Flashgun for Nikon Df

BaltonskiBaltonski Posts: 9Member
edited April 2014 in Nikon Flashes
Long time lurker here :-). I recently decided to move up to FX from DX (since most of the glass I own is from the film era such as 35-70 f2.8D, 85 f 1.4D, 50 f 1.4 AIS, 20 f 2.8D). I went into a store with the intention of buying a Nikon D 610 and came out with a Nikon Df Kit in black. I have old flash guns from film era for my F90X and F100 and they probably will not work on a digital body. I can get SB-400, SB-700 as well as SB-910 here in Turkey. However, going from 400 to 700 triples the price while 700 to 910 is only a hundred bucks difference. So, my question is, would I loose too much if I went for SB-400 over the other choices. A certain site that I dare speak of :-) also recommends the SB-400. Hence your feedback is most welcome...


  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,396Member
    IMO the SB-400 is great for on camera fill flash. Not so great for other things such as ceiling or wall bounce because it lacks power. It has sufficient power for outside fill flash or for on camera direct flash but not for bouncing your flash off a wall or ceiling. Of course, you can compensate for power by increasing your ISO and that should not be much of a problem with the Df which has very clean very high ISOs. I recently shot a series of portraits with LED lighting at ISO 3,000 to ISO 5,000 on a D600 and was amazed at how clean the files printed at 8x10. One thing about the SB-400 which cannot be beat is the fact that it is small, doesn't stick up high on the camera body so it balances nicely and you can tilt the flash tube up for bounce. I will often tilt is up for bounce in a small room or a room without a high ceiling and stick a small white square cut from a business card in the slot behind the flash tube to create catchlights in the eyes. I suggest you buy the SB-400 and use it to its max. Later add more power, the SB-910, when you feel you must have it. I don't think you will like mounting an SB-900 in your Df body and will want to use it mounted on a light stand off camera.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    I was considering a Df for a long time and one of the weaknesses is the lack of on board flash that made me decide on the D610 instead. However i did find some possible alternatives...

    * Yongnuo YN-565 EX
    * You can also use it with the Master Transmiter which can help with AF assist - http://www.amazon.com/YONGNUO-Wireless-Speedlite-Transmitter-Camera/dp/B0055QPKKE

    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    edited April 2014

    Your old flash (SB-26?) will work with modern DSLRs including the Df -- just not in TTL mode. I.e., you can use the flash in Manual mode or in (non-TTL) Auto mode.

    Having a modern CLS flash such as the SB-400 is much more convenient, but if you don't want to buy a flash right away then you can certainly use your old speedlight in the meantime, assuming the flash is still in good working order.
    Post edited by Ade on
  • MikeGunterMikeGunter Posts: 543Member
    Hi all,

    And since you can set the SB-26 use the settings in manual; it's perfect for the Df... ;-)

    My best always,

  • blandbland Posts: 812Member
    Congrats on getting the Df, you're going to love it!
    I would get the SB700, it' not that much more than the SB400 and you can bounce light at will, plus it's much better.
    My SB400 used to get hot when shooting a lot with it. I've never had that problem with the SB700, awesome speedlight.
  • WesleyWesley Posts: 67Member
    Using SB-28 in A mode on the D700.
    It works fine but setting the ISO & aperture the same with camera/flashgun doesn't give me proper exposure so I chimp for the right setting and it's good to go.
    The IR AF assist doesn't work on the digital cams.
    D700: 24-70 2.8, 85 1.8G
    D3100: 18-55
    A7II: 16-35 F4, 55 1.8, 70-200 F4
  • BaltonskiBaltonski Posts: 9Member
    I actually have 3 flash units: SB-27, SB-28 and SB-800. The 800 is huge compared to 27 and to the 400 which I have my eye on. This would be for travelling, street-photo and for fill-in only.

    Nevertheless, thanks guys for all the feedback. For the moment I will stick with what I got but need to locate the manual for the 800 and 28.

  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Well you can use all three with your Df. :)

    The SB-800 has full CLS / iTTL compatibility with the Df, while the older SB-27/28 units will only work in manual flash mode or the non-TTL auto flash mode.

    See pages 118-121 of your Df manual for more info.
  • ThomasHortonThomasHorton Posts: 323Member
    Because of the retro look of the DF, you might want to consider a hammerhead flash. It kinda goes with the retro look.
    Gear: Camera obscura with an optical device which transmits and refracts light.
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