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Keywords: Nikon Speedlight Tilt Swivel LCD Slave HSS


Yucel

Registered: June 2011
Posts: 15
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by Yucel
Review Date: 11/2/2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Lowest priced speedlight compatible with Nikon Creative Lighting System
Cons: VERY DIFFICULT to program or navigate menus

The SB-600 is available for cheap used. It works great, once you set it up. It takes a bit of programing with an arcane menu system to get it set up...


To see a more thourough review and example glamour pic taken using the SB 600, see http://glamourphotography.co/?p=4609


For 90% of users, perhaps the best choice in a speedlight.
libertinephotography

Registered: August 2008
Posts: 9
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by libertinephotography
Review Date: 9/16/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $209.99| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Useful Programming, Can Be Used As A Wireless Slave, Good Guide Number
Cons: Recycling Time, Cannot Be Used As A Commander, Limited Customization of Features

The SB-600 is a wonderful mid-tier lens (if you notice, the cons that I stated are largely resolved in the SB-800, but for a LOT more money). What I really love about this flash is that it is CLS functional even as a wireless slave. This feature alone is worth buying, so long as you have a commander unit.


A nice "strobist" kit for almost any situation with a CLS-compatible camera is the R1C1 and two SB-600's.


For journalism or sports, you may want a more powerful speedlight, such as the SB-800 or SB-900.
pancreas

Registered: April 2008
Posts: 4
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by pancreas
Review Date: 4/11/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Pan and tilt head transforms photos of social events, recycle rate useful for action shots
Cons: Bouncing can be tricky, widest f-stop must be forced on D80

You can take spectacular photos of any social gathering with the panning and tilting head of this flash.


Getting an external flash is not primarily about having more power or being able to take more shots continuously (unless you're a paparazzo), but about being able to control light. You can bounce it off walls, ceilings, paper cards, or diffuse it using a variety of accessories to give your subjects that natural look that is miles ahead of any on board flash (Even if you jack up the sensitivity, which many compacts can do.) Or you can use the CLS function in more creative ways.


The only major problems I have with it are that bouncing the light off of room surfaces always requires some initial trial and error in setting the proper flash compensation, and that sometimes even the highest setting isn't enough (Ex. for tall ceilings.) It will depend on the distances involved in getting the light to your subject. But these issues are more or less common with all external flashes in this price range.


A minor problem is that you will not get the widest aperture if you use this flash with a D80 in Program mode. I just set it to A mode most of the time.


The SB-400 doesn't have a panning head so in many cases it could limit you to landscape shots - a definite no-no in social situations. Practically all the additional features of the SB-800 would only be appreciated by professionals. If you're an amateur with a Nikon DSLR who's willing to learn how to control light, you simply can't go wrong with purchasing an SB-600.
grahambo

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 8
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by grahambo
Review Date: 2/24/2008 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: fantastic pictures, simple, flash meetering is fantastic
Cons: AA battery management, Only twists past 90 degrees in one direction?

This flash has done as much to improve my photography as any of my lenses. I guess that's the best compliment I can give a piece of camera equipment.


I use it with the Tamron 17-50 and 90mm on a D80. Generally, I keep the lenses wide, and turn up the ISO so the flash isn't doing a lot of work, just slightly supplementing the available light. The results are amazing. Alternatively, I have taken pictures with it bounced off a white wall where it looks like natural sunlight.


Two cool things: First, it communicates white balance information to the camera from the pre-flash, meaning you get accurate white balance in situations where the camera would normally have trouble. Second, the flash actually zooms with the lens.


Managing sets of AAs is a pain. I'm using lots of rubber bands to keep track of which ones are charged.
wijnands

Registered: February 2007
Posts: 4
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by wijnands
Review Date: 2/28/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $350.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: All the power I need in a very simple package
Cons: No CLS commander function

I hesitated quite a while before I decided to go ahead and buy this flash. Haven't had any regrets. I've looked at Metz's iTTL flashes but am glad I got me a nikon instead. This flash integrates so incredibly with my D50!


Using it is very simple, power down the camera, slide it in the hotshoe, lock it and power up both devices. Slap on an omnibounce and tilt 60 degrees up and you'll get decent images every single time.


