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Recommended second hand Nikon flashes


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14 replies to this topic

#1 Colin-M

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 20:37

I'm due to work on something where I'll probably need at least 2 flashes.
I already have a D300, plus the R1 pair of macro flashes, so wouldn't mind getting the SU800 controller at the same time.
Don't think I need anything like pocket wizards etc.

Can anyone advise between the following:
- second hand SB800?
- second hand SB900?
- second hand SB9100? If there are many around.

I heard a lot of people say the 900 wasn't that much better than the 800. However most 800's must be getting quite old now. With no easy way to tell how much they've been used, does this make them more of a lottery?

My intended use is for indoor shoots of people and I'll want to keep the lighting quite Soft & diffuse.
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#2 Erik Lund

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 21:05

SB800 is the best deal.
They dont wear out,,,

#3 Akira

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 21:21

If I remember correctly, SB900 had an over-heating problem (more precisely, it allowed flashing more frequently than it could handle). That was why it was replaced by SB910 fairly soon.

Edited by Akira, 21 April 2012 - 21:23 .

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#4 Shac

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 22:54

All my flashes are 2nd-hand - SB-800s and SB 700s - all work just great. Both these are smaller than the 900 series and the 700's are a little easier to use than the 800s

#5 Dallas

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 06:52

If you're shooting with CLS then the SB-800's will serve well. I have had two of these for the last 3 years and they have not let me down yet (knock on wood). Their interface is not as friendly as the SB-900's though.

The 900 has the ability to zoom to 200mm which gives it some addition usefulness over the 800's.

Unfortunately I haven't even held an SB-700 yet, so I can't comment on that one, but it looks like an affordable alternative. I am looking for a 4th light to add to my setup and this might just be the ticket as I don't see many used 800's on the market (which is an indictment of their usefulness).

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#6 Colin-M

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 08:46

Thanks for the comments guys.
I got a secondhand SU800 last night on eBay, so that's the first step.

Interestingly, there's not a huge difference in secondhand prices between used SB800, used 900 and new 700.
Colin
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#7 Erik Lund

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:19

If I remember correctly, SB900 had an over-heating problem (more precisely, it allowed flashing more frequently than it could handle). That was why it was replaced by SB910 fairly soon.


Yes and no; In the SB 900 Nikon introduced a function in the software that shut the unit down if the temperature vas to high, it would simply not fire if there was a risk of overheating, very bad reception by the Pro's... It's tweaked in the 910 but still lurking with a potentially bricked SB until it cools down.

I have tested the SB 800 for 200 full flashes 1/1 in M fired in a row as soon as recharged by an external power source - No problem, hot, but not burned...

#8 helioer

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 14:09

I have three SB800's. Solid pieces of good quality equipment. The menu could be easier to use but no other complaints.

Erkki

D3s, D3, D200, D70
FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 8/3.5 EX, 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
TC: TC-14 E II, TC-17 E II, TC-20 E III
DX: 10.5/2.8, 18-70, 18-200
4*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200, YN-622 kit (TX+4*RC)...


#9 Colin-M

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 22:31

Thanks everyone.
An SB-800 is now on it's way.

And I was wrong about the prices being similar between the different models, though there isn't a huge difference.
Colin
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#10 AlexV

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 23:08

As others have noted, the SB-800 menus system is cumbersome, but the flash itself is very good. Used units in Japan still command a +30,000 yen price on the used market.

Thanks everyone.
An SB-800 is now on it's way.

And I was wrong about the prices being similar between the different models, though there isn't a huge difference.





#11 Colin-M

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 13:47

As a postscript, I just wanted to mention that when I first decided to switch from Pentax & Minolta, I chose Nikon because of the reputation and also the wide range of used equipment available.

Since then, this has proved a route for me to try things out without the cost involved in full price kit. Luckily some of the older kit is built to last and has been perfectly functional for my needs.

With the arrival of the 9xx range, there are a few 800's on the market now. The one I bought has a little play in the moving parts and bears a few battle scars. I received a used SU-800 today, which seems almost spotless - the two items cost me just over 400 Euros and I'm really looking forward to using them with my R1 macros flashes.
Colin
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#12 helioer

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 15:33

The R1 macro flashes are really nice. User interface could not be easier than what the SB-R200 has. I have a "full kit" (3 flashes with "all extras" for all of them). I started with two but as the R1C1 bag had empty slots I filled them...

Erkki

D3s, D3, D200, D70
FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 8/3.5 EX, 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
TC: TC-14 E II, TC-17 E II, TC-20 E III
DX: 10.5/2.8, 18-70, 18-200
4*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200, YN-622 kit (TX+4*RC)...


#13 Colin-M

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 16:04

Hi Erkki, I have a slightly different view of the R1 kit. I'm hoping that adding the SB-800 will give me greater flexibilty, as I found the initial 2 guns slightly underpowered for what I used to be able to do with my older Nikon "Ringflash".

Bjorn's just adding this model to the Cameras & flashes section - you can see my gripes there.
Colin
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#14 Akira

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 21:41

I have tested the SB 800 for 200 full flashes 1/1 in M fired in a row as soon as recharged by an external power source - No problem, hot, but not burned...


I've seen an SB800 with the center of its flash window melt. So, one cannot be too careful.
"The eye is blind if the mind is absent." - Confucius

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#15 helioer

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Posted 01 May 2012 - 08:23

Hi Colin
The R1C1 kit works perfectly when used for its designed purpose - a macro flash kit. So I would not expect the small flash units to be used for anything else.

I think that I've never had a subject over 20 cm from the flash units and most of the times the flashes are used for fill-in purpose outdoors. I ise the kit with Micro-Nikkors (60/2.8D, 100/2.8D) or lenses I attach to a PB-6 bellows unit. When used with a bellows, I add the diffusers to the flashes as distance between subject and flash is usually only a couple of cm.

Erkki

D3s, D3, D200, D70
FX: Nikon 14-24/2.8G, 24-70/2.8G, 28/1.8G, 70-200/2.8G VR, 300/2.8G VR, 60/2.8D+105/2.8D micro, 85/1.4D, 16/2.8D, 50/1.4G, 500/8 reflex C, Sigma 8/3.5 EX, 12-24 EX, 150/2.8 OS EX...
TC: TC-14 E II, TC-17 E II, TC-20 E III
DX: 10.5/2.8, 18-70, 18-200
4*SB800's, R1C1 kit with 3*SB-R200, YN-622 kit (TX+4*RC)...





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