My wife gave me the Nikon SB-600 as a birthday present the other day. I have to say, I wasn’t sure I wanted a flash at this point in my photography career (or lack of one), but I am quite impressed with this little device.
I wasn’t overly impressed with my built-in flash on the camera and I’m really not a fan of the “flash” look in my photos, so I try as much as possible to not use it. The built in Nikon flash is a bit “hot” as well. Subjects can look a little white and bright if you know what I mean. This new flash works awesome though. It can swivel 360 degrees on the horizontal plane and up to 90 degrees in the vertical. It lets me bounce the flash off the ceiling and the walls for a way more natural look.
Here is a picture of the SB-600.
The other handy feature to this flash is the little diffuser piece that pulls out and covers the flash. It spreads the light out even more giving you super wide coverage. My 10-20mm wide angle lens always had a dark shadow on the bottom of my pictures and now this flash can hit that spot so it will let me use it in so many more situations.
Probably the coolest feature to show off is how I can trigger the flash remotely. You can set the flash to be triggered by the flash on your camera (has to be D70s and above, not the D50 or D70). So I can hold the flash in my hand or set it up on a tripod away from me and when I have the flash on my camera up, it will trigger the SB-600 to flash as well. Gives two sources of lighting if you want it for portrait or tricky shot situations.
Something else that is cool. When it is set to TTL mode, it will automatically adjust according to the camera’s settings. If I zoom in with my lense, the flash itself will move the bulb configuration inside to adjust so the light is more focused on the actual photo area.
I have yet to change the batteries in it, but I understand it can eat them up pretty quick. I’ll have to decide if I need one of those AA recargeable battery kits for when I travel or if I can get away with a couple sets of regular batteries.
The flash costs around $275, so I will definitely need to get some use out of it before it pays for itself. It was the perfect gift though, because it is one of those things I might not have bought for myself anyways.