Help!! SB-600 or SB-800 which one should I buy??

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by deepdesign, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. deepdesign

    deepdesign TPF Noob!

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    Hi,

    I am wanting to purchase a flash for my Nikon d80 because we all know that the flash on the camera sucks. I have been leaning more towards the SB-600 because it cost less. Does the SB-800 have many features that the SB-600 does not? Would I be better of spending the extra money? I have heard some say that the SB-800 is somewhat easier to use. Any information or opinions are greatly appreciated. I want to make the best decision. Also, Right now photography is my hobby, but someday I would like it to be more then that..

    Thank you in advance,

    Erik
     
  2. Stranger

    Stranger TPF Noob!

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    most will probably say the sb-600 is the better bang for the buck.. Unless you need the extra power.

    I was in the same boat and i picked up the SB-600. Cant say i regret the purchase one bit.
     
  3. Socrates

    Socrates TPF Noob!

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    Ditto.
     
  4. sabbath999

    sabbath999 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Both are GREAT flashes. I bought the SB-600 but have access to an 800... I love them both.

    There are 3 main differences that may or may not matter to you but that I find significant...

    1) Commander mode on the SB-800... it is more robust than the one build into your camera, but only a bit more.

    2) Faster recycle time with the 5th battery option

    3) Raw power output.

    In favor of the SB-600:

    1) Smaller, lighter
    2) Easier/better menu system.
     
  5. ChrisP

    ChrisP TPF Noob!

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    Agree with Sabbath - both great (I have both along with the SB-R200 wireless unit). I would suggest that while you have cost and power differences, a bigger criteria is whether you'll use your flash in commander mode. I like the ability to use an on-camera flash as the commander flash for my add'l SB600/SB-R200s, moreso than using my D80 on-board flash for my commander. So I went with at least one SB800, and find I can use the SB600 & SB-R200s to provide those wireless slave units' function very well.
     
  6. deepdesign

    deepdesign TPF Noob!

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    Thank you everyone for responding. Im going to think it over, I think I am heading in the SB-600 direction and maybe in the future Ill get a second flash and it will be an SB-800.

    Erik
     
  7. amara_shadow

    amara_shadow TPF Noob!

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    Imagine my surprise when I saw this thread - I am in the same situation and looking at either the SB-600 or 800...and not sure which to choose. Having read your comments, I now have a bit of information to consider when making my decision.
     
  8. Mav

    Mav TPF Noob!

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    There's a good comparison here: http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb600vs800.htm

    If you're not sure, just get the 600. I have one and have never felt limited by it. For a D80 and especially if you're going to be using the flash a lot, I'd seriously consider the MB-D80 battery grip also. The camera handles soooooooooo much better with the battery grip when you've got a flash on it. I don't use the grip on my D80 for the extra power - just for the better handling ability.

    For D40/40x/60, I'd try to see if you can get by with the little SB-400. The bigger flashes handle like crapola on the D40, even worse than the D80 w/o the grip.
     
  9. Dubious Drewski

    Dubious Drewski TPF Noob!

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    Silly question for ya'll.

    I need a second flashgun to compliment my main - for fill and such. My main is a Pentax flash, but it should be able to command a "Nikon-only" flash such as these SB-600s and 800s, right? I mean, a flash is a flash, isn't it?
     
  10. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    No only a Nikon CLS capable flash can act as a commander. On the cameras there is no way to set an external flash to Commander mode. You can only set an internal flash like that or set it in the menu of your external flash. It keeps the upgrade cycle going so people will buy SB-800s.

    To the OP: I was looking at the SB-600 and went the SB-800 instead. Didn't regret it for a second mainly for the power. The power of the SB-600 may seem great until you bounce it off the roof. Bouncing consumes so much energy that on many occasions even my SB-800 has insufficient juice for the job.

    That said bang for buck the SB-600 still has the undeniable advantage.
     
  11. amara_shadow

    amara_shadow TPF Noob!

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    I see that someone mentioned the wee SB-400 - any thoughts? I am leaning towards the SB-600 - I have a D60.
     
  12. TamiyaGuy

    TamiyaGuy No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IMO, the SB-400 is only a tad better than the built-in flash. It has a guide number of 21 at ISO 100, which compared to the 600, is tiny. (the 600 has nearly 50% more power). Also, the 600 seems to be more creative.

    To be honest, I'm not totally sure, I haven't tried out the SB-400, but it seems as though the leap from the 400 to the 600 is colossal in terms of price. As for the handling issue, I used to use an ancient flash just like the SB-600 on my D40, and it seemed fine for me. OK, it was harder to handle, but I'm adding 300g to the camera!
     

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