Author Topic: Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.  (Read 269 times)

MFloyd

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Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.
« on: September 03, 2022, 12:23:11 »
I’ve worked 25 years without flash. Then came the demand from my automobile racing clients to put more emphasis / “light” on the drivers. And the cockpit of a racing car is a sort of photographic “black hole” as everything is designed to avoid direct light hitting the driver’s eyes; all the interior lining made of black velvet … (*).

So, back to flash and steep relearning process … and buying the last flash of Nikon, the SB-5000

Here some of my work, where flash usage is appropriate:

Photo cockpit:

_D636860.jpg by Christian Vermeulen, sur Flickr

Classic flash:

_8526179.jpg by Christian Vermeulen, sur Flickr

Night takes:

_D643235.jpg by Christian Vermeulen, sur Flickr

Daylight takes:

_8523198.jpg by Christian Vermeulen, sur Flickr

Flash for color balancing sun / shadow exposed areas:
 

_8526502.jpg by Christian Vermeulen, sur Flickr

Shadow balancing:

_8526702.jpg by Christian Vermeulen, sur Flickr

All pictures made with D6 / D850; single flash cobra mounted, reporting fashion without studio gimmicks.


The SB-5000 is a powerful flash (GN: 34.5) in a relative small and light package (weight: +- 500g).

The whole irony is that when I was one of the few not utilizing a flash, now I’m one of the few utilizing a flash …  :o

(*) I’m systematically shooting in RAW, giving me a large dynamic range. Before I used this character to lighten the shadows, but to the disadvantage of noise.
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Akira

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Re: Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2022, 16:57:18 »
To me, they look very natural only with a slightest hint of brightening.  But I would have to nit-pick to sense that.
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MFloyd

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Re: Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2022, 20:33:07 »
To me, they look very natural only with a slightest hint of brightening.  But I would have to nit-pick to sense that.

Too kind Akira-san  :)
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ColinM

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Re: Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2022, 13:45:36 »
Yes, I really like the way you've got the different sources balanced so well Christian.

MFloyd

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Re: Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2022, 15:15:06 »
Yes, I really like the way you've got the different sources balanced so well Christian.

Thank you Colin  :). Big credit goes to the Nikon’s i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash CLS, which makes these sort of exercices almost a non-brainer.
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon SB-5000 or back to flash.
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2022, 11:27:22 »
Nice group shot around the car, with surprisingly even distribution of light at different distances.

I don't think the SB-5000 will be Nikon's last flash ("latest" may be correct), even though they've started to help two third-party flash manufacturers (Profoto and Nissin) interface with their cameras in a better way. IMO the SB-5000 is in several ways a better flash than the Profoto A1 which I have briefly shot with a couple of times. (A10 is their latest model in the series, but I haven't seen it yet.) The A1 was sufficiently tall and heavy to make it awkward to use on smaller cameras, whereas the SB-5000 is more compact than its predecessor (SB-910) and closer in size to the SB-800 which many people favoured. When using the flash on-camera, a smaller unit doesn't throw off the balance as much and is more comfortable to shoot with. The A1's turning head didn't stay in position if using their own purpose-made modifier (I think it was Soft Bounce); it flops and the modifier can fall off. For a 1k€ flash, this should not be happening. It also didn't allow one to specify TTL/M mode for each group independently like Nikon do. This is another big deal, as usually multiple TTL groups is a recipe for chaos and I would usually want to set the secondary remote groups on manual and primary flash on TTL. Not possible with the A1's. While the A1 and the current A10 are more powerful than the SB-5000, the cost is even higher than the power would suggest, and the fully featured remote is priced through the moon. I don't like Profoto's monolights because they don't offer a bare-bulb design, only forward-directed flash which would not fill large modifiers evenly, so basically everything would need to change from what I use for larger flash (Elinchrom). I am not saying Profoto is not good, but their products some significant design flaws and are very expensive. Retaining of the previous TTL metering result for flash when switching to M mode is elegant, and the Profoto units seem to be very reliable in firing when requested.

I don't know anything about Nissin flashes so can't really comment on them.

IMO Nikon should continue making and developing their own flashes. Nikon must have lost a lot of their flash market share by dragging their feet on radio remote controlled flashes but the one they did put out (SB-5000) is very good, and highly reliable in my experience. They should offer a hot-shoe alternative to the WR-R10 with a panel that is directly accessible instead of having to go through multiple button presses to get to as is required in the current radio AWL system. One can program a shortcut to it but then one has to use a function button for that (which could be used for other purposes). A direct access to each flash group's energy setting and TTL FEC on the controller would be ideal. The WR-R10 is too vulnerable especially when mounted on the side of the camera (such as in most of the mid-grade Nikon cameras now). I can see why they wanted to keep the hot shoe free of the radio controller in order to make it easier to mix with the older flashes of the optical system (now one can pretty much freely combine and control the two kinds), but I don't see how anyone would really want to use optical remotes when radio is available.