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Thread: Nikon speedlight advice, please?

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    Member salnel's Avatar
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    Nikon speedlight advice, please?

    I am looking to buy my first speedlight. I have a d90 and have been looking at the different speedlights and am not sure which would be the best one for me.
    I want it to use for close up and macro photography as I am becoming extremely interested in this area. (but am a real beginner). I have no interest in portraits .
    I read the sticky on macro and it said to buy a general speedlight first so I found the 400,600 and the new 700. (I don't want the 900 as it is too expensive and too big for me).
    Can anyone give me some advice as to the best one to suit me?
    Thanks very much
    D610 and D90 with a 16-35mm f/4,a 70-200mm f/4 ,a 300mm f/4 +TC11 convertor, 18-200mmDX and 85mm micro Dx.

    Sally...CC always appreciated

    My Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/salnel

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    just for macro ?
    Darren
    Gear : Nikon Goodness
    Website : http://www.peakactionimages.com
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    Constructive Critique of my images always appreciated

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    For everyday (or night) use, the SB 600 is probably the best for you. It has infrared focussing included (unlike the sb400) is light and has pretty good settings.
    I use it on my D80, but have bought a SB900 ($489 with free postage from Digital Rev) for my D300s
    I like to have both of them so that it depends on what lens is on either camera.
    At the moment, Dital Rev's ebay store has the sb600 for $277.
    I've bought a few items from them and they are honest, free postage, and sometimes faster delivery than some companies in Australia.

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    That would be the main thing I would be using it for..I am not really into portraits ..my family run a mile when I have my camera and I really suck at them I have just got a macro lens and am really interested in this area ,and, from what I have read, flash is necessary to get better shots. I think that's right?

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    P.S. For Macro, sometimes I use the sb200 with the camera's flash set to commander.

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    There's a 200 as well??

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    Yes, I bought a single one. They are usually bought with the ring flash.
    They don't have a hot shoe, so they can only be used as a wireless flash

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I would say that for ease of use, and ultimate speed of setup, go for the SB700.

    One of the handiest aspects of Nikon's speedlight system is the ability to control them wirelessly.
    That is the D90 controls the SB600/700/800/900(as well as the R1 macro sytstem's SB-R200's) without the need for wires.

    Where the SB800 and 600, is the fumble in the dark prehistoric menu system in changing from wireless to onboard(on board the camera when needed to be).
    Both the SB900 and the SB700 have much simpler wireless connectivity with simple button presses as opposed to delving deep in to menu and submenu to activate and deactivate the feature.
    (well.. it annoys the hell 'outta me anyway)

    SB900 is too big as already said.. so the SB700 would seem to be the natural choice then.
    SB600 and SB800 are still both very capable tho(just more awkward to use)
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Macro? R1 C1 is your friend.

    If you don't want the SB-900, and if used doesn't bother you, a mint SB-800 can be had for less than US$300 and if it has to be new, then the SB-700 is probably best for an all round unit.

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post

    Where the SB800 and 600, is the fumble in the dark prehistoric menu system in changing from wireless to onboard(on board the camera when needed to be).
    Agreed. I find the controls on the SB600 a bit of a nightmare.

    The SB400 is much better. It doesn't have any.

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    If it's just for macro I'd actually be tempted to get a knockoff ring flash from eBay

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
    Macro? R1 C1 is your friend.
    For macro, Waynes suggestion is on the mark --- but --- leave the c1 off the model designation and save dollars. The inbuilt flash on your D90 will act as a commander for the Nikon 4804 R1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight System.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    Andrew, you are so much less lazy than me, I just never bother to post links

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    Flash for D90. Advice on setting my D90 to commander mode (option not avail with current settings)

    I am looking at a SB700 for my D90, i have not purchased anything as yet but have dabbled with the settings on the D90 to go to commander mode, how ever when i go into menu/custom settings/E2/ i get "this option is not available with current settings"

    I am wondering if this is due to not having the flash unit yet? Any suggestions on what settings would need to be changed???

    Also any fors or against for the SB700? Will be for general flash photography and also interested in remote flash.

    Thank you again for any advice. You advice has been very helpful in the past.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SoonRah View Post
    I am looking at a SB700 for my D90, i have not purchased anything as yet but have dabbled with the settings on the D90 to go to commander mode, how ever when i go into menu/custom settings/E2/ i get "this option is not available with current settings"

    I am wondering if this is due to not having the flash unit yet? Any suggestions on what settings would need to be changed???.....
    There's already another thread currently being answered too with respect to a good flash for your D90.

