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  • Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras
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Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras

by Nikon
| 14 answered questions

Price: $570.00 & FREE Shipping. Details
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  • High-quality flash for standalone use or as part of a comprehensive lighting system
  • Commander mode controls up to 3 Speedlight groups or unlimited individual Speedlights
  • 4 wireless channel options; prominent master and remote control switch for wireless operation
  • Auto power zoom coverage ranges from 17 to 200mm (FX format) to 12 to 200mm (DX format)
  • 3 light distribution patterns; measures 3 x 5.7 x 4.7 inches (W x H x D) and weighs 14.6 ounces
2 new from $570.00 27 used from $370.95 1 refurbished from $529.00

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Frequently Bought Together

Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras + Opteka Flash Diffuser for the Nikon SB-900 External Flash Unit
Price for both: $578.95

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  • Buy Used and Save: Buy a Used "Nikon SB-900 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital..." and save 34% off the $570.00 list price. Buy with confidence as the condition of this item and its timely delivery are guaranteed under the "Amazon A-to-z Guarantee". See all Used offers.
  • Six-Month Financing: For a limited time, purchase $149 or more using the Amazon.com Store Card and pay no interest for 6 months on your entire order if paid in full in 6 months. Interest will be charged to your account from the purchase date if the promotional balance is not paid in full within 6 months. Minimum monthly payments required. Subject to credit approval. 1-Click and phone orders do not apply. See complete details and restrictions.


Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 3.1 x 4.7 inches ; 2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B001BTG3OQ
  • Item model number: 4807
  • Batteries 4 AA batteries required.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: July 26, 2008

Product Description

Amazon.com

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.

Technical Specifications

  • 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

Product Description

The SB-900 i-TTL Speedlight leads the Nikon Creative Lighting System delivering the portability, power and versatility to support any photographer’s creative lighting imagination. FEATURES: Nikon’s Flagship Creative Lighting System Speedlight: Powerful and versatile SB-900 works as a stand-alone flash, featuring wireless operation as a Commander or wireless remote light source. Control up to three remote Speedlight groups and an unlimited number of compatible Speedlights: The SB-900's Wireless Commander Mode offers wireless control at the master Speedlight position. Four wireless channel options allow you to manage wireless conflicts in multiple photographer environments. Streamlined controls and menus: The Rotary Select Dial sets key flash functions quickly—a prominent Master and Remote control switch simplifies wireless operation. FX/DX format identification: Automatic FX/DX switching optimizes light distribution angle. Expanded Auto Power Zoom Coverage: The SB-900 provides zoom coverage from 17-200mm in the FX-format and 12-200mm coverage in the DX-format. Choose from 3 light distribution patterns: Improve light quality by selecting Standard for general illumination, Center-weighted for portraits, or Even for groups or interiors. User-friendly firmware updating: Allows uploading of performance enhancement developments to the SB-900 with select Nikon digital SLR cameras Color gel filter identification: The SB-900 automatically identifies mounted color gel filters and adjusts the camera’s auto white-balance setting with select Nikon digital SLR cameras. Flash Tube Overheat Protection: An added m

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Because I love the SB-900 otherwise!
Amazon Customer
For what I use, general shooting, weddings and events, regular batteries work just fine.
B. Ray
Overall, the flash seems to be working well, and apart from its size, i like it.
Christopher K. Seid

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

344 of 356 people found the following review helpful By Paul Grupp on May 4, 2009
Verified Purchase
I can't believe the amount of misinformation presented in customer reviews for this product.

First of all, it is true -- Nikon added a thermal cut-off that allows the customer to be absolutely certain that the flash never overheats. If that sensor is turned on, the flash can't shoot fast enough or often enough for professional usage -- particularly for weddings. Try shooting the bridal party introductions at a reception, for example. Even if you limit yourself to two flash pops per couple, by the time the third couple is walking in the door, the thermal shutdown will kick in, and you'll be swearing at the thing.

However, you can simply turn the sensor off. In my experience, the flash is no more delicate than previous Nikon and Canon speedlights. Every Nikon and Canon flash has a duty cycle carefully described in their manual that virtually all professionals ignore and exceed, and yet -- most of us get years of usage from the flashes with no problem. I can't tell you the number of times I've taken batteries out of my flashes that were simply too hot to hold, and the flash housing was burning hot too -- but the thing just kept on working. So I think, if you turn off the thermal cut-off, the SB-900 will behave just like earlier flashes like the SB-800, in terms of overheating.

