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External flash for Nikon D70

Sanjay Modi , May 23, 2005; 12:26 p.m.

Hi, I want to buy a simple and inexpensive external flash for my Nikon D70. Flashes recommended by Nikon for D70, SB600 and SB800 are more expensive than what I am willing to pay right now. Can someone recommend a flash that is compatible with D70 and not as costly as SB600/800.

Thanks, - Sanjay

Responses

Peter Nelson , May 23, 2005; 12:51 p.m.

You didn't define "compatible".

The day before yesterday I shot a wedding with a D100 and a 20D, each with their own bracket-mounted Sunpak 383. I used the flashes both in automatic mode and manually - in manual mode I used everything from full to 1/16th power. I used them for straight-ahead fully-flash illuminated family posed shots, to outdoor fill lighting, to indoor shots backlit by floor-to-ceiling windows, to lighting up a dance hall by bouncing off a (high) ceiling. I took hundreds of shots and I don't think I got any seriously badly lit ones.

So if you don't need TTL flash metering then the Sunpak 383 is cheap, easy, and powerful.

BW Combs , May 23, 2005; 12:54 p.m.

You can use almost any low-voltage flash on the D70. The kicker is that you will have to use them in non-TTL/iTTL mode. So you can't take advantage of the wonderful Creative Lighting System built into the D70 and the SB800/SB600.

I used a Vivitar 2500 for a while until I spent the money on a SB600. It worked very well, but I had to do a lot of preshots to get the exposure and such just right.

Also, Sigma and Metz make dedicated flashes now for the Nikon DSLRs. I don't know anything about them, other than they are probably priced below Nikon's brand.

Save your money, and get the 600 or 800 down the road. Their worth it.

Scott Carlsson , May 23, 2005; 02:57 p.m.

Use the pop-up until you can swing an SB800.

Sanjay Modi , May 23, 2005; 07:03 p.m.

By compatible flash I mean the one that can be attached to D70 and will be fired automatically when I shoot. (No sync. problems or delays). I am not planning to use any of the creative lighting features right now, I only want to avoid to underexposed indoor/night pictures even when using the built-in flash. I tried to find out the Sunpak 383, but looks like not many stores are carrying it. Can you point to some store?

Peter Nelson , May 23, 2005; 10:16 p.m.

By compatible flash I mean the one that can be attached to D70 and will be fired automatically when I shoot. (No sync. problems or delays). I am not planning to use any of the creative lighting features right now, I only want to avoid to underexposed indoor/night pictures even when using the built-in flash. I tried to find out the Sunpak 383, but looks like not many stores are carrying it. Can you point to some store?

I've never heard of a major store that DOESN'T carry it - it's one of the most popular units on the market! I bought mine at Hunt's in Massachusetts. B&H has it for $69.95. I think you would have more problems finding a place that doesn't have it than one that has it.

Lukas Kisiel , May 24, 2005; 09:42 a.m.

You got me worried, no stores carry Sunpak 383? Vivitar 283 and Sunpak 383 are classic, powerful, auto flash units. They are great to learn flash techniques and they are easy to use. It's only $70! Strongly recommended. They aren't SB800 but work very well.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=52799&is=REG http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=productlist&A=details&Q=&sku=61440&is=REG

Sanjay Modi , May 24, 2005; 08:44 p.m.

OK. I checked local stores. None of the Ritz camera outlets has Sunpak 283 or 383. Also some of the reputed photography equipment shops also doesn't have it. Of course it's available on internet.

Dan Rodeck , May 29, 2005; 06:17 p.m.

Sanjay,

Ritz camera stores sell the Quantaray Q383 Super Flash which is made for them by Sunpak. It is a Sunpak 383 Super with a Quantaray name on it. But, if you buy this flash as opposed to buying the Sunpak model, you'll pay $20-30 more for it, even on line. You've got some links to B&H in other responses above and you can search for Sunpak on Pricegrabber, etc. Here's the link to the Ritz Quantaray Q383.

(link)

I use the Sunpak 383 on my D70 with no problems. But, it doesn't do i-TTL so the camera can't talk to the flash since the 383 can't do TTL and is not a dedicated flash. You need to use the flash in auto or manual mode. I like the variable manual power settings on the 383 because I can use it with a light stand and umbrella in a studio setting when I'm not using it right on the hot shoe. Finally, I'd recommend getting a Sto-fen Omni-Bounce to put on the flash when you want to diffuse the flash and get a softer lighting effect. Here's a link: (link)

Good luck.

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