SB-800 functions

Started Dec 13, 2007 | Discussions thread
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gordonf238 Contributing Member • Posts: 729
SB-800 functions

I've been re-reading my SB-800 manual as I've been puzzled by some of its functions and modes. I also wished to better understand how subjects are determined, illuminated and what the different modes available on the SB-800 do. I've compiled the following list of its modes should anyone be interested. Please correct me if I'm wrong on any of them.

TTL mode: Works with the camera set to 3D-Matrix and Center-weighted metering, in P, A and S exposure modes (though P is strongly preferred). SB-800 fires monitor pre-flashes, which are measured through the camera's TTL sensor. In this mode, the SB-800 illuminates ONLY the subject. If 3D-Matrix is used, the subject is automatically determined based on focus and distance information. If the subject is off to the side, and Center-weighted metering is used, the subject may not be illuminated properly. It is suggested that in this case, the subject be placed in the center, and FV lock function be used (on the camera), after which, the shot may be recomposed, then shot.

TTL BL mode (fill-flash): Same as above, works with the camera set to 3D-Matrix and Center-weighted metering, in P, A and S exposure modes (though P is strongly preferred). SB-800 fires monitor pre-flashes, which are measured through the camera's TTL sensor. SB-800 attempts to illuminate the main subject in conjunction with the background (fill-flash) for a balanced scene. Useful for indoor settings or when the background is backlit.

AA mode (non TTL): Camera's metering isn't taken into account in this mode. M and A exposure modes are best suited. In this mode, the SB-800's sensor (not the camera's TTL sensor) measures the monitor pre-flashes and determines proper flash output level. However, it does this in combination with data received from the camera (ISO, exposure compensation, aperture and focal length of the lens).

A mode (non TTL): Camera's metering isn't taken into account in this mode. M and A exposure modes are best suited. In this mode, the SB-800's sensor (not the camera's TTL sensor) measures the monitor pre-flashes from the subject, automatically controlling the SB-800's light output. In this mode, no camera information is transmitted to the SB-800. This mode is useful for varying the aperture on the camera for easy exposure compensation.

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