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Old May 24, 2008, 9:12 PM   #11
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I have and use all three flashes mentioned. The SB400 is not as underpowered as I have read by others and my main use is for grab shots and close shots not needing to be taken in portrait mode.

The SB600 is not as powerful or the same in features of the SB800 and the price difference is quite a bit. The recycle time is quicker than the SB800 without the 5th battery.

I use the CLS system and find it to be fantastic for the photographic interests and needs I have. The SB400 is not designed to take advantage of this but it was not made for this. It's compact design and low price between the three is an advantage for me.

The SB600 is the best to the lot based on the OP's requirements.



Mahalo,

Tom
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Old Jul 17, 2008, 6:50 PM   #12
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I guess it never ends in the quest for more, more, more, more and better, better, better.

On a tight budget, I put the flash on hold when I had the opportunity to pick up a quantaray 18-200mm OS lens for my D40. It is a re-branded sigma and does get some fair-good reviews in so much as an "all-in-one" lens can. It is different from sigma's non-stabilized 18-200 lens (which received more negative reviews as being much too soft overall). This one, they added two elements. It also has a HSM motor (auto focus) and a lock switch to prevent creeping. Admittedly, the pics do get sharper between f7 and f13, but that's certainly no problem with image stabilization and the florida sunshine. It is sold I believe exclusively at Ritz Cameras for $529. I managed to get a used one for $190!!!!


I was planning to purchase a sb400 or 600 sometime in the future and still probably will....but....yesterday circuit city had a sunpak PF30x flash reduced from 99 to $14(!)

http://www.sunpak.com/sunpak/flashunits.html


PF30X
• Number of flashes: approx. 100 at full manual (Alkaline batteries)
• Auto effective range: 4.9 feet to 49 feet
• AF assist effective range: 3.5 to 16 feet
• Flash speed: 1/800 second
• EV adjustment: 7 steps (-1.5, -1, -0.5, 0, +0.5, +1,+1.5)
• Guide number: 100, ISO 100/feet @ 35mm
• Recycle time: approx. 10 seconds at full output (Alkaline)
• Compatibility: Nikon i-TTL: D40, D40x, D50, D70, D70s, D80, D200

I had some problems upon first use where it would not fire about 50% of the time. Sunpak said to send it back to them for a firmware upgrade...so we'll see...


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Old Aug 9, 2008, 2:22 AM   #13
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WOW!!!!!!

The firmware from sunpak did the trick!

This flash is great. I used 2 lithium AA batteries and fired the flash randomly around my living room and kitchen...some shots consecutive, some with a 2 to 5 second wait. Then went into the bedroom took off the kit lens and put on the quantaray (sigma) lens. Did the same thing again in the bedroom. Only after about 130 total shots did it start to have trouble recycling, at least quickly anyway...started getting some where the flash wouldn't fire at all. That's ok. I shut off the flash at that point.

All of the 130 shots that I took were perfect! The iTTL worked perfectly with this flash in both A and S preferred in low light, bright fluorescent kitchen light and almost no lights. The AF beam (in the flash) worked with my zoom lens and even focused in almost a completely dark room at about 50mm...f13 (iso 400)!

I highly recommend the sunpak PF30x flash

http://www.sunpak.com/sunpak/flashunits.html
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