Sharing SB-900 usage experience


Cowseye

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Mar 7, 2010
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#1
Was considering this or Nissin i866 as a replacement after giving my SB-700 to my gf, I bought the SB-900 eventually to the pinnacle of Nikon's Flash technology.
I must say, I'm totally impressed by what SB-900 delivers over the SB-700.

I love the build, weight and the flash head. Unlike SB-700, when I tilt down the SB-900 (-7 degree angle), it stays down solid.

1/1 Manual Flash is so much stronger than it's little sibling.

The option menu is a bit more complex than the SB-700 as SB-700 automates majority of the capabilities, this may look like disadvantage but I feel this will give more controls to the user.

RP mode - This is the first time I ever trying using a flash to do high frequency repeated flash. Initially I thought it would be available on SB-700 but it isn't. Still not very sure what this features does in photography but I'll sure to pick up along the way.

AF-Illum assist beam - I read that the 3 LED AF assist performs better than SB-700. After a few test shots, I think it indeed does a better job than SB-700. Though I'm still trying to find out how to use the AF-assist beam without flashing :p


That's all for now after a 10min test on my new toy. Any bro and sis wanna share your usage experience?
 

Aryansha

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Nov 29, 2008
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#2
Bro, where u bought it? and the damage? Am getting one soon too...
 

Cowseye

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#3
Just today (or yesterday because passed 12am). From SLRR priced $637 cash. Cheapest in Funan. I asked all but Song Bros and SEA Computing, yes, including Bally.
Better get it soon b4 the possible price hike. I'm not too sure myself but I believe the rose in price in DD-electronics for all Nikon product across the board speaks for something...
 

daredevil123

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Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#6
Cowseye said:
Daredevil bro, is this a new flash for u?
Yes. My Sb600 not enough. I also have a few older Nikon flashes also but they are not cls compatible.

Sb900 can also act as optical slave so can deploy fast as rim light really quick when doing studio. Sb600 cannot act as optical slave.
 

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kentwong81

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Jun 18, 2010
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#7
SB900 is Nikon flagship speedlite and the price difference with other flashes are not much. Bascially it almost can do everything with its master/slave functions with energy saving and solid body built.
When I wanted a flash, I just went for SB900 directly. Save the hassles of buying cheap speedlites then sell at loss and upgrade to SB900.
 

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daredevil123

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#9
Cowseye said:
Nvr knew SB-600 can deploy as optical slave... That's worse than nissin...
Sb600 cannot be used as optical slave. But it comes with BL mode as well as FP sync and it is a very reliable flash. And it can be set as a slave in CLS mode.
 

tiago

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Mar 9, 2011
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#10
sorry don't have any idea what this optical slave is.

how difficult is it to use sb900? is it something that i can attach and start shooting in auto-mode? i am planning to shoot some events/performances which is happening at night outdoors. i'am afraid the built in flash will not be able to reach the subject. i read somewhere that sb900 can iluminate subjects at 200mm equivalent.

anyone can point me to how to use flash for dummys?
 

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daredevil123

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#11
sorry don't have any idea what this optical slave is.

how difficult is it to use sb900? is it something that i can attach and start shooting in auto-mode? i am planning to shoot some events/performances which is happening at night outdoors. i'am afraid the built in flash will not be able to reach the subject. i read somewhere that sb900 can iluminate subjects at 200mm equivalent.

anyone can point me to how to use flash for dummys?
If for normal events, SB600 is sufficient and easy to use. SB900 menus are quite complex.
 

ZerocoolAstra

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Mar 13, 2008
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#12
sorry don't have any idea what this optical slave is.

how difficult is it to use sb900? is it something that i can attach and start shooting in auto-mode? i am planning to shoot some events/performances which is happening at night outdoors. i'am afraid the built in flash will not be able to reach the subject. i read somewhere that sb900 can iluminate subjects at 200mm equivalent.

anyone can point me to how to use flash for dummys?
most certainly you can attach it and start shooting in auto mode.
it's just a matter of whether the result is to your expectation or not.

I think youmay be slightly confused by the "can illuminate subjects at 200mm equivalent" point.
SB900, like SB600/700/800, has a 'lens' inside that can focus the light into a narrow or wide beam.
At '200mm' setting, the beam should be quite narrow, which presumably means you get a greater concentration of light there.

But it doesn't mean that if you use your lens @ 200mm to shoot a building say... 150m away, that the SB900 can illuminate everything you see in the frame :)
 

Cowseye

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#13
Actually, I've been very puzzled by the mm value in flash. Had been researching for a while with no results. Can any bro point me a scientific explanation?
 

brapodam

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Jun 12, 2009
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#14
It works very much like the focal length of a lens...At the wider settings (24mm, 28mm), the flash is spread over a wider area. At the tele settings (105mm, 200mm), the flash is a concentrated beam of light.
 

brapodam

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#16
Does it translate to some form of distance it can cover? Or only how wide or narrow the beam will shoot?
Naturally, if you concentrate the beam to a small area, the light can remain stronger for a longer distance.
 

Cowseye

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#17
Sorry to OT a bit from my own thread :p
I was told and tried to use flash extender such as better Beamer for birding. I realize that it's the wider angle that gives the further illuminance. Why does it work opposite from just using flash zoom?
 

Bennyno5

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Mar 20, 2011
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#18
hi, sorry to ask if Mertz 58 AF 2 compare to SB 900, which is better?
 

Nubzz

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Dec 31, 2010
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#19
Sorry to steal thread..

Just wanna ask u guys.. I intend to get SB-700.. What kind of batteries do u all use?? Where can i buy them?
 

tiago

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Mar 9, 2011
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#20
anyone knows where to get the best price for sb900. cathay and iphoto quoted 640. i wonder why dd electronics quotes higher given that they sell grey sets.
 

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