View Full Version : Help to choose an Electronic Flash

12-25-2009, 05:39 PM
I'm looking forward to buying a flash unit for my Nikon D90 and seeking advice in choosing the right one.
Nikon's SB 900 at close to $600 would probably be the best unit if $$$ were of no concern but I'm looking at the Sigma EF 530 DG Super presently available at $199.

Considering I could buy 3 Sigma EF 530 for the price of 1 Nikon SB 900 and that the Sigma unit offers more power ( guide #53 vs guide #42 for the Nikon ), is the Nikon really that much of a better unit?

When comparing specifications, the only meanigful advantage of the Nikon for me is that it offers off camera "intelligent TTL"...

Any advice would be appreciated.

12-26-2009, 04:29 PM
Here's a link where the Nikon SB900 and the Sigma EF530 are compared.
http://www.lozeau.com/CompareResults.aspx?nav_id=739&lang_id=E&ids=17545%2c8528 (http://www.lozeau.com/CompareResults.aspx?nav_id=739&lang_id=F&ids=17545,8528)
Comments anyone ?

Tried to edit this link - not working - the info on this page is French but there is a link at top right to turn the info English.

Thx - Makro

12-26-2009, 04:45 PM
The only comment I have is that I would not put a non-Nikon flash on my Nikon camera. But that being said, if you plan on using them remotely I think the cheaper model will serve you just as well.

Mad Aussie
12-26-2009, 04:59 PM
the only meanigful advantage of the Nikon for me is that it offers off camera "intelligent TTL"...

Any advice would be appreciated.
Does this mean the Sigma will not act as a slave for another flash? If so, that could be an issue if you got into serious strobist portraiture or similar. Then again I think you can buy little plug in units that fire it when it sees another flash.

12-26-2009, 05:16 PM
Thank you Raiven and MA. I appreciate your comments. From what I read this flash is going to slave and provide TTL data to the camera. The only function the Nikon flash has over the Sigma (as I understand it ) is that the Nikon will provide Auto fill flash (Intelligent TTL) while the Sigma will not. But this can be worked out manually by varying controls on the camera and/or flash unit...

As I could not really get an answer over the phone as if this was a "boxing day only special" (I'm in Acapulco and the store is in Montreal so could not really go to the store) I decided to take a chance and order it... As I return in April I'll have a new toy to play with.

As it is going to be used off camera all the time, I have no fear it will damage my Nikon camera.

12-27-2009, 02:32 PM
I would look to either an SB-600 or a used SB-800 (Don't be afraid of used gear as long as you buy it from a reputable shop and test it carefully - you'll save a LOT of $$). From all reports, the SB-900 is a great flash, but a LOT more than most people need. The big benefit to using a Nikon flash is that it will fully integrate with the Nikon CLS (Creative Lighting System). This will be a BIG help when you move into off-camera flash work.

12-27-2009, 03:40 PM
I would be very surprised if the sigma could not handle 99% of the things you would need it for. 200 seems like a great deal to me.

Vladimir Naumoff
01-05-2010, 10:47 PM
I agree with Marco. I have a Sigma Pro, latest one on Canon 1Ds M3 and I love it. I do have a Canon flash too because Sigma works well on 1Ds and it doesn't like my other camera which is older 5D. On my 5d it fires 8 out of 10 times and missing some settings too. No problem when I shoot in manual mode. I guess what I want to say that make sure Sigma supports your camera even if it's Nikon or Canon. All other staff like eTTL and so on works like a charm. I found the best price at Adorama. Good luck. :)

01-06-2010, 12:38 AM
Thanks Marko and Vladimir. After all I read on this Sigma Pro Flash unit it is clear to me that it will do all what I need from a flash and then some.

So I think I'll enjoy it., I'll let you know when I start using it at the end of April...

03-16-2010, 06:45 AM
Just to throw a screw in the works a friend has this Nissin Digital Flash: Di866 INTRODUCTION (http://www.nissindigital.com/en/Di866-1.html) flash and is very happy with it.