Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Flash Photography - Nikon SB-80DX AF-TTL Speedlight - Part V

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Bounce flash operation Tilt or rotate the flash head to bounce the light off the ceiling or walls to soften shadows and create more natural-looking portraits indoors. Even softer shadows are possible when using the Nikon Diffusion Dome. Tilting the flash head Tilt the flash head up at least 50° to bounce light off the ceiling for effective bounce flash. Make sure that the light from the flash head does not directly illuminate the subject. Optimum results are obtained when the flash head is positioned 1 to 2m (3.3 to 6.6 ft.) away from the reflecting surface. When the flash has fired at its maximum output and underexposure may have occurred, the ready-light on the SB-80DX blinks for approx. 3 sec. To compensate, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject and re-shoot.

Setting the aperture With bounce flash, there is a light loss when compared with normal flash with the flash head adjusted to the horizontal/front position. You should use an aperture that is 2 to 3 stops wider. The flash shooting distance range indicator disappears, if the flash head is adjusted to other than the horizontal/front position. First, confirm the flash shooting distance range and aperture at the horizontal/front position, then set the aperture on the camera. In the Non-TTL auto flash mode, set the same aperture on the SB-80DX.

Setting the flash head The SB-80DXs flash head tilts or rotates by holding down the flash head tilting/rotating lock release button as shown in the illustrations. Adjust the flash head, depending on the shooing environment or your creative preferences.

bounceA.gif bounceB.gif
Flash head tilting and rotating angles The SB-80DXs flash head tilts up 90° and rotates horizontally 180° to the left and 90° to the right. Set the flash head at a click stop at the angles shown. When taking close-up pictures with flash, tilt the flash head down to the -7° position

Choosing the reflecting surface In color photography, select white or highly reflective surfaces to bounce the light off of. Otherwise, your pictures will come out with an unnatural color cast similar to that of the reflecting surface.

Using the built-in bounce card In bounce flash photography, use the SB-80DXs built-in bounce card to create a highlight in the subject's eyes, making the eyes look more vibrant.
As shown in the illustrations below, pull out the wide-flash adapter. While holding the bounce card, slide the wide-flash adapter back into place inside the flash head. Tilt the flash head up 90° to use this function most effectively.
Shooting with the Nikon Diffusion Dome Use of the provided Nikon Diffusion Dome diffuses the light from the flash much more than with normal bounce flash, allowing you to soften the light from the flash and eliminate shadows. With the camera in the vertical position, the Nikon Diffusion Dome provides the same effect. Good results are generally obtained when the flash head is tilted up 60°. Use of the built-in wide-flash adapter in conjunction with the the Nikon Diffusion Dome results in much more diffused light.
Attach the Nikon Diffusion Dome as shown in the illustration. The zoom-head position is automatically set at 14mm.

Close-up flash operation With the built-in wide-flash adapter attached to the SB-80DX, close-up flash shooting can be performed. The built-in wide-flash adapter diffuses the light from the flash to soften shadows. When the SB-80DX is used off-camera, you can take more natural-looking close-up pictures. Be sure to use the wide-flash adapter when taking close-up flash photographs. Take care that light from the flash is not obstructed by the lens barrel when a long lens is used. Vignetting due to the lighting situation, lens in use, focal length, etc. may occur in close-up flash shooting. It is strongly recommended to make test shots before taking the final pictures. Tilt the flash head down to -7°. This position is recommended to illuminate the lower portion of the subject sufficiently in close-up photography when the SB-80DX is attached to the camera and used as the only flash unit. The under bar blinks when the flash head is tilted down to this position.

closeupA.gif closeupB.gif
Setting the built-in wide-flash adapter and adjusting the zoom-head position 1 Slowly pull out the wide-flash adapter all the way, and position it over the flash head. Then slide the bounce card back into place inside the flash head. 2 Press the or button to adjust the zoom head position to 14mm or 17mm.
Note: When the wide-flash adapter is set on the flash head, the power zoom function becomes inactive and the zoom-head position is adjusted to 14mm or 17mm. To slide the wide-flash adapter back into place, raise it and push it into the flash head as far as it will go.

Setting the aperture Calculate the aperture by using this equation and table. Setting a smaller aperture than the one obtained from the equation is recommended.
f/stop > Coefficient ÷ Flash-to-subject distance

When shooting subjects closer than 0.6m (2 ft) With the SB-80DX attached to the camera, sufficient illumination of the subject cannot be obtained. In this case, use the SB-80DX off-camera by attaching the optional TTL Remote Cord as shown below.

For cameras in Group I in 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash and Digital SLRs cameras in 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for Digital SLRs, you may not be able to obtain correct exposure, because distance information from the lens is used. In this case, position the camera (A) and the SB-80DX (B) at equal distances from the subject. For F5 cameras with the High-Magnification Finder DW-30 or DW-31, or F4 cameras with the High-Magnification Finder DW-20 or DW-21, use the optional TTL Remote Cord SC-24 instead of the SC-17.

Multiple flash operation Multiple flash photography allows you to create more natural-looking pictures by using several flash units to eliminate the shadows cast by the subject or to emphasize the subject's shape. Multiple flash operation can be performed in two ways: (1) By using cords or (2) Wireless operation.
Notes on performing multiple flash (common to both operations) Be sure to read the instruction manuals of your camera and the Speedlight(s) in use.
Master flash unit and slave flash unit(s) In this manual, the flash unit mounted on the camera or the one directly connected to the camera using a remote cord is called the master flash unit. All other flash units are called slave flash units.
Canceling Monitor Preflashes in multiple flash operation Cancel the Monitor preflashes of the master flash unit following either one of the methods described below, since Monitor Preflashes cause incorrect exposure.

