Low Priced Flash

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Boomn4x4, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    I'm a fairly entry level hobbiest photographer... I'm interested in adding an external flash to my tool kit, however, I'm torn as to wheter or not the price justifies the result.

    I'm shooting a Nikon D-40. In my research, it seems that the general concensus is that adding an external flash is almost a no brainer, but I'm lost as to where I should set my budget on doing so... or if really is worth it for my limited/non-professional camera use.

    My first inclination is to jump on the bottom of the line Nikon flash, which I've found to run at about $120. I'm a stern follower of "if you buy cheap equipment, you get cheap results", so obviously, my concern is if I drop $120 on a cheap flash, it won't be worth it...thereby making the $120 a waste of money

    The next step up from there seems to be a $250 flash, at more than double the price of my camera body... to me, it seems silly to invest this much money as a simple hobbiest... but could I be wrong?

    Then there is the aftermarket flashes.... I'm not one to typically go this route because in my experience, you may find cheaper alternatives, but they rarely work as good as OEM...is this true in the case of flashes as well?

    To summarize my questions, I'm not looking to drop several hundred dollars on a flash, but is the cheapest flash going to be worth it??? is the more exensive flash going to be worth it that much more??? Is the aftermarket something to look into.

    I fully understand that "worth it" is very much a relative term... so I'm not looking for definitive answers, but I'd appreciate anyone's opinion on the subject.
     
  2. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You bought your D40 for less than $125?

    The SB600 is often recommended. For your first flash, it's a good idea to get one that uses TTL operation. After that, you can start looking into cheapies. I have several $95 manual flashes that have no frills and no real special features. They're cheap, but I use them off camera, so they serve their purpose when they're needed.

    I have flashes that range from $95 to nearlt $500. It all depends on what you're going to do with them as to where you should be looking.

    Check out this site for ideas:
    http://www.strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html
     
  3. PhotoXopher

    PhotoXopher TPF Noob!

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    Check out Nissin, there's a Di-622 that may be in your budget.
     
  4. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    My bad... wording meant to say "more than half"

    Thanks for the link... I'll look into it.
     
  5. Ron Evers

    Ron Evers Been spending a lot of time on here!

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  6. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It sounds like you don't know when or where to use one in that case you don't need one, so just carry on shooting and learning when you have enough knowledge you will know if you need one. If your shooting portraits get a reflector to start with (very cheap)
     
  7. LBPhotog

    LBPhotog TPF Noob!

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    The one thing you want to keep in mind is that the SB-400 has about the same output of light that the flash on your camera has. The advantages that it has over the on camera flash is that you can bounce it and it has a better spread (cone) of light for better angle coverage.

    The SB-600 is something that has almost 3x the out put of what you are getting in the on camera flash, it's significantly more powerful.

    Instead of thinking in terms of "oh, it costs twice as much as my camera body" think of it in terms of investment in the system itself ... that SB-600 will work with all of Nikon's camera bodies.

    With all of that being said, I agree with Gary. Expand your knowledge and you'll understand why a flashes cost what they do and why one is "better" than another when you understand that, you should also know when, and how, to use one.
     
  8. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    So how am I supposed to learn where and when to use one... if I don't use one??? :scratch:

    Am I wrong to think that the best way to learn... is to go out and do it?

    I'm not sure where you expect me to go with that post of yours... but I take offense to you challanging my intelligence in such a way. "Put your camera back in your bag noob... and come back when you can play with the big dogs"

    And I'm not looking for "cheap"... I'm looking to get the most out of the money I put into it... If spending $1000 on a flash is what I need to do to learn... then I'll do it, but dropping that kind of coin on a something that is probably an overkill for what I'll use it for...then I'm going to scale myself down. That's why I baught the D-40 in the first place...something to learn on... and if/when, I find the need to further expand my horizion, I'll get another.
     
  9. cnutco

    cnutco No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Sorry that you feel he was challanging your intelligence but, I thought it was a fair comment. I took his comment to mean something like... post up a few pictures for C&C and if you get comments back reguarding the lighting then you need to decide if you would like to shoot those types of pictures or not. If you do then you can decide what type of flashgun to get.

    I am a noob myself and I am using the lowend SB400. This is a great flashgun to start off with. I am now in the market to get the SB600 for its power and TTL. I will still keep my SB400 becuse it is easy to carry when I do not need all that power or an off the camera flashgun.

    I hope this has helped. People can be very direct here, but this is their way of helpling.
     
  10. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    You think i'm a noob how wrong you are, get the SB900 then because that's the last advice you will get from me
     
  11. Dao

    Dao No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have a budget in mind at this point? Whether it worth the cost varies from person to person. For sure, you will find people who use D40 with expensive flash. For the same token, you will find other will use less than $100 flash with expensive pro camera.

    For sure we all agree in general, the higher the flash cost, the better the flash unit.
     
  12. Boomn4x4

    Boomn4x4 TPF Noob!

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    No, I think you have a superiority complex.

    ....and there's my proof.

    .... and there is some more.

    Good riddence. I'm sorry I wasn't much help in justifying your position on that ivory tower of yours.
     

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