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Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras

B&H # BOSFD52N Mfr # SFD52N
In Stock
Free Expedited Shipping
You Pay: $170.03
Product Highlights
  • Main Flash & Macro Ringlight
  • Bounce, Zoom, Swivel
  • Guide No. 112-Feet
  • Macro Ring Attachment
  • Macro, Medical and Hobby Photography

The Bower SDF 52N is a lighting system for standard and macro flash photography. It is dedicated to Nikon I-TTL flash systems, and features fast recycling circuitry, rear curtain synchronization, and an autofocus (AF) assistance beam. The SDF 52N has a zoom flash head that tilts and swivels for bounce flash at any angle. The macro photography ring light attaches to 58 and 67mm diameter lenses with included adapter rings. The ring light can be detached from the main flash unit when not in use.

Mount Shoe
Guide No. 111.54' (34 m) at 50 mm position
Exposure Control Manual/TTL
Angle of Coverage Not Specified By Manufacturer
Vari-Power None
TTL Dedication Yes
Compensation None
Wireless Communication Channels None
Wireless Groups None
Power Source 4x AA Alkaline Batteries
Dimensions (WxHxD) Not Specified By Manufacturer
Weight Not Specified By Manufacturer
Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras
  • Dedicated Main Flash Unit
  • Macro Ring Light
  • 58mm Lens Adapter Ring
  • 67mm Lens Adapter Ring
  • 1-Year Warranty
  • REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

    by PowerReviews
    BowerSDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras
     
    4.0

    (based on 29 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (8)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (16)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (3)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (0)

    89%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Easy to use (24)
    • Lightweight (20)
    • Fast recycling (11)
    • Consistent output (10)
    • Durable (9)

    Cons

    • Slow recycling (4)

    Best Uses

    • Portraits (16)
    • General purpose (11)
    • Fill flash (10)
    • Macro photography (6)
    • Everyday (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Photo enthusiast (9), Semi-pro photographer (7), Casual photographer (4), Enthusiast (3), Semi-professional (3)
      • Was this a gift?:
      • No (20)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Purchased and love!

    I got this flash to help me with close up shots for wedding rings and such when I photograph weddings, and it works great! I even played around taking the ring off, and...Read complete review

    I got this flash to help me with close up shots for wedding rings and such when I photograph weddings, and it works great! I even played around taking the ring off, and just holding it to the side of the product I was shooting to give a nice side lighting effect, and it worked great! The only problem is that doing it this way, the cord is not long enough, and kept popping out of the flash. But that doesn't bother me with as much as I've spent on it, being such a great deal! I def. recommend this product if you're looking for an inexpensive ring flash, works great!

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Nice addition

    Flash pictures are much improved with the main flash. The ring flash is awesome for close up shots and it eliminates shadows that always showed with the built in flash.
    The only...Read complete review

    Flash pictures are much improved with the main flash. The ring flash is awesome for close up shots and it eliminates shadows that always showed with the built in flash.
    The only negative is the connection between the flash and ring flash is loose and sometimes disconnects on its own.

    Reviewed by 29 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    Previous | Next »

     
    4.0

    Value for money, but know what you get

    By Photographer in the dark

    from Finland

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Lightweight

    Cons

    • Mechanics Not Convincing
    • No Cases
    • Poor User's Manual

    Best Uses

      Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

      I must confess I had my doubts on the usability of this unit, but as the price is not among the highest for macro flashes I decided to take a chance.

      First the necessary words of caution: the main flash unit is, by far, mechanicallly the least convincing piece of photographic gear I own, only a Holga lens comes even close. The battery compartment is clumsy: getting batteries in requires holding the unit sideways, and I think I'll need some day soon gaffer tape for both the battery compartment door and the ring flash cable, equipped with an unlocked S-VHS connector. (If I would review the mechanical quality only, two stars would be my maximum.)

