an opitcal slave mode NOT the regular CLS wireless remote mode. Change it to remote mode in the custom menu. (Hold down the OK button for a few seconds, then find the menu option with the zig-zag arrow that is the wireless remote symbol)

    (Edit to add a bit of history: Nikon flashes have an "SU-4" remote mode that is customizable in the menu for remote settings, this is a throwback to an old optical trigger accessory called an SU-4 I believe, not sure. But optical remote triggering has nothing to do with Nikon's wireless CLS, in fact with the right camera settings SU-4 mode will give you wireless flash for ANY camera, even a point & shoot.)

    Even though the SB900 now has a physical switch for remote / master etc, there is still a setting in the custom menu that controls what TYPE of remote it actually is.

    Complicated, but that's part of the benefit of shooting Nikon- more options, more versatility, once you can master it.



    BTW, dump the Power Syncs and get a set of better triggers, for when you need radio reliability insted of CLS. SLR Lounge is in the process of testing these triggers, and so far the results are very good: http://scottrobertla.com/scott-robert-studio/srs-radio-trigger-system/ They're a little more pricey than the average Ebay junk, but they come with a warranty and a great, thorough tutorial video on everything Scott knows about how to use simple wirless flash setups to rock any type of portrait...

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogModerator of the Dgrin Weddings Forum
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Posts: 3,394Super Moderators Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    EDIT: This is the official SB900 manual, page C-20-ish

    http://www.nikonusa.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-900_en.pdf
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogModerator of the Dgrin Weddings Forum
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 16, 2012
    Just stepped out, will be at my computer again in a few hours, and will reply then - just wanted to say thank you for all the help so far, I'll check the links once I get back ....

    ... And haha about shooting in a cave :))) nope, I have a big window right next to me and my umbrella is about 60 inches away from my .... Let's call it 'still life' aka mess on my dresser :))) )

    Thank you all!
  • QarikQarik Krazy Korean Posts: 4,938Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 16, 2012
    The SB900 is in SU-4 mode it looks like, which is an opitcal slave mode NOT the regular CLS wireless remote mode. Change it to remote mode in the custom menu. (Hold down the OK button for a few seconds, then find the menu option with the zig-zag arrow that is the wireless remote symbol)

    (Edit to add a bit of history: Nikon flashes have an "SU-4" remote mode that is customizable in the menu for remote settings, this is a throwback to an old optical trigger accessory called an SU-4 I believe, not sure. But optical remote triggering has nothing to do with Nikon's wireless CLS, in fact with the right camera settings SU-4 mode will give you wireless flash for ANY camera, even a point & shoot.)

    Even though the SB900 now has a physical switch for remote / master etc, there is still a setting in the custom menu that controls what TYPE of remote it actually is.

    Complicated, but that's part of the benefit of shooting Nikon- more options, more versatility, once you can master it.



    BTW, dump the Power Syncs and get a set of better triggers, for when you need radio reliability insted of CLS. SLR Lounge is in the process of testing these triggers, and so far the results are very good: http://scottrobertla.com/scott-robert-studio/srs-radio-trigger-system/ They're a little more pricey than the average Ebay junk, but they come with a warranty and a great, thorough tutorial video on everything Scott knows about how to use simple wirless flash setups to rock any type of portrait...

    =Matt=


    this sounds correct..that explains why manual worked but not TTL.

    edit: angie please send cookies anyway for the brain cells I lost today
    D700, D600
    14-24 24-70 70-200mm (vr2)
    85 and 50 1.4
    45 PC and sb910 x2
    http://www.danielkimphotography.com
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 17, 2012
    Ok, I'm back again with an update :o) I DID manage to get the SU to work AND my PowerSyncs!!!! ... actually (unfortunately) I am not sure how I ended up doing this (SU) as I stuck my nose into my camera settings and changed some random things (not the way to do it, probably the reason things got messed up in the first place), BUT you were right Matthew, the "zig-zag arrow / above the little camera" icon was missing (for the SU)! I wasn't able to open up your first link (Matthew), so I'm gonna kick myself if I will ever manage to change my camera settings again and mess things up. Grrrrrr.

    My husband just told me to tell you guys THANK YOU from him, as I was getting a liiiiitle bit grouchy in the last couple of days rolleyes1.gif Seriously though, THANKS to all of you!

    studio7 wrote: »
    The power syncs are a different animal. You set the 900 to manual and adjust the power level on the back of the 900, set the triggers to the same channel and they should fire.
    Thank you for your help! iloveyou.gif ... I seriously thought I had to have it on TTL (which just shows how little I know I guess)

    And thanks also to you, Qarik! You mentioned some great points, that anybody should check if they have any issues with their flashes!
    Qarik wrote: »
    hmmm..stupid questions:

    1) with SU in TTL mode, the EV is not set negative correct for that channel and group?

