Univex SB-900, SB-900 User Manual

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Autofocus Speedlight

SB-900

User’s Manual

En

About this user’s manual

How to find what you are looking for

AYou can search for relevant page references using the following methods.

Preparation

k

Table of contents ...

(kA-6)

You can search by item, such as operation method, flash mode or function.

k Simple search by objective (kA-4)

You can search according to your objective without knowing the specific name or term of the item you are looking for.

k

Speedlight functions

(kB-4)

You can search for a particular SB-900 function. This is handy when you know the name of a function and want more information.

k

Index

(kF-22)

You can search using the alphabetical index.

k

Troubleshooting

(kF-2)

You can determine the cause if there is a problem with your Speedlight.

A–2

Camera and lens combinations

This manual has been compiled with the assumption that the SB-900 will be used in combination with a camera compatible with CLS (Nikon Creative Lighting System) and a CPU lens.

t Tips on identifying CPU Nikkor lenses

CPU lenses have CPU contacts.

CPU contacts

•The SB-900 cannot be used with IX-Nikkor lenses.

Terms used in this user’s manual

Default settings: the function and mode settings at the time of purchase are referred to as the “default settings.”

CLS (Nikon Creative Lighting System): the Nikon Creative Lighting System is often referred to as “CLS.”

ISO sensitivity: “ISO sensitivity” is a generic term that covers both the imaging sensitivity of digital SLR cameras and the film sensitivity of 35mm film based cameras.

Marks used in this manual

vDescribes a point to which you should pay particular attention in order to avoid Speedlight malfunction or mistakes during shooting.

t Includes information or tips to make Speedlight use easier.

A

Preparation

A–3

Simple search by objective

You can search for specific explanations according to your objective.

A

About Speedlight parts and indications

Preparation

I want to know about

Key words

page

The name of each part

Speedlight parts

C-2

The meaning of each icon (displayed)

LCD panel

C-10

The meaning of the warning symbols

Warning indications

F-3

About settings and operation

I want to know about

Key words

page

The functions and usage of control buttons

Control buttons

C-8

The types of batteries that can be used

Suitable batteries

C-4

The minimum recycling time and the number of

The minimum recycling time

 

and the number of flashes per

F-20

flashes per recycling time per type of battery

recycling time

 

 

 

When to replace the batteries

Replacing/recharging batteries

C-27

How to change settings using “Custom settings”

Custom settings

C-20

How to perform test firings

Test firing

D-59

How to tilt or rotate the flash head

Adjusting the flash head

D-26

How to reset various settings

Two-button reset

C-9

How to illuminate the LCD panel

Using the SB-900 in dim light

C-24

How to enhance the readability of the LCD panel

Enhancing the LCD panel’s readability

C-25

How to change the standby lead time

Standby function

C-23

How to monitor the remote flash units by sound

Sound monitor

C-24

How to lock the control buttons to avoid mistakes

Key lock

C-9

About flash photography

I want to know about

Key words

page

About the flash modes

Flash modes and functions

D-1

How to take pictures in the simplest way

Basic operation

C-4

How to take portrait photos emphasizing the main subject

Illumination pattern: Center-

D-24

 

weighted

 

How to take formal group shots

Illumination pattern: Even

D-24

How to take more natural-looking shots of flowers

Wireless multiple flash shooting

D-39

and dolls

 

 

How to take pictures with soft shadows cast on a wall

Bounce flash operation

D-26

How to take pictures of both the subject and

Slow-sync flash

D-55

background at night

 

 

A–4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to know about

Key words

page

 

How to take pictures using multiple flash units

Wireless multiple flash shooting

D-39

 

How to confirm lighting conditions

Modeling illumination

D-61

 

How to take brighter (or darker) pictures of both the

Exposure compensation

D-38

 

subject and background

 

 

 

 

How to take brighter (or darker) pictures of the subject

Flash output level compensation

D-37

 

How to take pictures without the subject’s eyes

Red-eye reduction

D-56

 

appearing red

 

 

 

 

How to shoot a moving subject with stroboscopic

Repeating flash

D-17

 

multiple-exposure effects

 

 

 

 

How to take pictures under fluorescent light and

Flash photography with

D-33

 

incandescent light and balance the lights’ color effects

color filters

 

 

 

How to take pictures adding specific color to the scene

Flash photography with

D-33

 

color filters

 

How to perform autofocus flash photography in dim lighting

AF-assist Illuminator

D-58

 

How to shoot a fast moving subject using wireless

SU-4 type wireless multiple

D-50

 

multiple flash shooting

flash operation

 

 

About accessories

I want to know about

Key words

page

About cameras compatible with the SB-900

Compatible cameras

B-2

How to use the SB-900 with cameras not compatible

Using the SB-900 with non-

E-2

with Nikon Creative Lighting System

CLS-compatible SLR cameras

 

How to use the SB-900 with Nikon COOLPIX cameras

For usage with i-TTL-compatible

E-3

COOLPIX cameras

About optional accessories that are available

Optional accessories

F-11

Others

I want to know about

Key words

page

Tips on Speedlight care

Tips on Speedlight care

F-7

SB-900 specifications

Specifications

F-14

The latest Nikon product information

Life-long learning

A-16

How to update the firmware

Firmware update

F-10

A

B

C

D

E

F

A–5

Contents

A

A

Preparation

 

About this user‘s manual ......................................................................

