Nissin Di866 II

Check availablity: Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, B&H, eBay.

The mark II is not a big upgrade on the original version, but it now has a metal foot, a quiter zoom head, and an improved wireless range.

For people looking for a dedicated flash, the Nissin Di866 II is a serious alternative to the Canon 580EX II or the Nikon SB-910. Yes, it is less solidly built, and it is missing a few bells and whistles, including Nikon's very handy sound-monitor. Also, on the software side, the Di866 falls short by not showing ISO in the top level displays, and by not picking up ISO from the camera body in all modes. Unlike the first version, it now let you use HSS/FP when it is a wireless remote unit. But unlike Canons and Nikons top of the line flashes, it can not be used as a wireless master in HSS/FP mode.

Whether or not these shortcomings are important, depends on your style of shooting.

For me, the Nissin Di866 II delivers where it counts. It does TTL well on and off the camera, and the built-in “dumb” slave mode also makes it equally suitable for “strobist”-type work.

Specifications

For dedicated flash systems: Canon, Nikon, Sony.
Head: 18, 24-105mm coverage, power zoom (w. manual override).
Swivel & tilt: -180° to +90° swivel, 0° to +90° tilt.
Exposure modes: TTL, HSS, Auto, Varipower, Multi.
Manual settings: 1/1 to 1/128 in 1/3 EV steps (22 steps).
Wireless modes: Master, Remote (dedicated), Plain slave, Digital slave.
Features: LCD, Overheat protection, Metal foot, Sync. socket, Ext. power, Bounce card, Strobist.
Trigger voltage: 3.4 volt.
Batteries: 4xAA.
Field upgradable: via USB.
Dimensions: 74 x 134 x 110 mm, 380 g.

Zoom head setting:f=35mmf=50mmf=maxSubflash
Guidenumber (ISO 100, meter):40566012
GNs taken from manufacturer's specifications.

Price: USD 349 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2011-today.

For a detailed explanation of the above specifications, see the guide.

Literature

Documentation:

Brand profile

Key info

Established: 1959
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, man

Nissin is a Japanese manufacturer of flash units. It differs from almost any other Japanese company I've dealt with by having poor communication skills, not responding to customers concerns, and putting stuff on the market before it is ready. Its manufacturing facility is located in Shenzhen (China) and its sales operation is located in Hong Kong. For all practical purposes, I would say that this is a Chinese company.

The company was founded in 1959, and has produced professional flash units since 1967. In 2007, the company introduced Di622, its first dedicated flash aimed at the DSLR TTL-market.

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