Controlling remote flash units

Remote flash units can be controlled via optical signals from an optional flash unit mounted on the camera accessory shoe and functioning as a master flash (optical AWL). For information on compatible flash units, see “Features available with CLS-compatible flash units” (Features available with CLS-compatible flash units).

  • If the flash unit in question is an SB-500, settings can be adjusted from the camera. For more information, see “Using optical AWL with the SB-500” (Using optical AWL with the SB-500). See the documentation provided with the flash units for more information.
  • Settings for other flash units must be adjusted using flash unit controls. For more information, see the documentation provided with the flash unit in question.

Using optical AWL with the SB-500

When an optional flash unit SB-500 is mounted on the accessory shoe of the camera, [Wireless flash options] is displayed in [Flash control] in the photo shooting menu. Group flash can be performed by selecting [Optical AWL] in [Wireless flash options].

  1. C: Highlight [Group flash options] in the [Flash control] display and press 2.
  2. C: Adjust flash output and choose the channel and flash control mode.
    • Choose the flash control mode and flash level for the master flash and the remote flash units in each group.
    • The following options are available:
      TTLi-TTL flash control.
      qAAuto aperture. Available only with compatible flash units.
      MChoose the flash level manually.
      The remote units do not fire. [Comp.] cannot be adjusted.
    • Select [3] for [Channel].
  3. f: Set the channel of the remote flash units to [3].
  4. f: Group the remote flash units.
    • Choose a group (A or B).
    • There is no limit on the number of remote flash units that may be used. The practical maximum, however, is three per group, as the light emitted by the remote flash units will interfere with performance if more flash units are used.
  5. C/f: Compose the shot and arrange the flash units.
    • See the documentation provided with the flash units for more information.
    • Test-fire the units and confirm that they are functioning normally. To test-fire the units, press the test button on the master flash.
  6. C/f: Take the photograph after confirming that the flash-ready lights for all flash units are lit.

Remote flash photography

  • Position the sensor windows on the remote flash units to pick up the light from the master flash. Particular care is required if the master flash is mounted on a hand-held camera.
  • Be sure that direct light or strong reflections from the remote flash units do not enter the camera lens (in [TTL] mode) or the photocells on the remote flash units ([qA] mode). Otherwise light from the flash units may interfere with exposure.
  • Even if [––] is selected for [Master flash] > [Mode], the master flash may emit low-intensity timing flashes. These flashes may appear in photographs taken at short range. This can be prevented by choosing low ISO sensitivities or small apertures (high f-numbers).
  • After positioning the remote flash units, take a test shot and view the results in the camera display.