Flash unit for Nikon FE


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stonko

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Aug 13, 2006
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Hi all,

I am using the Nikon FE to learn photography. My current flash unit is a suntax manual flash and it is really frustrating to use as the exposure has to be set based on the distance between the camera and the subject.

Can anyone reccomend me a good flash unit to go with my camera? ( non-TTL )

Thanks!
 

stonko

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Thanks for the suggestion. How about the newer models from Nikon or some third party brands like sunpak?
 

Tetrode

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Dec 29, 2002
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Catchlight's recommendation of the SB28 is a good one.
But any Nikon flash or compatible flash with Auto mode would suit. e.g. SB22, 22s, 23, 27, 24, 25, 26, 28DX, 80DX.

The SB28 has the advantage of both being small, light and powerful.

The new Nikon flash units are expensive and an overkill for the FE as you won't be able to use half of the features they contain. However, if you do also own a Nikon dSLR, then it would be more cost effective to get these new units as you will be able to make use of them on both types of cameras.

The Metz units tend to give a warm tone to photos while the Nikon units are a bit cold. I prefer shooting with Metz units. You can pick up a 45CT1 or 45CT4 (has TTL) on Ebay for less than $100USD (including NiCD batteries + charger). As the FE sports a PC sync, you won't require expensive adaptors. Another advantage that the Metz hammerhead units have is that they put the flash off to the side - minimising red eye.
 

Apr 2, 2006
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Tetrode said:
Catchlight's recommendation of the SB28 is a good one.
But any Nikon flash or compatible flash with Auto mode would suit. e.g. SB22, 22s, 23, 27, 24, 25, 26, 28DX, 80DX.
If you have the FE, not all the above are compatible. FE doesn't have TTL flash, and so will have to rely on what is then known as the thyristor mode, or simply, you have to find flash units that have A mode, typically have 2 A settings, like f4 and f8. The SB24-28 range is particularly suitable for this purpose, as the A mode is continuously variable, and you can have it on all f-stops available.

The SB-23 on FE will be completely manual...

SB-22 is a very small flash, not very useful (SB-23 even smaller).

Don't know much about the 80DX, SB-600 or 800. If you would in the near future go towards a DSLR, it may be a good idea to consider the SB-600. All the SB-2X series when they "kong" they "kong", no more parts for most of them except the newest (maybe there is still parts for the SB-28). All the SB-2X series and probably the 80DX as well become manual or A flash with the DSLRs. I know cause I have a D70 and using the SB-24 on it. I also had a FE about 15 years ago.
 

Tetrode

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If you have the FE, not all the above are compatible. FE doesn't have TTL flash, and so will have to rely on what is then known as the thyristor mode, or simply, you have to find flash units that have A mode, typically have 2 A settings, like f4 and f8. The SB24-28 range is particularly suitable for this purpose, as the A mode is continuously variable, and you can have it on all f-stops available.

The SB-23 on FE will be completely manual...

SB-22 is a very small flash, not very useful (SB-23 even smaller).

Don't know much about the 80DX, SB-600 or 800. If you would in the near future go towards a DSLR, it may be a good idea to consider the SB-600. All the SB-2X series when they "kong" they "kong", no more parts for most of them except the newest (maybe there is still parts for the SB-28). All the SB-2X series and probably the 80DX as well become manual or A flash with the DSLRs. I know cause I have a D70 and using the SB-24 on it. I also had a FE about 15 years ago.

Yes, you are absolutely right about the SB23 being completely manual on an FE - my mistake - paiseh.:embrass:

And so is the SB600 as it too doesn't have an Auto sensor too.
 

stonko

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Aug 13, 2006
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Hmm thanks for the reccomendations guys. went down to peninsular to look for the units suggested. P & G cameras reccomended this model : emoblitz 328 digital flash. wonder if anyone has used it.
 

Apr 2, 2006
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Hmm thanks for the reccomendations guys. went down to peninsular to look for the units suggested. P & G cameras reccomended this model : emoblitz 328 digital flash. wonder if anyone has used it.
I would stay way from it.

Probably a better deal to get a used Nikon Speedlite SB-2X series, bearing in mind non-repairable if "kong". These speedlite units were state-of-the-art top-of-the-range in its time and well worth the pennies they are fetching now.
 

#10
From my experience using the FM, F4 and now D50, Also the SB2x series seems to give better Auto exposure - just set the aperture on both the flash and your cam and u should be ready to go. The other 3rd party one that is good is Metz.

Try to get a used one from Buy n Sell here.

Cheers
 

Ansel

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#11
Go get the Achiever thyristor flash from Cathay Photo. $40+ only. Works beautifully on auto. Comes with a few colour filters too. :)
 

Feinwerkbau

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May 11, 2004
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Hi,

My recommendation is a little late...and a little old, but I believe that it may still be valid if you get the newer models (late manufacturer).

Simply, the VIVITAR 285HV units.

Very capable workhorses. Very powerful for a hot-shoe mounted unit. Very accurate auto control. Neutral colour balance. Very versatile with manual control down to 1/64 (hey, it was designed in the late 870s or early 80s remember?).

Now, all those 'verys' are justified I feel because a brand new unit shuld cost less than S$180. 2nd hand ones in good condition are usually rock-bottom priced! Some owners who have the 285s still report that they work well even after 20 or 25 years!
For reviews and a picture of the flash, go http://www.stormlabs.com/Cameras/All/Product/493764/id/4498

Downside? No swivel. No TTL. Older technology. Some may consider it a bit big (but then, it's very 'MACHO' and 'PRO' looking!!!). Look into the customer reviews in the link above.

I believe that in the 80s, it was one of the workhorses of photojournalists and other profressionals who got tired of lugging their Metz hammeheads and battery packs around, if that tells you how reliable and capable it is.

The first 285hv I got, and literally abused regularly lasted me more than 10 years. Then in early 2000s, I got another one (only because I physically destroyed my then working 1st piece by trying to take it apart in ways that a moulded plastic contraption shouldn't - by force) and it was in perfect working condition this year when I traded it for something else.

Bottom line? If swivel flash isn't really crucial to you, and you want a very powerful unit that's very accurate, very durable and has been proven over and over again, and at a non-professional price, look no further than the 285HV! You might find one or two pieces arounf People's Park n some ulu corner or unexpected store. Just ask around. Or check out B&H and online resources.

If it were at all compatible on DSLRs, I'll be using it all over again.

Happy Shooting!
 

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