A-2

Preparation

 

How to find what you are looking for ..................................................

A-2

 

Simple search by objective

A-4

 

 

 

 

For your safety ......................................................................................

A-8

 

 

Check before Use ...............................................................................

A-14

 

 

 

 

 

B

About the SB-900

 

 

SB-900 features

B-2

 

 

 

 

Main functions......................................................................................

B-4

 

 

 

 

 

C

Operation

 

 

Speedlight parts

C-2

 

 

 

 

Basic operations....................................................................................

C-4

 

 

Control buttons ....................................................................................

C-8

 

 

LCD ....................................................................................................

C-10

 

 

Custom functions and settings............................................................

C-20

 

 

Batteries .............................................................................................

C-27

 

 

 

 

 

D

Flash modes and functions

 

 

i-TTL mode

D-2

 

 

 

 

Auto aperture flash...............................................................................

D-5

 

 

Non-TTL auto flash................................................................................

D-8

 

 

Distance-priority manual flash .............................................................

D-11

 

 

Manual mode .....................................................................................

D-14

 

 

Repeating flash ...................................................................................

D-17

 

 

Determining the aperture, flash output level and shooting distance

 

 

 

in the Distance priority, Manual and Repeating flash mode..................

D-22

 

 

Switching illumination pattern ............................................................

D-24

 

 

Bounce flash operation .......................................................................

D-26

 

 

Taking close-up photographs with bounce-down flash ........................

D-30

 

 

Flash photography with color filters ....................................................

D-33

 

 

Flash output level compensation and exposure compensation .............

D-37

 

 

Wireless multiple flash shooting ..........................................................

D-39

A–6

 

 

 

 

.............................• Flash shooting in Advanced Wireless Lighting

D-43

 

• SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting ..................................

D-50

A

Available functions to be set on the camera ........................................

D-55

Auto FP High-Speed Sync mode

Flash Value Lock (FV Lock)

Slow-sync flash

Red-eye reduction/Red-eye reduction with slow-sync flash

Rear-curtain sync

Flash shooting support functions.........................................................

D-57

Power zoom function

AF-Assist Illuminator

Setting the ISO sensitivity

Test firing function

Modeling illuminator function

FX-/DX selection

E

For use with cameras other than CLS compatible

 

SLR cameras

 

 

Using the SB-900 with non-CLS-compatible SLR cameras ......................

E-2

 

For usage with i-TTL-compatible COOLPIX cameras ...............................

E-3

B

C

D

E

F

Tips on Speedlight care and reference information

 

F

Troubleshooting

F-2

 

 

Notes on continuous flash shooting ......................................................

F-5

 

Thermal Cut-out ...................................................................................

F-6

 

Tips on Speedlight care .........................................................................

F-7

 

Notes on batteries.................................................................................

F-8

 

About the LCD panel ............................................................................

F-9

 

Updating firmware..............................................................................

F-10

 

Optional accessories............................................................................

F-11

 

Specifications......................................................................................

F-14

 

Index ..................................................................................................

F-22

A–7

 

For your safety

 

Before using your product, please read the following safety precautions carefully

A

and thoroughly to ensure correct and safe use and to help prevent damage to your

Nikon product or injury to yourself or others.

Preparation

For quick reference by those who use the product, please keep these safety instructions near the product.

In this manual, safety instructions are indicated with these symbols:

WARNING

Disregarding instructions marked with this symbol could result in personal injury, or death and property damage.

CAUTION

Disregarding instructions marked with this symbol could result in property damage.

WARNINGS for Speedlights

1.If corrosive liquids seep from the batteries and get in your eyes, immediately wash your eyes with running water and consult with a doctor. Your eyes could be seriously damaged if they are not treated quickly.

2.If corrosive liquids seep from the batteries and come in contact with your skin or clothes, wash immediately with running water. Prolonged contact could injure your skin.

3.Never attempt to disassemble or repair the flash unit by yourself, as this could result in you receiving an electric shock and could also cause the unit to malfunction; such malfunction could lead to personal injury.

4.If the flash unit is dropped and damaged, do not touch any exposed interior metal parts. Such parts, especially the Speedlight’s capacitor and associated parts, could be in a high-charge state and if touched could cause an electric shock. Disconnect the power or remove the batteries and be sure that you do not touch any of the product’s electrical components, and then bring the flash unit to your local Nikon dealer or authorized service center for repair.

5.If you detect heat, smoke or notice a burning smell, immediately stop operation and remove the batteries to prevent the unit from catching on fire or melting. Allow the flash unit to cool down so that you can safely touch it and remove the batteries. Then bring the unit to your local Nikon dealer or authorized service center for repair.

6.The flash unit should never be submerged in liquid or exposed to rain, saltwater or moisture unless it is properly protected from the liquids and moisture. Underwater use requires a certified underwater housing.

