Dave's right. This CLS lighting system is reason enough to buy the cameras that use it. Flash image quality is vastly improved by using small softboxes, such as the Photoflex Litedome XS, Morris, or even a tiny Lumiquest softbox, on these CLS Speedlights. For that reason, among others, one should consider starting with an SB-800. Once you begin diffusing the speedlights, you will never quit. Diffusion costs you 1-1/2 stops.
Same goes for stopping down to f/8 - f/11 for macro. You need a lot of power for fill lighting. I'm using a D200, two SB800's, and a 600 [which I wish was a 3d 800]...
Looks great (the system and the review)! Since Canon has had a very similar system since 1997 (when EOS-3 was released) it would be great if it could be reviewed as well, already. Vesa..
Very well written and comprehensive article!.
Nikon should consider contracting with you to write their SB800 manual..
The delivery of clear and concise information certainly is a big help in deployment of this system..
I've been using a D200 with two SB-800s for some time now, with excellent results. When doing events such as wedding receptions, I stick one SB-800 on a lightstand and one on my D200's hotshoe. Both strobes are fitted with Gary Fong Lightspheres. Sometimes I put both SB-800s on lightstands and control them using the D200's built-in flash for portraits. I couldn't be happier with the results from this (fairly) portable setup. The system is easy to figure out and control, right from the back of the hotshoe-mounted SB-800, just like the review states. Nikon has really hit a home run with the CLS...
I saw this system first in action at the Nikon Exhibition in Bristol in November 07. Once seen - you will be hooked ! Seriously useful to location glamour/portrait photographers. It will undoubtedly change the way I work. The only problem is that I now have to save up for the Nikon D3 as well!..
I have a question about the CLS system. I want to use the onboard flash as the command for the SB 800 but don"t want the onboard flash to fire. I went into the menu and changed the setting to the double horizontal lines. I thought that would keep the onboard flash from firing but it is still firing along with the SB 800. Any thoughts would be appreciated...