Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?
So, I've had a D40 for about half a year, and I love the camera, I have the default 55mm lens, as well as the 200mm lens. Now I'm looking for a Auto flash that can be mounted on top of the camera..
I've looked at the SB-400 AF, by Nikon, it's $100 at Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Nikon-SB-400-Speedlight-Digital-Cameras/dp/B000KKPN5C#productPromotions
There's also this Rokinon iTTL AF at overstock.com, for $65.
My price range is around 100-120.. Can't go much higher than that.
I'm open to suggestions, only restriction is price.. I'm sure you guys know better than I.
Thanks for the help.
#1. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
#3. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 2
blw Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Fri 27-Nov-09 03:38 PM | edited Fri 27-Nov-09 03:39 PM by blw
The SB-400 is essentially the same power as the built-in, so it's not the answer to more power. (The guide number of the SB-400 is 69, the guide number of the built-in is 57 - in practice about the same.)
I guess it's also worth understanding just how much more power you need. What's an example of where the built-in wasn't enough?
In all honesty I've never heard of the Rokinon flash before. I do know that Rokinon is a brand name that in the past has been used as an OEM badge for production from all sorts of vendors, mostly for lenses. And while I am NOT a firm believer in "you get what you pay for," the fact that close to all of the other flashes that are like the Rokinon shown are 3-5x the price makes me really suspicious. I do subscribe to "if it looks too good to be true, it probably is," and that's the category I'd put the Rokinon in, at least without inspecting one personally.
The problem here is that the other likely candidates with usefully more power are the Nikon SB-600, Sigma EF-500, and the Nissin Di622. There are some others, notably Mecablitz, but they're MORE expensive than Nikon, not less. I've never met anyone who's used a Nissin. (And Nissin has been around as long as the Nikon F - since 1959. Maybe they're big in Japan. They haven't been in the US.) It's about $150, an appreciable savings over the $220 for a Nikon. You might google on it.
The Sigma EF-500 is $200, and while it's a known quantity (and known to work pretty well), it's only $20 less than the Nikon SB-600. At that minor price differential, it's worth opting for the Nikon unit, since flash integrates into the camera far more deeply than most people realize.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
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#4. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 3
Fri 27-Nov-09 03:51 PM
Since I have my 200mm lens on most of the time, I often have to stand far away, sometimes 20 feet away to get a good picture. Since I am an amateur photographer, I don't always change the settings on my camera, but use the auto mode instead. With that, at a longer distance, the pictures are very dark.
#5. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 4
Asgard Nikonian since 07th Apr 2004Fri 27-Nov-09 04:43 PM | edited Fri 27-Nov-09 04:44 PM by Asgard
The internal flash has at ISO 200 a range of 50 feets.
As far as I know, in Auto mode the flash does not work.
Try it with mode "P"
Gerold - Nikonian in East Frisia
Eala Freya Fresena
#7. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians!
Although priced above your budget the SB-600 would be the least expensive choice to provide the capability that you are looking for.
You may be able to find a used one at a lower price point.
Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#8. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 7
avigar Nikonian since 29th Nov 2006Sat 28-Nov-09 05:28 AM | edited Sat 28-Nov-09 05:30 AM by avigar
You do have the advantage of controlling the flash angle/bounce on the SB400 over the onboard flash. This also helps to eliminate the lens hood shadow at the bottom of the frame when zoomed out wide with a longer lens.
#9. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 8
jarvicj Nikonian since 05th Jun 2004Tue 01-Dec-09 06:14 AM
I also agree that the SB400 helps to eliminate the shadow you get when your lens is extended all the way out or if you have a lens hood on a shorter lens like the 16-85. It is a nice handly flash and the bounce option is nice. Also easy to store, does not take up much space.
D200, 10.5 fisheye, 16-85, 105VR macro, 150 & 100-300 Sigma, 12-24 Tokina
#10. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
I have a D60 and got a SB-600 and have not regretted it.... thought about the 400 but the power and the versatility was not all there. I would say save up some more money and get the 600.. I had the budget price problem too and just held out until I could afford the 600. You will never know when you might want to use the 600 as a remote flash and actually take some fancy images a few years down =)
#11. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
My two cents worth (really, it's only worth that much.. )
The Nissin is a good alternative if you are not into flash photography all the time. I used it a couple of times and find it reasonable for the price you pay for. I have heard from other people that the Nissin flash is okay but at times mis-fires (meaning fail to flash) and sometimes under/over the flash power output). I haven't tried enough to confirm. However, if you're okay with this then it's a good buy. The faults mentioned earlier is only at times... not every time. If it happens every time, they'll pull it off the shelves and/or no one would buy them.
If not, I'll suggest you another alternative... could you get yourself a used SB-600 in your area?
I've learned that I have alot more to learn...
