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Old Aug 13, 2009, 2:01 PM   #1
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Default Nikon SB 400 vrs. Nikon SB R200

This question is pertaining to using a flash at party's and indoor use for a hobbiest. I notice Ken Rockwell (who I respect on his knowledge of cameras) gave very high praise on the 400 and stated something in his review that he prefers this one to the heavier Nikon flashes unless he needs the higher output flash for special occasions.

My question is what applications would a stronger flash help over the 400? My use of a external flash will be mostly in situations where people will be within 15 feet of my camera. I would think the 400 would suit my needs just fine. What type of situations would you need a stronger flash for family and on vacations situations

Thanks
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 6:58 PM   #2
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A more powerful flash will help in outdoor shooting when you want bring detail into a background but have the couple exposed correctly.

Bouncing off of a ceiling can be harder with lower power flash units, you might not think this important but bounce flash is generally far more appealing than direct.

With the 400 you can't rotat the flash so this limits shooting options. Personally I wouldn't want to limit myself if I have only one flash it would be at least the 600 but we are all different.
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Old Aug 13, 2009, 10:10 PM   #3
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Thanks for your input. Hmmm, Ken Rockwell's review of the 400 gave the impression that it works great and is powerful enough. It can bounce off the ceiling, but like you said using a flash outdoors.....that is something I did not think about. But I have another problem. The 400 does not work with my Nikon 5700. I read the manual, did everything they said and it does not work. Can't afford a new camera right now, though I have my eye on the Nikon 3000, but that is for another thread.

Though reviews can be helpful, what you said make perfect sense. I think I will at least upgrade to the 600 as this will be my only flash. Thanks for your help.

Last edited by Blueberry; Aug 13, 2009 at 10:15 PM.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 4:04 AM   #4
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You're welcome.

Not saying you can't bounce but you lose a lot of power when doing so as not all the light bounces back and distances can be quite large.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 8:28 AM   #5
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Now I have to learn how to use the flash.

If your using a flash indoors, do you keep your ISA at 200 if the people in your photo are close enough and put it at 400 when they are further away?

If they are close and the ceiling is high like in a wedding hall, do you angle the flash a little higher then instead of a direct flash assult...if so with a subject within 10 feet, angle it up one notch, two? I guess I will have to do some experiments to find out as I am sure with each camera your results will be different.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 8:42 AM   #6
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It is a lot more complex than that as each environment is different, also it will depend on the effect you want. For example if you want an exposure that gives you ambient light as well as the subjects only in which case you generally need higher ISO and slower shutter speeds.

Here for example I'm working at 1/10s and ISO 1600 to bring the background into play and then rotate that camera while shooting to add movement. The very fast flash freezes the majority of the movement in my subject.



So basically get out and play, try different settings, post shots as you go along and you will get advice on what to chance, try next etc.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 9:11 AM   #7
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I notice there is a very high ceiling in that photo. Was your flash angled straight or did you angle sit lightly higher?

Thanks again
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 9:13 AM   #8
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This was probably about 45 degrees or a little more vertical but not fully vertical. There is also a white 'catch light' reflector on my flash which I use to bring some more light forward.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 12:00 PM   #9
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is he related to you Mark? the guy in the photo resembled your avatar.
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Old Aug 14, 2009, 12:06 PM   #10
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LOL nope not at all.
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