Saturday, February 21, 2009

Flashes for strobbing

Ever since David Hobby started the strobist, there has been a rise in the number of people who use off-camera flash strobes, and with that came the demand for old flashes to be used as strobes. You could, of course, spend 2 to 5 times more just to get the latest speedlight, but because a lot of strobbing depends on manual flash settings, an old flash would do just as well. With David Hobby telling the strobist world to "Steal This Flash - The Nikon SB-24", these older models of Nikon flashes have increased in their price on the 2nd hand market.

A brand Nikon SB-600 cost about $350 and a new SB-900 about $680. The SB-800s have been discontinued, but if you can find them at a good price, it is worth getting. Nikon flashes have been known for their consistent output, reliability and durability. Hence, many old Nikon flashes have come back to life as off-camera strobes. These old Nikon flashes go for around $150 each.

The one thing I look for in the flash for strobbing is that it should have a sync terminal. The reason being that the connection from the Pocket Wizard Plus II to the flash is through this sync terminal. Unfortunately, the SB-600 does not have a sync terminal, and a hotshoe adaptor with a sync terminal has to be used, and the SB-600 to be mounted on the hotshoe adaptor. Not all flashes have this sync terminal, but if you can find any of the following at a good price, it is worth grabbing them.

Nikon SB-24 (1988)
Nikon SB-25 (1992)
Nikon SB-26 (1994)
Nikon SB-28 (1997)
Nikon SB-28DX (1999)
Nikon SB-80DX (2002)
Nikon SB-800 (2003)
Nikon SB-900 (2008)

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