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  1. #1
    Junior Member

    SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Having about 3-4 years of taking pictures under my belt, I feel it's past due to learn flash photography. Yes, to this point I've shot only natural light primarily because I've been reluctant to admit I need to learn this skill but also because for the cost of a flash I could get new or acceptable glass.

    I have about all the glass I could want at the moment. I actually just sold my Tokina PRO 11-16 DX II for about $360 on eBay.

    I saw an SB-700, "near mint" in box with allegedly everything for $269, and a SB-800 from KEH as Excellent without the gels, manual, or box for $228.

    I have no experience with a flash, but also feel that the best way to learn is to use the right equipment designed for what you're already using. I have heard great things about Yonuguo and Altrua as "learner throw-aways" flashes but that they also are prone to flake out quikly. I'd rather something last more than a couple of months and once I understand and apply it, not need to replace it.

    I can't see a huge difference between the 700 and 800 in the user manuals other than a bit more power, wider coverage, and faster recycle in the 800.

    Does anyone have experience regarding either they'd share with regard to a better decision for learning and applying in a more realistic "enthusiast" level of photography?

    Sent from my SM-S906L using Tapatalk


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  2. #2
    RIP :(
    Don Kuykendall's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Although the Nikon Speedlights are great and I have the SB700 you might really want to look here Yongnuo USA I have a yongnuo flash as a second flash and I wish I have bought it instead of the SB700. I could have bought 3 of them instead. Personally I like it as much as the Nikon flash. This site's owner is great about answering any questions you might have.
    Thanks/Like carguy Thanks/liked this post
     

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  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Horoscope Fish's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Quote Originally Posted by ejronin View Post
    Having about 3-4 years of taking pictures under my belt, I feel it's past due to learn flash photography. Yes, to this point I've shot only natural light primarily because I've been reluctant to admit I need to learn this skill but also because for the cost of a flash I could get new or acceptable glass.

    I have about all the glass I could want at the moment. I actually just sold my Tokina PRO 11-16 DX II for about $360 on eBay.

    I saw an SB-700, "near mint" in box with allegedly everything for $269, and a SB-800 from KEH as Excellent without the gels, manual, or box for $228.

    I have no experience with a flash, but also feel that the best way to learn is to use the right equipment designed for what you're already using. I have heard great things about Yonuguo and Altrua as "learner throw-aways" flashes but that they also are prone to flake out quikly. I'd rather something last more than a couple of months and once I understand and apply it, not need to replace it.

    I can't see a huge difference between the 700 and 800 in the user manuals other than a bit more power, wider coverage, and faster recycle in the 800.

    Does anyone have experience regarding either they'd share with regard to a better decision for learning and applying in a more realistic "enthusiast" level of photography?

    Sent from my SM-S906L using Tapatalk
    I agree with Don. Get yourself a Yongnuo 568EX instead. I have both this Yongnuo and an SB-700 and the Yongnuo is the one I reach for regularly.
    ~ Paul
    ....
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    Primary Kit :: D850, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2, Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8 G2, Sigma 135mm f/1.8 Art, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art,
    Godox Flashes & Triggers, Manfrotto X055PROB, 3-Legged Thing Airhed II... All Stuffed into a Manfrotto Pro Backpack 50
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  4. #4
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    RocketCowboy's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    I'll second Don's comment. I would not consider the Yongnuo gear as throw away. It comes in at a lower price point, but still serves a need and is dependable as well. If it falls and hits the floor, it will break just like the more expensive manufacturers, but won't cost as much to replace.

    The conference I'm attending this weekend used the Yongnuo kit for a lot of the hands on learning sessions, with great results.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    FredKingston's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    I'll second what everyone else has already said about the Yongnuo... Also, bear-in-mind, the D5300 does NOT do Nikon's CLS system for off camera control... so for off camera flash, regardless of which flash you buy, you'll need a system for wireless triggering... I believe the Yongnuos have that built in...

  6. #6
    Junior Member

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Hm. That's a quick set of points racked up to Yonguno Speedlights. And, I hadn't really considered damaging it, having to reace it (seems sort of common sense, but I guess I was wrapped up in faulty equipment over damaged equipment.)



    Sent from my SM-S906L using Tapatalk
    Best Answers aporodagon voted best answer for this post
     
    The best revenge is giving someone a D3000...

