Nikon SB-600 review

Nikon SB-600 is a great small flash for all the central control rooms Nikon

Nikon SB-600

Review of the Nikon SB-600. Rear and front view

At the moment, the SB-600 flash itself is morally obsolete, as there is a worthy replacement in quality Nikon SB-700.

Basic about Nikon SB-600

  1. Flash zoom from 24 to 85mm. With zoom, the position of the flash head can only take values ​​of 24, 35, 50, 70, 85mm. The flash, in fact, is not designed for use with lenses whose focal length is longer than 85mm. Also, working with ultra-wide-angle lenses like 10-24mm will be difficult. However, when using a retractable diffuser, the zoom can reach 16mm. An 18-55mm flash will be enough for a whale lens. Even with an 18-105mm lens, the lack of flash zoom will not be felt.
  2. The flash has only two modes of operation on the camera. Auto mode I-TTL and M manual mode. Also, the flash supports the old D-TTL mode for the old type of central controllers as Nikon D100, D1h. I-TTL mode (automatic mode) works very well with all modern central controllers. You can also enable the BL (back light) function for working with backlight.
  3. The flash has diffuserthat is hidden in the flash head. Caution: Nikon SB-600 missing card reflector, which is in more advanced models.
  4. Flash support fast sync mode FP. With this mode, you can shoot at shutter speeds up to 1 \ 8000s, which is very useful for flash photography in the afternoon. For example, Nikon SB-400 does not have such an opportunity. More details in the section on FP.
  5. Flash supports wireless sync protocol Nikon CLS. Flash can remote control in I-TTL mode with another flash that works in command mode... The flash normally “catches” command signals and works well in slave mode. But, SB-600 do not support command mode Management (Master Mode) with other flashes. Also, SB-600 unable to set fire with SU-4.
  6. Recharging from 4 batteries is fast enough.
  7. The flash head rotates 90 degrees to the right and 180 degrees to the left, thus covering 270 degrees. Also, the flash head tilts 90 degrees down. Head rotation is enough for almost 90% of tasks.
  8. The kit comes with a pretty case and foot-stand.
  9. The flash has a very convenient catch on the camera shoe. To install and fix the flash on the camera, just switch the latch on the flash. For example, a number of third-party flashes use the fixation method using the locking ring, which must be twisted for a long time after installation and before removal.

Personal experience

I recommend the Nikon SB-600 as the first low-cost native flash. Since it is very compact, it keeps the weight balance very well with Nikon's younger lightweight cameras and is not difficult to take with you. Professionals often use the SB-600 as a secondary flash. The SB-600 behaves well as an additional source in a multi-flash setup. True, the SB-600's power is still lower than that of professional flashes. SB-900, SB-800 и SB-910.

SB-600 is a giant leap after SB-400... If there is a choice between the SB-600 and the SB400, I advise you to take the SB-600, since the SB-600 is already a real "classic" external flash with all the basic features. Fans do not advise chasing professional SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 - they are very heavy and their price bites. By the way, there are many analogues from Nissin, Metz, Sigma (for example, Metz-48 for Nikon)

I think the SB-600's flash is a poorly organized menu. The menu is accessed by simultaneously pressing the “-” and “Zoom” buttons. After long work with SB-900The SB-600 seems very unpretentious with a “wooden” menu. If funds do not matter, then SB-700 much more convenient for use by amateurs.

To fully reveal the potential of the outbreak, I advise you to read my article about remote flash control and work in quick sync.


The SB-600 is a good value for money flash. SB-600 is lightweight, functional. True, new Nikon SB-700 would be preferable.

Thank you for attention. Arkady Shapoval.

