Understanding Flash

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by PegasusMedia, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. PegasusMedia macrumors member

    Mar 29, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    OK, so I'm new and don't know anything. A few weeks ago I learned a great deal about lenses from you guys when I originally asked about telephoto to shoot my kid's theater. Great thread, great advice and I learned a ton.

    I ended the thread by saying I wwas going to get a Canon with a 50mm/f1.4.

    Well...change of plans...I wound up buying a NikonD70 with the 18-70 kit lens from another MacRumors member. I'll probably still buy a prime, although this lens get's pretty good reviews.

    Anyway...my question is this...What flash unit do I want?

    I'll be hanging out backstage shooting "day in the life" stuff of the dancers, the rehearsals...just trying to get some practice by shooting people around the theater.

    Again, I'm a total noob...these things have features that I don't even know what they mean but am anxious to learn. I don't expect "pro" pics right away, but I want to head in that direction, so I want to invest in the right equipment and learn how to use it.

    Nikon sells the SB-800 or the more affordable SB-600, which I bet is fine for me? What about the off brands? Good enough? I have learned not skimp on lenses...what about skimping on flash?

    Please give a "fancy flash units" 101 for me and the other noobs.
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    Funny, someone just asked me this so I'm just copying my response to them. :)

    I have the d70 and the sb-800. In some cases I wonder if I should have bought the sb-600 as well as a lighter more portable flash. Do not get me wrong, the sb-800 was not a bad choice at all, however, it does get a bit heavy while I wander around on vacation and such.

    Both will do virtually the same. They both work as wireless flashes, they both are very backwards compatible, but the sb-600 does not have a bounce card. Is this a problem? NO WAY because there are MANY alternatives to this that are far better than the bounce card.

    The sb-800 goes to 1-1/128 whereas the 600 goes to 1/64. That is on manual only and many you won't be using manual.

    The 600 doesn't have non-ttl a mode, commander mode, or colored filters. You have to decide if you intend to use this on camera only or if you intend to get very creative. I think you can get very creative, but the sb-800 is a great off-camera flash. The sb-600 will give you longer battery life and shorter recycle times due to it being a bit less power. You also cannot plug an external power pack into the 600, but again, think about whether or not you'd need it. I don't use one but I always have 10 batters in my bag at all times, my sb-800 takes 5 batteries.

    Someone told me that if you're looking for a flash for general use then the sb-600 is going to be perfect and take that money you would save and invest in something else.
  3. bob5820 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 23, 2006
    35°0′36″N 80°40′45″W (35.0
    Jessica thanks for the mini review of the differences between the SB600 and SB800. I was wondering myself, your post was so much nicer then slogging through all that marketing stuff. Either way I'd recomend sticking with a Nikon flash and avoiding the 3rd paty stuff. My understanding is that Nikon flashes integrate pretty closely with their cameras.

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