View Full Version : Cheap portable flashes...

12-27-2006, 11:43 AM
okay, I'm on the hunt. I'm not going to bother trying to find a Nikon SB-26 since the strobist effect has already put a dent into the # of available units around the country.

So what are some other cheap manual flashes out there? Firing them remotely, so that's not too much of an issue. A pc-sync port would be nice.

So far, (from POTN) I found brand new Sunpak 383's that go for $80 new. CurtisN on POTN did a write up on these, and I'm impressed. So what else is there?

How about the Vivitar 283 (seen here: http://cgi.ebay.com/Vivitar-283-Auto-Thyristor-Flash-Manual-for-any-Camera_W0QQitemZ320063858698QQihZ011QQcategoryZ103 417QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem )

Anyone have any cheapo flashes to add to this list? And if so, do you have any experience with them? I imagine some of you guys would since some of you have been into this photog thing a tad longer than I.


12-27-2006, 11:50 AM
I have heard the Sunpak 383 is a nice flashgun... I ended up just going with the 580ex because of the type of use for the flashes... another Canon flash to check out is the 380ex... I know it worked on the Rebel XT when I had it... so should work on the newer camera bodies as well...

12-27-2006, 12:00 PM
I'm not looking to use it on my camera body... I have the Sigma Super 500 for that. This will be for wireless flash (mostly outdoor) triggered by a set of PW's

12-27-2006, 12:04 PM
ohhhhh sorry I must have misread it...

12-27-2006, 01:46 PM
www.midwestphotoexchange.com (http://www.midwestphotoexchange.com) (i think... ) its midwest photo or midwest photoexchange.. they carry a bunch of used gear and have a "strobist" section ( i guess Dave Hobbey ( THE Strobist) is buds with the owner.. try there. I believe there is also a link to it on the strobist page.

12-27-2006, 01:47 PM
well never mind, just went there and he dont have many strobes left..check back though, xmass must have wiped them out.

12-27-2006, 01:52 PM
here justin, maybe you saw this, maybe you didnt!


12-27-2006, 02:40 PM
I'll check that when I get home from work (flickr is blocked here). I've been all over "MidWest photo" linked from strobist already. I guess he updates when he gets new inventory.

12-27-2006, 03:24 PM
I know that when I first started looking for the Sb's, i saw that they had not been as cheap on ebay as was thought and when i found mine ( i paid 70 each with shipping approx.) people were complaining on the site (strobist) that they had jumped up in price...funny how that works!

12-27-2006, 03:49 PM
that's the "strobist effect"!!!

12-27-2006, 07:49 PM
sure is.... Glad i got in when i did...lol WHats with the wanting of small flash? just for the portability? I know you have at least one AB...No?

12-27-2006, 07:58 PM
I got mine for just around 50 on fleabay for a SB-25 the deals are there you just have to look..

12-27-2006, 11:18 PM
I got mine for just around 50 on fleabay for a SB-25 the deals are there you just have to look..

....and look and look and look..but i agree, they do pop up every now and then..gotta find that sweet buy it now with the low price!!!:D

12-28-2006, 12:59 AM
I got lucky i was looking for a day..I'll look some more

just eep check what will end in the next day.. no point in looking a few days out it's a waste of time.. fining things ending midweek seems to help also

there are some cheep SB-50's and a few SB-28 that are pretty cheep ending tomorrow.
time to look...around..

12-28-2006, 01:01 AM
info on the SB -50

This is Nikon's latest small flash. It's a real winner, offering all of the important features of the bigger flashes in a smaller size and price. There is no such thing as a separate model SB-50; when I mention that it's just because I'm too lazy to type the full name of SB-50DX all the time.
It DOES NOT work with the D70. Even though it was introduced in 2002 it's already obsolete for the latest F6, D70, D2X and D2H. For these cameras you want the SB-600 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb600.htm) or SB-800 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb800.htm). For any other film or digital SLR camera like the D1X (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d1x.htm), D100 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d100.htm), F100 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/f100.htm) etc. it's great.
The SB-50DX adds a built-in slave as compared to the far more expensive SB-28 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb28.htm) series.
The SB-50DX works in TTL (Through-The-Lens metering) mode on the digital SLR cameras like the D100 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d100.htm) and D1H (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d1x.htm).
The only reason most people might have a need for the larger and more expensive flashes like the SB-80DX (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb80dx.htm), SB-28 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb28.htm) and SB-28DX (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb28dx.htm) is for more power. More power than the SB-50 is really only needed if you need to shoot at long distances or with slow (ISO 50) film. The reason knowledgeable photogs use big flashes is to get the power to shoot from 50 feet away with slow film, or bounce off the ceiling with power to spare. If you don't need the oomph then you don't need this flash.
If you have a film camera then also consider the tiny SB-23 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb23.htm) unless you need to bounce, and if you need to bounce, the SB-22 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/sb22.htm) also works fine. No one really uses the other trick modes like repeating flash you read about in the product brochures.
To use the SB-50DX' slave feature with a digital SLR camera you have to cripple the camera's flash by setting the camera's flash to the primitive A mode, and the SB-50DX, held in your left hand, to the A slave mode. You have to do this because Nikon's digital SLRs have only a primitive TTL metering system, unlike the film cameras. The digital SLRs have to use a primitive pre-flash, and unfortunately that pre-flash would confuse the slave flash. Thus you have to set the digital SLR's flash into a more primitive non-TTL mode like A for the remote slave to work. I'm unsure how to cripple the built-in flash of the D100 (http://www.kenrockwell.com/nikon/d100.htm) to trigger a remote SB-50, read your manuals. If you forget and don't set the correct mode on your digital SLR's flash you will see the SB-50DX fire just fine, but it will have no effect on your film since the light you see is the response to the pre-flash, but the SB-50DX is not smart enough to follow on with the main flash and thus it does not expose your photo. In other words, the SB-50, when your digital SLR's flash is left in the usual D-TTL mode, is firing before the camera's shutter opens. Just set the flash on your D100 or D1X or whatever to A mode (or M mode if you insist on manual exposure setting) when you want to use the SB-50DX as a remote slave and it works swell.

12-28-2006, 11:13 AM
I don't think that SB-50 has a swivel head. :(

I bidded on an SB-24. Found another I was going to pick up but shipping alone was almost $20. They're prices are rediculous for these . There's about 9 of them going for a Buy-it-Now of over $100.:Hammer

12-28-2006, 01:22 PM
yaeh,I think id rather pay $20.00 more for the the unit than to pay it in the shipping...just on principal!

12-28-2006, 03:54 PM
if your going to use it on a flash stand do you really need the swival head??? you can just turn it around..