If water or moisture gets inside the unit, this could cause the unit to catch on fire or cause an electric shock. In such instances you should immediately

remove the batteries from the Speedlight and then bring the unit to your local Nikon dealer or authorized service center for repair.

Note: electronic devices that are penetrated by water or moisture are often not economically repairable.

A–8

7.Do not use the unit in the presence of flammable or explosive gas.

If the flash unit is operated in areas where there is a flammable gas, including propane, gasoline and dust, it could cause an explosion or fire.

8.Do not fire the flash unit directly at the driver of a moving car, as this could temporarily impair the driver’s vision and cause an accident.

9.Do not fire the flash unit directly into the eyes of someone that is at close range, as it could damage the retinas of their eyes. Never fire the flash unit closer than 1 meter from infants.

10.Do not fire the unit while the flash head is touching a person or object.

Such use can result in the person being burned, and/or their clothes igniting from the heat of the flash’s firing.

11.Keep small accessories out of the reach of children to avoid the possibility of the accessory being swallowed. If an accessory is accidentally swallowed, immediately consult with a doctor.

12.Use only the batteries specified in this user’s manual. Batteries other than those specified could leak corrosive liquids, explode or catch on fire or otherwise not perform satisfactorily.

13.Do not mix battery types, brands or old and new batteries, as the batteries could leak corrosive liquids, explode or catch on fire. When using more than one battery in a product, always use identical batteries that were purchased at the same time.

14.Non-rechargeable batteries such as manganese, alkaline-manganese and lithium batteries should never be charged in a battery charger because they could leak corrosive liquids, explode or catch on fire.

15.When using standard size (AA, AAA, C, D) or other common rechargeable batteries such as NiCd and Ni-MH battery types, or when recharging them, be sure to use only the battery charger specified

by the battery maker and read the instructions thoroughly. Do not recharge these batteries with their terminals reversed in the charger or before the batteries have cooled off sufficiently because they could leak corrosive liquids, explode or catch on fire. The same caution also applies to using the rechargeable batteries that may be supplied by the photo product’s manufacturer.

A

Preparation

A–9

For your safety

CAUTIONS for Speedlights

A1. Do not touch the flash unit with wet hands, as this could cause an electric shock.

Preparation

2.Keep the flash unit away from children to prevent them from putting the unit in or near their mouth, or otherwise touching a dangerous part of the product; as such contact could cause an electric shock.

3.Do not apply strong physical shocks to the unit, as this could cause a malfunction that could cause the unit to explode or catch on fire.

4.Never use active agents that contain flammable substances such as paint thinner, benzene or paint remover to clean the unit, and never store the unit in locations containing chemicals such as camphor and naphthalene, as this could damage the plastic case, cause a fire or cause an electric shock.

5.Remove any batteries from the unit before storing the unit for a long time to prevent the unit from catching on fire or leaking corrosive liquids.

WARNINGS for Batteries

1.Never heat or throw batteries into a fire, as this could cause the batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode.

2.Do not short-circuit or disassemble the batteries because this could cause the batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode.

3.Do not mix battery types, brands or old and new batteries, as this could cause the batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode.

4.Do not install batteries in the reverse direction as this could cause the batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode. Even if only one battery is installed in reverse it will cause the Speedlight to malfunction.

5.Be sure to use the battery charger specified by the battery maker to avoid the possibility of batteries leaking corrosive liquids, generating heat or exploding.

6.Do not carry or store batteries along with metallic materials such as necklaces and hair pins because such materials could cause the batteries to short-circuit, leading to battery leakage, heat generation or an explosion.

In addition, specially when carrying a quantity of batteries, place them carefully in a storage case that prevents the battery terminals from touching another battery’s terminals because if they touch in reverse order it could also cause the batteries to short-circuit, leading to battery leakage, heat generation or an explosion.

7.If corrosive liquids seep from the batteries and get in your eyes, immediately wash your eyes with running water and consult with a doctor. Your eyes could be seriously damaged if they are not treated quickly.

A–10

8.If corrosive liquids seep from the batteries and come in contact with your skin or clothes, wash immediately with running water. Prolonged

contact could injure your skin.

9.Always follow the warnings and instructions printed on the batteries to avoid activities that could cause the batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or catch on fire.

10.Be sure to use only batteries specified in this user’s manual, to avoid the possibility of batteries leaking corrosive liquids, generating heat or exploding.

11.Never open the casing surrounding batteries or use batteries whose casing has been breached as such batteries could leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode.

12.Keep batteries out of the reach of children to help avoid the possibility of them being swallowed. If a battery is accidentally swallowed, immediately consult with a doctor.

13.Batteries should not be submerged in water, exposed to rain, moisture or saltwater unless they are properly protected from the wet environment. If water or moisture gets inside the batteries, this could cause them to leak corrosive liquids or generate heat.

14.Do not use any battery that appears abnormal in any way, including a change in color or shape. Such batteries could leak corrosive liquids or generate heat.

15.Stop recharging rechargeable batteries if you notice that recharging is not completed within the specified time to help prevent the possibility of the battery leaking corrosive liquids or generating heat.

