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-5000 or SB-500, settings can be adjusted from the camera. For more information, see “Using Optical AWL with the SB-5000 or SB-500” (Using Optical AWL with the SB-5000 or 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-5000 or SB-500

Mount the flash unit on the camera accessory shoe. Select [Optical AWL] for [Flash control] > [Wireless flash options] in the photo shooting menu and choose a remote flash control mode (the SB-500 supports only [Group flash]). Choose a remote flash control mode and take pictures as described below.

The SB-5000

When an SB-5000 is mounted on the camera accessory shoe, [Flash control] settings can also be changed using the controls on the flash unit.

Group Flash

Select this item if you want to adjust settings separately for the flash units in each group.

  1. C: Select [Group flash] for [Flash control] > [Remote flash control].
  2. C: Highlight [Group flash options] in the [Flash control] display and press 2.
  3. 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:

      Option

      Description

      TTL

      i-TTL flash control.

      qA

      Auto aperture. Available only with compatible flash units.

      M

      Choose the flash level manually.

      – –
      (off)

      The remote units do not fire. [Comp.] cannot be adjusted.

    • For [Channel], choose the channel (1–4) the master flash will use for optical remote flash control.

    • If the remote flash units include an SB‑500, you must choose Channel [3].

  4. f: Choose a channel for the remote flash units.

    Set the remote flash units to the channel selected for [Channel] in Step 3.

  5. f: Group the remote flash units.

    • Choose a group (A, B, or C).

    • If you are using an SB-500 as the master flash, choose from groups A and 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.

  6. 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, use the [Test flash] item in the i menu, which can be added to the menu using Custom Setting f1 [Customize i menu].

  7. C/f: Take the photograph after confirming that the flash-ready lights for all flash units are lit.

Flash Info

Group flash options can be viewed using the [Flash info] item in the i menu, which can be added to the menu using Custom Setting f1 [Customize i menu].

Quick Wireless Control (SB-5000 Only)

Select this item to control the relative balance between the remote flash units in groups A and B and adjust flash output for group C. Output for group C is adjusted manually.

  1. C: Select [Quick wireless control] for [Flash control] > [Remote flash control].
  2. C: Highlight [Quick wireless control options] in the [Flash control] display and press 2.
  3. C: Adjust quick wireless control settings.

    • Choose the balance between groups A and B.

    • Adjust flash compensation for groups A and B.

    • Adjust settings for group C:

      • Select [M] to enable or [– –] to disable the units in group C.

      • When [M] is selected, the units in group C will fire at the chosen output.

    • Choose the channel.

      • For [Channel], choose the channel (1–4) the master flash will use for optical remote flash control.

      • If the remote flash units include an SB‑500, you must choose Channel [3].

  4. f: Choose a channel for the remote flash units.

    Set the remote flash units to the channel selected for [Channel] in Step 3.

  5. f: Group the remote flash units.

    • Choose a group (A, B, or C).

    • 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.

  6. 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, use the [Test flash] item in the i menu, which can be added to the menu using Custom Setting f1 [Customize i menu].

  7. C/f: Take the photograph after confirming that the flash-ready lights for all flash units are lit.

Flash Info

Quick wireless control settings can be viewed using the [Flash info] item in the i menu, which can be added to the menu using Custom Setting f1 [Customize i menu].

Remote Repeating (SB-5000 Only)

The flash units fire repeatedly while the shutter is open, producing a multiple-exposure effect.

  1. C: Select [Remote repeating] for [Flash control] > [Remote flash control].
  2. C: Highlight [Remote repeating options] in the [Flash control] display and press 2.
  3. C: Adjust remote repeating options.

    • Adjust “output”, “times”, and “frequency”.

    • Enable or disable selected groups.

      • Select [ON] to enable or [– –] to disable the selected group.

    • Choose the channel.

      • For [Channel], choose the channel (1–4) the master flash will use for optical remote flash control.

      • If the remote flash units include an SB-500, you must choose Channel [3].

  4. f: Choose a channel for the remote flash units.

    Set the remote flash units to the channel selected for [Channel] in Step 3.

  5. f: Group the remote flash units.

    • Choose a group (A, B, or C).

    • 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.

  6. 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, use the [Test flash] item in the i menu, which can be added to the menu using Custom Setting f1 [Customize i menu].

  7. C/f: Take the photograph after confirming that the flash-ready lights for all flash units are lit.

Optical AWL
  • 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.

Flash Info

Remote repeating options can be viewed using the [Flash info] item in the i menu, which can be added to the menu using Custom Setting f1 [Customize i menu].