So the simple answer is. . . if you turn off the thermal sensor, the SB-900 is at least as useful as a professional tool as it's predecessors -- no more, no less susceptible to overheating. I don't know why Nikon and Canon are so conservative in the duty-cycle ratings of their flashes, but I've talked with dozens of fellow pros over the years -- we all abuse the flashes, and we rarely have issues.
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145 of 150 people found the following review helpful By Busy Executive TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 26, 2008
I have an SB900 and agree with all the positive comments posted in other reviews, however I want to challenge those who are posting stories about thermal shutdown to supply some additional information about what situations really cause the flash to shutdown.

I've been using my SB900 for several months now, and I've never experienced a problem with the unit shutting down, so I thought I'd try a simple test.

I installed a set of brand new lithium ion batteries in my SB900, set it to full power manual mode, and hit the flash button manually as soon as the ready light lit - that's about one full-power shot every 1 or 2 seconds. I did this until the batteries were drained (that is, until it got to be about 10 seconds between flashes - that's a few hundred full-power flashes in a row).

Never once did the thermal protection circuit kick in...in fact, the temperature display barely moved for the first 50-100 shots, and throughout the test, even when I could feel the batteries getting warm, it never went much above the 50% mark. My test was indoors at an ambient temperature of about 70 degrees.

I tried other settings - repeat flash, flash with my D3 firing at maximum continuous speed, etc. But I could never even come close to driving the flash to shutdown. So perhaps Nikon fixed the issue, I'm just plain lucky - or it has to do with the type of batteries or maybe other accessories used.

With this issue out of the way, I'm able to give the unit an unqualified 5 star rating as it's simply the most capable and easy to use unit I've ever owned.
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75 of 79 people found the following review helpful By K. Falls on February 6, 2009
Length: 4:08 Mins
This Flash is another example of why Nikon is the World leader in innovation for photography!! The Creative Lighting System is totally wireless controlled and you can have multiple flashes controlled via this or another flash. Very User friendly. The overheating issue must have been resolved as I have not had any issues to date. Thanks for watching my reviews.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Christopher K. Seid on September 24, 2008
Verified Purchase
I own 3 SB-800s and I shoot weddings. So far none of SB-800s have quit on me. They are real workhorses. I bought the Sb-900 because i like the ease of switching it from being a regular flash to a master control in a quick flick. If you use this function a lot, it may be worth it to get the SB900. The $130 difference to me depends on how fast you use that function. In a wedding, you could set up some remote lights with your other nikon speedlights...and create some nice lighting. But sometime you want to turn these remotes on/off and it is a real hassle doing it withe the Sb800. Now, it takes less that second...which is essential in a wedding environment.
I read other comments about how their 900s overheated and shut down. I did not experience this for the 2 weddings i shot recently. However, since i'm shooting with a new D700 at ISO 400 - 800, i'm probably not working the 900 extremely hard. Overall, the flash seems to be working well, and apart from its size, i like it. The negatives: The controls needs a little getting used to and the flash case is a little too long too. If it was priced in the 3 hundreds...then it would be 5 star...for this price...it only gets 4 stars from me.
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41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By TriggerHappy on September 1, 2009
Verified Purchase
Okay, here's the (long winded) truth about the flash and it's "thermal shutdown problem".
First off, let me say that I have much experience in using different camera flashes and studio strobes as well as some repairing of them. I will start of by saying that this flash is the best portable camera flash in it's class that I have EVER used. Nikon knows what they are doing. They have an extremely high standard of quality and reliability. When they see a quality improvement / guarantee need, they will apply it. In the case of the SB-800 to the SB-900 one of the biggest and least appreciated quality assurance guarantees is the thermal cut off feature. Which, by the way, can be turned off or on. So all of those who are b****ing about it, just read your manual and turn it off!

Okay, time for a cheesy quote: "With great power comes great responsibility". Nikon knew this. (speculation) They also knew the general public would not really understand the limitations of the flash in hand. So they incorporated a safety mechanism: "Thermal cut off", to prevent overheating due to extended maximum flash output. This sort of "circuit breaker" is also found in some pro studio strobes. Studio strobes usually use AC power and provide a much greater power output and are more likely to overheat and sometimes "blow out", so it is common to see some kind of safety mech built in to them. Portable camera flashes run off batteries and do not produce any where near the kind of power output than said strobes; so there is usually no critical need for such a safety. With the SB-900 however (and SB-800), Nikon has managed to build a very compact flash (yes, I mean compact if you consider it's power capability) that recharges very quickly and sustains a consistent powerful output.
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