3rd party flashes and CLS

pigeyejacksnpigeyejacksn Posts: 36Member
edited December 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
I can't seem to find a definitive answer anywhere...Do 3rd party flashes support CLS? For example, I am interested in continuing to have access to commander mode functions that the Nikon flashes provide. I've had a couple SB-600s and a couple SB-700s, but I had to do a bunch of shifting around of my gear so I could afford the upgrade from DX to full frame. I may decide to do another SB-700, but I want to weigh all my options out. I have never used a 3rd party flash since my film days and only had to think about TTL. This is a little different. I had an issue yesterday during a shoot between my D750 and a brand new SB-700 which is a story for a different thread, but it nailed home the fact I need to get a backup again quickly...yes I know better. I just want to see if I'd be missing anything and if there are good options out there. Thanks for the input.
Post edited by pigeyejacksn on
D750 w/MB-D16 Grip, D300, Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, Nikon 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR, TC-17E II, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Nikon 10.5 DX, Tamron 90mm Macro f2.8, Lens Baby Composer, SB-700, Singh-Ray Galen Rowell ND Filter.


  • PhotobugPhotobug Posts: 5,133Member
    My understanding is no 3rd party flashes do not support CLS. I let the pros answer since some or most use 3rd party flashes.
    D750 & D7100 | 24-70 F2.8 G AF-S ED, 70-200 F2.8 AF VR, TC-14E III, TC-1.7EII, 35 F2 AF D, 50mm F1.8G, 105mm G AF-S VR | Backup & Wife's Gear: D5500 & Sony HX50V | 18-140 AF-S ED VR DX, 55-300 AF-S G VR DX |
    |SB-800, Amaran Halo LED Ring light | MB-D16 grip| Gitzo GT3541 + RRS BH-55LR, Gitzo GM2942 + Sirui L-10 | RRS gear | Lowepro, ThinkTank, & Hoodman gear | BosStrap | Vello Freewave Plus wireless Remote, Leica Lens Cleaning Cloth |
  • CoastalconnCoastalconn Posts: 527Member
    I have a Meike Mk-910. I don't do a ton of flash work, but it seems to work fine set as a remote and using on-board as a commander. My guess is maybe 85-90% compatible with CLS...

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 0
    edited December 2014
    Yongnuo has a lot of them. I have a couple of YN565EX, but there are already newer ones. Eveb much better connect them with the YN-622N (2 for $80) and the YN-622n-TX controller ($40), i-ttl and everything. For HSS you need another flash.
    Post edited by [Deleted User] on
    Those who say it can't be done, should not interrupt those doing it!
  • ptrmckyptrmcky Posts: 44Member
    There are some that support CLS features. I bought a Metz flash a few years ago and I know it could be controlled to some degree from the camera. It wasn't able to act as a commander, but I'm pretty sure their top of the line flash was able to. If you want CLS you are best buying Nikon flashes so you know they will continue to work with any future cameras you buy. If you just want easy off camera flash buy Yongnuo's with the built in rf receivers. You can probably get 4 of them for the price of one Nikon flash.
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    Most pros I have seen using multiple flashes use radio triggers. These are now available inexpensively, are much more reliable than IR triggering like CLS, and work with almost any flash. For best control, use flashes that are ttl compatible with nikon.

    .... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,217Member
    The YNs will not act as commanders ..you need a Nikon for that but they work fine as remotes giving ittl mode just like a nikon ....Invest in YN622n for triggers and then its all beautifull..you dont always need a YN622TX depending on what you are doing.
  • overlordoverlord Posts: 1Member
    edited December 2014
    All of my Nissin flashes work with CLS, TTL and manual. The di866 mk2 works perfect as a commander on camera and can be set to any channel and group. The di-622 mk2 works on channel 1 group A only, the di-700 works only on channel 1 in any group (ABC). These Nissin flashes cost about half the price of a Nikon one so this leaves a little room for an extra flash. I am very satisfied with the build quality and especially the specs from the di-866, which can rival with the sb900.
    Post edited by overlord on
  • pigeyejacksnpigeyejacksn Posts: 36Member
    Thanks everyone. Great info! I'll have to weigh some of these options. A lot will have to depend on what Santa will be willing to bring.
    D750 w/MB-D16 Grip, D300, Nikon 16-35 f4 VR, Nikon 24-70 f2.8, Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VR, TC-17E II, Nikon 50mm f1.8, Nikon 10.5 DX, Tamron 90mm Macro f2.8, Lens Baby Composer, SB-700, Singh-Ray Galen Rowell ND Filter.
  • The_Other_SteveThe_Other_Steve Posts: 14Member
    If you can, get one that has optical slave. It's added flexibility, no extra gadget to carry and have batteries for.

    Check the reviews, I can't remember which brand/model, but I've seen a number of "overheated and stopped working" reviews. My SB25/600/700/800s get worked hard and just keep working. A cheap flash that overheats easily and stops working is false economy.
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    Several makers offer CLS, to include Nissin, Yongnuo and Metz. I have a Metz that works quite well with my Nikon flashes.

    For long-distance work, as well as out-of-line-of sight work, a radio-controlled flash would have distinct advantages.

    @ The_Other_Steve - the overheating unit that I'm aware of is the SB900 from Nikon which is a overheating mess to be avoided.

    My best,


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