View Full Version : SB 400 or 600?

09-16-2008, 12:00 PM
So its time to get a flash.

One problem tho...I really don't know anything about flashes, i'm not even sure i need one. Let alone what model to go for.
So i'm looking for your help, what are the pro's and cons of different flashes? what features do they have that differ the models?

I know the SB400 can't be used as a slave, not really a problem atm but will be when i get a D90(eventually). Other than that the info doesent tell me much, so please do :). Im just looking to experiment a bit, some macro and other stuff.

My choises are between a SB600 or a SB400+50mm/f1.8 both will cost be about as much.

In a nutshell: SB400+50mm1.8 or SB 600, pros/cons?

09-16-2008, 12:05 PM
So I have both flashes, and the same camera, so I can help you out some.

I started with the SB600. Everyone said to me, OH, get this one as it is soooo much better than the SB400. The flash is awesome, and does a super job. BUT, it is big and heavy (takes 4 batteries). You can swivel it. This is a HUGE advantage if you are turning your camera sideways. BUT, the SB400 is small and very compact. It has a lot of power for such a small flash. (Not as much as the 600.) I actually keep the 400 on my camera at all times. I have only switched once, when I knew I would want to go vertical.

Rooz has a good thread with pictures to show you the differences. I will try to dig it up for you. {edited to add -- here it is: http://www.dcresource.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38976&highlight=SB400}

BTW, if I had to do it again, I would probably go with the 400 & 50mm lens. You are getting a lot for your money that way.

09-16-2008, 12:40 PM
I also own both and I agree that it depends on what you are going to use it for. The advantages of the 600 is that it is much more versatile. The advantage of the 400 is its size.

I use mostly my 600 because I love the manual control right there on the flash, plus I have just started using it as a wireless strobe using cheap ebay triggers. I love the power of it and I love the fact that you can swivel it with much more control than the 400.

BUT, if I am going somehwere where I need to carry my camera, I always grab the 400, MUCH easier to handle IMO.

I personally started with the 400 and it was absolutely great. I didn't upgrade to the 600 until I learned to use flashes and started to find the limitations of the 600. Even after I upgraded, I still kept the 400 since I do use it every now and then. If you plan on using it sparingly, I would recommend the 400, especially if you will be carrying it around. If you are looking for something to grow with, and maybe to be used later as a remote flash, then 600 all the way!

09-16-2008, 01:21 PM
Thanks for the thread by Rooz mugsisme, had totally forgotten about that :). The SB400 seems to be a good choise, i could always upgrade later. I like the ability to shoot with the flash off camera(when i get the D90) and the manual controls of the SB600 tho.

Visual Reality
09-16-2008, 05:41 PM
600 hands down...

09-16-2008, 05:57 PM
With how compact the D40+50mm is, a 400 would go pretty nicely to round that out. I could go for that myself.

09-16-2008, 07:03 PM
I had an SB-400 with my D40, and it was great. The biggest limitation I came across was trying to bounce flash when shooting portrait, something I do quite a bit of. Bounce flash off the wall still works, but not as nice as bounce flashing off the ceiling. Sometimes I did wish I had an SB-600 because of that though.

That said, it was great and compact. I loved the SB-400 on my D40, but if you find yourself doing alot of vertical/portrait shooting, then you may want to consider the SB-600.

09-17-2008, 11:47 AM
I am debating between the sb400 and sb600...apart from general shooting need
a flash that helps shooting macros....the onboard flash always interfere
with the end of the lens,I always get images like this when using my 55mm micro
so does the swivel function can do something to rid of such shadows:confused:
Also am always using old maual lenses...will the sb600 more ideal with them!!!!!!
anyway I like the compact sb400 but can still change my mind:):)