      But getting past these mechanical complaints and commenting what the unit actually does best: it is a genuine ring flash, giving an extremely even illumination and good color and the TTL flash metering works perfectly with Nikon D300s and 105/2.8 Micro-Nikkor for magnifications from 1:10 to 1:1 (at larger distances the power is not quite enough for small apertures, but this is already indicated by the guide number). But do check the usability with your lens, shorter focal lengths and/or full frame may result in very serious corner shadowing, as the opening in the ring light is a bit smaller than it could be. If this is a problem for you, then try out the Metz macro flash (I borrowed one from a friend before buying this): it is not a genuine ring, so illumination is not as even, it is heavier and larger, but works with any filter size and any focal length.

      As for the main flash unit, yes, there is a focus assist light (does not work with the ring unit, sadly), the flash head tilts, etc., but having a couple of SB-800s and a SB-900 I don't think I'd ever use this as my main flash if I happen to carry something more sturdily built. Unfortunately the main flash cannot be used the same time as the ring light, it would have been nice to use the main unit as a background fill, but no such niceties at this price. (And this flash does not work as a part of a multi-flash system, so no easy way of getting a nice background light.)

      I have the Nikon R1C1 macro system with a couple of extra flash heads, and I love the flexibility, but I have found out that the system is way too awkward to be carried about when shooting outdoors, while the Bower is something I gladly pack just in case I may need one. The Nikon system is taken along only when I'm certain I have use for the complexity.

      The Bower system fills just the need it is designed for: a foolproof (from illumination, not mechanical quality point of view) for easily portable close-up photography, with an emergency main unit, at a very affordable price. The absolutely minimalistic "user interface" (on-off switch, flash head selection, two indicator LEDs) is actually quite nice for a change: just connect the cables, switch on the flash, select which head to use, and start shooting. Not every device needs a multi-color touch screen.

      If you do close-up photography, and need something very portable, do consider this flash, but get something more solid for your main unit.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Easy to use. Reliable.

      By Chiva

      from Piracicaba, Brazil

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Fast Recycling
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Use To Document My Cases

        Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

        Good product. Purchase happened with no problems.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Looks perfect

        By Serdar

        from Turkey

        About Me Casual Photographer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Durable
        • Fast Recycling
        • Lightweight

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Portraits

          Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

          This ring flash really helps at both indoor and ourdoor activities with strong and powerfull flash. I use ring just for the studio works but top flash can be used for both studio and outdoor.
          The main body doesn't look so elegant or fancy but this doesn't change its productivity.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Expected for the price

          By Ron

          from Florida

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Lightweight

          Cons

          • Slow Recycling

          Best Uses

          • Fill Flash
          • General Use

          Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

          The cost is about equivelent to the build of the flash. Not as stirdy as the Nikon brand, but works well. No instructions come with the flash but it is pretty self explainatory.

          Share this review

           
          4.0

          Does the job, for the right price

          By Will

          from Washington DC

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Durable
          • Easy To Use

          Cons

          • Slow Recycling

          Best Uses

          • Fill Flash
          • Macro

          Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

          Use for medical macro photography. It is great to counteract the harsh shadows of operating room lighting when I bring the camera in. Only downside is that the wire connection between the ring flash and the camera flash is a bit loose. Given the price, you can't go wrong with this setup.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          2.0

          SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for

          By maravilla

          from richmond, va

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Inexpensive

          Cons

          • Bulky
          • Slow Focus
          • Slow Recycling

          Best Uses

          • Fill Flash

          Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

          Flash wasn't as powerful as I was hoping (I have an SB-600 that works much better). The ring flash was a bit cumbersome and didn't work so well with the AF feature.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Share this review

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Nice product

          By Steveo

          from Tuckahoe, NY

          About Me Photo Enthusiast

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Consistent Output
          • Fast Recycling
          • Lightweight
          • Versatile

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Fill Flash
            • General Use
            • Portraits

            Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

            A nice prouduct, Haven't used it that much yet. Only one negative comment: no instructions on how it all works.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            3.0

