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Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?

torwood

Jefferson Hills, US
745 posts

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torwood Silver Member Nikonian since 06th Dec 2010
Mon 08-Apr-13 01:20 PM

Hi guys. I am a fairly experienced hobbiest photographer, but I have almost no experience with flash photography. My use of flash is pretty much limited to outdoor fill flash, an occasional use of flash when shooting architectural interiors, and on-camera flash for indoor casual shots of my family. For most outdoor fill flash, the built-in flash works fine. But, indoors, I prefer to bounce flash. A few years ago, I bought an SB400, which is a great little flash that fits easily in a small camera bag. I use a D7000 for most subjects, but I do like to shoot candids with my old D50 from time to time.

But, it only tilts, and does not swivel. I find that most of my candids and family portraits are shot in vertical orientation. The SB400 cannot swivel, so it is not very useful as a bounce flash in this orientation.

I am looking for a tilt-swivel head flash that is more powerful than the SB400, but which doesn't break the bank. I use it so infrequently, that I hate to pay over $300 for an SB700. I use it in full Auto mode, so I'm not too concerned with a lot of advanced features and controlling multiple flash guns, etc.. I'm not really that interested at this point in my hobby with learning advanced flash photography. I just want to strap it on, tilt it toward the ceiling, and know that it will expose properly. I do, however, want something that fully utilizes Nikon's state of the art flash exposure system, and that maintains a "Nikon-like" color balance.

Can anybody recommend a compatible 3rd Party flash that is less expensive and meets my needs as outlined above? Do different flashes reproduce colors differently, or is that all controlled by the camera/WB setting? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

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jboyde

US
14 posts

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#1. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

jboyde Registered since 19th Apr 2012
Mon 08-Apr-13 01:36 PM

I would honestly say to try out Metz flashes. I'm currently using the 48 Af-1 and the 58Af-2 with my Nikon and Pentax cameras (dedicated for each). They're sturdy, powerful and less expensive than Nikons. In fact I leave my Sb900 at home and use the Metz when I'm shooting in ruggged areas since they feel less delicate. They also do well with I-TTL and can be used in CLS (warning: the cheaper flashes can be remotes but NOT commanders!).

And to top it off, you can update the firmware on the flashes quite easily thru their site and a USB cable so they're always up to date. So, with a price range of $179 to $299 you should take a look.

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MEMcD

US
28593 posts

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#2. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007
Mon 08-Apr-13 04:26 PM

Hi Ryan,

After the Nikon Speedlights, Metz would be the the best option.
I have several large Metz flash units that served me very well for 20+ years and a current Metz 76MZ-5 that works very well with my DSLR's.
You might also want to consider a refurbished or used SB-600.

Best Regards,
Marty

RABaker

Sunnyvale, US
731 posts

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#3. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

RABaker Registered since 01st Oct 2003
Tue 09-Apr-13 12:01 AM

I have used both Nikon and Sigma flashes for many years. I can definitely recommend the Sigma EF610 DG Super for your needs.
Here is a link: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/741718-REG/Sigma_189306_EF610_DG_Super_Flash.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

If you are willing to buy used, I can also recommend the Nikon SB-600 (or SB-700 if you can find one in your price range).

Good luck,
Richard

BGD600

UK
317 posts

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#4. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 3

BGD600 Registered since 19th Sep 2012
Tue 09-Apr-13 01:05 PM

My vote goes to the yongnuo flashes for non-nikon kit.

The build quality is excellent vs nissin and similar and they are dirt cheap.

I use their non ttl version alongside my Nikon flashes with no issue and my other half has the ttl version and loves it.

Price wise, the ttl version costs about £70 new vs the £229 for a Nikon sb700

Hth

B

mkbee1

West Valley, US
664 posts

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#5. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 4

mkbee1 Registered since 26th Nov 2012
Wed 10-Apr-13 03:23 AM

Metz is good,and I have had good service from Vivitar and Sunpak flashes over the years.

It is a Fine and Pleasant Madness

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Beachthongs

AU
40 posts

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#6. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 4

Beachthongs Registered since 08th Mar 2013
Fri 12-Apr-13 11:36 PM

Consider the YONGNUO TTL Speedlite YN-565EX GN 58.

They are functional and inexpensive. Those that have purchased one are mostly pleased with it.

blw

Richmond, US
27411 posts

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#7. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 3

blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004
Sat 13-Apr-13 11:40 AM

I only have experience with Sigmas amongst the third party flashes. I agree with Richard in that the EF610 would be good - but get the non-Super version, since you have no need of the extra bits. The Super basically means that it can be a CLS commander or remote, which you don't need. The non-super version is considerably less money.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

archer4219

Surrey, CA
41 posts

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#8. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

archer4219 Registered since 02nd Jan 2013
Tue 27-Aug-13 05:23 AM

I'm watching out for more feedback on the Yongnuo YN-565EX. I'm considering it because of the very cheap price.

Beachthongs

AU
40 posts

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#9. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 8

Beachthongs Registered since 08th Mar 2013
Tue 27-Aug-13 03:51 PM

My vote goes to anything in the YONGNUO range. My favourite is the YONGNUO Speedlite YN-568EX for Nikon. It has all the bells and whistles including high speed sync.

bcfoto

US
65 posts

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#10. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 0

bcfoto Basic Member
Wed 28-Aug-13 11:57 AM

I also suggest having a look at a Metz flash. I have a Metz 48 AF-1 I bought several years ago. Excellent results and it's been reliable.

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zooguy

Littleton, US
37 posts

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#11. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 9

zooguy Registered since 27th Feb 2013
Sat 31-Aug-13 11:30 PM

Another vote here for the YONGNUO. I have two, one lighting a soft box and one on a 43" umbrella and both have been reliable, easy to use, and best of all, affordable. I have Pocket Wizard lll's triggering them and never had a misfire. Build quality is better than expected for something in this price range. No idea how long they will last but at this price you could buy three and still be saving money! Worth a look, in my opinion.

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Beachthongs

AU
40 posts

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#12. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 11

Beachthongs Registered since 08th Mar 2013
Sun 01-Sep-13 04:43 AM | edited Sun 01-Sep-13 04:43 AM by Beachthongs

Yongnuo also have a good range of affordable wireless triggers to compliment their speedlites.

chroaz

Cave Creek, US
697 posts

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#13. "RE: Can you recommend a 3rd Party Flash?" | In response to Reply # 10

chroaz Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Apr 2009
Sun 08-Sep-13 01:54 AM

Take a look at the Phottix Mitros for Nikon - I have 2 of them and am very very happy - excellent build quality too and affordable.

Chris

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