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Steal This Flash - The Nikon SB-24

The SB-24, a late-1980's model Nikon speedlight, can be had for as little as $35 on eBay. This is an insane deal, relatively speaking. UPDATE: The days of the $35 Sb-24 are gone forever, thanks to you guys. You can expect to spend $75-$100 now. Sorry.

UPDATE #2: (And this one is better news) You can get a manual for the flash here.


Look at what you get:

• Full manual control, in whole stops, down to 1/16th power.
• An industry standard, external PC synch
• Internally power-zoomed flash head, covering 24mm to 85mm beam spreads
• A jack for an external high-power battery for one-second, full-power manual recycle times.
• Auto and TTL functions, which to us are pretty useless. But if you have a Nikon F4, or N-8008s, knock yourself out.
• High build quality - this was a $200 flash in 1985 dollars.

Dollar for dollar, this is tough to beat for <$50.

Even if you are a Canon shooter, this thing is a no-brainer to snag and make your "off-camera" light. Just keep it in a separate little bag with one of the sweet little 5-section Bogen stands, a double folding umbrella (with stand adapter) and a sych cord, and you are ready to roll.

The Nikon SB-25, -26, -28, -28dx, -800, etc., all offer those same features - and more. And they all get progressively more expensive. (If you see one of these on the cheap, grab it.) But the SB-24 does what you need on the cheap.

These are all well-built, reliable flashes. But the price makes made the Nikon SB-24 a steal.


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Blogger Charles C Stirk Jr said...

First off I will mention that I am really enjoying the Strobist ..

I am a bit miffed with you as now that I put together a "lite" weight lighting kit .. I am going to have to take it on my next trip to South America ..

I will just will mention that for a second unit the Sb26 has an optical slave built in the only Nikon SB unit that does as far as I know ...

Is there not some way to get either the current crop SB 800/600 units to go off remotly with a SB unit on camera ... & even the older units like the SB24-28 mabe? never sorted this out my self

April 24, 2006 8:42 PM  
Blogger David said...


The SB-26 is worth a post of its own, and will get one, soon. It is more expensive than the SB-24, but does something no other flash does. It has a "delay" mode (the "d" switch on the front" that waill "wait" until your TTL stuff is done and then set the flash off. Which means your (presumably SB-26 background) flash will not affect the TTL main flash.

Your 1/250th max synch speed drops to 1/200th as a result. Small price to pay, tho.

If I were going to S.America and packing light, I would do one digital body (two if you were worried about one crapping out on you) a 17-35/2.8, a fast 50, a slower 80-200, and just one flash that would work TTL on the body when attached.

For off-camera light, I would lose the idea of a stand and umbrella. Just take a Pocket Wizard receiver and xmitter and a ball bungee to fasten the flash to stuff.

For the majority of my off-camera shots, tho, I would co-opt a bystander (who I was confident I could catch in a foot race, just in case) to hold the flash aimed at my subject.

Learn how to say, "Can you hold my flash just like this, please?" en Espanol.

It is my patented "carbon-based" light stand, and it is going to get an article of its own soon. Way useful in a variety of situations.

As for the SB-600 and SB-800 stuff, I am way behind on the new stuff. I really think Nikon should send me at least *one* of everything they make, for "reviewing" purposes, don't you?

I have to say, I am intrigued by the potential of the D-200 / SB - 800 combo. The on-camera flash can be a "master" to the SB-800 being the slave. Not too big into the iTTL stuff (don't really know it yet) but the "focal plane" wireless flash stuff lets you shoot at ANY synch speed, effectively making the SB-800 flash much more flexible.

I am looking into it and will expand on this later. Maybe I should warn my Visa card it might be coming...


p.s. Geez. That "comment" was longer than some of my posts...

April 24, 2006 9:01 PM  
Anonymous Mike S. said...

Great post as usual, David. That SB-24 looks a heckuva lot like the Contax TLA360 flash unit I dramatically overpaid for a year ago. Why oh why did I do that when I coulda had a set of PW's and the SB-2x instead?

Like you I'm curious about the SB-800 and the whole idea of iTTL etc. Is it something so useful that you might rethink your whole cheap-and-manual approach? Curious to see....

