Another new feature I’ve bought for my Nikon D50 Digital SLR Camera is a flash gun. One of the reasons that I wanted a flash gun is because of my involvement in the theatre show for Warwickshire St. John Ambulance. The problem with photographing on stage is that first the stage tends to be quite dark, and to get everything in the photographs are being taken from a distance, but also that you have to compete with the coloured lights from the theatre lighting.
I haven’t had chance to use it on the stage yet (I will no doubt try and some of the rehearsals as they progress), but I have tried taking some photographs at home, and so far I am very happy with the results.
I have taken some photographs by bouncing the flash from the ceiling and it really does improve the photographs compared with the pop-up flash built into the camera.
I have been looking around at buying alternative brands of flashes instead of buying Nikon all the time. Nikon does a very good range of flash guns, but they are very expensive with the cheapest Digital SLR recommended flash being the Nikon Speedlight SB-600 Flash Unit with a recommended retail price of about £229. I therefore had a look at the Sigma, Metz and Sunpak flash guns.
These did offer some good sounding flash guns at a cheaper price, but it is difficult to know how well it will work with specific cameras, especially as the Nikon cameras have recently revamped their TTL flash system. Even in the examples where I found that a flash gun was compatible with my camera I had a search on the Internet to look for comments and reviews, and it appears that some flash guns only support the features of the camera if you purchase a certain version / serial number / release. Unfortunately this is not the sort of information that suppliers provide. I therefore gave up looking for alternative brands and instead shopped around for the best prices on official Nikon flash guns.
A major advantage of having bought the Nikon flash is that it works with the Nikon Wireless Flash System. The SB-600 can only be used as a slave for this, but if a SB-800 is used as well then there are a lot of potential advantages. Unfortunately at the moment having a multi-flash system is out of my price range, but it’s something that I could now consider in the future. There are some impressive photographs using multiple flashes in a booklet that came with the camera, so [ehhmm] when I win the lottery I’ll be all set :-).
You can download the SB-800 flash images at: Nikon Website SB-800 brochure. This is the same as the booklet provided with the SB-600 flash gun.