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Nikon SB-600 & SB-800 question
Old 09-26-2004, 01:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I guess its time to buy a new on-camera flash to replace my trusty Nikon SB-26 which seems to have developed a non-working internal zoom, and doesn't work with my D70 anyway. So now I'm deciding between the SB-600 and the SB-800. The only difference I can see, is the power output. The 600 seems to be twice what I had in the SB-26, and the 800 seems to be about 25% more than that. Does anyone know if there are any other differences to justify the $100 price difference? Also, I want to use it with my Quantum Turbo Battery. Neither of the strobe's specs say anything about external power sources, although I do see what looks like a connector on the front/bottom of the 800, but not on the 600. That is the same place my SB-26 connects to the external source, but of course the Nikon specs say nothing about using an external source (nor did they say so for the SB-26). Anyone know for sure about whether this will work?

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Andy Pearlman
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Re: Nikon SB-600 & SB-800 question
Old 09-26-2004, 03:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Andy asked:
[ QUOTE ]
Does anyone know if there are any other differences to justify the $100 price difference?

[/ QUOTE ]

Nikon introduced a new mode of TTL auto-flash with the SB-800 called the Creative Lighting System or CLS. Right now the D2H (and the D2X) are the only cameras that are CLS-compatible, but it's likely (wishful thinking?) that future digital cameras will be CLS compatible. Since I'm shooting a D100, which isn't CLS compatible, it's only theoretical to me as of yet (say, Momma.. can I get one of them new D2X's for Christmas, please?), but the SB-00's manual lists the following capabilities of CLS:

    * iTTL mode - supposedly more accurate exposures than with conventional TTL when ambient light levels are bright enough to affect the TTL
    * "Advanced Wireless Lighting" - up to three groups of independantly controlled remote flash units can be fired from the 800 in iTTL mode.
    * Flash Value Lock - sets in an EV then lets you change apertures and/or composition with the correct flash expsure being retained
    * "Flash Color Information Communication" sends white balance info to the camera.
    * Auto FP High Speed Sync - this might be a biggie - allows flash sync at the camera's highest shutter speed
    * Wide Area AF- assist illuminator[/list]Whether or not any of that's of interest would, I would guess, depend upon your thoughts regarding staying with the Nikon system... When I bought my first F3HP and matching SB-16 way back in 1986 I suspected that I'd be shooting Nikon gear for the foreseeable future.. and the SB-16 still works, even on the D100. So, if you're ever going to get a camera that does the CLS-thing, the extra money for the SB-800 might be worth it.

    As far as using the Quantum into the SB-800's external power port goes..

    [ QUOTE ]
    ...I do see what looks like a connector on the front/bottom of the 800, but not on the 600. That is the same place my SB-26 connects to the external source,

    [/ QUOTE ]

    And it is an external power connector. The manual shows that it's set up for the following Nikon power sources: (can't get this list to format correctly... sorry for the ".")


    .....unit........battery types.............min recycle time
    .....SD-7.......(6 C-cells [6 x 1.5v = 9v]).....2.5 sec
    .....SD-8A......(6 AA-cells [6 x 1.5v = 9v])
    ...................Nicad / NiMH.................2.0
    ...................Alkaline.....................2. 5
    ...................lithium......................3. 0
    .....SK-6.......(4 AA-cells [4 x 1.5v = 6v])
    ...................Nicad / NiMH.................2.5
    ...................Alkaline.....................3. 0
    ...................lithium......................3. 5

    And of course, the manual says they don't recommend using anything but Nikon equipment.... are those external power units compatible with what you have for the SB-26?

    Hope that helps some.

    Wayne



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Re: Nikon SB-600 & SB-800 question
Old 09-26-2004, 11:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The increase power output is also obtained from the internal zoom.

The SB-800 supports high-voltage batteries, while the SB-600 doesn't. Note that a different cable is required to connect the Quantum Turbo to the SB-800 (or any Nikon DX flash).

Also, the SB-800 supports auto aperture flash, which some photographers believe produce more accurate flash exposures with digital cameras. Since the sensor is on the flash, the flash metering can be performed right at exposure.
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Re: Nikon SB-600 & SB-800 question
Old 09-26-2004, 08:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi,

I am running my SB-800DX with the Quantum Turbo 2x2, using a Quantum CKE cable. This battery has two outputs and allows me to connect a second cable to run the camera (Nikon D100)as well, but I have never needed the extra power. (I use two batteries in the MB-D100 pack.)
Keep in mind that you still must keep AA batteries loaded in the SB-800 for everything to function properly. All-in-all I like it a lot.
My only complaint has been an occasional over- or under- exposed photo. It seems to happen when I shoot a fast 3 or 4 frames. I will try to reproduce the problem when I have more time.

Check out the Quantum site at: www.qtm.com
They have charts of battery/camera/flash and cable compatability.

Tom
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Re: Nikon SB-600 & SB-800 question
Old 09-27-2004, 12:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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OK, got it. That chart is a great resource. Guess I have to pop for the expensive strobe AND a new cable. It looks like I could get a second cable to power my D70 if I wanted too, but since my Quantum Turbo only has one output, so maybe I'll just get a backup battery insert for the D70.

Thanks,
Andy Pearlman
Andy Pearlman Studio
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Re: Nikon SB-600 & SB-800 question
Old 09-27-2004, 12:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks John. Actually the feature that looks good to me is the "Distance Priority Manual Flash Mode - User can set the distance and aperture, and the SB-800 automatically sets the power output, a great feature for manual flash [M] shooting at weddings and for product shots". This is something I've thought about for a long time, be nice to see if it works more accurately than my flash meter, except if I out a gel over the flash, it probably won't.

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Andy Pearlman
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