Got a white ceiling? Even better, tilt the head up and bounce. Shooting in portrait? No problem, just rotate and tilt! Feeling creative? Construct yourself a better bounce card and start toying with that.


Let's examine the difference between this and the SB800.
- -7 degree tilt option. Looks tempting but even with an SB600 on camera I can flash within the 40cm minimum focus distance of most of my lenses.
- Collection of filters: Ah, come on, your can easily construct these yourself
- Wireless commander function: Err... got me there. Although, if you need a flash to do that you can always get a SB800 in addition to your 600.


Bad points:
When going over 100mm focal length you'll actually have to think about your flash intensity. It won't me all that automagically any more. Same goes for longer distances over 6 meters or so.


I got a noname AA loader with 4 2500mah AAs in addition to this. A full charge gets me 350-400 flashes before the recycle time becomes noticeably longer.


Only thing I really miss is that my D50 can't control this flash wireless without an expensive SB800 or SU800.
Bobcopeland

Registered: November 2005
Posts: 7
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by Bobcopeland
Review Date: 1/22/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: This flash DOES use AA batteries!!
Cons: *

This flash DOES use AA Batteries. See NIKON site
matthewporter

Registered: August 2006
Posts: 12
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by matthewporter
Review Date: 1/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Variable angle, Diffuser
Cons: Batteries

Having used this flash unit at work, I appreciate the additional illumination it offers over that built in to the Nikon D50. However, the main benefits of using this flash unit is the ability to bounce the light off the ceiling and to diffuse the light. This leads to softer lighting of portraits and far less red-eye.


The downside is that it requires a specific battery whereas the newer SB-400 can run on AA's and thus can more easily use rechargeable batteries!
rcoder

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 6
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by rcoder
Review Date: 1/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $220.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: i-ttl metering works great, good battery life
Cons: mediocre bundled accessories, off-camera triggering fails in daylight

There's not a lot to say, actually -- this is a prime example of a fairly complex piece of technology that mostly manages to conceal everything going on behind the scenes and allow you to concentrate on what you're trying to do.


Mounted on my D70, and coupled with a homemade bounce card, this flash has been entirely sufficient for me to shoot several weddings, social events, and family gatherings. Pointing it straight up and using indirect bounce, I'm able to gain at least 2-3 stops of shutter speed without washing out the features of my subject.


My only complaint is that, due to the visible-light signalling method used in the Creative Lighting System remote-trigger mode, it's difficult to reliably activate the flash in daylight. Since balancing harsh shadows caused by less-than-ideal angles of sunlight is one of the most useful abilities of an upgraded flash, this is rather unfortunate.


The only other weak spot is the bundled accessories. The included table stand and tripot/lighting stand mounting bracket is just a thin piece of molded plastic, and I'm generally so nervous about breaking it that I just leave it at home. Also, unlike it's big brother, the SB-800, the flash doesn't include any colored gels, (or the diffuser/holder to attach them) although that can be remedied at most any photo or stage lighting shop for a few bucks.


Overally, I'd say that for most casual photographers like me, the SB-600 is more than sufficient to cover 99% of your on-camera (or off-camera, if you're willing to accept the limitations of CLS triggering) lighting needs.
dawgfan

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 2
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by dawgfan
Review Date: 1/13/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: very capable, powerful. Excellent wireless capability with D200
Cons: menu system slightly awkward.

This is a great flash, easy to use for the normal, on camera stuff. It provides great light with my d200, no complaints there.


My only concern relates to the complexity of the menus - I find them hard to navigate, especially when setting up wireless. I'm sure more practice would make it easier, but I wish there was an easier way to navigate the options.
jkukec

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 3
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by jkukec
Review Date: 1/7/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $250.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Ability to use as additional Off-camera flash along with camera's flash
Cons: haven't found any yet

It communicates well with my Nikon D70. Once you key in all the settings on camera and flash, you really don't have to mess with the flash much.


