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385
4.7 out of 5 stars
Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
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Price:$326.95 + Free shipping with Amazon Prime
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2011
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
This is the second full size Nikon flash I've bought. I needed a second flash to use with my SB-600 for off camera lighting. This flash is better in every way than the SB-600. The useability of this flash is amazing compared to the SB-600. The new power switch makes it really easy to switch between ttl/manual flash and between on-camera/wireless/commander modes. No longer is there any need to pull up secret menus to get to the wireless flash functions. The addition of the SU-4 slave flash mode makes this a worthy upgrade from the SB-600 alone. Performance wise, I feel that this flash gives me better exposures than my SB-600. I felt the SB-600 tended to overexpose by a 1/3 stop while this tends to underexpose by a 1/3 stop but with less hot spots. Both easy enough to adjust on with the flash exposure. Speaking of flash exposure though, the one gripe I have with the SB-700 is the flash exposure adjustment is more complicated than the SB-600. The big button on the back of the SB-600 was idiot proof. The two button system on the SB-700 just takes a little more time for minor adjustments. One other thing to be aware of is that the SB-700 defaults to TTL-BL for all photos unless center-weighted exposure is selected on the camera. Although I initially found this annoying, I found it was implemented much better than the TTL-BL used on the SB-600 which tended to give me improper exposures.

Although the SB-700 currently runs ~$100 more than the SB-600, the additional accessories included with the flash make up for the difference. The included "stofen-style" filter and two color gels make for a great kit without having to buy additional 3rd party supplies. Also, I love having the built-in flash card. I know I could use a 3x5 card to do the same thing, but having it always there means I'm more likely to be able to use it when necessary.

If you are looking at the SB-600 and SB-700, definitely swallow the extra cash and pay for the SB-700. You will not be disappointed. Adding an external bounce flash was one of the best changes I made to my pictures allowing me to really get the colors I wanted.

ps - I learned today the flash is pretty resilient too! Fell over on a 6' light stand onto concrete with only a few minor scratches. Everything else works great.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2014
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
Much cheaper than the 900 or 910, easy to use. It's plenty strong enough for portraiture. (Dare I say sometimes too strong even when dialed all the way down when you are in close quarters and can't move it back and your modifiers only modify so much?). Believe it or not, 1/128th of a second is occasionally a little more than I want.

I've used it at up to 30 feet (ish) at events and gotten some light on the scene. My true problem is that my camera's sync speed (1/250) isn't high enough to suit me for action shots shot with a wide open aperture in bright light, even with an ND filter and my camera doesn't have a flash sync override feature. That's not the speedlight's lack.

I use plain old rechargeable AA batteries - no buying some esoteric hard to find or insert batteries. I used to shoot all day events for a park and always had plenty of juice left. The ONLY time I ever ran out and needed to swap in a new set, was when I shot 700+ pictures for a wedding.

I've read that the flash will slow down if it is getting warm (versus shutting off in the 900). It's never been a problem for me - any slowdown has been barely noticeable, if indeed, it's even happening. But again, I'm shooting mostly portraits or things that aren't zooming around. If you are wanting to shoot stop action, multiple frames, over and over, you will likely get some heat-caused slowdown. (Nikon users, be aware that shooting in Jpeg instead of RAW/NEF and turning off Active-d lighting in your camera will bring back some frame speed for you-just an FYI).

I bought my first around two years ago and have used it well - I do try not to ABUSE it however. Nothing has ever broken off, it still works great. Hence my decision to add another one for more light control that's portable.

If you are looking to buy your first flash - I recommend it. It has more capabilities than the lesser versions and it's not hard to learn. Get a Dummies book, or the DVD that Nikon put out on this speedlight if the manual makes you blind. You will outgrow a lesser flash faster than you think if you plan on using flash in general. The iTTL feature is nice. You will also have the choice of using it in manual or with your guide number. I've since purchased Flex5 radio triggers by Pocket Wizard that will work without requiring line of sight and also work with the iTTL feature. I've put out a little money on all this over the last two years, but not an exorbitant amount and my equipment is shaping up around my needs fairly well. (When I win Lotto, I'll finally buy a full frame camera) ;)

The only thing I can really complain of, which users of even the 910 have posted - is "Nikon-why don't you put a battery charge scale on it?" It'd be nice to know.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 9, 2011
Format: Camera
This is not simply a replacement for the SB-600 the way that the SB-900 was for the 800. I say this because the SB-700 has its own unique position in the Nikon flash lineup. I guess the easiest way to see whether this would be a good fit for you is to go through this checklist:

If you have an entry level Nikon without a flash commander mode then this would be a perfect first flash to get. It's easy to use as a standalone flash, it's relatively light, and if you decide to get another flash, this one would act as a commander. One possible scenario would be to get a 700 and 600.

