nikon flashes for d90, advice

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by graphicsward, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. graphicsward macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    I'm about to buy a couple of sb600s for a mobile studio. I work in a proper studio that has everything but nothing wireless or on camera so I'm a bit out of date.

    The plan is to get two/three sb600 flashes and control them remotely using one on the camera or the built in camera flash (if more light angles are needed). I see that this flash can't be a master, like the sb800 or sb900. What would this mean for me? I'd love to get a sb900 but the budget is tight right now.

    Is there a way to use them all as remote without a flash on the camera?

    Are there any other recommendations on set-up? I shoot mostly people for advertising, with some portraits and events (weddings/conferences). I'd use them both inside and outside.

    What about after market flashes? Cheaper/better options?

    Thanks much.
  2. graphicsward thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    One more thing

    I need some diffusers for these too, sugestions?? Thinking of gels too.
  3. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    The SB-600 cannot be used as a commander flash, it's only going to be useful as your slaves. Unfortunately, or at least to the best of my knowledge, your D90's on-camera flash cannot act as the commander. I don't even think the D300 or D3 can do that. I do know my D70 can do it as I've done it before with an SB-800.

    That being said, I believe you do need some sort of master flash. I could be wrong so wait for other answers. There is a hot shoe attachment you can use on your D90. It's SU-xxx ( I don't recall the # ). Check that out after more brilliant people answer your question.
  4. kallisti macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    The built-in flash on the D300 and D700 can be set to commander mode (the option is buried in the Bracketing/flash submenu of the Custom Settings menu, labeled "flash cntrl for built-in flash"). While I don't have a D90 to check, I would be very surprised if it's built-in flash can't be set to commander.

    Here are some examples from a D700 using only the built-in flash (though it should work equally well with any Nikon with a built-in flash):

    Built-in flash in the default standard shooting mode. Note the slave on top of the TV didn't fire.

    Built-in flash set to commander mode with the built-in flash set to fire (TTL). Note the slave went off as well as the built-in flash.

    Built-in flash set to commander mode with the built-in flash set to not fire. Note the slave went off, but the built-in flash did not.

    With a D3 you would need to mount a master flash on the body since it doesn't have a built-in flash. But you should be good with a D90 assuming you can deal with the limitations of the built-in flash (though remember that you can always set it up so only the slaves fire). If you need a more powerful flash coming from the camera or if you want to bounce the on-camera flash, you will need to get an SB-800/900.
  5. rsday75 macrumors member

    Sep 9, 2009
    I have the D90 and it can control the SB600s. It works great indoors, but in bright light outside, the flash can get lost and not fire the slaves. I guess something like the radio poppers would be the only thing that would work in this case, though. You have the option on the D90 to make the built-in flash control the slaves, and not add any light to the actual picture. Works great.

    As for diffusers, this one works well for the size:

    For gels, I got this set with the strobist pack and am really happy:

    With a couple of SB600s off camera and adjusting the built in D90 flash from full power down to none or anywhere in between, you can get really creative. The D90 will even let you control the SB600s in 2 separate groups with separate settings for flash comp. Very cool.
  6. JKitterman macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2006
    You should spring for the SB900 or SB800 if you can find one. If you went with just the sb600s, you would have 2 set ups. On camera flash controlling the sb600 slaves or mounting one sb600 for more powerful camera mounted flash and no option to use slaves. If you put a sb800/900 in the set up, you will be able to have a powerful camera mounted flash and control slaves.
  7. El Cabong macrumors 6502a

    Dec 1, 2008
    You're right about the D3. It has no built-in flash.
  8. graphicsward thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    Thank you all

    Thanks everyone, just what i was hoping to hear. i think the sb600s are going to work for me since i almost never use more than just a fill flash for the front light. The radio poppers seem really cool and everyone on the web seems to love 'em so i might try them out too, i bet they will be perfect for all my beach and outdoor shots.

    Does anyone have any info or recommendations on aftermarket flashes before we close this up and i go buy my new "studio"?
  9. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    Hi, I used to use a couple of Nissin Di622's with my D90 in "commander" mode.
    While the Nissin's don't get the TTL info, they can be triggered by the D90 even with only an infrared beam which is very useful for creative lighting.

    I loved this setup as it was very cheap and you CAN control the Nissin's output manually which is also pretty neat.

    just my 2c for people on a budget.

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