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Speedlight queries

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Draconian Guppy    13,038

So in my occasions I find myself in need of more light for a specific shot, e.i. indoors or during nighttime I hate having to crank up the ISO because even though my camera (Nikon D5000) produces useable photos, Most of the time I end up with underexposed noisy crap... Lens I usually use is Nikkor 35mm 1.8, stopped at 2.0 and kit lens 18-55 which I barely use now...

I've been reading a lot on which flash to buy and narrowed it to one thing mostly. POWER. Everywhere I read it says get the flash with the most range, you'll regret not buying a flash with enough power later on.

Then there's the issue that the maximum sync speed on the d5000 is ? Flash X-Sync: 1/200 sec Since I've never used an external flash, what situations would this probably be limiting? I know for sports 1/200 is just a bit to slow. And the fact that it can't act as commander which sucks...

Now I've narrowed it down to this:

Nikon SB900 ( can be triggered by my cameras flash as slave (SU-4 mode which some call super slave mode,) )

Nikon SB600 (which will soon be discontinued for the SB700 as I read) ( no SU-4 mode)

Nikon SB400

Budget is not that much of an issue, however am I better off going with a SB600 and getting the hang of what I need, or hands down go with the SB900 and trickle down later on for additional flashes? The way I see it, is SB600 Since most of the time I would pretty much limited to having the flash on the cameras hot shoe than triggered remotely ( as there is no way without shelling out $200 for an SU-800 controller which is just no...)

OR what better alternatives am I better of looking at?

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threetonesun    1,204

I have an SB600. On camera, it's an excellent and reasonably priced flash.

I've never used, nor seen a reason to use off camera triggering, so I can't speak to that.

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remus_lupin    10

I actually read somewhere (as I do not yet have an 'off camera' flash myself yet) that the majority of the time you aren't even using the flash at full power anyway... Actually, my uncle in Portugal has an SB-800 and i used that a few times, and I'll tell ya, full power is bright as ****, I would not recommend full power for pictures of people... you'll blind someone lol. For other purposes yeah, more power will come in handy (especially for the added reach) but honestly, I don't think you will need something as powerful as the SB-900... as for the 600, I believe it does not trigger other flashes remotely (commander)... however, I believe the SB-700 does... so I would actually recommend getting the SB-700 over the 600, and it also has a nicer interface I hear - that of the sb-900 -

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Draconian Guppy    13,038

I have an SB600. On camera, it's an excellent and reasonably priced flash.

I've never used, nor seen a reason to use off camera triggering, so I can't speak to that.

1 word: Strobist :)

I actually read somewhere (as I do not yet have an 'off camera' flash myself yet) that the majority of the time you aren't even using the flash at full power anyway... Actually, my uncle in Portugal has an SB-800 and i used that a few times, and I'll tell ya, full power is bright as ****, I would not recommend full power for pictures of people... you'll blind someone lol. For other purposes yeah, more power will come in handy (especially for the added reach) but honestly, I don't think you will need something as powerful as the SB-900... as for the 600, I believe it does not trigger other flashes remotely (commander)... however, I believe the SB-700 does... so I would actually recommend getting the SB-700 over the 600, and it also has a nicer interface I hear - that of the sb-900 -

heck I just checked amazon and they do have the Sb-700 in stock now..

How about getting this:

SB700 commander

SB600 slave

On amazon this gets up to $559.98

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Argote    73

Are you telling me that Nikon cameras can't use the built in pop-up flash as a wireless commander??? Off camera triggering is very useful in many situations, especially when taking portraits or for object-work. As you mentioned, strobist. Though you could also get Pocket Wizards (or other kinds of triggers, such as Cactus triggers).

In the case of the X-Sync speed, I'm sure that Nikon flashes offer high-speed synchronization to use it at higher speeds (at least the Sony flashes do, I can use mine at up to 1/4000 which is my camera body's limit, even in wireless mode). In this mode, however, you do lose power and reach so a more powerful flash might come in handy.

The SB700/SB600 combo looks very nice. In any case, make sure you get a nice set of rechargeable batteries for your flashes.

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remus_lupin    10

Are you telling me that Nikon cameras can't use the built in pop-up flash as a wireless commander??? Off camera triggering is very useful in many situations, especially when taking portraits or for object-work. As you mentioned, strobist. Though you could also get Pocket Wizards (or other kinds of triggers, such as Cactus triggers).

In the case of the X-Sync speed, I'm sure that Nikon flashes offer high-speed synchronization to use it at higher speeds (at least the Sony flashes do, I can use mine at up to 1/4000 which is my camera body's limit, even in wireless mode). In this mode, however, you do lose power and reach so a more powerful flash might come in handy.

The SB700/SB600 combo looks very nice. In any case, make sure you get a nice set of rechargeable batteries for your flashes.

