Nikon F3 TTL with SB-800 Flash

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Ara Ghajanian, Aug 19, 2005.

  1. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    A friend of mine asked me to photograph her wedding. Even though on-camera flash photography is not my forte, she insists she loves my style and wants me to do it. I agree. Usually, everything I shoot with strobes gets metered with a flash meter and sometimes I even take Polaroids to make sure the lighting is perfect. Needless to say, I'm one of those people who needs to take their time when shooting.

    I have a Nikon F3 and my girlfriend has a Nikon SB-800 flash which I'll be using for the wedding. I've never messed with the TTL capabilities of my Nikon F3 and I was wondering if I used a flash like the Nikon SB-800, would I be able to set it on auto and let the flash do the work for me? I really don't even know how to ask this question and I'm hoping someone knows what I'm talking about and gives me some wisdom on this. I just want to be able to take shots without worrying about setting the aperature every time I recompose. It's bad enough that I have to manually focus everything. :wink:

    Thanks in advance for any help,
    Ara
     
  2. GM Bennett

    GM Bennett Member

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    I don't shoot a whole lot of indoor on-camera flash shots either, but can tell you that the TTL metering on my F3 works well with my old SB-16 flash. I've also used a Metz CL-1 off camera with the flash on auto (camera at 1/80 flash sync, fixed aperture) with fine results with the F3.

    Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but why not just run a test roll with the SB-800 before finding out the hard way (ie., after the wedding!) that there's a problem?

    Best, Graham
     
  3. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Graham,
    It's not stating the obvious because for some reason I didn't think of that. Thanks!
    Ara
     
  4. GM Bennett

    GM Bennett Member

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    No problem. I guess the other issue that you may already have covered is that the F3 has the weird flash coupling, so that to use a flash with a standard foot like the SB-800, you'd need a flash coupler (the AS-17, I think, to keep the TTL capability, which I think costs more than it should, certainly more than the SB-16 I picked up on that auction site for cheap).

    Good luck! Graham
     
  5. Ara Ghajanian

    Ara Ghajanian Member

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    Actually, I have the Vivitar adapter (I forget the model number) that has worked fine for me for years. I think it should work fine. I am assuming a lot of the more advanced flash features on the SB-800 won't work with the F3, but I'll test it all first. It is a really nice flash unit and I may just steal it from her. :smile:
    Ara
     
  6. bobfowler

    bobfowler Subscriber

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    The Vivitar adapter won't give you TTL with that flash, it'll give you a hot shoe though. IIRC, it will give you TTL with a Vivitar 5200.

    Rather than spend the $$$ on an AS-17, you might be better off finding a used SB-16 or SB-11.
     
  7. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Ara

    Look into a used SB-16 or SB-11, as Bob Fowler suggested. I also highly recommend a flash bracket and a small softbox of some type.

    Kiron Kid
    www.quietlightphotography.com
     
  8. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Also, you'll want to use lithium batteries in the flash unit. They last MUCH longer than alkalines, and the flash unit will recycle almost immediately.

    Kiron Kid