www.scantips.com

Basics of Flash Photography

Beginners Guide to Select a Hot Shoe Flash, Part 2 (Nikon)

Chart features a few speedlight models with Nikon compatibility. Nikon brand flashes are great and reliable, but there are inexpensive and popular alternatives. For more info on most, search Google for Brand/Model and the word Review.

Note: 24 mm FX flash zoom will cover 16 mm DX lenses. Wider angle lenses can be possible with wide angle diffusers. With flash indoors, you very likely will be using wide angle much more often than telephoto. Also see next page about comparing flash power with guide number. The speedlight flashes use four AA batteries unless otherwise noted.

Flash
Model
Price US$iTTL
flash
mode
Manual flash modeZoom

FX mm

Guide Number
ISO 100
FX
ft/m
Tilt &
Swivel
for bounce
Pullout Bounce Card /
Wide Angle Diffuser
/ Mini stand
Optical Slave
/ PC Sync / Focus Assist LED
Wireless
Remote
for a Nikon Commdr
Commdr
built into
flash
FP mode (HSS)Notes
Nikon DSLR Internal flash, to compare Yes

 

Yes, from camera menu,
but cannot work stand alone
No zoom

Covers
24 mm FX,
16mm DX

39/13NoNoNo / No / YesNoOnly in some camera models. Controls 2 remote groups A,BNoCommdr can control remote HSS, if internal flash is disabled.
Nikon SB-300
website

Amazon

manual

$147No zoom

Covers
27 mm FX,
18mm DX

59/18120°
T, L, R
NoNo remote operation,
See Note 1

Two AAA batteries

Nikon SB-500
website

Amazon

manual

$247No zoom

Covers
24 mm FX,
16mm DX

78.7/2490°
T, L, R
No/
No/
Yes
NoYes

20 Groups A,B,
On Channel 3

Yes, but only if on a D750 or D810 camera.
Controls 2 remote groups, A,B
Channels 1-4
YesNo remote operation,
See Note 1

Two AA batteries,

Continuous LED for video

Nikon SB-700
website

Amazon

manual

$327Yes
to 1/128 power
24-120 mm

16-85 mm DX

75/23 at 24 mm

125/38 at 120 mm

90° T

180° L
180° R

YesYes / No / Yes

Yes

Remote groups A,B,C
Channels 1-4

Yes, controls 2 remote groups, A,B, which must be same mode.
Channels 1-4
Nikon SB-910
website

Amazon

manual

$54717-200 mm

12-200 mm DX

88/27 at 24 mm

174/53 at 200 mm

Yes Yes,
controls 3 remote groups, A,B,C
Port for external battery pack
Nikon SB-5000
website

Amazon

manual

$597Yes
to 1/256 power
24-200 mm88.5/27 at 24 mm

180/55 at 200 mm

See Note 3

Has full controller and remote capabilities for Both Cmmdr optical mode and ALSO 6 groups of Radio control.
See Note 3
Discontinued Nikon models, FYI
Flash
Model
Price US$iTTL
flash
mode
Manual flash modeZoom

FX mm

Guide Number
ISO 100
FX
ft/m
Tilt &
Swivel
for bounce
Pullout Bounce Card /
Wide Angle Diffuser
/ Mini stand
Optical Slave
/ PC Sync / Focus Assist LED
Wireless
Remote
for a Nikon Commdr
Commdr
built into
flash
FP mode (HSS)Notes
Nikon SB-24

manual

$300 when new

1988

Film TTL,

Not iTTL

Yes,
to 1/16 power
24-85 mm98/30 at 24 mm

164/50 at 85 mm

90° T

180° L
90° R

NoNo / Yes / NoNoSee Note 5
Nikon SB-400

manual

$125 when new

2006

Yes,

iTTL

Yes, from camera menu,
but cannot work stand alone
No zoom

Covers
27 mm FX,
18mm DX

69/21 mm90°
T, L, R
NoNo remote operation,
See Note 1

Two AA batteries

Nikon SB-600

manual

$220 when new

2004

Yes, See Note 2Yes
to 1/64 power
24-85 mm85/26 at 24 mm

131/40 at 85 mm

90° T

180° L
90° R

YesNo / No / YesYes
Remote groups A,B,C
Channels 1-4
NoYes
Nikon SB-800

manual

$320 when new

2003

Yes
to 1/128 power
24-105 mm98/30 at 24 mm

184/56 at 105 mm

YesYes,
controls 3 remote groups, A,B,C
Port for external battery pack
Nikon SB-900

manual

$525 when new

2008

Yes,

iTTL

17-200 mm

12-200 mm DX

88/27 at 24 mm

184/56 at 200 mm

90° T

180° L
180° R

Less Expense, but popular anyway. :)
Flash
Model
Price US$iTTL
flash
mode
Manual flash modeZoom

FX mm

Guide Number
ISO 100
FX
ft/m
Tilt &
Swivel
for bounce
Pullout Bounce Card /
Wide Angle Diffuser
/ Mini stand
Optical Slave
/ PC Sync / Focus Assist LED
Wireless
Remote
for a Nikon Commdr
Commdr
built into
flash
FP mode (HSS)Notes
Aperlite YH-700N

