Nikon SB-910 review

Nikon SB-910 Professional Flash. Nikon SB-910 is suitable for all modern Nikon digital SLR cameras. If you find your camera in genealogy plate of Nikon cameras, then your camera can work perfectly together with the Nikon SB-910.

Nikon SB-910 Flash Review

Nikon SB-910 Flash Review

In order to fully understand all the features and subtleties of the Nikon SB-910 flash, you need to read the instructions, or remove it for several days. It so happened that I did not have instructions in the kit, which is a definite minus of the configuration. But since I shot for a long time on SB-900, then sorting out the SB-910 settings was easier than ever since the SB-910 was almost a complete copy of the older flagship (in the past) professional flash SB-900. My comparisons of SB-910 and SB-900 You will find a little lower, but for now the main points when using the SB-910 flash.

1. The flash can automatically recognize DX and FX format cameras, but if it was not recognized, then in the camera menu, you can set the type of camera on which the flash is used - DX or FX. Depending on this setting, a minimum focal length will be available when using the built-in diffuser card. For DX it will be 10mm, for FX it will be 14mm. Considering that 10mm for DX and 14mm for FX is a kind of wide-angle chapel for Nikon lenses, you shouldn't want more. The flash will be able to provide scene lighting for both the DX wide-angle Nikon 10-24mm f / 3.5-4.5G ED AF-S DX Nikkor and the FX full-frame Nikon 14-24mm f / 2.8G ED AF-S Nikkor.

2. The flash is very large 17-200mm zoom... In fact, when used on DX cameras, the zoom is available from 10 to 200mm, which is 20X. Considering that the most common focal length range for ordinary photographers working at full frame is 14-200mm (14-24, 24-70, 70-200), the flash can work with the most common optics.

3. The Nikon SB-910 has a very large guide number 34. The guide number, roughly speaking, is responsible for the flash output. This means that the flash is powerful enough, more powerful SB-700, SB-600 and as powerful as Nikon SB-900.

4. Good delivery: comes with a square case, two color filter, dispersion dome and foot stand.

5. Nikon SB-910 has all the little thingsthat are so indispensable when shooting: card diffuser, button illumination, quick reload, auto focus infrared light, color filter support, smart overheating program, quick latch on the shoe (there are other types, for example in Metz-48 instead of a latch - a nut).

6. The SB-910 flash is heavy - 410 grams, such a flash will be rather inconvenient to use on a younger line of cameras, such as Nikon D40, D40x, D60, D50, D3000, D3100, D5000, D5100 etc., since the flash introduces serious weight imbalance in the camera-flash kit.

7. Angle of rotation of the head - full 360 degrees. The swivel head is fixed with a button. You have to press the button quite hard to unlock the current position of the head.

8. One of the most important features in the SB-910 is possibility of command mode for controlling other flashes (Master), as well as operation in slave mode (Slave). Slave mode supports 3 groups and 4 channels. IN command mode SB-910 can control two groups of flashes via protocol Nikon CLS. This is a very important function for me, as the creative lighting system Nikon CLS will allow you to take interesting pictures with light sources located in different directions from the camera itself. Well and SB-910 has SU-4 mode, which allows you to control the flash on cameras without the flash command mode.

9.SB-910 supports fast FP synchronization with exposures up to 1/8000, this is an indispensable thing, when shooting in the afternoon with flash... The flash has special connectors for external power supply and control via a cable - for studio and serious professional photography - these are very important details. The connectors are covered with rubber bands, an ordinary user is unaware of their existence.

10. Nikon SB-910 has three different light fill modes - standard, flat, center-weighted. The type of illumination of the front and back objects, as well as their intensity, depends on the choice of the template. All other characteristics and features of the flash can be easily found on the manufacturer's official website, for example here.

Nikon Sb-910 illuminated with an umbrella on the clearance from the top left

Nikon Sb-910 illuminated with an umbrella on the clearance from the top left

Disadvantages of Nikon SB-910:

1. The kit does not include instructions. The case that comes with the kit is not designed to carry the flash on your belt or photo bag. For example, in Nikon SB-900 In the kit came a cover that is comfortable to wear on the belt, and when the flash is not used on the camera, quickly put the flash in the holster case. For me personally, it’s important to have such a cowboy flash holster.

2 IN Nikon SB-910 no battery indicator.

3. The overheating indicator turns on after 20 shots of the Nikon SB-910 at full power 1/1 - not enough for a professional flash. Also, the overheating indicator cannot be turned off.

