hello all! i am a newbie to the world of DSLR's but already expanding my accessories .. i purchased the D3100 with the 18-55mm VR lens kit and have already purchased a Nikkor 55-200mm lens and backdrops. However i also want an additional flash. I feel the built-in flash just isnt powerful enough. I dont want to spend a fortune, photography is just a hobby. I have looked on eBay and seen some for as little as £20! I have also read that those can burn out your DSLR and i really dont want to damage it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
#1. "RE: D3100 FLASH GUN? HELP!" In response to Reply # 0
You almost certainly want to get one that has a rotating and swiveling head, because those allow bounce flash. That's the secret to making flash photographs that don't LOOK like flash photographs.
In the Nikon line that means starting with the SB-700, which is pretty expensive - about $320. Sigma have one that gets good reports called the EF-610 DG ST that is not too expensive. It will not act as a wireless flash, but for most people asking the question the way you are, that's pretty unlikely. I think the Sigma is around $180.
There is also a Nissim one - but every time people ask about it, nobody's tried it. These are notably less than the Sigma, but I don't remember the pricing. It's a lot more than twenty quid though.
You really want one that has "Nikon iTTL compatibility" - the three above do. If you go a lot less than that you will find that the units either are used, are old stock (and may not have a low trigger voltage - and high trigger voltages are a serious problem), or do not integrate with the meter. That means you get to set the flash exposure manually, which is complex and error prone. I now know how to do it semi-reliably after 35 years of photography, but to be frank I hate doing it and I use iTTL 98% of the time. (And those other 2% are usually when I am using 3/4/5 flash units. I basically never use full manual with just one flash.)
_____ Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
gkaiseril Chicago, US Nikonian since 28th Oct 2005
Wed 24-Aug-11 02:53 PM
#3. "RE: D3100 FLASH GUN? HELP!" In response to Reply # 0 Wed 24-Aug-11 02:55 PM by gkaiseril
Welcome to Nikonians,
You might try the Nikon store for a refurbished Speedlight. They are not always available.
The burn out issue is for older strobes that did not use an isolating trigger method and used the flash tube's High Voltage source for the trigger voltage. Newer digital flashes use a low voltage trigger circuit that isolates the camera from the flash tube's high voltage power source.
There are devices that can isolate the high trigger voltages of older strobes, but one use with out the isolator will fry your camera. You will also not have the advantage of the iTTL system.