Nikon Brand Flash vs. Aftermarket

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by supraman215, May 12, 2010.

  1. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    Is there a major difference I'm not a pro or anything but I want a decent quality flash. Recommendations on brand?

    Jeff
     
  2. myfotoguy

    myfotoguy TPF Noob!

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    I have always heard nothing beats the Nikon’s for their CLS (Creative Lighting System).
    Metz is a name that comes to mind that I hear mentioned, but I have no experience with them personally. If budget allows, go for the SB-600, 900 if you have no budget constraints.

    What model camera do you have? What types of situations do you anticipate you might want to use flash?
     
  3. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The difference is the aftermarket speedlights are reverse engineered and are made with less build quality, like a plastic hot shoe foot instead of a metal hot shoe foot.

    What do you want to light and how much do you want to spend?

    Do you want to just do Nikon i-TTL (Through-The-Lens) flash metering or manual mode. There are a lot more aftermarket options if you go manual mode. Vivitar, Bower, Sigma, Nissin, Metz, Sunpak

    Off camera flash (OCF) is growing in popularity but you need have a way to trigger the off camera speedlight, either optically or with a radio signal.

    Most Nikon cameras have the built-in CLS. You don't mention whhich Nikon you have.

    Many Nikon shooters use the Nikon SB-600 but the top-of-the-line Nikon speedlight is the SB-900.

    Visit www.strobist.com (OCF) and www.planetneil.com (bounced on camera flash) for more speedlight lighting info.
     
  4. supraman215

    supraman215 TPF Noob!

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    I have the D90. I can afford the SB-600 easily but I found the 900 on craigslist for $400 barely used, might be able to get them down further.

    The flash would be mostly for portraits. My most common subject is my family.

    Jeff
     
  5. D-B-J

    D-B-J Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    an sb600 and a cheap diffuser works great for portraits, so ive heard. I have yet to get a sb600, but ive heard they're great!
     
  6. Aye-non Oh-non Imus

    Aye-non Oh-non Imus TPF Noob!

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    It's a shame that Nikon discontinued the SB-800. I love those units.

    CLS is a damn good start into flash photography, but it has its limitations also. Eventually you will probably go to manual lighting. This can be done with the SB's or any aftermarket unit. One thing to check is how much control you have on power output. Some units (I've heard) have only 1 stop increments, whereas Nikon units will have 1/3 stop increments.

    BTW, if you get a heads up on a used SB-800, give me a PM..... I have cash! :lol:
     
  7. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Can I ask a truly newb question and I have looked it up but since I havent delved into lighting much I obviously had no clue as to what people were talking about. Lol. What are the differences between the 600 and 900 other than meters and power range? Of course I know the power range is a huge plus but for someone starting out. Is it better to invest the extra dollars once and have the same flash unit grow with you or is it better to go the other way. Thanks for any thoughts.
     
  8. Aye-non Oh-non Imus

    Aye-non Oh-non Imus TPF Noob!

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    Dee,

    The SB-600 is a little workhorse. The new price difference is about $180 between the SB-600 & SB-900. The SB-900 is much larger also. Personally, I might get a 900, but it is certainly on the tail end of my wish list. The SB-600 will probaly do all you want for 'typical' hobby shooting.

    With your D90, you can do off camera flash photography with the SB-600.


    BTW, if you get a heads up on a used SB-800, give me a PM..... I have cash! :lol:
     
  9. mwcfarms

    mwcfarms No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Ok thanks I wasnt sure if for some odd reason the sb-600 wouldnt work off camera. My manual said something about repeat mode and commander mode not being available but I see now that it was the sb-400 they were talking about. I really wish we had a facepalm smilie lol. Thanks for the tip.
     
  10. Aye-non Oh-non Imus

    Aye-non Oh-non Imus TPF Noob!

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    :banghead: or :spank:

    next best things available........... :D
     
  11. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The SD-600 can't zoom as far as the SB-900.

    The SB-600 can only zoom to 85mm while the SB-900 can zoom to 200 mm.

    In other words the SB-900 can project a tighter beam of light than the SB-600 can.
     
  12. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    The SB 600 also lacks a built-in synch connector, which is something that the SB 800 and SB 900 both have.
     

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