Forget TTL or Nikon CLS

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Forget TTL or Nikon CLS

Postby ChrisBergstrom » Sun 7 Mar 2010 00:31

I've completely given up on Nikon's CLS and any TTL flash systems. There are certain times when I'll still use them, but it's becoming less and less frequent for me. I discovered a new way for me to take photos using a flash (Alien Bee B1600 and Nikon SB-900). I now shoot in all manual mode and suggest that you try the same if you get a chance. It's so much more liberating and I have learned how to underexpose the sun with high powered studio strobes. The Nikon CLS is great for certain things, like Joe McNally has shown us, but you need so many of them for portrait work in bright sunlight that it makes it impractical and expensive for me. I trigger my strobes with a Paul C. Buff radio transmitter, which is the cheapest one I could find.It works every bit as good as the more expensive pocket wizards and has been field tested to distances that I'd never even think of being from the subject anyway. I don't own a 3000mm Nikon lens and they probably don't even make one! lol I have learned how to take portraits now with the aid of only one light and controlling the flash exposure and ambient light manually. Everything is in manual mode when taking portraits as I feel it should be, which gives you the most control and consistency. I hope you enjoyed my rant and have a look at the photos. Take care and good luck with your manual non-TTL flash endeavors!





Posts: 80
Joined: Sat 18 Apr 2009 15:41

Re: Forget TTL or Nikon CLS

Postby paly » Sat 13 Mar 2010 10:17

The CLS system is great but it does have its disadvantiges.
To me it gives a bit of a feeling that i don't have control over it and most of the time i use my flashes on manual mode. A flash on 1/4 power gives me 1/4 power, everytime.
So, i'm a bigg fan of 'david-strobist-hobby'

I love the cls way, one can control the output of the flashes over distance.

Those Alien Bee cybersyncs....they are great. The make my flash pop everytime. Didn't have 1 missfire in the year i use them, but they are hard to find in europe. Paul'C'Buff has stopped shipping things to europe.

A cheap, but, imo very good ebay alternativ to flashtriggering is the youngnuo rf-602 triggerset. I've bought them to test them and to compare them against my cybersyncs. And for the money they cost, they are great. Working distance is about the same as the cybersyncs. Max. syncing speed is slower then cybersyncs on my d70 (electronic shutter camera). Cybersyncs can go without a problem to about 1/2000s (flash @ 1/8 power or so) and these cheap chinese are stabil to about 1/800s.

About the pictures:

Flash on the skin looks a little to bright in pictures : 1-3-4
Sharpness in picture 5 is on the wall behind the person.
I like the ligt in picture 2. Love the clouds in picture 3 (nice balance to not blow out the sky)
Posts: 19
Joined: Thu 22 Oct 2009 09:52
Location: Opglabbeek - Belgium

Re: Forget TTL or Nikon CLS

Postby pam.meier » Sat 13 Mar 2010 16:10

Very nice images, I love the first portrait most, the lighting is very nice!

I too have tried out CLS and didn´t like it. I´d rather use a light dome diffuser/SB 600 on camera alone.
Using M mode with flashes really is the easiest in controlled situations. Even doing events, you can´t rely on the excellent, yet not infallible Nikon flash system.
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Joined: Thu 28 Aug 2008 18:54

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