16.When recycling or disposing of batteries, be sure to insulate their terminals with tape. If the battery’s positive and negative terminals shortcircuit after coming into contact with metallic objects, it could cause fire, heat generation or an explosion. Dispose of used batteries in accordance with local government regulations

17.Non-rechargeable batteries should never be charged in a battery charger because they could leak corrosive liquids or generate heat.

18.Remove dead batteries from your equipment immediately, as they could leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode.

A

Preparation

A–11

For your safety

CAUTION for Batteries

ADo not throw or apply strong physical shocks to the batteries as this could cause batteries to leak corrosive liquids, generate heat or explode.

Preparation

Symbol for separate collection applicable in European countries

This symbol indicates that this product is to be collected separately. The following apply only to users in European countries.

This product is designated for separate collection at an appropriate collection point. Do not dispose of as household

waste

• For more information, contact the retailer or the local authorities in charge of waste management.

A–12

A

Preparation

A–13

A

Preparation

Check before Use

Foreword

Thank you for purchasing the Nikon Speedlight SB-900. To get the most out of your Speedlight, please read this user’s manual and the separate booklet “A collection of example photos” thoroughly before use.

This user’s manual explains SB-900 functions, operation methods, specifications, etc., and the separate “A collection of example photos” provides an overview of the SB-900’s flash-shooting capabilities with example photos.

In addition, keep your camera user’s manual handy for quick reference.

Included items

The SB-900 comes with the following accessories. Check that all items are included before use.

Speedlight Stand AS-21

Soft Case SS-900

Nikon Diffusion Dome SW-13H

User’s manual (this manual)

Color Filter Set SJ-900

A collection of example photos

Color Filter Holder SZ-2

Warranty card

SB-900

Soft Case

SS-900

Nikon Diffusion Dome

SW-13H

Color Filter Holder

SZ-2

Color Filter Set

SJ-900

Speedlight Stand

AS-21

A–14

Tips on using the Speedlight

Take trial shots

Make trial shots before photographing important occasions like weddings or graduations.

Have Nikon spot-check your Speedlight regularly

Nikon recommends that you have your Speedlight serviced by an authorized dealer or service center at least once every two years.

Use your Speedlight with Nikon equipment

The Nikon Speedlight SB-900’s performance has been optimized for use with Nikon brand cameras/accessories including lenses.

Camera/accessories made by other manufacturers may not meet Nikon’s criteria for specifications, and nonconforming cameras/accessories could damage the SB-900’s components. Nikon cannot guarantee the SB-900’s performance when used with non-Nikon products.

A

Preparation

A–15

A

Preparation

Check before Use

Life-long learning

As part of Nikon’s “Life-long learning” commitment to ongoing product support and education, continually-updated information is available on-line at the following sites:

For users in the U.S.A.: http://www.nikonusa.com/

For users in Europe: http://www.europe-nikon.com/support

For users in Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, and Africa: http://www.nikon-asia.com/

Visit these sites to keep up-to-date with the latest product information, tips, answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs), and general advice on digital imaging and photography. Additional information may be available from the Nikon representative in your area. See the URL below for contact information:

http://nikonimaging.com/

A–16

BAbout the SB-900

This section explains the features and key functions of the SB-900.

• SB-900 features......................................................

B-2

• Main functions ......................................................

B-4

B

About the SB-900

B–1

B

About the SB-900

SB-900 features

Features of the SB-900

The SB-900 is a high-performance CLS-compatible Speedlight with a large guide number of 34/48 (ISO 100/200, m) (111.5/157.5, ft.) (at the 35 mm zoom position in Nikon FX format with standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F.)

•Combined with a CLS-compatible camera, the SB-900 can easily perform various types of flash operations, such as i-TTL auto flash and wireless multiple flash (kD-39).

•Three types of illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) are available to match different shooting preferences.

•FX/DX selection enables the setting of the light distribution angle in accordance with the camera’s image area between FXand DX-formats, and provides effective and high-quality lighting.

•Power zoom function automatically adjusts the zoom position to match the lens focal length from 17 mm to 200 mm (in FX format)/12 mm to 200 mm (in DX format). When the built-in wide-flash adapter is used or the Nikon Diffusion Dome is attached, the zoom position is automatically set to match a wideangle lens with much shorter focal length.

•Bounce flash (kD-26) or close-up flash photography can be easily performed (kD-30).

•Custom functions are provided to allow for various settings (kC-20).

Compatible cameras

The SB-900 has been optimized for use with CLS-compatible SLR cameras. •For usage with non-CLS-compatible SLR cameras and with i-TTL-compatible

COOLPIX cameras, see “Using the SB-900 with non-CLS-compatible SLR cameras.” (kE-1)

CLS-compatible SLR cameras

D3, D700, D2 Series, D300, D200, D80, D70 Series, D60, D50, D40 Series, F6, etc.

i-TTL-compatible COOLPIX cameras

COOLPIX 8800, COOLPIX 8400, COOLPIX P5000,

COOLPIX P5100, etc.

B–2

What is the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)?

