Nancy’s going to be shooting a wedding inside a small church and wrote to ask what flash she should use for her Nikon D-80.
Nikon has several external flashes, but for most people I recommend the SB-600. The SB-800 does provide a bit more range and some other features for people using multiple-flash setups, but most people don’t use those features and the additional range is not worth the higher price tag.
Wedding photographers often use more powerful flashes, especially for
group shots, but the cost is significantly higher and since these units
don’t support Nikon’s rather advanced flash system, you’ll most likely
end up shooting in manual mode, which introduces additional complexity that most consumers don’t want to deal with.
Keep in mind that when shooting indoors with a flash, there are
multiple factors at play like ambient light, flash power, lens focal
length, and lens aperture. If you’re shooting with a wide angle lens
to fit in a group you may need a diffuser on your flash or the center of the image will
be much brighter than the sides. Another technique is to bounce your
flash off a low ceiling, and while that will help diffuse the light, it
will also reduce the effective distance of your flash. You’ll want to
use a large aperture if possible (i.e. let as much light into the lens
as possible, but keep in mind that a large aperture also decreases your
depth of field, so you need to watch your focus point when shooting
Also, keep in mind that your flash is not only for indoors. Many photographers use their flashes for fill light when shooting outdoors with their subject’s back to the sun or in the shade.