Flash for D70. 600 or 800?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Sheldon, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    While money isn't a big deal, I really don't want to spend more than I need.
    The flash will probably be used for macro work and fill for portraits and
    other images where a good fill is needed. Would be nice if I could hold the
    flash off to the side, too.

    It should be noted that I use a lot of non TTL lenses, especially for
    close-ups and portraits, so the flash has to work with those lenses as well
    (older AI lenses). So, do I get the SB600 or the SB800, and why? My
    previous experience with flashes has been mostly automatic flashes where you
    just set the aperture, and a proper flash shutter speed, and shoot.


    Sheldon, Jun 17, 2005
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  2. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    PS I've been playing around with a Vivitar flash that I already have, and
    with a bit of tweaking I can get some pretty decent flash shots. I just put
    the flash in Automatic mode, set the camera to manual mode and set the
    aperture to what it says on the back of the flash. It takes several shots
    to zero in on the proper exposure however, and I would have to do a lot of
    math to get a decent fill.

    So, I do have another option that's free. Just no whistles and bells and
    can't get the flash away from the camera.
    Sheldon, Jun 17, 2005
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  3. Sheldon

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    Well ... for the macro work, the diffuser dome with the SB-800
    will help you. Point the flash as though for a ceiling bounce (if the
    camera were pointed horizontal), and the diffuser dome will put just the
    right amount of light down onto the subject -- and you won't have the
    lens casting shadows as you do with the 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 D and the
    built-in flash. I do this a lot, for tabletop macro work.

    There is available a cord which fits into the hot shoe on top of
    the camera, and into which the flash can be plugged (either SB-800 or

    Or -- with the built-in flash popped up, you can use either the
    SB-600 or the SB-800 with the camera in "commander" mode (wireless flash

    The above are presuming lenses with the CPU, so you can do the

    Or -- at least with the SB-800, there is a PC contact under a
    rubber cover on the side of the flash, and the camera can accept an
    AS-15 adaptor so a PC cord can join the two. I have read someone
    posting that the SB-600 has no PC contact -- but it may have been
    someone who has not found it under the rubber cover on the side of the
    flash. I have not handled an SB-600, so I don't know for sure.

    For the kind of work which you have listed, I don't see the
    extra power in the SB-800 to be a real benefit. It is nice when you
    want to squeeze more distance out of a lens which does not have that
    wide a maximum aperture, but for close-up and portrait -- I don't know.
    (Now, if you were to get a herd of them, you could do some very creative
    portrait lighting using the commander mode and even tossing in gels on
    each flash to change its balance and distinguish it from the others.)
    For those -- you might as well get an older one, like the SB-28.
    Use it in Auto mode -- and you will probably have to manually crank in
    the distance information and the angle of coverage, since the camera
    won't get those bits of information from the manual lenses to pass on to
    the flash.
    I think that is all that you *can* do, with the manual lenses.

    Good Luck,
    DoN. Nichols, Jun 17, 2005
  4. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    The diffuser sounds like a good idea. I had an old Honeywell strobe with a
    set of diffusers and used them all the time.
    Sheldon, Jun 17, 2005
  5. Sheldon

    Avery Guest

    800 all the way. I had a 600 with my D70, returned it for an 800 and
    ended up getting a second 800. Both are great flashes. The 600 is
    sleaker but the 800 in my opinion is so much easier to use.

    Avery, Jun 17, 2005
  6. Sheldon

    Roxy d'Urban Guest

    The SB-800 is the best Nikon flash I have ever used. Whilst I haven't used
    the SB-600, I wouldn't want to be found wanting some feature that it
    doesn't have at a point in the future.
    Roxy d'Urban, Jun 17, 2005
  7. The SB-800 can be used in conventional non-TTL auto mode with older lenses
    where the SB-600 (at least on the D70) is restricted to iTTL or full manual
    mode only. That was why I opted for an SB-800 along with the fact I have
    some older cameras it would also work on (F4, Nikkormat FTn).

    Ronnie Sellar, Jun 17, 2005
  8. Sheldon

    Owamanga Guest

    This is an often overlooked, but very important advantage of the
    SB-800 over the SB-600. The SB-600 is quite restrictive on which
    setups it'll be useful for. Some of it's other unique features such as
    the strobe I've never used, but I do occasionally use the diffuser and
    I've maxed it out during long-distance fill flashes which leads me to
    believe the SB-600 wouldn't have been able to perform as well in these

    When bouncing, I also usually deploy the little catch-light card which
    is missing (although can easily be added with some velcro) from the

    For the OP: If you end up buying multiple flashes, at least one of
    them should be the SB-800, it supports iTTL in command mode (as the
    D70 can, but not when the SB-600 is attached). You may want to have
    significant lighting coming from the on-camera flash (SB-800 in this
    case) whilst commanding other remote flashes. A SB-600 only setup
    can't do this.

    Although I was very annoyed that my 1 year old SB-80DX wasn't
    supported by Nikons latest DSLRs, I do love the SB-800.
    Owamanga, Jun 17, 2005
  9. Sheldon

    Sheldon Guest

    Thanks all. I just ordered the 800. Decent price, rebate and no shipping
    charges. The more I thought about it, with the manual lenses I already own,
    I didn't want to have to use both the lenses and the flash manually. By the
    time I got things together whatever I was shooting would be gone. Not worth
    the savings over the 600, which wasn't all that much.

    Sheldon, Jun 18, 2005
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