The SB-900 features the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS). This system offers additional flash shooting possibilities with digital cameras by taking advantage of your camera’s digital communication capabilities. CLS is available when the SB-900 is used with compatible Nikon cameras.

The SB-900 offers these major features:

i-TTL mode

This is a Nikon Creative Lighting System TTL auto flash mode. Monitor pre-flashes are fired at all times. The subject is correctly exposed by the light from the flash lighting and the exposure is less affected by ambient light (kD-2).

Advanced Wireless Lighting

With Advanced Wireless Lighting, wireless multiple flash operation in the TTL (i-TTL) mode can be accomplished with CLS-compatible digital SLRs. In this mode, you can divide the remote flash units into three groups and control the flash output independently for each group, expanding your range of creative multiple-flash shooting techniques (kD-43).

FV Lock (Flash Value Lock)

Flash Value, or “FV,” is the amount of flash exposure for the subject. Using FV Lock with compatible cameras, you can lock in the appropriate flash exposure for the main subject. This flash exposure is locked in, even if you change the aperture or composition, or zoom the lens in and out. (kD-55).

Flash Color Information Communication

When the SB-900 is used with compatible digital SLRs, color temperature information is automatically transmitted to the camera. In this way, the camera’s white balance is automatically adjusted to give you the correct color temperature when taking photographs with the SB-900.

Auto FP High-Speed Sync

High-Speed flash synchronization at a compatible camera’s highest shutter speed is possible. This is useful when you want to use a wider aperture to achieve shallow depth of field to blur the background (kD-55).

AF-Assist illuminator

In autofocus operation, the SB-900 emits AF-Assist illumination, which matches the wider AF area of CLS-compatible cameras. With cameras supporting this function, autofocus photography in dim lighting is possible even when the camera’s focus point (focus area) is changed (kD-58).

B

About the SB-900

B–3

B

About the SB-900

Main functions

Flash modes and functions on the SB-900

i-TTL mode (kD-2)

The camera controls the SB SB-900’s flash output level by measuring the light reflected from the subject when the SB-900 fires a series of monitor pre-flashes.

Auto-Aperture flash mode (kD-5)

The SB-900 controls the flash output level by measuring the flash illumination reflected back from the subject using the sensor for Non-TTL auto flash and combining this with information from the camera, such as the ISO sensitivity and the aperture setting.

Non-TTL Auto flash mode (kD-8)

The SB-900 controls the flash output level by measuring the flash illumination reflected back from the subject using the sensor for Non-TTL auto flash.

Distance Priority manual flash mode (kD-11)

If you preset the aperture and the distance to the subject, the SB SB-900 will automatically take control of correct light output.

Manual flash mode (kD-14)

By setting the aperture and the flash output level, you can manually set the exposure and the distance to the subject.

Repeating flash mode (kD-17)

The SB-900 fires repeatedly to create stroboscopic multiple-exposure effects. This operation is useful when shooting fast-moving subjects.

Switching illumination pattern (kD-24)

You can select one of three types of illumination pattern (standard, center-weighted and even) in accordance with your objective.

Bounce flash (kD-26)

By tilting or rotating the flash head, you can bounce the light off a ceiling or wall to make use of reflected light.

Close-up flash photography (kD-30)

Close up flash photography can be achieved with use of the built-in wide-flash adapter and the flash head tilted down.

Using color filters (kD-33)

You can compensate for the color of a light source or create interesting effects by changing the light from the filters to a different color.

Flash output level compensation/Exposure compensation (kD-37)

Flash output level compensation is performed by modifying the flash output level for the flash illuminated subject only. Exposure compensation is performed by intentionally modifying the correct exposure to modify both the subject and background exposure.

B–4

Wireless multiple flash (kD-39)

Advanced Wireless Lighting (kD-43)

In this mode, you can divide the remote flash units into three groups and set the flash mode and flash output level compensation values separately for each group as well as the master flash unit.

SU-4-type wireless multiple flash (kD-50)

You can perform SU-4 type wireless multiple flash in two ways: in which the wireless remote flash units start and stop firing in sync with the master flash unit, and in which the remote flash units only start firing in sync with the master.

Functions that are set on the camera

Auto FP High-Speed Sync (kD-55)

The SB-900 automatically fires at faster shutter speeds than the camera’s sync shutter speed.

FV Lock (Flash Value Lock) (kD-55)

Since it is possible to lock in the flash exposure level for the subject, you can alter picture composition while keeping the brightness of the subject constant.

Slow-Sync (kD-55)

The flash is controlled at a slow shutter speed to obtain the correct exposure for both the main subject and background in low-light situations.

Red-Eye Reduction flash mode/Red-Eye Reduction Slow-Sync (kD-56)

Red-eye effect, which causes the subject’s eyes to appear red in color photographs, is reduced.

Rear-Curtain flash sync (kD-56)

Rear-curtain flash sync creates a picture in which the blur of a moving subject appears behind the subject and not in front. In this mode, the flash fires just before the rear curtain starts to close.

Support functions

Power zoom function (kD-57)

Automatically adjusts the zoom position to match the lens focal length.

