Gear Talk: Nikon SB-27 Speedlite Flash

Here is a blast from the past! The “old” Nikon SB-27 Speedlight flash that can be had brand new for less than Php 6,000 (-USD $143) in Quiapo, Manila. Some photogs use the recently revived, powerful Vivitar 285 HV strobes (Guide No.: 120), but the Nikon Sb-27 is smaller, powerful enough (Guide No: 112) and durable. With the SB-27 on some Nikon DSLR you loose the auto zoom head, TTL metering (but you can set the SB-27 in Auto mode and the flash head can be manually zoomed) and AF-assist lamp. Now I use the SB-27 as my off-camera flash most of the time in manual mode. And with it I can attach colored gels, the Nikon SD-8A battery pack for extended shooting coupled with my small TriStar radio trigger attached (via 3M heavy duty velcro) to the SB-27. Aquiring the smallest, durable universal umbrella holder and light stand/monopod helps a lot in bulk-reduction. The photo on the right shows my off-cam rig: lighter in weight, smaller in size yet powerful enough. The usual off-cam rigs are bulky, expensive with top-of-the-line flash units (Guide Nos.: 100-plus) coupled with the far-reaching Pocket Wizard trigger. It’s great using top gears but “Light is Might”. By my minimalist mantra I meant about the weight of our photograhy gears in proportion to our light sources necessary for image capture–both in the figurative and literal sense of the word. The future promises us with better technology: better ISO noise control, long-lasting batteries and built-in “Pocket Wizard” in-flash. Until then, I stick to my off-cam ol’ lighting rig.