Nikon SB-900 is a powerful flash (guide number of 34m/111.5ft. (at ISO 100, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F) to 48m/157.5ft. (at ISO 200, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F) with Recycling Time and Flash Duration. It features i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash with CLS compatible cameras Manual Flash, Lens Coverage 17 to 200mm, 12 to 200mm, 12 to 17mm, 8 to 11mm; Bounce Function (Tilt) Flash head tilts down to 7° or up to 90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°.
Nikon SB-900 Expert Reviews
Warehouseexpress reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
” Throughout testing I found the speed of flash recycle was fine as I had expected, as was the repeat flash output accuracy when in manual mode.”
Nikondslrs reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
“This flash unit is strictly for professional photographers that want to get the most out of their lighting. Size and price may be the SB-900’s biggest stumbling blocks but if you need power, speed, and flexibility, make space in your camera bag for this impressive flash.”
Photoreview reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
“We were only able to test the SB-900′s capabilities as a single flash unit and in conjunction with the D700′s built-in flash. And, not having reviewed the SB-800, we were unable to compare the performance of the two flash units. Suffice it to say we found the test sample to be an excellent performer that delivered an evenly-exposed set of test shots with different camera-to-subject distances and focal length settings.”
Ephotozine reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
“I’ve never been a fan of using flashguns as I prefer studio lights or ambient light, but I have to admit that if all flashguns performed to this standard, I’d use one. The build quality is excellent as is the menu system and I’ve even got to enjoy the funny noise it makes when it starts up.”
Momentcorp reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
“Other than that the SB-900 is a great upgrade of the SB-800. The Nikon SB-900 is way faster to work with, quicker to set up, shorter recycling times, and last but not the least greater coverage than ever before. The SB-900 is of course compatible with all the Nikon CLS equipment and will work with pretty much all the Nikon Dslr cameras.”
Kenrockwell reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
“The only significant advantage of the SB-900 over the SB-600 and SB-400 is that the SB-900 (and SB-800) have a built-in white card to provide a catch light when bounced. I use a white Post-It Note on the other flashes to do the same thing.”
Bythom reviews the Nikon SB-900 and writes;
“Other than that, the SB-900 should be pretty straightforward for previous Speedlight users. The head swivel mechanism is still the same (though you can go the full 180 degrees in both directions now, and the primary Mode and Zoom buttons are the same. We still have the flip lock lever to secure the flash in the hot shoe, and the small diffuser and white reflector still pull out from the top of the head the same way. The battery compartment door is slightly better than the SB-800′s and seems less flimsy, but it will still tend to pop open when the flash is dropped.”
Nikon SB-900 User Manual
Nikon SB-900 Features & Specifications
The SB-900 i-TTL Speedlight leads the Nikon Creative Lighting System by delivering the portability, power, and versatility to support any photographer’s creative lighting imagination. The SB-900 works as a wireless standalone flash, or you can use it as a commander or wireless remote light source. In commander mode, the SB-900 controls up to three remote Speedlight groups and an unlimited number of compatible Speedlights, with four wireless channel options helping you manage wireless conflicts in multiple photographer environments. The flash also offers streamlined controls and menus, including a rotary select dial that sets key flash functions quickly, along with a prominent master and remote control switch to simplify wireless operation.
Photographers working on zoom photos will appreciate the SB-900′s expanded auto power zoom coverage, which ranges from 17 to 200mm in the FX format to 12 to 200mm in the DX format. Photographers also have the choice of three light distribution patterns: standard (for general illumination), center-weighted (for portraits), and even (for groups or interiors).
Finally, the SB-900 automatically identifies mounted color gel filters and adjusts the camera’s auto white balance setting (available with select Nikon digital SLR cameras). Other details include automatic FX/DX format identification; user-friendly firmware updating; flash tube overheat protection; and a drip-proof mounting foot cover.
Powerful, Versatile Speedlight Unit
Atop the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the SB-900 is an indispensable portable light source providing effective solutions to lighting challenges.
Complete Flash Head Positioning Freedom
Bounce 90°up and 7°down with 360° rotation elevates creative lighting freedom.
