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I wanted a flash for my Nikon D90 as i was not to happy with the harsh shadows that the on board flash produces. Looking at the option i decided to get a SB600. The flash comes with a pouch and a hot shoe stand. I found the bounce head very effective at helping me to eliminate shadows however the flash had does not rotate horizontally. I obtained a Stofen diffuser which mounts on the front and further helps to soften the light. After a few weeks of using the flash off camera I decided to purchase another so that I could get a lil more creative. Both flash guns are controlled by the camera and together using the CLS system produce excellent results every time. Battery life is not great but I now use rechargeables so not such a big deal. The flash uses 4x AA batteries. I like the way the flash balances on the camera and the compact size means it fits in my camera bag with ease.
There are 2 ways in which I think I need to review this speedlight.
First, as a standalone, all around flash - it's good. The controls are fairly easy to use, it gives a reasonable power output, and for most beginners it will do a great job. No matter what I think it's worth the cost, as it's a very handy piece of equipment.
I did have to read the manual to work out how to change the settings, which considering it's the first manual I've read in around 3 years, you'll guess that was slightly annoying for me.
But it'll do the job.
However the downfall for me, is that I also own the big brother to this - the SB 800.
As a 2nd off camera flash this is also great at it can be controlled via the SB800, making it very useful.
However when you've used both it does look less fantastic to use alone. It's still good, but slightly less versatile due to lower power and less zoom (70mm as opposed to 105mm).
So if you just want as cheap as you can, I'd go for this in an instant, if you want a pair I'd say this is an ideal 2nd - but, if you want something you can use in more situations I'd skip this and go one up straight away.
Whether I'd notice the small downfalls if I'd not had the advantage of the 800? Probably not.
I brought one of these flashes to accompany a back up camera body that I had when I used to run a wedding photography business and it did it's job without being as expensive as the Nikon SB800.
It will eat batteries when used regularly but then it needs to, to omit the light that it does.
It is easy to attach to the camera body, it is just a case of having to remove a tiny plastic slide from the top of the Nikon camera body and then you slide it forwards into place at the top of the camera and flick a very small lever to stop it coming out of place and falling to the floor.
When purchased it came with a velcro flapped padded bag which it is easy to slide it in and out of although it may have been benificial to have designed it's case with a strap attached.
The product weighs 300 grams without batteries which is quite a weight when added to your already weighty camera body. It is fairly compact though at 124 x 90 x 68 mm (4.9 x 3.5 x 2.7 ins).
It requires four AA batteries and a standard alkaline battery will give you approximately 200 flashes. I did try reuseable batteries for a while but I found that I was getting more life out of standard alkaline batteries, however this could be due to the recharger and rechargable batteries that I chose (Energizer).
This flash can also be used remotely but I didn't ever use it this way.
I have owned a Nikon Speedlight SB 600 flashgun for a few years and use it regularly. It never fails no matter what light condition it is. The i-TTL mode works perfectly with both my Nikon D70 and D700 and it can always get the right light and exposure.
The remote control and the little stand which comes with the flashgun is very useful for creative lighting and the automatic light/exposure control works equally well in the remote setup. The automatic setting works well in most situations while flash compensation can be easily set up by the camera or the flashgun buttons. Although the minimum distance in the specification is 0.6m I have no problem even with macro photography (about 20cm). There is a build in the wide flash adapter which could act as a diffuser. The head can rotate 270 degrees and tilt 90 degrees. i-TTL works well in any position with reflected or bounced lighting. Charging speed is really fast and it works well with D700 even in high speed continues shot mode. The auto focus and auto high speed sync work perfectly with my camera and lens
As it works well in most cases without needing to touch the menu system, you do find it is not that easy to work though the menus if you occasionally need to. There are a few occasions that I have to refer to the user manual to get it right.