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My kit at the moment consists of an S5 pro and a D300s, I am looking to buy a flash gun. It will be a Nikon but don't know whether to to go SB 700, SB 800 or push the boat out with a SB 910. I'm just a keen amateur who likes to take shots of his Grandkids and family combined with the odd nature shot and sports/action, but nothing on a professional basis. I will be grateful for any tips as to which of the three mentioned flashguns you more experienced chaps would advise. Many thanks Nick
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The sb700 will do fine for what your asking. But if you think you will use the added features of the sb910 then by all means thats the one.
You can get a secondhand SB800 from Ffordes or Calumet for around £200 - these are easy to use, reliable and good value. We have several 800's we use - they are smaller than the 910 and more powerful than the 700 and more reliable than the 900. Buy yourself 2 sets of Sanyo Eneloop AA batteries and a charger from Amazon for £30 and you'll be good to go.
Agree, the SB700 should be fine. The SB 910 is a much larger flash, and has a slightly thicker foot, which may be a very snug fit on the S5. May be worth looking at a s/h SB600 if you can get a good price.
Would echo sentiments re going second hand, if you wish to stay "on-brand". Especially if really for family stuff and not regular professional use.
Grays of Westminster are an alternative source (no business connection, just I have appreciated their good service over the years for new and second-hand).
I have SB800 and SB900, and both good. Use for personal portraits and also for macro work, plus some executive mugshots and groups.
SB900 is larger and I am considering another SB800 for this reason (but menu system on SB900 is a little easier I find if using off-camera and as remote).
I also have a blow-up diffuser that can be fitted on to the flash - much less light loss than the diffuser cover and about 6 times the area so does give softer shadows if not using flash in bounce mode.
Sanyo Eneloop are super and there is a higher capacity version from them as well. I also use cheaper version from 7DayShop and they seem fine and hold the charge almost as long as my Eneloops.
I have a 600 and a 900 and both are good flashguns - I use the 900 mainly (for obvious reasons) but have to carry the 600 as a backup as the 900 has a tendancy to overheat with a lot of usage (i'm talking when shooting weddings and rattling off maybe 200 shots in a short space of time). It is a brilliant flash though and if the 910 has sorted the overheating issue I would say that you won't regret investing in this one!
I can't comment on 2nd hand but I always wonder why you would bother to sell/trade it in unless it was well used and you have possibly had a problem with it!!! as most people stick with a certain brand surely you would keep spare flashgun's to use with the Nikon Creative Lighting System when you get newer units... Just my thought process but thats exactly what I did when I got my 900 to use with my Fuji S5, kept my 600 for a better lighting setup, a few light modifiers and I was good to go
I also use the Sanyo Eneloop batteries (3 sets) and they are brilliant, I can't recommend them enough.
Just my thoughts.
Many thanks for the replies and advice, I wont be buying second hand it will be a new one. I notice on Amazon a new 910 is £293 approx come down from £410 ,food for thought .
I use Nikon too and have a varied amount of SB strobes. But as I usually shoot everything manually I find myself using cheaper totally manual lights. I have loads of these hanging about and at £60 pounds each they don't break your budget. Simple manual flash units make adjust power output so easy. And once you know your distances manual is as always the way to go. Just use a blip a little bit of fill in easily or make the unit your key light, 2 seconds work once you know the unit's power outlay.
We have a sigma zoom flash, very basic, but does all it needs to, an Sb400 agan not overly complex , but pretty effective with and relatively cheap - I understand they are now discontinued, but you may be able to find one, and an Sb 700 which is where thngs can get very complex very quickly if you are just using the flash as you indicate, on a casual basis you should perhaps look to less complex models....not suggesting the 700 is anything silly, but it requires thought to use such devices well.
All three models have a bounce head on them, the sigma has a wide angle "shield" also inbuilt.....the post directly above this makes a lot of sense too......
I'd recommend an SB600, for your use. Simpler to find one's way around than an SB900 /SB910, cheaper, lighter, and you won't be 'overhorsed'. If you want this option, second hand is the only way, as they have been discontinued (as has the 800, which was criticised heavily for overheating - 900 has been discontinued too). I'm a pro and use both a 900 and a 600, with the 600 being my first choice for most things, due to weight/simplicity. If I need two flashes then the 900 is the primary one as it can control the 600. But you only need one, for now, don't you?
If you just wanted a flash for off camera use then you can pick up a non-Nikon flash for around £20 and cheap triggers for around £15 and Robert's your mother's brother. However, if you want to use it on camera too, then a Nikon flash is safest.
Best of luck!
Quote: Many thanks for the replies and advice, I wont be buying second hand it will be a new one. I notice on Amazon a new 910 is £293 approx come down from £410 ,food for thought .
n.b. the current models are: SB400, SB700, SB910. So, unless you buy the 910, you WILL be buying second hand (or old stock).
www.camerapricebuster.com is aways a good start point (no connection).
Thanks again everyone.
Jane if you read this would you say that if I'm buying new then an sb700 would be the way to go??
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