If you have a mid range or semi-pro camera and simply want a good light flash for most everyday shooting then you might want to think about getting the 600 instead since your camera already has a built in Cmdr. mode. one possible reason to get this instead of the 600 would be ease-of-use since the 600 is a little bit difficult to understand at first, or you want to have the ability to add a little bit more range to the commander mode since with the SB700 you can point the flash atthe remote flashes and/or use a TTL cable for even more range.

If you have a D3 class camera without any built-in flash and you want an everyday life/to carry then I think this would be the minimum flash you need to get.

If you need a workhorse flash with extra power, sync cord, extra zoom, etc. then you'd be happier with the SB-900 (or a used SB-800 if you find one at a good price).

Overall, you can't go wrong with getting this.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2011
Format: Camera
I've had the old, venerable SB80DX. Worked great, but just wasn't... tuned for the D200 or D700 I shoot with. I added a SB600, and that worked better. The SB80DX was relegated to slave flash status and all was good enough. But neither of these two flashes were all I hoped for. I alway felt I was handing all of my trust over to them with little grasp on what the flash was doing or what the flash's range was given the ISO settings I'd chosen, the f/stop set, the ambient light... I have often longed for the days of manual flashes with the chart on the back, or the old gold standard Vivitar 285 where you could set the ISO to match the camera, and the f/stop, and the dial would indicate the distance range over which it would be able to set itself during the flash. How clear those were. The SB80DX and the SB600 were nowhere near as clear.

I recently sold off the SB80DX and started looking around for another SB600 for a bar mitzvah I'm shooting tomorrow, but I couldn't find a used one. I looked and waited but nothing. So, today, I picked up a new SB700 and took it to a nephew's basketball game. What a treat this is! Set the ISO on the camera, and the flash knows. Set the mode on the camera, and the flash knows! Set the aperture on the body and the flash knows! And then it tells you it's useful range! I shot at 1600 ISO, f/2.8 and used my 70-200 f/2.8, and the flash gave a 6' to 66' range. THAT is USEFUL! My 120 shots came out great!

And the included green filter worked great under the fluorescent lights.

Also, the Creative Lighting System is one of perhaps 3 capabilities that sets Nikon apart from Canon, the other fine brand. Earlier flashes had this built in capability of working in groups and wirelessly off-camera, but the controls on the SB700 make it simple to actually use. The features are suddenly readily understandable, accessible and useable without hours of practice. Nikon really thought about the interface on this and made it truly great.

The real reason one might consider upgrading to the SB900 is this: the SB900 can accept external power, with is important if you are shooting for hours and hour and don't want to be interrupted changing batteries. That MIGHT be important to a pro.

And setting the non-CLS settings could not be easier as well. I really intend to LOVE this flash! You will too.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 9, 2013
Format: Camera
I admit to being hesitant to spend $300+ for a flash..it was worth it. Read the clear instructions, pushed a few buttons, attached it to my D5100 and instant communications. No fiddling, no set up other than setting it to auto, slip it on, lock it down, perfect exposure. Bounce it off the ceiling or wall indoors, use it as fill outdoors, the camera and the flash have communicated each and every time with great results. I tried the $59 to $99 dollar 2nd and 3rd party flashes with poor to mixed results, could have saved myself a fair amount just purchasing this first. ( I'll never learn, I have three of a lot of things)

It is powerful enough for the average to advanced consumer, has amazing recovery speed from flash to flash. If you're indoors with a few lights giving half the light you need it'll recharge fast enough to expose the 4 shot burst in a second my D5100 outputs. Other than the battery door it's solid and robust (dropped a couple times and keeps on flashing) just take care with that battery door.

