Sekonic L-478DR and Nikon CLS
Thank you Antares for your reply. I was trying to use the remote speedlights in manual mode, not in TTL, but was trying to control their power from the Camera menu... i.e. Master/built-in flash in commander/-- mode, while Group A and Group B in "M" manual mode... would that work?
No. When you use commander mode there are pre-flashes which can trigger the flash meter so that what you wind up metering is the pre-flash, not the exposure flash.
If you use a remote camera trigger you may be able to use optical triggering of your off-camera flash units using the camera's built-in flash. Your built-in flash must be able to only flash, usually at low power so it doesn't interfere with the subject lighting, to optically trigger the off-camera flash units, which must be in full Manual Flash Power control mode with simple optical triggering and you must adjust the power of the flash units on the back of the flash units themselves.
I use Canon so I am not sure whether or not your Nikon flash units have a simple optical trigger mode.
Now if I use RF triggers (basic not TTL) with Sekonic light meter:
1. The challenge here is how to trigger the remote speedlights while reading with the flash meter by the subject. I don't want to spend fortune on Pocketwizards, so I may go to Phottix Strato II or Yongnuo basic models, but again the sekonic does not trigger those transceivers. Of course I can use the camera remote control to trigger the shutter while sekonic is waiting for the flash light... but is there any other way rather than having remote control in one hand and light meter in the second?
Yes, if you want to invest in Pocket Wizard RF triggers you can buy a PW RF transmitter module to fit into your flash meter.
If you want to use any other brand of RF triggers then you normally hold the meter in one hand and the trigger in the other. It is possible to kludge up a connection between the meter and a trigger with wires and Velcro but why bother?
2. Which RF triggers do you recommend.... is there any whereby you can also control the power of the remote speedlights remotely (other than the PW ControlTL, AC3, or the Oden TTL types)?
Thanks again for your advice.
With TTL simply changing the amount of subject vs background by zooming you lens can change the exposure, resulting in you having to "correct" the exposure of your images either with Flash Exposure Compensation or during post processing. TTL does only one thing well, correct for a changing subject to flash distance.
The subject to flash distance is usually fixed with off-camera flash so you want to use full Manual Flash Power control so that every exposure is identical.
For basic triggers with your off-camera flash in simple Manual mode the Yongnuo RF-603-II RF transceivers are all you need, and they only cost about $35/pair. You will have to manually change the flash power on the back of each flash.
If you still want to use iTTL with your off-camera flash then the Yongnuo YN-622N RF transceivers are my recommendation. You can control your off-camera flash in either iTTL or Manual mode with these transceivers. These cost about $75-$85/pair but will allow you to use groups and change the power of the flash units from the LCD on your camera.
If you don't have the ability to change the power of your off-camera flash units using the camera's LCD then you need a single YN-622N-TX transmitter to control the YN-622Ns that the flash units are mounted on. A YN-622N-TX and a pair of Yn-622Ns costs about $145-$165.
You want one transceiver for your hand to trigger the lights when you are doing your meter readings. You want one transceiver for the camera to trigger the lights when you press the shutter, which can be the same transceiver you use when metering the lights. You want one transceiver for each off-camera light.
Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.
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