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Thread: Camera Flashes and the Nikon D100

  1. #1

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    Alex

    Camera Flashes and the Nikon D100

    I'm on the market for a separate flash unit. This is my first flash and I'm on a very tight budget so the SB-600, 700, 800 and 900 are sadly out of the question. Also, the SB-400 (which looks like a nice first flash) is not compatible with the D100.

    I'm now looking to get an older flash (from the D100's time) on eBay, at a fraction of the price. I am looking at an SB-25DX. I know, it's not a great flash, but all the other flash units from that 'era' are still quite expensive given their age.

    I have read that it has inbuilt remote capabilities derived from it's sensor, and triggered from pre-flashes from a commander unit. My question is this: can I use the Nikon D100 and it's inbuilt flash as a commander for this purpose, or is it too old to support such features?

    Thanks,
    Xander

  2. #2
    inkista's Avatar
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    Kathy Li

    Re: Camera Flashes and the Nikon D100

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander314 View Post
    I'm on the market for a separate flash unit.
    Are you planning on using it on-camera? or off-camera?

    I'm now looking to get an older flash (from the D100's time) on eBay, at a fraction of the price. I am looking at an SB-25DX. I know, it's not a great flash, but all the other flash units from that 'era' are still quite expensive given their age.
    I don't think there's an SB-25DX. There's an SB-28DX, an SB-50DX and an SB-80DX. The SB-25, iirc, is similar to the SB-24: mostly for manual use, and the TTL scheme on it is for film, not digital. It does not have any kind of optical slave capability, iirc. The only older SB units that have a built-in "dumb" optical slave are the SB-26, SB-50DX and SB-80DX.

    I have read that it has inbuilt remote capabilities derived from it's sensor, and triggered from pre-flashes from a commander unit.
    This is kind of the problem. If it has an inbuilt-slave sensor, it's a "dumb" optical sensor, not a CLS-sensor. See-flash-burst-fire-flash is all it can do. And it will trigger off of a pre-flash, which is one flash burst too early. If you are going to use a flash with this kind of sensor, you must put your pop-up flash into Manual mode (vs. iTTL) to prevent it from firing a pre-flash.

    My question is this: can I use the Nikon D100 and it's inbuilt flash as a commander for this purpose, or is it too old to support such features?
    The D100 does not have a built-in CLS (i.e., "smart" optical) commander. But yes, you can use it to set off an "dumb" optical slave, assuming that you can either turn off the pre-flash on the pop-up, or the slave has a way of ignoring the pre-flash..

    My favorite (cheap) flash unit for off-camera work, which has a built-in optical slave that can ignore a single pre-flash burst, is the Yongnuo YN-560. In the US, I get them off Amazon for $65. No idea what the cost in the UK is, though. These are cheap Hong Kong manufacture, but it does well for me. Another all-manual model to look at for Strobist work would be the LumoPro LP160. Both it and the YN-560 also have PC sync ports, so you could use a PC sync cable to do remote flash as well.

    BTW (I'm a Canon shooter, so I'm just picking stuff up by Google searches) but I doubt that even if you could afford an SB-900 that it would be useful for you. The D100 apparently uses D-TTL, not i-TTL, which is the current auto-flash-power technology for Nikon dSLRs and the SB-xxx units.

  3. #3

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    Re: Camera Flashes and the Nikon D100

    Sorry it took me a while to reply - I've been bogged down with school and university work.

    I meant the 50DX, not sure why I wrote 25... Anyway, the item went for more than I wanted to pay for such an old flash. I'm now looking for a used SB-600, although a friend says I can have all his old manual flashes. They'll have to be connected with PC sync cable, but if they're free there's no harm in giving it a go...

    I want a flash I can use on camera primarily, but I'm also interested in having some off camera ones for "strobist" style stuff. I have seen the YongNuo units - if I ever want some cheap manual flashes, they're probably what I'd go for.

    Anyway, thanks for your help I guess I'll just have to keep shopping around for a decent flash for TTL functionality - it's quite hard to find one cheap which works with the ancient D-TTL technology of the D100.

    Thanks

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