Nikon R1C1

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Nikon R1C1

Postby Geoff M on Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:05 pm

I have just invested in the Nikon R1C1 close up speedlight kit after much deliberation. I already own two SB800's and use these off camera and fire them via the on board flash of my D90 using the commander function. Two lights are great but sometimes you need more. I have been looking at adding more SB800's to the collection and also SB600's but thought the investment in the R1C1 kit may be a better option so that is what I did.

First impressions of the kit are very high. The contents of the kit are really quite extensive (I won't list them all here) and pretty impressive. The storage box is really something else and the designers have put a lot of thought into the safe storage of the items and have even included extra vacant compartments to accomadate the parts which come with another SB200 flash (flash, diffuser, gels and gel covers). All in all a quality piece of equipment.

The assembly of parts is very easy and a quick process, the flash heads do feel a little sloppy on the mounting ring but they are secure. Free movement is required for repositioning the flash heads around the ring and is acheived by squeezing two opposing buttons on the tilt mechanism of each flash.

The R1 is available without the SU800 commander unit at a cheaper price but my understanding is the SU800 is easier to operate and control settings of individual flash heads rather than using the commander menu of the camera. The cost of a stand alone SU800 from the retailer where I purchased the kit from was $377, the price differential of the R1 kit as opposed to thr R1C1 was $200 so a much more economical way of getting the SU800, which can be used with just the SB800's if required. (only difference between the two kits is the SU800)

I have had a chance to have a small play and the results I show here.

Both shots taken with my 60mm f 2.8 micro (I had to purchase an additional adaptor for this particular lens which cost an additional $65!)

#1
This flower shot was illuminated with one SB200 mounted on the R1 ring to the right of the lens and the second SB200 was placed behind the plant to illumniate the back of the leaves and provide a little rim light, quite pleased with the results on this one.

Image

#2
This is a shot of a seed pod again the light setup was with one flash attached to the R1 ring to the right of the lens and the second was placed to the back and underneath the onyx tile and fitted with a red gel to illuminate the white b/g. Again quite pleasing results although I wanted to keep the whole reflection of the seed pod in the onyx tile on which it is placed. But to do this I had to move further away from the subject and by increasing the distance there was not sufficent power to adequately illuminate the seed pod as can be seen in image #3 below.

Image

#3

Image

Early days yet and a bit of a learning curve ahead but I do feel this will be an exciting journey.
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby aim54x on Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:26 pm

I have been keen to get one of these kits for a very long time, and have used them a few times. They are heaps of fun to play with and I am sure you will enjoy it. Keep posting!
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby surenj on Fri Aug 26, 2011 12:14 pm

Hi Geoff,

Looks like a specialized piece of kit. Do you feel that it would be more difficult to achieve similar results with the SB800s? I can imagine it's easier to hand hold the setup with out needing four hands if using SBs 'off' camera.

Are these little flashes manually adjustable?
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby Geoff M on Fri Aug 26, 2011 2:07 pm

surenj wrote:Hi Geoff,

Looks like a specialized piece of kit. Do you feel that it would be more difficult to achieve similar results with the SB800s? I can imagine it's easier to hand hold the setup with out needing four hands if using SBs 'off' camera.

Are these little flashes manually adjustable?


Kit contents pictured, I do think the kit will prove to be very versatile especially when used in conjunction with the SB800's. Both the SB800's and the kit SB200's will have certain limiations and as you state hand holding the smaller SB200's will make life much easier than it would be with the SB800's. The physical size of the smaller units is a bonus as they are easily hidden.

Manual controls on the SB200's is limited to selection of the channel and group. Power output is controlled though the SU800 commander. Changing the balance of the power output of each unit is a breeze and can be set to a differential of upto 8x.

Image
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby Mr Darcy on Fri Aug 26, 2011 10:46 pm

I look at these every now and again. They would be perfect for a lot of what I use flash for.
What keeps stopping me getting them are the batteries. From memory, CR123 or thereabouts. Not standard & not rechargeable. I would be much happier if they used AA or AAA.
I would be interested in how you find battery life holds up.
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby Geoff M on Fri Aug 26, 2011 11:32 pm

Mr Darcy wrote:I look at these every now and again. They would be perfect for a lot of what I use flash for.
What keeps stopping me getting them are the batteries. From memory, CR123 or thereabouts. Not standard & not rechargeable. I would be much happier if they used AA or AAA.
I would be interested in how you find battery life holds up.


CR123A lithium batteries are required, x1 per flash and x1 for the SU800. I purchased mine from Dick Smiths at $12.99 each :shock: . I will shop around next time and after doing a quick google they are available as rechargeables. I will let you know how they perform long term but the flashes are fully charged and ready to go immediately after they have fired (with fresh batteries!).
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby aim54x on Sat Aug 27, 2011 12:11 am

Geoff M wrote:CR123A lithium batteries are required, x1 per flash and x1 for the SU800. I purchased mine from Dick Smiths at $12.99 each :shock: . I will shop around next time and after doing a quick google they are available as rechargeables. I will let you know how they perform long term but the flashes are fully charged and ready to go immediately after they have fired (with fresh batteries!).


