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08-28-2008, 04:59 PM   #1
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SB-28 -- nice bang for the buck

I gotta say I love this site. Found some Nikon flashes for sale and went on here to see if anything might work. Apparently the SB26/28 work just fine (from the thread I found) even with their additional pins.. so I scored a nice SB28 for $70. It's nice and safe, low voltage, lots of manual adjustments for using off-camera, and cost less than the 285 I was looking at. And it has a real sync port!

Now I just have to get the right cable to mate my radio sync trigger (3.5mm male) to the PC sync socket on it and I'll have wireless off-camera... then I'll hook up one of the optical triggers I have sitting around to the old Vivitar beater flash and I'll have a nice portable setup for vacation!

Sounds like the Nikon flashes are bargains for us Pentax DSLR shooters...

08-28-2008, 05:09 PM   #2
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I use an SB-24...got it for like $90 from B&H I think.

It wasn't working for some odd reason in a local store when I was testing a diffuser on it. The manager (!) said I shouldn't be using Nikon flashes on my Pentax since the voltage was too high for it :ugh:

It was because I was using shatty batteries at the time.
08-28-2008, 06:05 PM   #3
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I bought a few sb 28's from ebay recently for off camera flash. Are you saying that they can be mounted on pentax camera's?
08-28-2008, 06:11 PM   #4
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I put it on my K20D this evening and everything was fine. There's a thread here on the forum about it and apparently the 'extra' pins on the flash do not align with the spots on the hotshoe so it works off the center (flash trigger) pin only.

Here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/20472-nikon-flash-pentax.html

08-28-2008, 07:01 PM   #5
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I have one of those flashes. It works on my program plus, not it TTL mode but in normal auto mode. I'm not sure if I actually use it right, I usually set the film speed on the flash, set the camera to flash sync(100), and set the camera F-stop to the f-stop indicated on the flash. It actually seems to work that way very well.
08-28-2008, 07:07 PM   #6
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Thanks for the heads up.
08-28-2008, 09:11 PM   #7
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I use full manual on the flash...just like the camera
08-29-2008, 02:25 AM   #8
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The Nikon flash won't give you TTL -- just manual. I use SB 24's & love 'em. From what I've read, the old Nikon flashes have a low enough voltage to be safe on your DSLR's, BUT, you may want to check the voltage with a voltmeter just to make sure. You can google for instructions on how to do this.

Hey Pingflood -- where'd you find SB28's for $70?!?! That's a great price!

08-29-2008, 03:56 AM   #9
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I have SB 24 and 28. I didn't check the alingment of the pins - it was a very easy job to unscrew the base of each flash, and remove the extra pins. Both flash work very well in manual and auto modes, or with radio triggers off-camera, and the interface and controls are much easier than my copy of the AF360FGZ.
08-29-2008, 05:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by geauxpez Quote
The Nikon flash won't give you TTL -- just manual. I use SB 24's & love 'em. From what I've read, the old Nikon flashes have a low enough voltage to be safe on your DSLR's, BUT, you may want to check the voltage with a voltmeter just to make sure. You can google for instructions on how to do this.

Hey Pingflood -- where'd you find SB28's for $70?!?! That's a great price!
I see you're a local -- familiar with PhotoBarn out in Lilburn? Usually they are pretty pricy on new and used gear, but on occasion I'll find a real bargain in their used section. A while ago I got a perfect El-Nikkor enlarger lens for like $20 there too.

Unfortunately they only had one SB-28 or I would've bought more.

ChrisN: Was it just a matter of undoing the 4 screws for the bottom plate and then pulling the extra pins out? I am not worried about my K20D (clearly it's not an issue for this camera) but would love to be able to stick this flash on any of my other cameras which may have troubles with those extra pins... is it a 100% reversible modification so that I could put it back to full functionality should I ever sell it?
08-29-2008, 06:17 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
The Nikon flash won't give you TTL -- just manual.
Well, it won't do TTL, but it can do non-TTL Auto, in addition to pure Manual mode. TTL is nice, but regular non-TTL auto mode works just fine for me. You just have to remember to stop up if you put a filter on or something.
08-29-2008, 06:22 AM   #12
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Can af assist light be used if somehow you managed to make contact with the correct pins of the camera and flash?

So far, the most annoying thing I've experienced with auto thyristor flashes is the lack of af assist light.
08-29-2008, 10:31 AM   #13
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I have no idea what the protocol is for AF assist light communication. It's no doubt possible to hack the flash so you can enable it there manually, but I would rather not dive into the electronics of something with the potential to kill you if you touch the wrong wire.

To answer my earlier question... the pins were easy to remove. 4 screws removed the bottom plate, then carefully lift it out without ripping the wires, then 4 more screws to remove the circuit board and once that's done you can pull the shoe mount off. Then you have the pins attached to springs out in the open; just yank the three you don't need. I also removed the locking pin since that can apparently get stuck fairly easily and isn't needed. All this stuff is low voltage outside the flash circuit so nothing that'll murder you if you touch the wrong thing.

Now I can safely use it on ALL my other gear!
08-29-2008, 10:47 AM   #14
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Whoa fellow Georgia Pentaxians!

BTW there is an attempt to get a strobist meetup in september in atlanta. You guys should go to the group and post if you are interested
08-29-2008, 01:15 PM   #15
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I've got 2 - 28's that I use off camera, and occasionally on camera. They are really great flashes for the money. I got 2 for $85 shipped each, and one came with a sto-fen. I was going to get the Viv 285HV's but I'm very happy with the Nikons. I use AlienBee cybersyncs and they work awesome, and include all the cables you need, no additional purchases needed.
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