D40 speedlight

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by HomeingPigeon, Mar 17, 2008.

  1. HomeingPigeon macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #1
    My birthday is coming up on April 1. I would love to get a speedlight or some sort of off camera flash. I have no experience with off camera flashes. I have a nikon D40. I found a SB-400 AF speedlight on amazon for 129.00. Is that a good deal? I also found a SB-600 speedlight flash on amazon for about 190.00. Is that worth the extra money? What am I looking for in a flash? Can these flashes also do a strobe effect?
     
  2. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #2
    In my opinion, the SB600 is the better flash, and the SB400 is the one I'd probably use more often. I don't know what's more important for you. If you're quite a casual shooter who isn't trying anything too crazy, I think the SB400 should be fine.

    I guess if you KNOW you won't mind carrying the SB-600 around, then buy it. If you know you won't bring it with you as often as you should, then the SB400 is perfect. The weight of either flash isn't much of an issue. They're both lightweight. However, the SB400 is far smaller (physically), and that may make all the difference in the world to you.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    The best use of these flashes is for "bounce flash" or indirect lighting. Where the light is bounced off a rear wall or a ceailing. Notice that the light while still attached to the camera can be aimed up or even backwards.

    If you want to take the speedlight off the camera nad place it on a stand then you are doing astyle of studio work that is not "fast moving" With a light on a stand your subject has to be cooperative so in my opinion you don't need automation, you have time to think and take a test shot or even to experiment with a stand-in subject Given that, I think you can use MUCH cheaper lights in studio. You can buy a good used Vivitar flash for about $40 that has more light output as the SB600 but lacks the SB600's automation. But if used on-camera automation is very nice to have.

    The Sb400 seems good utill you start thinking about vertical shots. How can you bounce off the ceiling with out a swivel? Y'd need a folding type flash bracket and a sync cord. Better to just buy a SB600 if you plan on doing many verticals
     
  4. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #4
    Could I also use the SB600 as a studio light? I would like a speed light for fast objects but I am planning on turning my room at my dad's house into a studio and would like 1 or 2 studio lights as well. Would this flash work for a studio flash?http://www.amazon.com/DIGITAL-TWIN-FLASH-NIKON-D40X/dp/B000YMLCXI/ref=pd_bbs_11?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1205800012&sr=8-11
    Then I could use a SB600 and a the twin flash for studio flashes as well? Would the SB600 work as a good studio light? Could I use both the SB600 and the twin flash as off camera flashes? What do I need to have off camera flashes work? What is a hot shoe?

    I have never done anything with a flash other than my on camera flash so this is a really big learning exerience for me.
     
  5. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #5
    Buy the SB-400 for $105 at B&H. Its the import version but that doesn't matter at all on a cheap speedlight. Take the extra money and buy a nice diffuser / bounce hood.
     
  6. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #6
    What is a good difuser? Could you suggest one?
    I know what they do but can't find a good one.
    What does it mean to be the imported version?
     
  7. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

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  8. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    #8
    Skip the crappy 3rd party ones. The SB-400 is a very capable little guy if you don't need too much range (which you won't almost all the time)

    Sto-fen makes great diffusers.
     
  9. HomeingPigeon thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #9
    Is this flash a off camera flash? Can I use it without attaching it directly to the camera? Or is any flash an off camera flash?
     
  10. taylorwilsdon macrumors 68000

    taylorwilsdon

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    Nov 16, 2006
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    The SB-600 has built in remote capabilities with some higher end cameras (don't think the d40 is on that list, sorry). You can buy radio triggers or an off camera cord for any of those flashes if you want to do off-camera.
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #11
    The SB 400 is meant for the D40/X. It works well with the D40/X. It's not meant to be studio lighting any more than the D40/X is meant to be a professional studio camera. Since at this point you clearly know very little about flash and how it is used effectively, don't spend a lot of money on stuff which you won't know how to use. Start with the SB 400 and just work with that for a while.....

    Also have a look at http://www.strobist.com It is a very valuable resource for learning about lighting and how to use it.
     
  12. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #12
    It depends on what your other lights are. To use Nikon's CLS infra-red trigger, then you need something that'll do "commander" mode. If you want to use another normal light or studio strobe as a trigger, then you'll either need an optical trigger or an SB800 which has one built-in. If you don't mind sync cords, or the expense of radio triggers then you can use almost any flash gun- SB600 or otherwise.
     

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