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New SB600 vs Used SB800?


TPF Noob!
Nov 8, 2009
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What do you guys suggest?

I'm just getting started on flash photography so I'm not really sure what the major differences are except SB800 has more power and it can swivel it's head 360 degrees? Not sure how useful those features will be for me.

Any major advantages with SB800? Or should I wait and get a SB700 (though it's 100$ more than the SB600)?

Thank you!
The SB800 has a sync port. It can be used as a Master. The menu navigation is much more intuitive. Having more power means that you can use a lower output setting which means quicker recycling times and longer battery life. It comes with a fifth battery adapter that also quickens recycle times. It includes the standard foot, but includes a diffusion dome and a set of gels.

The SB600 costs less.

The flash heads on both will swivel 360° (270/90) and will tilt from 0-90°.
I prefer the SB 800 to the 600. Used flashes seem okay to me, as long as they have been owned and used by a normal person, and not some professional wedding photographer who has put 80 weddings x 1,000 flash pops on the flash and is selling it for nearly full used-market price before it conks out on him.

I agree with all of Kundalini's points--synch port, master capability, and more-intuitive user interface. AND, the fifth battery feature is a total GODSEND!!!!! it is hard to imagine how much extra Oomph! that single, fifth penlight battery gives...I used the SB 800 with just four batteries for the first long while I had it, then tried the 5th battery adapter and was blown AWAY by the improvement in performance.
I think the SB700 has even less power than the SB600? GN 99@50mm?
Thanks guys! That's helpful.

@Derrell - hmm it looks like the guy selling it might be a professional shooter. He's selling it for $270 which might be a pretty good price though. Anything I should look out for to make sure it's still in good working condition?
Well, modern flash units hide their wear quite well, as do modern d-slr bodies. The new equipment seems to not get as scratched up and scraped as older stuff did,so if something looks "a bit rough" or "somewhat rough", it has probably been used very hard, or carelessly. One of the easiest ways to tell how a guy treats his equipment is to get a look at the inside of his car or truck. (Seriously.) A slob is always a slob.

With flash units, they tend to work until they suddenly just die. If he is a pro shooter, that's one thing. If he is a professional **wedding** shooter, I would not want his flash. Period. Not even for $250. I'd rather have a new flash.
Thanks again Derrel. He looks a pro shooter who also does weddings (sometimes). I think I'll go have a look at the flash anyways. If he looks like someone who takes care of his gear and the flash looks good I might go for that instead of the SB600.
go for Sb800. Its more reliable, more functions, and DaaaaaaaaaaaaaMN better then sb600 especially sb700
Thanks IgsEMT. Trying to get that SB800 now.
from the little i read on theSB700 it had the same light output as the SB600 but has allot of the features that the SB900 has.
(but dont quote me on that, ive been doing so much reading on stuff lately trying to learn its all blending together)
"With a maximum guide number of 38 (for an FX camera, at the standard illumination setting at ISO 100 at 120mm) the flash is powerful and versatile to suit most lighting conditions."

Ok here are the GN's according to Nikon's website all measured the same way:

SB-700 - 28/92 (ISO 100, m/ft.)
SB-600 - 30/98 (ISO 100, m/ft)
SB-900 - 34/111.5 (ISO 100, m/ft)
SB-800 - 38/125 (ISO 100, m/ft)

Power is really key these days since people are using hot shoe flashes for everything with all kinds of modifiers which spread the light over larger modifiers. I wonder why they would decrease the power.
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One of the easiest ways to tell how a guy treats his equipment is to get a look at the inside of his car or truck. (Seriously.) A slob is always a slob.

I have to argue with this. I LIVE in my car and with hauling the dogs back and forth to training it is always a mess but on the flip side my electronics (laptop/camera/iphone4) are my treasured possessions and are all babied lol. And the sad truth is my camera gear is probably worth double what my car is :S

I thought the SB 700 was supposed to be better than the SB600? I was waiting for it to arrive.

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