Hey Sandy. Yeah, you’ll need a stepdown ring. With your D850 and its FX format however, you could well experience some vignetting at the corners. I’m betting that you can get away without vignetting using a DX format body, but with the crop factor thrown in to make the lens more like a focal range of around 100-210mm.
Dunno if that will work with the TTL of the Nikon, cuzz I’ve never tried it. If so, you’re in business. If not, I’m betting there’s a manual work-around. Here’s what Ken Rockwell has to say about Nikon’s TTL, for reference when checking the function with your Canon lights:
1.) Standard TTL mode . This mode, originally introduced 20 years ago, makes a correct, full exposure for the flash alone. It ignores any ambient light, and in fact, if you have ambient light contributing to your exposure you may wind up with overexposure. Standard TTL mode is the only TTL mode on older cameras like the F3, FE-2, and FA. You select Standard TTL mode on newer cameras either by selecting MANUAL exposure mode on the camera, or hitting a mode button on the flash (if it has one) until you see only “TTL” displayed without the Matrix symbol.
In standard TTL mode there is no automatic compensation for fill-in. The only time to use this mode is for photos lit only by flash, for instance, macro shots lit by flash alone. In this mode you get nothing except a good exposure by the flash alone, and in my experience, a one stop underexposure on the F100.
2.) Matrix TTL mode (other almost identical variations include the 3D and other modes) This mode is intended to balance flash with ambient light, so long as there is enough ambient light. If you are in normal sync mode and the light gets too dim to make a good exposure at 1/60 sec, the flash level is supposed to increase to provide a flash-only exposure. In this case make sure to select SLOW sync mode to allow the background to be lit by the ambient light.
Matrix flash mode reduces the flash level one or two stops, depending on what sort of a mood it’s in. You get Matrix TTL mode with a modern camera in A, P or S mode. The SB-28 will also display “TTL” and either a Matrix logo or, with non-CPU (AF or P) lenses, the sun and head logo.
If you want to twiddle with the ambient and flash exposures separately, use A or P or S mode and do any of the following:
a.) Adjust + and - buttons of the SB-28 to vary flash output, which is fill level.
b.) Adjust F100 exposure compensation to vary level of flash and ambient light together
c.) Adjust F100 exposure compensation and vary SB-28 in the OPPOSITE direction to vary level of ambient light with flash fill remaining the same. In other words, set F100 to -1 and SB-28 to +1 to darken background while keeping flash fill the same.
I suspect you’ll really enjoy using that great lens. Working distance is excellent for live subjects, though it’s heavy. It can also search (slowly) for a focusing point, so anything you can do to help such as focusing first on a high contrast margin at approximately the same focusing distance will help a lot on low contrast subjects. It’s also not VR, a growing factor with my shaky old hands. I’m finding I use mine more and more on a tripod or monopod rather than hand-holding as a result. But sharp? Oh my!!!