Nikon Users: SB600 or 800 flash?

Kamera RAWr

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 15, 2007
1,022
0
Sitting on a rig somewhere
I have been wanting to buy a flash unit for some time now and have read a little about the two, but was wondering if any of you fellow MR users have any real world experience with the two and if so, what is the real difference between them? I want to start getting into doing some portrait photography and will need a flash unit. I'd like some advice on the issue :)
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,053
Somewhere
I personally use the 800, but the 600 does most everything that the 800 does for a cheaper price, so it probably is the better buy.
 

hanschien

macrumors 6502
Oct 2, 2006
337
13
Houston, TX
I have been wanting to buy a flash unit for some time now and have read a little about the two, but was wondering if any of you fellow MR users have any real world experience with the two and if so, what is the real difference between them? I want to start getting into doing some portrait photography and will need a flash unit. I'd like some advice on the issue :)
http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb600vs800.htm
 

Digital Skunk

macrumors 604
Dec 23, 2006
7,829
405
In my imagination
Which camera do you have?

If you have one with CLS built in then get the 600 or 800 since you can use them wirelessly.

If you don't have CLS built in or you have an older model Nikon go for the SB-80 since it is cheaper and you won't be paying for features you can't use yet, besides, it will still work perfectly with newer model cameras. The 800 is a faster flash and puts out more power in repeating flash mode than the 600, and the 800 can be used as a wireless flash slave and commander while the 600 can only be used as a slave. The 600 lacks a PC sync for pocket wizards and other "off camera" accessories (this may be important since you are doing portraiture work). The cost difference is a bit high ($100 - $150) but you will see why when you shoot with them both.

Thom Hogan (linke www.bythom.com) actually writes books about the equipment he uses, in detail.
 

GoCubsGo

macrumors Nehalem
Feb 19, 2005
35,753
142
I went for the sb-800 first with the intent to buy the sb-600 second. Instead I got some alien bees and I'll get the sb-600 later. :)
 

compuwar

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2006
4,717
2
Northern/Central VA
I have been wanting to buy a flash unit for some time now and have read a little about the two, but was wondering if any of you fellow MR users have any real world experience with the two and if so, what is the real difference between them? I want to start getting into doing some portrait photography and will need a flash unit. I'd like some advice on the issue :)
The differences are power and commander mode. If you have a body that does commander mode, then you could probably get away with the 600, if not, you'll probably want the 800.
 

khollister

macrumors 6502a
Feb 1, 2003
512
20
Orlando, FL
The differences are power and commander mode. If you have a body that does commander mode, then you could probably get away with the 600, if not, you'll probably want the 800.
Be aware that even though some bodies support commander mode via the on-board flash, there may be limitations on the number of groups supported. The SB-800 has more power, faster recycling & includes a diffuser dome (Stofen Omnibounce type attachment).

I would also be very careful about taking anything Ken Rockwell publishes at face value :)

Unless money is extremely tight, I would get the SB-800 just for the power & diffuser dome.
 

QuantumLo0p

macrumors 6502a
Apr 28, 2006
987
27
U.S.A.
I use an 800 on a D70. It costs a bit more than the 600 but was worth it to me. It is powerful and I have also played around with wireless flash with good results. In addition to the 800 I have also used my SB-28 with a wireless slave controller and had some great shots.