My nikon D90 can work as a wireless commander using the pop-up flash, but if I am not mistaken his D5000 cannot, maybe it can... but I know before the D5000, 3000 etc came out it was only the D90 and up that could (excluding the D3 I believe)...

and I would imagine with a flash on the shoe mount or otherwise may be able to fire at faster than 1/200th of a second (limit of built in)... but maybe it cannot, idk tbh.

But yeah, SB700/600 combo sounds great, I personally like going big, even if it is not necessary and I am actually waiting for the SB900 replacement, whenever that will be... but I agree with Argote, make sure you get some good rechargeable batteries...

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Draconian Guppy    13,038

Are you telling me that Nikon cameras can't use the built in pop-up flash as a wireless commander??? Off camera triggering is very useful in many situations, especially when taking portraits or for object-work. As you mentioned, strobist. Though you could also get Pocket Wizards (or other kinds of triggers, such as Cactus triggers).

In the case of the X-Sync speed, I'm sure that Nikon flashes offer high-speed synchronization to use it at higher speeds (at least the Sony flashes do, I can use mine at up to 1/4000 which is my camera body's limit, even in wireless mode). In this mode, however, you do lose power and reach so a more powerful flash might come in handy.

The SB700/SB600 combo looks very nice. In any case, make sure you get a nice set of rechargeable batteries for your flashes.

yup low-mid end cameras can't. EG nikon d5000, d3000, d3100 d50 d40 D70 (although d70s can not sure on the d70 ) ( which sucks, though you never know what you need until you need it :/ )

Well the D5000s limit is 1/200 (x-sync though) :/ Never heard of cactus triggers, I have of pocket wizards. Which is why I considered nikon Sb700 and Sb600.

Edit: how can I find out whether or not using a SB700 in the hotshoe will sync faster than the cameras built in limit of 1/200 ?

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Argote    73

http://imaging.nikon...mpatibility.htm

Both the SB600 and SB700 have something Nikon calls "Auto FP high-speed sync" which I believe will let you sync the flash output with speeds higher than 1/200.

EDIT: Yup, it appears that's it, http://www.nikonusa....speed-Sync.html

BTW, Cactus Triggers are like cheap Pocket Wizards. They work but don't pass TTL information over so you have to manually set the power outputs for the flashes.

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Andre    9

Auto FP sync speed is a camera specific feature on Nikon bodies. Canon has it the other way around if I am not mistaken. So putting an external flash on your D5000 won't help a bit. The flash still doesn't know that it has to go beyond normal sync flash speed and do a series of flashes instead of one.

If you really really need to go beyond normal flash sync speed, then your best solution would be investing in a camera that supports it.

I should add that using an ND filter might be helpful in some case. It will allow you to bring the shutter speed down a lot so you can sync it with the flash.

As for the flashes, go with SB-900 and either SB-700 to act as a commander or get the triggers that were already mentioned.

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Argote    73

I can't believe that the D5000 + SB600/SB700 can't do flash shots faster than X-Sync, I can use HSS and/or Wireless Triggering with the on-board flash (High Speed Sync) on my lower end Sony body and mid-range Sony flash. Consensus around the web seems to be that Nikon has the best flash system around, I did not know it was limited to higher end bodies though.

I think that the ND filter defeats the purpose of having a high shutter speed (to freeze movement).

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Draconian Guppy    13,038

Auto FP sync speed is a camera specific feature on Nikon bodies. Canon has it the other way around if I am not mistaken. So putting an external flash on your D5000 won't help a bit. The flash still doesn't know that it has to go beyond normal sync flash speed and do a series of flashes instead of one.

If you really really need to go beyond normal flash sync speed, then your best solution would be investing in a camera that supports it.

I should add that using an ND filter might be helpful in some case. It will allow you to bring the shutter speed down a lot so you can sync it with the flash.

As for the flashes, go with SB-900 and either SB-700 to act as a commander or get the triggers that were already mentioned.

Bring the shutter speed down? I want to bring it up! to around 1/1000 1/2000 or so. And I can't buy a new body as I just bought this D5000 a couple of months ago so I really can't justify buying another body :/

I can't believe that the D5000 + SB600/SB700 can't do flash shots faster than X-Sync, I can use HSS and/or Wireless Triggering with the on-board flash (High Speed Sync) on my lower end Sony body and mid-range Sony flash. Consensus around the web seems to be that Nikon has the best flash system around, I did not know it was limited to higher end bodies though.

I think that the ND filter defeats the purpose of having a high shutter speed (to freeze movement).

Yeah it sucks, big time. not limited to higher bodies, just bodies above $700ish (d90 and above ), the only way around it on mainstream bodys is using the SU-800 flash commander. I guess they figure people who buy low end dSLRs won't be using CLS. So basically full manual is the only way to go :s

So I guess SB700+SB600 :/

10. Auto FP High Speed Sync Explained

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