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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> SB-28 + SB-900 = Crazy?
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05/03/2011 04:23:55 AM · #1
I know someone selling a SB-28 Nikon flash for $100. I have an SB-900 already, but was wanting a second flash. Am I crazy for thinking of this combination? I'm pretty sure I've read that they're compatible, but I'm not 100% clear on the specifics of what is needed to ensure that. I think I may want to pick up some triggers. Pocket Wizards are out of my range right now, so I'll take some misfires for the price difference.

Am I crazy for thinking that's not a terrible price with all the flash prices going up?

I don't think this guy is dishonest enough to sell me something broken, but since I don't know him that well I can't be 100% sure. What should I look for other than general cosmetics, contacts, test fires, etc? I've never had any problems with my SB-900, so I don't know how a broken or fritzy flash would behave.

I'm not totally up to speed on this stuff, so please forgive the newbish questions.
05/03/2011 05:04:47 AM · #2
I'm not a nikon girl but I believe the SB28 would only be usable as a manual flash.
You would not be able to use it in unison with the SB900 (in ettl) you would probably need a set of triggers and get both flashes of camera altogether.
If that is what you are looking at doing it will be fine. I don't believe the SB28 can be controlled or triggered by the same system as the SB900 can.

I have an SB28 that I use off-camera and it's good for this purpose.
If that is what you are looking at doing then you will need a set of triggers.
I have the RF602's and have found them very reliable.

Someone please correct me if I've got that wrong.

Hope that helps.
05/03/2011 06:28:13 AM · #3
Wirelessly, the SB-28 will only be useful remotely as a dumb (optical trigger) flash (no TTL or any remote CLS control). Personally I'd recommend saving a little more $$$ and picking up an SB-600 so you have CLS, but I'm all about the CLS lights (I have SU-800, multiple SB-800s, multiple SB-600s and even some SB-R200s for my speedlights).

(Note the "wirelessly" caveat -- if you're willing to run some TTL cables around, you can actually use the SB-28 with TTL (still not CLS); or you can use it mounted directly in the hotshoe. Those configurations might not be of any interest to you, but they are possible. In those configurations, you'd need to put your SB-900 in SU-4 mode, and turn it into a dumb / optical-only flash, so if you want to use both lights at once it's functionally a wash).

If you want to do any high-speed flash work with it, the SB-28's flash duration across the power range is around the same as the SB-600 (which is a good bit slower than the SB-900).

If you just want another speedlight off camera and can handle it being an optical-only (equiv SU-4 mode on the SB-800/900 series), than go for it. Personally I love the remote control capability of CLS, but everyone's different. $100 is a good price for a good used SB-28. You can pick up an SB-600 for around $200 used, or if you don't need as much "oomph" but want to stick with CLS, you can get an SB-R200 for around $100 used / $200 new.
05/03/2011 08:20:53 AM · #4
I use two SB900's, an SB-28, and one 285HV in my off camera flash set up, using manual mode and Alien Bee Cybersyncs to fire them. CLS has such limits outside that I'd prefer to have repeatable light each time.

05/03/2011 12:30:59 PM · #5
If you can verify that it is in good condition, I don't think you are crazy at all. I agree with ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MattO that manual control is a very viable, reliable way to go; you may want to consider using a simple optical slave, but you will need to have your master set to manual so that your slave doesn't get fooled by the pre-flash.
I got two interesting (and opposed) perspectives on this recently when I attended the Flashbus tour.
05/03/2011 12:52:41 PM · #6
Thanks for the confirmation.

And, oops, sorry, yes my plan is to go manual. I've never been good with using automatic settings in anything other than my car. They never seem to do what I want them to do, and to me it's just easier to put the settings where I want them than guess what the system is going to do for me. I was so frustrated with my SB-900 until I figured out how to control it manually.

05/03/2011 12:57:20 PM · #7
I have a similar setup to ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21.gif', '/') + 1) . ' MattO and ' . substr('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', strrpos('//www.dpchallenge.com/images/user_icon/21_F.gif', '/') + 1) . ' RamblinR with a SB-600, 285HV and RF602s. I can use my Lastolite collapsible softbox with both of these to get good reliable results.

