Tips for faster cycling (Speedlight SB-600)

Started 1 month ago | Discussions thread
rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 1,725
Re: Tips for faster cycling (Speedlight SB-600)
1

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...

I think you should. The recycle time is in the manual ( https://cdn-10.nikon-cdn.com/pdf/manuals/Speedlights/SB-600.pdf ) on p 88. NiMH have the fastest listed recycle time.

Note that this is from full power. 1/2 power will recycle more or less instantly (at least once).

  • Anything else I could do?

Change to a more-powerful flash. The SB-800/900/910/5000 are all about one stop more powerful. The SB-5000 has recycle times comparable to using an external battery pack, and it has active cooling making it difficult to overheat. They are available at somewhat-reasonable prices used. And they will take battery packs if you want to be faster again.

  • 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.

Indoors, ISO 500-1000 at f/4 should be good enough for most things, groups of 2-4 people. f/5.6 for larger groups, f/8 for big groups. But, as you up the ISO you'll be using the flash at lower power == faster recycle and longer battery life.

tcphoto1 wrote:

I would review the manual and see if Nikon recommends using rechargeable batteries.

p 88 - yes, they are faster to recycle than Alkalines.

Otherwise, either use fresher batteries, slow down and wait for the unit to recharge or buy an external battery for the flash.

I'm pretty sure the SB-600 does not accept external power sources.

tugwilson wrote

You could use an external battery pack.

I don't think so, not on the SB-600.

Nikon sell them but I think they use AA batteries. The Godox PB960 uses Li-Ion

The AA packs (SD-8A and aftermarket) are more compact, the PB960 faster and has more pops. Kind of a trade-off

kli wrote:

An external battery pack might help you speed up recycle, but runs the risk of overheating the flash.

As above, I don't think the SB-600 has an external power source plug.

Regards overheating, a flash with an external pack, if used at the same rate as without the pack, will overheat more slowly.  Much of the heat is in the batteries, and now they're in a pack external to the flash.
The issue is in firing full-power pops more quickly - than can overheat the flash faster.  Of course, the SB-5000 will do many more full-power pops than previous Nikon flashes.

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"THINK" - Watson

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