April 25, 2006 10:49 AM  
Blogger David said...

From what I have heard, the iTTL stuff is pretty cool. The killer combo is a D-200 and an SB-800, as mentioned above.

But it is a very "equipment-specific" capability, and not a cheap one, either.

I am working up some pieces on different gear packages at different price points, and will look at specific camera/flash combos at that time.

My off-camera approach is kind of like buying a 1970's VW Beetle in the late "80's. It is not the hottest setup on the road, but it is tough to beat for the money. Versatile and reliable, too.


April 25, 2006 11:51 AM  
Blogger Charles C Stirk Jr said...

First off ... "podrías coger mi flash de esta manera por favor"

The light stand is more of the Leica M on a big tripod ... how to look like a professional in front of the client kinda thing .. but do it with the least amount & lightest equipment possible

Been shooting with the D2x & 17-55/2.8 bargain of a lens for what it replaces & a 50mm .. out side of an occasional wish for something wider this kit rarely leaves me wanting for more ....

Yes the SB-600 and SB-800 are bit or well the SB-800 is quite pricy ...

Been shooting a lot of architecture 4-20 strobe set ups with Alienbees & White-lightnings & most of the Alienbees are cheaper then the SB-800 ...

The Alienbees are brilliant units & the Vagabond Portable Power rocks it can run multiple light set up all day long ... for what they are they are light easy to hide in a corner or behind a plant lamp etc. & loads cheaper then other strobe units by hundreds if not thouands of U$S .. for the price of couple of Elinchrom units you can get a whole Alienbee unit set up .

We tend to use the SB 26 hidden in places that nothing else will fit ..... under stove hoods & kitchen cabinets inside dish washers etc.

Will just mention the Sekonic L-358 Meter with the remote chip sets off the Pocket-Wizard slaves & makes metering a breeze .. & Sekonic tends to run a special every year that drops the price of the combo quite a bit ....

April 25, 2006 2:38 PM  
Anonymous dlew said...

I just missed out on a deal on sb-24s. I wish I saw what you put up sooner. Is it true the sb-26 only syncs up to 1/200th? I couldn't find any info on it except for FP mode.

April 25, 2006 2:40 PM  
Blogger David said...


That is a camera limitation when the sb-26 is in the "wait till the TTL stuff is done, then fire the background flash" mode.

It's a good thing.

April 25, 2006 5:34 PM  
Anonymous dlew said...

How about if I wanted to use a sb-26 as a background light or hair light? The prices ofa sb-26 are still too $$$ so I'm going to look at 2 sb-24 or 25s for background lights.

April 25, 2006 6:58 PM  
Blogger David said...

The delay trick on the SB-26 is only useful if you are using it as a second (rim or background) light and your first light is working in the TTL or auto mode.

It is neat, but for our purposes it is kinda like having the very best training wheels on your new bike. You'll outgrow its usefulness pretty quickly.

You could probably scrounge three or four SB-24's (and a lesser number or -25's for the same price.)

And that is money better spent, IMO.

April 25, 2006 8:10 PM  
Anonymous dlew said...

Thanks for the advice. I noticed the sb-26 going for up to $200, for that much I could pay $50 more for a used sb-800 or maybe to sb-80DX's. What makes the sb-26 cost so much?


April 25, 2006 11:15 PM  
Blogger David said...

IMO, the delay feature.

April 25, 2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Mike S. said...

Reading your blog, David, and the other posts and information here, I'm beginning to wonder when one WOULD need a flash with the capabilities of the SB-800? Certainly it seems to offer nothing for more static shooting like what you do in your "On Assignment" pieces. Perhaps sports or other action, where the chance to get it right is fleeting?

I rate it likely that my D70 is going to get replaced by a D200 or D2x pretty soon, and I'm trying to decide if the SB-800 is worth the bucks. Your writings here have nudged me toward the "nope" column.

Keep up this very informative work, David.

April 28, 2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger David said...


I have heard some very good things about the d200-sb800 combo from several readers, but I have not investigated it personally yet - I have neither piece of gear.

I hope to have time to look into that later, tho. Or if anyone else is using the combo, please pipe in now!


April 28, 2006 4:01 PM  
Anonymous Douglas Urner said...