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    spb_stan's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    I have 3 SB-900s and 3 Yongnuo 568ex. The SB-900 has the main advantage of a tighter beam focus to 200mm while most flash for Nikon go to 105mm eqv field of view. Both are very good in every function I have used them in, and if anything the plastic casing of the Nikon, that cost me $600+ each, is thinner and more flexible. The case on the 568s feels tough and rigid. For $99 is is a no brainer
    I suggest using the savings to get a few light modifiers, like shoot-through umbrella, and cheap light stand($40-50 for the pair) and a set of Yn-622 transceivers or one transceiver and a YN-622 TX transmitter. Those allow some real flexibility in off camera flash. They are very versatile radio link flash controllers, the transmitter replaces the flash on the camera hotshoe and a transceiver has a shoe to mount the flash. Get the flash where it needs to be for the lighting you need and control everything from the camera mounted controller/transmitter. It duplicates the CLS system plus adds very high speed sync, and works much further and in brighter conditions than the CLS system.
    For the price of the used SB-800(which most prefer over the SB700, it was the top of the line pro flash for a long time and still in demand by wedding photographers who complained of overheating in the SB-900 that replaced the SB-800
    With augmented lighting, even if most light might be ambient, your whole world of creative expression becomes available, instead of just waiting for conditions to improve, you have the option of making the scene work. If you get into it and become comfortable with making on the fly creative changes, you will carry the flash(and a couple more) everywhere, and even in scenes that had good ambient light or outdoors in mid day when you are limited to searching out highly diffused shade or forget shooting for 5-6 hours mid-day.
    A lot of people refuse to use flash as if it is cheating and say they do not like the "flash look". but using that term shows that they only have seen abused flash images. Any commercial image worth its weight had carefully control augmented light. Take a look at any magazine cover, commercial ad or fine art images for sure creative use of augmented light was a key as to why it looked "natural" and worth the high fee paid to the photographer. Even those fashion shots at the beach in bright sun almost guaranteed they used flash, strobe or continuous light sources. Your next step will be another flash:>)
    Thanks/Like shellyshell176 Thanks/liked this post
    Best Answers ejronin voted best answer for this post
     

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    carguy's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Kuykendall View Post
    Although the Nikon Speedlights are great and I have the SB700 you might really want to look here Yongnuo USA I have a yongnuo flash as a second flash and I wish I have bought it instead of the SB700. I could have bought 3 of them instead. Personally I like it as much as the Nikon flash. This site's owner is great about answering any questions you might have.
    I'm with Don. A few years back I wanted a flash also and bought the Sb-700 at full retail ( I like supporting my local camera shops)

    Shortly after, I learned about the fine products by Yongnuo. They have quality lighting gear for reasonable prices. One thing I found out about my $300+ SB-700 was the lack of a sync port to plug in wireless flash transceivers once I dove into Off Camera Flash (OCF). I had to buy an adapter, something you'd think you would not need with an expensive piece of equipment.
    Thanks/Like RocketCowboy Thanks/liked this post
     
    Joe

    D750 | 50mm f1.8G | Tamron 70-200 2.8 VC
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
    spb_stan's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Another point to add, ANY flash can be very useful, you do not need iTTL, and in fact fully manual control is easier for consistency and full artistic control. So a used Nikon manual or semi-automatic flash is just as effective for portraiture, product, macro, or commercial. In fact shooting with camera exposure on full manual is the easiest way to be sure of what you expected and is very fast once you get used to it. I picked up an old Vivitar flash from the 70s at a garage sale for $5 and it is just as effective in manual as the $600 SB-910.

    The only cautionary note, most really old flash units were designed for cameras with hardware shut switch contacts connected to the hotshoe that shorted the primary of an induction coil that caused the magnetic field generated by the coil to collapse. That collapsing field induced a very high voltage in the secondary that triggered the flash tube. It was simple and reliable with only big capacitor and step up induction coil/transformer to generate the several thousand volts needed for the flash tube to fire. Those switch contacts had several hundred volts across them. If installed in the shoe of a modern camera that old flash would have that several hundred volts across a switching transistor in a modern camera that was designed for less than 60 volts, and the trigger control voltage in modern flash and cameras is TTL level, 5 volts.

