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I am using a Nikon D800 to trigger the Godox V860 II N with the pop up flash. 

The flash is triggered and fires without problems, but using the same settings I get completely different exposures if I take the flash back to the camera. 

In brief, iTTL off-camera slave exposes averagely one stop and a half brighter than iTTL on-camera. Same zoom on the flash same settings on the camera. 

I am adjusting this setting by -1EV on the "commander mode" page of the D800 and a +0.5EV on an i-ttl green page of the Godox. But it is clearly a workaround. 

What am I doing wrong?

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2 Answers 2

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...I am adjusting this setting ... on i-ttl green page of the Godox.

This doesn't sound like your V860 II is set up properly to be used as a Nikon CLS/AWL optical slave to the 800D's pop-up flash in commander mode. The V860 II has five different triggering modes, which you cycle through with the horizontal lighting bolt button on the right. They are:

  • On-camera mode (no wireless): no icon, green backlight
  • CLS optical commander: lightning bolt icon, green backlight
  • CLS optical slave: lightning bolt icon, orange backlight
  • radio master: antenna icon, green backlight
  • radio slave: antenna icon, orange backlight

You need to set your flash into CLS optical slave.

The S1/S2 optical slave modes are "dumb" optical slave modes. It's like Nikon's SU-4 mode. It simply fires the flash whenever another flash burst is sensed, so will also work with your D800's pop-up flash. But there's no other communication and the D800's pop-up cannot communicate TTL at all. The S1 mode fires the V860 II on the first burst sensed; S2 on the second burst sensed so it can skip a TTL metering pre-bust. But with CLS/AWL, which uses multiple pre-bursts of light to communicate settings before sending the fire signal, the timing may also be off unless the flash is set to a power level low enough that it can recycle between the pre-flashes for the main burst.

One last note, be aware that pop-up flashes typically can't do HSS (they're too low-powered). So, they won't be able to communicate HSS as wireless commander/master to off-camera slaves, either.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, if the off camera flash is being triggered in S1/S2 mode, then power is set on the external flash only using the external flash's controls. Moving it closer or further to the subject without changing the power setting on the external flash will, naturally, increase or decrease exposure due to the inverse square rule. \$\endgroup\$
    – Michael C
    Mar 12, 2023 at 6:53
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If the screen on the Godox is green that means it is in master mode... orange means it is in slave mode. If the symbol in the upper left corner is the lighting bolt that means it is in optical(CLS) mode as well.

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