One more thing the SB-700 thrives on standard eneloop rechargeable batteries. I have a host of different rechargeables both low discharge and regular high capacity rechargeable. Of all the different brands and types I've used the eneloops are outstanding in terms of number of flashes and recovery time. Don't use regular alkaline batteries unless it's an emergency...the SB-700 will eat them like candy putting a dent in your wallet. One of these La Crosse Technology Alpha Power Battery Charger, BC1000 and a set of these eneloop NEW 2000mAh Typical, 1900mAh Minimum, 1500 cycle, 8 Pack AA, Ni-MH Pre-Charged Rechargeable Batteries and you'll have all the power you need.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on January 8, 2014
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
I was debating whether or not to get this flash when I bought my D7100 because I still have an SB600 left over from my D300. Boy am I glad I did! It's like night and day between the two flashes, no pun intended. The SB700's interface is so intuitive I was able to use it right out of the box for both on-camera and in commander mode. Didn't have to look at the manual to figure anything out like I had to do every time I used the SB600. The buttons are all in the right place with all the right wording or icons so I could see exactly what was needed. Took this out to the Waikiki aquarium and used commander mode to get off angle flashes to avoid the reflections in the viewing glass and had beautiful pictures. Didn't have to spend my time trying to figure out what was what or reading the manual. Best money I've ever spent on a flash.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2011
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
This SB-700 is the new "legend" light and is the best balance between function and price and portability. It is the best balance between SB-900 (which is too heavy and expensive) and SB-600 (whose zoom-range is up to 85mm only and cannot use as a host but only slave). SB-700's recharging speed is very fast, and the new-iTTL/iTTL-BL system works reasonably well and is easier to be select by entry-level users. SB-700's zoom range is 24-120 mm (extensible to 14mm with build-in filter), and on a APS-C DSLR (D50/D60/D3000/D5000/D5100/D80/D90/D200/D300/D7000) it is 21-180 mm and suitable for most cases. If you have a Full-frame camera (D3/D3x/D700) and you like to use flash at 120 mm or longer focus, get yourself a SB-900 instead.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
Nice features on a lower level flash, compared to the SB900, which I do not own. Controls are much more accessable than on my SB800 and SB80. Output is more than adequate when paired with my D7000 because of the higher iso capabilities of that body, as well as my D300. So far, exposures appear to be consistant. The release on the head is a little stiff to allow bounce and swivel, so I hope that will loosen somewhat with use. I do like that there is only one release to do both and that you can swivel 180 degrees either direction from straight on position. Comes with a more secure soft diffuser than previous models, as well as tungsten and fluorescent filters. For the money, I would have liked to see more of a colored filter set included, like the SB800. Of course, the Nikon Creative Lighting System compatability is a big plus. Also included is a nice rectangular case to store everything, including a provided stand, although I don't use it, since eveything goes in my bag. Overall, a really nice flash for most lighting situations. Would like to see Nikon (and the other major makers) bring their prices down a little so freelancers don't have to surrender body parts to buy equipment needed to stay competitive, especially since this particular flash is made in China. Having said that, it does appear to be relatively solid in construction. Time will tell how well it holds up.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2011
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
If you have some DSLR and you are a semi-pro photographer this is the Flash for you.
I used in at my D5000 and I have no problem.
In TTL mode it works fine.
If you can't afford or don't want to buy the SB-900 this is the best choice for you.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2014
Format: CameraVerified Purchase
I own, as well, a Nikon SB-910. I was going to pick up another SB-910 when I decided at the last moment to save the money and pick this up instead. I am very happy that I did that. I wasn't worried about losing 2 channels with the CLS system since I plan on using PocketWizards in the near future.

I have been using the SB-910 on a stand with a softbox for side fill and this SB-700 with a SC-29 coiled cord and a very small 6" x 8" softbox for front fill. I usually shoot backlit by the sun and this setup works out really well for that. I plan on possibly getting a pistol grip one day. I have also used this with a diffuser dome and the SC-29 as my only lighting source besides ambient. Works well for bounce.

In comparing to the SB-910, I prefer to use the SB-700 most of the time since I do not need the extra power of the SB-910 a lot of the time. I find that I am quicker at adjusting the manual settings of the SB-700 than I am on the SB-910. I find the results of the SB-700 to be very similar to the SB-910 in most TTL situations. I find that I prefer the smaller size of the SB-700 in almost every situation. Please don't take this as a knock to the SB-910. I have used that Speedlight more than any other Speedlight. It is an excellent unit that I highly recommend, and it is practically a portable sun. I just find that I can get away with using the smaller and less powerful SB-700 more than I originally thought I would, and I prefer the controls on the SB-700. If I was dead set on using off camera TTL and the CLS system and not switching to PocketWizard Plus III's then I would not have purchased a SB-700. I would have gotten another SB-910, but for the time being this works well enough with the CLS system.

I generally find that I prefer the minimalist approach and smaller items. I don't shoot with a grip anymore, I just carry extra batteries. I only shoot with primes, no long zooms. Two fast primes are usually smaller and lighter than 1 zoom such as the 70-200 (I walk more now.) This speedlight fits into my "stealthier" and smaller setup very well.

Received in perfect condition from Amazon in good packaging in the expected time frame. No complaints there.
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