I have a D200 and a pair of SB-800s. The remote stuff is cool and is surprisingly reliable -- but for what David is talking about they are overkill (overdraw?). The SB-800s are all about automation and remote control. If you need those features they are great, if you don't anything lower down the food chain will save you a pile.

The SB-26 sounds like it knows how to ignore the metering preflashes, but for less money you could get an SB-24 (or heck, it sounds like you could get an SB-80DX for less too) and use a Wein Digital Slave to filter out the preflashes.

April 29, 2006 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just got an SB-24 off ebay, when the strobe is "ON" (not standby) the LCD turns off after about a minute and the first firing won't respond to trigger, then the LCD turns on and it does fire. Darned annoying if I take more than a minute between shots.

Is this normal?


May 01, 2006 2:04 AM  
Blogger David said...

No, that is not normal. That is what they do in standby, not in the "on" position. I just checked on one of mine.

Just be sure you are sliding the "on" switch past standby all the way to "on". It is two clicks to the right. That could be it.


May 01, 2006 8:03 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

New and exploring all the lighting possibilities on a budget - shoots coming up sooner than I'm prepared for so its time to shop pronto. I do have a minolta auto 320x...will it be of any use for lighting at all, or am I better off hunting down the nikon models you referenced?

May 12, 2006 6:35 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

will a Minolta auto 320X flash be of any use if I'm trying to set up basic lighting? Will be shooting kids graduating as preschoolers so that means I need lighting. Prefer to do location shots but I'm told I'll still need strobes. help

May 12, 2006 6:37 PM  
Blogger David said...


I don't know what to tell you. I have never used Minolta stuff, and am completely unfamiliar with your equipment. You might want to Google around and find a Minolta forum to get specific advice for your gear.

Here's someplace to start:


May 13, 2006 12:11 AM  
Anonymous Dudley from UK said...

David, your excellent and much appreciated Blog is in danger of turning into a forum! I am so pleased to have found your Blog and have put together a lite-weight kit which I hope will really change the way I shoot on location. It is inspired to teach the world what good PG's have been doing for years. I use a D70 and have an SB600 which I now use off camera with the wireless iTTL mode. To change the lighting ratio I can easily dial in flash OR camera compensation. I am not experienced enough to use manual so I am happy paying the extra to buy into Nikons creative lighting system. You could direct people with sb600/800 queries to Ken Rockwell. Can't wait to see what you make of it too. Keep up the good work.

May 17, 2006 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Seth said...

I found this site a couple weeks ago, and it has me HOOKED! Before, I could be classified in the "available light only" camp, because I didn't feel like learning the basics of using strobes.

I have since acquired an SB-25 and cheapo Ebay radio remote unit setup. I haven't yet used the remote setup, as I am still learning the basics of how the flash works.

That brings me to my question. When I hook the flash up to my D50 on-camera or with an SC-17 cord, the settings on the flash work for a couple frames and then reset whenever I change any settings on the body. (I'm using it in manual mode and adjusting the zoom and output levels.) I tested the flash on my film bodies, and this problem does not occur.

Does anyone know if this is normal? It seems like the flash is not defective, given that it works just fine on my older bodies.

June 14, 2006 7:38 PM  
Blogger David said...

The SB-25 was designed long before your camera was even a twinkle in anyone's eye. It is not designed to work and fully communicate "on camera," which is exactly where the camera thinks it is when mounted with an SC-17.

You will not have this problem when using a PC cord, an AS-15 adapter w/PC cord, or the wireless remote.


June 14, 2006 7:48 PM  
Anonymous Seth said...

Thank you for responding so quickly. I guess my camera manual failed to mention this when it said the SB-25 would work in auto and manual modes. Off the TTL cord from now on!

June 14, 2006 8:00 PM  
Blogger Photographer pundit said...


I've only just come accross your blog last week. What a discovery!
I'm new to SLRs, but am on my way to acquiring my first, a Nikon D50.
Your techniques in Lighting has gathered my only question is...should there be any concern for incompatibility between a D50 and a SB-24? (My apologies if this sounds retarded, I'm still very much new to this sort)

June 27, 2006 9:12 AM  
Blogger David said...

