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Recommended flash for Nikon 8700, 8400?

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Anonymous
June 29, 2005 4:18:29 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400. I'm
now interested in getting a shoe-mount flash for both, but frankly am
somewhat bewildered by the product descriptions I've seen as to which camera
features ARE and which ARE NOT compatible or functional with the various
makes and models of flash units. For example, my impression so far is that
these cameras ignore the flash unit's built-in AF assist lamp, but I'm not
sure if that's true for all flash units.

I want a reasonably small and lightweight unit (something with the least
tendency to turn the camera upside down on the neckstrap would be nice) that
supports as much as possible the cameras' advanced features. It need not be
Nikon brand if some other reputable make like Sunpak offers a suitable unit.
Fairly inexpensive would be nice too. :-)

Any recommendations, suggestions, info or links will be much appreciated.
I've already been to some obvious sites such as Nikon USA, but I may have
missed something.

N.
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 5:18:36 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:18:29 -0400, Nostrobino <not@home.today> wrote:

>I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400.

Oh you poor thing. The 8400 is brain dead in low light. It acts like it has
image stabilization, but it doesn't.

As for flashes you need one of the Nikon ones that support the features of
the camera. Depends on what GN you want.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 8:43:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Don Wiss" <donwiss@no_spam.com> wrote in message
news:sol5c1ddkq1rsf88g2qjn6v4dt8db3rs8v@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:18:29 -0400, Nostrobino <not@home.today> wrote:
>
>>I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400.
>
> Oh you poor thing. The 8400 is brain dead in low light. It acts like it
> has
> image stabilization, but it doesn't.

Eh?


>
> As for flashes you need one of the Nikon ones that support the features of
> the camera.

Uh . . . Yes, that was my question.

N.
Related resources
June 29, 2005 9:21:32 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
news:EPGdnWDiYudOVF_fRVn-jg@comcast.com...
> I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400. I'm
> now interested in getting a shoe-mount flash for both, but frankly am
> somewhat bewildered by the product descriptions I've seen as to which
camera
> features ARE and which ARE NOT compatible or functional with the various
> makes and models of flash units. For example, my impression so far is that
> these cameras ignore the flash unit's built-in AF assist lamp, but I'm not
> sure if that's true for all flash units.
The SB600 manual says to consult the Coolpix manuals for instructions. You
should be able to determine how Nikon's flash units function on these two
cameras with what you have before you.
>
> I want a reasonably small and lightweight unit (something with the least
> tendency to turn the camera upside down on the neckstrap would be nice)
that
> supports as much as possible the cameras' advanced features. It need not
be
> Nikon brand if some other reputable make like Sunpak offers a suitable
unit.
> Fairly inexpensive would be nice too. :-)
Go to a camera store and try them out yourself. There is no substitute for
hands on experience.
Jim
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 9:21:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Jim" <j.n@nospam.com> wrote in message
news:wMAwe.2258$cb6.828@newssvr30.news.prodigy.com...
>
> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
> news:EPGdnWDiYudOVF_fRVn-jg@comcast.com...
>> I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400. I'm
>> now interested in getting a shoe-mount flash for both, but frankly am
>> somewhat bewildered by the product descriptions I've seen as to which
> camera
>> features ARE and which ARE NOT compatible or functional with the various
>> makes and models of flash units. For example, my impression so far is
>> that
>> these cameras ignore the flash unit's built-in AF assist lamp, but I'm
>> not
>> sure if that's true for all flash units.
> The SB600 manual says to consult the Coolpix manuals for instructions.

The Coolpix 8700 manual says "Refer to the Speedlight manual for detailed
instructions."


> You
> should be able to determine how Nikon's flash units function on these two
> cameras with what you have before you.

The 8700 does provide some useful information. I was hoping for more, and
some comparison of flash units which the 8700 manual does not offer. It
lists Speedlight models which work with the camera, but I don't see any
information on which camera features are supported by which flash units.
..

>>
>> I want a reasonably small and lightweight unit (something with the least
>> tendency to turn the camera upside down on the neckstrap would be nice)
> that
>> supports as much as possible the cameras' advanced features. It need not
> be
>> Nikon brand if some other reputable make like Sunpak offers a suitable
> unit.
>> Fairly inexpensive would be nice too. :-)
> Go to a camera store and try them out yourself. There is no substitute
> for
> hands on experience.

Undoubtedly, but I do all my camera and accessories buying online. There
aren't any large camera stores where I live.

N.
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 9:40:40 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:43:50 -0400, "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote:

>Don Wiss wrote:
>> On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:18:29 -0400, Nostrobino <not@home.today> wrote:
>>
>>>I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400.
>>
>> Oh you poor thing. The 8400 is brain dead in low light. It acts like it has
>> image stabilization, but it doesn't.
>
>Eh?

