What flash to choose for Nikon cameras

Very often worth selection external flash for Nikon digital SLR cameras... In this article, I will only discuss the native Nikon SB-series Speedlights that can operate in modern i-TTL mode.

Choose an external flash

Choose an external flash

Before the purchase external flash I advise you to think about whether you need it at all. To do this, I advise you to read the materials in the article on the topic 'Why do I need an external flash'. If the purchase of a flash is justified, then Nikon provides the following external flashes:

Flash Weight, g Zoom Master Slave backlight V.Ch., m  Comment
SB-300 97 27mm, no zoom no no no 18 Lightest Nikon flash. Very simple. Uses small AAA batteries, does not support FP.
SB-400 127 27mm, no zoom no no no 21 Very simple flash. No FP mode.
SB-500 226 24mm, no zoom yes (only on older cameras) Yes Yes 24 A small flash without a display, but capable of a good set of basic functions.
SB-600 300 24-85mm no Yes Yes 30 Morally outdated amateur flash, good functionality for the money
SB-700 360 24-120mm Yes Yes Yes 28 Lightweight functional flash. A very good option. I recommend.
SB-800 350 24-105mm Yes Yes Yes 38 Powerful but outdated professional flash.
SB-900 425 17-200mm Yes Yes Yes 34 Good professional flash.
SB-910 420 17-200mm Yes Yes Yes 34 Flagship model. One of the best
SB-5000 420 17-200mm Yes Yes Yes 34.5 Flagship model. Best of its kind.
SB-R200 120 35mm, no zoom no Yes no 10 It can only work as a slave. flash using Nikon CLScannot be used on camera. No display for flash control. This flash is for macro photography.

Zoom - the limits of zooming the flash head, Master - the ability to remotely control other flashes, Slave - the ability to work in a slave mode, backlight - Possibility of auxiliary illumination for automatic focusing, V.Ch - guide number.

In a nutshell, the best external flashes are Nikon's flagship professional Speedlight SB-5000 and SB-910. Difference between SB-900 и SB-910 not so great, about the differences between the 900s and 910s I described in detail in the review SB-910. For professional shooting, there are no other native alternatives, since SB-800 morally outdated, and do not release it anymore. Outbreaks SB-800, 900, 910, 5000, unlike all the others from this article, have automatic shooting mode without TTL.

If you don’t need to shoot for days on end with a flash, then for more simple tasks, flashes are very suitable SB-600 и SB-700. Sorry, but SB-600 no longer being released, this flash is quite light, functional, but does not know how to control other flashes with Nikon CLS. Flash SB-600 It is cheap enough, but finding it new is very difficult. Unlike SB-600, new SB-700 It has a wider zoom, easier control through a large display and can work in Master mode.

SB-400 and SB-300 are the simplest and the cheapest external flash from Nikon. These flashes are very light, and therefore there will be no problems with them weight distribution when used on amateur cameras by type Nikon D5100, D3100 etc. These flashes are ideal for Nikon Coolpix cameras. True with SB-400 and the SB-300, you will not be able to experience all the benefits of external flash operation, such as focus assist, quick sync, or remote control. Attention: Nikon SB-300 flashes and Nikon SB-400 cannot be used with non-studded lenses (Ai-s lenses Soviet lenses etc.) and some cameras (Nikon D80, D70, the exact list is unknown).

Personal experience

I used almost all Nikon flash units, they all have their own characteristics. Recently, I have had two flashes in my service: SB-900 и SB-910. A very good option for amateur and uncomplicated professional shooting can be SB-700. If you ignore very much, then you have to choose from 900 \ 910 and 700tk.

I believe that Nikon SB-700 for 2017 is the best option for the price / quality criterion.
All Nikon SB-700 Prices

When choosing a flash and for general familiarization, I advise you to look in such sections on Radozhiva:

  1. Why do I need an external flash
  2. AF-assist spotlight with flashlight, flash diffuser, SU-4 flash control mode
  3. Increase flash range; thoughts on flash distance indication
  4. Manual flash power control; problem of exposure 1 \ 60 seconds; flash in S and M modes
  5. TTL working principle; benefits of manual flash mode
  6. Flash lock
  7. Nikon Flash Color Filters
  8. Simple built-in flash diffuser
  9. Aperture-priority auto for Nikon flashes and auto flash mode without TTL
  10. Command flash mode. Nikon CLS. Remote flash control
  11. Fast FP flash sync; how to use flash in the afternoon
  12. Flash and high ISO
  13. Leading number - is it that important?
  14. Nikon Flash Modeling Function
  15. RPT mode. Multiple flash


Based on the tasks to be performed external flash, and their complexity, you can easily choose an external flash for Nikon cameras. I think flash is a great option SB-700which has a good price / quality ratio. Who faced flash for Nikon from third-party manufacturers, do not hesitate, leave your impressions of working with them in the comments.

