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Nikon Sb-600 vs Sb-700

Amel D , Jan 05, 2012; 12:43 a.m.

I found a really good deal on SB600 that is 1 year old and the guy says he used it only once. He is about 45 minutes away from where I live. Price is $150. Please advise how good of a deal this is. Also I wanted to purchase SB700 but for the price savings what will I not get in SB600 that SB700 has to offer. I've never used a speedlight before and I am not sure how much/how often I will use it.

Thank you!

Responses


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John Williamson , Jan 05, 2012; 01:19 a.m.

That's a very good deal. Many used ones are selling for MORE then they sold new, when they were still made. Check the prices at KEH.com . I think you're getting it at near half price of what they sell used ones for.

Brian Choong , Jan 05, 2012; 02:39 a.m.

I use speed light for dinner reception at Hotel ballroom or restaurant
The light there is dim and yellowish
I test to shoot with SB600, SB800, SB700 before
And now I throw SB600 and SB800 and only use SB700
I always use default setting as TTL on the speedlight
SB700 by default the light is abit blue, when the light from SB700 hit with the yellowish light, I can get very nice skintone just by default
Mean while, SB800, by default if mix with yellowish env light, the skin tone will be yellow.
Same things goes to SB600
As a wedding photographer, speed is very important, the on off switch on SB700 is very direct, turn it on or off
But on SB800/SB600, you need to press and hold the button
I know you can set the FN button to off the speedlight, but sometime the on off button really help
My advice, get the SB700, and it come together with the diffuser but SB600 NO

Rodeo Joe , Jan 05, 2012; 06:06 a.m.

Brian, deciding which is the best flash on the basis of skin tones in mixed lighting won't be of interest to everyone. In fact, with a different venue and different ambient lighting, you might find that one of the other Speedlights gave a better result. Also, if the direction of the ambient light differs from that of the flash, you'll get blue highlights and yellowish shadows; something that nobody wants to see. What you should do in this situation is to filter the flash to match the ambient light, setting the WB accordingly, and then it doesn't much matter what the exact colour of the flash-light is to start with.

Personally I wouldn't worry too much about the startup time either. Any flash switched on from "cold" is going to need time to charge, so another second or so spent pressing an on/off button isn't much of a big deal. If you're working in near-darkness by feel or have the flash perched on top of a high stand, it's often easier to find and use a pushbutton than a small multi-position switch that could easily be set to the wrong position. A bigger consideration for me would be the slightly lower stated power of the SB-700.

Amel. The downloadable manuals for the SB-600 and SB-700 are here, so you can see the differences for yourself.

Shun Cheung , Jan 05, 2012; 06:28 a.m.

When you buy a used camera or a used lens, you can tell its condition by inspection and get a pretty good idea about that. In particular, with modern DSLRs, you can check the shutter actuation count.

The problem with flash is that it is much harder to tell its condition. If it is about to fall apart, of course that would be obvious. Otherwise, how heavy it has been used and whether the flash bulb has suffered any over-heating is hard to tell. If you are buying it from a friend or a friend of a friend type, perhaps you can trust the current owner's description. Otherwise, it will be totally up to your own judgement.

There should be little doubt that the SB-700 has easier controls similar to those on the SB-900 and SB-910. The SB-700 can function as a Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System) master while the SB-600 cannot. The SB-700 has a built-in white bounce card and the SB-600 doesn't. Since I don't use my SB-600 much, I always need to look up how to set it as a CLS slave. The SB-700, 900, and 910 are a lot more intuitive.

If you don't use flash much, a SB-600 should be good enough. Whether that particular unit is lightly used or abused, it'll be up to you to judge.

Ilkka Nissila , Jan 05, 2012; 07:03 a.m.

I think the SB-700 is the nicest flash Nikon has made. It can act as master, remote or commander and can act as "dumb" optical slave as well, if you need more range (distance) than CLS allows. The SB-600 cannot be used to command other flashes with CLS features; it can be used as on camera flash if you don't use other flashes at the same time in CLS mode. The SB-600 doesn't have SU-4 remote mode so you have to get a separate trigger if you want it to be used as a remote outside of the range of CLS. The SB-700 has a nice interface that doesn't have too many buttons and the dial lets you adjust the flash power, exposure compensation, and zoom. The SB-700 not too big to use as on-camera flash and it gives greater freedom to point the flash head in different directions (similar to SB-900) than the SB-600 or 800. In particular I sometimes shoot portraits so that I have the window light as ambient and I bounce the flash up and behind me far away to the ceiling so that the light is softer and more frontal than if I had bounced it forward and up. I can do this with SB-600/800 but I need to turn the camera so that my right hand is below the camera which I find unergonomic. With the 700/900(/910) the flash will turn also in this orientation.

The SB-900 is quite big in comparison and nowadays I use it as remote because it makes the camera less balanced if I put it on camera. It's a bit more powerful than the 700 and allows a broader selection of zoom settings but these factors are not that important to me. What is important to me is that the 900 (and 800) have the PC sync terminal so a manual radio receiver can be connected to it without adapter so this makes it well suited as a remote flash also in situations that are outside of the range of CLS.

John Deerfield , Jan 05, 2012; 01:08 p.m.

Pete S. , Jan 05, 2012; 01:53 p.m.

The SB-700 has more functions and are easier to use but the SB-600 is slightly more powerful and faster to use. For $150 it's a no-brainer. If you don't like it you can sell it for the same money.

Dave Bryce , Jan 05, 2012; 02:22 p.m.

I like my SB-600 but I don't use it a lot so that price would sound good to me but it would come do to what you need (or want).

Simon Jenkins , Jan 05, 2012; 04:05 p.m.

The SB 600 is more powerful than the 700? Why is it more expensive then?


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