Flash Photography question + SB 900

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Maldini, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Maldini macrumors regular

    Maldini

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Riyadh
    #1
    Hi All,

    I wasn't interested in flash photography in the past, but now I need a really good flash (or multiple) to be creative, I have the SB 400, which doesnt help.

    Do you know any good read for flash photography? or a website with lots of tips?

    I was thinking about the SB 900 which is newer and cheaper than SB 800 on Amazon ( I really dont know why !)

    But I read some bad reviews about it, specially the overheating problem, I wont do any wedding or big event photos so i hope it wont be a problem to me. Do you have any experience with it? how do you rate it?

    One last question :) what are the benefits of the Nikon Creative Light System?

    Sorry for all these long questions :D

    Appreciate your help
     
  2. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #2
    I'm just running offline, but here is pretty much the bible of using flash creatively:

    www.strobist.com

    Be sure to start with the lighting 101 section:

    http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/03/lighting-101.html

    And, for asking questions, the Strobist Flickr group:

    http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/

    Cheers!
     
  3. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #3
    The SB-900 is not compatible with Nikon cameras older than the D2H (and some other newer, like the Fujifilm S3). That's why it must be cheaper.
     
  4. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #4
    The SB800 was discontinued when the SB900 was released. It's still a desirable flash in many ways, so presumably someone is trying to take advantage of that with their remaining inventory of new flashes. The SB900 is an excellent flash. About the only real drawback with it other than price is its size. It's freakin' huge.

    FWIW, Nikon flashes starting with the SB800 support a technology called i-TTL. It replaced an earlier technology called d-TTL. Older bodies like the D100, D1, Fuji S3 (which is based on a Nikon N80 film body) don't support i-TTL, just the earlier d-TTL. The SB-80DX was the last d-TTL flash from Nikon. Unless you plan on buying old DSLR bodies, it doesn't matter.

    CLS lets you control multiple flashes wirelessly with infrared. You need an SB-600, SB-800, or SB-900 to use it. Your SB-400 doesn't support it, but the pop-up flash in your D80 does (pretty sure it does - RTFM). You can group flashes into 3 groups and control the flash settings for each group from your camera body. I have a couple of SB-800's and an SB-600 that I control via CLS from my D700 body. It works pretty well, and since it's built into the flashes it is very convenient (and already paid for, while Pocket Wizards, discussed on the strobist site, are not inexpensive). Read your manual - it will be discussed in detail there.

    I echo the strobist recommendation - it's a very cool site.
     
  5. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    Yeah, strobist dot com is thee place to be for info on small flash setups! Great site!
     
  7. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #7
    Kodak 14n full frame (14MP without AA) : $450

    Fujifilm S3 Pro dynamic range and color: $300
     
  8. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #8
    So it does. So does the SB-600, which is still being manufactured.

    Since the OP has a camera that supports CLS, it's not really relevant to his question.
     
  9. chocolaterabbit macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
    #9
    the reason that they are this cheap is that they are based on the n80, which has been outclassed ages ago, except in consumer cams. The body in this case depreciated the cam.
     
  10. cube macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #10
    No, the Kodak 14n is that cheap because of noise and artifact problems.

    In the S3 it maybe more the case, but you must consider that a new S5 sells for about $800.

    I would say with respect to the body, that the main disadvantage of these cameras is the bulk, with the viewfinder coming behind (without going into comparison with the advantages provided by a D200 body).
     
  11. Maldini thread starter macrumors regular

    Maldini

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2007
    Location:
    Riyadh
    #11
    THANKS a Million for this site..I think I love you :D

    Thanks for the CLS description :D, but do you know the max shutter speed while using flash? can i freeze the subject without blur? in my D80 i can only go to 200! i dont know if its a camera thing or it depends on the flash!
    And no i'm not planning to buy an old body, on the contrary, i'm looking for a new Nikon, either the D300 or the D700 which is expensive but i like the ISO possibilities in the D700, which i need for some sport photography, I'm not sure about the D300 being a sport related camera body, or Nikon at all for that matter.

    The Sb 600 will soon be replaced by SB 700 !
     
  12. Cliff3 macrumors 65816

    Cliff3

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #12
    If you're shooting with the flashes in TTL mode, then it's whatever your body allows. You'll need to read your manual for that information. If your body supports FP sync modes, then there is no hard limit on the shutter speed. If you shoot with the flashes in manual mode, then you use whatever shutter speed produces the exposure you're aiming for.

    No idea on an SB600 replacement. Fortunately, for those who need to support older technologies, there's always the used market.
     
  13. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #13
    Strobist is a great site... life altering for me.

    Here is when I got started. This was a natural light shot:

    [​IMG]

    Then, the exact same shot done a few minutes later, with ONE flash off camera, using lighting 101 techniques:

    [​IMG]

    That really got the ball rolling for me. Neither are great images, but the potential was just so huge.

    This was from a recent shoot:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/canuckgtrplyr/3209212370/

    And was shot at noon in a display corner of a storefront window. I was going for the Amsterdam red light feel to the shot. It used 2 off camera flashes camera right to light the model, and one off camera flash outside on the sidewalk, gelled red, shot through the glass to give the night time red light effect.

    I still think I suck, but Strobist has opened my eyes up a lot to the possibilities.

    Good luck!
     
  14. James L macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2004
    #14
    Flash happens insanely quick, like 1/10000th of a second or something crazy like that. You don't have to depend on shutter speed to freeze your subject when you use flash, because the flash does it instantaneously.

    As to the whole sync speed concept, read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Focal_plane_shutter

    Cheers!
     

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