The 8400 cannot take pictures in low light in Auto mode. The lens is F2.8
only at the widest angle. Zoom in and it drops to something like F4.4. The
ISO nevers budges from 50. So if you are under trees, or dusk is
approaching, you will find yourself taking pictures at 1/30 or 1/15. And
for me all such pictures won't come out. (And I am not going to carry a
tripod around with me on my bicycle.)

And out of Auto mode all you can do to help is up the ISO some.

Even in bright light the lack of IS ruins pictures. Take for example my
recent parade pictures at: http://donwiss.com/pictures/GayPride-2005/
You will find that even in bright sunlight many of the pictures suffer from
the lack of IS. And a few were so bad I deleted them.

I absolutely would not buy a camera without IS.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 9:46:04 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:53:24 -0400, Nostrobino <not@home.today> wrote:

>The 8700 does provide some useful information. I was hoping for more, and
>some comparison of flash units which the 8700 manual does not offer. It
>lists Speedlight models which work with the camera, but I don't see any
>information on which camera features are supported by which flash units.

The Speedlights have many more features than the 8700 and 8400 use. You can
see what the 8700's is by looking in the manual. The 8400 only supports
i-TTL. Only the SB-600 and SB-800 support this. So which depends on the GN
you want.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 11:18:26 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Don Wiss" <donwiss@no_spam.com> wrote in message
news:o v46c1hgc4masrld3fi5l1ile437s4cvdc@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:43:50 -0400, "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote:
>
>>Don Wiss wrote:
>>> On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 12:18:29 -0400, Nostrobino <not@home.today> wrote:
>>>
>>>>I recently bought a Nikon Coolpix 8700 and have just ordered an 8400.
>>>
>>> Oh you poor thing. The 8400 is brain dead in low light. It acts like it
>>> has
>>> image stabilization, but it doesn't.
>>
>>Eh?
>
> The 8400 cannot take pictures in low light in Auto mode. The lens is F2.8
> only at the widest angle. Zoom in and it drops to something like F4.4. The
> ISO nevers budges from 50.

Interesting. Also unusual, isn't it? I don't think I have a digital camera
that doesn't boost the ISO as needed in low light.


> So if you are under trees, or dusk is
> approaching, you will find yourself taking pictures at 1/30 or 1/15. And
> for me all such pictures won't come out. (And I am not going to carry a
> tripod around with me on my bicycle.)
>
> And out of Auto mode all you can do to help is up the ISO some.
>
> Even in bright light the lack of IS ruins pictures. Take for example my
> recent parade pictures at: http://donwiss.com/pictures/GayPride-2005/
> You will find that even in bright sunlight many of the pictures suffer
> from
> the lack of IS. And a few were so bad I deleted them.

Those are all with a Nikon 8400, I presume?


>
> I absolutely would not buy a camera without IS.

I wouldn't have thought IS necessary with a camera with a 24-85mm (equiv.)
lens. The big appeal of the 8400 to me is that short end, which as far as I
know is the widest angle lens available on a non-interchangeable-lens
camera. I really like wide-angle stuff, and the lack of that capability in
most digitals is the main thing that has kept me from going to digital
completely.

The only IS lens I own is on a Panasonic FZ15 with 35-420mm (equiv.) lens.
At or near the long end that obviously demands it, since I seldom use a
tripod. But at shorter focal lengths I'm surprised anyone would feel the
need for IS. I've done a lot of shooting with 200mm lenses hand-held on 35s,
most of it with ISO 64 or slower slide films, and never found it a problem.

N.
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 11:19:53 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Don Wiss" <donwiss@no_spam.com> wrote in message
news:sd56c112cfqs0v5lfhs6o4ae28cq64s7qr@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 16:53:24 -0400, Nostrobino <not@home.today> wrote:
>
>>The 8700 does provide some useful information. I was hoping for more, and
>>some comparison of flash units which the 8700 manual does not offer. It
>>lists Speedlight models which work with the camera, but I don't see any
>>information on which camera features are supported by which flash units.
>
> The Speedlights have many more features than the 8700 and 8400 use. You
> can
> see what the 8700's is by looking in the manual. The 8400 only supports
> i-TTL. Only the SB-600 and SB-800 support this. So which depends on the GN
> you want.

Ah. Thanks.

N.
Anonymous
June 29, 2005 11:59:42 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 19:18:26 -0400, "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote:

>Don Wiss wrote:
>> The 8400 cannot take pictures in low light in Auto mode. The lens is F2.8
>> only at the widest angle. Zoom in and it drops to something like F4.4. The
>> ISO nevers budges from 50.
>
>Interesting. Also unusual, isn't it? I don't think I have a digital camera
>that doesn't boost the ISO as needed in low light.

