SB 800 or SB 900?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by jbhinojosa, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. jbhinojosa

    jbhinojosa TPF Noob!

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    I'm looking to buy a flash and I had my eye on Nikon sb 800 af speedlight until I heard about the sb 900 af speedlight. The 900 is about half the price but other than that whats the difference? My thought is if I'm going to buy a flash I might as well buy the best one as an investment. Anyone know the difference or a better product?

    Thanks :D
     
  2. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    The SB-800 is discontinued and has been replaced by the SB-900. Don't buy the SB-800 unless you can get a good price, and I mean good, like sub-$300. A quick check on Amazon shows it's selling for $899 (extreme ripoff). Keep in mind these used to sell brand new for about $350. Considering the rather high asking prices for the used SB-800s that I've seen ($399 range), I'd forget about the SB-800 completely and get a SB-900. It's only $70 more than that brand new.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Exactly. They are like a like for like replacement with an extra feature or two.


    Teheheh I said like a like for like. I like that word.
     
  4. jbhinojosa

    jbhinojosa TPF Noob!

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    Yeah Ive been working with sb 800 for months and I liked it. Now that I'm able to get my own thats the one I had in mind, perhaps because I'm familiar with it. Doing more research on this now :D.

    Thanks :D
     
  5. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    SB-900 is superior to the 800 in most ways (being the updated version).

    What made me decide to pay for a SB-800 though is that Nikon killed off Film TTL support on the SB-900. If I want to shoot a flash on a film camera, then the SB-900 can't do it. The SB-800 is also a slightly smaller unit. Of course, most people nowadays won't care about those but I do think that, considering that a professional-quality F100 is only about $250 and will work with all the non-DX Nikon glass you already own, most people will buy a film body at one point or another just to fool around with.
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    I would look for a refurbished SB-800 at Nikon's authorized outlet Cameta Camera. I would pay up to $350 for a refurb or a good used one from a reputable seller.

    The majority of my speedlight use is with the speedlight in manual mode and OCF (off camera flash). I rarely use CLS anymore. I use radio triggers/receivers with low priced speedlights like the Vivitar 485HV ($90 new).

    For near the cost of an SB-900 I can have 4, 485HVs w/receivers.
     
  7. BuZzZeRkEr

    BuZzZeRkEr TPF Noob!

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    Well a point I think everyone missed on here is that wedding/event photographers are hoarding all the SB800's they can find because the SB900's fatal flaw is lock up due to over heating. Sb-900 is great for normal use, but wedding photographer put their speedlights through the ringer. If you go to BHphotovideo and read the reviews of the SB900....everyone loves them except wedding photographers....there are quite a few horror stories on there.

    The prices on USED sb800 are MORE than what they paid for them new because they work better with external battery packs like the Quantum Turbo etc...and don't lock up/over heat as easy.

    I own the SB-900, 800's, and 600's. The SB900 is worth every penny, although I wouldn't use it at a wedding or event. The sb900 serves as a great commander and portrait light with really easy to use menus and navigation tools. Thank goodness Nikon went to a really easy thumb switch to go between remote/commander modes...thats HUGE! The SB600 you have to press two buttons simultaneously and leave them down for a second just to get into the menu to turn on the remote mode.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Really? A fatal flaw? I think it's a bulb saving feature. I managed to lock up my SB-800 for about 2 minutes on no less than 3 occasions (probably more but I can't think of any right now). 1 of them was a wedding.

    Is the SB-900 much worse?

    /EDIT: Scratch that. Google says it's much worse!
     
  9. SpeedTrap

    SpeedTrap TPF Noob!

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    Yes it is, I had a chance to try one out at a wedding a few months ago while my SB-800 was getting fixed (I Dropped it) and it overheated and locked up 4 or 5 times that day and always at the worst time. I am glad I had an old Metz with me I could use instead.
     
  10. IgsEMT

    IgsEMT No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    IT ALL DEPENDS ON WHAT YOU NEED IT FOR...
    With negative review of SB900, I had to turn away from it. Got an SB800 and VERY happy with it.
    Now the OPPOSITE end of it is if you'll be shooting manual, then look into getting sb80dx - you can probably get it cheap but the outcome will be similarly to Sb800.
    I made a mistake of selling mine and regret it TILL THIS DAY!
     
  11. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    SB-900 all the way! you can't find a SB-800 easily anyways! and its outdated
     
  12. Wolverinepwnes

    Wolverinepwnes TPF Noob!

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    and ignore the "negative" reviews of the 900, you can just turn off the heat safety if you need to take that many shots in a row! thats the only difference!
     

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