Need a new (at least to me) flash..

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suggestions? My SB-700 isn't what I thought it was and isn't automatic on my D2x. Since there is no built in flash on the D2x I'd like to get something that will work, and be compatible as a fully automatic flash on the D2x. Off brand is fine with me, used is too. Got any useful ideas for me?
 
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And you are right, both should be great on the D2x. Just a shame about the SB-700 not being backward compatible. I have to do a bunch more research now and see what I can dig up as far as compatible flash and how much I can scrounge...
Or, I could just learn to use what I have and use the manual mode for the flash...
 
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SB-800 seems to be the BEST choice for me now but not necessarily the most financially feasable. I "can" use the SB-700 on the D2x but with limited automation (seems like I can get decent results if I use auto and dial back flash output) and really that limits me as my flash knowledge is somewhat lacking. I can play around and get a good results but want to be able to just snap that quick shot without fiddling. I may just look for an older DX flash and see what I can do with that.
 
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Funny how "Metz" and "money" both start with "M"... coincidence? I understand that you get what you pay for but I don't buy a Mercedes for a reason, another "M" word. Still, with what you've described about that flash it really does seem like a very good choice to go woth the D2x (and D300).
 
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Yeah, looking on Amazon the Metz is $400... same at B&H. Looks like I should be looking either locally or on Ebay for a used one if I decide to go that route.
 
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Another vote here for the SB800. Great flash and perfectly compatible with D2x. I have two of them; one was purchased as a back up for the first but (thankfully) I haven't had to use it yet. I have used it as a second light for a portrait or two on occasion though.
 
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Compared to other mentioned flashes the SB 800 is outdated as well as provided with less power.
SB 800 reaches only a GN of 38, e.g. the Metz is provided with a GN of 58 - both measured at ISO 100. Same as the Metz is the Sigma flash.

Why going on an outdated, discontinued hog instead of purchasing an up-to-date item?
Where did you get the GN of 58 for the Metz? According to the Metz site listed in an earlier post: "...due to its GN of 45 for ISO 100/21° and 35 mm focal length.." And from the Metz spec page for the same flash: http://www.metz.de/en/flash-units/product-ranges/sca-flash-units/mecablitz-45-cl-4-digital/data-sheet.html "high max. GN of 45 for ISO 100/21° and 35 mm".

The SB-800 is rated a bit less at 35mm zoom-head position - 38/125 (ISO 100, m/ft) according to the SB-800 Guide. The difference might be noticeable if one is shooting out past 60 ft, but in my experience the SB-800 is plenty powerful enough for reasonable range shots. I have an old SunPak 622 that blows the Metz and the SB-800 out of the water when it comes to power, Guide No. 200'/61 m at 35mm- ref B&H http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/52814-USA/Sunpak_0622SZ_622_Super_Pro_System_TTL.html, yet I use my SB-800s far more often with my Nikon DSLRs. The SB-800 is lighter and easier to pack. It has plenty of power for bounce flash and fill-flash outdoors. A used SB-800 can be bought for 1/2 the price of a Metz, and it is fully Nikon compatible. For roughly the price of one new Metz, the OP could buy 2 used SB-800 speedlights, which would give him both on-camera and remote flash capability, with more total flash power.

My recommendation would be:
1) an SB-800 for best power/iTTL compatibility/cost overall
2) an SB-80DX for the best cost, same power as a SB-800, and full D2X compatibility.
I've seen practically unused SB-80DX units go for $100 - $150.
 
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Hmmmm, SB-80DX is starting to look good if I can find a hardly used on as cheap as you say... I'm still not 100% convinced that the SB-700 isn't going to work. It's just maddening having a new flash that isn't doing what I think it should do. I really do hope this is all a waste of time and I realize that I have some setting in the flash set wrong for use on the D2x. Just need to make time to check it out!!!
 