Synch voltage wise, there is no problem - it is a safe combo. I doubt if it will work in any TTL mode con camera, but that is not really what you buy the flash for. You want controllable manual, off camera, with a PC synch. No problems in that area.


June 27, 2006 2:36 PM  
Blogger Ian said...

To think I was gonna sell my SB24! the SB24 as the new 285? Great idea. I have had mine since the early nineties, so one piece of advice. Keep the manual cuz the symbols on the the rubbbery buttons rubs off. I can remember what does what fromyears of use, but it would be baffling to anyone new to this flash

June 28, 2006 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered the old Vivitar 285? It is also available for about $50 +/-

It does not have a PC connector, it has a proprietary connector, BUT by using a hot shoe adapter with a PC connector there you have it. You can get a hot shoe adapter with an optical slave built in, and then you have the equivalent of the SB26.

The hot shoe only has ONE pin on the bottom. So you don't have worry about insulating the other pins like on the TTL flashes.

And subscribing to the KISS principle, the zoom is manual, so thats one less thing to get in the wrong setting. Just look at it and you know what it is set for; wide, normal or tele.

The only negative I have with this flash is that the head only tilts, it does not rotate. This is only a problem if you want to bounce on the walls, vs the ceiling and still point the auto sensor at the subject. If you do manual exposure, not a problem.


June 30, 2006 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just found a cheaper alternative to the SB24, it is the Sunpak 433D.

The best thing is, they are way cheaper than what the SB24 is going for. I just got one at a camera show for $25. And I've seen 2 on eBay for just under $20 + shipping.

Here are the pros/cons/issues with this flash:

- MUCH cheaper than what the SB24s are going for today. I could buy 3 of them for the price of one SB24. And isn't the starving student kit about saving money.
- Head tilts and swivels, just like on the SB24.
- It is a little smaller than the SB24. The difference is the SB24 (and the Vivitar 285) have a zoom head that adds to the bulk.

Pro/Con (depending on your point of view)
- Controls are manual, vs the display on the SB24, so fast and easy to use. And since there isn't a computer in the flash, I don't think you need to use batteries inside the flash if you use a HV pack.

Con (all of the cons have fixes so they are only cons until you fix it)
- It has a dedicated foot/shoe. So you have to be careful the trigger pin. The center pin must be the pin that fires the flash. You have to insulate or deactivate the TTL pins. I did some surgery and deactivated the TTL pins on mine. BTW this is the same issue you have if you tried to use a SB24 flash on a Cannon. Off camera as this site talks about, then it is not an issue.
- It does not have a sync jack. However if you use a hot shoe adapter with a PC connector, you have the connector. I picked one off eBay for $7 from this seller "photoland1001" Not fancy but it works.
- Does not have a zoom lens. If you need one there is a tele zoom kit and a wide angle lens. As it is, it will cover a 35mm lens (for 35mm film). I could not decide if this was a con or not, but it is a feature that the SB24 has that the Sunpak 433 does not have, so it is a con with a fix.


July 08, 2006 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops, I was working from memory...bad thing to do. That $7 hot shoe adapeter has a mini-jack, NOT a PC jack. My RF remote plugs into this adapter.

July 09, 2006 3:12 AM  
Blogger said...

I'm a Canon user and since Canon have a slow upgrade on their EX flashes not allowing them to have just these little PC connectors I would like to have your opinions concerning on buying a second hand SB-28 to add to the final setup.
This way I will have my 580EX for the normal job and when wanted an off-shoe flash I would use the Nikon one.
Any expiriences and coments for this would be apreciated?

July 14, 2006 8:01 AM  
Blogger David said...

I think that would be an excellent idea. You can get the SB-28's pretty cheaply, too.


July 14, 2006 10:20 AM  
Anonymous conrad erb said...

I used to be a poor college student, and I know that they might appreciate knowing that the sunpak 333 is also a capable flash as well. for only $15-$25.

the 333 will zoom, tilt AND swivel, and is pretty powerful for its low price.

here's a link to current 333 auctions on ebay:

search for Sunpak 333 on eBay

unfortunately, it doesn't have a standard PC jack (it takes the proprietary sunpak cord), BUT you can put the hotshoe adapter on it (like most canon users must do) and it should work fine.

July 17, 2006 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Tobias said...

