A&P Nikon D40 Flash Unit? (SB400?)

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by mooingmooseman, Jun 28, 2008.

  1. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    Thinking about getting a flash unit for my D40. The only thing I want to use flash for is for bounce flash when I'm indoors. Maybe fill flash but that will be rarer.

    Ken Rockwell seems to favor the sb400 (my other alternative would be the sb600) just for the size and since I don't need fancy slave + master remote functions and w/e, sb400 looks fine for me.

    My main question (aside from is sb400 a good choice) is regarding the proper exposures when using flash. Does the camera know I'm about to fire a flash? I shoot in A mode... so do I need to manually set up exposure compensation/ flash comp?? If so... how do I know how much to go down or up?

    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2008
  2. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    Oh? Why do you not like A and what do you recommend instead?

    I use A because the only thing I would ever want to change is Aperture for DOF. It wouldn't kill me to use P either but then, sometimes I don't get the DOF I'm looking for.

    And you said the camera automatically adjusts for the flash. That means the shutterspeed will be faster than without the flash when I'm in A correct?

    Will I need to use exposure compensation to make up for the bad metering of the camera AND the bad metering of the flash now? And is there any difference to exposure comp vs flash comp? Thanks for all your help!
     
  3. themolsen

    themolsen New Member

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    SB400 isn't bad. if you're going to be mostly doing snapshot-type stuff, it's great. it makes a good bounce and you can get a stofen diffuser for it.

    however, you may quickly desire the sb600 for its bajillion more features and flexibility. just a heads up - the 600 isn't all that much more.

    if you think you may even slightly possibly want more flash features, GET THE SB600. don't make the same mistake i did
     
  4. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    i absolutely agree and i was just thinking that before i came here to see if anyone posted.

    the only thing about the 600 is that it is so bulky, it would make it difficult for me to use. i KNOW i will often be too lazy to carry it around. from my research it doesn't sound like the 600 has a lot more features that i'll need though. the only thing i can think of is remote abilities? i'll say right now, i can never imagine needing that. please let me know if there is a feature you think that is extremely good on the 600?

    that said, i do eventually want to move to a mid-range camera (around $1000, like the d80 at it's prime). just feels like the 600 wouldn't even offer me anything more there either though.
     
  5. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    did you delete your post, bloke? o_O
     
  6. themolsen

    themolsen New Member

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    I also like the manual flash functions and the fact that the flash itself zooms. also, when using a ttl-cord, it's easier to hold in my hand :o. plus, the 600 rotates so you can bounce it when shooting vertical. you can't do that with the 400

    honestly, I think you'll end up buying an sb-600 or 800 eventually anyways. the 400 will do what you need now, but once you start shooting flash you very quickly want to experiment with it.

    it's your call, but I'm just telling you how it happened for me
     
  7. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    Just reading from kenrockwell, he said the zoom is automatic when you zoom your lens, no? (And what does zooming the flash actually mean... isn't it just adjusting the strength?)

    What does the manual flash function allow you to do, making it stronger/weaker?

    It's only a little big more than the sb400 i guess....
     
  8. Yoritomo

    Yoritomo dad's jar chimer

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    Get the sb600.
     
  9. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    wah. peer pressure. want to give me your reasons?

    can someone else confirm that the d40 will adjust exposure in A mode when I attach a flash? and also help me understand the difference between flash comp vs exposure comp
     
  10. Yoritomo

    Yoritomo dad's jar chimer

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    The sb600 can focus the beam of light to different zoom lengths, FP sync... although i don't think that matters with the d40. Wireless CLS... doesn't matter with the d40.

    The focal distance adjustment is a pretty big deal though.

    The only on that can do auto fill without a pre-flash is the sb-800.
     
  11. Yoritomo

    Yoritomo dad's jar chimer

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    I also wouldn't listen to Ken Rockwell too much. He tends to troll. I much prefer reading Thom Hogan's stuff if you're looking for a Nikon dude.
     
  12. psykosis

    psykosis Go placidly amid the noise and the haste

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    I use the 600 and love it. And I bought it not for the features, but for the ability to tilt and rotate the flash. It makes a huge difference.


    I really need to figure out how to use the features on the flash.
     
  13. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    you guys are saying it can rotate for when yo shoot vertical? i don't see the pivot for that on any of the pictures...
     
  14. Dwight Schrute

    Dwight Schrute New Member

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    Yes, of course it will. It has TTL (through the lens) metering. Very accurate. You can basically set your aperture to anything you want and your exposure will be perfect.

    But keep in mind TTL is pretty boring. The real fun is when you control it manually.

    Remember flash exposure = aperture + flash to subject distance + ISO. Shutter speed has no affect on flash exposure. Use shutter speed to control ambient light.
     
  15. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    question for you, mooseman:

    why do you want an external flash? What are you expecting to gain from it? What features interest you most? What problems are you having with your on-board flash that you hope to correct with the new purchase?

    In all honestly, the ONLY feature you are gaining with the 400 is the ability to ceiling bounce. Thats it. The 400 will automatically meter and adjust itself to your camera settings, much like your onboard flash will. If you point the flash at your subject, it will look identical to your on-board flash because of its low position, which is very similar to the on-board. You cannot set it manually, you cannot take it off camera, and you cannot adjust the angle of the bounce outside of the vertical 90 degree bounce.

    If thats ok with you, then get it. IMO, you're paying a lot of money for ONE feature, but thats up to you.

    With the 600, you get everything you get with the 400 + more options.

    4 batteries > 2 batteries. This means a more powerful flash, faster recycle times and longer life between charges. Even if you're just bouncing your flash off of the ceiling, these are all very useful features to have.

    Changing bounce location - want to bounce the flash off of a wall to make it look like soft sunlight coming through a window? Easy, just turn the flash to the direction of the wall. Can't do that with a 400.

    Shooting vertical, still want to bounce off the ceiling? 600>400

    get the itch to shoot off camera flash? 600>400

    get a new camera that has a commander mode for off camera flash? 600>400


    But again, these are all features that you may not care for.

    I have 3 sb-600's. (just picked up the 3rd a couple days ago...) I use them off camera almost exclusively these days. Whether it be connected through the Nikon CLS system or poverty wizards, It lets me do ANYTHING I could possibly want in regards to lighting.

    Even if i'm just shooting pics of my dog in the house, I'll hold my flash off camera with one hand and the camera in the other, giving me MUCH better lighting than you could ever achieve with the flash on top of the camera, bounced or not.

    But lighting has taken over my life these days. So take my advice with a grain of salt...
     
  16. Harry Pothead

    Harry Pothead EAT IT!

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    I'm pretty happy with my sb600 for my d40x, seems i'm going to go pick up a sb800 for main and then cls the sb600 for strobist reasons :o

    225 for a basically brand new sb800 is a good deal right? Comes with box/accesories/papers. Guy said he only used it for a graduation. Yeah for cragislist.
     
  17. psykosis

    psykosis Go placidly amid the noise and the haste

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    spins on both horizontal and vertical axis with multiple locking stations on each.

    Has a built in diffuser also, not that it's that great.
     
  18. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    jared,

    to be honest yeah, all i wanted was bounce flash + fill flash. fill the build in can do so really just the bounce. Tired of shooing indoors without any flash...

    you make a good point about where i want to bounce. didn't think that maybe i don't want it to be bouncing up.... think I might go with the 600 but will go to adorama to test first. thanks guys!
     
  19. ok_computer

    ok_computer OT Supporter

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    no brainer dude, the 600 is better in every way possible. plus the 400 looks so fucking dorky :ugh:
     

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