Flash for both digital and film

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by psul_aul, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. I guess the heading says it all. I am looking for an off camera flash which could be used on both a digital (d7000) and film (F100) SLR. I've checked out used sb 600's - wow they go for more used than they did when new- its hard to determine how much wear and tear are on a used electronic flash.
    Any opinions on non nikon brands and models? I have heard good things about metz and some others but I am uncertain in this area.
    Thanks in advance- -P
  2. I can't vouch for off-brand, but I've been happy with my SB600s. I got one so that I could use it on my D700 and F5; I got several because there's no point in having a nicer interface (e.g. SB700) if I still have at least one working like an SB600. I believe Nissin and Sigma make some decent modern compatible flashes, but I've not checked their F100 compatibility.
  3. Any flash that fits in the shoe will work in either manual or auto mode. Here's the deal though. No flash will give you TTL metering with both film or digital. You have to choose if you want iTTL (digital) or film TTL. An older flash such as Nikon SB-28 will give you TTL metering on the F100, and very slightly less precise metering using auto mode on a D7000. The iTTL and TTL are completely different systems.
    Kent in SD
  4. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    For several years I had not checked film prices. Only recently I was surprised that nowadays it costs some $30 (film + processing) to use a roll of Fuji slide film, vs. about $10 in 2005 (and earlier) when I stopped using film. I am not sure how much print film and B&W cost.
    My point is that you need to decide how much you'll still use the F100 to compromise on a flash.
    You can still use the newer SB-900 and SB-910 on the F100 in the A mode, if that is good enough for you. Otherwise, the SB-600 and SB-800 are the only two Nikon i-TTL flashes that are also compatible with film TTL. However, those two flashes both have a menu system that is difficult to use; I especially find the SB-600 hard to use, perhaps because I am a lot more familiar with the SB-800, which I have two.
    Neither the SB-600 nor the SB-700 has the A mode (but as I said, the SB-600 is film TTL compatible).
    Of course you can get a separate film flash such as an SB-28, etc. just for the F100. Which way to compromise depends on how much you use the D7000 vs. the F100, whether you can live with the flash A mode on the F100 or two different flashes.
    And as you probably know already, the SB-900 and 910 are huge.
  5. Used SB-25 go for around $50, and used SB-28 go for around $80 on eBay. They both work the same; the SB-28 is slightly smaller. I own x8 Nikon SB-28 which I put on lightstands and fire using radio triggers. Depending on what you are doing with the flash, your best option might be to buy one of those for the F100 and either an SB-400 or 700 for the D7000. You would then have two flash for portraits, using one or the other in slave mode with an attached optical or radio trigger.
    Kent in SD
  6. It should be clear from Shun's text, ..but if there is any doubt...putting it bluntly:
    " No flash will give you TTL metering with both film or digital." - wrong statement.
    SB600 and SB800 they both do have iTTL for digital and film TTL for film, ... of cource not both modes at the same time...:)
  7. If you are in manual mode and off camera (not in the hot shoe) almost any flash will work with almost any camera regardless of film, digital or brand. Once you are off camera, it is simpler and easier in my opinion to work in manual mode rather than using TTL, iTTL or any automated setting. And once you're working in full manual, no need to pay hundreds of dollars for a flash with all those bells and whistles only to turn them off. While I have an SB-900 for times when I want automation, my off-camera shoemounts are all Vivitars (283 and 285HV). The current production of 285HV is reputedly junk but if you get an older once used, they are -- as I have said many times -- the most flash for the money.
  8. So, If I picked up a used SB-28 to use with the film camera and then bought a new SB-700 to use with the D7000:
    Is there anyway the two could be used to together, in a multiple flash set up, in any mode, with either the film or digital body?
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    If you want to use multiple flashes on Nikon DSLRs (except for the early D1 family and D100, which use D-TTL), such as the D7000, I would highly recommend using multiple i-TTL-compatible flashes, such as those five I showed in the image above, plus the SB-R200. All of such flashes have 3-digit model numbers. The combo of the SB-700 plus an SB-28 is not nearly as useful.
  10. The D7000 can trigger iTTL flashes using its integrated flash. I use my D700 in this mode all the time (when using flash). You can turn off iTTL and use the flash for a simple optical trigger, but Nikon went to great efforts to get a decent automated flash mechanism, and it's pretty nice.

