Questions about Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System)

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Roy Smith, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Roy Smith

    Roy Smith Guest

    I've started playing with the remote flash features of my D-200 (with an
    SB-600). It's a neat system, but a pain to configure.

    Each shot I took involved about 8 button presses to get back to the
    Commander Mode (e3) menu, select the right field, adjust the compensation,
    save it, then shoot. Worse, it involves two hands (and adjusting my grip
    on the camera) to first hit the Menu button, then operate the
    multi-selector. Is there a faster way to do this?

    I also noticed that the SB-600 allows 3 groups (A, B, and C), but the D-200
    only lets you control A and B. This isn't a problem for me (I don't own
    that many flash units), but it seems curious. Am I missing something, or
    do not all cameras have the ability to control all 3 groups?
    Roy Smith, Feb 18, 2008
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  2. You need an SB800 or SU800.

    Rita Berkowitz, Feb 18, 2008
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  3. Roy Smith

    Buy_Sell Guest

    Buy_Sell, Feb 18, 2008
  4. Roy Smith

    C J Campbell Guest

    No. Plus, I find the buttons are difficult to push.
    In order to control three groups you need an SB-800 or SU-800.
    C J Campbell, Feb 19, 2008
  5. Roy Smith

    Sosumi Guest


    I'm not sure about the D200 menu, but with the D300 I put E3 in My Menu.
    Just a few clicks and I change what I want. The buttons are very easy to
    push. But again, that's the D300.
    Sosumi, Feb 19, 2008
  6. Roy Smith

    C J Campbell Guest

    It is the same on the D200. But that only sets up the camera. You still
    have a bunch of settings to change on the flash units themselves, and
    this can be a pain in the neck. The buttons on the flash units are
    difficult for my arthritic fingers.
    C J Campbell, Feb 19, 2008
  7. Roy Smith

    C J Campbell Guest

    There is one thing you can do to at least to make handling the flash
    units easier: use Nikon SB-R200 strobes. These can only be used as CLS
    slave units. Dials on the flash allow you to set which group it belongs
    to and exposure compensation. You get two of them with the R1C1 Nikon
    close-up lighting system, plus a SU-800 commander unit and lens mounts
    for macro photography. But the SB-R200 will do a lot more than just
    macro. You can mount these practically anywhere. Personally, I think
    that Nikon should change the name of the kit to the Creative Lighting
    System Studio Kit.
    C J Campbell, Feb 19, 2008
  8. Roy Smith

    Sosumi Guest

    I know what you mean: I got rheumatism.
    Although the OP was commenting about the camera.
    The SB 800 is much easier to handle. I got 2 SB600's and 1 SB800, which I
    set up easily. The SB600's I always leave as slave A and B. With a sticker
    on them , so I don't get confused ;-)
    The slaves you can set up with the master, SB800 or internal flash. That's
    it, right?
    Sosumi, Feb 20, 2008
  9. Roy Smith

    Roy Smith Guest

    The flash unit itself isn't such a big deal. You set it once and you're
    done. Diddling with the compensation numbers in the camera you need to do
    over and over again until you get it right.

    Overall, I'm not sure I'm liking this digital business. I certainly love
    the convenience and immediate feedback, but the UI sucks. On my old OM-2,
    I knew what every knob and button did (not that there that many to master).
    For lack of anything else to worry about, I had to occupy myself with
    thinking about the pictures I was taking. Now I seem to spend more time
    with my nose in the instruction manual than taking pictures.
    Roy Smith, Feb 20, 2008
  10. Roy Smith

    Paul Furman Guest

    I've wondered about those. How far can they reach? Usually if I want any
    flash I don't want anything powerful. Do they do high speed synch for
    fill in daylight?
    Paul Furman, Feb 20, 2008
  11. Roy Smith

    C J Campbell Guest

    The guide number at ISO 200 is 14 meters or 46 feet. So it is roughly
    1/6 as powerful as an SB-800. You compensate by moving the SB-R200s
    closer. You can even have the model hold the flash without burning her
    out. You can diffuse or reflect them in the normal manner. They do not
    have hot shoe type feet, but you can mount them on light stands with an
    adapter that comes with the flash.

    Yes, they have FP high-speed sync and i-TTL automatically balanced fill
    flash. They also have D-TTL, TTL and manual modes. They also have FV
    lock, which allows you to lock the flash value while you recompose.
    C J Campbell, Feb 20, 2008
  12. Roy Smith

    Chris Savage Guest

    I too used OM-2s for years. I find the D200 little different: I mostly
    run it in aperture-priority or manual and still use an assortment of
    older flashguns and studio lights. Eschew the bells, forego the whistles
    and it's still just photography.

    I've used a couple of SB800s and CLS but have no burning desire to trade
    in my SB25s, the light looks the same to me and the camera.
    Chris Savage, Feb 20, 2008
  13. Roy Smith

    C J Campbell Guest

    Yeah, I loved my old OM-2, also. And the OM-1 before that. But even the
    film cameras have LCDs and menus now.

    The D200 and D300 work a lot like the OM-2. You can indeed master every
    button and knob in fairly short order. The menus just give you
    additional tools should you ever decide you need them.
    C J Campbell, Feb 20, 2008
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