There are tons of photography blogs and websites that talk about the latest and greatest flashes that are on the market today. But really, who has the money to spend on them? A new SB900 for us Nikon shooters runs $500! No thank you! I’m sure they’re nice and all, but puh-lease… we can do a whole lot for a lot less money.
I just ordered (2) Nikon SB-80DX flashes from a photography store on eBay. Now these flashes were made obsolete in 2004 by the SB800, but they are still very useful and I’m about to tell you why.
The SB80DX flash is very similar to the SB800. The max GN is the same as the SB800 (125ft at 35mm), the flash head is the same, and the body is mostly the same too. The SB80DX features the same kick-butt SU-4 slave mode that the SB800 has too, which makes it great for using off-camera. Why didn’t I just buy the newer, more up-to-date SB800? Because I bought two SB80DX flashes that are in great shape for the same price I would have paid for one new SB800.
Since I already have an SB800 and an older SB28 these two new flashes will take me up to a total of four speedlights which really opens up a lot doors for doing some really cool off-camera flash lighting.
How can you get in on this and do the same thing? Take a look on Craigslist or eBay and start shopping around for some used flashes. Nikon shooters can look at the SB24, SB26, SB28, SB28DX, and the SB80DX. All of these speedlights can be found for $150.00 or less. Most likely you will find them for around $100.00 or less and you can’t beat that!
Just remember that with these older speedlights that I recommend that you DO NOT use them on your digital camera unless the speedlight is a DX model like the SB80DX. Using the non-DX models on your digital camera can actually damage it. You have been warned.
Shop around and see what you can find. Let me know what you find and as always, if you have any questions drop them in the comments and I’ll get to them as quickly as I can. Have a great day!