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Customer Review

119 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Flash - just missing power input and PC plug, December 13, 2010
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This review is from: Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Flash for Nikon Digital SLR Cameras (Camera)
2/5/11: Final postscript: Sent the SB700 to Nikon; had to wait a month (according to Nikon, they had to wait to get parts shipped); but - they did repair the flash at no charge. Nikon's service has always been good.


12/25/10: Update to my review - today was my first real tryout of the SB700; and unfortunately; I have to report the battery door fell apart as I was changing batteries. The battery door design is different than past Nikon units. There is an actual pushbutton that you need to depress to release the door. As I was trying to open the door - it fell apart into 3 pieces. I'm not sure what Nikon was thinking; the old door designs seemed to work fine (aside from the SB800 w/ the removable door/battery chamber). On a positive note; I did not have a problem w/ thermal shutdown - but - that said; I'm very disappointed in the door design and am thinking I'll probably stock up on some SB600's while they are still being manufactured. While I hate the pushbutton setup on the SB600; at least I haven't had any reliability problems w/ the unit.


Just received the SB700 today from Amazon after a 3 month wait - I am not disappointed. I have been a Nikon user since the 70's, and have owned every F and D pro bodies, and associated flash units. I have seen all the reviews on the web criticizing Nikon for omitting the PC input and power input - they know if they included these features it would have killed sales of the SB900. Like others, unless I need maximum power from my flash (which is rare); I can get by with the SB600 and most recently, the SB400 for most of my (fill) flash work. I mainly use the flash for fill and have it on the camera 100% of the time. For "walking around" the SB400 works great due to its size and weight. When I need to use bounce flash, I typically use the SB600. I still own the SB800 and SB900 but find myself rarely using them.

The SB700 fills the gap - the best features of the flash are the smaller size and weight (vs. the SB900); easier to use controls (I hated the SB600/800 controls); and finally the hard plastic snap-on color correction filters. Nikon needs to make these (hard) filters for the SB900 - trying to use their gels and holder in the field is crazy - you will either lose or damage the gels the first time you are working under pressure. Also the bounce dome is also smaller than the large unit that comes w/ the SB900.

The SB700 is the first Nikon flash I've used that seems to get the exposure right on. Normally I have to set the flash exposure to -0.7 to get what I consider a normal exposure. I do not have to do this on the SB700. I also like the fact that Nikon has gone to switches (vs. menu) to switch from Auto to Manual exposure - I care less about the switch for the flash coverage as that's not a setting I change - but others who do change it will like the fact that it's easy to switch on the fly.

Back to the power input and PC sync input - those who are fans of the Stobist are very unhappy about the inability to use their PC cords to their Pocket Wizards - most folks do not like using the PC - Hot shoe cords; one more thing to go wrong in the electrical chain. Personally - I miss the power input for the Nikon battery packs - and although I'm sure Quantum will come out w/ a battery adapter to use w/ their packs, I haven't use my Quantum packs in years since I've converted to using the Nikon external packs that use the AA's.

That said - think the SB700 will become the de facto standard flash; and the SB800 will continue to sell on eBay and Craig's list for more then they sold new (I'm keeping mine) for the Strobist fans.

As to the overheating issue; haven't had the unit long enough to see if it reacts the same as the SB900 - another review said that the unit slows down on recycle time before shutting down - I've had my 900 shut down; so I have to carry a backup just in case.

As of today (12/13/10) looks like Amazon isn't even taking orders for the unit; if you are in a hurry suggest checking your local camera store - mine told me they were getting some in periodically -

Bottom line: if you are in the market for a Nikon flash - buy this one!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 29, 2011 3:00:56 AM PDT
B.L. 597 says:
thats so weird, and sorry to hear that, I had my flash sideways today, and when i went to change batteries was pleasantly surprised at how the door "held" itself open, and thought how well made it is and well "thought out" for lack of better term. I think the battery door on the SB-700 is better thought out then the door on the d7000 to access the GPS plug. It seems like it gives a lot and I actually put quite a bit of pressure to see if it would twist off so i could put it on and off when needed, but I would have to break it it seems, and its tough. Dint mean to get off subject, but I like how they put the indent so the door will stay open and not flap around like my Sony.
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