Flash suggestion for NikonD500:.

Started Oct 6, 2022 | Discussions thread
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 4,677
Re: Flash suggestion for NikonD500:.

hilltopfarm wrote:

Searching for a flash for weddings and outdoor night photography special events. Any feedback appreciated.

TL;DR, Nikon SB-5000 or SB-910; or Godox V1-N V860 III-N for pro shooting with a higher budget; Godox TT685 II-N or TT685-N or used SB-600/SB-700/SB-800/SB-900 for hobbyist or lower-budget shooting.

For professional use, a Nikon OEM unit may be best since you can get customer support, factor repair, and warranty support from Nikon, as well as professional services support if you have that. Vs. lower-cost 3rd-party units, overall build quality, head rotation, TTL accuracy/consistency, AF-assist, and overheat protection tend to be nicer. But just better, not great vs. sucks.

However, an SB-5000 is about $600 new, and an SB-700 is about $325. And the SB-700 doesn't have built-in radio triggering if you eventually plan to uses this flash off-camera over radio, Strobist-style. Using the SB-5000 off-camera over radio would require additional radio gear (WR-R10 and WR-A10; about $200). Older SB-800, SB-900, and SB-910 units don't have radio, but are full-sized like the SB-5000 and more powerful than the SB-500, SB-600, and SB-700 units.

The other SB speedlights do Nikon's optical CLS/AWL wireless system, which is light-based system. But the D500 doesn't have a pop-up flash you can use as a commander in this system. And optical systems are great in studio conditions, but less reliable outside on location in bright sunlight.

Which is why a lot of folks recommend Godox gear. Godox is Chinese gear, so outside of China, customer and warranty support will come from the retailer you're purchasing from. But all the speedlights are equipped with radio in Godox's much less expensive system. A Godox V1-N is $260 (li-ion, round head), the V860 III is $230 (li-ion, fresnel head), the TT685 II-N ($130) (4xAA, fresnel). [The li-ion models use a rechargeable battery pack instead of 4xAAs, and the pack lasts twice as long as AAs would).

THe older TT685-N ($110) and V860 II-N ($180) also do Nikon's optical CLS/AWL communication, but lack some UI refinements and features of the newer Godox models.

For off-camera work, you want a speedlight that can do full Manual mode power control, as well as has ways to fire it off-camera. All the Godox flashes have four: built-in radio, sync port, foot, and "dumb" optical S1/S2 modes (similar to Nikon's SU-4 mode, which will fire the flash when another flash burst is sensed). And the built-in radio control allows for TTL, HSS/FP, and remote power and (for the TTL-capable speedlights) zoom of the off-camera flash.

If you never plan on using a speedlight off-camera, OEM (Nikon) gear is probably better.

Typically, for event shooting with a prosumer dSLR, you just want a full-sized speedlight with a head that rotates 360º, that can perform iTTL and HSS/FP flash on-camera (full electronic communication), so you can do bounce flash on the hoof.

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