SB-600 vs SB-800

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by efusco, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Can someone please summarize the major differences b/w the SB-600 and
    SB-800. They have similar GN 38 for the 600 vs 36 for the 800 (which
    seems odd assuming the 800 is the better flash). The 800 has a built
    in slave I think. Anyone who's got a better grip on this than me,
    the specs I've seen don't make the distinction clear.

    I'll be getting one or the other when I get a D70 and want to make
    the right choice. I plan on getting a D2X when that eventually
    happens if that makes a difference.
  2. Correction, the GN for the SB-600 is 30.
  3. The SB-600 is a tiny bit smaller (tenth of an inch or two, l/w/h); it is a tiny bit lighter (couple ounces); it doesn't quite cover wide angles the same way, but it does appear to offer equivalent lens (14mm) coverage nonetheless; it doesn't come with color filters and it uses a different catalog number for its color filters compared to the SB-800; the specs do not state that the SB600 has a tilt and swivel head but the photos sure LOOK as if it does. It is probably a bit less expensive than the SB-800, but my favorite online site for reality checks on prices (B&H photo) does not yet list the SB-600.

    If there are other differences, they sure didn't leap off the press releases at me. Both would seem to offer the same whiz-bang TTL modes on (or off!) the new D2H and D70 bodies.

    I used to advise folks to get the top-of-the-line unit for best dollar value and best compatibility. Unfortunately, Nikon appears to have created a compatibility headache for folks who bought SB-28DX and SB-80DX units when THEY were the top of the line. Upgrading to the newest Nikon digital SLR bodies evidently will leave those flash units incapable of any TTL modes (according to the available D70 specs at least).

    For now I'd hesitate to recommend any Nikon speedlight as the best choice for future compatibility. One could recommend the SB-800 as the best mix of pure grunt (guide number) and TTL compatiblity for this week, and then, I guess, buyers will have to cross their fingers that the $350 or $400 purchase price will continue to provide TTL functions on yet-to-come digital SLR models.

    Have fun...
  4. Thanks Jim,
    I actually thought this thread would generate a little more info (at least some crude "can't you read the specs yourself?"). There seems to be a suggestion that the 800s work better as both master and slave with a multi-flash set up, but the 600s also seem to be capable. Hopefully this will be a bit more clear when all the products are available. Knowing myself I'll go with the 800 for the extra "grunt" if for no other reason.

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