Speed light recommendations

Discussion in 'Nikon Accessories' started by gayle23, Nov 19, 2016.

  1. gayle23

    gayle23 TPF Noob!

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    Hi, I have an entry level camera the Nikon D3300 but am wanting to expand my photography to using a speedlight. I would like one that I can take off the camera so I can create different lighting and one that has i TTL but other than that I am a bit lost as there seem to be a lot of options. In the future as my photography improves I will I guess upgrade to a better camera if needs be, if I buy a Nikon speed light will it work with any Nikon model? Any recommendations? I know my Nikon D3300 doesn't support high speed sync so is it worth getting a speed light for it or am I too limited as it's an entry level camera? Any advice, recommendation's would be useful. Thanks Gayle


     
  2. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    While iTTL seems a good thing to have, because of it's complexity learning to use iTTL effectively is many times harder than learning how to use a speedlight manually.

    Even when someone has learned all the ins and outs of using iTTL there are still many shooting situations iTTL can't work consistently.

    I recommend getting a basic, manual hot shoe flash like a $63
    Yongnuo YN 560 III

    But yes, all the speedlights Nikon currently sells will work with any DSLR Nikon currently sells. However some Nikon speedlights have features, like high speed sync, that your D3300 can't use.
     
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  3. minicoop1985

    minicoop1985 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I know nothing about iTTL (I shoot Canon), but I found TTL relatively easy to learn. It's just a matter of knowing how to set a meter. I would HIGLY recommend a Yongnuo 568EX. Has all the features you will need as you learn.
     
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  4. Designer

    Designer Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Any speedlight can be made to fire off camera, it's just a matter of getting the signal to the flash. This can be done by; a cable (limited to the length of the cable) "slave mode" where the flash responds to the built-in flash, radio-frequency (RF) (where you have to have a sending unit on the camera and a receiving unit on the flash), or Nikon's proprietary CLS, but unfortunately your camera will not perform the function of "commander" as will more advanced models of Nikon camera.

    In iTTL, the camera and flash work together to produce an acceptable flash photo, but with your D3300, you will have to that with either a cable or a capable RF pair.

    The biggest hurdle to the Nikon speedlights is the cost. They are not cheap. I have one, the SB-910 which is absolutely amazing. If you can afford it, get one. You will love that flash, and of course can use it for years.

    I wouldn't be concerned with using high-speed sync. until you actually find a need for it, which is probably never.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016
  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    A used Nikon SB 800 flash at $100-$125 would likely be a good choice. The SB 800 will have the TTL compatibility your current camera needs, and it has an optional fifth battery compartment/door that speeds recycle times and overall battery-load capacity for longer shooting sessions, like at a wedding or party or even where you might need to take quiote a few flash shots. Having five AA batteries is quite a bit better than just having four AA's.

    I bought an SB 800 brand new on May 3, 2005...it still works well...

    TTL flash in the newerr Nikon cameras is very good with the SB 800. The less-potent SB 600 (about one stop less output) at $50-$75 used might also be a good choice.

    The thing about off-brand flashes is, many are not built all that well. But they are inexpensive. I would not rely on a cheap, off-band flash for payed jobs
     
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  6. gayle23

    gayle23 TPF Noob!

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    Great thank you ever so much for your replies. That is plenty of food for thought. I have an idea of where to start now. Gayle
     
  7. goodguy

    goodguy Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Another very warm recommendation to the Yongnuo 568EX, really good and very affordable flash with ittl and hss.
     
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  8. greybeard

    greybeard Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    On a D3300 I think the SB910 is huge and overbalanced. I used a SB700 with a D5100 (bout the same size as your 3300) and the 2 worked together well. Like others have mentioned, Nikon strobes can be crazy expensive. However, a refurbished SB700 is around $250.00 on Amazon (not too bad). The only 3rd party strobe I've used with Nikon is a Yongnuo 565EX and it is a solid performer but, it is as big as my SB910 and just about as heavy.
     
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  9. adamhiram

    adamhiram No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I second this - I used a Nikon SB-700 on a D5100 for a few years and it was a great match. The SB-910 just felt a little too big for a smaller lighter camera, and I've never really needed the additional power of the bigger flash anyway - it's rare for me to use it any higher than 1/16 power.
     
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  10. pixmedic

    pixmedic The Mustached Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I've had a lot of flashes over the years. A lot of Nikon flashes like the sb24, sb26, sb28, sb800, sb600, and sb700, as well as a few third party flashes from yonguo and neewer.

    The yongnuo 568ex are great flashes and I liked them better than my sb600s.

    The sb24 and sb28 were great workhorse lenses back in the day, but don't have ttl with modern dslrs.

    I used a lot of yongnuo flashes for portrait lights and as backups to my sb800 and sb700 flashes.
    If your only looking at getting one flash though, and you want to get the best build quality, reliability, and compatibility....get a nikon flash. The sb800 was my favorite of the bunch, followed by the sb700. The sb600 was fine as well if you don't need as much power, I just hated the menu. I found the menu on the sb800 and sb700 to be much better, but that might be nitpicking a little.

    I had almost half a dozen yongnuo 568ex flashes and loved them, but I had enough that if there was an issue with one, I just grabbed another.
    For weddings, I (almost) always used one of my nikon flashes.
     
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  11. astroNikon

    astroNikon 'ya all Bananas I tell 'ya Supporting Member

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    I love the sb800s for studio setups. But I use a sb700 as my single go-to flash because of the improved interface.
     
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  12. dcbear78

    dcbear78 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I've just bought some Godox V860ii's (Flashpoint R2) speed lights. Will be selling off my SB700 as these Godox lights are far better (and cheaper).
     

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