Are you searching for TTL flash for your Nikon camera that not only offers great performance but is also budget friendly? In this article you will learn which budget Nikon TTL flashes are the best for the money.
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I’ve been shooting professionally for decades and in my early days I learned how to get the most performance for my gear budget possible. While I love my higher end equipment, it is important to understand that you can get great flash performance without breaking the bank. I still have a few budget flashes in my bag and for this article I will help you save money while still getting great lighting by identifying the top TTL flashes for the money.
Best Budget TTL Flash for Nikon Cameras
This great performing and simple to use i-TTL flash is an awesome value. This external flash is compatible with most Nikon cameras and offers superb build quality adding to it’s already impressive value. It provides on and off camera lighting with a 100 foot range. It features a guide number of 68m and is weather proof making it great as an outdoor or indoor flash. You get iTTL autofocus ability and a wireless trigger along with a hard flash diffuser. This TTL flash is well worth the low cost of entry.
- Powerful guide number of 68m
- Wireless control with 100 foot range
- Great on camera and off
- Weather proof design ideal for indoor and outdoor lighting
- Features include i-TTL autofocus, Cable M cord, wireless trigger and more
Amazon is not the first brand photographers think of when looking for a TTL flash but this one offers really good performance at a great price. You get flattering lighting and powerful output in a flash is compatible with almost every modern Nikon DSLR. This flash has been gaining in popularity thanks to it’s great performance and very affordable cost.
- Compatible with almost every Nikon DSLR camera
- Provides flattering lighting for both still shots and video
- Guide number of 33 at ISO 100 and 1m
- Multiple flash modes including Manual, Slave 1 and Slave 2
- Offers 90 degrees of tilt and 270 degrees of rotation
- Wireless and synchronization capabilities
This is one of the best Yongnuo flashes for Nikon and one of my favorite budget speedlights on the market. It offers exceptional performance with an impressive feature set. It will help improve your image quality by consistently providing flattering subject lighting. It offers wireless performance at a very long range makng it a great on camera and off camera TTL flash. It also provides auto zoom with a range of 24-105mm that helps maintain focus quickly and accurately.
- Features auto zoom with a range of 24-105mm
- Max shutter synchronization of 1/8000
- CLS i-TTL system with FEB, FEC, FE lock, High Speed Sync, rear curtain sync and more
This flashlight from Neewer really surprised me with it’s solid performance. It comes in at a very low price but you wouldn’t be able to tell when using it. It provides excellent lighting quality and is perfect for improving your image quality on a budget. The lighting is soft and flattering and it even folds down for enhanced portability.
- Features 90 degree tilt and 270 degree rotation
- Compatible with Nikon cameras including D7200, D7100, D7000, D5000, D5100, D5200, D5300, D3000, D3100, D3200, D3300, D500, D600, D700, D90, D80, D60, and D50
- Syncs with computer and most smartphones
- Quality LCD screen
This high quality budget external flash is compatible with all Nikon DSLR’s equipped with a hot shoe. It provides great lighting quality and consistent performance at a great cheap price tag. Operation is straight forward and easy to learn making it great for the beginner photographer. It offers a guide number of 42 along with front and rear sync. Other great features include 90 degree tilt and 270 degree rotation.
- Very easy to use
- Offers 90 degree tilt and 270 degree rotation
- Features front and rear sync
- Has automatic flashlight detection and overheat protection
- Speedlight is compatible with all hot shoe Nikon cameras
Bower SFD680N Digital Flash For Nikon
This is an upgraded model of a popular third party Nikon flash. It is designed specifically for Nikon and is compatible with all DSLR models. It provides automatic shutter speed and aperture along with a 85mm guide number. This i-TTL flash provides autofocus flashgun and numerous other great features all at a great low price.
- Compatible with almost all Nikon DSLR cameras
- Zoom range of 28-85mm
- Long battery life
- Simple operation
Here is another great budget Nikon flash from Yongnuo. It provides impressive performance at a very low cost. It offers a number of great features including auto zoom and seven different flash levels. This speedlight offers Manual and multi flash modes for flattering lighting. You also get tilt and rotation along with a built in bounce card. This is a great flash that should cost you more but I wouldn’t complain if I were you.
- Compatible with all Nikon iTTL cameras
- Guide number of 33
- Offers manual mode guide and seven power flash levels
- Eight output control levels
- TTL, manual and multi flash modes
- 7-90 degree tilt and 0-270 degree rotation
What To Look For in a Budget Nikon Flashgun
There are a lot of bargain priced flashes out there but many are not worth investing your money as they do not provide the performance or durability needed. But it is possible to get a low cost Nikon TTL flash if you know what to look for.
Always check for the most important features to ensure you get the performance needed to get high quality lighting. Things to look for are master and slave modes for increased lighting flexibility. Also it’s great to get a flashgun with a wide angle diffuser to ensure full subject coverage.
Features like zoom and autofocus illumination are also a must for flattering lighting that performs consistently.
When it comes to guide numbers, the larger the number the better. A larger guide number means the flash is better able to handle varied lighting conditions.
If you enjoy taking portraits or close ups then a bounce and swivel head is something you will want to have.
TTL Flash or Manual Flash?
For a complete understand on the subject, check the article on TTL flash vs manual flash. As I point out in the complete beginners guide to photography it is best to learn how to shoot in manual mode as it provides the best results and flexibility. But it is not a bad idea to get a flash that provides auto functionality. When quick shots and time are at a premium, auto modes can be a life saver. The option to switch to auto mode is also good for preventing frustration when just starting out with your flash.
Speedlights usually come with the ability to shoot in auto or manual mode. Due to the widespread availability of both these features there is really no reason not to invest in a flash that provides you with both options.
Through The Lens
TTL stand for through the lens. You can find TTL flashes for all DSLR and mirrorless cameras currently on the market. These systems have been designed to automatically detect what lighting is necessary by the camera. TTL cameras offer built in metering which processes how much distance is between the camera and the subject in order to adjust the lighting accordingly.
Manual flash puts the adjustments in your hands. You get to determine the amount of light the flash puts out and manual mode can be used with or without further setting adjustments on your camera.
The feature that makes a TTL different from a standard flash is that a quick burst of light is fired before the actual flash goes off. This quick burst is used to determine how much flash is needed for the environment. The blast is so quick it is hardly noticeable by the human eye.
The power of a manual flash is measured in fraction which is noted by settings such as A1/1, A1/2, A1/4 and so on. Each step is a half step down in power. The specifics of how your settings are listed will depend on the specific camera model though.
If a flash is manual only, it will not have the pre flash burst that measures the environment. All adjustments will have to be made by the photographer before taking a shot. Due to the high performance of TTL systems, most photographers will use TTL but some (like me) will still utilize manual mode for certain shots.
What I like about manual is the ability to fine tune the flash power to adjust for challenging shadows, which TTL is not always able to do to my satisfaction. But for the majority of shots a TTL flash will produce exceptional lighting quickly and with no additional input needed.
If you are in the market for a top rated budget TTL flash for your Nikon camera there are a number of solid options available today. It is no longer a requirement to spend a boat load of money to get great performance from your flash. Any of the best picks above are certain to help you improve your image quality without breaking the bank.
For more photography tips and guides read these articles