That is why I called it brain dead. Since its sibling, the 8800, has image
stabilization I figure they used the same code for low light between them.

>> Even in bright light the lack of IS ruins pictures. Take for example my
>> recent parade pictures at: http://donwiss.com/pictures/GayPride-2005/
>> You will find that even in bright sunlight many of the pictures suffer from
>> the lack of IS. And a few were so bad I deleted them.
>
>Those are all with a Nikon 8400, I presume?

Yes.

>I wouldn't have thought IS necessary with a camera with a 24-85mm (equiv.)
>lens. The big appeal of the 8400 to me is that short end, which as far as I
>know is the widest angle lens available on a non-interchangeable-lens
>camera. I really like wide-angle stuff, and the lack of that capability in
>most digitals is the main thing that has kept me from going to digital
>completely.

The wide angle is also why I bought it. In my travel pictures with my 950 I
had the wide angle adapter on almost all the time.

>The only IS lens I own is on a Panasonic FZ15 with 35-420mm (equiv.) lens.
>At or near the long end that obviously demands it, since I seldom use a
>tripod. But at shorter focal lengths I'm surprised anyone would feel the
>need for IS. I've done a lot of shooting with 200mm lenses hand-held on 35s,
>most of it with ISO 64 or slower slide films, and never found it a problem.

But I suspect the lens wasn't F2.8-F4.4.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 11:11:27 AM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in
news:NsKdnTBeZMjdsV7fRVn-rw@comcast.com:
>> The 8400 cannot take pictures in low light in Auto mode. The lens is
>> F2.8 only at the widest angle. Zoom in and it drops to something like
>> F4.4. The ISO nevers budges from 50.
>
> Interesting. Also unusual, isn't it? I don't think I have a digital
> camera that doesn't boost the ISO as needed in low light.

All Nikons that I have seen boost ISO when necessary if it is set to Auto
(why on earth would they have such setting otherwise). Of course, with a
small sensor digicam, it should not jump to (noisy) 400 immediately -
users of a 8400 or similar should be expected to be able to handle pretty
long exposure times. If they have a different strategy, they can always
adjust the camera themselves.

Of course, if ISO is manually set to 50, it shouldn't change. But many of
the photographs in the gallery referenced to had ISO 100 and short enough
exposures.

--
Matti Vuori, <http://sivut.koti.soon.fi/mvuori/index-e.htm&gt;
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 12:17:51 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Matti Vuori" <mvuori@koti.soon.fi> wrote in message
news:Xns968567AC38CCDmvuorikotisoonfi@193.229.0.31...
> "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in
> news:NsKdnTBeZMjdsV7fRVn-rw@comcast.com:
>>> The 8400 cannot take pictures in low light in Auto mode. The lens is
>>> F2.8 only at the widest angle. Zoom in and it drops to something like
>>> F4.4. The ISO nevers budges from 50.
>>
>> Interesting. Also unusual, isn't it? I don't think I have a digital
>> camera that doesn't boost the ISO as needed in low light.
>
> All Nikons that I have seen boost ISO when necessary if it is set to
> Auto
> (why on earth would they have such setting otherwise). Of course, with a
> small sensor digicam, it should not jump to (noisy) 400 immediately -
> users of a 8400 or similar should be expected to be able to handle
> pretty
> long exposure times. If they have a different strategy, they can always
> adjust the camera themselves.
>
> Of course, if ISO is manually set to 50, it shouldn't change. But many
> of
> the photographs in the gallery referenced to had ISO 100 and short
> enough
> exposures.

I also have an 8400, and indeed it is very reluctant to change from the
lower ISO settings. It will do so eventually, up to only ISO 200 though
(IIRC), but when this reluctance is coupled with the very small aperture
lens at maximum zoom, the utility of the camera is somewhat reduced in
lower light, 85mm zoom situations. Fortunately, I have my Panasonic FZ5
which has an f2.8 lens and image stabilisation for such situations.

Oh, that the 8400 has IS as well!

Cheers,
David
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 12:17:52 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

<david-taylor@blueyonder.co.not-this-bit.nor-this-part.uk.invalid> wrote:

>> Of course, if ISO is manually set to 50, it shouldn't change. But many of
>> the photographs in the gallery referenced to had ISO 100 and short enough
>> exposures.

If on Auto you have no control over the ISO. If you saw some photographs
using 100 they were not done using Auto.

>I also have an 8400, and indeed it is very reluctant to change from the
>lower ISO settings.

It seems that around 1/4 second it starts moving up. An ISO icon starts
flashing in the LCD panel.

>Oh, that the 8400 has IS as well!

