Best nikon SB flash unit to pair with the FM3a

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by AezranHakim, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. AezranHakim

    AezranHakim Member

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    Hi guys, looking for a flash unit for my fm3a but dont rely know where and which one to start with as there is too many SB models in the market, any leads or suggestions?


    thanks :smile:
     
  2. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    In Nikon brand I would think the most powerful (GN104) shoe mount TTL capable would be the SB16B. In a Nikon brand ringlight flash it would be the SB21B. There may be other more powerful newer model Speedlights or third party shoe mount/handle mounts out there.
     
  3. BobD

    BobD Member

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    Depends on what you want to do flash-wise.

    Personally, I think the SB-27 is a great value and works with virtually all Nikon film cameras (with conventional shoe), especially the MF models (though it has some AF capability). It's also compact.

    It's not as well known as the more famous models so it can often be found at low prices. If you don't need high power or high end features, it's a good little flash.
     
  4. Joachim_I

    Joachim_I Member

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    SB-15 unless you need more power.
     
  5. mablo

    mablo Member

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  6. DividedSky

    DividedSky Member

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    any of the sbs 24 to 28 should be fine. spring for the sb-28 and you can use the extra features for a more up to date camera you have
     
  7. CGW

    CGW Member

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  8. AezranHakim

    AezranHakim Member

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    Thanks CGW! now the hunt is on for the flash on ebay :smile:
     
  9. GratefulShooter

    GratefulShooter Member

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    There is nothing wrong with any of the suggestions made so far. In fact I often use an SB-27 with my FM3a. The Sb-27 is a good capable strobe, it's not too big, and it can usually be found for quite a bit less than the cost of an SB-24, 25, 26, or 28. However, there are times when I want something even more compact, so I'll toss out a couple more suggestions.

    The SB-23 (GN66 in ft) is small low-profile strobe that works very well with the FM3a, and the SB-30 (GN 52 in ft) is even smaller, it is literally shirt-pocket size ... no bigger than a pack of playing cards. Both of these are basic no-frills TTL strobes, but there may be times when you value small over feature-laden.
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    If them guys at strobist are driving up the price of older SB 24,25,26,28 then may be you can look into third party flashes. TTL on the FM3a is pretty basic and many third party unit would support it well. Check out older Metz, Sunpak etc...
     
  11. John_Nikon_F

    John_Nikon_F Subscriber

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    If you're looking for something small, either the SB-18 or SB-30 will fit the bill. SB-23 also works. If you want something with bounce capabilities that's still somewhat small, check the SB-15 out. Bounces upward when the flash is right side up, bounces to the right if it's vertical, or downward for macro work if it's upside down. The SB-27 is the more powerful, more modern version of the same. With that flash unit, the bounce features are the opposite and are handled by a bounce card. If you're looking for a more conventional flash that does TTL, there's the SB-16B, the SB-20, 22, 22s, 24, 25, 26, 28, 28DX, 50DX, 80DX, 600, and 800. All those are shoe-mount and have a bounce head, but aren't shaped like a horizontal pack that sits on top of the camera. You can also get by with the SB-11 and SB-14, if you use the SC-23 cable. Macro is handled by the SB-21B, the SB-29, and the SB-29s.

    -J
     
  12. Ap507b

    Ap507b Member

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    You can pick up SB-15's for very little from ebay if you are lucky. I paid £5 for mine a few years ago. Compact & great bang for the buck. You don't notice it in a coat pocket, unlike when lugging an SB-16 around. I tend to prefer the older flashes with my M/F Nikons. The SB-27 is a nice flash as well. The built in diffuser is handy. I use one with my A/F Nikons. Both the SB-15 & SB-27 can do bounce flash true, but if you plan on using flash a lot it has the be the SB-16 for me with an old M/F Nikon.
     
  13. CGW

    CGW Member

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    The SB27 is probably the most capable and affordable for the FM3a with its TTL metering capability. Those fence post-like SB 16s are relics. They're getting pricier but keep an eye open also for an SB-25 or SB-28.
     
  14. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I recently got a beater SB28 for $65. Comments as follows;
    1) Still works great with obvious signs of a hard prior life
    2) Works in auto mode on all my manual cameras, from Horseman to TLR to Polaroid to 16mm Minoltas to Rollei 35.
    3) Works with my widest lenses (Goes up to 18mm equivalent coverage)
    4) Safe for all the modern electronic cameras and provides all the functionality for the last generation of Nikon film cameras.
    5) Pretty powerful (though weaker than my Potato mashers).
     
  15. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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  16. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    SB16, I use one on my F3. They are many around, in both variations, you would want the B standard iso hotshoe model. I got mine for about $35 brand new, with included wide adapter and case. TTL metering!

    It has a smaller forward facing accessory flash that is great for when using the larger head in a bounce.
     
  17. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    I just finished testing my FM3A + SB16B combination using my Sekonic and the result is perfect. For instance with the SB16 set TTL at film ISO speed and the FM3A in manual mode, shutter at 1/250 and aperture at f8 with a 50mm and the Sekonic meters f8 if I am 4 feet away or 10 feet away. Other aperture settings results shows that the Sekonic meter reading corresponds exactly with the aperture set regardless of distance to the meter. I am sure this is true within the power range of the SB16. I tried this same test with the SB16B on my other Nikon TTL capable bodies (F3+AS-17, FE2, FA & FG) and none metered exactly like the FM3A. Of course at this point I am not sure if that is normal behavior or cameras are off. I also tried this test with the SB-15 on all these TTL bodies and not even the FM3A meters perfectly as it did with the SB16B. In this case I don't know if this is normal behavior or the SB-15 is off.

    Anyway my FM3A + SB16B combination is a tested perfect combination so it is now my chosen on-camera flash setup.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. AezranHakim

    AezranHakim Member

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    AWWWWH! AWESOME INFO!!!!
     
  19. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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  20. Les Sarile

    Les Sarile Member

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    That SB-30 looks like it is just enough to cause redeye . . . :whistling:
     
  21. kivis

    kivis Subscriber

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    Easy to point up then no redeyes. Plus it responds well to the fill flash button on the FM3a body.