Stumbled upon your excellent blog this week. I am hooked.

Short question. Is it possible to fire the sb24 as a slave? I mean without using cords or radio transmitter. Using IR or flash to fire it??

July 18, 2006 5:45 AM  
Blogger David said...

It does not have a built-in slave. It does have a hot shoe and a PC jack, so you can fire it with an external slave either of those ways. The SB-26 has a built-in slave.

July 18, 2006 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, this is really a great site, thank you for taking the time to put it together and update it. I am just wondering why you reccomend the SB-24 and not something like the SB-20 which is even less money. Does the SB-24 offer features that the SB-20 does not have?


July 30, 2006 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

David, great articles and site! I'd have to say though I am a little confused on the use of these non-digital flashes with digital bodies like my D50.

For just point and shoot the built-in flash is great, but for more creative shots I'd like to have more options, and I'm on a budget. This is what I was thinking:

Buy a used SB-24 and a hot-shoe adapter probably one with two PC connections like this:

For using this flash off-camera, what type of settings will I need to adjust on the camera or can I just leave it in 'auto' mode and the adapter will fire the external flash sync'd properly with the body?



September 06, 2006 6:41 PM  
Blogger David said...

( Big, melodramatic sigh. )

You could actually read the Lighting 101 course...

September 06, 2006 7:22 PM  
Blogger David said...


No PC jack, no manual increments, no zoom head, not very useful.


September 06, 2006 7:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Psst, David. The SB-20 has 5 manual increments, a pc jack, and a fairly ingenious system for anglin and zooming the flash head. I think you may be thinking of the SB-22, which looks pretty similar. - A.G.

October 19, 2006 11:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit that I just love that SB-24! I used it on gig jobs on full manual in my former job, and it really does do the tricks required...

Manual power, great zoom, a real good and snappy tilt head, sturdy construction - 10+ and a straight A from me!

November 29, 2006 5:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using my SB24 ans sb26 in manual mode, everithing works fine when shooting at half or less power. But at full power, images are black (without any other changes in camera / flash adjustements). Am I doing anything wrong? Are both flashes damaged? Thanks for any advice.

February 22, 2007 6:08 AM  
Anonymous Michel said...

Any comments on the compatibility of the Nikon D50 with the Nikon SB-20 flash? Any info would be very much appreciated!

March 09, 2007 8:15 AM  
Blogger Bahi said...

I use an SB-20 with a Nikon D50. The SB-20 offers A-mode, manual and TTL, the last of which is the only mode to not work on the D50, which requires iTTL for the through-the-lens metering. A-mode has the flash unit's own light meter try to shut off light when it thinks all's well. Works really well for very regular, on-camera stuff but that's not what this amazing site is about. As of April 2007, iTTL on a D50 means an SB-400, an SB-600, an SB-800 or a third-party flash. I was given the SB-20 and didn't expect it to work at all but it does great in manual - you choose between 1/16th, 1/8th, 1/4, 1/2 or full power and between wide, normal and telephoto zoom. It angles between -7° and 90° but doesn't swivel. I just returned home from a trip to Calumet with a hot-shoe adapter for a PC-cord and what I thought was a PC cable but it's an extension cord (one male end, one female end) so my Strobism is once again postponed.

April 13, 2007 4:20 PM  
Anonymous aj said...

Am I correct in thinking that the sb-24 can NOT be used as a wireless slave like the sb-26 can? -- ie. the sb-26 fires when my main flash fires -- as the sb-24 doesn't seem to have the "wireless slave flash sensor" like the sb-26 has.

April 28, 2007 8:37 AM  
Anonymous jami said...

been on this site all day...such great i trying to make a shopping list for B&H..but i keep changing it when i discover something else!

mainly have connection questions..basically, (shooting a beach wedding)...
will be shooting with a 5D and 580EX on camera hot shoe (i dont always want to use the flash on camera but i imagine it will be easier to leave it there and use it even as the trigger instead of putting on my PW...if in fact this will work??)

am looking for my off camera flash purchase...i have PWs so i would like to attach the PW to the new off camera flash...
learning that i dont need to buy another 580Ex i'm leaning towards the rebirthed vivitar or a nikon something...

and i guess if the new off camera flash stopped working for some reason, i could always put the PW on my camera hot shoe, take off the 580EX and use that as the off camera flash? (as long as i get some contraption to attach the PW to the flash since there is no PC port.)