Add a comment: Vladimir



Comments: 127, on the topic: Review of the Nikon SB-600

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Hello Arkady!
    I became the proud owner of this outbreak, I can’t figure it out, help.
    The D200 Camera has a high speed 1/250 FP sync
    And max shutter speed 30s,
    The flash is TTL BL FP
    But when I shoot in aperture priority, the shutter speed of the camera itself when focusing is as if without a flash.
    I’ve already broken my head.
    By the way, in M ​​mode, I can set 1/8000,

    • Arkady Shapoval

      The question is not entirely clear, try to describe it in more detail.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    In general, or I misunderstand something ...
    I think most amateurs are used to shooting with aperture priority, so am I.
    When the aperture mode and the TTL BL FP mode are set, I personally thought that the camera would shoot with short shutter speeds. (Although the camera as I understand it now does not give the main lighting) .. As I understand it, this is impossible in the aperture priority mode ..?
    When I set the aperture, for example, the minimum 3,5 for a whale lens, the exposure in the evening indoors is somewhere between 1-3 seconds ... Press the trigger, and the flash fires immediately, but the aperture closes in 1-3 seconds ... And the picture gets blurry. Is it correct to shoot in the evening with aperture priority? Can the synchronization be set on the last curtain or what?.
    Or shooting in the evening indoors in the aperture priority mode in principle is impossible ???
    So how then to be ???

    • BB

      'the camera, as now I understand, does not give the main lighting' - the camera does not give any lighting at all, you wrote nonsense.
      Read in principle about the shutter speed-aperture and flash:
      You ask basic questions.

      Shooting 'aperture priority' with a pulsed main light source is illogical (except in some cases). The exposure will depend on the pulse power, sensor / film sensitivity and aperture.
      A slow shutter speed is needed when you want natural light to 'highlight' the background, sky, etc.

    • Valery A.

      It is similar to the “slow” flash mode - when the exposure bar is set as if it were without a flash (in your opinion, it looks like “main lighting”), and the flash illuminates the main subject. In other modes, when the flash is turned on, the camera's exposure bar should change - from 1-3 seconds it should go to 1/60 or shorter.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Incorrectly put it a little ...
    the camera as now I already understand does not give the main illumination - I meant that the flash does not provide the main illumination ... Now everything is clear ... That the exposure does not depend on the flash in the aperture priority ...

  • Vitaliy,

    Hello Arkady!
    Tell me please.
    I bought a flash Nikon SB-600, Camera Nikon D200.
    I can't figure out why the pictures are in focus only in the center ... ???
    For example, when composing a frame, when the subject of shooting is on the right of the frame or on the left ....
    From the photo it is obvious that the focus is in the center ...
    Thank you!

    • BB

      What does the flash have to do with it?
      Without focus flash, is everything all right?
      Do you have the focus point selection manual or automatic?

  • Vitaliy,

    everything is fine with focus

  • Igor

    submit.nіkon.d80.progom.19this.tel0937604394.Igor.stan5.charging.yesbі.2 akomulatori.3800gr.maly bargain for transfer

  • Igor

    Good day. I’m glad to please the radio sensor. I can blastly put any kind of noise on the new one. Ana bling atamta spratsyuvav.Igor

  • Ruslan

    Hello, Arkady. Please tell me what is better to take to the Nikon d5200. SB-600 or youngnuo 468-II TTL for Nikon? As I understand it, it will be better for Yongnuo, but it’s not native to her .. and it’s not clear which of the flashes will be more powerful, and is there also a mode in Yngnuo that allows you to launch it remotely with the built-in flash?
    Please help me figure it out ...
    Thank you in advance :)

  • Alain

    Good, I bought sb600, but when I turn it on and when I work, it constantly buzzes. Tell me what is it?

    • Jury

      here zoom and buzzes, if it does not work and buzzes by itself, most likely - a malfunction

  • Alain

    And why does not the combination zoom "-" work, the flash is 2 days old. How to set up?

  • Sergei

    Hello everyone! This is how it happened. I took off the sb600 on the nikon d5000 and I didn’t know grief for half a year. I became the owner of the second-hand d700 camera and I was horrified to notice that the flash doesn’t work randomly with different frequency and power. I put a Kenon flash on the d700 friend. with this all the norm. there’s no place to get a nikon flash to check if the shoe sins. sold hearts sb 600 in the hope that the new will not be naughty. there are 2 questions !!!! 1) who knows what the problem is most likely? 2) I look at the sb700 and sb900 on the alder, the difference is not big in price. But only 900 type pros and 700 advanced amateur. To d700 and not super pro shooting what to take? shooting dusty banquets and private photosets

  • Sergei

    I continue to write that I sent a camera from Odessa to the capital. Through the Paparacia store. I will unsubscribe as the diagnosis is voiced. And while on the forums I read that there are problems with the shoes in the D200 and d700.