Multiple flash with Nikon Digital SLRs cameras Because Monitor Preflashes are fired at all times in the D-TTL auto flash mode, Digital SLRs cameras cannot be used for multiple flash shooting in this mode. With Digital SLRs cameras, only manual multiple flash operation is possible in multiple flash shooting using cords. In wireless multiple flash shooting, set the master flash unit's flash mode to the Auto Aperture (AA) or Non-TTL auto flash (A) mode.

Manual multiple flash mode
FP High-Speed Flash sync and Repeating flash are
not possible.

Canceling the power standby function When using a Speedlight having a standby function as a slave flash unit, make sure that the standby function is set to off, or select a standby duration that is long enough, using the Custom settings mode. The SB-80DXs standby function is canceled while the SB-50DXs standby duration is prolonged to approx. one hour when they are set to the wireless slave flash mode.
Turn off the power Turn off the camera and all the flash units before mounting the master flash unit on the camera or connecting the master flash unit to the slave flash units.
Setting the angle of coverage of the slave flash units Set the angle of coverage of the slave flash units wider than the picture angle, so that the subject will receive sufficient illumination even when the angle of the flash head is off axis from the subject. Remember, the closer the subject, the wider the angle of coverage required.
Compound guide number You can calculate the compound guide number (GN) by using the following equation when more than one Speedlight is used in Manual multiple flash operation.


Balancing the illumination when using more than one Speedlight The brightness of the flash illumination is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the flash unit and the subject. For example, if the distance between Speedlight A and the subject is 1m (3.3 ft.), and Speedlight B is 2m (6.6 ft.), the combined brightness of the two Speedlights will be: MultiflashB.gif
Therefore, the illumination provided by Speedlight A is four times (or two steps) brighter than that provided by Speedlight B. Making test shots Making test shots before shooting is recommended.

Multiple flash shooting using cords

Available flash modes for multiple flash shooting using cords Multiple flash shooting using cords can be performed in two ways: (1) TTL multiple flash and (2) Manual multiple flash.
Performing multiple flash shooting in the Manual mode is not recommended, since it is difficult to obtain the correct exposure. Use the TTL auto flash mode with cameras compatible with TTL auto flash. Manual flash is possible with all Nikon cameras, including Digital SLRs cameras. Use of the SB-50DX and SB-23 as slave flash units is not recommended, because the standby function cannot be canceled. Even when a master flash unit is used off-camera, the shutter speed is automatically set through the optional TTL Remote Cord SC-17 in the TTL auto flash mode.

Connecting the master and slave flash units Refer to System chart for TTL multiple flash. Also see the instruction manuals of your cameras, Speedlights, and accessories. Use the optional TTL Remote Cords SC-18 or SC-19 to connect the SB-80DX to more than one slave flash unit. Use the optional Multi-Flash Adapter AS-10, if the slave flash units are not equipped with multiple flash terminals. Use optional Multi-Flash Adapter AS-10 to attach the slave flash unit(s) to a tripod.

The maximum number of flash units to be connected using cords Up to five units including the master flash unit can be used for multiple flash photography at a total cable length of 10m (33 ft.). Make sure the combined total of the coefficients in the table below for all flash units used together does not exceed 20 at 20°C (68°F) or 13 at 40°C (104°F).If it exceeds these figures, you may not be able to take a second shot after the first one. In this case, turn off the power of all flash units and reduce the total number of flash units connected.

TTL multiple flash 1 Set the cameras exposure mode to Aperture-Priority Auto (A) or Manual (M). 2 Attach the master flash unit to the camera, turn the power on, and set the flash mode to TTL auto flash. Available TTL auto flash modes are Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash, Center-Weighted Fill-Flash/Spot Fill-Flash, and Standard TTL flash. Note: 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash and Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash cannot be used, because monitor preflashes are fired. D-TTL multiple flash shooting using cords is not possible with digital SLRs cameras.

TTLmultiA.gif TTLmultiB.gif TTLmultiC.gif TTLmultiD.gif

3 Turn off all the flash units before connecting the master flash unit to the slave flash units using optional TTL Remote Cords SC-18 or SC-19. 4 Turn on all slave flash units and set the flash mode on all slave flash unit to TTL auto flash. 5 Confirm the aperture and flash shooting distance range as in normal TTL auto flash shooting, then shoot. When the flash has fired at its maximum output and underexposure may have occurred, the ready-light on the SB-80DX blinks for approx. 3 sec. To compensate, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject and re-shoot.

Manual multiple flash 1 Set the cameras exposure mode to Aperture-Priority Auto (A) or Manual (M). 2 Turn off the power and attach the master flash unit to the camera. 3 Connect the sync terminal on the master flash unit to the slave flash unit using optional Sync Cords SC-11 or SC-15. 4 Turn on the power of all flash units and set the flash mode on all units to Manual flash.

manualMultiA.gif manualMultiB.gif manualMultiC.gif manualMultiD.gif

The flash output level can be adjusted on the SB-80DX, SB-28, etc., if necessary. FP High-Speed Flash sync and Repeating flash are not possible. 5 Confirm the aperture and flash shooting distance as in normal Manual flash shooting, then shoot.

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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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