SB-700 AF Speedlight
Yes, this is the one.
I am a passionate amateur photographer. I do not suffer sub-standard equipment very long. While I can't afford the very best equipment, the equipment I buy had better be worth my hard earned money. I originally was going to buy an SB-600, but they were discontinued, so I bought the SB-700. After reviewing the specs, I found that the SB-700 actually has slightly less flash power than the SB-600, and some other minor differences, that would seem to make it a lesser flash for more money. I wasn't too happy, but I needed a flash, and didn't want to go high-end, because the more expensive flashes were quite costly, and had functions I really didn't need. I got the flash out of the box, loaded the batteries, hooked it to my D7000, and started to shoot. I was frankly amazed. The shots looked like natural light shots. I used a snap-on diffuser to soften the light, and angled the flash head at 45 degrees, and the pictures came out really, really well. My first real test of the flash was at a friend's birthday party. No matter if the subject was back-lit by a window, or in shadows, or with a dark wall, the photos were balanced and crisp. None of the usual flash pictures where the foreground is blown out and the background dark. The flash filled in when it should, and fully illuminated when it should. Nikon has figured out how to get their cameras and flashes to work together with perfection. You may need to adjust FV or EV for personal taste, and pay attention to WB (2 colored filters come with the flash to compensate for artificial light spectrums), but the flash really works very well. The only thing I would suggest is to READ THE MANUAL. There are some important settings that make the flash work much better if you pay attention. I have not tried the flash in slave mode, but I would expect it to work as well. It's very well thought out and easy to use. I only have one small gripe. The battery door is rather flimsy, and doesn't open in the way you'd expect it to open, so it could easily break if you get all macho with it. Other than that, this thing rocks!
June 21, 2011
AF-Assist missing Function
Using the flash unit as a Auto Focus Assist is great but there are AF differences between the SB-700 and SB-900. The 700 has only 2 AF lamps while the 900 has 3 for help in very low light. Also, the 900 has an added feature .... the ability to use the AF-Lamps from the flash withOUT the flash unit firing. The 700 does NOT have this feature. Of course the 700 costs much less than the 900. Overall I love using the 700 on my D7000 with my Nikon CPU lenses. This combo is a joy to use.
May 28, 2011
Good and easy to use
It`s a good speeding, for good price, and easy to use and change setting on go.
February 13, 2011
Absolutely Amazing for the Price
I have only been using this flash for about 2 months now, but i am already in love with it. This flash made my new pictures extraordinary! I can barely even explain it. I haven't had time to fool around with the master and slave settings on it since i have nothing to do it with, but i am looking forward to buying a studio set soon to do such. It is so easy to use, it's practically able to be used out of the box. it just takes time to learn how to position the head around so you get the best bounce.
I can still consider myself an amateur photographer, but i am going to continue my passion and this flash helped renew my love for photography even more. I highly recommend it. Thank you very much Nikon!
January 31, 2011
SB-700, a versatile flash
One of the first tests I made with the new SB-700 was to photograph a proposed electric train layout which I have temporarily set up on a bedroom floor. Using the flash in the EVEN light distribution mode gave very excellent broad-range coverage across the room, a bit better than the SB-600 model flash I had used earlier. The SB-700 has several great features including a built in bounce card and a very easy to use menu system. It also auto-sets the zoom head for different lens formats and focal lengths when switching from DX to FX format lenses. Setting the flash exposure at +1 gives me slightly 'higher' histograms than the center point 'optimum' value, but this which is where I normally shoot flash photos anyway with an SB-600 flash and my D300s/D700 cameras. The photos all look really great. I look forward to utilizing more of the SB-700's offered features.
January 15, 2011
Not a bad Speedlight for the price
I just picked up this unit today with another SB910 3-28-2012 and tried it out as a Hair Light and also as back fill on a backdrop, for the price this is a great flash to have in the arsenal, I also want to use it as a subtle not so over powering fill light for when I shoot outdoor night photography coupled to my PocketWizard Flex5's, I see this as a great fill light behind pillars and out of frame fill flash in conjunction with my SB 910'S and 900's on my architectural night shots.
I think this would be a perfect flash for entry level shooters to use in tandem with built in flash bodies to add more unique lighting challenges as well as a great tool for more experienced shooters as well as perfect studio uses.
The reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars is the slide switches on both sides (Mode selector) and (Illumination Pattern) I my self would rather have these in sub menus using the dial to select to eliminate 2 potential locations for contaminants from entering the flash body like moisture and dust that in time could render the switches inoperative? also from reviews from other people not necessarily here but they have complained about the battery door being flimsy and break off real easy, I have to agree that yes it could be beefed up a little more but if you miss handle the equipment or rush trying to load batteries or are just a gorilla when handling the flash that you shouldn't break the battery cover off, one other complaint I read was that it was to thin and the contacts didn't make contact with the batteries? well here again if it was within the first year take it back! Nikon will fix or replace the unit, I think that issue was a small isolated instance that things made by man can be faulty and do slip by quality control once in awhile but that is a case I think that someone just wanted to whine and complain for something I don't believe should be used to give the SB700 a bad grade.
