Nikon Speedlight SB-800 Review

Nikon Speedlight SB-800 Review

Perfect flash for D100

nikon speedlight sb-800

I just recently bought this flash for my D100.

My wife wanted me to take a bunch of photos of her grandmother’s small antique objects – pieces of jade, little carvings on ivory, some vases, etc. I have never been happy with the D100’s built-in flash, and my local camera shop suggested the SB-800 over several other Nikon models (after I told them I would also use it for photographing pets and some indoor photography while sightseeing).

This flash is great. First of all, the color is natural… The photos I have been taking of jade, ivory, small glass objects, and even my pets (and my wife as a test subject) come out evenly exposed with no hot spots, especially when using the diffusion dome and pointing the flash up at the ceiling (when mounted on the camera, the flash can be turned, and tilted 90 degrees in about 10 degree increments).

Second of all, it is FAST. It contains 4 AA batteries, with the option of adding a 5th in a small addition (so you can trade off between weight and recharge time). With all 5 batteries installed and fresh, it can keep pace with my camera’s rate of 3 pictures a second for 5-6 flashes. After that, it needs less than a second to be ready to go again.

Third of all, it makes using a flash brain-dead simple, At least attached to my D100 (and presumably the D70). It automatically adjusts itself based on the characteristics of my lens, the zoom, the distance to subject, backlighting, etc. I can still manually futz with settings if I want, but I don’t have to to get a great shot.

One accessory I would consider a ‘must’ for the flash is the 4 foot cable that lets you use it off-camera. Especially since my main purpose is to take photos of small objects, having side-lighting is crucial to bringing out the relief on things like carved jade. It doesn’t come with the flash.

More Nikon SB-800 Reviews from Amazon:

Check out for more reviews of Nikon’s SB-800, it has more consumer reviews and reports than any other site online:

reviews of nikon sb 800

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Nikon Speedlight SB-800 Review By David Bock "javaguy" (Hamilton, VA USA)
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1 Comment »

  1. […] if your budget can stretch to it, buy yourself a decent flash. I have only ever used Nikon’s SB-800 which are top of the range Flash units, although it has been recently superseeded by the SB-900. If […]

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