Home News Buyers Guide About Advertising
 
 
 
   
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 30
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421

    Why the SB-400 ?

    Have been getting a few questions lately about the sb400. why do i use it ? why bother ? waste of time...etc etc the reasons NOT to use one are well documented. less power, less range, no remote capability etc etc

    there has also been a heck of alot of poor, misleading and inaccurate commentry about this flash...especially to newbs who dont have alot of cash or just want a basic flash to bounce and improve indoor shots of kids and family gatherings. these are people that will likely never need or want the additional capabilities and flexibility of the bigger SB's. and they will much more appreciate its compact light weight.

    these shots clearly indicate why i use it. its tiny and compact in comparison to the sb600/800. it has a great little pouch that contours around the flash so it takes up minimal space. it takes 2 AA's and seems to last forever. recharge times are excellent.



    i take my cam pretty much everywhere. my walkaround kit is pretty basic and light, espcially if we're going for a walk to the park, (great fill flash), of just to someones house. i can have the 105VR or 85/1.8 or 50/1.8 mounted to the camera, the 35/2 and the sb400 in a simple dslr camera pouch. no bag. thats bloody impressive.

    for indoor photography when all you want to do is bounce off the ceiling at relatively close range, (up to say 3m), then this is just as good if not better than its 2 larger cousins. why would i say "better" ?? well, it gives off a much less powerful light and seems to throw almost very little flash forwards, so especially when your subject is close there is no hotspots, almost ever shooting in TTL.

    i've recently even started using it for macro work, granted it's not ideal for macro and not my strobe of choice if i have the time, inclination to shoot the subject properly, but thats not what this is about. my latest few macros have been shot with this flash. they were all taken on the street on my way to the park, no time or room to set up for macro. with this puppy i just whack it on and it gives me that extra flexibility and light if i need it to shoot when the opportunity arises.

    at around $140AUD imo, this is as much a must have in a nikonians kit as the 50/1.8. Highly recommended.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    6,892
    Which part swivels? Is it just the front lens element?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Posts
    570
    Thanks for the story . The sb400 gets a lot of hate for no reason really. No its not an sb600 nor is it trying to be, its a nice simple compact flash to take with you when you cant drag all your gear with you. Its also dirt cheap!

    Its on my shopping list, right after th Manfrotto 190XproB and 55-200VR and right in front of so much more .
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/14807929@N05/

    D40+Sigma 17-70-2.8-4.5 DC MACRO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    the front element just flips up to 90deg or 2 or 3 stops in between, (45 and 60deg maybe), cant remember now.
    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Delfgauw, The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,207
    I agree, while the SB-400 may be limited in some ways, it is more than enough for most cases. Sometimes I wish I had one myself. Especially the compactness of the flash appeals to me.

    I sometimes shoot at lowlit parties that are very busy. I cannot use the SB600 there, because it makes the camera too large. The risk of breaking the flash would simply be to big, because people are accidentally bumping into me all the time. I generally use the pop-up flash, which works fine, but I reckon that the SB400 should give better results.

    Having said that, in this situation I use direct flash mostly, because bouncing the flash would mean lighting the whole room and thus getting rid of ambient light. Therefore, I think the difference between the SB400 and pop-up flash would be limited here. Although, I suppose with the SB400 I wouldn't get the shadow of the lens in the shot.
    Last edited by Prospero; 05-11-2008 at 03:05 PM.
    Nikon D-50
    // Nikkor 70-300 f/4-5.6 VR // Nikkor 50 mm f/1.8
    // Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5 ...// Nikon SB-600
    // Sigma 10-20 f/4-5.6......// Nikon Series E 135 mm f/2.8
    // Kiron 105 f/2.8 Macro....// Manfrotto 190XPROB + 488RC4
    // Nikkor 35 f/1.8..........// Sigma 500 mm f/8

    My website: http://www.dennisdolkens.nl

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisiana, US
    Posts
    171
    i love the SB-400. sure it ain't right for a lot of situations.. but the price, weight, and the ability to tilt make it really superb in my mind. for small indoor stuff i couldn't ask for a better flash. and a little side note: I have a shaved head and let me tell u, bouncing the light with the SB-400 sure makes my head look better than light coming straight at it..
    Nikon D7000 | Nikon 50mm f/1.8G | Nikon SB-700 | Gitzo 0531

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,421
    for Leah especially or anyone thats sick of crap hi-iso photos of their kids indoors. (larger size on flickr)

    pretty quick and dirty test to explore the basic differences between hi iso quality and very simple flash use. the d300 is no slouch at hi iso, arguabley the best dslr out there short of the FF models. so this is the best you can come up with for iso performance at 3200.

    this is quite a dark room cos the lights are dimmed as its almost lucas' bedtime so its all a bit subdued. 1/50s, iso 3200 was the correct exposure setting for a 2.8 aperture. yes i could have gone down 2 stops to 1.4 which would have given me an iso of 800. but just for kicks, lets say you wanted to use that aperture to give you a little more dof than what 1.4 can give. this would be the result.

    I've played fair here, so i didnt play around with the iso NR, its off, i didnt try any little tricks like +0.7EV to mask some of the shadow noise etc. the reason i did that is cos i didnt do anything tricky with flash either.

    there is nothing fancy in the flash use, i used the sb400 bounced off the ceiling. no remote strobes, no fancy attachments. just a dirt cheap flash used in compelte auto mode.

    the common complaints about flash is that "it looks like flash photography" or "i dont like the effect" or "i prefer available". what a crock of shit. what they are REALLY saying is that they dont know how to use flash correctly or they cant be bothered to learn.

    flash gives you far better detail, far truer colours, far better sharpness and an image that can be blown up to pretty much whatever size you want if you were so inclined. the differences at these sizes are big enough, imagine if you had to crop the photo or enlarge it ? then the differences in IQ become enormous.

    dont believe the rubbish. the ONLY reason that flash shouldnt be used is if you are using the ambient light for creative effect or you cant use a flash at your location. the rest of it is just BS excuses perpetuated by pixel peepers and gear heads who like to crow about how good their sensor performs at hi iso.


    D800e l V3 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    485
    Thanks for taking the time to do those Rooz. I checked the delivery confirmation, and my flash should be here Wednesday. (Gotta hate holidays for that reason, we have Memorial Day on Monday, no mail.)

    I do appreciate it very much, and totally can not wait for my flash to get here.
    Leah
    Nikon D90, because I have a nice Mom.
    Nikon 18-105 VR kit lens | Nikon 50mm f/1.8 |
    Nikon 35mm f/1.8G |
    Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 HSM |Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G VR
    SB 600 & SB400

    Canon G9 "borrowed" from my step-father

    flickr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    30
    Ordered one because of this post. Really small, bouncing light is so much nicer, if you dont have a flash you need one and this is a cheap one. I was going to get the SB-600 but really would not of made much use out of it had I gotten it. The SB-400 is just right in terms of size, cost and performance.
    Nikon D40
    Nikkor 18-200VR| Nikkor 70-300VR | Nikkor 50mm f1.8 | SB-400
    Flickr

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    485
    Mine came Wednesday. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet. The batteries I ordered off Amazon are hung up in IL. So darn annoying, you know?

    I like how small it is! I can see it getting a lot of use.
    Leah
    Nikon D90, because I have a nice Mom.
    Nikon 18-105 VR kit lens | Nikon 50mm f/1.8 |
    Nikon 35mm f/1.8G |
    Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 HSM |Nikon 70-300mm f/4-5.6G VR
    SB 600 & SB400

    Canon G9 "borrowed" from my step-father

    flickr

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •