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sanjuan
02-14-2007, 12:06 AM
So I've been totally intrigued by all this talk about using flash (Thanks shiroin) and I decided to see what I had in stock that would help me play around with flash. I am a fan for natural lighting (Mainly out of inexperience) so my use of the flash is fairly limited. I managed to find an OLD Canon Speedlite 155A but...is having one of these things on my Nikon even worth it? Sure it does wonders on my AE-1 but how does is stack with a D-SLR?

shiroin
02-14-2007, 03:13 AM
it will work, but you will have to make adjustments manually. (no automatic modes supported)

ZiggyB
02-14-2007, 03:27 AM
Yah, I'm actually looking at a flash myself for my Canon 350D. Trying to decide if it's worth the extra $120 to get the 580EX or go with a the cheaper 430EX.

I know they are mostly the same, but the 580EX can be a flash master and has has more power if I ever want to bounce off of high ceilings or use a reflector/soft box. But the 430EX is just as capable in most situations and is cheaper.

Decisions, decisions.

shiroin
02-14-2007, 02:24 PM
for anyone who is trying to decide betwen the Nikon SB-800 and the SB-600, here is the deal:

I own both flashes and have good experience in using them.
Technical Specs tells us that SB-800 is:
-slightly stronger
-can be used as commanding flash
-has a built in reflector
-comes with diffuser/color filters
-has better build
-faster recycling time
-dedicated LCD monitor
-two times as expensive as the SB-600
-and DURABLE

you can drop a SB-800 and a SB-600 at waist level, and the SB-800 will still function perfectly, and the SB-600 will just completely mulfunction. if you drop the SB-600 on carpet instead, it will have a unuseable motor for focal length adjustments.

So think about it, whether you want a SB-800 or a SB-600.

Av4rice
02-14-2007, 07:26 PM
I like the 430EX because it's cheaper and I'm poor :P
It's also smaller, which is good if you want to avoid extra bulk--but I guess if you don't care about mobility in lieu of performance, that's a disadvantage.

It's strong enough to bounce well in most situations. I'm not even sure if the 580 will help you on high ceilings.

skypirate
02-14-2007, 08:01 PM
So I've been totally intrigued by all this talk about using flash (Thanks shiroin) and I decided to see what I had in stock that would help me play around with flash. I am a fan for natural lighting (Mainly out of inexperience) so my use of the flash is fairly limited. I managed to find an OLD Canon Speedlite 155A but...is having one of these things on my Nikon even worth it? Sure it does wonders on my AE-1 but how does is stack with a D-SLR?

I would be careful and research whether or not your modern digitial camera can handle the typically high voltages of an old flash. You might end up frying your camera. Some where there's a site that actually lists the voltage of various flashes. Then you' need to find out what your camera's maximum is.

sanjuan
02-14-2007, 09:12 PM
I would be careful and research whether or not your modern digitial camera can handle the typically high voltages of an old flash. You might end up frying your camera. Some where there's a site that actually lists the voltage of various flashes. Then you' need to find out what your camera's maximum is.

You actually have me on a bit of a scare, I should check that out before I mount her on and try it, thanks for the heads up

skypirate
02-15-2007, 12:00 AM
You actually have me on a bit of a scare, I should check that out before I mount her on and try it, thanks for the heads up

Well, the community is here to help each other out. I learned about this back when I was using the Panasonic FZ-10 and considering a Vivatar 283. Some, not all, of the 283's had a trigger voltage of 275 volts, which would not have been good for the little Panasonic. So, seriously, this is something that needs to be considered before attaching any flash not specifically designed for your camera.

The good news is, it appears that the 155a has a trigger voltage of between 6 and 8 volts, which is probably safe for your new camera.

And yeah, I got an AE-1, AT-1, Graflex 35 Graphic 35, and an old Kodak Pony all in working condition and collecting dust. Just can't let go of them.

skypirate
02-15-2007, 12:08 AM
I'd like to add that there are so many advantages of going with a more modern flash designed for your camera. And the Nikon flashes are affordable.

SolarTempest
02-16-2007, 12:55 AM
For about a year, I was using a 1980's Toshiba flash for my DSLR. It needed full manual operation and took quite a bit of effort to get it to light scenes up correctly. That is, at least two or more pictures before I could really determine the necessary flash output.

About a year ago, I picked up a SB-800 for $400 CAD (total). Wickedly awesome flash, chosen over the SB-600 for most of the reasons mentioned by Shiroin, as well as the great price I was able to get for the flash unit.

The key advantages that I enjoy with the SB-800 over older manual flash:
1. Batteries last a lot longer
2. Filtered gels help balance weird convention/indoor lighting
3. Wireless off-camera flash usage
4. Great low-light autofocus assist (sometimes I put on my flash unit just for the AF-assist)
5. Faster flash recycle time
6. Adjustability of flash output through on-camera controls
7. Glowing LCD display for night use

sanjuan
02-22-2007, 12:08 AM
I'd like to add that there are so many advantages of going with a more modern flash designed for your camera. And the Nikon flashes are affordable.

