Need a new external flash

Had a question about using a name-brand vs. generic external flash to attach to this reader’s DSLR. I wanted to share the thread for others who may be similarly interested!

  • I want to buy the nikon SB600 it should be compatible with D90 and does it use 4 AA? What do you think would a generic flash work just as well? what do you think?

I’ve heard good things about the Nikon SB600. The main question is whether you will be inclined to bring it with you when you are shooting portraits outside of home. It definitely makes the camera a lot heavier! This often comes as a surprise to photographers getting into flash photography.

Another alternative is to try a simple flash diffuser for about $15. This wraps around your built-in flash. Results are likely not as good, but certainly easier to carry and cheaper to try. 

  • I think it is OK. I have used the Sunpak 400 attached to hot shoe and the camera is not overweight. Let me see if I can find out the weight for the SB600. The $15 diffuser are you talking about attaching to the pop up flash?

Yes, the $15 diffuser just attaches to the pop-up flash. But it sounds like you are pretty interested in external flash. =] The Nikon SB600 is about 10 oz. without batteries.

  • You are right. I just saw some videos on lighting and I notice that the wedding or portrait photographer have 2 -4 remote slave flash units. I like the idea of bounce up down and all around lighting. One guy used blue gel and some glasses to create a blue background, it was cool.

Yup, you can do that for portraits too. In this photo, the wall was actually white, but we made it magenta with a 2nd flash with a gel:

If you mostly want to do bounce flash, you might also want to look into the Lightscoop modifier product, which bounces your popup flash into the ceiling. Pretty simple $25 concept, but I’ve also heard quite a few people are happy with it. But of course, if you’re looking to recolor background walls, and other fancy tricks, you’re going to have to investing in at least one external flash (and a pack of colored gels to mount on the flash).



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