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| p.1 #4 · An odd thing happened with my sb900/sb600's |
I'm a long time strobist, Nikon CLS user and now use RF triggers (CyberSyncs instead of PWs).
Dale brought up a really important point which you didn't address in your reply. In order for the the slave flashes, SB600s in your case (mine too), to fire while using your SB900 as the master requires two very important considerations when working outdoors.
1) You must always have the little IR sensors on the sides of the SB-600s (they're only on one side) facing the flash. In a small room, you'll get enough bounce off walls/ceilings/mirrors/etc so that this isn't as important. Outdoors it's essential. I've heard of people propping small mirrored disco balls around set to help with this. Seems like a lousy hack to me. YMMV
2) This is related to #1, however it's what convinced me to move to RF. You must always have the slave flashes in front of you. Meaning if you have two umbrellas setup for shooting a portrait, etc, then you have to make sure that you're standing behind the flashes and again that the sensors on the SB-600s are in line of site of the SB-900 master. This was a terrible inconvenience when I was shooting CLS with models. I'd be setup for a full/half body shot. I shoot with primes, and I'd want to move in for a head shot. I'd move in closer and closer, walk in past the point where my slaves where, and the slaves would stop firing as they were no longer in the line of sight.
I also don't care for the pre-flash, as it does show up as a catch-light in eyes, even when you have the master set to -- (just fire slaves). It's sometimes easy to remove in PP, and other times it's a total pain.
I've moved on to RF with three flashes and haven't ever, not one, had a misfire using my CyberSyncs. That's with tens of thousands of shots too, outdoors, as I shoot location 90% when working with people. In the studio I use PWs (work gear, not mine). They're constantly eating up batteries, so they tend to be more needy than my Cybersyncs.
The only think I don't like about my system is the inability to adjust flash power on the fly. I have to walk over to one of my light stands, if it's high I need to drop it down, and then I can adjust the power. That's all fine and dandy if the conditions are consistent, but they rarely are. Changing power settings in camera wasn't as annoying, but it wasn't exactly fast either. I know that there are RF systems out there where you can adjust the slave power on the fly, which is something I'd recommend if you have the coin.