Far better than expected for the price
(South Puget Sound, WA)
October 10, 2011
Review submitted for
D980AF-N - iTTL AF PowerZoom Camera Flash for Nikon D40/D60/D5000/D3000 DSLR
Easy To Use, Powerful, Great price, Lightweight, Highly compatible
Durability Unknown, No stand, No case, Reliability unknown
It comes in a substantial box, better than my Nissin boxes but not nearly up to Nikon standards. The first surprise is that the box contains the flash, warranty card and instruction sheet, and that's it - no case, no stand. The quality of construction is above average, except for the somewhat flimsy and tight fitting battery door and the plastic foot without a locking pin. I would say it's a good looking unit and better than I expected for the Buydig price. It is not a clone of any design that I have seen. It has a US warranty for one year from Elite Brands, Inc. of New York.The manufacturer's guide number is 45 at ISO 100 and 85mm. Some dealers list it as 35 at ISO 100, 35mm. There are dedicated models for Canon, Nikon, Olympus/Panasonic, Pentax and Sony Alpha/Minolta. All except OP are listed as digital and film. I measured GN 32 at ISO 100, 35mm with my Sekonic L-358. This is quite powerful, between the SB-700 (29) and SB-900 (36), though my example tested a little below the manufacturer's specs. Basic specifications, my comments:• LCD Display, not expected for the price, some icons and numbers small• Auto and manual zoom 24-85mm, some competitors go up to 105• Focus assist, works well• I-TTL and I-TTL BL and I-TTL film, appears to be 100% compatible• Five power levels: Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16, just adequate as slave• Size about 2.8 x 3.9 x 4.9 inches, a little smaller than SB-700• Weight about 9.5 ounces without batteries, lighter than SB-700Loading batteries is easy due to molded slots in the battery compartment. The manufacturer states that "alkaline batteries are preferred". It works fine with NiMH batteries, but I don't notice as much improvement over alkaline as I see with my other speedlights. Battery door needed some flash trimmed off to fit properly and has a small locking tab that looks easy to break off.The locking ring on the mount is large enough to make mounting easy and secure, but it has two large slots in the perimeter which could be uncomfortable for sensitive fingertips. The flash head has the usual tilt and swivel limits for lower priced units: 0-90 degrees vertical, 90 to the right, 180 to the left. Operation is entirely as expected and the "manual" (I would say instruction sheet) is hardly needed. I only looked at it to identify the beeper On/Off button. The beeper on my example is fairly weak and might be hard to hear outdoors. This is only needed when used as slave, of course.I tested it on-camera with a D70s, D80, D200 and F100. It worked as expected with the digital cameras, the default mode being ITTL-BL. It seems to work perfectly with the F100, but I have not processed the film. As a slave, it has only one mode and lowest power is 1/16, but it works with all my cameras. This is the most inexpensive flash that I know of which is compatible with Nikon CLS. It is an excellent buy and perfect for someone looking for a first speedlight, assuming that it proves to be reliable.
Yes, I recommend this product
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