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Old Mar 26, 2008, 10:29 PM   #1
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On of my sons asked for some advice regarding a flash unit for use with a Nikon D80 for shooting night auto racing photos.

While my off the top of my head recommendation would be the SB800 because of it's grater power, when I compare the shooting distance range tables in the manuals for the SB 800 and SB 600, I find that at (for example) ISO 800 and f5.6 and the flash head zoom set to 85mm, both show a maximum shooting distance of 66 feet. I don't understand why the SB 800 would not have a greater reach than the SB 600.

I also wonder why the tables show the same 66 foot maximum distance if the f-stop is opened up to f4.

Can anyone tell me what limits the maximum shooting distance for these two flash units to 66 feet?

Bottom line, for this application (disregarding the SB 800's abliity to serve as a commander) is there an advantage to the SB 800 over the SB 600 to make it worth the extra 100 or so?

-------------------------- Bill
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Old Mar 27, 2008, 6:16 AM   #2
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IMO the table is just an absolute estimate...

YMMV but check their respective guide number (GN), for example using the same setting on both flash according to the manual @ 85mm zoom-head, ISO 800, the SB800's GN is 174(ft) and the SB600's GN is only 147(ft) which translate to 43.5ft (174/4) and 36.75ft (147/4) for f/4 respectively
-> So the SB800 does have a longer reach!

Also this GN varies with the zoom setting so in theory the SB800 should also have a better reach because it can be set to 105mm while the SB600 zoom setting stops at 85mm.

In practice however a small top mount flash can only reach so far with it relatively small beam where the result will not be acceptable anymore... and why they gave you an upper limit regardless of setting

Have you look into a handle mount Metz or a Quantum?

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Old Mar 27, 2008, 8:54 PM   #3
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The Flash Environment involved with night auto racing is very demanding. It is a photo environment that is hard to master. So be at ease with the fact that this type of photography is going to require some experimentation to obtain good results.

Sarah Joyce.
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