    I think the SB700 will be the best option for the long term tho(just my opinion, not based on any experience of the SB700, just the user interface of it).

    as for the e2 setting. This shouldn't have anything to do with the fact that you have no slave flashes connected/or connectable yet, but more about some other camera setting you have in the camera.
    You should still be able to delve into the menu and make settings adjustments, but I don't know what settings you currently have your camera set too.. maybe it's set to one of the scene modes or something and e2 can't be altered because of that??
    Try setting the camera to manual mode to start with and see if that helps.

    (note I may merge this thread with the other thread of flash for D90, of the sake of simplicity)

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    Thanks for you reply,
    yes when i go to any of the manual modes (M/A/S/P) i am able to access the commander settings. I am not able to whislt in any auto modes at all.

    and from all i read i am leaning toward the SB700
    cheers

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    AH! I thought so!

    I have never played with the the auto modes on my old D70s(D300 doesn't have them), and having only recently tried to see what they do(on a D7000) I have to say I'm very unimpressed.
    You can't make any changes at all when in auto scene modes, and while that's not as silly or backward as it may first sound(I mean you are using auto mode and you'd expect it to be highly automated), but I was at least expecting some form of user configurability somewhere. BUT nope! It;s all fully auto and the user is not allowed any say so!

    That now makes sense. Use Aperture Priority, if you want too, also set AutoISO to on, and up to ISO1600 will still be clean.
    Andrew recently alerted me to the fact that centre weighted works really well(with lots of visible proof, that I now have a basic understanding of), but that will depend heavily on what you want to achieve.. I like the full matrix metering ability of the Nikon flash system.. especially with wireless flashes connected and then placed strategically.
    I said aperture priority was a good way to do this, but if you want a specific purpose.. say a high shutter speed and deep DOF(a macro shot in windy conditions), then you may be better off in Manual mode with pre set shutter and aperture and let AutoISO and the flash power take care of the exposure.

    Andrew(I@M) also pointed to a wireless macro flash system and highlighted that the extra money required for the SU-800 controller unit is not necessary, and in 99.9% of situations he's right. But if you want fast paced continuous shooting the onboard flash unit(on your camera) is not able to cycle fast enough to shoot say 3fps if that was also a requirement.(I sometimes use that method to nail a surefire sharp image(or say a fast moving subject).
    The SU800 or any other commander capable flash is able to maintain a higher (that 1fps) frame rate if that's required.
    That's really the only advantage I can see in having a dedicated commander(flash or unit).

    Commander capable flashes are the SB700, SB800, SB900 and of course the non flash SU800 commander module, that I know of.


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    This is an area in which I know very little so I investigated a bit more and this is what I came up with..please correct me if I am wrong!!
    Regarding the speedlights, the 700 seems to be the best in that it is (supposedly) easier to use, is lighter than the 600 and there isn't an enormous difference in price. Besides, I would rather pay more and get something I can use with out driving myself nuts
    I then had a look at Andrews"s link (thankyou) because I didn't know what that was..it also looked good and had very good reviews. Am I right in assuming that you don't need a separate speedlight to make it work..that the pop up flash will trigger it?
    The only downside (I think) is that it takes 6 seconds to recover with full batteries...so for any fast moving subjects, I couldn't shoot like a maniac?
    Have I got this right?

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    Account Closed Wayne's Avatar
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    I believe the D90 will command the R1 macro setup. Check the camera menu under flash/bracketing and see if you can set the mode for the inbuilt flash to "Commander".

    The fact the R1 will take 6 secs to cycle may prevent some shots, but in all, the SB-700 won't be that much quicker if you start blasting away 1 shot after shot with little to no time in between. Speedlights are not capable of repeated bursts for long and certainly not at anything but close to minimum power.

    The SB-900 offers the best recycle times from the Nikon range when used with the right batteries. You may be able to use an SD8/9/? for the SB-700 which is an external battery pack to aid life and recycle time, but it costs perhaps $200 and then you may as well get the SB-900 instead.

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    An SB600/700/800 on a bracket with a sync cord (don't rely on IR) will suffice. I can shoot at 4 fps with the SB800 at macro distances so recycle times are not an issue. Even an SB400 would be ok as a dedicated macro flash.

    Cheers
    Leigh

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