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Archive 2012 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910
  
 
dougfatheruk
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p.1 #1 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Hi folks,

I need to make a pretty snap decision regarding the above.

The flash will be used as the main light for small studio speed-light setup and used for weddings, location softbox duties and through diffuser panels etc (Joe Mcnally type stuff).

I can get a used SB-800 (150 clicks only alleged) for 180 or a new SB-910 for 305.

Is it worth the extra for the 910, the external powerpack and 3-channel commander mode along with the power are the attractions in these units. It's just deciding whether it's worth paying the extra, will I regret not getting the 910.

Thanks



Nov 08, 2012 at 08:49 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Although I've not used the Nikon external powerpack ... I've never been impressed by OEM offering a case with a cord that simply holds more AA batteries. I much prefer something like the Lumedyne Tinycycler, Quantum Compact or other battery options. So for me, the external powerpack option isn't a strong selling point ... which btw, is available for use on the 800 as well as the 910, according to Nikon literature (links below).

After a quick review from KR (yeah, I know) ... the thing that catches my attention is the slightly faster recycle time of the 910. The power differential isn't significant (actually rated less) ... and likely are very close in reality to the same @ limits of flash tube. I truly don't see a POWER gain by going to the 910.

The 800 seems to have 3 channel wireless as well, so no real gain there that I see either. I'm not a Nikonian, so others can better speak to the diff here, but according to what I read @ Nikon ... the 800 is commander enabled likewise.

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product-Archive/Flashes/4801/SB-800-AF-Speedlight-.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-TechSpecs

http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Nikon-Products/Product/Flashes/4809/SB-910-AF-Speedlight.html#tab-ProductDetail-ProductTabs-TechSpecs

So, unless I seriously need the (slightly) greater recycle speed for full power flash on AA batteries, I'm going with the 800 and putting the money saved into a REAL BATTERY, like a Quantum, etc. According to Nikon's literature ... the gain between the 800 vs. 910 is .4 sec (@ full power on NI-CD). That diff is going to be even less for flash at less than full power, in real world. I wouldn't pay any attention to the "2 second" difference on slower batteries, because if recycle speed is truly needed ... you won't be using slower batteries anyway.

This is what I've got under my camera.
http://www.adorama.com/Reviews/pwr/product-reviews/Flash-Lighting/Quantum/p/QTB1C-Quantum-Battery-1-Compact.html

http://www.lumedyne.com/dload/vhtf_inst.pdf

Other options abound, but I'm just not impressed by Canon or Nikon's external powerpack options to simply buy more AA batteries. Combine that with what seems to be the flash tube being a limiting factor @ power output ... the "latest & greatest" just seem to be an exercise in 90% more money, for 10% more performance (and some re-packaged bells & whistles) in many instances, once you boil it down to the nuts & bolts.

They seem to be touting some minor changes to the zoom head, but both hit 14mm using the diffuser, and if you're putting it in a box ... I don't think the longer zoom is going to be of much value there either.

I'm leaning 800, unless I've overlooked something of significance along the way.



Nov 08, 2012 at 09:31 AM
Mark_L
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p.1 #3 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


The 800 is probably the best flash nikon have made imo. Versions after that are basically the same in terms of power and the CLS with frills like auto WB change with nikon gels and menu tweaks but in a much larger and more expensive package. External powerpack is also available for the 800.

Until they make something with built in radio like canon or more power anything after the 800 is a waste.



Nov 08, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #4 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


If you have the money the SB-910 is well worth it. Many more features and the controls and menu system is far superior.


Nov 09, 2012 at 03:48 AM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #5 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


If you're using PocketWizards for control in the usage cases as you describe, SB-910 does not add anything...


Nov 10, 2012 at 02:48 AM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #6 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Sure it does. Longer zoom range, better gel holder, better temperature control and over heat warning, heavier duty foot, it will sense whether it is a DX or FX camera, faster recycle, the SD-9 is better than the SD-8, updateable firmware....


Nov 10, 2012 at 03:30 AM
blob loblaw
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p.1 #7 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


I like debate!

I have to disagree on all the items you listed as advantage that is worth 120lbs.

I'd argue that SB800 is the same recycle time as SB910
http://photofinland.tumblr.com/post/30104069057/gear-post-nikon-speedlight-overheat-test-sb-800

There is no overheat issue with SB800 to begin with

Gel holders are gaffers tape and your set of gels you'd have from your studio

Zoom range and DX/FX don't matter much when used in a softbox or in described usage cases



Gregg Heckler wrote:
Sure it does. Longer zoom range, better gel holder, better temperature control and over heat warning, heavier duty foot, it will sense whether it is a DX or FX camera, faster recycle, the SD-9 is better than the SD-8, updateable firmware....