It's cool to be able to mount the flash onto a tri-pod (or sit it somewhere) and use it as a second flash when needed. Unfortunately, I don't use it that way enough to remember how to change the settings for it without checking the manual...which doesn't fly too well when you're on a job. But as with all things electronic, the more familiar you are with it's capabilities and settings, the better off you'll be.
MariuszJ

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 6
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by MariuszJ
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $179.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: price, SB800's smaller(but just by little) brother
Cons: none so far

Good flash - if you are between this one and SB800 - just check tests and reviews if you'll need those extras SB800 has.I didn't.Just saved some bucks for nice tripod.
I like all the features, but most of all - iTTL - exposure is not my worry any more.
with "better bounce card"
http://abetterbouncecard.com/
and "Fooly Fuser"
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1034&message=20968954&q=fooly+fuser&qf=m
I've got all I need for not so big money:)
yuj

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 5
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by yuj
Review Date: 1/5/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $200.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellent integration w/ CLS, wireless flash, good AF illuminator
Cons: Buttons on back are somewhat annoying, going into the CSM menu

For most people, this speedlight does everything and more. It is very powerful and dependable and consistently gives good exposures. I'm a big fan of the wireless flash capabilities, but I found myself using it less than I thought I would. And I know for a fact that most people will never use it as a wireless flash more than once or twice. But for its uses, the SB600 is an excellent product that just works.


One thing that could be improved upon would be the ability to sense if its mounted on a crop body and zoom the flash head accordingly because a lot of light is wasted needlessly if you're using a crop body.
Kong47

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 9
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by Kong47
Review Date: 12/22/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: refresh rate, build, size, weight
Cons: no master flash ability

Great flash. highly recommended. This flash is 90% of the SB-800 and $120 cheaper. For me, that was the clincher. This flash is great for portraits. Bounced off a ceiling or wall, this flash makes any photo look better. Contrast seems much better when using this flash versus the built-in flash. Much softer light can be gained with an added flash unit. Battery life is very good. It takes 4 AAs. I'm using 2300 mah NiMH Duracells. Build quality is good, weight is good enough. I only wish it could be a master flash for multiple flash shooting. I guess if I really needed that, I would have bought the SB-800.
aalto

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 12
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by aalto
Review Date: 12/21/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $300.00| Rating: 7 

 
Pros: Good Flash that does the job most of the time
Cons: Missing some extras

I would recommend this flash to everybody who are thinking about buying a flash for their camera and are trying to decide between this flash and the 800. If you checked the differences and still dont know if you need the 800, you probably dont, and the you should buy the 600 instead. Gives you great functionality for a cheaper price and when you find out that you want to start using multiple flashes, you can purchase the 800 to use as a commander and then youll use your 600 as your first slave flash. And that the most genious thing about this flash, that even if you upgrade to the sb800 afterwards, the 600 is still in your bag, ready to be used as a slave, and doesnt end up in the "useless" category.


A good buy, even if you think youll need the 800 after a while, and a super buy if you just need a flash to go with your camera.


Dont forget to buy an extension cord.
mbunge

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 10
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by mbunge
Review Date: 12/15/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $1,699.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: quick cycling, powerful, integrates very well with Nikon DSLRs, good value
Cons: none

I bought the SB600 to go with my SB800. It's less powerful, but still allows me to use the CLS features with the SB800 and my D200. This flash is a great alternative to the SB800 and is easy on batteries, too. I have no complaints with this flash. I'm probably going to get another one soon.
archaney

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 7
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by archaney
Review Date: 12/11/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $220.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: iTTL and versatility
Cons: Price

I purchased the SB600 for use with my D50. The SB600 offers versatility and power that just aren't available with the D50's on-camera flash.


The head of the flash can be adjusted up and down and left and right for a bounce effect that is much better than the straight ahead flash from the built in unit. It is also easy to add on a third party diffuser to further spread out the light.


The iTTL takes most of the guess work out of using the flash and the adjustments are easy for adding or subtracting flash power. The flash also has a Balanced mode for using the unit for fill flash that comes in handy for evening out the light in outdoor shots.


The unit has a solid build and gets a decent amount of shots out of 4 AA batteries.
danwatson

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 7
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by danwatson
Review Date: 12/6/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $189.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Excellant TTL metering.
Cons: None so far

I received the SB600 as a birthday gift for my D50. I have found that the D50s internal flash is quite good and meters extremely well, however I like to stop down some of my lenses to f8 and the internal flash seems to perform better a f4 or below. I also desire to do portraiture and was looking for more balanced natural lighting.