Setting the ISO sensitivity (kD-60)

The ISO sensitivity is automatically set based on information from the camera.

AF-Assist illuminator (kD-58)

This enables you to perform autofocus flash photography when there is not enough light for normal autofocus operation.

B

About the SB-900

B–5

Main functions

Test firing (kD-60)

You can verify whether the subject will receive the correct exposure by test firing the SB-900.

Modeling illuminator (kD-61)

Before actually shooting you can check the illumination and the shadows cast on

Bthe subject.

About the SB-900

FX/DX selection (kD-62)

The SB-900 automatically selects the suitable light distribution angle, in accordance with the camera’s image area (between FX-format (36 x 24) and DX-format (24 x 16)).

SB-900 status and settings functions

Custom setting (kC-20)

Various settings can be made while checking the status on the LCD panel.

Two-button reset (kC-9)

This function resets various settings to their default values.

Key lock (kC-9)

The control buttons can be locked to prevent them from being pressed accidentally.

LCD panel illumination setting (kC-24)

This function sets the LCD panel illumination to on or off.

LCD panel contrast setting (kC-25)

This function adjusts the contrast of the LCD panel.

Standby function (kC-28)

This function automatically puts the SB-900 in standby mode to conserve battery power.

Continuous flash (kF-5)

The SB-900 fires continuously in sync with continuous shooting.

Thermal Cut-out (kF-6)

This function protects the SB-900 from high operating temperatures. If the temperature of the unit rises to a certain level, the SB-900 will switch to protective shutdown mode.

Self firmware update (kF-10)

Speedlight firmware can be updated through the camera.

B–6

COperation

This section explains the Speedlight parts, meaning of each display, and also covers basic procedures for flash photography.

• Speedlight parts ....................................................

C-2

• Basic operation .....................................................

C-4

• Control buttons ...................................................

C-8

• LCD ....................................................................

C-10

• Custom functions and settings ...........................

C-20

• Batteries .............................................................

C-27

C

Operation

C–1

C

Operation

Speedlight parts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

1

Flash head

10

External power source terminal

2

Flash head tilting/rotating lock

 

(supplied with cover) (kF-12)

 

release button (kC-6)

11

Light sensor for Non-TTL auto

3

Battery chamber lid

 

flash (kD-5, D-8)

4

Light sensor window for wireless

12

External AF-assist illuminator

 

remote flash (kD-40)

 

contacts

5

Built-in bounce card (kD-28)

13

Mount pin

6

Built-in wide-flash adapter

14

Hot-shoe contacts

 

(kD-31)

15

Mounting foot

7Filter detector (kD-35)

8AF-assist illuminator (kD-58)

9Ready-light (at remote setting) (kD-42)

C–2

16

1720

 

18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

Flash head tilting angle scale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20

LCD panel (kC-10)

 

(kD-26)

21

Ready-light (kC-7, D-42)

17

Flash head rotating angle scale

22

Mounting foot lock lever

 

(kD-26)

 

(kC-5)

18Sync terminal cover

19Sync terminal

Control buttons (kC-8)

23

24

23 [MODE] button

2524 [ZOOM] button

2625 Function button 1

2726 Function button 2

2827 Function button 3

2928 Test firing button

3029 Power ON-OFF switch/

31wireless setting switch

30Selector dial

31[OK] button

C

Operation

C–3

Basic operation

This section covers basic procedures in i-TTL mode in combination with a CLScompatible camera. i-TTL mode enables you to easily take flash photography with well balanced lighting.

STEP 1 Inserting the batteries

Slide the battery chamber lid open.

C

Operation

Insert the batteries following the [+] and [-] marks as shown.

Close the battery chamber lid.

Suitable batteries

Insert four AA-type penlight batteries of any of the following types:

 

Alkaline-manganese (1.5 V)

 

 

Lithium (1.5 V)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oxyride™ (1.5 V)

 

 

Ni-MH (Nickel Metal Hydride) (1.2 V)

 

 

 

 

When replacing batteries, use fresh batteries of the same brand.

For more on batteries, refer to “Batteries” and “Notes on batteries.” (kC-27, kF-8)

C–4

STEP 2 Attaching the SB-900 to the camera

Make sure the SB-900 and the camera body are turned off.

Rotate the mounting foot

lock lever to the left.

Slide the SB-900’s mounting foot into the camera’s accessory shoe.

Turn the lock lever to “L.”

v To lock the Speedlight in place, turn the lock lever clockwise until it stops at the mounting foot lock index.

Detaching the SB-900 from the camera

Turn the lock lever 90° to the left.

Slide the SB-900’s mounting foot from the camera’s accessory shoe.

v If the SB-900’s mounting foot cannot be removed from the camera’s accessory shoe:

• The mount pin remains inserted in the camera’s accessory shoe. Turn the lock lever 90° to the left again, and slide the SB-900 slowly out.

• Never forcibly remove the SB-900.

C

Operation

C–5

C

Operation

Basic operation

STEP 3 Adjusting the flash head

Hold down the flash head tilting/rotating lock release button to adjust the flash head to the horizontal/ front position.

