Question about flash.

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by Baaaark, May 30, 2009.

  1. Baaaark
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    Baaaark New Member

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    What is the difference between the flashes made by the manufacturer of your camera, and third party flash units? For example, for a little over 100 bucks I could have this:

    4806 Nikon SB-400 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight, USA Warranty

    or this:

    040N Sunpak PZ 4000AF Shoe Mounted Flash for Nikon AF Cameras, Guide Number 132 ISO 100 ft.

    Are you paying for the name when it comes to flashes? Or is it like a quality lens where you get what you pay for? I know a lot of people swear away from third party anything, but I just don't get how the third party flashes can be SO MUCH cheaper than the name brands.
  2. nickisonfire
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    nickisonfire New Member

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    when you by a flash made by the same company as your camera, you know it's going to work with the TTL (or e-ttl whatever it is now) also you know it will automatically set the range through your camera, not to say the other flash won't to this, but it's more of a guarantee to go with your nikon name brand
  3. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    In this comparison your looking at a difference in price of $2.

    How much light a flash produces is defined by the Guide Number. The guide number is a function of distance and ISO.

    Notice the Sunpack specs have guide numbers without the distance and ISO info need to properly define the Guide number. In other words ther is no way to determine how much light the Sunpack flash will produce.

    Spend the extra 2 bucks and get the Nikon unit. Though I would recommend spending twice as much and getting a SB-600.
  4. ANDS!
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    ANDS! New Member

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    A flashs guide number is affected by EVERYTHING: distance, ISO setting, aperture and how powerful you need the flash. The SUNPAK's GN is 132 feet. Now whether you will ever be in a situation where you require the ability to reach 132 feet (and also have a lens that can open up wide enough to take advantage) is only something you would know.

    As for the differences between the two flashes: The SB400 will work iTTL with your Nikon camera, the SUNPAK will not. Sunpak will provide TTL support though so it SHOULD be able to fire when connected to the hotshoe. The thing about the SUNPAK though, is that it doesn't swivel - just like the SB400. If you dont want to spend over 200 bucks for the SB600, I would look at the Sigma 530.

    However the major question you have to ask is, what do you intend to use this flash for, and will you ever get more than one?
  5. Baaaark
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    Baaaark New Member

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    I intend to use this flash to take photos of people, and get better light than the onboard unit (no red eye, more natural looking, etc.). Pretty basic stuff, like using it inside for parties and stuff.

    I don't PLAN to get more than one at this point.
  6. Munky
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    Munky New Member

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    Go Vivitar Dedicated....That's What I Did best money Ever Spent!
  7. Baaaark
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    Baaaark New Member

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    How and where can I learn about all of this flash stuff? Like the wireless, the i-ttl, the remote settings from in the camera, the pc sync, and all of that?

    I don't know really what half of that stuff works, so I don't know whether its important or not.
  8. Gaerek
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    Gaerek New Member

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    If that's what you want to use your flash for, I would highly recommend a flash that swivels. That will allow you to bounce the flash off a wall or ceiling to make for more natural (not completely natural) light. It is well worth the extra money.

    I have to go pick up my wife right now, but in a few hours, I'll post some shots to show you the difference between a straight on flash and a swiveled flash. But trust me when I say it's a huge difference.
  9. Alex Europa
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    Alex Europa New Member

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    Strobist

    Enjoy!

    - Alex
  10. Munky
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    Munky New Member

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    VIVITAR 383; DEDICATED; TTL; SWIWELS; oPTICAL REMOTE tRIGGER iNTEGRATED; $150; BANG FOR MOFO BUCK!!!
  11. KmH
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    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish

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    You don't mention what camera you have. If you have one of the D40 thru D60 series your camera's flash doesn't have Commander mode and your off camera flash flexability is hampered since you can't fully utilize Nikon's built-in CLS (Creative Lighting System).

    If your camera does have Commander mode it opens up a a ton of possibilities which you'll see on the Strobist blog.

    If you get into it more, get the book, "The Nikon Creative Lighting System" by Mike Hagen.
  12. Gaerek
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    Gaerek New Member

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    Ok, I said I'd give you some examples of photos taken with a flash directly at your subject, and bouncing the flash off a ceiling or something like that. Here they are. I also added a shot using a diffuser. These shots aren't for C&C. I know they're not good, I am just using them as an example.

    Flash directly at subject:
    [​IMG]

    Flash w/ diffuser directly at subject:
    [​IMG]

    Bounced off ceiling:
    [​IMG]

    Check out the harsh shadows casted by the direct flash. The front of the bed also seems to be close to blown out. It's not very flattering light at all, and the back of the room is very dark. The diffuser helps a little (in this situation, it won't help much, but in other circumstances, it will help a lot more), but looks very similar to the first shot. Also check out the 'green eye' in my dogs eyes. This is the same thing as red eye in humans. Bouncing off the ceiling you get no harsh shadows, and some very natural looking light. Also, no green eye. This is why you want a flash with a swivel.

    I want to make a note that I didn't change any settings or change any of the lighting conditions on any of these shots. They were all taken in a dark room.

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