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OK, I see where tomTOM got the Metz GN of 58. That is not for the mecablitz 45 CL-4 digital listed in his link at http://www.metz.de/en/flash-units/product-ranges/sca-flash-units/mecablitz-45-cl-4-digital.html, but for the Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 digital flash listed by italy74 at http://www.metz.de/en/flash-units/product-ranges/system-flash-units/mecablitz-58-af-2-digital/data-sheet.html

However, the Metz folks are fudging on the Mecablitz-58 specs a bit. While they use the 35mm focal length setting for their mecablitz-45, as does Nikon for the SB-800, and Sunpak for the 622, the Mecablitz-58 spec is "high max. GN of 58 for ISO 100/21° and 105 mm". The SB-800 GN is 56 at 105mm (see page 42 of the SB-800 guide). The difference is inconsequential. At $400 the Metz 58 is still substantially more than a used SB-800 and more that twice the cost of two used SB-80DX speedlights. (A main and a backup, or off-camera remote using the built-in SU-4 wireless mode).
 
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Hmmmm, SB-80DX is starting to look good if I can find a hardly used on as cheap as you say... I'm still not 100% convinced that the SB-700 isn't going to work. It's just maddening having a new flash that isn't doing what I think it should do. I really do hope this is all a waste of time and I realize that I have some setting in the flash set wrong for use on the D2x. Just need to make time to check it out!!!
Actually, since you already have the SB-700, it is the cheapest, and possibly the best or 2nd best choice. Post the problems you are having, or PM me and I'll be glad to provide what I can to assist. I have a D2H, which I believe uses the same basic TTL/D-TTL modes, so I can maybe test in a similar way. I don't have a SB-700, but if you outline your flash shooting setup and what is troubling you with the results, I can run tests using my D2H in the same manner using an SB-800 and SB-80DX to see if either might work better.
 
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The price differences here in Germany a not comparable to the prices in the U.S.
Best price for the Mecablitz 58 here is around 260 € (I posted the price from my local dealer 319 €, instead of checking for the best price)- the best price for the outdated SB 800 as a new one is around 250 €.

Sorry for the mix up of the GN - just got the numbers out of my manual without recognizing the focal length.

Considering going on a new one here in Germany , I always would choose the Metz due to the fact of a similar price.

Additionally the second flash in front of the Mecablitz is a feature I will not miss - neither the system flashes from Canon nor those from Nikon are provided with it, even the actual ones)
The Canon and Nikon versions both are fully compatible with ETTL and iTTL and with bodies of both brands it is possible to steer the flash from the camera menu.

… and the Mecablitz is provided with an USB port to update the firmware.

The price difference is a reason of the huge subventions from Japanese manufacturers in the U.S.

When photographing with film I always used Metz flashes. Better ones were not available during that time.
As I started with digital (Nikon) I assumed that the manufacturers flashes were better - but neither my SB 600 nor my 2 SB 800 provided me with a real advantage over even the analog CL 45 I still own.

When switching too Canon on DSLR I checked out both - the Canon ones and Metz ones and on a lower prices of the actual comparable flashes, the results from the Metz flashes were at all better than the results from the Canon flashes.
Made those comparisons at a friend who still uses Nikon and he as well came to the same conclusion.

I thought that the OP was more interested in real experience comparisons of the systems out of use - but it seems that paper driven loyalty to Nikon counts more.

Anyway - have fun with inferior flashes.

saludos redondos
tom


Real life experiences? Inferior flashes? Seriously? I guess I should contact all the brides & grooms of the hundreds of weddings I have shot with my SB800's and offer them their money back because my flash units were such junk! :biggrin:

I'll even go back a bit further; before using my SB800's I used several Vivitar 285HV's. I'm surprised at how I was able to actually get a decent picture without the modern technological advanced features of the latest Metz flash!

Lord only knows how even before using my Vivitar 285HV's for a couple of decades I was able to survive with my even older Sunpack handle mount flashes... :smile:
 
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Strobist review of a new flash

I love my Sb-800, and have for a long time wanted to add a couple of more to my bag. But after this David Hobby (Strobist) review I might be changing my plans and timetable due to the much lower price of these third party flashes.
 
