Archive for the ‘Flashes’ Category

Pictures Comparing SB-800 vs SB-900 Flashes

November 12, 2008

There have been many people coming to this website looking for information and details comparing the Nikon SB-800 Speedlight to the newer SB-900 Flashgun, and the internet and photography websites as a whole have been hotly posting up and buzzing about the differences between the once king of the castle flash and its new predecessor. One of the most foremost areas of discussion has been the size difference of the two, with the newer unit being considerably more large and rugged at and approximately 24% harder to fit in your travel bag level.

comparing sb-800 & sb-900 speedlight

History has shown that as technology advances it generally seems to get more compact and fit in ever smaller casing (think cell phones for a second) however that is simply not the case with Nikon’s new mothership flash, with the Nikon Speedlight SB-900 being quite a larger and more cumbersome unit than the one it is putting out of business. Dimension specifications peg the SB800 vs SB900 at 2.8 x 5 x 3.5 inches versus 3.0 × 5.7 × 4.7 inches and weight at 12.3oz // 350g compared to 14.6oz // 415g although to hold and see the units side by one gets a much more dramatic feel then the seemingly not so different dimensional and weight numbers would suggest. To illustrate the difference that everyone seems to be talking about, I found some pictures from around the web to compare the SB 900 vs. SB-800 side by side and give you a better idea of the actual size increases:

You can read the full technical comparison here – and to see the difference between SB900 & SB800 when mounted on a camera, check out this compare animation from nikongraphy


Nikon SB900 Review & thoughts vs. SB800

October 15, 2008

Thoughts and Review of Nikon Speedlight SB900 vs SB800
Gerry Haliday (Oct. 2008)

SB900's improved interface is great I had previously owned the Nikon SB800 and after getting into heavy photography and art classes with work, I heard about the SB900 and that it was about to get released, and started to compare the SB900 vs. SB800 with the information available at the time and caught a glimpse of some first hand Nikon SB900 previews to decided that perhaps it was time to upgrade my old and really worn SB-800 flash in favor of the bigger and supposedly more feature rich SB-900 speed light flash.

My initial research and reading of rumors and reviews of the soon to be announced SB900 unveiled to me some new features, features which I could really take advantage of, and ultimately why I preordered the item to replace its younger sibling. After having used it now, I would say some of the most notable differences when comparing the Nikon SB900 versus the SB800 are:

Better & easier to use menus / interface:

They have put some attention in this department and rightfully so; it seems like they listened to customer Nikon sb800 reviews and corrected some of the most common pains and weaknesses, helping us more quickly utilize and navigate the flashes interface. It’s much easier now to control, and as a result much quicker to fully adjust and use your SB 900 Speedlight for various scenarios than the SB 800 ever was.

Bigger but more sturdy feel

This is not something everyone will like, but I actually like the size and dimension increase in some ways… it adds to the feel of ruggedness and product quality, perhaps it’s just an emotional thing and I’m thinking bigger is better inside.

Faster Recycling:

Using the SD-9 you can get 1 second recycling, and even with the underperforming normal NIMH batteries its better and faster compared vs the SB800 flash as well. A great feature I fully appreciate because of the nature of my work and one many others will love as well

Flash heads rotation now both same in both directions

Something users of the older SB-800 will definitely like if they used the old one in quite a bit and got annoyed with rotation of the head

Further zoom & flexibility of light

Better flexibility in the light settings, with the ability to fully adjust the shaping of your lighting to be direct and focused or more evenly placed, love it!

Tons of other adjustments in the positive and a few things I’d like back

There are tons of little unmentionables that make me really happy with my move from the Nikon SB800 to the SB900. There are things I miss and wished right now weren’t changed, but honestly I’m sure it’s just a personal thing right now, and as I further adjust to the differences I will let go of these attachments.

Comprehensive SB900 Review coming soon…

I have only had this thing for a bit now, and although I use my flashes extensively, I am in a slow season right now so I haven’t really pushed the Nikon SB900 fully yet, just figured I’d leave a short Speedlight SB900 Flash review online for now, with a further and more in-depth report on my personal blog once I have used this beast a little more. Best wishes, and if you are considering the change, I’d recommend it, if you’re a complete novice maybe stick with the cheaper SB 600 or SB 800 for now and save some cash, as I’m sure this will drop 10-20% in prices of the next couple of months, and winter’s a slower season for most of you anyways!

