Author Topic: Nikon SB-5000 as Master (controller) of Slaves (remotes) with D850, Z7 II, etc.  (Read 664 times)

David H. Hartman

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Can the Nikon SB-5000 be used as an optical master on a Nikon D850 or Z7 II and Z6 II as one would use a Nikon SB-910/900 on these cameras or as one would control the popup on a Nikon D800?

Can the Nikon SB-5000 be controlled as a master and can the remote units be controlled from the D850 Flash Control menu and can the same be done with a Nikon Z7 II or Z6 II?

Can the SB-5000 on a D850 be used to control optical remotes such as the SB-800 and SB-700 in manual mode using the Flash Control menu in the D850's Photo Shooting Menu, Flash Control?

The Nikon SB-5000 and D850 menus seem to indicated that SB-5000 is a "Unified Flash Control" speedlight and one or the other gives example of TTL control on the SB-5000 controls and in the camera's Photo shooting menu, flash control submenu but I'll be damned if I can find example of setting up the Nikon SB-5000 as a master to control speedlights like the SB-700, 800, 900/910 or another SB-5000. The information is probably in the SB-5000 user manual but it seems one must be an SB-5000 priest and know the ritual myths. In particular if one does not know the "official" terms to search what is in the manual will be inaccessible.

I don't have a brick and mortar camera store in reasonable driving distance. I guess I have to buy an SB-5000 from an internet retailer with a generous return policy. However it one reading this post knows the answer to my questions I'd buy with confidence or decline to buy.

I use TTL (standard) for most indoor shooting and TTL BL (balanced) outdoors in sunlight for fill. I use TTL for situation where the distance from the flash to the subject varies and when using a single light source either on or off camera.

I normally use full manual control when shooting with off camera flash and multiple lights. When using multiple lights the flash to subject distance is normally a fixed distance. I'm looking for in the camera menu of off camera flash units in full manual flash mode.

Honestly once you understand how to use the flash units, even the SB-800 is quite easy to use, but reading the manuals is not.

Thank you! and please forgive if I've asked this before.


Is "Camera Talk" the correct area of NG for questions concerning flash? The SB-5000, 500 and 400 are "Unified Flash" units. That is "Unified" with cameras like the D850, Z7 II, Z6 II etc.
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Erik Lund

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As I understand, you use either your D850 or Camera Control Pro 2 on a computer to 'radio' control the SB-5000.You can also control other flash like SB-910 but with the limitations 'line of sight' that  they have.
Erik Lund

Ilkka Nissilä

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You can use the SB-5000 as a commander, master or slave as previous units (optical CLS) or as radio remote with WR-R10 and its successors (radio-controlled CLS) or even mix the two control systems if you like.

Jack Dahlgren

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Just saw this post and was struck by how the post has "controller" and "remote" in parentheses while "Master" and "Slave" are capitalized. I think it was more than a year ago that many tech companies moved away from master/slave and went to more neutral language to describe this sort of relationship.

Dave did a good job of supplying appropriate and frankly better alternatives in English. Hopefully next time we can continue with these terms and leave master and slave out of the whole thing.

That's it.