' . substr('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1358/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_940895.jpg', strrpos('//images.dpchallenge.com/images_challenge/1000-1999/1358/120/Copyrighted_Image_Reuse_Prohibited_940895.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

If you're willing to go manual just get the RF602s and whatever flash is cheap and compatible!
05/03/2011 01:06:07 PM · #8
not to kidnap, how reliable are RF602, in your opinion. would you say its better than spending $$ for PW ?

Let me edit... if you had a choice : brand new RF 602s for whatever they cost , or a good deal on used PW? would you say: "give me RF602s"? ( you could still pay your bills if you buy PW)

Message edited by author 2011-05-03 13:23:31.
05/03/2011 02:19:27 PM · #9
Originally posted by Basta:

not to kidnap, how reliable are RF602, in your opinion. would you say its better than spending $$ for PW ?

Let me edit... if you had a choice : brand new RF 602s for whatever they cost , or a good deal on used PW? would you say: "give me RF602s"? ( you could still pay your bills if you buy PW)


take a gander at this review...
05/03/2011 03:45:53 PM · #10
Never used PWs but rf602s have never let me down for my relatively modest use of them.
05/03/2011 04:03:58 PM · #11
great review, thanks for answers guys.
05/03/2011 05:06:52 PM · #12
Originally posted by Basta:

not to kidnap, how reliable are RF602, in your opinion. would you say its better than spending $$ for PW ?

Let me edit... if you had a choice : brand new RF 602s for whatever they cost , or a good deal on used PW? would you say: "give me RF602s"? ( you could still pay your bills if you buy PW)


We are talking about a significantly lower amount of money for RF602s compared even to second hand PW. You can get a transmitter and 2 receivers for around $56. You would need 3 PW for the same job - cost ???.

I have never had a fail with mine but I also have not used them to light a basketball court so that might make a difference. For the price I would think they would be well worth a try. I use them mostly on old Nikon Flashes SB26 and SB28 but I have also used them on Canon flashes and to memory they worked perfectly with these also.

Another thing. If you purchase 2 transmitters you can put one trans and one receiver on a different channel and plug the receiver into the side of the camera. Put another transmitter on the hotshoe and receivers on flashes and you can then remotely trigger the camera which is set with flashes. I have used this when shooting my fish shots as he swims freely when I'm not sitting in front of him. So can be a useful item. I have 2 transmitters and cables and I think I have 4 receivers.

Hope that helps.
05/03/2011 10:49:00 PM · #13
The following flash comparison might help you in regard to flash power.

Flash Comparison

Message edited by author 2011-05-03 22:49:12.
05/05/2011 05:36:34 AM · #14
Eee, I'm officially a commander of multiple high powered light sources!

For right now I'm just mounting the SB-28 and running the SB-900 in SU-4 mode. After popping them off of a wall that was too close to me a few too many times to test that it was controlling the SB-900 it dawned on me to turn the sound on for the SB-900.

I'm pretty excited now to do something with them, but uninspired right now being the end of a long day. I took some photos of the corner of my living room; single flash and then both. I deleted them, but trust me, they were pretty awesome crappy.
05/05/2011 09:48:15 PM · #15
Originally posted by aliqui:

Eee, I'm officially a commander of multiple high powered light sources!

For right now I'm just mounting the SB-28 and running the SB-900 in SU-4 mode. After popping them off of a wall that was too close to me a few too many times to test that it was controlling the SB-900 it dawned on me to turn the sound on for the SB-900.

I'm pretty excited now to do something with them, but uninspired right now being the end of a long day. I took some photos of the corner of my living room; single flash and then both. I deleted them, but trust me, they were pretty awesome crappy.


Meh, who cares if your initial ones suck, it's proof of concept, which is the main thing. Screwing around with lights is pretty fun stuff, enjoy it!
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