Overall it is a pretty good flash, I haven't had enough time to run it through it's paces but the 6 hours I have used it today I think Nikon has a winner.
March 28, 2012
EASY TO LEAEN
I RECENTLY WENT TO THE PHOTO SHOP WHERE I LIVE TO PURCHASE THE SB-600 ; ONLY TO BO TOLD IT WAS DISCONTINUED AND REPLACED BY THE SB-700 . SO HAVEING BEEN TOLD THAT I WENT AND PURCHASED IT , OWNING SEVERAL NIKON DSLR'S I WAS HAPPY TO HAVE A GOOD QUALITY FLASH THAT I COULD USE ON ALL; PLUS THE ABILTY TO DO MANY CREATIVE FLASH TECHNIQUES I WAS SATISFIED OVER-ALL.
April 16, 2011
Shines in its class
I'm a retired wedding/portrait photographer, so people continue to be my main interest, although I'm now doing landscapes, etc. I have studio strobes so for really serious lighting work I use those. That being said, having the SB-700 along in my bag as a portable flash is an excellent addition to my gear. I like the included accessories such as the diffusion dome, incandescent and fluorescent filters, and bounce card built in. I quickly navigated the menus and set the custom options as I'd like them without having to take a college course in menus. Bounce flash for portraiture works wonderfully with this flash. One user here complained about having to put pressure on the on/off switch to put the flash in Remote or Master mode, I find that a great precaution against accidentally turning the flash on in a hurry and not noticing what you have it set at. If you want remote or master mode, you have to purposely put it there. All in all I think this is an excellent flash, built to Nikon's usual standards. I would have given it 5 stars except for the fact that in my personal case I wish they would have included at PC type connector like the SB-900 has for connection to external flash or Quantum Battery, but as I said, that's a personal wishlist and yes I probably shouldn't complain. Also, the battery door does seem a bit fragile, although most doors like this need to be approached carefully. Two thumbs up, Nikon.
January 30, 2011
A Great Investment
I used this flash and was blown away by the options to use it for, I shoot photography on the beach in Virginia Beach as well as the mountians of Lynchburg, Va and the ways that you can work with the lighting from this flashs was amazing
November 30, 2010
Good Flash however miss TTL mode
I recently got this flash. Overall I think it is a good flash, especailly since you can use this flash in Commander mode or Remote mode. However I very much miss the "TTL" or "i-TTL" option on the flash.
I truly think this is a basic standard control that should be on a Nikon flash of this calibler and price range. The flash displays good illumination and the contols are ok, much better in fact than on the (old but very good) SB800.
March 16, 2012
Before the flash had even recycled ONCE, before I had even put batteries into it, the battery door broke. It fell into several small pieces which scattered to god only knows where. Not only does the door seem flaky but the on/off button is poorly designed too, as it has a lock that must be depressed if you want to activate remote or master modes. As a flash it works well but it just does not seem like a quality assembled item.
January 25, 2011
Improvement over SB-600? I think not ...
I am a long time Nikon user and am quite familiar with most all Nikon gear. I could kick myself for not buying 2 more SB-600 when it was available. Right now, I would buy 1,000 units of SB-600 in a heartbeat at its original price ($180) over SB-700 ($330) and make money hand over fist. B&H is selling used SB-600 for almost $100 more than its original price. I for one do not find SB-700 to be more intuitive than SB-600 and I particularly dislike the new on/off switch. And, it has slightly less flash output than SB-600; I do not consider this an improvement.
Aside from this griping, it's a fine flash and not a big drop-off for most users from SB-900, which have been known to have over-active protection circuitry problem issue for heavy users. A luke-warm recommendation.
November 18, 2011
Great Ideas, Mediocre Execution
I was excited at first by the intuitive arrangement of buttons, and the new screen & menu system of the SB-700, which promised a vast interface improvement over my trusty SB-600. However, in practice, I found myself frustrated with my new flash.
My biggest 3 complaints are:
1) The battery compartment did not properly tighten itself, forcing me to press in on it when I turned the power on for the unit to actually power about half the times I went to turn it on. Minor defect in my unit? Maybe.
2) The power button itself. While the idea of a switch between Off>On>Remote On>Master On is great, the switch itself is thin/small and difficult for my big fingers to use. To get to Remote or Master, a button in the middle of the switch must be pressed, which was tricky at best, annoyingly difficult at worst. Major turn off in my mind.
3) The rotating dial with OK button in the middle for selecting things was, again, a good idea. However, I found it's operation tricky and difficult to control, and button pushes were difficult to consistently make.
Controls aside, the menu selections, options, etc. were all quite intuitive and easy to understand. It was the difficulty in executing the options which frustrated me, and led me to return the unit and stick with my SB-600's.
August 5, 2011