SB600 question...

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Ian73, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. Ian73

    Ian73

    31
    Mar 30, 2008
    UK
    Hi all
    I have just got some money for my birthday & i'm not sure which way i want to go,either a SB600 or put it towards a tripod (don't know what other section to put this in)
    I feel i could use both to advantage but not sure which to get first,i have a couple of friends who have both had babies over the last year or so & have been taking pic's for them,but on the other hand i like the thought of long exposures,but i also like taking pic's of cars....mmm

    Can anyone guide me or throw some light on it,so to speak..


    Ian
     
  2. kwork

    kwork

    Jun 8, 2006
    NC
    It really all depends on what you intend to shoot. The 50mm f/1.8 will work fine with the babies with only a little bit of light but you really can't go wrong with either a tripod or external flash. With lighting, you can get a little creative with other types of lights, clamps, etc. But a tripod is a necessity. I say spend the money on a tripod and ballhead.
     
  3. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    The tripod will likely improve your photography more, but I consider both items to be an essential part of my kit.
     
  4. I personally get more use of my flashes but wouldn't give up my tripod. You can get around using a flash with creative technique but when you need a tripod you need it.
     
  5. The simple answer is to ask yourself how many "flash" photos you take. Me, I take very few since I shoot mostly birds in "sunny" Florida. Therefore, I use a tripod extensively (and still learning). If you take a lot of flash pictures, by all means, get the flash. If not, you can't go wrong with a tripod...although most photographers like to shoot handheld. Once you get use to a tripod, handholding (even with VR) is no option, at least not for me. YMMV
     
  6. mi2ark

    mi2ark Guest

    I had the same dilemma a while ago (6 months ago). Decided to go with the SB-800 instead of the tripod. And i'm very happy I did. I have gotten some amazing shots with the flash that i don't think i would have gotten otherwise. The bounce feature really makes a difference.

    Now - on to the tripod search
     
  7. Ian73

    Ian73

    31
    Mar 30, 2008
    UK
    I understand what everyone one has said,basically i need both BUT i need to choose one now,looks like i will have to save my money up i think.
     
  8. Mike S

    Mike S

    861
    Apr 13, 2008
    Seattle, WA USA
    In my case the flash gets a lot of use and I really haven’t used my tripod that much.


    I’d get the flash now and the tripod in the near future.
     
  9. Tpsfoto

    Tpsfoto

    307
    Jun 15, 2008
    Las Vegas NV
    I would place the $ on a flash.....there are only a few flash units that will work correctly with your setup......but a used older tripod can be bought cheap as a starter..even in a thrift shop.....& can be used on a variety of cameras.
     
  10. eparr

    eparr

    60
    Jul 28, 2007
    S.F. Bay Area
    Would go with a flash now and get the tripod later. I have been very happy with the SB-600 and it is reasonably priced too! $179 at buydig.com
     
  11. PeteZ28

    PeteZ28

    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    I'm voting for the flash. In a pinch a lot of things can be used as a tripod for long exposure use; cars, trees, benches, tables, books, rolled up clothes, rocks, etc. Compose the shot and use 2 second delay to release the shutter so you don't move the camera.

    Light however can be a little harder to come by and a flash is the easiest way to correct that problem!

    I find I use my flashes way more than my tripod, that only comes out for my 500mm lens or macro shots.
     
  12. Dr A

    Dr A

    695
    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    Let me weigh in here - as a fellow D50 user and SB-600 user. As I do own both, I have to say that I think you'd be better off with a SB-800 for one simple reason: off-camera flash. You can use your pop-up flash of your D50 to actuate the SB-800, whereas you cannot do this with your SB-600. I really really wish I'd bought it instead for that reason. This concludes my advice - good luck with your purchase!
     
  13. Ewout_vB

    Ewout_vB

    300
    Feb 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Why can you trigger the SB-800 remotely but not the SB-600?

    I thought the d50 didn't have a commander mode for the pop-up flash at all? So you could buy a SB-800 and put it in the hot shoe of the d50 and use it as commander for other wireless lighting but you'd need another speedlight that you'd actually trigger off-camera, since the SB-800 is now in the hot-shoe of the camera.

    If I'm not mistaken buying the SB-800 will enable wireless speedlight triggering only once you buy another speedlight you can trigger, but with the first purchase neither can be triggered wirelessly since the d50 doesn't have a commander mode with the pop-up flash.
     
  14. Dr A

    Dr A

    695
    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    If I'm not mistaken, the SB-800 has a mode that you can set it to fire upon receiving light from any other flash. I don't know the name of the mode, but I read that you can fire it with any flash from any camera.

    EDIT - maybe it's called SU-4 mode, or something similar?
     
  15. PeteZ28

    PeteZ28

    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    Yes, SU-4 mode. Allows the SB-800 to be used as a manual slave. Set the pop-up flash to minimum power (so it has minimal effect on the exposure) and the SB-800 will fire.

    If you program it to what your ISO, aperature, and flash to subject distance is; it will work fairly well in Auto mode as well. If you need to adjust exposure, open up or stop down a bit to compensate. You can also use the built in guide # to set the flash into manual mode for more consistant results.

    Unfortionately for the OP, I think there is a budget in mind and the SB-800 is nearly double the cost of the SB-600. There are many, many cheaper ways to get an SB-600 to act as a "dumb" slave than buying an SB-800. There are the $10 optical triggers that go on the hotshoe, the $30 Cactus radio poppers, or for about $100 an older SB-26 does the same thing, and you get two flashes not just one SB-800.

    I can see very few reasons to get the SB-800 as a "first" flash when the SB-600 does 90% of the same things for 60% of the cost, but that's just my opinion. After all, having a commander mode does one little good when they own no other flashes to command.
     
  16. Dr A

    Dr A

    695
    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    This is good information! Can you provide a link to these optical triggers and radio poppers? I can't find them, but I only searched B&H. Thanks!
     
  17. Ewout_vB

    Ewout_vB

    300
    Feb 6, 2008
    Atlanta, GA
    Oh yea, that's true -- this also allows you to use it with P&S cameras.
     
  18. PeteZ28

    PeteZ28

    Oct 5, 2007
    Newtown, PA
    Optical Trigger I should add, I've never used them and heard they may have problems firing on the low voltage digital flashes.

    Radio Trigger These are the immensly popular "ebay radio triggers" or Cactus V2's that you may have heard about. I have a set and have found them to be VERY reliable. I ordered from that very vendor and they were great to deal with, even being overseas.
     
  19. Dr A

    Dr A

    695
    Feb 2, 2008
    State College, PA
    Sweet! Thanks!