View Full Version : Which Nikon Flash?

Geoff Chandler
08-20-2008, 12:34 PM
Ok so how long is a peice of string?
I don't know anything about seperate flashguns really (not worth mentioning anyway). When I used my Olympus OM2 FSLR I got hold of a dedicated flash gun - it was dead easy and required little or no real understanding.

I have found I could do with a resonable seperate flash for my D80 - it's onboard flash is the best onboard flash I have ever had - but still wasn't quite sufficient in a large hall dimly lit ~ I bumped the ISO up to between 1200 & 1600 and got reasonable results. The thing is I won't be using it very often.
So - I see there are 3 possible Nikon ones:
SB200, SB600, SB800. - I am thinking either the 200 or maybe the 600, but despite being so good I am not sure I can justify the SB800 for maybe 2-4x a year usage.
Can anyone comment on the quality and usefullness of any of these?

How easy are they to use - I get very confused even with my onboard flash ~ when I dial down the amount of flash and get an under exposure - I thought it should expose less flash and more natural light if I did that? (like my old Olympus one did).
Can anyone sort me out on these matters?

08-20-2008, 05:22 PM
The D80 has on board commander mode so IMO that makes the SB-600 ideal for what you want. You will be able to use it on board or fire it remotely from the camera. The SB-600 price seems to have fallen a lot lately so for a device that you are not going to use a lot I think it would be a good long term investment.
I don't think the SB-800 would be worth the extra money for the type of use that you say you have BUT I'm sure that when you get a flash you will find you use it a lot more than you think you will at the moment.

08-20-2008, 08:20 PM
I started with the SB-600 and if I hadn't had to have the commander capabilities, I would have just bought another 600 instead of the 800. So I say, go SB-600!

Geoff Chandler
08-20-2008, 10:57 PM
Thanks guys - does the onboard commander mode automatcally fire the flash - or do you have to select something somewhere?? How does it work? Will it just go off if you switch on the flash and set it down somewhere and first he camera - or does the onboard flash need to be popped up - also how does it work out exposure?
There is so much I don't know about seperate flashes!

08-20-2008, 11:08 PM
you will need to;
1. pop up the onboard flash
2. set it to commander mode
3. set the sb600 to remote mode

exposures are worked out via iTTL so yes, all auto. BUT of course this is not as accurate as mounted on the camera. its pretty easy mate.

Geoff Chandler
08-21-2008, 12:04 AM
I'd better get saving again - only just paid for the last lens!!:D
I notice around 100= difference in prce for the SB600 shopping around!

In commander mode, with the pop up flash up - does the pop up flash fire as well?

08-21-2008, 12:30 AM
In commander mode the popup does fire as it has to tell the SB600 what power to fire at and when to fire. On the D80 you can choose to have the popup flash contribute to the exposure or not to contribute to the exposure by changing it to "--"
When not contributing to the exposure it will still fire. If you're using a fast lens, or the subject distance is small then the flash from the popup will be seen in the shot.

Geoff Chandler
08-21-2008, 04:00 PM
Brilliant - thanks
Just got to wait a month or two then get one!