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Call me a snob.................

Discussion in 'General Equipment Chat & Advice' started by Stephen Rundle, May 17, 2020.

  1. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I was looking at a spare gun for my Nikons, just a spare for occasional use and got an SB900, great gun, works well with the 910 and D4s, so very happy.

    But...... whilst looking I could not believe the other unknowns (mostly) and I have NOT included Metz, Sunpak etc and others that are well known and proven..

    Shanny, Godox, iPhoto, Nisin, Phottix, Kenro, Kenko, Yongnuo, Meike, Aperlite, Neewer, Esddi, Photoolex, Andoer

    Call me a snob but when I spend money I want something I can trust, and.............. with a name that looks OK !!!!!!

    YES i know, some of these are well established, and trusted, I have just listed them as I didn't know so many existed.

    Why spend a fortune on a good camera and buy a toy he says ducking, awaiting a response to this.

    Really........... Shanny
  2. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    There are many third-party flashguns on the market, some better than others, some probably as good as the camera manufacturers more expensive item. The potential issue with these units (and lenses come to that) is that the electronics are reverse-engineered and may become incompatible with later model cameras, I don't know whether that also applies to software and firmware updates. I would suspect that some of the names you have listed are the same item with different branding. I just buy the genuine item secondhand, although I did buy a new Fujifilm gun as I found a UK seller who had stock at less than I could find used for. The flash unit in question is apparently a Sunpak product anyway, it's an area where Fujifilm CSCs trail a Nikon DSLR.
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I wonder if the need for flash is anything like it used to be when the mass market was stuck with an ISO 100 or 200 film in their camera and the Vivitar 285 ruled the roost. Fuji just don't seem to have bothered*. Could be that the dedicated user of artificial light now takes a more sophisticated approach now that off camera coordination of multi-flash with E-TTL control is standard, while most people just bang the ISO up as high as it will go and rely on the built-in GN 4 pop-up.

    *though the manual for my XH-1 says the ETTL supports 3 flash groups and 4 communication channels.
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  4. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    If you insist: "You're a snob".

    I (and a few others I'm sure) can remember a time when cameras with names like Canon, Nikon and Pentax were looked on with deep suspicion. "They come from Japan for god's sake! What do those Banzai chanting madmen know about making high quality precision engineering? Stick with equipment from companies you can trust like Ross, Micro Precision Products or Thornton-Pickard. If you must buy foreign at least deal with decent companies such as Leitz, Voigtlander or Zeiss".

    The world turns. The great ones return to dust and the new take their place. Lacking a crystal ball I can only hazard a guess but there may come a day, not too far off, when the argument will no longer be "Canon or Nikon?" but instead "Godox or Nisin?".
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have heard of some of those. The communication between a camera and flashgun is rather more complex than it was in the days of the Vivitar 285 but I assume the data stream can be read and interpreted so, for someone with the appropriate skills, it probably isn't that difficult to work out how to interface flash and camera. Once the communication is cracked the actual flash isn't complicated, the technology is basically the same as Vivitar were using.

    As has already been said, many of those names are possibly badge engineered so the number of actual manufacturers man not be that large.
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  6. Roger_Provins

    Roger_Provins Well-Known Member

    These days it is next to impossible to know who actually makes any given item, what is badge engineered, what is licenced by the original manufacturer and what is not, and even with a genuine big manufacture's named item who really made it?
    ChrisNewman and Stephen Rundle like this.
  7. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I do agree after all Nikon and Canon do not manufacture their own external battery grips, and as was said by AF above MY FATHER was one who said "Buy British you know it is good, that is why I drive a Ford" :) :) :)

    In fact almost every British made appliance in our home was carp (re arrange), we had a brand new space age TV that packed up after 6 months no one could repair (tuning knobs).

    I bought a National Panasonic PE182s flash and then a Sunpak Auto Zoom 4000 later BOTH are working as new today

    I would love to know who actually manufactures Nikon and Canons flashguns.
  8. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Indeed. Any outsourced item should and I emphasise should, be made to the brand names standards of quality and performance. Camera batteries are another outsourced item. If you think camera accessory supply is complex in this respect, just look at who makes which televisions.
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  9. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Given that Canon's battery for the EOS1DX and Nikon's battery for the D4, D5 and D6 can use the same charger I wouldn't be surprised if their flashguns came from the same factory or their lens motors were the same either.

    I have only ever owned two "British" cars, a Mini and a Jaguar XF both considered something special by the "experts". Both were replaced by foreign cars that I considered to have been better in most respects.

    I'll buy British if it is good but I'll not consider something good just because it is British.
    ChrisNewman likes this.
  10. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I don't know if it has changed, but some years back Samsung made a very high proportion of LCD panels.
  11. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    They used to supply panels to Sony, it's probably still much the same. Incidentally Cello brand televisions are actually made in the UK by a British company, I don't know what is actually inside them though.
  12. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    Once you get inside almost any electronic device there are chips made by the big suppliers and others are ASICs* it is the latter that are expensive and drive the final product cost.

    *Application Specific Integrated Circuits.
  13. Geren

    Geren Well-Known Member

    Equally, not everyone has a fortune to spend on a camera and it follows that they probably also don't want to spend a fortune on a 'branded' flash gun.
    Stephen Rundle likes this.
  14. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Even forty plus years ago some British cars were not. Many Vauxhall Cavaliers were actually built at Opel's plant in Belgium (imho these were actually better assembled and finished than those built at Luton), my father had a Ford Cortina that was built in Holland, these were also produced in Cork (Ireland, not the tree based material). There was the choice of buying British with potential reliability issues, Japanese which was reliable but with distinctly Japanese design, both having a tendency to rust or products from mainland Europe which were variable depending on country of origin.
    ChrisNewman and Stephen Rundle like this.
  15. gray1720

    gray1720 Well-Known Member

    Somewhere I have a book that quotes Wallace & Heaton's Blue Book along the lines of "We have heard good things about cameras coming out of Japan, but we won't be featuring them here until we've worked out whether they really are any good" (obviously I paraphrase).

    The year? 1959, same one that saw the launch of the Nikon F.

    And don't get me started on Vauxhall ads that say "British for over a century". Like hell, owned by General Motors from 1928 and now owned by a French company.
    ChrisNewman and Stephen Rundle like this.
  16. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Do the ads not actually say "British brand for over a century"?. Technically that is true, as Vauxhall is actually a British brand, not sold outside the UK, the cars are Opels elsewhere, some manufactured here, others not, the Mokka was actually made in South Korea. You are absolutely correct about the ownership of the company though.

    What used to irritate me was the City Rover, introduced towards the end of the company when they were effectively a dead man walking, which was actually a rebadged Tata Indica, made in India, they actually had the gall to attach a Union Flag on the rear!
  17. Andrew Flannigan

    Andrew Flannigan Well-Known Member

    If you're going to tell a lie, make it a whopper!

    On the other hand, sometimes the truth works just as well...

    20th Century Antiques While You Wait.JPG
    nimbus and Stephen Rundle like this.
  18. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    I have in fact never used Nikon batteries in any camera from the D3100 to my latest and never had a problem
  19. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    The reason I know Nikon don't make their own batteries, flash, battery grips is they told me, or rather a tech. at Nikon did.
  20. Stephen Rundle

    Stephen Rundle In the Stop Bath

    Bang and Olson didn't make their own HiFi

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