            Good for the price

            By RAPhotography

            from NY, NY

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy To Use
            • Fast Recycling
            • Lightweight

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • General Use

              Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

              It's an affordable flash for everyday use.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              great light

              By texasfred

              from austin,texas

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy To Use
              • Fast Recycling
              • Lightweight
              • Powerful Output

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Fill Flash
                • General Use
                • Portraits

                Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                works like a champ. great buy for the money

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                4.0

                Red eyeI

                By CB

                from new York city

                About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Powerful Output

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Night Photography
                  • Portraits

                  Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                  I loved the flash no shadows but All my subjects had red eye. The flash did not have a manual and I would love one for adjustments CB

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  2.0

                  no value for money

                  By linlu

                  from philly

                  About Me Pro Photographer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Easy To Use

                  Cons

                  • Heavy
                  • Slow Recycling
                  • Weak Output

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                    I have this for over a year and used it for event photography. I was disappointed by the time it takes to reload, the batteries were running so fast (sometime I had to replace in the middle of an event).
                    The sensors are not reliable and do not measure the distance right.
                    comparing to a smaller flash SB 400, which I also have- It had better results.
                    (my cameras are d5000 and d7000)

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    NO MAUAL

                    By Bob

                    from Arlington Wa.

                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Fast Recycling
                    • Lightweight

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • General Use

                      Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                      It would be a Great help to have a little manual so one could tell for one what does the mode switch do. I am not asking for the moon.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Share this review

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Good so Far

                      By Trey

                      from Gig Harbor, WA

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Consistent Output
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Lightweight
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                      • No diffuser
                      • Very Few features

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                        I am only giving this a 4 star because I have not had a chance to really test it out. what I have done with it has been good. I did have an issue with it not wanting to fire after I left it on for a while I am not sure if it glitched or the batteries died. It is made of cheap feeling plastic but that is not always a bad thing it makes it very light. It sadly did not come with a built in diffuser. Over all good flash though

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                         
                        5.0

                        Super nice for my Nikon D-3100

                        By Ted

                        from Rocky Mount NC

                        About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Consistent Output
                        • Durable
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Fast Recycling
                        • Lightweight
                        • Powerful Output
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Fill Flash
                          • General Use
                          • Portraits

                          Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                          I love this flash unit. The flash ring works like a dream with my extension tubes with A/F and A/E as well. This unit was my 2nd try at getting a flash ring that would work as well as this one does. Getting the upper battery pack to also wotk as a flash was a pluss for switching back and forth as needed. I cant say how well it would work on other camera's but its a champ on my Nikon D-3100. I have used it on close up shots of my leather work, coins and model cars with no problem. There are times when I get in super close, I'll have to use manual focusing but other than that this unit will do a great job. If I'm taking shots of my grandkids with the upper flash and get in close, all I have to do is flip the switch and I'm on the ring for a better lighting. Get this one, you wont be sorry.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Quality for a Fraction of the Price

                          By Camera Guy

                          from Laurel, Delaware

                          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Consistent Output
                          • Durable
                          • Easy To Use
                          • Fast Recycling
                          • Lightweight
                          • Powerful Output
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Fill Flash
                            • General Use
                            • Night Photography
                            • Photojournalism
                            • Portraits

                            Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                            I've always wanted/needed a speed light but could not justify the cost. This light fit the bill and I now can produce high quality flash photography.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • No

                            Share this review

                            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            4.0

                            Good value flash

                            By Bill

                            from Lancaster, PA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Consistent Output
                            • Easy To Use
                            • Fast Recycling
                            • Versatile

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                                Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                                I got the flash to use the ring light for close up work and to replace the built in flash on my D70. I think it is a great value for the price, and it works well.

                                My close up pix, even on auto are crisp and well exposed TTL. The flash alone takes good pix and recycles quickly, even at 15 ft.

                                I have only 2 minor gripes. First the battery door easily pulls off. It is easily replaced and it works without problem. I just hope I don't loose it when rushing.