    A breakthrough in control came with the addition of a Thyristor in flash unites to do the switching with a small gate control voltage. Thyristors are mult-junction silicon diodes that act as a switch with a small voltage applied to one of the layers of the diode. Flash units with that were labeled with that name since it was a selling point. Those are OK with modern cameras. You can still use a modern camera with old pre-Thyristor models with the addition of a little shoe mounted adaptor that performs the same duty as the Thyristor, isolating the camera from the higher flash voltage and responding to the 5 volt control signal. My $5 Vivitar had a label "Electronic switching" which meant low voltage control signal. The going price of the very well made Nikon SB-28 that has some auto functions, is only about $25-30. They last forever.
    For casual shooting, iTTL auto exposure is good, but the mode that really is cool is iTTL BL which stands for Balanced flash. That works in Nikon Matrix metering mode that meters the whole scene with a little bias for the focus point. The BL feature relies on the fact that there are two independent metering systems in play. The scene exposure is handled by Matrix and sets camera Exposure Triad settings for proper exposure of the scene. But the flash as a mind of its own, it using the same sensor but reads the focus point spot meter reading and adjusts the flash output to properly expose that spot. Imagine taking that common image of your friend with the setting sun in the background or in a room where there is good background light but your friend is between the camera and bright background. In Matrix mode, the bright background is going to determine exposure which means your friend is very dark, under exposed. You could switch to spot metering on her face but a bright background will be badly over exposed. Instead, you turn on the flash, matrix sets camera exposure for the bright scene and your flash only meters the focus point so adds light to properly exposure the person while the camera took care of properly exposing the scene. Almost magic. Nikon cameras and Nikon style flash do that really well. But so do all the 3rd party flash units nowadays. The TTL BL mode on my Yongnuo 568ex flash does it perfectly also.
    That is the first function for which you might really think it is a pretty smart system. But switching to manual exposure mode the opens all sorts of options. Say you are in a party and you want a little of the ambience seen in the background but the subject is your friend in in the foreground. Easy to control the relative brightness of the background and independent control of the subject exposure. Easy, just meter on the scene in M exposure mode, and decide how much of the room you want exposed. Say, 2 stops lower, that gives the colors, and feel but not distracting from the subject so you dial in two major ticks of the meter to the left of the center meter line. Either aperture, shutter or ISO or any combination you want for artistic reasons, stopping down aperture increases the depth of field that is in focus, so if you want it blurred, open the aperture wide while lowering ISO and increasing shutter speed. or any other combination of the Triad control of exposure to under expose the scene by 2 stops. Now, your flash will meter the focus point ignoring the matrix scene calculations and expose the subject properly by setting its flash power to expose the subject well. Take the photos and your subject is properly exposed and the background is clear but not dominate in the image. It gives a sense of the ambience without competing with the subject.
    You can the same by brightening a dark scene by a looong shutter. And with focus point on the foreground subject, the Matrix metering wll bring up the exposure with time the shutter is open so the background has rich saturated colors and almost fully exposed say at 1/10 of a second. Normally you or your subject would be blurred by motion at 1/10 of a second but subject exposure will be due to flash, and it metered spot for a very short flash pulse, 1/10,000-1/20,000 of a second that freezes the subject even if moving fast, and properly exposed. A very long shutter speed for room ambience is called Dragging the Shutter. In dance clubs I often shot at 1/6 sec and ISO 400 with f/2.8-4 to get the foreground subject in crystal sharp focus and the background filled with light trails and color streaks and blurred background dance movement that displays the party ambience but the subject in razor fine focus.
    TTL BL mode is very cool and can work great for balancing a rising moon background with a subject in the foreground or in any scene where the background has a different exposure requirement than the near subject. You can do the exact same thing in full manual mode for flash and background exposure. After a few hundred shots like that, you can just glance at a scene and know how much the background has to be exposed for for your intended purpose and how much flash you need to dial in of flash power.

    Flash and strobes are very fundamental to creative and art photography. Anyone who avoids flash because they see bad examples is about the same as buying a Ferrari Fxx and never taking it above first gear. They missing the real value of what they have.
    Flash is of course not the only light sources, just as important for outdoor shooting are gobos, scrims,gels, snoots, flags and reflectors, all possible to make yourself and get pro results. But for another post.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    WayneF's Avatar

    Re: SB-700 / SB-800 on D5300

    Quote Originally Posted by ejronin View Post
    I can't see a huge difference between the 700 and 800 in the user manuals other than a bit more power, wider coverage, and faster recycle in the 800.

    Does anyone have experience regarding either they'd share with regard to a better decision for learning and applying in a more realistic "enthusiast" level of photography?
    The SB-700 also has the DX zoom mode, however, it has weaker options in Commander mode. And it is a weaker flash than the SB-800 or Yongnuo. Power is a big factor for bounce flash, and bounce flash is the way to go (when possible).

    I agree that the Yongnuo flashes are very good, and fully powered, and bargain priced, very hard to ignore. The Nikon flashes are also very good, but no price bargain.

    One thing the Nikon flashes offer that third party flashes don't is that the flash Ready Indicator is seen in the camera view finder with Nikon flashes. The one in the viewfinder becomes meaningless for other brand flashes.

    But one strong thing the SB-800 offers (and the SB-910, and one Metz model), that the SB-700 or other brands don't have, is the menu to select TTL vs TTL BL metering mode.

    The TTL menu just means automatic metered flash. The camera metering system then has two modes for it, called TTL or TTL BL. Camera Spot Metering will select TTL (but Spot refers only to ambient, it does not refer to the flash, the flash has its own metering zone). Otherwise, the camera metering default is TTL BL mode.

    Nikon cameras are TTL BL by default. TTL BL is "balanced fill flash". And it is very nice in many outdoor situations in bright sun. TTL mode is not balanced, the flash does whatever the flash meters, independent of and regardless of whatever the ambient meters (which means outdoor TTL fill flash will be greatly overexposed without manual compensation, which of course, we know to do about -1 2/3 EV FC then). Other brand flashes and the SB-700 will cause TTL BL metering, which is automation that handles the outdoors flash compensation itself, nicely too.

    But indoors with bounce flash, I find I am always in SB-800 TTL mode (meaning the TTL menu mode that is NOT TTL BL mode).

    TTL metering mode means that if you want more or less flash than you're getting, Flash Compensation directly controls it.

    TTL BL mode is doing other automated things too, and Flash Compensation may or may not have the exact expected result.

    My own notion is that TTL vs. TTL BL metering mode certainly ought to be a Nikon camera menu option, but it's not. Spot metering is generally the only way, but that also has other very strong effects in bright ambient.
    Last edited by WayneF; 06-30-2017 at 04:43 PM.
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    Wayne

    Flash and Camera Fundamentals We Should Know





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