Tips for faster cycling (Speedlight SB-600)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 4,016
Re: Tips for faster cycling (Speedlight SB-600)

Dr Nick Riviera wrote:

  • What is a realistic cycle time with a set of fresh 2500 mAh NiMH rechargeable batteries? Maybe I should just lower my expectations...

About 2-3 seconds (specs at 2.5s) at full power. Once the batteries get more depleted, it'll get longer. With alkalines, it'll be closer to 5s. And, obviously, the lower your power setting, the faster the recycle will be.

  • Anything else I could do? I really don't want to go above ISO 1600 with my D7100 and f/2.8 provides a too thin DOF when I want to have a group of people in focus.

You bought the bigger sensor to use higher ISO settings. Why be afraid of them?

But basically? Don't burst shoot with flash, (particularly a smaller, lower-powered one) if you're not willing to compromise on ISO, aperture or distance (get closer) to lower the power requirement. A speedlight is only powered by 4xAA batteries, and built to be convenient and portable. An external battery pack might help you speed up recycle, but runs the risk of overheating the flash.

That or you use a much bigger studio strobe, which you can set to a lower power setting to get the same amount of light.

And consider turning on a recycle beep (if the flash has that feature (I think with the SB-600 it's only available if used off-camera in CLS [eyeroll]), so you'll know when the flash is ready to fire again. If you think the noise is distracting during a shoot, just do a practice shoot with it on, so you can get a sense of the recycle timing.

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