Repeating Flash (SU800/SB600)


There is much information that say SB600’s are not capable of repeating flash (RPT). Well, in a way, yes and no. Yes in the sense that unlike the SB800’s and SB900’s, there is no option to change the mode to RPT in the speedlight itself. And no in the sense that when coupled with a master unit (SB700, SB800, SB900, SU800) that is capable of RPT, the SB600 is just fine when in remote mode. I have not tried pop-up commanders though.

In the SB600 manual, the only mention of repeating flash is in page 61. It says, “If wireless repeating flash has been set on the master flash unit, remote flash units such as the SB600 will also perform repeating flash operation”. Brilliant. So I decided to give this handy little feature a go.

Setting the SU800 commander:

  • Set the SU800 to commander mode. (The switch is inside the battery compartment)
  • Press and hold SEL button for approximately 2 seconds to toggle between the Repeating and Commander flash operations. Confirm that the RPT is selected and displayed.
  • Set channel and group. My current settings here was channel 1 group A. The 3 dashes (see group C) mean that group is not firing, otherwise it is firing (see group A and B). Never mind group B since I don’t have flashes under group B.

Setting the flash output level, frequency and number of repeating flashes per frame:

  • Manual flash output level can be set in 1 step increment/decrement from 1/8 to 1/128. (No iTTL)
  • Frequency is the number of times the flash fires in a second. I’m using this computation as my rough approximation: [shutter speed x frequency = number of repeating flashes]. i.e. My shutter speed here is 1 second so 1 sec x 10 Hz = 10 fires.

Some sample shots from this test. Subject used was just a simple lamp. Nothing fancy really…

With a red gel…

Multiple exposure feature on the D3. I also like this in-camera feature as well. I cannot do this with my Canon. Of course, Photoshop can handle this stuff in a more sophisticated way. Nevertheless, being able to do this in camera is definitely brilliant if you ask me.

Settings (all images): 1sec @ f14 @ ISO200

Looking forward to use this feature in a more sophisticated way in the future. God bless everyone…



Got an SB-600 this morning. Despite it undergoing a lot of nuking stress since its arrival, the little one is just as impressive as I have expected it to be. Easy to use, light and compact, quite good recycles… really appeals to my liking, this one.

I’m not in any form or way, paid to be endorsing Kitkats in this post, whatsoever. It just so happened that we’ve got loads of these lot crammed in the kitchen corner. And mind you, “corners” are really indispensable treasure geysers when one is in an urgent wish for a swift, home-made, always available, virtually cashless lighting setup but not having the right goods at hand (yet).

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f8 @ ISO 800; FEC +2.7, zoomed to 24mm

The setup: a couple of shoe boxes, to be disposed 2010 calendar (back) for background, VHS tapes as diffuser stand (+snoot), and a bond paper as diffuser.

The diffuser setup proved to be effective after all… and fun. =)

Here’s another one from the kitchen corners; trash bin specifically. But I wouldn’t be calling this garbage photography.

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ ISO 200; FEC -1.0, zoomed to 85mm

D3 + 50mm 1.4D: 1/250 @ f5.6 @ ISO 200; FEC -1.0, zoomed to 85mm

The setup: suit cover as background (the white markings was covered with a black laptop case), VHS tapes as reflectors this time, and a disposable plate for top fill reflector (handheld).

So there you go. One SB-600. And a little bit of improvisation. Works great. God bless everyone.