#12. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
Just 2 cents more. I have a D40 and 2-D80's. I use nothing but older Sunpak flash units. Specifically, 383, 422D, 555, 622 models. These were some great flash units that were discontinued for some odd reason. For your purposes, the 383 or 422D with an STD-1 foot (non-dedicated) would work great. Its got a guide number of about 110 at ASA 100. Much more powerful than the built in Nikon flash. The rig just described, also has a sync voltage safe for digital, especially Nikon. Can be found (I can hear the collective gasps) on Ebay or 'fleabay' as referred to by some on this forum. Ive had great luck locating this equipment on that site.
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#13. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
I don't knock the SB-400, but for me, it was the only Nikon device I ever bought that I regret spending money on. It didn't offer near the flexibility or capability that I quickly grew to need. I now own an SB-600 and an SB-800, and the SB-600, I think, is the "best value" of the current generation Nikon flashes. I'd save a little and keep an eye on Ebay and Craigslist. I commonly see SB-600's on Craigslist, used and in good condition, for around $150.
I never even considered buying anything other than a Nikon brand flash, but if you do, make sure it has the functionality to let you take full advantage of iTTL and Nikon CLS. One thing I've found about flash is that the more you use it and get past the initial challenges, the more you enjoy it and some of the things it lets you do. I went from being a hater who spent thousands of dollars on fast lenses in order to shoot available light as much as possible, to really enjoying some of the creative things I could do with a nice flash unit.
#14. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 13
John Vaughan Registered since 27th Nov 2009Thu 10-Dec-09 03:05 AM
I own a D60 and the flash output from the built-in unit was not enough to properly illuminate with my kit telephoto attached so the problem was identical to what you are experiencing. Though it was a bit more than my budget would allow; I opted for the SB600 for several reasons. The first reason is it's a Nikon product and has the reputation for quality and functionality. Secondly, it's made to function seamlessly with my camera utilizing the TTL mode. This is a part of the Nikon Creative Lighting System. It also has a power zoom function that syncs to the lens in use and adjusts the angle of coverage automatically. Flash Color Information Communication sends white balance informatiion to the camera for automatic adjustment while using the flash. Fill flash and tilt and pan head is also a plus. All in all, the SB600 offers a lot of bang for the buck! I paid $219 for it from B&H and if you shop around you can probably purchase it for less. Well worth the money as you won't wonder if it's going to work and you will have it when or if you decide to upgrade your current system. Just some thoughts.
John Vaughan Photography
#15. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 14
km6xz Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Sun 13-Dec-09 07:31 PM
There are alternatives to the Nikon speedlights but there are few better flashes for $200 than the Nikon SB600.
Nissen is sold here in Europe and Eastern Europe and is a lot lower in price. Nikon products here in Russia are much higher than they are in the US. I have a SB900 which I like a lot but needed another flash that would work with the Nikon CLS as a commander or slave in TTL mode. After some research I ended up with a Sigma 530 Super which works great and is almost $475 less here in Russia than getting another SB900. In fact if I use only one flash, I usually only take the Sigma since it is a little smaller and has better battery life between charges. The effective range is not much less than the SB900 but the Nikon focuses out to 200mm.
If you want fully automatic operation without fiddling around with settings on the flash, either the SB600 or Sigma 530Super would work fine and will work with as slaves later on if you want remote flash units for creative lighting.
I am going to get a 3rd slave flash and will get either a SB600 or another Sigma 530Super. The Sigma 500 might be cheaper there and it will work with your camera also.
St Petersburg Russia
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#16. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 15
wlf Registered since 19th Dec 2009Sun 20-Dec-09 03:31 AM
I have been very happy with my Nikon D50 for three years and recently bought an SB-800 flash unit. My goal was to use the SB-800 as an off-camera flash, either firing it off as a slave to the pop-up flash on the D50 or, using it atop the D50 to trigger other off camera flash units. I was disappointed when I could do neither of these things.
Is there a way to fire the SB-800 off the visual flash of the pop-up? Or am I limited to using the SB-800 as the commander (I've heard this term which suggests the electronics of the D50 don't contain the radio transmitter to fire external flashes)and then buy other SB-type flashes as slaves?
Is there some way to use non-Nikon flashes that have slave capability (they fire in unison to a visual flash from another unit?)triggered by the camera pop-up and/or SB-800?
#17. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 0
As others have suggested...
I'd save up your money for another month or two and get a sb-600. You'll be much happier with it. I don't feel you'll see as much of an improvement using the sb-400.
#18. "RE: Nikon D40 Flash needed.. Choices?" | In response to Reply # 17
gkaiseril Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005Mon 11-Jan-10 07:11 PM | edited Mon 11-Jan-10 07:15 PM by gkaiseril
With the SB-600, you will also have much more flexibility when you move up to a dSLR with more options, like the Wireless CLS system. It can be used as a remote CLS unit being controlled by the camera or an SB-900/800 or SU-800 mounted on the camera.
The SB-400 has a vertically adjustable flash head and can be used with an AC-28/29 cord so you have some vertical and horizontal shift of the light source.
Not all 3rd party flashes that claim Nikon iTTL and CLS compatibility are not always fully compatible.
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