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How good is the R1? Is it worth it?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by francishmt, Aug 4, 2007.

  1. francishmt


    Jun 29, 2006
    I am pondering the idea to get a R1 flash kit for the D200 with Tamron 90mm. Anyone has experience with it and share what they like and dislike? Photos would be nice.

  2. I got to use the R1C1 (complete kit) on an 105 VR lens. The one thing I was surprised of is ALL the pieces/parts that come with it. You get various rings/adapters for different lenses, flash units, diffusers...It seems to be a very complete kit. I think you would have to do alot of flash macro photography. Reading about the kit, I was going to buy it. After using it, I decided not to. I figured with the photography I normally do, I wouldn't use it enough.
  3. md0234

    md0234 Guest

    I bought the R1 kit about 9 months ago, and I just love it. For the price, you get a really well thought out kit, with most of the attachments most people are likely to ever need. I only do macro photography because I enjoy it, in fact I only just got into it last year but the R1 kit really helps when getting 1:1 from your subject.

    I normally am in M mode, with a shutter speed of about 1/200 and f9-16 and let the R1 kit do the rest. The great thing is that they are wireless, so you can control the light and get the black background if that is what you are after or sweep the other light around and pick up more of the background colours too. I am still just learning on how to use it, but so far I'm really impressed. The other nice thing is while the SB200 are not very powerful so cannot be used a the main, but they make nice little accent lights when paired with a SB800/600.

    Considering what other brands charge for their wired simple units, we Nikon users got really lucky with this kit as its a lot more flexible and a complete kit. I don't have the Tarmon, so I don't know its filter size, but the kit comes with attachments for 52/62/67/72/77mm filter sizes, it comes with an IR cover for the built-in commander, stands, de-fuser, de-fuser holder, and even a few coloured gels. I'm glad I bought it, its had some use. Again, I'm still just getting into it but here is one example with a black background and another with the speedlight handheld opposite to pick up some background colours. (this is only my 3rd post here so I hope I embed these shots OK, please bear with me if I mess up).


  4. md0234

    md0234 Guest

    sorry, let me try this embed image thing one more time

  5. Leif


    Feb 12, 2006
    I guess it depends what you want to do. For close up work it is excellent. Essentially you get two small flashes, and the associated gubbins required to clip the flashes on to the front of a lens. The kit includes adaptors for a range of filter sizes, including 52mm, 62mm, 72m, and 77m, as well as a large carrying case (made from slightly cheesy vinyl) to contain the kit and any other items you might acquire.

    Is it worth it? Well from the results I have seen from others, you can get similar results using an SB800 on a macro flash bracket with a large diffuser attached. And the SB800 has the advantage that it is far more powerful. I tried to photograph a swarm of bees using the R1 macro flash and a 200mm macro lens (chosen in preference to a 60mm for reasons that might not be too hard to guess.) Anyway, the flash duration was so long that the image is not as sharp as I would have liked. So for larger subjects the R1 is underpowered.

    Where it shines is as a small portable compact macro flash that combined with the Nikon CLS, provides excellent lighting control. And what's more, you can remove one flash and hold it in one hand, or stick it on a support, to get better modelling. The R1 takes up much less room than an SB800 with macro bracket and diffuser.

    Nikon recommend a separate adaptor for the 60mm lens because it is not internal focussing, and hence attaching the R1 to the filter ring will strain the AF motor. It is probably the same for the Tamron lens. But as long as you manual focus, you should be okay.

    Incidentally on a D70 you can only have one group of flashes. On the D200 you can have 2. The SU800 gives you 3 groups. Each group can include multiple flash units of course.

    All in all it is well thought out, and decent value, but I am not convinced it is the best solution.
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