Yes. All my complaints are due to the lack of it.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 6:02:30 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Don Wiss" <donwiss@no_spam.com> wrote in message
news:79d6c19te8kucarv4bj2tve1lv4ur1qt00@4ax.com...
> On Wed, 29 Jun 2005 19:18:26 -0400, "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote:
>
>>Don Wiss wrote:
>>> The 8400 cannot take pictures in low light in Auto mode. The lens is
>>> F2.8
>>> only at the widest angle. Zoom in and it drops to something like F4.4.
>>> The
>>> ISO nevers budges from 50.
>>
>>Interesting. Also unusual, isn't it? I don't think I have a digital camera
>>that doesn't boost the ISO as needed in low light.
>
> That is why I called it brain dead. Since its sibling, the 8800, has image
> stabilization I figure they used the same code for low light between them.

That does sound like a possibility, from what you describe.


>
>>> Even in bright light the lack of IS ruins pictures. Take for example my
>>> recent parade pictures at: http://donwiss.com/pictures/GayPride-2005/
>>> You will find that even in bright sunlight many of the pictures suffer
>>> from
>>> the lack of IS. And a few were so bad I deleted them.
>>
>>Those are all with a Nikon 8400, I presume?
>
> Yes.

Other than the lack of stabilization, how do you like the 8400? Any other
shortcomings or problems?



>
>>I wouldn't have thought IS necessary with a camera with a 24-85mm (equiv.)
>>lens. The big appeal of the 8400 to me is that short end, which as far as
>>I
>>know is the widest angle lens available on a non-interchangeable-lens
>>camera. I really like wide-angle stuff, and the lack of that capability in
>>most digitals is the main thing that has kept me from going to digital
>>completely.
>
> The wide angle is also why I bought it. In my travel pictures with my 950
> I
> had the wide angle adapter on almost all the time.
>
>>The only IS lens I own is on a Panasonic FZ15 with 35-420mm (equiv.) lens.
>>At or near the long end that obviously demands it, since I seldom use a
>>tripod. But at shorter focal lengths I'm surprised anyone would feel the
>>need for IS. I've done a lot of shooting with 200mm lenses hand-held on
>>35s,
>>most of it with ISO 64 or slower slide films, and never found it a
>>problem.
>
> But I suspect the lens wasn't F2.8-F4.4.

Actually yes, it was in that range. My first two 200mm lenses were both
f/3.5 (that was way back in my screw-mount SLR days). I'm not sure whether I
ever owned another fixed focal length 200mm lens after that. I did have a
Minolta 250mm mirror lens once that was f/5.6 and not a problem as long as
the light was good. Since then I've had a variety of Minolta zoom lenses
covering 200mm, at present including two 70-210s, one a compact f/3.5-4.5
and the other a big heavy f/4 throughout. So yes, I am in the same ballpark
as your f/4.4 at the long end. Now it's true I no longer use ISO 64 slide
films and haven't for a long time. But those were long lenses anyway; I just
can't imagine f/4.4 being a problem at only 85mm.

My new little Nikon 5900 lens goes to 114mm (equiv.) and at that end is
f/4.9 wide open. It has not been a problem at all so far, though admittedly
I have only used it in good light or with flash. I don't think it has moved
ISO up from the basic 64. (Don't know for sure because I'm trying out
Nikon's rather limited Picture Project software, which only shows
sensitivity as "Auto" and does not give a number. But on the day's shooting
I'm looking at, the camera was stopping down the lens, and I think it would
have boosted ISO before doing that if it had to. This software is rather odd
in the Exif information it leaves out.)

N.
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 6:23:02 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

"Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote in message
news:hNmdnTHgM90krlnfRVn-sA@comcast.com...
>
[ . . . ]
>
> My new little Nikon 5900 lens goes to 114mm (equiv.) and at that end is
> f/4.9 wide open. It has not been a problem at all so far, though
> admittedly I have only used it in good light or with flash. I don't think
> it has moved ISO up from the basic 64. [ . . . ]

In daylight, that is. I suppose that like most of these little fellers it
goes to ISO 200 when using flash.

N.
Anonymous
June 30, 2005 11:51:01 PM

Archived from groups: rec.photo.digital (More info?)

On Thu, 30 Jun 2005 14:23:02 -0400, "Nostrobino" <not@home.today> wrote:

>Nostrobino wrote:
>> My new little Nikon 5900 lens goes to 114mm (equiv.) and at that end is
>> f/4.9 wide open. It has not been a problem at all so far, though
>> admittedly I have only used it in good light or with flash. I don't think
>> it has moved ISO up from the basic 64. [ . . . ]
>
>In daylight, that is. I suppose that like most of these little fellers it
>goes to ISO 200 when using flash.

That is easy to check and respond to. I simply check the EXIF info on some
pictures taken with a flash. With an SB-800 Speedlight the ISO is still 50.
But I do see that when using the built in flash it does go up to ISO 200.

Don <www.donwiss.com&gt; (e-mail link at home page bottom).
!