Renowned Dedicated Wireless Flash Control
Wireless Commander Mode offers wireless control at the master Speedlight position, controlling up to 3 remote Speedlight groups and an unlimited number of compatible Speedlights. Four wireless channel options help manage wireless conflicts in multi-photographer environments.
Choose From 3 Light Distribution Patterns
Optimize light quality by selecting Standard for general illumination, Center-weighted for portraits or Even, for groups or interiors.
Color Gel Filter Identification
Automatically identifies mounted color gel filters and adjusts camera white-balance.* *With select Nikon digital SLRs
Automatic Format Identification
Automatically senses the FX or DX-format camera in use and optimizes light distribution.
Allows uploading of performance enhancement developments.*
*With select Nikon digital SLRs
Nikon’s Precision i-TTL Flash Control
Delivers precise flash exposures and seamless fill-flash performance—even in challenging lighting situations.
Hot Shoe and Wireless Operation
Use on-camera, as a wireless Master Commander or as a wireless remote light source.
Expanded Auto Power Zoom Coverage
Smoothly covers lenses as wide as 17mm and up to 200mm in FX-format and as wide as 12mm and up to 200mm in DX-format use.
Streamlined Controls and Menus
Convenient Rotary Select Dial sets key functions quickly and a prominent Master and Remote control switch simplifies wireless operation.
Flash Tube Overheat Protection
An added measure of safety is provided for sustained high-speed bursts.
Flash Value (FV) Lock
Locks in a specific flash output on the main subject, regardless of aperture, composition or the lens’ zoom position.*
*With select Nikon digital SLRs
Drip-Proof Mounting Foot Cover (Water Guard)*
Provides enhanced moisture protection.
* Guide number: 34 meters/111.5 feet (ISO 100), 48 meters/157.5 feet (ISO 200)
* Electronic construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
* Flash exposure control: Slow sync; red-eye reduction in slow sync; front curtain sync; rear curtain sync; rear-curtain slow sync; auto FP high-speed sync; FV lock flash
* Lens coverage: 17 to 200mm (FX format, automatic mode); 12 to 200mm (DX format, automatic mode); 12 to 17mm (FX format, automatic mode with built-in wide-angle panel deployed); 8 to 11mm (DX format, automatic mode with built-in wide-angle panel deployed)
* Bounce function (tilt): Flash head tilts down to -7 degrees or up to 90 degrees, with click stops at -7, 0, 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees
* Bounce function (rotate): Flash head rotates horizontally 180 degrees to the left and right, with click stops at 0, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180 degrees
* Minimum recycling time: 4 seconds with alkaline-manganese (1.5 volts); 4.5 seconds with lithium (1.5 volts); 3 seconds with Oxyride (1.5 volts); 2.3 seconds with Ni-MH (2,600 mAh)
* Flash duration: 1/880 second at M1/1 (full) output; 1/1,000 second at M1/2 output; 1/2,550 second at M1/4 output; 1/5,000 second at M1/8 output; 1/10,000 second at M1/16 output; 1/20,000 second at M1/32 output; 1/35,700 second at M1/64 output; 1/38,500 second at M1/128 output
* Required power source: 4 AA-type batteries in the following types: alkaline-manganese (1.5 volts), lithium (1.5 volts), or Ni-MH (1.2 volts)
* ISO range: 100 to 6,400
* Optional power supply: SD-9 high-performance battery pack, SD-8A high-performance battery pack, or SK-6 power bracket unit
* Ready light: Yes
* Minimum number of flashes: 110 with alkaline-manganese (1.5 volts); 230 with lithium (1.5 volts); 190 with Ni-MH (2,600 mAh)
* Wireless flash modes: Off, master, master (repeating), remote, and SU-4
* Wireless communication channels: 4
* Wireless groups: 3
* Dimensions: 3 x 5.7 x 4.7 inches (W x H x D)
* Weight: 14.6 ounces
* Supplied accessories: AS-21 Speedlight stand, SW-13H diffusion dome, SJ-900 color filter set, SZ-2 color filter holder, SS-900 soft case
See also: Accessories | Flashes