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Friday, June 6, 2008

Strobist Love for the Nikon SB-600

It's no secret that Im a big fan of the website Strobist. So at Mr. Hobby's prompting I bought a set of PocketWizards.  But at the same time I love my pair of Nikon SB-600s.  I don't have a Nikon SB-800 or SB-900 so I'm sure I don't know what I'm missing with all their fanciness, but I really like the Nikon SB-600.  They do everything I ask of them, but they don't have a PC connector that is required to use radio triggers. 

PocketWizards are as the Strobist stated, are the gold standard for wireless flash triggers. Now just like the US went off the gold standard, these too might not be the end all (***COUGH, RADIOPOPPERS, COUGH***) but for now, they do everything I want. They are reliable triggering of my strobes. So I order myself a pair through Amazon and get all excited about their arrival. I already had a set of stands, a few umbrellas and a set of hotshoe adapters that fit nicely on my light stands. In my excitement I download the PDF to the PocketWizards and what do I find, Duh!, PocketWizards have a mini mono plug on one side and a male pc on the other. My hot shoe adapters which allowed me to use my ghetto Gadget Infinity triggers with my Nikon SB-600 flashes wouldn't work. So I turn to Strobist for some help. The suggestion there was a cable that was something crazy like $47. Craziness. So I turned to Google - Google knows all. 

Google knows flashzebra.com

Google pointed me to flashzebra.com. There I found a nice set of PC to Flash Hotshoe Adapters (Item #0065). These things have a screw adapter on the bottom for my light stand posts, a hot shoe on top and two female PC connectors. Now we are cooking. The best part is these things are only $11 with very reasonable shipping ($3.50). I was very pleased with the service I received from flashzebra.com. The little adapters came nicely packaged, on time with little fuss and even a little note on my invoice thanking me. I appreciated that.  So now I don't miss the fact that my SB-600 lack a PC connector.  In fact, I would argue that this set-up is even better because there is no cable connecting the flash to the trigger - instead the trigger is connected to the hotshoe.  This means I can leave the whole thing connected to the lightstand.  If I need to take my flash off during a wedding and go back to on-camera flash it I can easily with just unlocking the flash from the hotshoe.

Also on flashzebra.com is the same thing I had before, a hotshoe with a connector wire, but instead of a male pc connector, this has has a mono mini plug to connect to a pocket wizard. It only costs $17, so price isn't a big deal, but to me, I think having two PC ports has more uses. PC cables are cheap and very versatile. So I'm very happy with the decision I made.

So, moral of this post is if you have a small flash like the Nikon SB-600 and you want to connect a pocket wizard to it, I would suggest you pony up $11 and send it to flashzebra.com. Very cost effective. Simple.

UPDATE:  I have since sold my PocketWizards and bought a set of CyberSyncs.  Why? Because they are smaller, cheaper and work just as reliably as my PW's.  The CyberSyncs work exactly the same as above with the PocketWizards. FWIW.