Amazon

$90

See Review

YesYes
to 1/128 power
24-105 mm 92/28 at 24 mm

190/58 at 105 mm

90° T

90° L
180° R

Yes Yes
Remote groups A,B,C
Channels 1-4
YesYesExternal battery port
Neewer TT560
Website

Amazon

$35NoYes
to 1/128 power
No zoom124/3890° T

180° L
90° R

YesYes / Yes / NoNoNeewer offers
6 months warranty at approved US/UK vendors
Neewer TT660
Website

Amazon

$4024-105 mm124/38 mm at 24 mm

190/58 at 105 mm

Neewer VK750 II
Website

Amazon

$50

See Review
Yes18-180 mm91.9/28 at 24 mm

190/58 at 105 mm

Yes
Neewer NW985N
Website

Amazon

$64

See Review

180/55 at 180 mm90° T

180° L
180° R

Yes
Remote groups A,B,C
Channels 1-4
NoYes

but poorly done

Color LCD

External battery port

Neewer VK320
Website

Amazon

$30No zoom105/32NoNo

3x the power of SB-300 for 20% of the price.

Uses two AA batteries
Yongnuo YN-560 II
website

Amazon

manual

$62NoYes
to 1/128 power
24-105 mm92/28 at 24 mm

190/58 at 105 mm

90° T

180° L
90° R

YesYes / Yes / No NoNoNoPort for external battery pack
Yongnuo YN-560 III
website

Amazon

manual

$75

Built-in radio trigger

Yongnuo YN-565EX
website

Amazon

manual

$84

See Review

YesYesYesYes

Sync /
Remote groups A,B,C
Channels 1-4

See Note 4

Yongnuo YN-568EX
website

Amazon

manual

$104YesNo external battery pack port
Flash
Model
Price US$iTTL
flash
mode
Manual flash modeZoom

FX mm

Guide Number
ISO 100
FX
ft/m
Tilt &
Swivel
for bounce
Pullout Bounce Card /
Wide Angle Diffuser
/ Mini stand
Optical Slave
/ PC Sync / Focus Assist LED
Wireless
Remote
for a Nikon Commdr
Commdr
built into
flash
FP mode (HSS)Notes

Notes:

  1. Nikon SB-300, SB-400 and SB-500 cannot do remote flash. They have no internal menu to work standalone, so they require connection to the camera menu to work at all. They will work in a hot shoe extension cord (older SC-17 or current SC-28, long enough to work at arms length).
  2. Nikon SB-600 and SB-800 are special. They are backwards compatible with film TTL, or D-TTL, or iTTL, whatever the Nikon camera can do. All later models only do current iTTL.
  3. The Nikon SB-5000 is the first also with Radio capability, remote or internal controller, 6 groups. This is in addition to the older optical commander and remote modes. Both optical and radio modes can be used simultaneously. The SB-5000 Guide Number chart is only in the free extra Reference Manual.
  4. The Yongnuo 565 and 568 can be a remote in either of the Nikon or Canon commander systems. In either one remotely, however, the flash foot is very specific for one or the other Nikon or Canon hot shoes, so buy the one for your camera.
  5. Old Nikon SB-24 works as Manual remote, or as auto A mode on hot shoe, but is Not CLS, so has no settings communication with today's CLS iTTL cameras. It offers only full stops, no third stops.


My notions: If money is no issue, IMO, the better Nikon flashes can't be beat (if for the Nikon system). I have used two SB-800 for 15 years, and they do anything and just keep on ticking. I did have their flashtubes replaced awhile back, merely due to age and use. They were still working fine, but the color had warmed a bit, still manageable. (Nikon recommends this flash service every couple of years). I also have a SB-24 30+ years old, its features are dated today, but it still performs to GN specs. Nikon service is available for a number of years, which is likely not possible at all in USA for inexpensive Chinese units. Their price is so low though, replacement is likely lower cost than a service repair. Otherwise, high prices are often a concern, however fortunately, there is good competition today.

Manual flash models Neewer TT560 or Yongnuo YN-560 above sure seem to be a lot of manual flash for the amazing low price. Even more impressive is that both have hundreds of five star user reviews at Amazon. However, point&shoot users will need TTL flash instead, so do be sure you know what manual flash means (top of previous page).

Beginners do need TTL, and if price is very important, then based on mine, and on all the good customer reviews at Amazon, check out the Neewer VK750 II. Neewer flashes are various relabeled imported brands, and the VK-750 II appears to be the Meike MK-951. It is a very well performing and easy to use TTL flash. If undecided if flash is for you, and hesitant to spend $300+ dollars, this $50 certainly seems a really good way to go at first.

Or, maybe the Yongnuo YN-565EX ($84). I also have that one, so I can also recommend it. A little more power (good for bounce flash), and it adds remote mode for the Commander (if your camera is so equipped).

See Reviews:

Neewer VK750 II

Yongnuo YN-565EX

Aperlite YH-700N

Neewer NW985N

Comparing flash power level with Guide Number Ratings

Menu of the other Photo and Flash pages here


Copyright © 2013-2022 by Wayne Fulton - All rights are reserved.

Previous Menu Next