• The flash head is locked at horizontal/ front and 90°.

LCD indicator for flash head status

Flash head is set at angle other than horizontal/front. (Flash head is tilted up or rotated to the right or left.)

Flash head is set at -7°. (Flash head is tilted down.)

Flash head is set at horizontal/front.

STEP 4 Turning the SB-900 and camera on

Turn the SB-900 and the camera body on.

• To turn the SB-900 on, turn the [Power ON-OFF] switch to [ON].

When using i-TTL mode

• ISO sensitivity is set automatically.

• Angle of coverage is automatically set according to lens in use.

C–6

STEP 5 Selecting the flash mode

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate the selector dial to indicate on the LCD.

Press the [OK] button.

C

Changing the flash mode

Rotate the selector dial to display available flash mode icons on the LCD.

Flash mode icons (kC-10)

Only flash modes that are available are displayed onon the LCD.

The flash mode can also be selected by pressing the [MODE] button.

Make sure that the readylight on the SB-900 or in the camera’s viewfinder is on before shooting.

• When no ready-light indicator appears, lightly press the shutter release button to activate the ready-light.

Operation

C–7

C

Operation

Control buttons

Names and functions of control buttons

3

4

 

5

 

6

1

7

 

 

8

2

9

1[MODE] button:

Press to select flash mode. (kC-10)

2[ZOOM] button:

Press to adjust zoom position. (kD-57)

3Function button 1:

4Function button 2:

5Function button 3:

•Press to select which item to change.

•Functions differ according to selected mode and status of the SB-900. (kC-17)

6 Test firing button:

•Controls test firing (kD-60) and modeling illuminator. (kD-61)

•The button setting for test firing/modeling illumination can be changed with the custom function. (kC-22)

7Power ON-OFF/wireless setting switch:

•Rotate to turn power on and off.

•Controls the master and/or remote flashes when using wireless multiple flash shooting. (kD-39)

•To control master and/or remote flashes, rotate the switch while holding down the button in the center of the switch.

8Selector dial:

Rotate to change selected item. The

selected item is highlighted on the LCD. (kC-9)

9[OK] button:

•Lightly pressing the [OK] button confirms selected setting.

•Hold the [OK] button down for one second to display custom function. (kC-21)

C–8

Control button operation

The basic control of SB-900 functions is as follows:

Select function to be changed and press the button that controls the function.

• The selected function is highlighted.

Change the setting by rotating the selector dial.

• Rotating the dial clockwise increases

the value of the setting, and

counterclockwise, decreases the value.

Press the [OK] button to

confirm setting.

• Once confirmed, the highlighted item

returns to normal display.

• If the [OK] button is not pressed, the highlighted item is confirmed and returns to normal display after 8 seconds.

Two-button operation

Two-button reset

Pressing the “Function buttons” 1 and 3 (indicated with a green dot) simultaneously for two seconds resets all settings (except custom setting) to default settings.

•After reset settings, the LCD is highlighted once and then returns to normal display.

Key lock function

Pressing the “Function buttons” 1 and 2 (indicated with a key mark) simultaneously locks control buttons.

•The POWER ON-OFF/wireless setting switch and the test firing buttons remain unlocked.

•A key icon is displayed on the LCD while buttons are locked.

•To cancel the key lock function, press the two buttons again for two seconds.

C

Operation

C–9

LCD

LCD panel

Icons on the LCD show the status of settings.

Displayed icons vary according to selected flash modes and settings.

Settings that can be changed are highlighted.

C

Operation

Flash mode icons

Monitor pre-flashes

i-TTL

Balanced Fill-Flash

Auto FP High-Speed Sync

Auto Aperture flash

Non-TTL auto flash

Distance-priority manual flash

Manual flash

Repeating flash

Flash icons

Flash output level at manual mode

For more information about manual mode, see D-16.

C–10

ISO sensitivity

ISO sensitivity

Distance information

• i-TTL/Auto Aperture flash/

Non-TTL auto flash

 

 

Flash shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distance range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(numerical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

indicator)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distance range

Indication for minimum/

 

 

(indicated with

 

 

a bar)

maximum flash

 

 

 

 

 

shooting distance

 

 

 

• Distance priority manual flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distance and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

flash shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distance range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(▼ and bar)

• Manual flash/repeating flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash shooting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distance

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(numerical

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

indicator)

 

Flash

 

shooting distance (▼)

 

 

• The measuring distance unit can be changed to “ft” in custom setting. (kC-25)

C

Operation

C–11

C

Operation

LCD

Zoom position

Light distribution angle

Power zoom

Manual setting of angle of coverage

Power zoom is not possible (manual only)

Angle of coverage at the maximum wide-angle position

Angle of coverage at the maximum telephoto position

Angle of coverage with manual setting when the built-in wide-flash adapter is not working

Light distribution for DX-format image area with power zoom on

Light distribution for FX-format image area with power zoom on

Light distribution for DX-format image area when the angle of coverage is manually set

Light distribution for FX-format image area when the angle of coverage is manually set

Light distribution for DX-format image area with power zoom off

Light distribution for FX-format image area with power zoom off

t

/

indication with power zoom on

LCD icon varies according to the camera in use.

