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Old Jun 12, 2010, 2:13 AM   #1
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Default Choosing a Flash for Nikon D90 & D5000

I'm trying to decide on a external flash for my Nikon D90 (Main) and D5000(Backup). I went to my local photo store to get the SB-600 but the shop owner was pushing the Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER. The SB-600 had better reviews on Amazon, but the shop owner hasn't lead me astray yet.

They are about the same money, but I don't want buyers regret and am currently unemployed and using my cameras for a little extra income. I am using the camera for a wide variety of uses from party/reception, pet portraits and stock photography mostly. I would like the SB-800/900 but currently not afford it.

Any suggestions would be welcome!

Thanks
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 2:17 AM   #2
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Go with the sb600 with the nikon, as nikon has the best flash system on the market. Get the one that works best with it.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 6:03 AM   #3
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The Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER has almost the same power as an SB-900 so you're getting more value for the same cost... (i.e. check it Guide Number against the SB-600 vs the SB-900)

-> This will come into play when you'll be bouncing against high ceilings
Also I believe the Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER can be programmed to be a controller (like the SB900/SB800) for wireless vs the slave only SB-600 device

Last edited by NHL; Jun 12, 2010 at 6:12 AM.
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Old Jun 12, 2010, 10:37 AM   #4
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NHL is 100% correct-

As our resident External Flash Expert, he is a real resource for flash information. So, yes, the Sigma EF-530 DG Super may indeed have greater light output than the intended SB- 600, That is nifty. What is the flash experience of the user?

Bottom line, if the user is just breaking into and learning how to use an external flash, the Nikon SB-600 is going to be easier to deal with in TTL situations than the more powerful but somewhat less adaptable Sigma EF-530 DG Super flash.

Now here is an important twist, if the dealer who is flogging the Sigma Flash want to give the user so useful and comprehensive instruction, including a shooting session with the Sigma Flash that makes the Sigma Flash a different matter.

If the dealer is just going to hand a flash, enclosed in a box, across the counter, go with the SB-600, it will be easier to get up and operating well for you all by yourself. User, you are there on the ground and have a better sense of how co-operative the dealer really is with you. If he is will to work with you and help you one on one that is worth a lot.

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Old Jun 13, 2010, 2:38 PM   #5
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If you are going with just one flash on your camera hotshoe then the other features of the Sigma EF-530 DG Super flash would not be used. Being that the price is comparable the Sigma would be for me a more attractive flash based on its versatility and output that is much more than that of the SB-600.

It is out of your price range but I have gone with Nissin Di866 and it is easier to use, has a fill light feature, can be used as a commander and compatible with the Nikon CLS system as well as used as a slave. I also use it manually with my Fuji HS10.

Last edited by vIZnquest; Jun 14, 2010 at 12:03 AM.
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 5:01 PM   #6
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Whoa! - I need to add this Nissin Di866 to my collection...

I only have two flashes in my Nikon system so far and this device capability is quite intriguing.
-> This would complete my 3rd unit for the Nikon CLS ( love the color screen!): http://photos4clix.com/?p=767

Last edited by NHL; Jun 13, 2010 at 5:20 PM.
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Old Jun 13, 2010, 11:38 PM   #7
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I lucked out getting it for $244 each from BH Photo before it went up to $299. I got four of them and all I can say is that they are a worthy alternative to the Nikon speedlights. It has all the functionality you could want from a flash which is the downside of the SB 600. The color screen will rotate when you change from landscape to portrait mode and the dial useage rotates as well. The biggest bonus is the battery cartridge is set-up so that all the batteries can be placed in one direction rather than the flip up two, down two like most all other flashes. I got four extra cartridges as well so I can easily change right away when necessary. Build quality is good. Provided with the flash is a flow chart to show you how to use it depending on what you want to use the flash for. It has memory to keep your last setting as well. Hmmm.. can't think of anything else other than I really like this unit.
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Old Jun 14, 2010, 5:14 AM   #8
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Agree - At $299, this device is still $100 more affordable than the German made Metz 58AF-1 with also a dual-head. The Nissin also has a USB for future upgrade so hand down it has to be the best deal in flash, especially if one has to get multiple units for wireless...

-> IMO it would give the Canon 580EX a run for the money too !!!
(for almost the price of an ST-E2/SU-800 wireless controller alone)

Last edited by NHL; Jun 14, 2010 at 5:18 AM.
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 12:30 PM   #9
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Amazing flash!

I've been playing with this Nissin Di866 for several days and totally agree with vIZnquest. This unit is like an improved version of the Metz 58AF-1 with dual-head, down to the extra PC sync terminal and an absolutely identical carrying case! I wish they kept the audible feature of the Metz though...

In fact I've just ordered another Canon version, an external fast charge battery pack and off-camera extension cord. Theses last two items are universal and will work with both Canon and Nikon versions of the flash and cameras. Highly recommended if anyone is into wireless as theses devices are so affordable and much more flexible than the manufacturers own 580EX or SB-900, especially when one start to buy multiple units as theses costs quickly multiply...
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Old Jun 18, 2010, 12:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NHL View Post
Highly recommended if anyone is into wireless as theses devices are so affordable and much more flexible than the manufacturers own 580EX or SB-900, especially when one start to buy multiple units as theses costs quickly multiply...
From what I can tell from reviews, you may have issues if you need High Speed Sync (FP Mode) with them if you want to go wireless with shutter speeds faster than the camera's x-sync speed (as you may encounter in good light outdoors using wider apertures). See this section of a review for more details on issues and limitations with FP Mode using them as Wireless Controllers or Remotes:

http://dpanswers.com/content/rev_nissin_di866.php#autfp
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