Univex 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

C

Operation

Custom functions and settings

Available Custom functions and settings

• (Bold: default)

Non-TTL auto flash mode (kD-5, D-8)

Setting Non-TTL auto flash mode

Auto aperture flash (with modeling illumination)

Auto aperture flash (without modeling illumination)

Non-TTL auto flash (with modeling illumination)

Non-TTL auto flash (without modeling illumination)

Repeating flash setting of master flash unit (kD-49)

The master flash unit’s repeating flash setting for multiple flash shooting

[ON]: Repeating flash on

[OFF]: Repeating flash off

Flash output level at manual mode (kD-16)

Setting flash output level compensation step between M1/1 and M1/2 in manual mode

[ON ]: Compensation with 1/3 EV step is available

[OFF ]: Compensation with 1 EV step is not available

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

Set SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting

[ON]: SU-4 type wireless multiple flash on

[OFF]: SU-4 type wireless multiple flash off

Illumination pattern (kD-24)

Select illumination pattern

[CW]: Center-weighted

[STD]: Standard

[EVEN]: Even

Test firing button (kD-60, D-61)

Select test firing button function

[FLASH]: Test firing

[MODELING]: Modeling illumination

C–22

Flash output level of test firing in i-TTL mode (kD-60)

Set flash output level of test firing in i-TTL mode

M1/128: Approx. 1/128

M1/32: Approx. 1/32

M1/1: Ful

FX/DX selection (kD-62)

Select the light distribution angle in accordance with the camera’s image area between FXand DX-format.

FX±∞DX: Automatically set according to the camera

FX: Nikon FX format (36 x 24) DX: Nikon DX format (24 x 16)

Power zoom off (kD-57)

Select Power zoom on/off

ON: Power zoom off (only for manual setting)

OFF: Power zoom on (manual setting is not available)

AF-assist illuminator/flash firing off (kD-58)

Set AF-assist illumination on/off and flash on/off

ON: Activate AF-assist illumination

OFF: Cancel AF-assist illumination

AF ONLY: Restrict flash firing (only AF-assist illumination fires)

Standby function (kC-28)

Adjusting the time before the standby function is activated

AUTO: the SB-900 turns off when the camera’s exposure meter turns off

40: 40 seconds 80: 80 seconds 160: 160 seconds 300: 300 seconds

---: Standby function canceled

C

Operation

C–23

C

Operation

Custom functions and settings

ISO sensitivity (kD-60)

Setting ISO sensitivity. ISO sensitivity range is ISO 3 to 8000.

100: ISO 100

Ready-light setting on remote flash units (kD-42)

Select the setting of ready-light on remote flash unit/s in multiple flash shooting for low battery power consumption.

REAR, FRONT: Front (at remote setting) and rear ready-lights on

REAR: Rear ready-light on

FRONT: Front ready-light on (at remote setting)

LCD panel illuminator (kF-9)

Setting the LCD panel illuminator to turn on or off

ON: Turn on

OFF: Turn off

Thermal Cut-out (kF-6)

Setting the Thermal Cut-out function on or off

ON: Thermal Cut-out on

OFF: Thermal Cut-out off

Sound monitor (kD-42, F-6)

When the SB-900 is used as a wireless remote flash unit, or the overheat detection is on, the sound monitor function can be activated or cancelled.

ON: Sound on

OFF: Sound off

C–24

LCD panel contrast (kF-9)

Adjust the brightness of the LCD panel. Contrast levels are displayed on the LCD in a nine-step graph.

5 levels in 9 steps

Unit of measuring distance

Set the unit of measuring distance

m: meters ft.: feet

Zoom position setting if the built-in wide-flash adapter is broken (kF-4)

Select whether the zoom position is manually set or fixed if the built-in wide flash adapter is broken.

ON: Available

OFF: Not available

“My menu” setting (kC-26)

Select items displayed on the LCD in custom setting.

FULL: Display all items

MY MENU: Display items only selected as “My menu”

SET UP: Set up the “My menu” items

Version of firmware (kF-10)

Show firmware version.

Reset custom setting

Reset custom setting except unit of measuring distance and “My menu” items to default setting.

YES: Reset to default

NO: Do not reset

C

Operation

C–25

C

Operation

Custom functions and settings

My menu

When frequently used custom setting items are set as “My menu,” only the selected items are displayed on the LCD in the custom setting.

“My menu” items can be changed at any time.

To display all items, select “Full.”

How to set “My menu”

Select “SET UP” in “My menu,” and press the [OK] button.

Select items to be set as “My menu” items, and press the [OK] button.

• Pressing the [OK] button displays in the check box of the selected item.

• For items that cannot be selected, no check box appears.

• To cancel the mark, press the [OK] button again.

Repeat Step to select all desired items, then press Function button 1 [BACK] to return to set-up mode.

Press [EXIT] to exit custom setting.

• The LCD returns to normal display.

C–26

Batteries

Replacing/recharging batteries

Refer to the following table to determine when to replace or recharge batteries according to how long the ready-light takes to come on.

