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  1. #1
    ydnamull is offline I'm new here!
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    Smile Best external flash for Nikon D7000

    Does anyone have any recommendations for what type of external flash I should get for my Nikon D7000? I would like something that I can bounce the light when I am taking portrait photos indoors. I don't know anything about external flashes, so any advice you have would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

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    OsmosisStudios's Avatar
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    If this is your first flash, I'd definitely recommend a Nikon-branded flash to get the most out of both your camera and flash
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    The SB-400, SB-600,SB-700 and SB-900 are the main Nikon Speedlights with the first being the cheapest and the last the most expensive. If you are new to flash photography and on a budget, look at the SB-400, as the others have features you may never need. It is up to you to look at them all and make your decision. Personally I would buy the SB-400 as I do not do much flash photography and it would suit my needs perfectly.
    Nikon D7000 with 50mm f1.8 prime and 18-1055mm VR with 55-200 mm Nikkor Zoom len's

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    I would coach you to think about the photos you want to make today and those you might want to make tomorrow. Flash has incredible value but many folks choose not to get involved. Nikon Speedlites use through the lens flash metering automatically and many can participate with the D7000 in Commander mode for off-camera flash. This is a good thing because on camera flash looks like crap on its best day.

    Bounce and swivel are requirements for decent flash photography, so if you will bother to buy a flash, I would look at either the SB-700 or SB-900 in the Nikon line over the SB-400 which is lame in both power and features.

    According to Nikon the SB-900 has a guide number (meters at 35mm focal length at ISO 100) of 34. This is fairly underpowered for a bounce flash. When we bounce, or use a reflector, or use a diffuser we typically lose 2 stops of light so a flash is never too powerful. You pay a premium for more power.

    Personally I would want TTL support and the ability to work wirelessly for off camera flash with your D7000. This doesn't mean only a Nikon brand flash. My personal preference, and therefore my opinion, is that the Metz 54-AF2 which sells for less than the SB-900 but has a guide number of 54 is a much better choice. It has all the automation of the Nikon flashes, but adds a key flash below the main head and as you can see substantially more power, which as previously noted is a good thing. There are lower power and lower cost options from Metz as well at the GN ratings of 50 and 44.

    My needs are probably not the same as yours, but you'll never be sorry with a more powerful flash and so long as whatever you choose allows you to get the flash off the camera and soften the light will be a good choice.

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    Doc

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    OsmosisStudios's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocC View Post

    According to Nikon the SB-900 has a guide number (meters at 35mm focal length at ISO 100) of 34. This is fairly underpowered for a bounce flash. When we bounce, or use a reflector, or use a diffuser we typically lose 2 stops of light so a flash is never too powerful. You pay a premium for more power.

    Personally I would want TTL support and the ability to work wirelessly for off camera flash with your D7000. This doesn't mean only a Nikon brand flash. My personal preference, and therefore my opinion, is that the Metz 54-AF2 which sells for less than the SB-900 but has a guide number of 54 is a much better choice. It has all the automation of the Nikon flashes, but adds a key flash below the main head and as you can see substantially more power, which as previously noted is a good thing. There are lower power and lower cost options from Metz as well at the GN ratings of 50 and 44.
    The SB-900 has plenty of power to be used on-camera to bounce off ceilings and walls, as well as off-camera in a softbox or with an umbrella.

    I was unable to find any information about a "Metz 54-AF2" or similar (only 58 and 50). The 58 is only slightly less expensive than the SB-900 and, while more powerful, does not seem to have the same ergonomics. The 50 is cheaper, but doesn't do the Nikon CLS thing. Furthermore, the GN quoted by metz isn't for 35mm but for 105mm, which makes comparing it to an SB-900 nearly impossible. The big thing here, though, is backwards/forward compatibility: the NIkon is guaranteed to be compatible with most older and any future bodies; the Metz isn't.

    For the small difference in price, I'd definitely be going to the Nikon.
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