*cringe* yes CR123A's are expensive, but I would stay away from rechargeable's as they tend not to give you the same voltage and there have been many reports (check CPF) of the results of damage caused by RCR123A's
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Nikon R1C1

Postby chrisk on Sat Aug 27, 2011 9:41 am

Geoff M wrote:
Mr Darcy wrote:I look at these every now and again. They would be perfect for a lot of what I use flash for.
What keeps stopping me getting them are the batteries. From memory, CR123 or thereabouts. Not standard & not rechargeable. I would be much happier if they used AA or AAA.
I would be interested in how you find battery life holds up.


CR123A lithium batteries are required, x1 per flash and x1 for the SU800. I purchased mine from Dick Smiths at $12.99 each :shock: . I will shop around next time and after doing a quick google they are available as rechargeables. I will let you know how they perform long term but the flashes are fully charged and ready to go immediately after they have fired (with fresh batteries!).


Geoff i have 2 kits and have been buying cr123 batteries from ebay for years in bulk packs. Around $4 each for duracell photo ultra and a little less for standard energisers. I will link you to who i buy from if you like but i suspect that will all be the same. My guess is that they are just very good knockoffs. I have run them consecutively with aussie bought duracells and they last around 10% less than the genuine...for a quarter of the price, i'll take the hit. I have tried the rechargeables and they suck ass, waste of money.

Another tip is that you need to turn the sbr200s off when not in use as they do not have auto standby so will drain your batteries quick smart.
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby aim54x on Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:50 pm

A certain moderator of this site offers the KOLT branded CR123A's for well under $3 each, and even cheaper when you buy in bulk.

http://wolfeyes.com.au/batteries-chargers-c-22.html?osCsid=kgp1qb4lrq0t840iam2pnjf2l6

If you prefer something branded

http://www.ledtorches.com.au/batteries/cat_23.html
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby Mr Darcy on Sat Aug 27, 2011 8:44 pm

It is not just the $-cost. It is also the e-cost. That's a lot of landfill that rechargables would minimise.
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby aim54x on Sat Aug 27, 2011 10:31 pm

Mr Darcy wrote:It is not just the $-cost. It is also the e-cost. That's a lot of landfill that rechargables would minimise.


That is another consideration. A very important one
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby chrisk on Sun Aug 28, 2011 10:11 am

nicely said greg.
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby Geoff M on Sun Aug 28, 2011 9:08 pm

Rooz wrote:nicely said greg.


Ditto
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby surenj on Mon Aug 29, 2011 9:10 pm

Geoff M wrote:CR123A lithium batteries are required, x1 per flash and x1 for the SU800

Little did I know that there was a catch!
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby ATJ on Wed Jun 13, 2012 3:31 pm

Bringing this old topic back to life and taking it somewhat off topic...

I have a underwater light that I hang off the back of my tank while on night dives. It just makes it a bit easier for my buddy to see me from behind (if my camera lights are somehow obscured). The light takes a CR123A battery and I'd rather not having to keep buying batteries. Chris, how bad were the rechargeable versions? The no-name brand battery that came with the light lasted for 3 dives and I really only need the rechargeable to last for one dive between charges. Do you think you were getting more than 1/3 the life of the proper lithium batteries?
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby sirhc55 on Wed Jun 13, 2012 10:28 pm

ATJ wrote:Bringing this old topic back to life and taking it somewhat off topic...

I have a underwater light that I hang off the back of my tank while on night dives. It just makes it a bit easier for my buddy to see me from behind (if my camera lights are somehow obscured). The light takes a CR123A battery and I'd rather not having to keep buying batteries. Chris, how bad were the rechargeable versions? The no-name brand battery that came with the light lasted for 3 dives and I really only need the rechargeable to last for one dive between charges. Do you think you were getting more than 1/3 the life of the proper lithium batteries?


Andrew if I am to be honest I can’t remember.
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Nikon R1C1

Postby ATJ on Thu Jun 14, 2012 6:48 am

sirhc55 wrote:Andrew if I am to be honest I can’t remember.

Sorry, I meant the other Chris (Rooz).
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Re: Nikon R1C1

Postby chrisk on Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:04 pm

ATJ wrote:
sirhc55 wrote:Andrew if I am to be honest I can’t remember.

Sorry, I meant the other Chris (Rooz).


andrew, i was getting about 50-80 flashes before i had to wait a while, (5-10 seconds), for them to recharge. after around 100-150 shots they were dead.
considering i was rarely using them at over 1/2 power, i wasn't impressed.

perhaps in the last year the technology has improved, im not sure. mine were bought off ebay and were a blue colour and the brand was i think gtc from memory. i have since thrown them out.
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