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Archive 2012 · Speedlight on the cheap?
  
 
buckeyeguy1
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p.1 #1 · Speedlight on the cheap?


Any recommendations on a backup flash for Nikon? I have an SB-900 that I use on and off camera. I really like having the PC port on it to hook up my cybersyncs. My main intention is to use it as a second off camera flash for some more creative ideas I have for senior portraits. However, I would like to be able to mount it on camera in the case of a failure of my SB-900.

I was originally hoping to get an SB-700, but would need a hotshoe for it (one more thing to have around) and its a little more than I want to spend right now. The Yongnuo 560 II looks interesting, but have read about some quality issues with them. The Lumopro 160 could be doable and I happen to live within a couple of hours of mpex so if there was an issue, I could get it taken care of in person.

Another alternative I was looking at was maybe picking up an SB-28 on the B&S forum. They seem to be going for $80-90.

Any other suggestions or experiences with the above lights?



Jul 28, 2012 at 09:04 PM
visualist
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p.1 #2 · Speedlight on the cheap?


I have a handfull of SB24s i've bought used around 2005 ... and they work and work and work. So yes, if i'd need a replacement, i'd get a used SB over a new cheapo any day.
And i'm a Olympus shooter. Then again, in-camera remote is soooo cool, if only Oly wouldn't charge a kings ransom for those FL-Rs ... and i'd still rather use Nikons.

In other words ... this is a no-brainer.



Jul 28, 2012 at 10:02 PM
Gregory Edge
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p.1 #3 · Speedlight on the cheap?


If you don't care about TTL why not go with Vivitar 283 units. They are bullet-proof, cheap and reliable.


Jul 29, 2012 at 12:41 PM
unknown_photog
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p.1 #4 · Speedlight on the cheap?


If you're shooting with cybersyncs you obviously don't care about TTL...so I highly recommend a Nikon SB-80DX, you can pick them up used pretty good.

@visualist recommendation of SB24's is also good, but they have plastic feet which break easily.

The Yongnuo is also a great option. Especially at the price point.

Andy



Jul 29, 2012 at 04:29 PM
pr4photos
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p.1 #5 · Speedlight on the cheap?


I have a Yongnuo 565EX and to be honest if I want a TTL flash thats the one I grab. Its great, and it doesn't cost a lot


Jul 29, 2012 at 05:14 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #6 · Speedlight on the cheap?


buckeyeguy1 wrote:
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.

http://lumopro.com/product.php?id=25

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.














Jul 29, 2012 at 11:29 PM
buckeyeguy1
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p.1 #7 · Speedlight on the cheap?


Thanks for the replies. One of the reasons I have been hesitant thus far on buying non-Nikon flashes is for the reason BrianO brings up. I want to be assured that I could use it on camera without worrying if it was going to fry my DSLR.

TTL is not that important to me. I don't think I have used TTL on my SB-900 but three or four times since I've had it.

The only thing I really need to make sure it can do is high speed sync with PWs (off camera) if I upgrade my triggers later. Am I wrong in thinking that any more current production flashes can be used for HSS in manual mode (non-TTL)?

I don't see myself upgrading from Cybersyncs any time soon. I've had very good luck with them and am not sure if I really need HSS at this time. I would just like to be ready if I do.



Jul 30, 2012 at 11:40 AM
visualist
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p.1 #8 · Speedlight on the cheap?


I'm sure someone can provide one of the several listings on trigger-voltage of old flashes. This is less a problem then it may appear to be.
I have no clue about HSS, but the msain reason i failed to mention why i suggested Nikon flashes is the interface. At the verry beginning i had a FL25, SB24 and a National. All with different interfaces and output and slightly colortemp, wich, beeing a noob, made things more complicated and confusing.
As for usability my favorit is actualy the very old National. It has a manual zoom-head, a slider to adjust powersettings and no sleep-mode, so you don't have to see the display to change settings. However, it's extremely rare, so i could never find additional ones to put together a set, and they are heavy, bulky and have less power



Jul 30, 2012 at 12:54 PM
pokemanyz
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p.1 #9 · Speedlight on the cheap?


Inexpensive? I just got a Sunpak 933 that came with a Lumiquest Mini Softbox and I paid $19.99 shipped. Works great.


Jul 30, 2012 at 04:17 PM
unknown_photog
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p.1 #10 · Speedlight on the cheap?


