Nikon Speedlight SB-900 Review

Well, let's begin Nikon SB-900 A very interesting tool in recruiting a photographer. As one friend of mine says, “this is a work of art, not a flash,” well, everyone has their own tastes. The flash is the flagship in the Nikon flash series. And this means that it is intended for professional use under heavy loads in long shooting series, etc. The flash is just great comfortable ergonomics.

Two-sided view of the SB-900

Two-sided view of the SB-900

I found in her the following advantagesto pay attention to:

1. In the delivery with a very reliable bag - black bag, durable, 3 compartments - for diffuser, color filterslegs flash.
2. Made in Japan! Qualitatively excellent. Once I worked with SB-900, which fell from 1.5 meters. The flash played a little bit of play, something in it in the middle rustled, but the performance did not suffer at all.
3. Powerful
4. Quick reload. I shoot with Varta 2700mAh batteries, the recharge is just excellent, can withstand up to 4-5 recharges per second (faster, my camera does not take off)
5. Large head zoom range (from 17 to 200 mm), which is very convenient. Moreover, in the mode of filling the light with a card or specially nozzle, the flash makes it possible to use at 10mm.
6. Card for dispersion - forget about the erasers and business cards that needed to be attached earlier (for example, S), just pull out the scattering card and get a reflection card as a gift.
7. Filters in the set. I’ll write separately about this matter - the kit includes a nozzle for attaching color filters. Set of 3 color filters. When attaching them to the flash, she herself determines their type and accordingly changes her settings (there are filter identifier) The diffuser is very convenient, really much better than a card. The flash foot (shoe), as usual, helps position the flash on any surface
8. Automatic recognition of FX or DX - in fact, manually setting this parameter is very easy, but a nice plus. This is important due to the different viewing angles of the lens on the FX or DX.
9. Very comfortable. Access to all functions can be done very quickly and without reading the manual.
10. Of course - command and slave operation with Nikon Creative Lighting System - this means that if your camera has this flash, then you can automatically control other flashes with the SB-900 without additional technical means. An indispensable thing if your camera does not support your command mode outbreaks.
11. SU-4 mode - few people know about it, but this mode will allow you to control the flash remotely using any camera (even a soap box), though the work is hard for real pros, since it is quite difficult to correctly correct the pulse power. The feature of the mode is that the flash is “ignited” by any other flash (by a light pulse) TTL mode is not available at the same time.
12. Auto-fit to ISO. Very comfortable and practical. You can set the ISO manually.
13. Excellent ergonomics - no need to study button combinations for a long and tedious time - everything is elementary.
14. AF illumination - it helps pretty much to focus at night, the “spotlights” are pretty strong
15. FP mode - High-speed sync that helps you shoot with shutter speeds up to 1/8000
16. BL mode - a very convenient thing - filling light, that’s why external flashes are good
17. A bunch of small pleasures for shooting and the ability to customize anything

SB-900 at work (slave mode, ignition from the built-in flash on the Nikon D90)

SB-900 in operation (slave mode, ignition from the built-in flash on Nikon D90)

Disadvantagesthat I would like to fix and which are a little interfere with life.

1. On my copy, the latch does not always hold the corner. When moving, the flash head can rotate even if it was at one of the fixed levels of rotation.
2. No battery indicator - just a catastrophic minus. Really really annoying when shooting, you have to determine the charge level by the speed of recharging the flash - the longer it takes to recharge, the smaller the charge.
3. Overheat indicator is buggy - I don’t argue, maybe it shows correctly, but in the cold of minus 5 degrees I take up to 10 frames and the flash says that it has overheated, and it cools down much longer than usual. Most likely, this is due to the ambient temperature. Also, a rather uncomfortable factor. This problem is treated by disabling the function of detecting overheating. According to third-party tests (I felt sorry for my flash), it withstands very long series of shooting.
4. Remote control of the CLS (Nikon Creative Lighting System) does not work well with a lot of light. If you shoot on a hot day by remote control using another flash, with a lot of light, the flash does not always understand the commands and brutally squeaks from this, you have to come closer, or twist the flash to attract the indicator as purposefully as possible. I would put 2 indicators on it.
5. Heavy - this is not convenient, for example, with good batteries, it weighs more than the camera itself Nikon D40 and it’s not very convenient to hold at the same time. But on cameras by type D90, D300, D700, D3 quite fine.

