Comments: Nikon SB-600 vs. SB-800 flash, anyone?

SpDyKen

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#1
We're becoming a bit more familiar with our new D-40. Liz is taking photos for the school yearbook, I'm concentrating on action shots (moto & Val's vollyball team.)

It's now time for a better flash - lots of low light, high iso & shutter speed shots.

A pro photog. recommended the SB-600, (with the tether wire kit.) But I see that B&H has reasonable prices on the SB-800 as well. Anybody here familiar with these two?

Decisions, decisions,.........!!

Thanks, as always, :cool:
Ken W.
 

Rich Rohrich

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#2
The SB800 is an amazing piece of technology and well worth the money. I have a couple of them and am constantly amazed at how smart and flexible they are.

Compared to the SB600 the SB800 has a number of advantages.

The SB800 has a lot more power, and a greater range for daytime fill flash. That alone is worth the cost difference in my mind.

The best part for me personally is the advanced wireless features of the SB800. Very cool, and incredibly useful in multiple flash settings.

The SB 800 comes with a nice diffuser very similar to an omni bounce, and the flash head is smart enough to know it's attached before the shutter is triggered, so it starts in a wide angle mode for spread the light. Works great.

These night shots were all done with an SB800 :
http://www.chicagostories.net/Pulaski/

all of the shots in this group were done with an SB800 in fill flash mode:
http://www.chicagostories.net/Ton_Up_2007/

It does an excellent job of getting that catch light reflection without blowing out highlights.

You'll never regret spending the money for the SB800. :cool:

Here's a link to a Nikon Pro who is big user of SB800s instead of traditional strobes.

http://www.joemcnally.com
 
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#3
I'm not a Nikon guy, but I will tell you get the most flash you can afford. The SB800 should be able to get quite a bit of distance more than the 600. Plus I've used the multiple flashes for years with my Cannon stuff and it juts opens up a whole new world of possibilities.
 

SpDyKen

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#4
Hey guys, it's Liz

Thanks for your advice on flashes. I borrowed a friend's SB 800 and it seemed to work great for what I needed it for.

Since I'm currently shooting at nightime football games, I'm also looking for a longer lens than the Nikkor 55-200mm that I am currently shooting with, and I was wondering if you had any suggestions.

Any other advice on flashes, lenses, etc would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Rich Rohrich

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#5
If you are shooting long distances at night a Better Beamer flash extender will help get you a couple of extra f-stops of power. Best part is it's simple and cheap (~ $40)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/431905-REG/Visual_Echoes_FX4_FX4_Better_Beamer_for.html

Going to long lenses gets expensive in a hurry, especially if you want fast lenses for shooting at night. I got the chance to try a Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G IF-ED AF-S VR lens as was really impressed with how good it was for a sub $500 lens. It's a replacement for the old Nikon 70-300 non-VR lens I used to use and it's a HUGE improvement in performance and build quality. It's not as fast as the pro lenses but with the Vibration Reduction function it's a really easy lens to shoot handheld at slower shutter speeds. For the money it's hard to beat.

Here's a review that goes into more detail : http://www.bythom.com/70300VRlens.htm

A link to the lens at B&H
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/449088-GREY/Nikon_2161_70_300mm_f_4_5_6G_AF_S_VR.html

Sigma has a 135-400mm F4.5-5.6 that goes for less than $600 most places. I've never used it so I can't say what it's performance is like.


On the other end is the fast Pro glass Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VR ($1600) and a TC-17 teleconverter ($400). With that you can shoot at f2.8 across the 70-200 range and a stop and a half slower (f 4.5) in the 119mm-340mm range when the converter is on. It's a pretty good compromise and an amazing lens but probably too much money for anyone who isn't making a living with it.

For shooting night football you might be better off with the 70-300, the Better Beamer, getting a second SB800 and firing them in tandem. With the wireless features you can set up the flash heads in strategic locations and get some really great shots even with the slower lens.
 
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SpDyKen

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#6
Hey, it's Liz again

I was actually looking at the 70-300mm VR lens, which I would love to have, but I was also looking at the 70-300mm non-VR lens, which is a whole lot cheaper, instead of the VR one, because I'm looking at eventually (hopeully soon...) getting a Sigma 50-500mm that is more expensive, and since I have to come up with most of the money on my own, I am trying so save as much money as possible until I can buy the Sigma lens. If you had any comments on either of those lenses, it would be appreciated.

Here's a link to the Sigma lens: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...Zoom_Normal_Telephoto_50_500mm_f_4_0_6_3.html

Or the 70-300mm: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=cart&A=details&Q=&sku=207359&is=USA
 

Rich Rohrich

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#7
I used that same non-VR 70-300 for a long time till I could afford something faster. It focuses pretty slow for sports/action work, and you need to be stopped down to about the f8 range to get good sharpness, but I did get lots of nice pictures with it.

The upside of buying the VR version of the 70-300, besides it just being an all around better lens is it will have excellent resale value. So when it's time to move up you'll be able to recoup a good portion of the initial cost of the lens. For the shooting you are doing I think you'd be really disappointed using the non-VR 70-300 lens.