metropolicity PRO 12:09am, 27 November 2010
Hey Gang.

I had this crazy thought about increasing the IR sensors sensitivity on my SB800's esp when using the SU800 commander.

Flashlights use tiny little lenses on the front of them to spread the light out, so my reverse engineering brain says it can collect the same way!

I took some 11mm flashlight lenses I found on Dealextreme (a 20pk for something like 2 bucks) I used some stick tack to position it on a CLS ready SB800. I also took a non "nippled" SB800 as a controlled variable.

As I turned the sb800s, starting from the IR sensor directly facing the SU800, every pop was reliable until one more turn rendered the non-nippled one useless and the nippled one FIRED!

Science 1, Silly IR sensor positioning 0.

Here's a quick diagram of roughly how much gain I got for a reception cone.

The CLS Nipple Mod, Area of Reception Diagram.

a few pics of how I superglued the lenses on top of the IR sensor. I used a little cone of sticktack to hold on to the small lens while i applied a VERY small bead of super glue to the very edge (otherwise you are going to get fogging from the fumes of the glue)

Here's the CLS Nipple installed

The CLS Nipple.

See how the it sits proud from the body of the SB?

The CLS Nipple.

Hope this helps!

Happy Hacking!
It's just Mark PRO 7 years ago
Have you completed scientific tests to determine if this mod is actually doing what you hope it will do ?
I'm seriously concerned that the little lens actually cuts down on the sensor's sensitivity...
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
Yes, i did a long range 15 meter test while rotating the flashes (nippled and none) until the non nippled one stopped firing and the nippled one kept on going.
It's just Mark PRO 7 years ago
I'll be damned. :-)
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
i KNOW! i was surprised. I figure it was a $2 experiment. I have 8 Sb800s so this was a worthy upgrade.
It's just Mark PRO 7 years ago
You have EIGHT of them? I thought only Joe Mcnally and David Hobby had so many!
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
uhh. yah, took me 3 years to collect that many. I actually use them all :)
LanceRiley 7 years ago
wow.. this is interesting... 3m actually makes this little stuffs. no need to glue em i hope...
I wish I could get my hands on some 800's...
CadenzaPhotography 7 years ago
can you believe they already sold out?
Ditto ^^. Since they come 100 to a pack - more than even Joe could use in a lifetime, anyone have 4-6 they can sell to me?
Your realize, of course, that this discovery officially makes you a geek? Welcome to the club, metropolicity! Great little discovery.
danette5 7 years ago
Rats! Sold out and I want these! Will have to wait patiently...
liver.larson PRO 7 years ago
genius idea. I am trying this ASAP with my SB600s.

Here are some with the same diameter and slightly shorter focal length (potentially better results!)*2.2mm-Acrylic-Lens-10.88mm*2.4mm-Acr...
Andrew Alexander [deleted] 7 years ago
I wonder if it affects the range of the SB-800's sensitivity?
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
WhoA! on front page of strobist.

I've never doubted or denied my intense nerdiness. Having a Masters in design validates it.

jasongreen2010 7 years ago
Hey guys I know of another place to get little lenses like that
Bailey Blvd Studios PRO 7 years ago
Sorry for the confusion, but in your diagram you have the 5th battery in use. In the photos you do not. Wouldn't you be able to get to 180 degrees without the extra battery case blocking the sensor from the rear?
LayerMask 7 years ago
Has this been tested in bright ambient light or outside in sunlight?
It may be a little premature to call Nikon engineers unscientific or silly.
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
@ LayerMask

I used it mid day in the super bright winter, snow covered atmosphere. It worked fine. I am not sure about competing DIRECT sunlight but honestly, it never worked in those kind of conditions. In those cases, I could just use my 30ft TTL cord to master one of them.

I usually use CLS in groups on one of my multiflash brackets so positioning the IR window isn't always an option.


yah. I would imagine it would be closer to 180 or so. I wanted a more clear photo so I took the 5th battery off of one.

Caveat, this isn't for everyone, I just wanted some more reliability when I was using my multi flash brackets so I can squeeze more juice out of each one when using HSS.
thao_trinh 7 years ago
What if you used a more protruding nipple, I wonder if that area of range would be even wider?
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
I bet it would but the more stuff you put in front of it, the less sensitive it'll become. Plastic isn't 100% transmission rate but maybe 80-90%.
Bailey Blvd Studios PRO 7 years ago
Actually I think PMMA (acrylic) is about 92%. Polycarbonate would be lower. Thickness and wavelength will have an impact as well.
Todd Armstrong 7 years ago
Oh!!! Bro you might have saved me much more headaches! I was actually in the proses of Velcroing some sort of reflective material around the area which I would have to maneuver constantly. I also use my hand to direct the flash pulse from my pop up flash by bouncing and it usually saves me but is still a hassle.
This however may be my solution. I'm gona try it! Thanks! Tell Nikon!!!!!
philippewuestenbergs 7 years ago
I like nipples
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
+1 Philppe :)
metropolicity PRO 7 years ago
I have some reflective foil tape on the side of the 5th battery pack to reflect some light back at the sensor. I think with this system, it'll be much more responsive.

Also, for those of you worrying about DISTANCE. Whens the last time you shot something at 100 ft with CLS? ASK YOURSELF?! :) haha
alphamediaproductions 7 years ago
One thing that I found to be surprisingly effective is to point the sensor INTO an umbrella (I always shoot with umbrella with the SB800). By doing this, the umbrella seems to act like a satellite dish, collecting light from all around and focusing it into the sensor! I use this setup exclusively and almost never miss a CLS signal, even outdoors in bright sunlight.

The only time it misses, is if the sensor is directly in the sun, which is usually easily avoidable when the sensor is pointed into the umbrella.
PHOTOwebbDesigns [deleted] 6 years ago
i just stumbled upon this mod and found th elenses for sale
PHOTOwebbDesigns [deleted] 5 years ago
if anyone is looking for these lenses i just got my shipment of 100
Groups Beta