Nikon SB600 or Nikon SB900?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by trjwv, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. trjwv macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    kentucky...Go Cats
    Looking to setup a 3-light strobe system, 2 strobes in softboxes at 45 degree angles towards subject's rear and 1 strobe in softbox overhead. My question is should I go with all 3 SB900, all 3 SB600, or 2 rear SB900 and 1 overhead SB600. Power? Strobes will be fairly close to subject approx 5-10 ft. Also will the answer be the same if I take this setup outdoors verses indoors. 3 600's = $659.00, 3 900's = $1377.00, and 2-1 combo = $1137.00.
  2. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    Hi, I would go with the 2-1 combo. The SB-900 is a totally different beast than the SB-600 in terms of power output. It depends if you are purchasing based on one shot or on future usage. Once you go outside the SB-900 shines. It is pricey but its an awesome flashgun. The SB-600 is also very good and has wireless slave and CLS mode so it will work just as well in a controlled environment. With both you are relying on IR to trigger them unless you purchase radio triggers. The one thing that the SB-900 has is the 360 degree head rotation. I am not sure about the SB-600.

    Personally I would go with the 2x sb-900 1x sb600. For that price you could get some nice studio flash setup though, but it cannot be taken outside I guess.

    just some food for thought.

  3. trjwv thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    kentucky...Go Cats
    I already have 4 pocket wizards to use with my strobes. This would not be a one shot setup, but my setup 100% of the time. I would however also be taking this setup outdoors at times.
  4. graphicsward macrumors member


    Aug 22, 2009
    I have a setup I love of 3 sb600s with some home made soft boxes and stands. they work great for everything I do. About all my work is in the studio though, when ever I shot portraits outside I use natural light, reflectors, and one 600 for fill flash (never had any problems with it firing even in bright sunshine but its never too far away). If cost is an issue the 600s are great. The 900 does have some more power and thus control outside though.
  5. funkboy macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2008
    Well, I shoot Canon but I'll chime in here. I've got two 550EXs and a 420EX, so it's a fairly similar setup to the one flosser suggested. I replaced the 420 with the 550 as my main flash when I first started going off-camera (I got a 5 meter ETTLII cord from eBay to keep the 550 on a stand & the weight off my wrist). Getting the power balance between the two different model flashes right proved to be a huge pain, so after the first gig I did with the 550/420 setup I added the other 550.

    The 420 is useful in situations where I need a weaker 3rd light for weak backfill or other such roles. Most of the time it stays in the bag as two 550s on umbrellas pretty much does what I want most of the time. I definitely recommend having your primary lightsources be the same model.

    An argument for having the sb600 rather than the 3rd sb900 (in addition to cost) is that when you need an on-camera flash, it's smaller, lighter, and easier to use. I'm looking at the back of the sb900 & it reminds me of the hp48g calculators my buddies & I got for calculus class in high school; officially because we "needed" them, but in reality because you could play Doom on them head-to-head over the infrared port :).

Share This Page