And the SB-900 has a serious competitor - S, - updated version.

Nikon Speedlight Kit SB-900

Nikon Speedlight Kit SB-900

A couple of notes from personal experience: It is very convenient to carry the flash cover on the belt, passing the belt through a special loop. When you shoot a lot and there is no time to put a flash somewhere - a very convenient thing. For example, it allows you to very quickly remove the flash from the camera and put it in the case and vice versa. True, if a diffuser is dressed, then it must be removed before that. The swivel head is very convenient, it allows you to twist as you want and wherever you want, a couple of times they joked about me that I spin it like a rubik's cube. I strongly advise you to read the instructions for the flash, if you have one.


conclusions:

The SB-900 is Nikon's flagship professional flash. Never failed in work. The flash has a very large head zoom path and a large head turn path. A large number of settings makes the SB-900 flash an indispensable attribute of any shooting in the hands of a professional. The only serious minus is that there is no battery indicator. On my flash after two years of use, the lamp burned out, the replacement cost me $ 60 Without repair, the flash ran through about 50-60 thousand frames.

If you liked the article, do not forget to press +1, tweet, like. Thanks for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

Add a comment:

Comments: 163, on the topic: Review of Nikon Speedlight SB-900

  • Michael

    Hello Arkady and patrons of a wonderful forum!
    For a long time I am a reader and student of this site from Arkady. This is the problem I had with the SB-900. In the fall, I bought this device for a cheap price from a friend of my acquaintances. I have a D7000 and SB-600. But I wanted the SB-900, all the more so for a "freebie", and free cheese only happens in ... When I bought it, I checked it, everything seems to be fine. I take off my granddaughter at school in the gym and immediately a shock. Well 600-ku guessed to take on every fireman. Rearranged and rented a holiday. He began to deal with the 900th. The reason is that all pictures are underexposed. I had to increase the power by +1,0, i.e. to the maximum. The question is, what is the reason, the capacitor or the lamp. The flash functionality works without problems. And who knows what this freebie will cost me. And with an amendment of +1.0, my 600 didn’t stand nearby. And yet, where to look at the serial number to find out how old she is?

    • Michael

      To your question from 14.04.2016/15/0,3. I asked the question myself, and I answer. In short, I ordered a lamp for EBE, cost about 3,5 “eternally green”, a month later (day by day) they delivered to Nizhnevartovsk. I went to a friend radio operator, he changed it in three hours (he saw her for the first time). Checked everything works, everything is OK. But an amendment of +0,3 still needs to be entered. Conclusion, we think and sat down capacitor. Repair experience is already what it is. Replace. A new lamp has already shot about XNUMX thousand pictures. So far, everything is normal. A correction of +XNUMX is, as it were, by default ... My advice to those who buy with their hands, that is, used - carefully check on the camera, and since I do. Turned on - puffed, and gave the money. And if you are caught like me, there is nothing to worry about, we will repair the Russians, though in a Russian way, but it will work. Something like this. Sorry for the pathos ...

      • Nicholas

        Hello, Michael. Please drop the link where you found the lamp for the SB-900. Due to overheating, my lamp failed, the glass burst!

  • VICTOR

    NIKON D600 + SB900 SATISFIED AND ALL SUPER

  • Sveta

    guys. I have a NIKON 5200, I need puff, give advice, which is better for my camera. I don’t swing at 900, I’m just learning ... but advice, please.

    • Michael

      S

  • Sergei

    Hello to all the fans of photography. I have a problem - I can not configure the SB 900 as a slave with Nikon 7200. Maybe someone has encountered this problem.

    • Sergei

      He figured it out, everything was easier on d90.

  • anonym

    my sb-900 swivel head only moves up and down. it doesn’t turn left and right :( what’s the reason? you write that you have it like a rubik’s cube

  • anonym

    Do you press the button for turning left-right?