Nikon SB900 Reviews | SB-900 Speedlight Flash

October 9, 2008

nikon sb900 reviews The Nikon SB900 Speedlight Flash has received continued and snowballing praise and buzz since its release a little while ago and for great reason, the new SB-900 Speedlight is Nikon’s new flagship flash unit, and nikon long been known for its tremendous quality and performance in the whole lighting/flash deperatment.

It hasn’t been out for too long, but already stacking up are Nikon SB900 Reviews, mostly all rating the product very highly and speaking of its many strong pros, relatively few cons and the many areas of use in which the nikon sb 900 flash unit accells for amateurs, enthusiasts and experts alike.

Commonly reported Pros in Nikon SB900 Reviews

Nikon SB900 Reviews report that it is quiet, has surprisngly fast recycling, durable and sturdy, easy to use and clean, interchangeable and does the job better then its SB800 predeccesor.

Common Cons reported in Nikon SB-900 Reviews:

Although the cons are heavily outweighed and outnumbered by the pros across the Nikon Speedlight SB900 reviews that have surfaced so far, a few people have called the unit Heavy and cumbersome when you compare the SB900 vs the SB800 speedlight flashes. Other cons reported twice have talked about the unit having bad heat output and of course the standard con? It wouldn’t hurt for Nikon to lower the damage to our bank accounts with the unit being a bit expensive, although experts and many enthusiasts say its expensively worth it, so you might want to hold off till prices drop if you are barely going to be using your new Speedlight SB 900 Flash toy 🙂

SB 900 Reviews around the web:

Read Reviews from Amazon is the internets biggest online store and also quite possibly the cheapest and most reliable for many to most products available, consistently has the most reviews for photography products and tech gear due to its size and customer satisfactoin levels.

Nikon SB900 CNET webpage, look for CNET’s Nikon SB-900 speedlight webpage to fill up with reviews, ratings and comments from customers and users as they ussually do with their massive audience as one of the internets biggest Consumer Electronics sites of all time

More Nikon SB-900 consumer reports and discussion:

  • I found that this is a great flash for shooting things like weddings because you can control the zoom and also set the light distribution pattern. The only downside is a big flash like this can overheat easier than others so you have to watch the thermal or you might find yourself without a flash for a couple minutes. Read More: Nikon SB-900 Speedlight Flash Review
  • Nikon has come to be the superior brand in the camera world, surpassing my personal choice, Canon. Looking back on what I did it may have been a bit drastic but… Read More: Review of Nikon SB900
  • I bought the Nikon Speedlight SB 900 because I really liked my SB 800 but needed a second flash. I’m amazed at how much more I like this new Speedlight over the old Read More: Nikon Speedlight SB 900 Review
  • I shoot weddings for a living and bought myself a Nikon SB-900 Speedlight Flash to replace my SB-600. It was a difficult decision between the 800 and the 900 but Read More: Nikon SB900 Flash Review
  • I bought myself a SB-900 to replace my SB-800 as my master flash. I find it has a much better menu system with the dial to change Read More: Review of Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-900 Speedlight Flash Unboxing Video Review

October 2, 2008

A great little Nikon SB-900 Speedlight Review / Unboxing preview for all you Nikon fans that are looking to upgrade from the aging sb-600 or sb-800 flashes (compare Nikon sb900 vs sb800 vs sb600 flashes here btw) or make the simply best your first flash!

There has been an influx of early Nikon Speedlight SB-900 Flash reviews since it was released not too long ago, and people are singing praises about this new Nikon flash, and that’s really where Nikon has outshined its competitors most feel, photography lighting (of course there lenses and DSLRs hold their own too)

Nikon's SB-900 Speedlight Flash Lighting

Nikon's SB-900 Speedlight Flash Lighting

Enjoy the video as this Speed light SB900 Flash owner takes us through the process of unboxing and unpacking his **HUGE GIANT** of a new toy. The video reviewer here seems a tad nervous and violently thrashes around the expensive new tech gear as some of the YouTube comments suggest, but cut the guy a break, as he states in the more info are, this is his first public unboxing movie / review, so the nerves of being in front of us thousands of Nikon Flash fans wanting to get the very latest on the new Speedlight surely contributed to his somewhat less then professional acting hehe 😉

Also check out our table comparing the Nikon SB-900, SB-600 and SB-800 Speedlight flashes, or check out some of the review posts for the SB900 here written a couple weeks ago to get more information on this awesome new photography must have!

