SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander
Goes where Pocket Wizards can't... UNDERWATER (protected of course)
I've had the SU-800 unit for many years and have used it under a variety of conditions.
Due to its requirement to have line of sight with my SB-900 and SB-910 speedlights, it was somewhat limited. Works inside better than outside, though I have had great and consistent success on the beach and so on, as long as the little speedlight sensor was facing the SU-800.
I could not place the speedlights behind partitions, under cars, inside cars (while shooting from the exterior), so I had to figure out other ways to trigger my flash units some other way under these conditions.
I do a fair amount of underwater photography... There are a couple of ways to trigger a speedlight underwater... One, Use a SB-910 on camera and set it up as a master/commander for the other speedlights. Problem with that is, there is a light source ON the camera, even if it's just to trigger other flashes. Placing the SU-800 on camera, allows me to trigger other flashes, without emitting light and, allows me to control exposure values from a distance. Pocket wizards do NOT communicate through water, the SU-800, being a light spectrum communicator, does!
As I have already mentioned, I have used this unit for many years and can share that it is well made, does what it is supposed to do and holds up under frequent, nearly daily, use.
Get a battery tester, as the SU-800 does not indicate battery level... before I purchased a battery tester, I threw away many, probably still useable, batteries... just so I would not have one quit at an inopportune moment. You can't change batteries underwater!
I hope you benefit from this review, I would definitely endorse this unit for all of the Nikon CLS units.
January 20, 2015
Another great Nikon product.
I have the SU 800 about six months now. As with all Nikon products, it does exactly what it is supposed to do. Not one complaint. I have learned that if you use original Nikon products, you will never experience any problems. After market products are what they are. Cheep imitations are the worst way to go. They sell at lower price for a reason. They cannot compare to original manufactured Nikon products.
December 8, 2014
I own and use a D2X, it does not have transmitter for wireless flash,
I purchased the the R1 C1 entire kit that included this unit, SU-800,
I have to say I rarely have my SB800 mounted on my camera anymore.
I have owned this for 5 years now and use it anytime I need flash.
I have used it controlling my SB800 and both SB-R200 flashes and it has worked flawlessly.
I love the versatility it brings, the creativity you can have with off camera flash and a controller that works, every time.
As with all my Nikon products, it is reliable, dependable and a solid unit, working flawlessly with the Nikon systems.
You can not go wrong purchasing this unit.
June 7, 2012
Excellent Speedlight commander
I had a chance to really use this Speedlight Commander recently. It is an excellent unit and the true plus for this unit is that is easy to operate and understand. It can command 3 flash groups independently of each other and exposure can be set differently for each of the 3 groups. If I have 2 flashes to be used for a shoot I don't have to have one of the flashes on the camera with the SU-800. I love the 33ft reach of the auto focus assist lamp, far superior than using the camera's built in Speedlight. The SU-800 requires a Lithium 123 battery, however overall it is a great unit, I would highly recommend it.
March 25, 2012
Easy Control Over Your Speed light Farm!
If you use multiple CLS speedlights, this SU-800 commander makes the choir of setting the remote speedlights output quickly, not to mention by wireless. I use mine mostly in the field and appreciate the easy to use buttons which control all my speedlights groups. This commander can operate on any one of the 3 channels, and can control 3 groups of speedlights and each group can be set unique; meaning, a group of speedlights can be set independent of the other groups with any number of speedlights per group. I can set one group as main flash, the other group as 1:2 side lighting, and the third group as 1:4 back lighting. I can do this all from the commander, all I need to do is simply place the speedlights where I like and dial in the settings from the commander, and when the camera is triggered the speedlights fire. If I need to change the output of one of the speedlights, I do it from the commander. The commander takes one 3v "2019" non-rechargeable battery, commonly called "123". The unit powers down when the camera sleeps making for long battery life. The backlighted display is easy to read even in daylight. The unit can control speedlights up to approx 60 feet, the speedlights need to be in line of sight so they can be triggered. It also supports TTL using a cable. The unit itself is compact, less than half the size of a normal Nikon Speedlight. Not much more to say about the unit except it works well and does exactly what it was designed to do - control your speedlights.
October 9, 2010