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Nikon SB-700 Speed light , Black (FSA03901) (Australian warranty)
- This product includes Australian warranty and support
- Versatile intelligent TTL Speedlight
- Multi-step power-zoom
- Centre-weighted, Even and Standard illumination patterns
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Master, Commander (2 Groups) or Remote Unit. 24-120mm coverage. Exposure Control. Vertical and Horizontal tilt.. Guide Number 39 (ISO 200, m) Versatile intelligent TTL Speedlight Multi-step power-zoom D2
Visible screen diagonal
3" / 8 cm
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Top international reviews
- off-camera, there has to be a clear line of sight from the camera’s popup and the flash unit, otherwise nothing happens. The sensor on the flash unit is only on its right-hand side, but it is quite sensitive to the popup signal
- ambient light can confuse the monitoring system
Using the flash unit’s Manual Mode is an alternative – off-camera requires a PC lead from camera to flash unit or a radio transmission/receiving system set up on both, or the use of iTTL trigger. In Manual Mode, the flash unit does not acknowledge the camera's ISO and Aperture settings. Most sensible flash units allow the input of the ISO and F-Stop settings which are being used on the camera – but not the Speedlight. The Guide Number is given (this is the distance of the flash unit to the subject, multiplied by the F-Stop (ie GN of 28 at 100 ISO provides light to 7 metres at F4 or 4 metes at F7 etc or it will reach 7 metres at F8 at 400 ISO). The only control of the light intensity is to employ the Speedlight’s facility to fire at maximum, or ½, ¼ etc of its maximum. Discovering the percentage of this maximum requires a tape measure, a calculator, paper and pencil, strong coffee/tea and a string of mathematical equations – this is insanity. Nikon should publish a selection of suggested maximum percentages, across a range of distances, F-Stops and ISOs. The flash unit comes with a decent pouch, coloured filters, a removeable foot and a useful manual in English.
- in iTTL Mode, switch off the camera’s popup flash, unless it is really needed. The information is still sent to the flash unit
- disable unused matching groups, to reduce the number of preflashes from the camera
- the flash unit has various choices of narrow or wide-angle light dispersal. Ensure that the focal length of the camera’s lens is not wider than that set on the flash unit, otherwise there will be a fall-off of light at the edges of the shot
- if the camera is a Nikon, use flash white balance, not auto white balance, as Nikons can produce a bluish tint
My first SB-700 (not from Amazon) didn't come with any manual or example brochure but I was told Nikon had dropped the printed version in favour of on-line for environmental reasons! Not a big deal, the retailer knocked the price down and I bought a manual direct from Nikon for around £6. This SB-700 (from Amazon) came complete with English & Spanish editions of both the manual and example brochure. This Speedlight is quite intuitive to use, but the manual (and brochure) are definitely needed for reference or if you intended to use it to it's full potential.
Although I considered a SB-910 for the extra power, the larger size, weight and extra £100+ put me off (for now). A well made, superb piece of kit and it's a Nikon. Nuff said.
(Edit: Noticed a slight alteration/improvement to the battery door release on this purchase over previous)
I plumped for this model because of (a) compatibility with my Nikon (although you can get 3rd party products that will do similar, I wanted this to be idiot proof out of the box - TTFL deals with all the dull stuff whilst I just shooy), (b) the ability to angle/bounce flash is absolute must, (c) it comes with a couple of diffusing options (pop on cover, in built 'frosted' cover and the simple yet super effective in-built white bounce card
Although it isn't as powerful as the professional SB-800 or SB-910, I have to stress that it's very bright! I could easily shoot my model with the sun behind her and have plenty of fill from the flash on an early summer afternoon.
Recycle time is very very fast, especially that you will rarely need to approach maximum power, which means most of the time you can just shoot without waiting at all between shots.
The controls on the flash are very simple and intuitive. I never had problems finding what I wanted. The only thing that lacks polish is the feel of the dial: it feels a bit cheep and doesn't click at the same time as it registers the rotation. This doesn't really affect use though, and the SB-700 is a really great flash that I definitely recommend.
Comes as a compact kit in a slightly-padded case with a very good range of accessories - filters, diffusers, bounce card, foot.
I suspect this will be more than adequate as part of a NIkon system for almost all enthusiasts and many semi-pros, and perhaps as part of a pro photographer's array of flashes/strobes.
Not cheap, but definitely of Nikon quality.