Alkaline

20 seconds or more

Lithium

10 seconds or more

Oxyride

10 seconds or more

Ni-MH

10 seconds or more

If batteries are weak, the flash head zooms back and forth even when the SB-900 is turned on, making a distinctive sound. In this case, replace the batteries even if an external power source is used.

Low battery power indicator

When battery power is low, the icon shown at the left appears on the LCD and the SB-900 stops working. Replace or recharge batteries.

tMinimum recycling time and number of flashes for each type of batteries

For minimum recycling time and number of flashes for each battery type, refer to “Specifications”. (kF-21)

External power sources (optional)

Using an optional external power source increases the number of flash firings and provides faster recycling times. (kF-12)

C

Operation

C–27

C

Operation

Batteries

Standby function to conserve battery power

If the SB-900 and the camera are not used for more than a specified time, the Standby function is automatically activated to conserve battery power.

The Standby function activates when the camera’s exposure meter is turned off (default setting).

To cancel Standby

Turn the [Power ON-OFF/wireless setting] switch to [ON], [REMOTE] or [MASTER].

Press the [Test firing] button.

Press the camera’s shutter release button halfway.

Adjusting the lead time before the Standby function is activated

The lead time before the Standby function is activated can be adjusted by custom setting (kC-23).

C–28

DFlash modes and functions

Explanation of the SB-900’s flash modes and functions

This section explains SB-900 flash modes and functions in combination with CLS compatible cameras and CPU lenses. Functions and LCD displays vary when other types of cameras are used.

For camera functions and settings, refer to the camera’s

user’s manual.

• 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

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

D-55

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

D-57

D

Flash modes and functions

D–1

i-TTL mode

Information obtained by monitor pre-flashes and exposure control information is integrated by the camera to automatically adjust flash output levels.

TTL is recommended for standard shooting situations.

To take pictures using SB-900 set in i-TTL mode, see “Basic operation” (kC-4).

i-TTL Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash mode and Standard i-TTL mode are available.

i-TTL Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash

Adjust the flash output level automatically for a well-balanced exposure of the main subject and background. appears on the LCD.

Standard i-TTL

The main subject is correctly exposed regardless of background brightness. This is useful when you want to highlight the main subject. appears on the LCD.

D

Setting the i-TTL mode

Flash modes and functions

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate selector dial to indicated or .

Press the [OK] button to confirm.

Display for i-TTL mode

: Monitor pre-flashes

: i-TTL

: Automatic Balanced Fill Flash

: Auto FP High-Speed Sync is set on the camera

D–2

t Monitor pre-flashes

In i-TTL mode, immediately before the flash fires, the SB-900 fires a series of imperceptible pre-flashes to analyze the information of the subject.

SB-900 flash shooting distance range

The flash shooting distance range is indicated by numbers and a bar chart on the LCD.

• Set the shooting distance within this range.

• The range varies depending on ISO sensitivity, camera's image area setting, illumination pattern, angle of coverage and aperture. For more information, see “Specifications.” (kF-16)

t Auto setting of ISO sensitivity, aperture and focal length

When using with a CLS-compatible camera and a CPU lens, SB-900's ISO sensitivity, aperture and focal length are automatically set according to camera setting.

For more information about the ISO sensitivity range, see the camera’s user’s manual.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–3

D

Flash modes and functions

i-TTL mode

v When insufficient light for correct exposure is indicated

• When the SB-900 fires at full flash output level, ready-lights on the SB-900 and in the camera’s viewfinder blink for approx. three seconds after shooting.

• In this case, underexposure may occur. To compensate the exposure, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject and reshoot.

• The underexposure value (-0.3 to -3.0 EV) is displayed on the SB-900’s LCD panel for approx. three seconds while the above ready-lights blink.

• Pressing Function button 2 recalls display of underexposure value in TTL mode.

t Changing camera’s metering mode

When camera's metering mode is changed to spot metering while i-TTL Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash is selected, the TTL mode automatically changes to the standard i-TTL mode.

In such case, the TTL mode automatically changes to the i-TTL Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash, after changing camera's metering mode to Multi-pattern or Center-weighted.

D–4

Auto aperture flash

The SB-900’s built-in sensor measures the flash illumination reflected from the subject and controls the flash output in combination with data automatically transmitted from the camera and lens to the SB-900, including the ISO sensitivity value, the exposure compensation value, the aperture and focal length of the lens.

Setting the Auto aperture flash mode

Auto aperture flash can be changed to Non-TTL auto flash (kD-8) by using the custom setting. (kC-22)

The default setting is Auto aperture flash (with monitor pre-flashes).

When no aperture information is transmitted from camera to the SB-900, flash mode is automatically set to Non-TTL auto flash.

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate selector dial to indicate or .

Press the [OK] button to confirm the setting.

Display for Auto aperture flash

: Monitor pre-flashes on : Auto aperture flash on

D

Flash modes and functions

D–5

D

Flash modes and functions

Auto aperture flash

t Monitor pre-flashes

Monitor pre-flashes on or off can be set by using the custom setting. (kC-22)

The SB-900 fires a series of imperceptible monitor pre-flashes immediately before the flash fires to obtain information on the subject.

