I am a total newbie when it comes to flash, and I am looking to buy an off-camera flash for my Nikon D80. The main choices for an amateur like me seem to be the SB600 and SB700. What are the main differences between the SB600 and SB700 flash?

(For example, the SB600 has a slightly higher "guide number." Should I care? Does it make a practical difference? If I some day decide to use a multi-flash setup, will there be limitations? Anything else I should know about?)



1 Answer 1


The SB-700 is the current replacement for the SB-600.

Technically it is slightly less powerful, guide number 28M rather then 30M as in the SB-600. But the tradeoff is that the SB-700 is faster, at a rated 2.5s recycle time as compared to the SB-600's 3.5s. This is a tradeoff, but a welcomed one if you ask me.

Some other features or improvements include:

  • longer zoom range of 24-120mm as opposed to 24-85mm in the SB-600
  • a bounce card for indoor catchlight
  • new filters included
  • filter information is now sent to the camera automatically
  • built in commander to control other flashes

The reasoning to get the SB-600 is basically price, the reasoning to get the SB-700 is to have the current technology, with a faster recycle time and the option to control other flash units.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! Practically speaking, what does the difference in guide number mean? (By the way, can you add the tag "sb-700" to the question? I don't have the rep to do it.) \$\endgroup\$
    – anon
    Oct 10, 2011 at 17:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Two meters isn't a big deal one way or another. If you want a better understanding of guide numbers this may help: strobist.blogspot.com/2007/12/… \$\endgroup\$
    – dpollitt
    Oct 10, 2011 at 17:21
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The difference between 28 m and 30 m is exactly 0.2 f-stops. It's the same difference as between ISO 400 and ISO 460. \$\endgroup\$ Oct 14, 2011 at 19:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @EdgarBonet - Thanks! 0.2 stops doesn't seem like a practical concern to me. \$\endgroup\$
    – anon
    Oct 17, 2011 at 2:19

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