@buckeyeguy1 I'm pretty sure any flash that supports TTL also supports High Speed Flash Sync.


Jul 30, 2012 at 04:54 PM
 

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BrianO
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p.1 #11 · Speedlight on the cheap?


buckeyeguy1 wrote:
...The only thing I really need to make sure it can do is high speed sync with PWs (off camera) if I upgrade my triggers later. Am I wrong in thinking that any more current production flashes can be used for HSS in manual mode (non-TTL)?


Do you actually mean High Speed Sync (which is Canon's trade name for the pulsating-flash that turns the Speedlite into a short continuous light), or do you mean HyperSync (which is Pocket Wizard's trade name for optimized-timing syncronization)?

HSS does have a Nikon counterpart -- FP Mode (which stands for Focal Plane Mode), but it's not the same as HyperSync.



Jul 30, 2012 at 09:29 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #12 · Speedlight on the cheap?


unknown_photog wrote:
@buckeyeguy1 I'm pretty sure any flash that supports TTL also supports High Speed Flash Sync.


Nope.



Jul 30, 2012 at 09:29 PM
buckeyeguy1
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p.1 #13 · Speedlight on the cheap?


Brian. My intention was for the hypersync; however, after reading more into it, it looks like it only allows shutter speeds of up to 1/500. If you want to go to a faster shutter speed you need the mini and the flex which use ttl. Although I'm still rather new to flash I think that 1/320 that I get now with my current triggers will be just fine for the forseeable future.


Jul 30, 2012 at 10:15 PM
BrianO
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p.1 #14 · Speedlight on the cheap?


buckeyeguy1 wrote:
...after reading more into it, it looks like [HyperSync] only allows shutter speeds of up to 1/500. If you want to go to a faster shutter speed you need the mini and the flex which use ttl.


Yes, and then only with HSS/FP-capable Speedlites/Speedlights, which adds exponentially to the cost.

If you're getting 1/320 now then you're doing well. I can get 1/250 with my Speedlites, but when I use my 285HV off camera, or when I use monolights, I'm lucky to get 1/200 reliably.



Jul 30, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Maced
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p.1 #15 · Speedlight on the cheap?


Buckeyeguy,

I have "borrowed" the Lumpro when I second shoot weddings and have been tempted by the output equivalent to the 580EXii. mpex is big on them, (I wonder around there quite a bit since I work right down the street)

What I like:

The output controls, it's dead simple.
I have gotten good results with it.
Cheap

What I don't:

The screw on hot-shoe SUCKS, I either can't get it on tight enough, or I get it locked on nice, and I cant get it off easily.
It whines quite loudly on recharge. this is more of a nuisance during wedding ceremonies more than anything. I wouldn't stay away from it based solely on that.

I too have been tempted buy the Yongnuo and I need to buy another flash before the 11th..



Aug 02, 2012 at 07:27 PM
buckeyeguy1
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p.1 #16 · Speedlight on the cheap?


Maced,
I think I've decided to get one of the Yongnuo 560II lights on Amazon and try it out. I am shooting a small wedding in October for a friend so I will have a little time to practice with it before. I don't think the guests will enjoy hearing capacitors charging all night if I use it. My main light will be my SB-900. I'll let you know how it looks when I get it.



Aug 03, 2012 at 01:20 AM
BrianO
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p.1 #17 · Speedlight on the cheap?


One other option, if you don't do weddings regularly: rent or borrow another SB-900.

You're already familiar with how it works, it's the most-capable Speedlight available, and it'll work in CLS mode if you want to go that route -- very handy at the reception.



Aug 03, 2012 at 02:39 AM
jefferies1
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p.1 #18 · Speedlight on the cheap?


I have 2 Canon 580EX with one going in for service. Purchased a Yonguno 560II ( non ETTL) and it works fine for under $80.00. Just got a 2nd in as extra off camera light and back-up. Only issue I see could be lacking the focus assist in very dark rooms. Have to stick to the higher priced Canon for that. Not sure about the ETTL model options.


Aug 04, 2012 at 07:47 PM
pharmasea
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p.1 #19 · Speedlight on the cheap?


I did not think the 560 or 565 did high speed sync.


Aug 05, 2012 at 04:34 PM
pr4photos
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p.1 #20 · Speedlight on the cheap?


No, I have both the 560 and the 565 and neither do High speed sync


Aug 05, 2012 at 07:14 PM
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