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Question: I have a D80 and an SB800. The only way I can figure out to increase or decrease the flash EV is in the flash menu on the camera. Once I set the built-in flash camera Commander Mode, I don't see a place on the SB800 LCD to apply EV compensation. I see how to do that in the flash manual mode. Does that compensation still work once I switch to Commander Mode? A huge mystery for me.
Answer: If you're using the built-in as a commander to drive the remote 800, then yes: you can only adjust the flash EV for that 800 via the camera menu. Go to Commander Mode in the menu and dial in EV, which it sounds like you are good to go with. If you are using the built-in for flash purposes, with no remote, you dial in flash EV directly to that unit by pushing the lightning bolt symbol and rotating the index finger dial, or sub command dial, for plus or minus values.
Be careful if you leave an EV comp in the camera. Say you were running the built-in at minus 2 EV, and then you close down the built-in and put your 800 unit directly on the hot shoe of the camera. That minus 2 EV remains and also sends that message to the newly placed 800. So make sure that is set back to zero, because you can forget about it and that can bite you.
When I have an 800 or 900 hot shoe mounted on the camera, the most direct way to dial in EV, for me, is to go to the flash menu itself and make the adjustment on the LCD on back of the flash.