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Buying new flash - need help

juicegoosejuicegoose Member
edited December 2014 in flash & lighting
So I'm not on a pro budget and can't really afford the Nikon sb-910. What I can afford is the yongnuo series of flashes. They get great reviews. Only problem is they offer two models that are similar in power to the SB-910. One model does HSS but doesn't have a battery port, The other model has an external battery port but doesn't do HSS. Which feature would you find more important in a flash. I currently own an sb-600 that I don't ever feel like the battery packs leave me hanging waiting for a recharge so I've been leaning more towards the HSS model.


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    That's a relative easy question to answer really as you have already alluded to it yourself.

    What do you use the most, HSS, or want the benefit of having fast recycle?

    If you don't have the need for speed, get the HSS, if that's what you want.

    If you shoot quickly like at a wedding/event and need recycling times to be short as possible . . . well you know the answer.

    No one else can decide on which but yourself.


  • Can you find a used SB 900 or 910? From a dealer I mean, like B&H or Adorama or KEH.
  • I've looked on ebay and such and they tend to still be 2-3 times the cost of the yongnuo yn568ex. I guess that brings up another question. I shoot now with an sb-600. Is it that big a jump to go up to a 900 class(just coined that term)flash?
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited December 2014

    juicegoose: "is it that big a jump to go up to a 900 class(just coined that term)flash?"

    Yep, like having a pushbike then jumping onto a motorbike.
  • juicegoose, on your question about whether it is a big jump from the 600 to 900, I have a different opinion than Trev. Yes, the 900 series are better (and much costlier) than your SB-600, that's a given, but consider this: I have SB-600 through SB-900 speedlights and I use them almost interchangeably. The 600 is a tough little flash, can do Auto FP, can be a wireless receiver, recharges quite quickly (as you note) when used with NiMH rechargeable cells, and is small in comparison with the higher level flashes. Compared with the 900, the 600 does have a mediocre user interface, can't be a wireless master, the swivel is more limited, it has a little less flash power (lower guide number), and it doesn't have a port for external power.

    I don't think a new flash is going to amaze you over your 600 unless you have hit a maximum capability of the 600. For example, a higher guide number of a new flash would only help you if you are shooting max power on the SB-600 and it's still not enough. How often does that happen to you? For me, it would be rare that I would be shooting 1/1 power. (Also, note that guide numbers are not always perfectly comparable. Sometimes you are comparing apples and oranges if they are quoting different ISO or flash zooms.)

    My suggestion would be to consider why you want/need a second unit and what you want to do with it. If you don't need multiple flash units, I guess I would question why you are making this purchase, given that you say budget is tight.
  • My understanding, and I could be wrong, is no flash is better at ETTL than the one made by the camera maker. I would be interested to see tests and reviews on the Yongnu, Newer , etc flashes and how it compares to OEM flashes. Many wedding photographers around here use manual flash. I know the old fashioned Vivitar unit is used a lot. Ive seen that quite a few times.

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    I used the 600 once from a friend when considering getting a 3rd, and Nikonguy is correct in his experience regarding full manual, but I found that the 900 series gave a better/more accurate TTL reading from the get go than the 600, plus the extra power anyway. I came away from that experience figuring I'd much rather get an extra 900 to back up the 2 I already had than the 600, but you need to weigh up the cost factor, what you want it for, and so on.

    I use manual nearly all the time on location with OCF, but use TTL on camera during ceremony and reception mainly so that's the reason I stated using the 900 series would be better.
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