I shoot a d7000 and enjoy landscape architecture and photographing musical instruments .this is my first post on any forum so my apologies if I'm not following protocol but I'll learn . I would like to buy just one flash that will serve my needs the first time .In all fairness I look forward to exploring most forms of photography at some point but finding free time seems to be a challenge .Any recommendations?
#1. "RE: Which flash is a good choice for my needs ?" In response to Reply # 0
Rancho Cordova, US
Mike, welcome to Nikonians!
I am by no means a "flash expert" there are other more qualified photographers here that have earned that title. But since you asked please allow me to offer some advice.
Get a flash with a high Guide Number (GN). You can always lower the output of the flash but you can't really increase the output of the flash. Straight on flash is harsh so I typically recommend bouncing flash or using a diffuser. Doing this further reduces your flash output so, again, you'll want a more powerful flash. Get one with a flash head that tilts and swivels, that way you can model the light the same way for portrait and landscape orientation. I also recommend a Nikon flash, an I-TTL unit. I believe you can use the D7000 as a commander and control up to two groups of speedlights for multiple flash experiments.
So I recommend you look at the SB910, SB900, SB800, SB700 or SB600. As long as you do not shoot a high amount of flash images and allow the flash head to cool, you should not have any issues with any of the speedlights. The SB900/910 and SB700 have very good user interface and is supposed to be better than the SB800 and SB600 units. Many members here still swear by the SB800 (now discontinued but available used).
Yes, these speedlights are big, especially the SB900 and SB910, but will help you to control the light.
I guess the next questions for you are: what's your budget and are you comfortable with a used speedlight?
As finding time to shoot...sorry, I have the same problem, can't help you there other than to say, I got into macro because (1) I had flowers available and (2) I could set something up at night when I had some free time. Otherwise I shoot when I can which unfortunately isn't very often.
#2. "RE: Which flash is a good choice for my needs ?" In response to Reply # 0
Welcome to Nikonians! Do you have a budget in mind? If your budget is robust and you want the Speedlight with maximum versatility consider an SB-910. It is better to have the extra power and features and not need them then to need the extra power or features and not have them. A second hand or refurbished SB-900 or SB-800 are similar to the SB-910 in features and power but are available for significantly less money. Next would be an SB-700 and if your budget is tight a used or refurbished SB-600. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
#4. "RE: Which flash is a good choice for my needs ?" In response to Reply # 0
Richmond Hill, GA (Savannah), US
>I shoot a d7000 and enjoy landscape architecture and >photographing musical instruments .this is my first post on >any forum so my apologies if I'm not following protocol but >I'll learn . I would like to buy just one flash that will >serve my needs the first time .In all fairness I look forward >to exploring most forms of photography at some point but >finding free time seems to be a challenge .Any >recommendations? > >Mike
The other replies are spot on, but I thought I would add that the reason you need lots of power is because you have to greatly diffuse the flash when shooting subjects with a highly reflective surface, like musical instruments.
In fact, when I shoot musical instruments, or jewelry, or items for sale online, I point the flash backwards so that no light goes directly from the flash to the subject. This turns the whole room into a giant diffuser, which greatly reduces nasty reflections of the flash back into the camera (so-called 'hot spots'). Of course, this will only work in a fairly small room, and it must have walls and ceiling of white or neutral colors to avoid making a colorcast on your subject.
However, using this technique requires a powerful flash. The SB900, 910, 800, 700, and 600 are all powerful enough.
#5. "RE: Which flash is a good choice for my needs ?" In response to Reply # 4
Thank you all for the great responses,I will be going to my local camera shop in Allentown to look at the 700 and 910 for a comparison in the very near future and as for the recommendation for a d800 I'm not sure if you mean't the fx body but I already have serious lust for one.Going to the Lancaster railroad museum this weekend to do some shooting .Can't wait!
#7. "RE: Which flash is a good choice for my needs ?" In response to Reply # 6
First thank you all for your advice, I did get an sb700 on Monday and in a moment of weakness bought a d800 body.I am in awe of the functional beauty of the tool.Well another learning curve begins.More questions to come.Thanks all !
#9. "E: Which flash is a good choice for my needs ?" In response to Reply # 8 Sat 23-Mar-13 03:15 PM by mkbee1
West Valley, US
It all depends on your need and budget. Nikon flashes are marvelous, no doubt about it, but, I have great service from Nikon, Vivitar and Sunpak flashes over the years, so you might wish to look at third party offerings.
I had the SB 400 for a while, and found it adequate for snapshots, but generally, lacking in power and utility.
I then bought a Sunpak PF30, which was a great little flash. My buddy, the Canon shooter, also bought one, and likes it.
Then, in The True Spirit of Never Leaving Well-Enough Alone, (A malady my wife assures me I have developed to a fine art! ) I bought an SB600. Really nice flash, but it has features I will never use! It was a close-run thing between it and the Sunpak PZ42X (N), which cost less, and offered the same power and convenience. But, I had the $$$, sooooo...
For a smaller flash, I am thinking of buying my wife the Sunpak RD2000N, for her/my D50, because it tilts and allows power level adjustments, something the SB400 doesn't.
I hope this has not muddied the water for you, but whatever you choose, you will probably be happy with the performance. Carl