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Flash newbie and off D7000 camera flash question

d7000 sb700

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Hi, I am new to flash and having read the Nikon manuals, tortuous, I ultimately had a pleasing studio session yesterday that has left me with a question and some advice/views would be much appreciated.

My environment is D7000 firmware up-to-date, SB700, 60cm softbox, white reflector. SB700 is off camera on stand and I had to rapidly buy one of those plastic cover things when I discovered the D7000 firmware does not work when you set the built-in flash as Master and tell it not to flash; and if that does not affect you it affected me (there seem to be different opinions on this one). My final settings for the session, after a fair amount of experimentation were


·        Built=in flash set to master + “—“

·        Group A set to ttl plus some flash compensation

·        Channel set to 1

·        Model lighting off

·        Spot metering so that the flash was unbalanced

·        Shooting mode – aperture priority

·        Flash mode – fill flash

·        White balance set to “flash” (not quite right but after further reading I suspect I should have used the SB700 tungsten filter  and let the D7000 adjust automatically)


·        Set to Remote (after further reading I think I could leave the mode at “On”)

·        Zoom 35mm

·        0 flash compensation

·        Lighting pattern narrowest

·        SB700 and soft box located behind the camera and raised

Not sure the white balance setting was the best selection; easily fixed in LR but I need to experiment a bit to get right.

Not sure why but I think I decided to do the flash compensation in the D7000 because the SB 700 was raised and against a wall and difficult to get to; not aware of any advantages one way or the other.

OK so on to my question. When I first started on this I read the D7000 user manual flash sections and the SB700 user manual, both preceded by the Nikon Magic Lantern book on AF Speedlight Flash System, which was a bit out of date for me only going as far as the D70 and the SB800. Now whilst I think I got a fair handle on most of the concepts I was at a loss as to what actually to do with my equipment settings. I did form the opinion that I wanted to set my SB700 as the master but is seems that when off camera I cannot do this, so my first question is am I missing out on anything by having the SB700 set as remote rather  than Master – I could use a decent length non Nikon cable to hot shoe attach it. Also I do expect to advance to more than one speedlight and maybe there is more to consider with my question when I have multiple speedlights. Or is it just easier/better to let the D7000 control the whole operation?

So if anyone can help that would be appreciated. Oh and if there is anything wrong with the settings I have noted above, feel free to set me right on those too.


Cheers, Pete




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I do use my SB700 off camera but I use radio triggers rather than rely on the D7000's popup to run things. (in manual no less)


In the dim, dark past, however, I have used the popup to fire the SB700 but I'm struggling to remember my settings. I want to say that I just used the popup (perhaps dialed down a bit, but not covered) and had my SB700 on a stand at about a 30° angle to the subject/camera center line. As I remember, I was also shooting through a translucent umbrella. The SB700 provided the main light and the popup provided a slight amount of fill light.The photos came out fairly well which I credit to Nikon rather than any magic on my part.


Have you tried the setup above? What were your results? Can you post some sample photos?


This site is a good place to learn the intricacies of using strobe lighting. Highly recommended.


Sorry I couldn't be of more help.





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I'm going to start this with what I say in every one of these posts (sorry regulars). But $50 from eBay/Amazon for a set of Yongnuo 622 RX/TX radio triggers will solve many problems and make life easier. Now I got that out of the way....

It's been a while since I tried using this technique. Why? You see the frustrations why (see first sentence for solution).

In general control camera settings on your camera and flash settings on your flash. Don't make things more complicated than they need to be. You used the flash compensation on the back of the camera because the flash was out of reach. If only you had a radio trigger on your camera that you can control the flash power (see first point).

I saw you are shooting in aperture priority. Don't! Well not when using flash. Keep it for natural light. Why? Removing variables. You want to control your exposure settings and flash power.

If you shoot raw the white balance is essentially irrelevant as it can be changed after the fact. I always shoot in auto white balance and fix in post. Or you can set it beforehand.

Using flash is something I have become very comfortable with. I am happy to answer any specific questions you may have.



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My standard flash setup, using two Yongnuo 565 and a D7000, is all controlled from the camera. Once the flashes are inside soft boxes, I leave them well alone. I rarely have sync problems, except when outside, when the distances involved get larger.

Onboard flash to command, with very little real power. Left side flash to channel A, right to B.

TTL on shutter priority, keeping and eye on the aperture. If I add a slave flash as a hair light, it confuses the TTL, so I switch to manual.

Overall light levels are controlled by the compensation on the D7000, flash balance is controlled by the compensation on each channel. It makes it very easy to adjust light levels from the back of the camera, rather than disturbing the flash heads.

The biggest improvement I've made to my flash system is slave battery packs for the flash heads. Being able to take shots, knowing the flashes are charged, is great. Rather than buying packs, I've made my own using SLA batteries and the dummy battery method of connection.

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Keep away from aperture priority as you need control over all three basic exposure parameters. Aperture controls your DOF, ISO controls the overall exposure and shutter speed controls the amount of ambient light in the background. If you want to really understand light, running the flash on manual will give even more control.


Radio triggers will save you from lots of frustration with more elaborate lighting setups or outdoors shooting as AWL is line-of-sight only and doesn't work too well in sunlight.


When mixing flash with tungsten, halogen or fluorescent ambient lighting, gel your flash(es), shoot a grey card whenever you change the colour temp and make WB presets from the card shots in post. Keep the WB on auto and shoot in raw.


As long as you only use one or two speedlights, running them as slaves under AWL kind of works, When you add a third flash, either get radio triggers or run one of them as Master with a SC-29 to get it off-camera. You can then add one more flash as the SB-xxx can control three groups.

To sum things up:

  • For 1-2 speedlights, using the built-in as an AWL master will work sometimes.
  • For 3 speedlights, you need an SU-800 as a controller for AWL or use one of the speedlights as master on a SC-29.
  • For 4 speedlights, you need the SC-29 solution for AWL
  • Radio triggers work more reliably and scale up as you add more speedlights.
  • Use manual aperture, speed and ISO to get predictable results.
  • Gel your speedlights to get similar colour temperatures in the whole frame instead of that awful mixed lighting mess.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: d7000, sb700