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Archive 2013 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner
  
 
j_ross23
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Hi,

My name is Josh and I recently started photographing weddings as an assistant and it has been a great experience for me. I have really been enjoying it but I have been having trouble indoors and even overcast outdoors at times when I need to fill in some shadows. I would prefer a reflector but I myself don't have an assistant and it's kind of bulky to carry around.

I need a cheap flash that'll cover my needs to get started. I am willing to buy used. I know some basic things about flash like bouncing it off walls, and minor stuff like that but that is about it. I believe TTL means it does automatic settings am I correct? Is this a necessary feature? I would like to keep the price of the flash around 300 and under because this is my first and I will probably upgrade sometime in the future?

Options I see are perhaps the SB 600 or 700, I've heard of a brand Yonguo but don't know if they offer the same features.

Much thanks,

Josh Ross



Aug 15, 2013 at 08:26 PM
M635_Guy
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


I think you'll like an SB-700. At $250 or so used I think it gives you a lot of flexibility and performance on a D7000.


Aug 15, 2013 at 08:41 PM
Frogfish
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Yongnuo are excellent but are manual flash units.

Get a simple on-camera diffuser for the flash, to soften the light for direct lighting at weddings, which will be used more often than bounced light. Gary Fong diffusers for example - though there are many others and the cheap Chinese Gary Fong copies on EBay work just as well.



Aug 16, 2013 at 01:01 AM
SRFast
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Buy a used Nikon SB-600. Here's a link to one for sale:
http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1234042

Hope this helps...JL



Aug 16, 2013 at 01:02 AM
ucphotog
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


I've had the SB700 for awhile. I like it a lot. Rotates in both directions. Enough power for my needs. With good batteries, it'll go for a long, long time.

I had an SB400 for awhile. Actually, now that I think about it, I must still have it, but I never use it. It was very limited. It couldn't be a master. It has very limited rotations and only in one axis. I needed a flash for a D2x, and I wanted cheap. The SB400 fit that bill, but I don't think it's a very wise investment.



Aug 16, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


ucphotog wrote:
I've had the SB700 for awhile. I like it a lot. Rotates in both directions. Enough power for my needs. With good batteries, it'll go for a long, long time.

I had an SB400 for awhile. Actually, now that I think about it, I must still have it, but I never use it. It was very limited. It couldn't be a master. It has very limited rotations and only in one axis. I needed a flash for a D2x, and I wanted cheap. The SB400 fit that bill, but I don't think it's a very wise investment.


Actually it depends on your desired usage. I use one with a Better Beamer for birds (where you need direct light) and it's amazingly powerful for it's size (and doesn't catch branches etc. as much as a full size unit) !

It can rotate to bounce off the ceiling but as you say only on one axis.



Aug 16, 2013 at 02:14 AM
awacs
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Agree with the suggestion for an SB-600. Terrific unit for the (used) price.

A poster above suggested a diffuser. The Demb flash diffuser classic (with included Flip-it reflector) is easy to use, flexible, and packs away in a nice compact package.

http://www.dembflashproducts.com/order/

Aram



Aug 16, 2013 at 02:26 AM
j_ross23
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Thank you guys so much for your suggestions!

I will definitely look into those SB-600s you recommended as well as the SB-700!

Can anyone tell me what "manual" flash is?



Aug 16, 2013 at 02:42 AM
Frogfish
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


j_ross23 wrote:
Thank you guys so much for your suggestions!

I will definitely look into those SB-600s you recommended as well as the SB-700!

Can anyone tell me what "manual" flash is?


Just like a camera, adjust all the settings yourself - no 'Auto' mode !



Aug 16, 2013 at 03:12 AM
j_ross23
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Frogfish wrote:
Just like a camera, adjust all the settings yourself - no 'Auto' mode !



No aperture priority mode ha



Aug 16, 2013 at 03:34 AM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



kcartwright27
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


oh you can run aperture priority all day long on your camera.. its just the flash will not be talking to it..
Al of the settings are manual . power.. zoom.. etc my first year or so of taking the hobby seriously, I used nothing but manual flashes and had a great time.
teaches you about light and settings a bit more.. you know.. i was normally able to get a great exposure within a few shots and adjustments
the yongnuo's are great.. they also have a cheaper TTL model.. the 468..