The SB600 has a nice build and finish with a solid, clean looking design. It does add a bit of weight to the camera, but not enough to notice even after a few hours of shooting.


The metering on this lens is superb. Though there is quite a few settings that one can toggle, the automatic settings seem to perform well. Direct flash seems to be perfect for a large room, whereas the bounced flash does well for softer shadows in portraiture. I have used the built-in wide-angle diffuser for close-ups (as Nikon recommends) and I have found that macros look natural without harsh shadows or overexposed specular highlights. The color balance is very neutral, not too warm and not too cool - i think Nikon got things just right. Considering how poweful this flash is I am very impressed in how well the camera and flash meter the scene, I have yet to have any blown highlights from flash overexposure.
VIDKEY

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by VIDKEY
Review Date: 12/5/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 100% EASE OF USE, SIMPLICITY, ADVANCED ENOUGH TO GROW INTO
Cons: NO COMMANDER MODE

THIS IS A GREAT ALTERNATIVE TO THE SB-800. THE BOUNCE FLASH THAT THIS LENS GIVES IS BEAUTIFUL. AND BEING i-TTL, YOU NEVER HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT EXPOSURE. SAVE YOUR MONEY ON EXPENSIVE GLASS AND SPEND JUST A LITTLE ON SOMETHING THAT MATTER A LOT MORE-LIGHT!
abrahamd

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 4
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by abrahamd
Review Date: 11/28/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $100.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: power, AF Assist, Lots of options
Cons: none really, for the price

This lens is great, and I absolutely love playing around with it using the D200 and onboard commander capabilities. For those of us who have never used CLS, the literature accompanying the flash is great for offering creative suggestions and appropriate uses of the flash in many situations, or to achieve different effects. The AF assist is great and the zoom head is very fast and responsive. This is a really powerful flash too, when it needs to be. The only problem that I had with the SB 600 is the menu system on the back, which is a little counter-intuitive. In typical Nikon fashion, you sometimes have to hold one button while pressing another to alter settings etc. Minor niggle though. This is an awesome flash, and for users of the d80/d200 that have the onboard commander, I don't see much need to go for the SB800.
boatdetective

Registered: March 2006
Posts: 11
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by boatdetective
Review Date: 11/21/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 8 

 
Pros: dependable exposure
Cons: not very intuitive, combined button system clunky

If you have a D70 or D80, then you can trip this neat flash in wireless commander mode. Very handy. As with all Nikon flash units, the exposure is spot on. The iTTL system really does work well. Having said this, the person who dreamt up the button sequence to scroll through features deserves to get fired. There is nothing intuitive about the controls. It's a drag top have to read the manual.


In general, I've been happy with the flash. If you do not need the master control of the sb800, then you should save your dough and buy the sb 600.
OldRedFox

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 14
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by OldRedFox
Review Date: 11/20/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $180.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great price, CLS compatable, good power
Cons: not a "Commander"

Solid, solid, solid. Unless you have a D50/D40 w/o the commander mode, this may be all the flash you need. The SB800 has slightly better specs, but for most normal usage the 600 has more than enough pop. And at $100+ less, it makes a great flash readily available.
jeans

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 15
Nikon SB-600 Speedlight review by jeans
Review Date: 11/18/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $150.00| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: see inside
Cons: see inside

If offers a host of very useful features:
iTTL/CLS - wireless shooting with always dead-on exposure
GN30 (@ ISO 100)


Supports gel filters that match the color temperature to that of ambient lighting (not included)
Plastic stand that can be connected to a tripod or just put on a table
Automatic head zoom to cover wider set of shooting conditions
Smart charge management - you can get several successive flashes out of SB-800 w/o need to recharge if you don'r use the full output power
User interface is much simpler than that of SB-800
Comes 100$ cheaper than the SB-800 w/o sacrificing too much


On the con side:
Some units come with a sloppy hotshoe mount
Can't control other CLS flashguns


Bottom line:
Very nice flash gun for those who don't require the additional features of the SB-800


 






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