    I was going to suggest a PC-sync adaptor for the SB-28, but I don't think the D7000 has a socket. Since it doesn't pre-trigger, I've been known to use the socket on my D700 to trigger a spare flash for background and rim/hair lighting (that don't greatly affect the exposure), saving the iTTL control for the main lights on the subject. I'd do it more if I could find a threaded PC cable so it doesn't keep falling off the camera... You may be able to find some way to achieve the same, though probably not through the hotshoe (the obvious way) if you're using the on-camera flash as a trigger. Good luck.
  11. The SB600 is probably the most economical way to get maximum compatibility while staying in the Nikon brand - I have one and it works correctly in manual and TTL on DSLRs and my F100, and it works off camera using the D7000 flash commander mode. I think Metz has some current model flashes that work in both TTL for film and iTTL for digital. Check the spec sheets and instruction manuals on their web site, and they have customer service contact info so you could ask any specific questions.
    It may be that it makes more sense to get some current model that's not expensive and works on the D7000, and an older one that works on film TTL, if you want both in full auto TTL modes.
  12. I'm still using SB-25s very successfully with my D700 and D800. They work extremely well in Auto-Aperture mode on camera (just as well as i-TTL IMHO). For off camera use I use cheapo radio triggers to fire them completely reliably in manual or AA mode, where I can mix and match them with my studio monolights or as completely portable lighting.
    I wouldn't worry too much about "wear and tear" on flash units Psul. The physical state of them is a pretty good guide to how much use they've had. The bashed up and tatty looking SB-25 that I bought very cheaply works just as well, and has the same output power as the two other near-mint ones that I own. FWIW, I have quite a collection of old flash units - most of them picked up used for next-to-nothing - and they all put out as much light now as when they were brand new.
    I have to disagree with Craig that old Vivitars represent the "most flash for your money". As Kent says, you can find an SB-25 for around $50. For which you get: As much power as a new SB-910; Manual, Auto-Aperture, film TTL, Repeating flash and Rear-curtain sync modes; a recycling time of 4 seconds; power control down to 1/64th in 1/3rd stop decrements; a zoom head from 24mm to 85mm coverage (21mm with flip down diffuser); pull-out bounce card; full 90 degree tilt and 270 degree rotation together with excellent build quality.
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    I am surprised that no one has mentioned the SB-80DX. This might fit both rolls.​
    No it doesn't. As I mentioned earlier, i-TTL compatible flashes have 3-digit model numbers. The SB-80 DX is for D-TTL, namely the D1 family (including D1H and D1X) and D100. It will not perform TTL flash with the D7000.
  14. "So, If I picked up a used SB-28 to use with the film camera and then bought a new SB-700 to use with the D7000:
    Is there anyway the two could be used to together, in a multiple flash set up, in any mode, with either the film or digital body?"

    Yes. You simply put them in manual mode. You can trigger the first one with anything from a PC cord to a radio trigger. The second can be on an optical slave or another radio trigger. If either your camera or the flash doesn't have the proper connections, that's why B&H and everybody else sells adaptors.
  15. Craig--
    It all depends on how you are going to use the flash. Since I shoot many different formats (4x5, 6x9, 6x6, 35mm, and Nikons D7100 & D5100,) I have a flash system that's pretty versatile. The latest Nikons (I have an SB-900) are great for fast work on the fly. If you are doing shots that are more set up, the price of them vs. the speed benefit becomes less of a good value. Here's how you could use a two flash set up. With your D7000, use an SB-700 on the camera in iTTL mode (or ideally just off camera on a stand with umbrella using iTTL & Nikon's CLS.) You have a second light on a stand, let's say an SB-28. Buy radio trigger for it (Cactus, Yong Nuo), and set the flash manually. You can set it manually by either chimping on your LCD screen or by using a flash meter.
    With your F100, have your SB-28 in the hotshoe using TTL, or connect it to the hotshoe using a dedicated Nikon sync cord (SC-28?) and have the flash on a stand with umbrella. Have the SB-700 on another stand, triggered by the radio trigger.
    You could also have both flash off camera, in manual mode, and trigger them with radio triggers. They actually cost less and don't have issues with the preflash. They can also be set out of view behind things. I use CyberSync triggers myself, but I need the longer range (up to 200 yards.) I take portraits of bigger stuff. Below shot was made with x2 SB-28 flash behind the engine to light the elevator, and x2 SB-28 flash to light the engine. Look at all the area I lit with just four little flash! All flash on stands, triggered by radio triggers & D7100.
    Kent in SD
  16. No flash will give you TTL metering with both film or digital.​
    I showed my SB-800 your post, but it is refusing to believe you, and is quite happily still doing TTL with both film and digital.
  17. Shun:
    Bought a roll of TMax 400 (24 exp) for $4.24 a year ago. Just finished exposing, cost $23+ for developing. That is near your cost for the Fuji slide film.
  18. Wow. I'd better hurry up and send in all the exposed Velvia I have sitting in my fridge. Though there still seem to be places doing about £5 per roll in the UK (it used to be less than half that!) for E6, but B&W film is more painful. There's no way I'd shoot the quantity in film that I do in digital, but I still vaguely want a 6x6 or 6x7 camera, and to pick up a 5x4. I hope I don't have to learn how to develop the results...

    Incidentally, lest it be relevant to people reading this thread, I do have a cheap Nissin Nikon-compatible flash. It has manual exposure compensation. Unfortunately, it's only Nikon compatible - I tried using it via a hotshoe adaptor and a P/C cable as a secondary light, and it won't trigger as a dumb flash. I should have a look on eBay before my next attempt...
  19. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Bought a roll of TMax 400 (24 exp) for $4.24 a year ago. Just finished exposing, cost $23+ for developing. That is near your cost for the Fuji slide film.​
    Yikes, and I was talking about a roll of 36 (thirty-six) exposure Fuji slide film and processing, as Kodak no longer makes slide file of any type.
    Other than a few Leicas and the F6, film cameras are dirt cheap in these days. However, processing is not.
  20. Other than a few Leicas and the F6, film cameras are dirt cheap in these days. However, processing is not.​
    Sadly, only for 135 format. Rolleiflexes, Mamiya 7s and Sinars are still a bit pricey (though not in digital/scanning back territory). Unfortunately, since these are exactly the kind of thing I'd like to buy.

    Not that I'd turn down an F6 or an M7 if offered.
  21. And if you got an F6 you could use the newest flashes in TTL mode, so really, it's a good deal :)
  22. Obviously! Oh, wait, I can't order from B&H until 9:45EDT. Otherwise I was just about to reach for my credit card. Oh well.

    (I notice the 1v is also still quite silly money new. Not so much used...)

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