LOL, yes I'd so love to invest in an SB-800 though I'd end up without groceries for sometime (Oh the pains of being a university student ;) )

nope
02-26-2007, 08:14 AM
it's no sb800 but maybe this is a nice alternative?
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04/steal-this-flash-nikon-sb-24.html

i have an sb-25 and it's pretty great.

also, regarding skypirate's comment on flash voltage, here's a good site
http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

stefaniecat
02-26-2007, 10:43 PM
I'm a canon user but I wanted to recomend that you look for your flash on ebay - my boss recomended I do that (its how she got her flashes) and I found that because the canon 580 is the newer flash, I could get the 550 (nearly just as good) for cheaper than $300.

Of course, the rule of ebay buying states that when I start the bid on something the price goes up (watching = average cost of $225 dollars, once I started bidding avg. cost = $280-300).

However, I still bought it cheaper than the c. $300-350 street cost if you can still find one. I'm still waiting for it to arrive, but its allegedly in mint condition, so I consider that a good deal.

So, regardless of which flash you're going for, check ebay :)

sanjuan
03-17-2007, 11:09 AM
Hey guys, thanks for the awesome feedback so far!
I started scrounging around for the SB-25 here in Toronto but while I was doing that I found the SB-23 and SB-400 at Henry's for $170 (CND). This is totally within my budget, but are either worth looking into for someone who is just getting into flash photography?

Thanks!

howzitboy
03-26-2007, 04:10 PM
if u wanna shoot like a pro, get a nice used metz flash. id try for the 45 series like 45ct4 (that has bounce flash). they are very strong, recycle fast and out last other flashes ie more flash per battery charge. i can get f8 at 15feet with iso 100 using that flash. so u can bounce flash and still get f8/f5.6.
u can get them used off ebay for really cheap.
if u have lotsa money, id hit the metz 60 ct4 thats the one i use. super powerful flash but used cost like $300 (new is $900!)

nope
03-27-2007, 07:34 AM
metz flashes are great. keh.com occasionally has good deals on mecablitzes (seeing as how a new one is quite expensive).

tfcreate
03-27-2007, 07:53 PM
Excellent find! I just ordered the Metz 54. Dual flashes solve 99% of my photoflash needs. Besides, it's good the keep a spare (or 4) around.
TFC

quadrain61
03-31-2007, 03:34 PM
I went with the Nikon SB-800 for all of above reasons and because it lasts longer at cons (press work). I don't know if it has been mentioned but the SB-800 has a battery holder to attach a 5th battery (optional too add but is included) to the flash for a faster recycle time, and a capability to attach a battery pack (SB-600 does not). I currently use a SB-800 (4AA batteries) and a Nikon SD-8A (6AA batteries) I managed to survive the entire con without having to replace any batteries.

The SB-600 is also great for non-intensive photography. I've used it before (borrowed) and I was quite satisfied with it. It helped me get use to using a flash before buying a SB-800. If you're tight on money, you can always get the SB-600 then later on get a SB-800 and use both together (SB-800 commander and SB-600 remote). Only get the SB-800 if you want the extra features. Oh yeah, battery packs tend to cost a lot too.

nope
03-31-2007, 08:33 PM
i think my next flash will be an sb800. i've read nothing but good reviews on strobist.

quadrain61
03-31-2007, 08:54 PM
i think my next flash will be an sb800. i've read nothing but good reviews on strobist.

Awesome XD. One of the stupid reasons why I bought a SB-800 (now 2) is the strobe effect. You can make your own little rave :rockon: .

Cikgu101
04-02-2007, 04:15 AM
I usually use diffusers like Gary Fong's LightSphere II for Cosplay Conventions with either my SB600 or SB800 :rockon:

but

if I wanna travel light, my SB-22 will just do fine :bigtu:

howzitboy
04-03-2007, 10:31 PM
using those sb800, sb600 etc make taking pictures easier cuz u just set it to auto and forget it.

BUT, my way of shooting is i like complete control over my flash. making it stronger or weaker to get what i like. thats why i use the metz flashes. just hit the dial to make weak/strong in a second. using the nikons i have to hit that menu, scroll up or down etc and takes too long for my tastes.
and even tho the battery pack is huge (on the metz) i can shoot all day with one battery pack shooting almost full power. to do that with a nikon flash, you'd need a ton of batteries.

americankgb
04-08-2007, 06:21 PM
I usually use diffusers like Gary Fong's LightSphere II for Cosplay Conventions with either my SB600 or SB800 :rockon:

but

if I wanna travel light, my SB-22 will just do fine :bigtu:


The lightspehre is amazing. There has been a marked improvement in my photography since buying one.