May 31, 2007 5:43 PM  
Blogger LeeMo's Photo's said...

Hi everyone, what a cool site this is. It's really helpful for beginners, although I do have a questions. I have a Canon EOS 400d and would like to get a flash gun, for on camera work and off camera work. Is there a way to use a Sb-24 on camera by using some sort of adaptor? Sorry to ask silly questions but I am new to this, your help is really appreciated.


July 12, 2007 7:06 AM  
Blogger Zed said...

Hey David...this blog is absolutely amazing! Great stuff...

I have one simple question...
I have a Canon 400D (Rebel XTi)...what setup do you reccomend for 2 off camera strobes?

I'm a student on a very limited budget...

July 26, 2007 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do we start petitioning Nikon to send you stuff to "review"?

November 10, 2007 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just purchased a Nikon D80.

I want to buy the SB-24 but i read somewhere that it doesn't work with newer DSLRs.

Does anyone know if it it compatible with my D80?


November 25, 2007 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Jeff Geerling said...

Even though I paid almost $80 for an SB-24, I'm excited to do so, for two reasons:

1. I've only used manual-exposure Vivitar 285 and 283's so far, and never experienced TTL... I'll be trying this feature out with my used N8008s (which I bought recently, before reading this post, to work with some 35mm film again... my poor 50mm f/1.8 lens was getting lonely, so I've permanently fixed that lens on the N8008s, and now I have a flash to use with it TTL as a fun snapshot camera I can throw in my car.

2. The standard sync connection will ease my connection to an extra Cactus V2 receiver I bought a while back, and the 180° swivel head will let me use the camera manually on my D40 to shoot off walls behind me (my unwieldy 285's only tilt, and don't swivel...).

I wouldn't have bought the flash (even at a higher price than you used to find them for) without this review... As a friend of mine once said (to a clerk at 7-Eleven): "Thanks for doin' what you do".

January 07, 2008 10:43 PM  
Anonymous mangia said...

Hi.. Is this flash usable on Canon 350D (rebel)? I can't find any specification about voltage so I don't know is it safe to use it with Canon.

Best regards

January 17, 2008 3:54 AM  
Blogger T said...

Hello, I have read through the entire 101 guild and am now looking at shoring up my purchases of equipment.
I am having a hard time deciding on a flash/triggering system however and was hoping someone here might be able to give me some advice.
Currently I own a 580ex II flash, and my camera does not have an onboard flash (5D), I am trying to figure out if I should buy some PW's about $350, which would allow me to use my 580 off camera, or if I should buy a 430ex and use the 580 to control it via the IR. (a waste if I'm not going to be actually firing the 580, but would it be worth while to use the 580 on camera for catchlight?)
Last option is to buy the cheap ebay triggers, and a cheap flash, however once you dump 50 into a flash, 20 into a hotshoe adapter.. i'm just wondering if the ettl-II features of the 430ex is worth the extra money.

Essentially I'm trying to buy equipment once, and if it costs a couple bux more to get the right stuff then I'm willing to do that. I plan on trying to go manual, and having used off flash at all yet as I have no trigger, so I don't know if the ettl-2 is worth trying to save...

anyway.. I'm a hobbiest, just want to get good portraits of the family and friends.. but still was thinking the mobility and size of the strobes was worth while vs going with the bee's or something of that sort...

I don't want to waste money either however...


January 20, 2008 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the same category as the SB-24 (i.e. not suitable for today's DSLRs for TTL control) is the CANON 430EZ. I still use it on a stand with a slave. It is strong enough for most cases and it has a manual mode with selectable 1/1 up to 1/64 power output in 1 stop increments. I just hope that its price does not soar now that it is mentioned here as I would like to get a couple more .

March 22, 2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger LiteningKid said...

First off, THANKS for the many pointers and DIYP tips I have gotten from this site. This is a truly remarkable place to learn from PROS without being intimidated and again thanks.

I remember the day this post was put here. At the time the price estimate was fairly true. Nowadays, people are paying in upwards of $100 - $150 for one of these.