Personal impressions:

The flash is very similar to Nikon SB-900... Perfectly assembled, you really feel professionalism. The Made in Japan lettering is pleasing to the eye. The menu is really, very convenient, button illumination is not particularly needed. As always, recharge rates are highly dependent on batteries - don't believe in all these races of recharge rates of 2.3 seconds, better stock up on a good set of rechargeable batteries. The Nikon SB-910 is a photographer's tool that you want to use all the time.

Nikon SB-910 and Nikon SB-900 Flash Comparison

Comparison of SB-910 and SB-900

Comparison of SB-910 and SB-900

The most important difference in the SB-910 and Nikon SB-900 is the implementation of thermal protection control. When working with Nikon SB-900 with the overheating mode on, the flash after a series of firing simply goes into cooling mode, the overheating image appears on the display. At the same time, neither switching on, nor off, or any other dances with a tambourine will bring the SB-900 to life. It's a disaster for dynamic shooting. Try to explain to the young at the weddingthat you need to wait a couple of minutes for the flash to cool down ... It's even worse that the SB-900 starts beeping terribly when it overheats, this is also not acceptable, especially when shooting in the temple, weddings etc. When using the SB-910, the flash overheats at the same rate as the SB-900, but does not turn off, but simply blocks the flash. This is also very bad, especially when shooting important - imagine - the flash works, but does not give a light pulse. Overheating greatly affects the nerves of the photographer and the subjects - in my opinion, this the biggest flaw SB-910. Of course, the SB-910 seems to be better than the SB-900, but very serious advantage of the SB-900 above the SB-910 is the fact that the SB-900 can turn off thermal protection and sound. I have been shooting for two years on the SB-900 with the thermal protection turned off, sometimes I shoot very intensely, and there is nothing for the flash, it gives impulses even when the temperature goes off scale - after all, for a real professional, a successful shot is much more important than saving on equipment (I managed to melt to smithereens Metz-48) The thermal protection on SB-910, alas, cannot be disabled.

Also, in the SB-910, the sound control function in the slave mode is more conveniently implemented - you no longer need to go into the menu and turn the sound on or off (as is done in the SB-900), but just press one sound control button. An audible alert in slave mode tells you when the flash has recharged - an indispensable thing for creative lighting, strobe lovers will understand me.

Button changes - one button on the SB-910 was reprogrammed, and it now launches the flash menu, in the SB-900 it was necessary to press and hold the OK button for this. Also, the very control of the buttons has been slightly changed, but on the SB-900 and on the SB-910 the control is very, very intuitive. Everything incomprehensible must be looked for in the instructions.

The zoom (zoom) of the SB-910 is noticeably quieter than that of the SB-900. The 900-tka is generally very noisy when it is turned on and initialized.

Another positive aspect of the SB-910 is color plastic filterswhich are very easy to install on the SB-900 were gelatin filterswhich are rather inconvenient to install on a plastic diffuser. True, it’s easier to buy other filters for the SB-900 than for the SB-910.

Nikon Sb-910 illuminated with an umbrella to the clearance from the top right

Nikon Sb-910 illuminated with an umbrella to the clearance from the top right

Here are the prices for the Nikon SB-910:

All Nikon SB-910 Prices

Hack and predictor Aviator

The Nikon Speedlight SB-910 is an excellent professional flash, a slightly improved version of the SB-900. To all lovers, I highly recommend SB-700, and for professionals I do not particularly recommend getting an SB-910 if you have an SB-900.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 204, on the topic: Review of the Nikon SB-910

  • Alexander

    Good afternoon Arkady, if you can tell me: I bought this flash, when connected to the camera (d810) the mode shows TTL FP, but according to the manual it should be TTL BL, I didn’t find anything about FP, what kind of mode is this and is it necessary to disable it somehow? And when the flash screen lights up green, there is a small sound from the flash screen (barely audible squeaking) - is this possible or a sign of a malfunction? Thank you!

    • Arkady Shapoval

      FP (fast pulse, fast sync), the mode allows you to use flashes and synchronize them with shutter speeds up to 1/8000s. Included in the camera menu.
      TTL BL only works with relatively new lenses that can transmit the distance to the target (D, G, E, Z series). Plus, exposure metering should be set to matrix.
      According to the manual, it “should not be TTL BL”.

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