Nov 10, 2012 at 04:05 AM
Bruce Sawle
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p.1 #8 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Let's not forget to get the faster recycle times on the 800 you need to use the fith battery. I sold mine a long time ago and now use the 900 and 700.


Nov 10, 2012 at 04:51 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #9 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


There absolutely is an overheat issue with an SB-800. You work it too hard and the flash tube will pop, I know from experience. The difference and the advantage of the SB-900 and 910 is they will let you know when you're working them too hard and you can stop before it's too late. That's why they put the new feature there. Certainly, the 900 series might not be worth the extra money to some but they are still better flashes overall than the 800 except for size and weight. So if these are your priorities than they are not.

And yes the 5th battery is OK but a pain to have and charge 5 batteries. That is one of the main reasons I switched and have never looked back. So in a studio setting with a softbox it doesn't really matter but in a wedding you'll wish you had a 910 with it's easy menus and speed. But of course it's just one man's opinion.



Nov 10, 2012 at 06:09 AM
egd5
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p.1 #10 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


I'll second that in a wedding or fast paced shooting situation the 900/910 is worlds better to adjust.


Nov 14, 2012 at 05:27 AM
dougfatheruk
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p.1 #11 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Thanks for all the posts on this guys.

Much appreciated.



Nov 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM
cordellwillis
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p.1 #12 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


"if you work it too hard and the flash tube will pop" What the heck are you guys shooting with these little flashes that will do that

You seriously find it difficult to place one more battery in your flash and you rather pay for not doing it?

Menu....well, once you get accustom to a menu from using it there really is no big deal. An easy to work menu to one person is a pain to another.

I mean really, these are good reason



Nov 14, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #13 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Do you shoot many weddings or events, or outdoors in high heat? For most applications and amateurs shooting TTL at low speed it's not an issue but it's a different story shooting quickly at full power and especially outdoors in higher temperature conditions.

And the 5 batteries is a pain in the ass. If it was so great Nikon would have kept it. Yes, that alone is worth the switch to the 900 series.



Nov 14, 2012 at 06:10 PM
eburge
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p.1 #14 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


I like debats also...

My 2 cents worth.

If recycle time, power and overheating is really a concern, and you'll be doing wedding/events for pay, don't buy Nikon. Buy the Quantum Trio (hotshoe) or the Quantum T5dr. Both require a Quantum battery pack.

You'll have all the power and speed you'll need and no risk of overheating. All the qualities you want on a paid event.

All that being said, I use the SB800 and won't consider the 900 series until the 800 let me down. (And it hasn't, so far).

E



Nov 15, 2012 at 04:48 PM
ukphotographer
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p.1 #15 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


Gregg Heckler wrote:
Sure it does. Longer zoom range, better gel holder, better temperature control and over heat warning, heavier duty foot, it will sense whether it is a DX or FX camera, faster recycle, the SD-9 is better than the SD-8, updateable firmware....


Not picking on Gregg, but the points you make.. there's no more power.. the gels need to be specific OEM and camera colour balance needs to be overridden if OEM's gels are used.. (more menu flicking) and FX DX sensing.. so what? The flash won't zoom further to compensate if you use a DX camera to obtain greater output, (now that would be useful - but it doesn't work sensibly like that) it only changes IF you use a FX/DX camera to match flash to format then.

The difference and the advantage of the SB-900 and 910 is they will let you know when you're working them too hard and you can stop before it's too late.

I've had SB800's for about ten years and only one has overheated and only the once. I used an SB900 setting up some PW ControlTL triggers for ten minutes and it overheated before I even got to use it on a real job. In similar circumstances with SB800's there was never a hiccup.

I like the 5th battery on the SB800's, I've had them fitted since new, and the menus are not even worth mentioning to make any sort of difference.. so you switch a lever instead of accessing a menu to set remote mode.. hardly a big deal. The SB800 menu is far more intuitive.

With the difference in cost, I'd stick with an SB800.



Nov 15, 2012 at 05:49 PM
Gregg Heckler
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p.1 #16 · Used SB-800 or New SB-910


I don't feel you''re picking on me at all, you're opinions are very valid. I'm only coming at it from a perspective of experience shooting fast paced events and usage situations that the OP described. For me when I'm using more than one flash having to charge 10 batteries or 15 is a pain and I use my 70-200VR a lot so the 200 MM zoom feature is nice. Plus I really like the back lit display in dark events and churches. In any case they are all good but I would never go back to and SB-800.


Nov 16, 2012 at 02:13 AM





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