I have even been out bid by someone who paid $225 for an SB-28. Why? My reason for bidding was because I am a truly (Newbie) starving artist, $200
(SB-600) bucks per flash is way out of my budget. Not to mention the almost $300+ SB-800.

Yet someone pays $225 for a used lesser model. Are they aware that they were $75 away from an SB-800 and some were $25 dollars away from an SB-600. I have even been out bid by the same person on two different items, both ending $128 or more and one was broken. What do these flashes do that an SB - 600 or 800 can't do. They don't work with digital TTL, you can only get about three 1/1 power flashes before it overheats and stops recycling and they work in only auto or manual, mostly manual with digital cameras.

So can someone please tell me if the other bidders were just bad at math or is this truly a magnificent flash? What am I missing?

Thanks, "The New Guy"

May 13, 2008 6:00 PM  
Blogger LinEainNi said...


i'm a new student for lighting.
I currently bought Canon 40D and i'm out of budget now.I just want to know whether Nikon SB 24,26 ,28 can be compatible with my canon 40 D?
Please reply me.
Thank you.

January 09, 2009 4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a D300 and SB 800, Sb 600, Sb 24 and a sunpack 322D (and I buy a slave cell for it).
How can I control this units through the pop up flash?
Or can I put a flash on body to control the other three flashes?
Thank you so much.

March 28, 2009 10:40 PM  
Blogger Kristofer said...

Great post, I just found a SB-24 at a thrift shop for $2.99!!!! At the time I bought it I didn't know if it worked (it does) but I knew it HAD to be a good deal! Don't overlook the thrift stores for your sweet deals!

April 03, 2009 12:25 PM  
Blogger Bertrand Rivière said...

Hello All,

I've just bought this flash (and for a great price). But ofcourse all of the labels on the buttons are long worn off. The links in this article for the manual are dead. Does anyone know where I can find a copy of this manual now?

Thanks a million.

April 07, 2009 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Rabbi Bob said...

Found a manual this morning via Google:

April 24, 2009 6:32 AM  
Blogger NeoZ said...

Hey David Im one cannon shotter that has a SB-28 (along with my 580 EX II) on its bag thanks to you. I love the Flash and im looking to get another one. By the way, Can you hold the flash for a moment, please, in correct Spanish is Por favor puede sostener el "Flash" por un momento. And the very important Gracias.
Take care and Keep Flashing.

April 30, 2009 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha... pretty sure SB-24 prices on ebay just went up another 25 bucks for the next six months...


April 30, 2009 2:44 AM  
Blogger QVisuals said...


I use the D200 with an SB-800 in all its iTTL glory (ala Joe McNally style) and I also sometimes use the SB-24 as a second flash triggered by an inexpensive flash sensing slave trigger. I set the SB-24 in manual mode and adjust the power accordingly to give me the amount that looks good.

I also want to say that your posts have been extremely informative and I look forward to soaking up and practicing all the techniques that you write about. Thank you.


April 30, 2009 9:01 AM  
Anonymous hlinton said...

This is too funny. Last week I walked by a local camera store and viola an SB-24[$60], SB-25[$100] & SB-26[$125]. Dirt cheap in my book. I opted for the SB-26. The optical slave was the clincher. Just before buying the SB-26 I had picked up a SkyPort system[1 transmitter and 2 receivers]. With the 580EXII and the 430EX + 3 Vivitar 283's I figured I was set. Unfortunately, my oldest and most trusted 283 [mid-80's] wasn't long for this world. Add to that the fact that its not advisable to use a 283 with the SkyPorts [due to voltage issues] and I started to lament not having another SB-26 in my arsenal. As fate would have it I noticed that the camera store where I bought the first SB-26 just a week ago now had another one. With a 20% discount and the $25 they gave me for one of my 283's it was a done deal.
Its a rockin' system for covering events. Great for placing lights in shots [I use a plastic globe from a light fixture to help blend the strobe into the background and to spread the light more evenly] and for helping to illuminate those cavernous rooms that always seem to be painted flat black.

April 30, 2009 5:57 PM  
Blogger wade_beard said...

I shoot with two of these. They are work horses. Pretty easy on batteries as well. I have had them blow over on SEVERAL occasions and they get up, dust themselves off and continue with the job at hand. Great flashes.