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Compared to other mentioned flashes the SB 800 is outdated as well as provided with less power.
SB 800 reaches only a GN of 38, e.g. the Metz is provided with a GN of 58 - both measured at ISO 100. Same as the Metz is the Sigma flash.

This is grossly incorrect. ISO 100 Guide Number from the manuals:

Metz 58AF-2: page 222
24mm GN29, 35mm GN35, 70mm GN46, 105mm GN58

Nikon SB-800: page 42
24mm GN30, 35mm GN38, 70mm GN50, 105mm GN56


SB-800 is slightly higher GN, except at 105mm

And hardly outdated, still does anything CLS can do.
 
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Why can't you just stop to rant in that stupid way upon members who are trying to give an idea upon a request?
Are you married to Nikon?
Do you think that because this is a Nikon forum, only advices are valid which include Nikon gear?
Nobody is trying to convince anybody here - an advice is an advice.
If you think that your proposition is the only one that counts maybe it is better to write PMs to yourself.

Through posts like yours this place has changed from friendly and informative forum to a rant place where everybody who has a different position thinks he is allowed to hammer upon those who seemingly have different experiences, ideas and gear.

Fair well with your misbehavin' exaggerated attitude.

Maybe if you chose your words wisely you wouldn't get a response you are not happy with. Calling other flashes "inferior flashes" as you did is a perfect example. Yes, you did say "inferior flashes" referring to Nikon flashes.

Also, this is called "Nikon Cafe", not "Leica Cafe, Metz Cafe, Kodak Cafe, etc". More likely than not you will encounter many of us here who actually like using Nikon equipment...
 
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I wan't open an annoying discussion on that topic because it will be worthless.
Just a reminder: Nikon calculates ISO 100 internally as ISO 160 but names and refers it to as ISO 100.

Really? Damn, then Sekonic must do that too, since they agree so well. LOL
 
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suggestions? My SB-700 isn't what I thought it was and isn't automatic on my D2x. Since there is no built in flash on the D2x I'd like to get something that will work, and be compatible as a fully automatic flash on the D2x. Off brand is fine with me, used is too. Got any useful ideas for me?
FWIW, the OP (me) asked for flash suggestions to include "off brand". This did turn into an interesting read though...

I did play with the D2x and SB-700 a little last night and got an interesting result. With the 18-105 (or whatever it is) kit lens that came with my D7k it seems the flash worked perfectly. TTL BL showed on the display as would be expected if the flash was compatible and just a couple quick snaps showed shots that looked exposed well and not overpowered by flash at all. Now, the variable that comes into play is the lens... I remember the last time I tried the flash on the D2x I was using my Sigma 24-70 "D" lens. I think I may have found the problem... more testing to follow.
 
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The D2X does CLS and iTTL (among other things). The SB-700 does CLS and iTTL. There really should not be any problem that any other CLS iTTL flash would not see too.

SB-700 does do TTL BL. Direct flash is going to watch the lens distance info, if any. It does try to avoid the overexposure that direct flash often does. If lens distance info is incorrect (and many cases are), this will make the picture darker, never brighter.

So maybe try bounce flash too. ISO 400 f/5 should do it.
 
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I have 3 SB-800 and have seen little reasons to upgrade, I use them with my old D2X, D700, D800, D3200 and my D50 and they work quite well and do a reasonably good job exposing correctly. And when they don't work well in Ittl I set them to manual. I recommended them for us on a D2X.

I have not tried the Metz's flashes, sounds like good choices as well. But one reason why I plan to stay with Nikon flashes came out of an exchange with Thom Hogan on email:

I have been begging Thom Hogan to write new flash book, and he finally half a year ago told me why he hasn't. Nikon keeps changing the specs for flashes and aren't documenting for others then for internal Nikon use, so it is impossible in Thom's opinion to write proper flash book, it would be full of exceptions, and would be a hard book to read and write.
 
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