Aug 16, 2013 at 04:36 AM
signo
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


I had a sb-600 for a long time (around 4 years) itīs a very good flash y believe it would be an excellent choice for you. I recently sold it an bought a new sb-400, I know itīs not the same but for traveling itīs amazing, small and half the batteries.


Aug 16, 2013 at 09:05 PM
D5100 Dude
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


SB800 you can find them for 300 or less. Very powerfull speedlight. I'm not much on Chinese equipment. I try not to support the Chinese economy.


http://speedlights.net/



Aug 17, 2013 at 07:14 AM
Slug69
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


The SB700 has a much better menu system than the SB600 and SB800. If you can afford the 700 that would be my choice.


Aug 17, 2013 at 11:01 AM
GOVA
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


I have always used Metz flashes with both Canon and Nikon bodies. Plenty to choose from and great power too. You will need the power in those ball rooms. Check out Nissin as well.

The 600 flash mentioned here is good for fill outdoors, nothing more in my opinion.




Aug 17, 2013 at 01:32 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


+ 1 for the SB-700.

I have two and an SB-910. Across Nikon's line, in my opinion the 700 offers a lot for the money.

I'm sure you're aware of the Buy and Sell forum here. It's a great resource with many trustworthy sellers.



Aug 17, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Don't hold back on flash power because once you start diffusing and/or bouncing light you run out of light very quickly.

Make sure that whatever you get can act as a master unit and as a slave unit in a multi-flash setup.

Get one that has a good menu system or preferably suitable direct control buttons for changing modes, etc., that might otherwise require you to rummage through your camera menu system.

Get an off-camera flash cord so that you can have your flash a bit farther away from the camera to reduce that flat look that direct flash often produces, but make sure it isn't too short to use comfortably. You might want a flip bracket of some sort too.

The more flexibility you have with one flash unit the longer you can avoid getting a second one and an assistant.

The SB-700 and later let you swivel the head left and right up to 180 degrees. This is far nicer in practice than one which goes 90 degrees one way and 270 degrees the other way. Every time you change your camera orientation you will need to re-aim your bounce flash or reposition your flash for correct shadow location, and an appropriate bracket can help with that.

Make sure that the overheat protection doesn't leave you stuck with no flash for an extended period. Newer models will gradually slow down the shooting rate before they stop completely whereas the older ones had no thermal protection at all or else ran at full rate and then suddenly stopped dead for 10 or 15 minutes while they cooled down.

A good flash is like a good tripod in that it shows how poor a poor one can really be, and a good one will probably outlast your cameras.


Be prepared to spend a while becoming familiar with the system. Flash seems to have a mind of its own when not used manually, especially with auto-ISO on the camera. Different shooting / metering modes can give very different and perhaps unexpected behaviour, although there's bound to be logic in there somewhere.

- Alan



Aug 17, 2013 at 04:00 PM
rick_reno
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


I'm looking for one too...anyone know why the SB-600 costs more than the SB-700?


Aug 17, 2013 at 04:03 PM
DaveOls
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


Some of the older Nikon flashes are very inexpensive and powerful. If you need to use as a remote, you can probably find an aftermarket trigger thingy. I use my old Nikon SB 22s on my digital cameras. It also has the AUTO mode which has fallen out of favor for some reason. The Metz flashes
are also much more powerful than the newer Nikons and probably cheaper and made in Germany instead of China. One thing you have to be careful of though on older flashes is that the trigger voltage has to be below 6 volts or so. Some older flashes have trigger voltages over 100 volts. That would fry your electronics in a new digital camera.



Aug 18, 2013 at 11:12 AM
SRFast
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Advice for a Flash Unit for Beginner


rick_reno wrote:
I'm looking for one too...anyone know why the SB-600 costs more than the SB-700?


I think you are mistaken. Used SB-600s have been listed at $170-200. A new SB-700 cost $327 at most of the major shops. There are more advanced features on the SB-700, but for about $175, the SB-600 is the perfect Nikon flash for the novice. Though the SB-600 can't be a master flash for the Nikon CLS, it can be used as a remote. Most Nikon DSLRs with on-board flash can be used as a master when set to Commander mode.

Regards....JL



Aug 18, 2013 at 12:14 PM
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