Compare Nikon SB-900 vs SB-800 vs SB-600

August 28, 2008
Nikon's Killer FlashGuns - SB900 (left) SB800 (right)

Nikon's Killer FlashGuns - SB900 (left) SB800 (right)

Compare the Nikon SB-800 vs. SB-900

If you thought the SB-800 was big at 12.3 oz, 1.7 oz more than the SB-600 flash, the SB-900 is massive adding another 2.3 oz to make it 14.6, just shy of a pound. Something I’ve heard complaints about is the shoe on the Nikon SB 900 being thicker than the SB-800 which in turn means it doesn’t fit all third party mounts and adapters. While this sucks, the SB-800 was known to have a bit of a wobble and this thicker shoe improves this. The biggest advantages of the new big flash are the 200mm zoom and the light pattern options. This allows you to get a more concentrated beam on a smaller area which is great for things like outdoor portraits. You can also spread the beam out to give it a more even distribution by changing the light pattern which shapes the beam internally.

Other big advantages to pay attention to when you’re doing a comparison of the SB900 vs. the SB800’s features; are the quick recycling time without the need for the fifth battery expansion pack, the new interface which uses a switch and a dial combo for adjusting settings quickly, and the thermal shut-down protection to make sure you don’t go a little too trigger happy and burn this thing out.

Model # Nikon SB-600 Nikon SB-800 Nikon SB-900
List Price: $249.99 $420.99 $570.00
Week’s Best Price: $199.99
(See Best Price..)
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Guide Number (ISO 100, m/ft.) 98 125 111.5
Guide Number (ISO 200, m/ft.) 138   157.5
Weight 10.6 oz. (300 g) 12.3 oz. (350 g) 14.6 oz. (415g)
Size, WHD 2.7 x 4.9 x 3.5 in. 2.8 x 5 x 3.5 in. 3.0 × 5.7 × 4.7 in.
Flash Exposure Control i-TTL i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash Only i-TTL
  TTL Auto Flash TTL Auto Flash  
Flash Duration (full output) 1/900 1/1050 1/880
Lens Coverage 24 to 85mm 24 to 105mm 17 to 200mm
Min. No. of Flashes (alkaline) 200 130 110
Bounce Angle (degrees) 0 to 90 -7 to 90 -11 to 90
Left Rotation (degrees) 180 180 180
Right Rotation (degrees) 90 90 180
Optional Power Supply No SD-7 or SD-8A SD-8A or SD-9
Recycle Time (Alkaline) 3.5 4 4
Recycle Time (Lithium) 4 6 4.5
Recycle Time (Ni-MH) 2.5 2.7 2.3
Wireless Flash Modes Off Off Off
  Remote Master Master
    Master (RPT) Master (RPT)
    Remote Remote
    SU-4 SU-4
# of Remote Groups 3 3 3
Power Output Range 1 to 1/64 1 to 1/128 1 to 1/128
Non-TTL Auto Mode No Yes Yes
Commander Mode No Yes Yes
Adjustable Light Pattern No No Yes
Firmware Updating No No Yes
Gel Filter Identification No No Yes
Overheat protection No No Yes
Accessories Speedlight stand Speedlight stand Speedlight stand
  Soft case Soft case Soft case
    Diffusion Dome Diffusion Dome
    Color Filter Set Color Filter Set
    Quick Recycle Battery Pack Color Filter Holder

Comparing Nikon SB-600 vs. SB-800:

The Nikon Speedlight SB-600 and the Nikon SB-800 are very similar flashes that work great with pretty much every Nikon camera in the last 50 years. The SB-800 is a bit bigger, a bit more powerful, and a bit more expensive. They both can operate in the most recent i-TTL mode as well as the TTL mode and d-TTL. Both can work remotely with either a SB-600 or SB-800 flash or the D70, D70S, or D200 camera but the SB800 can also work as a master to control other flashes. Other advantages of the SB800 over the SB600 are the negative bounce angle for more control over bouncing the flash, a shorter flash duration, longer lens coverage, and the option to have an additional power supply to shorten the recycle time. The Nikon SB-600 being smaller has a higher minimum number of flashes per 4 batteries and also a quicker recycle time. The SB-800 also has a few more modes that some people might not have any interest in like a mode that adjusts the flash’s power based on distance rather than light reflected and a non-TTL auto mode. Depending on what you do the SB-600 Speedlight can usually do the trick but there are certain features on the SB-800 that you just might find necessary.