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08-09-2010, 06:04 AM   #1
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How other old flashes compared to Nikon SB24?

Hi all,

I've been searching around in PF and after several recommendations, I went ahead an bought a Nikon SB24 to use on my K10D and K100D. I use it mostly on A mode and M mode for macro shots. While I'm very happy with the current results it has given me, I want to purchase some other old flashes, while they are sill affordable . Besides the Nikon's the Vivitar 285HV and several Sunpak got praised as well. For those of you who have have used both Nikon SB24 and Vivitar 285HV and/or Sunpak 433D for example, do you think that the image quality provided by those old flashes will be at least as good the the one provided by the Nikon SB24?

I do not need all the bells & whistles that the Nikon provides, I just need a good A and M mode for my MF lenses.

Thanks in advance.

08-09-2010, 07:27 AM   #2
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I was very happy with METZ 40MZ-2. Very reliable A, accessible M... tons of features like strobo.
I sold it and replaced with Pentax AF500FTZ. Lacking the A mode, but I didn't use that a lot anyway and it comes with relatively reliable optical slave function and it is lighter while providing even more output power.
08-09-2010, 01:52 PM   #3
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The Nikon flashes - SB 24/25/26/28 - are excellent. I have more than enough flash guns to last my lifetime but I'm still looking for an SB-26 for its optical slave mode, particularly the ability to ignore p-TTL pre-flash strobe (Edited to add: I was wrong. The SB-26 does NOT have the ability to ignore p-TTL pre-flash strobe).

The Vivitar 285HV is a solid flash, but its head does not swivel. It is also big and heavy.

You may like the Sunpak 433D and its brothers (36DX, 422D, 444D, 383). They are compact and powerful, with A and variable output M (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16) modes. I like my 36DX (European name of the 444D), especially for its off-camera cord, great for macro setup. Note that the light sensor of the flash is on top of the camera.

The Sunpak does not have a zoom head but I almost always use a diffuser so a zoom head of not that important.




Last edited by SOldBear; 04-18-2011 at 08:58 PM.
08-09-2010, 04:12 PM   #4
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Depends what you want to spend, but what about the Pentax AF280T.....you can do swivel & bounce etc, & it's got all sorts of different modes.
Cheers, Pickles.

08-09-2010, 06:38 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by pickles Quote
Depends what you want to spend, but what about the Pentax AF280T.....you can do swivel & bounce etc, & it's got all sorts of different modes.
Cheers, Pickles.
Hi pickles, definitely not more than $100, the cheaper the better
08-09-2010, 06:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
The Nikon flashes - SB 24/25/26/28 - are excellent. I have more than enough flash guns to last my lifetime but I'm still looking for an SB-26 for its optical slave mode, particularly the ability to ignore p-TTL pre-flash strobe.

The Vivitar 285HV is a solid flash, but its head does not swivel. It is also big and heavy.

You may like the Sunpak 433D and its brothers (36DX, 422D, 444D, 383). They are compact and powerful, with A and variable output M (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16) modes. I like my 36DX (European name of the 444D), especially for its off-camera cord, great for macro setup. Note that the light sensor of the flash is on top of the camera.

The Sunpak does not have a zoom head but I almost always use a diffuser so a zoom head of not that important.


Thanks! I will have an closer eye on those Sunpak models. I just bought a Nikon SB28 as we speak The SB24 is really nice but I need something else lighter so I can carry with me.
08-09-2010, 06:48 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
The Nikon flashes - SB 24/25/26/28 - are excellent. I have more than enough flash guns to last my lifetime but I'm still looking for an SB-26 for its optical slave mode, particularly the ability to ignore p-TTL pre-flash strobe.

The Vivitar 285HV is a solid flash, but its head does not swivel. It is also big and heavy.

You may like the Sunpak 433D and its brothers (36DX, 422D, 444D, 383). They are compact and powerful, with A and variable output M (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, and 1/16) modes. I like my 36DX (European name of the 444D), especially for its off-camera cord, great for macro setup. Note that the light sensor of the flash is on top of the camera.

The Sunpak does not have a zoom head but I almost always use a diffuser so a zoom head of not that important.


A quick glance on eBay give me a lot of options for the Sunpak. However, I notice they have models dedicated for a camera brand, e.g. Sunpak 422D for Minolta or Canon, etc. Do I need to find one that says for Pentax or just any model would do the job since it's on a hot shoe?
08-09-2010, 07:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
A quick glance on eBay give me a lot of options for the Sunpak. However, I notice they have models dedicated for a camera brand, e.g. Sunpak 422D for Minolta or Canon, etc. Do I need to find one that says for Pentax or just any model would do the job since it's on a hot shoe?
The module doesn't really matter. It will not talk to the camera any way (similar to the Nikon SB-xx). The only thing you have to make sure is that the module's foot physically matches the camera's hotshoe. Some of the modules may not (e.g. Minolta AF cameras, Nikon's "over rewind crank" flash attachment). I currently have several modules: 1 Pentax, 1 Nikon, and 1 Olympus. I use them interchangeably for my Pentax, Ricoh, and Canon cameras.

Also, besides eBay, you should check Used Department at B&H and KEH. Their prices are very reasonable, and they have very generous return policy, something eBay doesn't. Most of my used flash units come from B&H and KEH.

08-09-2010, 07:40 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
The module doesn't really matter. It will not talk to the camera any way (similar to the Nikon SB-xx). The only thing you have to make sure is that the module's foot physically matches the camera's hotshoe. Some of the modules may not (e.g. Minolta AF cameras, Nikon's "over rewind crank" flash attachment). I currently have several modules: 1 Pentax, 1 Nikon, and 1 Olympus. I use them interchangeably for my Pentax, Ricoh, and Canon cameras.

Also, besides eBay, you should check Used Department at B&H and KEH. Their prices are very reasonable, and they have very generous return policy, something eBay doesn't. Most of my used flash units come from B&H and KEH.
Thanks for the tips! Very insightful.
08-10-2010, 01:16 PM   #10
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Sunpak 422D with Standard-1D module - BGN ($39.00) from KEH.
08-10-2010, 10:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
same here

I'm trying to get at cheaper price I know i'm a cheap ass but why pay more if you can get for less
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