  • Sergei

    replacement of a shoe for 1600 UAH

  • Vladimir

    Good day, Arkady. I thought of buying myself an external flash. I shoot on nikon d5200 mainly at 35mm 1.8 - people (portraits, full height) indoors and outdoors, therefore the flash is needed to shoot at the ceiling (indoors) and in the forehead (through Sat), and also hoped for that it will help me fight backlight. There is no FP in d5200, which upset me when I started to delve into its possibilities. Therefore, daytime shooting against the sun * will have to be done using reflectors.
    I am faced with a choice: sb 600 and sb 700, the second is 2 times more expensive (5vs10tr b / y), is its advanced functionality worth the novelty of this money?

  • Diana

    Hello, please tell me on Nikon d3100 + sb600 which one to take a radio sync with TTL support?

  • Denis Flint

    Good day. I want to buy a SB-600 flash because I am a beginner and the budget is still small. Now the question is: flashes are sold very cheaply with burned out lamps, they give directly to spare parts. Is it really difficult to change the lamp? They seem to be inexpensive. Maybe you should buy one and put a lamp?

  • Kate

    I bought sb-600 with hands, it costs on d200. The flash works great in manual mode, but in TTL it barely burns. The same problem with other carcasses. On the D200, other flashes (SB-700, 900) work without problems. What could be wrong with a flash? Or am I a handshake? I sat all day with the instructions for the d200 and sb600, set up and tested, google. In our city there is no normal photo workshop, already in desperation I look at cheap Chinese flashes with Ali, because the budget is limited.

    • Michael

      Flash exposure compensation may be in deep minus

  • Micah

    Will the SB-600 power be enough to work with Jupiter-37A on the crop (D40), i.e. with FR = 135mm and EGF = 200mm?

  • Alexey

    Photo camera D80 + sb-600 in the format of an external flash does not synchronize. that is, the flash fumes but the photo is black or barely lit. where to look ... maybe you didn't include something?

    • Carl Zeiss

      The camera shutter does not work in sync with the flash puff. You need to look in the settings of the camera itself (you did not specify the camera model and flash model) and in the flash settings. Some function will desynchronize the camera and puff.

  • Dima

    What to look for when buying a used sb-600?

  • Dima

    I want to buy used sb-600. What you should pay attention to?

    • Michael

      Works or not) Just check the correct operation in all modes. See if there are any signs of flashing on the deflector, if the zoom is jamming.

  • Anatoly

    My head does not rotate horizontally, up and down - great, is it a marriage?

    • Ivan

      Rather not a marriage, but a breakdown.

  • Sergei

    Tell me how to configure the SB-600 flash to fire as a slave flash from the built-in Nikon d3100 flash? After all, the SB-600 has a camera trap window on the side, and the instructions only talk about synchronization via radio channels.

    Thank you!

    • Yuriy

      “The flash supports wireless synchronization using the Nikon CLS protocol. The flash can be controlled remotely in I-TTL mode using another flash that operates in command mode. The flash normally “catch” command signals and works well in slave mode. But, the SB-600 does not support command mode (Master Mode) for other flashes. Also, the SB-600 does not have the ability to be ignited by the SU-4.” The Nikon d3100 does not have Nikon CLS, and the SB-600 only fires remotely - “The SB-600 does not have the ability to be ignited using the SU-4.”

  • Eugene

    I'm flying. Why buy the SB-600, as the first choice due to the limited budget and low price for the Nikon D7000? I photograph mainly with kit 18-105, 35 1,8G and 50 1,8D lenses. Mostly children, some of them. In a few months I plan to buy an SB-700, and this one may be an additional one. What about the old model, or better yet, the SB-700? Vibachte, having essentially doubled down your nutrition. It’s your professional thought.

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