/ icon appears: D3, D700

icon appears: D300, D60, D40 series

Neither FX nor DX icon appears: Camera not equipped with FX/DX image area selection

C–12

Aperture value

Aperture value (camera setting)

Aperture value (SB-900 setting)

Selected aperture value is out of SB-900 flash output control range (camera setting)

Flash output level compensation

Flash output level compensation

• For flash output level compensation, see D-37.

C

Operation

C–13

C

Operation

LCD

SB-900 condition

Test firing button functions

Type of attached color filter

Illumination pattern: Standard

Illumination pattern: Center-weighted

Illumination pattern: Even

Bounce flash operation

Tilt 7° down

Back light is on

AF-assist illumination

Communicating with a CLS compatible camera

Thermal Cut-out on

Thermal Cut-out off

Key lock

Test firing

Modeling illumination

C–14

Examples of LCD displays in wireless multiple flash shooting

Displayed icons vary according to selected flash mode and settings.

Master mode (with Advanced Wireless Lighting) (kD-43)

Flash mode, flash output level compensation

Channel

C

Flash mode, flash output level compensation, amount of light at manual setting from A, B or C group

Remote mode (with Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting) (kD-43)

Group

Channel

Remote

Sound monitor

Operation

C–15

LCD

Master flash unit at repeating flash (with Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting) (kD-49)

 

Repeating flash

Number

Light amount

of flashes

Channel

Frequency

C

Operation

Master and group A, B or C unit fires (ON)/does not fire (OFF)

Master mode (with SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting)

(kD-50)

Master mode

Remote mode (with SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting)

(kD-50)

Flash mode

Sound monitor

Remote

Cancel receiving light from other flash units

C–16

Functions controlled by Function buttons

Functions controlled by each button vary according to selected mode and settings.

The assigned function for each button is indicated by the following icons.

When no function is assigned to a button, no icon appears above the switch on the LCD.

When using a single flash unit

Flash output level compensation value

Flash output level at manual mode

Aperture

Shooting distance

Value of underexposure at TTL

Number of flashes

Frequency

Power zoom

Change aperture/frequency

When using a SB-900 as master flash unit (with Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting) (kD-43)

Change the selected group

Channel

Flash output level compensation

Flash output level at manual mode

Aperture

Value of underexposure at TTL

Power zoom

C

Operation

C–17

LCD

When using a SB-900 as master flash unit (with SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting) (kD-50)

Flash output level compensation

Flash output level at manual mode

Shooting distance

Aperture

Power zoom

C

Operation

When using the SB-900 as a remote flash unit (with Nikon

 

 

Advanced Wireless Lighting) (kD-43)

 

Group

 

Channel

When using the SB-900 as a remote flash unit (with SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting) (kD-50)

Flash output level at manual mode

Cancel receiving light from other flash units (fixed setting)

C–18

Master flash unit at repeating flash (with Nikon Advanced Wireless Lighting) (kD-49)

Change the selected group

Channel

Select item in the 2nd tree

Light emit/not emit

Flash output level

Number of flashes

Frequency

Power zoom

C

Operation

C–19

C

Operation

Custom functions and settings

Various operations for the SB-900 can be easily set using the LCD.

Displayed icons vary according to the combination of camera and status of SB-900.

Items that cannot be changed or set are indicated with grid squares.

In the “My menu” display, only selected “My menu” items appear on the LCD. To show all items, select “Full menu.” (kC-25)

Custom functions and icons

Non-TTL auto flash mode (kC-22)

Repeating flash setting of master flash unit (kC-22)

Flash output level at manual mode (kC-22)

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting (kC-22)

Illumination pattern (kC-22)

Test firing button (kC-22)

Flash output level of test firing in i-TTL mode (kC-23)

FX/DX selection (kC-23)

Power zoom off (kC-23)

AF-assist illuminator/flash firing off (kC-23)

Standby function (kC-23)

ISO sensitivity (kC-24)

Ready-light setting of remote flash units (kC-24)

LCD panel illuminator (kC-24)

Thermal Cut-out (kC-24)

Sound monitor (kC-24)

LCD panel contrast (kC-25)

Unit of measuring distance (kC-25)

Zoom position setting if the built-in wide-flash adapter is broken (kC-25)

“My menu” setting (kC-25)

Version of firmware (kC-25)

Reset custom setting (kC-25)

C–20

Custom setting

Press the [OK] button for approx. one second to display the custom setting

Rotate the selector dial to choose the desired custom functions to be set, and press the [OK] button.

• Highlighted item can be set.

Current settings

Position of highlighted item (within 22 items). Not displayed while an item is being set.

Items that cannot be changed or set are indicated with grid squares.

Rotate the selector dial to highlight the chosen setting, then press the [OK] button to set.

Highlighted while setting.

Options are displayed.

Press the [OK] button to return display for

item selection.

Available selection

X Current setting

Press the Function button 1 [EXIT] to return to the normal display.

• The LCD returns to normal display.

C

Operation

C–21

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