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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    285

    Flash - Nikon vs Sigma vs Metz vs Nissin

    While I reviewed some other threads, I am not ready for radiopoppers or cactus (yet) and dealing with the delima of another SB-600 vs SB-900, with both primarily being used off camera, and the on-camera flash to trigger. Thanks to Nikons apparent annual 10 day closing down the supply for inventory, stores don't have SB-600's in stock (and also leads to rumors of being replaced). That leaves biting the bullet and going for the SB-900. Also, thanks to Nikons policy, it got me to looking at 3rd party flashes, which I am sure Nikon doesn't appreciate.

    Amazingly, I don't see them discussed anywhere other than some random feedback from those that purchased. While they makes models that are roughly equivalent to the SB-600 (wireless slave only) I am focusing on what appear to be SB-900 equivalent (output and master capability).
    SB-900 ($469)
    Metz 58 ($399)
    Nissin ($299)
    Sigma 530 DC Super ($219)

    Anybody have any experience with these with the Nikon CLS system...or just bite the bullet with the SB-900?
    Digital: Nikon D40; Nikon D90; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-55; Nikkor 55-200VR; Sigma 10-20; Tamron 17-50; SB-600; SB-900; Pocket Wizards
    Film: Canon AE-1; T70; FD 28mm 2.8; FD 50mm 1.8; FD 135mm 3.5
    Wish List: Unlimited! Let's not go there.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    117
    Metz rules. I have the Metz 54i; it works great with the D700.

    With a good lens and more than base ISO it can reach out really far. I saw it once telling me it could reach out to 80 meters (!) with the 24-70 f/2.8 on f/2.8 and ISO-1250. That's really impressive in my book.

    And it doesn't just boast, it really delivers.

    Samples:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/huha/36...57620582719343


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/huha/36...7620582719343/


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/huha/36...7620582719343/


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/huha/36...7620582719343/

    I was standing up there:


    http://www.flickr.com/photos/huha/36...7620582719343/


    On the downside, I believe Metz flashes are bulkier than the Nikon flashes with similar guide numbers.
    Stefan Hundhammer
    Nikon D700, Sony R1, Sony T10
    Nikkors: 24-70 f/2.8 +++ 70-300 VR f/4.5-5.6 +++ 18-35 f/3.5-4.5
    +++ 20 f/2.8 +++ 24 f/2.8 +++ 35 f/2 +++ 50 f/1.8 +++ 85 f/1.8
    Sigma 150 Macro f/2.8 +++ Sigma TC 1.4 +++ Metz 54i

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/huha/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,929
    If you want to fully utilize CLS and be wireless and dont use RP or PW's, then stick with Nikon.
    Jason

    "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a soldier dies but once."-2Pac


    A bunch of Nikon stuff!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    285
    Yeah, I'm torn just pay the extra $69 and get the Nikon vs the Metz 58. Concerning the Metz 54, it is more equivalent to the SB-600 in features with a little more light output - but the same price.

    I do have some time and may download manuals to see what the CLS compromises are, if any. At least I am not rushed having to make a spur of the moment decision as the umbrella kit is in day 9 of a backorder at Adorama. Ironically they have the Westcott umbrella and stands individually with free shipping that with the flash holder is same price, but shipping on the flash holder kicks it up vs Westcott's kit.
    Digital: Nikon D40; Nikon D90; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-55; Nikkor 55-200VR; Sigma 10-20; Tamron 17-50; SB-600; SB-900; Pocket Wizards
    Film: Canon AE-1; T70; FD 28mm 2.8; FD 50mm 1.8; FD 135mm 3.5
    Wish List: Unlimited! Let's not go there.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    391
    If I were you, I wouldn't count out getting some used SB-28's. They can be had for less than $100 and you could get some cybersync's for much less than the price of a SB-900. They don't support TTL and you would need a couple hot shoe adaptors but if you are looking for an affordable and powerful off-camera solution, it's worth a look.
    my flickr
    shutterdoggy.com
    nikon D700 | D200 | D50 - nikkor 17-35 f2.8 | 35-70 f2.8 | 70-200 f2.8 | 50 f1.8 | Tamron 28-75 f2.8 | 2@SB600 | SB-800

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    793
    I'd consider getting the old Nikon flashes with built in slaves. The SB-26 and SB-80DX both have built in slaves which would mean not needing the radio triggers until you can afford them to make firing more reliable. The SB-80DX has the same super slave that's in the SB800 and SB900. You can pick them up pretty cheap.
    Nikon D700 | SB600 | SB-80DX | 2xSB-26 | 18-35 f/3.5-4.5 | 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G | 50 f/1.4 G | 105 f/2.8 VR | 70-300 f/4.5-5.6 VR

    flickr

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    2,188
    Quote Originally Posted by achuang View Post
    I'd consider getting the old Nikon flashes with built in slaves. The SB-26 and SB-80DX both have built in slaves which would mean not needing the radio triggers until you can afford them to make firing more reliable. The SB-80DX has the same super slave that's in the SB800 and SB900. You can pick them up pretty cheap.
    I completely agree.

    You can also go with even less expensive Nikon flashes like the SB-25 and SB-28 which don't have the slaves built in for even less and use that towards buying a pair of Cybercyncs for remote triggering. This would still cost your more than the above suggestion but removes the line of sight and sunlight issues if you are shooting outdoors. You can't go wrong with either of these choices.
    _______________
    Nikon D3, D300, F-100, 10.5 Fisheye, 35 f/1.4, 50 f/1.4, 85 f/1.4, Zeiss 100 f/2, 105 f/2.5, 200 f/4 Micro, 200 f/2 VR, 300 f/2.8 AF-S II, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200 f/2.8, SU-800, SB-900, 4xSB-800, 1.4x and 1.7x TC
    (2) Profoto Acute 2400 packs w/4 heads, Chimera Boxes

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
    Posts
    295
    Are used flashes out of the question? You can always pick up a used flash.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    285
    Quote Originally Posted by Myboostedgst View Post
    Are used flashes out of the question? You can always pick up a used flash.
    I'm always afraid of used flash. I've worn through sveral that I purchased new, so not knowing the prior use of the used, it makes me leery.
    Digital: Nikon D40; Nikon D90; Nikon D7000 Nikkor 18-55; Nikkor 55-200VR; Sigma 10-20; Tamron 17-50; SB-600; SB-900; Pocket Wizards
    Film: Canon AE-1; T70; FD 28mm 2.8; FD 50mm 1.8; FD 135mm 3.5
    Wish List: Unlimited! Let's not go there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    God's Country - Australia
    Posts
    10,408
    all my flashes are used, (bar the sb900), even my R1 kits were used. the sb28's and sb800 cop a real beating and never had an issue. unless you absolutely need the features of the sb900 then grab a used sb800 imo. otherwise, seriously look at cybersyncs and sb28's. sure you lose ttl, but you gain super reliable radio triggers.
    D800e l V1 l AW1 l 16-35 l 35 l 50 l 85 l 105 l EM1 l EP5 l 7.5 l 12-40 l 14 l 17 l 25 l 45 l 60 l 75
    flickr

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