Nikon SB-600 Speedlight
Nikon DSLR cameras were highly renowned for their amazing image quality and powerful built-in flash features. But there are a few photographers that truly want their pictures to be picture perfect and do not want to go through all the annoyances in post-production practices where intensive photo edits are required. This is why Nikon continues to manufacture their Speedlight branded flash units to complement even the most advanced DSLR cameras.
But starting off with a professional Speedlight may not be the best idea for those who are on the learning steps in making the most out of their Nikon unit. The professional models are quite heavy and riddled with menus that only the top photographers would enjoy. Fortunately there is the Nikon SB-600 Speedlight which is comfortably geared for amateur photographers that want a little bit more than the simple SB-400.
Design & Construction
The SB-600 has the construction qualities of the other units in the family which means very good quality. On the back of the unit lies a few buttons that are used to control the small LCD display which is very clear and easy to read. There is also a locking mechanism found just below to avoid accidents. It is a bit lighter and smaller than the more feature-rich SB-900.
“The Nikon SB-600 will change your life. It is far superior to the camera’s built in flash. I can take pictures in the dark almost as fast as I can push the shutter button. The distance is impressive. The camera flash was never adequate, but the SB-600 will light up anything in a large room. It is simple to operate and the learning curve is minimal. It synchronizes with all my lenses. The only negative is that it eats batteries. You must carry an extra set of AA alkaline batteries with you at all times. But it is still worth the money. It will add a whole new dimension to your photography.” – W.Wright (Colorado Springs,USA)
Features & Performance
The Nikon SB-600 can serve multiple roles either when attached to most of the old and new Nikon DSLR models or when used separately as a stand-alone Speedlight. It can also serve as a wireless remote giving the photographer’s ability to capture some advanced lightning shots that are not possible with the built-in flashes. Unlike other brands, the Nikon SB-600 executes the wireless mode with great precision and rarely causes misalignment.
It has some great power management features as well with an intelligent standby mode that makes sure the camera never switches off yet conserves significant battery life. It is also very responsive when you try to wake it up.
The SB-600 is capable of handling some really advanced lighting conditions outside the wireless mode with the aid of the i-TTL flash control which has effective seamless fill-flash functions with good accuracy. The autofocus of the attached unit is also enhanced during low light situations with the Wide-area AF illuminator. There is also a Flash Value Lock feature that can maintain adequate lighting levels even with the zoom is being altered.
The Nikon SB-600 is one of the most compatible cameras out there supporting all the Nikon cameras made in the past 4 decades and at the same time support current digital SLR cameras since it possesses the new i-TTL exposure system.
This particular Speedlight can actually be used by beginner and advanced photographers alike since it isn’t really the heaviest around. When paired with a D40, the weight feels just about right and paring it with a D2X doesn’t cause much harm either. It has great battery life and the wireless modem can definitely do wonders.
Average User Rating:
- “I just bought my second SB-600 and love it. I’m now enjoying the capabilities of the Nikon Creative Lighting System with two flashes and will probably buy a third one soon. I can control both flashes from my Nikon D300 and can easily increase or decrease the output of each flash from my camera menu. I’m using them to shoot weddings among other things. Bought the Nikon colored gels as well and these are also proving to be very useful. Having remote flashes with TTL control is simply amazing, a few years ago you had to pay THOUSANDS of dollars for a setup from Quantum capable of doing this. If you’re new to flash photography do learn to use your SB-600, SB-800 or SB-900 off-camera, it makes a world of difference. It certainly beats the ugly, flat lighting that you get with on-camera flash. Two thumbs up to Nikon for this amazing system.” – I.Gabaldon (Caracas, Venezuela)
- “I have used several flash/speed lights over the years on early Nikons to Hasselblads. This is a perfect match for my D-80 in that it gives options that empower the photographer to manage the lighting to maximize the created image. This can be, but is not limited to be a tool for the point and shoot photographer, but a tool in the hands of the creative. It will take an effort to master the SB-600, but like the higher end Nikon D series, it is rewarding, if a bit threatening, to know that the camera and speed light is smarter than the photographer” – R.Eisner (Ca,USA)
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