All Nikon flash prices can be viewed here.

↓↓↓ like :) ↓↓↓ Thank you for your attention. Arkady Shapoval.

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Comments: 310 on the topic: Which flash to choose for Nikon cameras

  • Novel

    t0 Hius better late than never. The Soviet one can be “tied” to the digital one; you need either a light trap or a synchronizer. But there are two "But" with a light trap, it will work, but use it only as a second, such as studio shooting. And I do not recommend the second option with synchronization with a cable through an adapter that reduces the voltage of the shoe to a “hot” one, if suddenly something breaks / closes in this adapter / cable. then the carcass can die .. poorly in flashes of the times of the USSR, the shoe was more than 150 V. go bad. " Therefore, it is better to really look for a "Chinese" or a second-hand working Nikon.

  • Boris

    Hello Arkady!
    Please advise: which external battery pack or other stand-alone device can be used with the Nikon Speedlight SB-5000 to reduce its recharge time?

    • Roman

      Nikon SK-6A (namely A, not SK-6) and Nikon SD-9. Well, the batteries of the eneloop series instead of batteries, they give a good discharge current and quickly fill the flash conductors, the recharge speed depends on this directly. Plus a nice bonus - the flash will be charged even after a month or two or three - they discharge very slowly.

      • Boris

        Thank you.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      For example, the native Nikon SD-9, or any equivalent. But in general, most often, buying a set of high-quality batteries and an advanced charger for them closes the problem. If shooting takes place with a maximum power of 1/1, then it is better to look at Chinese flashes with lithium-ion batteries, which significantly reduce the recharge time. SB-5000 is designed only for power from AA batteries / batteries, and the battery pack simply increases their number from 4x to 8.

  • Elena

    Hello. Tell me, please, I bought a nikon sb5000. After each fire, the flash gives a long hiss.
    Batteries eneloop pro 2500. Camera d750. I rummaged through the entire Internet, I can not find the answer (

    • Michael

      Usually not a hiss, but a whistle when the flash is charging

    • Serge!

      Cooled. :-)) There is a built-in fan. It seems possible to disable it. I have the same

  • Larion

    Now I use the flash Godox v1. She bribed me with long work on one charge of her battery and interesting ak-r1 light-forming nozzles.

  • Igor

    Arkady, hello, can you tell me something about the Nikon sb-50dx flash, nowhere is there any information and the instruction is very short and in Chinese.

  • Stas

    Sb600 + 5600 will be high speed sync

  • nik

    I don't even mention “sb-80” about her

    • Michael

      Here about TTL models, if

      • Eugene

        Here about i-TTL models.
        The SB-80 is D-TTL and also has an A mode.

  • Victor

    Dear Arkady. How to convert the leading for 35 mm, if specified for 105 mm (or other)?

  • E

    What do you have with the site? ...
    You start reading, after a minute the page jumps up. And so several times….

    • Victor

      Advertising is aggressive.

      If it interferes, set adblock.

    • Alexey

      I have a completely ad-free page. CHYADNT?

      • Victor

        Here you have to ask "chyadt".

        Obviously, either the anti-advertiser is worth it (including possibly originally built into the browser), or the dns are prescribed corresponding.

        • Alexey

          Of course, I have all unnecessary pens written in hosts for a long time. who prevents everyone from doing this?

  • Vitalij

    the question is this: I have a nikon d700 and puff sb910. She has a problem with this camera: she lives her own life :). They made a “shoe” and again everything is fine. is it really a technical jamb d700 with heavy puffs?

  • Ilya

    Arkady, please tell me: have you encountered the problem of breaking the black wire in the sb700? Now I’m deciding which one to keep (700 or 900). I am completely satisfied with the SB700, but the problem mentioned above confuses me, because... I like to shoot with bounced light and often have to turn the flash head

    • Arkady Shapoval

      didn't feel ashamed

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