Sav
05-03-2007, 04:22 AM
Yah, I'm actually looking at a flash myself for my Canon 350D. Trying to decide if it's worth the extra $120 to get the 580EX or go with a the cheaper 430EX.

I know they are mostly the same, but the 580EX can be a flash master and has has more power if I ever want to bounce off of high ceilings or use a reflector/soft box. But the 430EX is just as capable in most situations and is cheaper.

Decisions, decisions.

I know this is kind of old but, as a personal owner of a 580ex I think it preforms great for portraits. Action photography is it's greatest downfall It has poor venting and needs to have a 5min cool down after bursts and strobes I have couple of people I use to work with have them fail because of this and had to purchase 2-3 to swap or just goto a totally different flash system then Canon's. Also they have released a new version Canon 580ex II which just had better cycle rates, etc... basically the upgrade the 580ex was to the 420ex bu more minor besides the more sturdy build. Good thing if your interested in the 580ex still it will drop in price.

americankgb
05-03-2007, 09:47 AM
using those sb800, sb600 etc make taking pictures easier cuz u just set it to auto and forget it.

BUT, my way of shooting is i like complete control over my flash. making it stronger or weaker to get what i like. thats why i use the metz flashes. just hit the dial to make weak/strong in a second. using the nikons i have to hit that menu, scroll up or down etc and takes too long for my tastes.
and even tho the battery pack is huge (on the metz) i can shoot all day with one battery pack shooting almost full power. to do that with a nikon flash, you'd need a ton of batteries.

Just get some rechargeable batters. I'm using the Energizer 2500mah batteries with my sb-800. They recycle fast and last much longer than standard energizer or duracell batteries. Last time I shot out at night I went trhough a 2gig card on high power round 1 1/3- 2 2/3 before I had to switch up.

tfcreate
05-03-2007, 06:49 PM
using those sb800, sb600 etc make taking pictures easier cuz u just set it to auto and forget it.

BUT, my way of shooting is i like complete control over my flash. making it stronger or weaker to get what i like. thats why i use the metz flashes. just hit the dial to make weak/strong in a second. using the nikons i have to hit that menu, scroll up or down etc and takes too long for my tastes.
and even tho the battery pack is huge (on the metz) i can shoot all day with one battery pack shooting almost full power. to do that with a nikon flash, you'd need a ton of batteries.

With the efficiency of batteries today, the external power packs are kind of redundant. Mine is basically sitting on a shelf gathering dust...... :hafha:
TFC

americankgb
05-04-2007, 04:33 PM
With the efficiency of batteries today, the external power packs are kind of redundant. Mine is basically sitting on a shelf gathering dust...... :hafha:
TFC

True, I was thinking about getting one though just for the increased recycle time. I've been in far to many lowlight situations where I missed shots because I was waiting for the flash to recycle due to it being on a very high output setting.

shiroin
05-04-2007, 05:58 PM
With the efficiency of batteries today, the external power packs are kind of redundant. Mine is basically sitting on a shelf gathering dust...... :hafha:
TFC

i dont know about you but, i want the liberty of shooting at atleast 1fps with 1/2 power!

tfcreate
05-05-2007, 12:39 AM
I usually set the flash to manual and move to about 3 metres. From there it's the f-stop. We all have our own formulač, so we work with what works best for us. I like to travel light and the benefit of the pack was not great enough to off-set the weight penelty.
TFC

shiroin
05-05-2007, 03:24 AM
travelling light is simply overrated.

at the end of the day, there are either good photos or bad photos.

so when it comes to shooting, i always use the optimal configuration to suit the situation regardless of weight. (even if it means shooting with a 6kg camera+lens+3flash config for 17hrs over 2days)

howzitboy
05-05-2007, 06:46 PM
i join the "weight dont matter" group. id rather shoot with the equipment i wanna use regardless of weight then travel light and miss a shot.
ive shot with those auto flashes (sb-25, sb800) and they dont last long enough (batteries) or recharge fast enough to make it worth my while. like i said, with my battery pack i can shoot hundreds of shots one after another with NO waiting for my batteries to recharge.

tfcreate
05-05-2007, 07:34 PM
Perhaps I stated my point too strongly, but in my case, the advantage of a pack was not great enough for me to use it. I almost always use manual settings which consumes less power, so my batteries last a lot longer. Missing a shot because of a flash cycle is extremely rare. We all use what works best for us.
TFC

nope
05-08-2007, 01:24 PM
i've started using a flash mounted softbox on my sb25 and it's been working out nicely.

not a lot of hard shadows than my macgyver flash modifiers and it folds up pretty easily! glad i bought this instead of the sto-fen thing.