The NEW Nikon D5 camera and SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control are here …and they are AWESOME. This month’s WATR blog/article features my images and commentary while photographing on assignment in Japan using these two NEW amazing pieces of equipment from Nikon.
Nikon’s NEW D5 camera and SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control are a winning combination for any photographer. The D5 camera’s larger file size of 20.6 MP, Touch Screen, improved High ISO up to 102,400 and In-Camera Commander ability to operate the NEW SB-5000 Speedlights via Radio Control are just a few of the NEW features and improvements over the D4s.
Image #1. Autumn Leap … NEW Nikon D5, ISO4000, 1/1000 at f6.3, NEW Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 VR zoom lens, WB 3030K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control (each has the Nikon CTO orange warming gel), SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
While traveling to 7 different cities/regions in JAPAN my experience with Nikon’s NEW D5 and SB-5000 Speedlights was nothing short of spectacular.
Photographing on location in the Yamanashi Forest region of JAPAN, this Olympic Rythmic Gymnast was one of my first location shoots. The NEW Nikon D5 camera with WR-R10 transceiver enables the D5 to become the Commander for the NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with 100 feet of radio control capabilities making possible the creative lighting situation for my Olympian and the colorful autumn trees.
The NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight now offers 6 Groups, making a variety of power output lighting scenarios possible and easily controlled from the D5 in-camera Commander. Creative lighting control is now easier than ever.
The NEW Nikon D5 camera’s super clean High ISO performance in Low-Light situations and the amazing 100 feet distance radio control range of the NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights was the perfect combination needed for this unique opportunity to illuminate Wake Boarding legend Hiromichi Aoki on Lake Kawaguchi near Mt. Fuji, JAPAN.
For this High Speed Sync action I used the NEW Nikon D5 at ISO 4000 shooting from the main Tow Boat, while my 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights are located way Off-Camera in a second boat, thus creating an “Off-Camera” lighting arrangement. The second boat with my 4 SB-5000 Speedlights is about 90 feet from my Tow-Boat and about 60 feet to the side from my athlete (100+ feet from D5 camera). I found it easy to make power output adjustments to each of the SB-5000 Speedlights directly from the in-camera Commander of the D5.
Image #3. Dye Master Artist Documentary … NEW Nikon D5, ISO640, 1/250 at f11, Nikon 16-35mm f4 lens (at 22mm), WB 6250K, 5 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
My experience working with the NEW Nikon D5 and NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights was not just High Speed Sync sports action. This documentary project with Japan’s legendary Dye Master Artist Sachio Yoshioka involved 14 different lighting scenarios in 8 locations in Kyoto, JAPAN.
The NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight with Radio Control and 6 Groups made placement of Speedlights fast and easy for this all day–multiple location documentary. Most of the lighting scenarios require placement of the SB-5000 Speedlights to be out of camera sight in other rooms and even outdoors. My experience was 100% control and firing in every situation.
For this location shoot at the Cultural Event Center in Kyoto, JAPAN I used 5 Groups of the 6 Groups available with the Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights. I placed 3 Speedlights on a single lightstand inside the room to spotlight Dye Master Artist Sachio Yoshioka and colorfully dyed silks. Outside the room I used 2 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights to illuminate his daughter wearing a traditional Japanese Kimono.
Each of the 5 SB-5000 Speedlights is set to a different Group and a different power output, all of which are triggered by the Nikon D5 camera with WR-R10 transceiver. The power output of all SB-5000 Speedlights is controlled from the in-camera Commander of the NEW Nikon D5.
The most challenging location shoot was Snow Boarding at FueFuki City’s famed indoor Half Pipe. In order to keep a clean background for the image I decided to turn off all the lights over the Half Pipe area. This made it extremely dark not only for the athletes but for me to see them performing as well. This scenario became an unexpected field TEST for the D5 and its NEW AF algorithm and lens activation mechanism.
The NEW Nikon D5 features a super clean high ISO even at ultra-high ISO settings up to 102,400 and beyond …and the D5 offers an amazing NEW AF algorithm and lens activation mechanism. These 2 features enable the photographer to accurately Auto Focus subjects in extremely dark and difficult situations, and retain clean images at extremely high ISO settings … Perfect for the near blackout conditions of the indoor Half Pipe.
Our athletes would emerge from nearly total darkness to fly though the air into a narrow shaft of “FLASH” provided by 5 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights. I placed 2 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights on the “launch” edge of the Half Pipe, while 3 additional Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights would provide some “back/side-light” from their location 20 feet across the Half Pipe on the opposite edge.
What’s more amazing is the NEW SB-5000 Speedlights revolutionary “Flash Cooling System” It is this NEW Flash Cooling System that enabled me to take 3 continuous “lit” frames of each airborne athlete. Yes, you heard me…3 continuous frames, all 3 perfectly lit …can life as a photographer get any better than this!
Image #5. Kendo (Way of the Sword)… NEW Nikon D5, ISO125, 2.5 seconds at f8, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR zoom lens, WB 6250K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control, 4 LED Panels, SanDisk Extreme Pro 32G Flash Card.
“Kendo” is a type of Japanese Martial Art-Fencing sport new to me and a fascinating experience while photographing in our final location city of Tokyo, JAPAN.
With the ambient light from 4 LED panels I was able to capture this Kendo athlete performing his intricate sword maneuvers during the 2.5 seconds exposure time.
With the “motion blur” captured with light from the LED panels, I then added 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights: 1 SB-5000 with a red gel and 1 SB-5000 with a blue gel and 2 SB-5000 Speedlights without colored gels to “freeze” the athlete’s final dynamic position.
This lighting scenario has some complexity when determining the exposure and the rear curtain sync “flash” timing, and quite frankly requires some “trial and error” on the part of the photographer and athlete. But the entire process was made easier thanks to the availability of using 4 Groups and controlling the power output of each SB-5000 directly from the in-camera Commander of the NEW Nikon D5 camera.
These 5 images illustrate only a small glimpse of the imagery captured while working on assignment during my 8 days in JAPAN. Next month’s WATR article will feature more images and technical capabilities that the NEW Nikon D5 camera and NEW Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control offer today’s photographer.
There’s always more to learn on WATR and on Instagram @daveblackphoto. Until next time…Adios. Dave