                                Second, I can not get the flash to work with NiMH batteries. I have tried several sets of new and fully charged 2500 mAHr cells, and the best they can do is a few shots before the unit refuses to recycle. The flash works very well with regular alkalai cells, and they seem to last a while. To be fair, I have had trouble with other flashes using NiMH cells, since their 1.2 v power (in lieu of 1.5 v) seems to be too low for the electronics.

                                All in all, I like the flash and would recommend it as an economic alternative to the $$$$$$$ Nikon flashes!

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Exceptional Value

                                By Dragonric

                                from Hawaii

                                About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Durable
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Fast Recycling
                                • Lightweight
                                • Value
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                • none

                                Best Uses

                                • Fill Flash
                                • General Use
                                • Macro
                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                                I found it easy to use and works perfectly with my Nikon 3100. Gives great color rendition in macro.
                                Have not had any problems with the sync-cord as some have mentioned.

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Great purchase!

                                By Garsh

                                from Jax, Fl.

                                About Me Casual Photographer

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Consistent Output
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Lightweight
                                • Powerful Output
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                • Bulky

                                Best Uses

                                • General Use
                                • Night Photography
                                • Portraits

                                Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                                Overall a great buy for the price. Takes a bit of time to get used to zooming in enough to crop out the "tunnel vision" that the ring flash causes, but the details from close up are amazing. Not to mention playing 'round with lighting effects by detaching it from the lense and holding it!

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Love this thing

                                By Snyder

                                from Burlington, KY

                                About Me Casual Photographer

                                Verified Reviewer

                                Pros

                                • Consistent Output
                                • Easy To Use
                                • Fast Recycling
                                • Powerful Output
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                                    I recent purchased this as a Christmas present to myself and love it. For the price you really can't go wrong. The recycle rate is fantastic on both flashes I can get 5-6 shots in a row before it needs to fully recharge.

                                    My connector is nice and snug...it actually takes a little pressure to pull it out. Though to avoid any possible issues with it, I wrapped a large black twisty tie around the connector.

                                    Share this review

                                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    4.0

                                    Was going to return, but it's a value!

                                    By Futuretime

                                    from Minneapolis

                                    About Me Photo Enthusiast

                                    Verified Buyer

                                    Pros

                                    • Consistent Output
                                    • Easy To Use
                                    • Lightweight

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                      • Fill Flash
                                      • General Use

                                      Comments about Bower SDF 52N Dual Intelligent Speed Light for Nikon i-TTL Cameras:

                                      A close-up flash ring, and a flash for the price of one. Although the other reviewers were right, the ring light cable needs to be checked often, it still does a wonderful job.

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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                                      Batteries & Power

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                                      Required item: Batteries are not included, and are required to power your flash.

                                      Varta -  High-Energy 1.5 V AA E91 Alkaline Battery - 4 Pk
                                      • You Pay: $1.23
                                       
                                      Watson -  4-Hour Rapid Charger with 4 AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries (2300mAh)
                                      • You Pay: $14.50
                                       

                                      Flash Diffusers

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                                      Sto-Fen -  #OM-B Omni-Bounce
                                      • You Pay: $9.35
                                       

                                      Softboxes

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                                      Vello -  Universal Softbox with Colored Gels Kit for Portable Flash (Small)
                                      • You Pay: $20.75
                                       

                                      Bouncers

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                                      Vello -  Light Bouncer Kit for Portable Flashes
                                      • You Pay: $14.95
                                       

                                      Reflectors

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                                      Vello -  5" Snoot/Reflector for Portable Flash
                                      • You Pay: $22.50
                                       

                                      Flash Mounting

                                      Vello -  Compact Shoe Stand for Universal Shoe Mount Accessories
                                      • You Pay: $7.95
                                       

                                      Sync Cords & Flash Remotes

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                                      Vello -  Universal Duo TTL Off-Camera Flash Cord (3')
                                      • You Pay: $39.95
                                       
                                      View all Accessories
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