  • anonym

    After a time, the flash fires, and for 2 years it worked without complaints. Tell me what to do, if I put another flash everything works, it means it's not the camera.

    • anonym

      It looks like lamp wear. In repair.

      • Jeanne

        If the lamp burns out, then it cannot work every other time or when I put it on another camera, it blazed smoothly

        • anonym

          Hot shoe (connector)!

          • anonym

            Cool?

            • anonym

              Ha ha ha Yes, pour some water ...

  • Andrei

    Yesterday I accidentally became the owner of such an outbreak. I’m familiar with trying out my kit and gave it to me for a very cheap price. I will use it with an old d80.
    I understand that for such a carcass it is very cool, but still I got it cheaper than used sb600.
    Here I would like to clarify - when using full-format lenses (35-70 2.8d) on the crop, should the flash take into account the correction for the form factor? By changing the focal length on the lens, the focal length on the flash also changes and is displayed the same as on the lens. Shouldn't the focal length be multiplied by 1.5 here? Or is this not taken into account in the flash part, is it enough to simply specify the type of camera in the flash settings (fx, dx)?

    • Michael

      Yes, I have to consider it. But the focal ones should not be multiplied by anything, as they were and remain

    • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

      Should not. It makes no difference whether or not you use the full-format lens. Indicate the type of matrix, and the lens at least with 6x6.

  • Andrei

    Thanks for answers! The third day I study it - as if I discovered a new planet !! So many functions and possibilities (and this is with the D80 carcass)! Just delighted)

  • Anton

    Hello. Tell me, choosing between 700 and 900, is there a need to shoot in the daytime, highlight objects, a weaker 700 is enough?
    Thank you

    • Anton

      Highlight objects * meant to highlight contrasting shadows and add highlights

      • Valery A.

        Probably enough, if often the built-in puff is enough.

  • anonym

    Nikon 3200, advise flash

  • anonym

    Hello! The scattering glass (it’s such a retractable one) has broken off. I can’t find anywhere instructions on how to insert it back there! Will you help? Well, there, a reference to Yu-Tub, or where they talk about this business! Thanks in advance!

  • Artyom

    Is it worth it to take sb-900 to d3400?
    Just turned up a good option for the price. Well, as it were, in the future, when I take a more powerful camera.

  • Irina

    Please tell me which flash is suitable for Nikon D3.

  • Danil

    Please tell me how to enable slow sync flash Nikon Speedlite SB-900.
    Nikon d800 camera. It is necessary that the background is highlighted when shooting.

    • Michael

      How is that? I only know high speed (FP)

      • Valery A.

        Michael, look in your camera among the flash modes (with an eye symbol). Danil, in my opinion this mode is turned on through the camera (I have no sb900).

        • Valery A.

          Sory, I got it about the eye, the “eye” is from red eyes, and it's slow. sync is designated as slow.

    • Sergei

      To the left of the camera mount, hold the button with the flash symbol and rotate the main command dial and select “slow” flash mode on the display.

  • anonym

    And no one solved the problem with back focus when focusing the focus with a red grid?

    • anonym

      Oops, “front focus”)

    • anonym

      Oops, “front focus”).

  • Anna

    Tell me, who came across, Nikon 7000 + 18-105 on the 900 flash does not work zoom, is it somewhere in the settings of the flash or the camera to watch? Thank you

    • Neustrdm

      Zoom can be set manually through the flash menu.
      When changing the values ​​of the zoom, the motor should buzz in it and the reflector physically under the glass
      move. If this does not happen, it means repair.

      • Anna

        Everything works fine on the D750
        And on 7000 with a zoom problem

        • Michael

          Apparently, the shoe on the camera is covered

  • Vadym

    Chi vikoristovuvali Wi Panasonic Eneloop (white sound Pro)? So it’s so, doesn’t it look like Wart? Having bought the quarters, I’m thinking about Akum at once ...
    Crazy.

Add a comment

Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog Author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2020

English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2010/12/obzor-nikon-sb-900-otzuv/