    2) your camera body is not inadvertently set to neg EV correct?

    3) you are shooting at reasonable flash to subject distance with unobstucted line of sight from the SU 800 to the IR port on the SB900 right?

    4) you are not shooting in a cave right?
    > sure felt like I was in a dark, dark place in my life for the last 2 days :D

    5) instead of using SU800, do you have another SB900 or SB800 to check to see if the SU800 is an issue?

    6) you are not spot metering correct?

    7) all your batteries are charged correct?


    Send me a batch homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (semi sweet) when you tick through this list and find your issue!

    ... BTW, dump the Power Syncs and get a set of better triggers, for when you need radio reliability insted of CLS. SLR Lounge is in the process of testing these triggers, and so far the results are very good: http://scottrobertla.com/scott-robert-studio/srs-radio-trigger-system/ They're a little more pricey than the average Ebay junk, but they come with a warranty and a great, thorough tutorial video on everything Scott knows about how to use simple wirless flash setups to rock any type of portrait...
    =Matt=

    Ahhh! I wish, but I spent enough money on gadgets recently and the PowerSyncs work now, wohooo!

    Cyber homemade cookies for everybody on here, you sure saved me! :eat

    Helllllllooooooo creative flash photography .... ahhhh the possibilities :D
    THANK YOU!
  • AgnieszkaAgnieszka Photoshopping ... Posts: 3,262Super Moderators moderator
    edited March 17, 2012
    Oh SNAP! 2 photos outside, a little wind and my PowerSync fleeeeew on the ground and broke.

    That was a nice way to spend $100. Yay me. Well, had fun while it lasted. Good thing my SB-900 is still in one piece.
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Posts: 3,394Super Moderators Major grins
    edited March 18, 2012
    Agnieszka wrote: »
    Oh SNAP! 2 photos outside, a little wind and my PowerSync fleeeeew on the ground and broke.

    That was a nice way to spend $100. Yay me. Well, had fun while it lasted. Good thing my SB-900 is still in one piece.

    Aww, that's a bummer! Well, keep practicing with CLS and the SU-800 while you can; and if you eventually feel the need for the reliable signal of radio again, get one of these:

    http://blackbeltlighting.com/products-page/speedlites-and-triggers/4-channel-wireless-flash-triggers-3-receivers/

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogModerator of the Dgrin Weddings Forum
  • Moogle PepperMoogle Pepper Big picture in the sky Posts: 2,960Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2012
    I have some cybersyncs if you are interested. mwink.gifD
    Food & Culture.
    www.tednghiem.com
  • zoomerzoomer Major grins Posts: 3,688Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2012
    This is why I still use Commander Mode and have my Pocket Wizards gathering dust in a box in the corner haha.
    Good luck getting this all figured out!! I am sure it will be worth it once you do :).
  • divamumdivamum Major grins Posts: 9,018Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2012
    Matt, THANK YOU for that link. Could you explain the ninja description "Supported Modes: Manual, Non TTL Auto" - what is "non ttl auto"???? I'm interested....
  • Matthew SavilleMatthew Saville Wedding Photographer Posts: 3,394Super Moderators Major grins
    edited March 19, 2012
    divamum wrote: »
    Matt, THANK YOU for that link. Could you explain the ninja description "Supported Modes: Manual, Non TTL Auto" - what is "non ttl auto"???? I'm interested....

    I'm pretty sure it's some worthless mode that you don't need. Just shoot manual! If you really, really need a remote flash to be in TTL, then get some Radio Poppers or just use the built-in system with a 7D or STE-2... (BTW however, I haven't needed this in 5+ years of full-time work using wireless flash...)

    =Matt=
    My first thought is always of light.” – Galen Rowell
    My SmugMug PortfolioMy Astro-Landscape Photo BlogModerator of the Dgrin Weddings Forum
  • angevin1angevin1 Performs as designed Posts: 3,403Registered Users Major grins
    edited March 19, 2012
    divamum wrote: »
    Matt, THANK YOU for that link. Could you explain the ninja description "Supported Modes: Manual, Non TTL Auto" - what is "non ttl auto"???? I'm interested....

    Why not just call em up and ask. They have their number posted on the site. If they're anything like Gadget Infinity, they'll explain quickly and simply. For those that NEED ttL Gadget infinity does sell a set that at least works with Nikon in ttL mode. But, if ttL isn't needed, you'll always be able to save some coin.
    tom wise
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