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Used Nikon SB-800

Louis Rosenthal , Feb 15, 2010; 11:28 a.m.

In about an hour I'm going to go try out and probably buy a used SB-800 (for around half price of the SB-900)
I was hoping some one could name a few issues to look out for so that if i'm being cheated into buying a faulty flash, i'll be able to recognize it as such in a matter of minutes.

What are common issues with the SB-800?
thanks in advance,


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chauncey huffman , Feb 15, 2010; 11:33 a.m.

I haven't had many problems with mine, but I would check the battery terminals if I were you. I've had to clean corrosion twice off of mine and I use regular Duracell rechargeables. I don't leave them in there longer than need be, but for some reason I've had corrosion issues. It was nothing major though, and the flash works fine.

David Haas , Feb 15, 2010; 11:43 a.m.

make sure it fires and works in all modes...

Also make sure that accessories are included. These would be (at a minimum) - the 5th battery holder, the filters, stand, case.

Make sure that the head zooms (put it on a Nikon with a zoom lens) head should zoom in and out with the lens.


Louis Rosenthal , Feb 15, 2010; 12:12 p.m.

what differences in terms of power should i expect between my 1yr-old SB-600, my brand new SB-900 and the 2.5yr-old SB-800?

Jerry Litynski , Feb 15, 2010; 12:18 p.m.

"what differences in terms of power should i expect between my 1yr-old SB-600, my brand new SB-900 and the 2.5yr-old SB-800?"

Flash tubes (with different dates of manufacture) may have a variety of light intensities, depending on how heavy the use of the unit has seen. My guess... if you try to get perfect, even illumination from three different Nikon speedlights (the SB-600, the SB-900, and the SB-800) you probably should look into some studio lighting and a softbox or decent flash umbrella set-up.

Peter Hamm , Feb 15, 2010; 12:29 p.m.

flashes have a fixed life. If it's an older and much-used SB800, you could get it for half the price of an SB900 and it might last less than half as long... making it more expensive...

I won't buy a used flash unless the deal is just ridiculous... and even then probably not.

Louis Rosenthal , Feb 15, 2010; 12:41 p.m.

SB-800 (used) for CHF 275; SB-600 (new) 310; SB-900 (new) 450.-
I'll ask what it was used for and i'll do a side by side test between the 900 and the 800 at same FX zoom and full burst. thanks for everyone's help!

Devon McCarroll , Feb 15, 2010; 02:41 p.m.

Are you saying an SB600 is $310?? BH Photo has it for $218, so wherever you've seen those prices is overpriced. I wouldn't go for a used flash either, because you never know how much use it has left in it.

Louis Rosenthal , Feb 15, 2010; 04:07 p.m.

no, it's 310 francs, (about $280) here in switzerland. unfortunately it would end up about 260 francs after shipping and tax and all of that from adorama or BH (funny thing, BH means bra in german :D), if there were to be any problems with it, i might as well buy a new one in terms of shipping costs and all that. the absolute cheapest place sells for 280 francs, so getting them from the states to save $20 wouldn't be worth the hassle.
anyways, i got the SB-800 with a one month warranty, a lambency-diffuser (cheap rip off of the rip off GF), 5th batt. compartment, but no stand or lighting filters for 255.-. i figure i have the stands from my SB-900 and SB-600, not to mention lumiquest gel holders with rosco gels, so all in all i should be totally fine :)

thanks again to everyone for the quick replies, this forum is great! :)


Dave Lee , Feb 15, 2010; 09:16 p.m.

Funny I thought Switzerland was in the Euro zone. That and the UK decided against it. I was lucky enough to buy a brand new SB-800 a few months before they were discontinued. Love that flash, and a great upgrade from the 600, which I sold. Recently bought the little SB-400 to mount on my P6000. What a great combo!

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