May 02, 2009 7:41 PM  
Blogger Help said...

I spent a few days on ebay looking for an SB-24, but the auctions kept going too high.

Then I realised you can search for the SB-25, 26, 28, etc - and they're cheaper than the SB-24! I guess due to this article, people aren't reading the bit at the bottom saying those higher models are even better.

So I got an SB-28 DX for £10 less than the SB-24's went for today :)

May 08, 2009 2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

can a sb-24 flash be used with a Nikon N65

May 22, 2009 1:53 PM  
Anonymous MattH said...

Found two of these off of Portland's Craigslist. One from a shop ($80) and another from an oblivious spring-cleaner ($65). Working great with Sony a100 with GI hot shoe adapter!

July 13, 2009 2:42 PM  
Blogger C. Jacques said...

Snagged a SB-24 off ebay for $36 today....which is a (nice) surprise! Hopefully it works as expected :)

November 01, 2009 1:55 PM  
Blogger ADN3 said...

Just picked one of these up off eBay for 57$ shipped. Can't wait to put this flash and your teachings to work.

You realize your site is terrible for U.S. productivity, don't you? I'm learning and reading this thing for hours at a time - at work! HA HA

Thanks for your time, effort and perspective of dumbing things down without being condescending.

December 02, 2009 2:44 PM  
Blogger Fotos by Chris said...

I've had some tremendous luck as of late. I just embarked upon my Strobist journey and in my quest to choose a flash this article lead me to choose upon the SB-24. Lucky me, last week I snagged 2 BGN Grade SB-24s off of, one for $47, and one for $49. And just 20 minutes ago I found one on Keh for $41, I couldn't help myself so I bought it. I would suggest people check there if they'd like to find some on the cheap.

December 17, 2009 11:33 PM  
Blogger asharpe said...

Instead of pointing folks to a flash-only copy of the manual, why don't you tell them about a site where they can download the manual for free, or even send perhaps $3 to a poor guy who is doing a hell of a good service for us folks. I'm not connected with him at all, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and what he does:

February 08, 2010 3:25 PM  
Blogger Carole said...

Also, being connected to large amounts of photographers might help you! I just purchased one from a fellow photographer in CA (I'm on OH) for only $30.00 INCLUDING ship! I LOVE IT!

March 04, 2010 9:06 AM  
Blogger Jaryn said...

Thanks for an addictive web site. Does anyone know if it's safe to use an SB-26 directly on a SONY A 230 via a hotshoe adapter (ie and not without frying the camera)? I've got it working quite nicely off-camera in delayed slave mode - from 1/2 power and less - using the camera's built-in flash as a trigger, but I thought that there might be times I'd like to use it on camera (without ttl hss etc ofcourse). Cheers.

May 01, 2010 1:29 AM  
Blogger Proktiko Team said...

Hi all,

I just started into photography. I have a D90 camera and wanted to see if my father's equipment can be used in conjuction with my D90. He has an F-801 nikon camera and a Speedlight SB-24 Flash. I used this flash for a couple of shots but wanted to know if it can be used as an off-camera flash using wireless, because I don't have the manual and I didn't see anything in the buttons. Probably it does not but wanted to be sure.

Thanks in advance,

March 07, 2012 5:28 PM  
Blogger Daveyo said...

For me, please lets cut out the tech jargon here. I'm a simple old school twinkie.

Got a question very simple

I have a D50 SLR and I have these tthree items from my N6006 camera.

First I have the Sunpak 433 AF Dedicated Type NE Speedlight having manual settings in the back. Will this work on the D50 SLR on the top hotshoe.

Secondly I have a Nikon AF 35-80 mm 1:4-5.6D Lense. Will this work on the D50 SLR

Last I have a 70-300mm 1:4-5.6D DL Macro Super Sigma Lense. Will this work on my D50 SLR.

This is all I want to know and your help is most appreciated. If any do not work, what is the best speedlight (Sunpak) the least expensive way to go so I can use this D50 SLR without spending hundreds of insane dollars. The same for lenses if these do not work.

These above work for the N6006 without a problem.



Dave P.

June 12, 2014 12:54 PM  

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