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Any recommendations on a backup flash for Nikon? ...I would like to be able to mount it on camera in the case of a failure of my SB-900.
Gregory Edge wrote:
If you don't care about TTL why not go with Vivitar 283 units. They are bullet-proof, cheap and reliable.
I suggest you NOT get Vivitar 283s. Depending on when and where it was made it could have a high sync voltage that could fry your DSLR. The only safe way to use a 283 on a DSLR is to run it through a Wein Safe-Sync or similar device.
A Vivitar 285HV, on the other hand, would be safe; all versions have low sync voltages.
I have used 285HVs for decades, and I still have one (although I don't use it much, now that I have three Canon Speedlites). They do have a few drawbacks, though: slow recycling, a bit of a high-pitched whine that some find objectionable, and no swivel capability.
The Lumo Pro LP-160 you mentioned is about twice the price of a V-285HV, but overcomes the Vivitar's drawbacks. It's considerably less expensive than a Speedlight, so if you don't need Autoflash, it's a great way to go.
Going back to the Vivitar, though, it does have a built-in (non-TTL) auto function in addition to manual, so that's still an option. For mounting on an off-camera stand -- with or without a modifier -- it's about the cheapest way to go.