Nikon versus Promaster

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by gabriel_grosu, Nov 3, 2003.

  1. I am planing to buy two flashes . I want to use them both on stands
    with umbrelas ( small studio set up ). I went to the store and I've
    been told that Promaster will do a job as good as a Nikon one will
    for my F100. I was also told that Promaster 5700 will work with a
    digital Nikon if I ever get one , except that I'm going to have to
    change the module, which is fine with me. Promaster flashes are not
    very expensive , I just don't want to invest some money in something
    that is actually going to do maybe just half of the job right , or
    even less. I guess my question would be , if Promaster is not good ,
    than what do I get instead from Nikon ? Does anybody know a link
    where you can see both brands listed with pros and cons?
  2. Why spend $800 or $900 for a camera body, and then 'equip' it with a $50 flash? The salesman is trying to unload the 'great' Promaster flash units. [Hint: Nikon engineers spent a lot of time in getting the F100 body and the SB-28 (or SB-26) speedlight to work in a professional manner for fill-flash operation. Why didn't they just add a Nikon nameplate to the Promaster unit if it were so good?]
  3. For older manual cameras with no TTL or simple TTL I'm the first to say don't waste money on Nikon flashes, but with an F100 you should have nothing less than the latest, greatest, Nikon dedicated flash unit. If you wish to leave yourself open to digital, make sure you get a DX flash, preferably the SB-80DX. SB-28DX is awesome too, I'd steer clear of the smaller one that takes lithium batts.
  4. Sigma makes a Model 430 and 500 dedicated ttl Nikon flashes--both under $100 new on fleabay. I have the 430 and it fills my needs--even has the low light af with D lenses and reflector zooms with the lens. If I was a pro I would go Nikon but I'm not and I think the SB 29 costs just a little more:)
  5. Two things: the salesdude is likely making a commission on the promaster, and that is likely why he is 'pushing' them.

    If your primary intent is to use umbrellas and stands, I wouldn't even worry about dedication. Get yourself a pair of Vivitar 285's, a slave cell, and a flash meter. (Or go for some more 'serious' lights if you like, but a 285 is sort of a 'basic unit' for stand usage.)

    Dedication and TTL is kind of a PITA when you're trying to do 1:3 lighting ratios or similar. Better to have decent manual control and an independent meter. Note that something like a Nikon SB-28 has manual control, it just costs $250 more than a 285.
  6. If you will need TTL fill (beside using your flashes with the studio set up); I, like many other posters, would think Nikon would be your best bet since these dedicated flashes are so sophisticated that you shouldn't trust anyone else.

    But if you only need the flashes for the studio style setup. I think Todd's advice makes most sense; you will have better and accurate control with a simple light meter and a pair of Vivitar 285 (same output as the SB-28, but so much cheaper)
  7. Yes I too was assuming that you would want to have at least one flash that would do all of the fancy Nikon trickery. I'd go with slaves, Vivitars and a flash meter for the studio work and you can always still use your fancy Nikon flash in manual mode for this.
  8. Excellent flash engineering is one of the reasons to prefer the Nikon system to Canon, Minolta, etc...

    If you want to do anything other than basic or all-manual flash work, you should really stick to modern Nikon flash equipment. The SB-28 (DX or not) is a great match to the F-100.
  9. I have a Promaster 5700 that I was using with a CoolPix camera. I just ordered a D200 with a 28-200 VR zoom lens. Until I recover from the trauma of the cost of the purchase, can I use my 5700 with the D200 without causing any electronic damage to the D200? I will eventually buy a Nikon unit?

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