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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7

    Nikon SB-600/SB-800 Flash vs Built-in Flash

    Hey Everyone,

    I've searched the forums and read that the Speedlights are a vast improvement to the built-in flash on the D50 or D70. I'm currently using a D50, and I don't have any experience with the Nikon Speedlights or the iTTL flash. Can someone with one of the speedlights and either the D50 or D70 post a few examples for me? I'd really like to see the improvement these flashes make over the built-in flash. Maybe a few shots of the same setting with and without the speedlight along with a brief description of the setup you used. Make me a believer!

    Thanks in advance,

    Alex

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    37
    Alex,

    I dont have the speedlight either. However, I've shot with my friends'. Bottom line is that the speedlight allows you to be more creative (i.e. bounce the light from the ceiling, etc). It also throws light much further than the builtin flash. There's really not much more. If you dont see any reason to get it (i.e. you like your pictures the way it is), then don't spend the money.

    I'm hoping that a third party flash will come out soon...perhaps saving me a few $$$.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by Wowzer

    If you dont see any reason to get it (i.e. you like your pictures the way it is), then don't spend the money.
    Thanks for the reply. That's exactly why I'm asking for a kind soul to post a few examples...I'd really like to see if I'm missing anything. This all started because I discovered I accumulated $150 in spare change that is now an Amazon gift card (thank you Coinstar). So, I'm trying to decide between buying a new camera bag, a monopod, and a tripod or spend it on the SB-600. I just want to buy whatever will further my photography the most .

    Happy shooting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    29

    stock answer

    The stock answer, of course, is "it depends." On what type of pictures you take, on what your expectations are, on your budget (SB600 vs 800), and on and on. The advantages of the SBxxx over the built-in flash are:
    - bounce capability
    - greater range/more light/ more power
    - abilty to mount on brackets, or operate remotely
    - greater control over flash parameters

    I added an SB800 to my stable and retook some still lifes with the unit as a remote, substituting for studio lights - picture quality went up up up. I also use it for dog photography, sometimes on the camera, sometimes off. Those pictures improved noticeably, too. I use a diffuser (see: http://store.garyfonginc.com/liiido.html).

    Having said all that, I've also gotten some very nice flash shots from my Canon A520's tiny built-in flash.

    Ben

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    7
    Cool, thanks for the info. I've definitely got the benefits of external flash memorized now. But I'm still waiting to SEE a comparison! I know this means someone has to really want to help me out, but I've got my fingers crossed .

    Alex

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    5
    Here's a really rough comparison, and I guess I was in the same boat as you. I just got a d50 and man... the accessories added up. But I quickly found that being able to bounce the flash gave me much less harsher shadows and allowed me to be more creative with my pictures (esp. evident in taking pictures... say at a dinner/graduation).

    Here's 2 pictures,

    The first was with the built-in flash... on a white glossy poster.


    The second one is on was with the sb-600 w/ a stofen omni-bounce pointed upwards... on a white poster board.


    As you can see there is a difference. Sorry they are not the same picture/exact background, but they were taken in the same location at the same time of day. Just a lil different product placement and background. But you can see how flash on certain surfaces causes the glare, and bounced the shadows disappear.

    I'll try to get a few other examples up later this week that might be able to better help you make your decision, but you won't regret the flash.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    105
    I have a friend who was not entirely satisfied with the D70 built-in flash and ended up purchasing the SB-800. Mostly the built-in flash range was not very good and the SB-800 helped quite a bit with this. The lighting also seems more natural with the SB-800. The pictures from the previous poster help, however if anyone has comparison shots from a medium sized room it might also help.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Rochester, NY
    Posts
    29

    more examples

    Here are a couple of quick-off built-in/SB800 comparison shots. The SB800 had one of the Gary Fong LightShpere diffusers.
    http://www.geoprosystems.com/test%20...h-example1.jpg
    and
    http://www.geoprosystems.com/test%20...h-example2.jpg
    Those should illustrate the differences.
    Ben

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Manila, Philippines
    Posts
    403
    Quote Originally Posted by Wowzer
    Alex,
    I'm hoping that a third party flash will come out soon...perhaps saving me a few $$$.
    check out the new sigma, read in a mag that's it's going to be fully iTTL compatible.
    panasonic lumix fz-20
    nikon d200 + nikkor 28-70 f/2.8 "beast" + sigma 18-200 f/3.5-6/3 + nikkor 50 f/1.8

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by klrbee25
    Cool, thanks for the info. I've definitely got the benefits of external flash memorized now. But I'm still waiting to SEE a comparison! I know this means someone has to really want to help me out, but I've got my fingers crossed .

    Alex
    Hi Alex,
    still haven't bought the external flash? I've had the SB-600 for my D70 now almost 2 years, and the difference is significant. I posted some pics on a Swedish photographer's web sight to a member with the same question as yours, and she went off and bought it the day after .They were indoor shots with people on them, and her comment was: it looks as if it's all natural light. Used a bouncer too. But I deleted the pics afterwards, sorry.

    If money's not an issue, go for the 800 if you get a good deal, the extra power is worth a great deal. But the 600 is still a good flash.

    Let me know if you're still looking for example pics.
    ________________
    My cam's:
    Nikon D70
    Sony DSC T9
    Company cam's:
    Nikon L2
    Nikon P2
    Canon Ixus 40

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