To perform the Auto FP-High Speed Sync (kD-55) or FV Lock (kD-55), activate the monitor pre-flashes.

Flash shooting distance range in Auto aperture flash mode

The flash shooting distance range is indicated by numbers and a bar chart in the LCD.

Set the shooting distance within this range.

The range varies depending on ISO sensitivity, camera’s image area setting, illumination pattern,

angle of coverage and aperture. For more information, see “Specifications.” (kF-16)

v Notes on using a telephoto lens in the Auto aperture flash mode

When shooting a distant subject using a telephoto lens in “Auto aperture flash” mode, underexposure may occur even though the subject is within the flash shooting distance range.

Use of the i-TTL mode is recommended.

D–6

Taking a picture in Auto aperture flash mode

Camera’s control panel

SHOOT

CUSTOM

Camera’s control panel

Set the camera’s exposure mode to “P” (Programmed Auto) or “A” (AperturePriority Auto).

tWhile using a CPU lens which has an aperture ring

While using a CPU lens which has an aperture ring, lock the lens aperture at minimum. For details, see lens’ user’s manual.

With the camera’s exposure mode set to “A”, set the aperture on the camera while reading the flash shooting distance range on the SB-900’s LCD.

• Decide the aperture value by referring to the chart.

Compose the picture, confirm that the ready-light is on, then shoot.

v Insufficient light for correct exposure

• When the SB-900 fires at full flash output level, ready-

lights on the SB-900 and in the camera’s viewfinder

blink for approx. three seconds after shooting.

• In this case, underexposure may occur. To compensate the exposure, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject and reshoot.

t Checking the correct exposure before shooting

Confirm the test firing indicator appears on the LCD. Make the necessary settings on the SB-900 and camera and press the test firing button to fire

the flash.

• Ready-lights blinking after shooting may indicate insufficient light for correct exposure. In this case, set a wider aperture on the camera or lens, or move closer to the subject.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–7

D

Flash modes and functions

Non-TTL auto flash

The SB-900’s built-in sensor measures the flash illumination reflected from the subject, automatically controlling the SB-900’s light output to give the correct exposure. This allows you to make exposure compensation easily by varying the aperture set on the camera or lens.

Setting the Non-TTL auto mode

Non-TTL auto flash can be changed to Auto aperture flash (kD-5) by using the custom setting. (kC-22)

• Default setting is “Auto aperture flash” (with monitor pre-flashes).

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate selector dial to indicate .

Press the [OK] button to confirm the setting.

Display for Non-TTL auto flash

: Monitor pre-flashes on : Non-TTL auto flash on

D–8

t Monitor pre-flashes

Monitor pre-flashes on or off can be set by using the custom setting. (kC-22)

When the monitor pre-flashes are activated, the SB-900 fires a series of imperceptible monitor pre-flashes immediately before the flash fires to obtain information on the subject.

To perform the Auto FP-High Speed Sync (kD-55) or FV Lock (kD-55), activate the monitor pre-flashes.

Flash shooting distance range in Non-TTL auto flash mode

The flash shooting distance range is indicated by numbers and a bar chart on the LCD.

• Set the shooting distance within this range.

The range varies depending on ISO sensitivity, camera’s image area setting, illumination pattern,

angle of coverage and aperture. For more information, see “Specifications.” (kF-16)

v When using a telephoto lens in the Non-TTL auto flash mode

• When shooting using a telephoto lens in Non-TTL auto flash mode, underexposure may occur even though the subject is within flash shooting distance range.

• Use of the i-TTL mode is recommended.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–9

D

Flash modes and functions

Non-TTL auto flash

Taking a picture in Non-TTL auto flash mode

Camera’s control panel

Set the camera’s exposure mode

 

to “A” (Aperture-Priority Auto)

 

or “M” (Manual).

 

Press the Function button 3.

 

Set the aperture by rotating the

 

selector dial while reading the

 

flash shooting distance range on

 

the SB-900’s LCD.

 

Press the [OK] button.

 

Set the aperture value decided

 

in step 3 on the camera or lens.

 

Set the camera to its highest

 

flash sync shutter speed.

 

Compose the picture, confirm

 

that the ready-light is on,

 

then shoot.

v Insufficient light for correct exposure

• When the SB-900 fires at full flash output

level, ready-lights on the SB-900 and in the

camera’s viewfinder blink for approx. three

seconds after shooting.

• In this case, underexposure may occur. To

compensate the exposure, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject and reshoot.

t Checking the correct exposure before shooting

Confirm the test firing indicator appears on the LCD. Make the necessary settings on the SB-900 and camera and press the test firing button to fire the flash.

• Ready-lights blinking after shooting may indicate insufficient light for correct exposure. In this case, set a wider aperture on the camera or lens, or move closer to the subject.

D–10

Distance priority manual flash

In this flash mode, when you enter the shooting distance value, the SB-900 automatically controls the light output according to the aperture set. You can take pictures that have the same exposure even when shooting at different apertures.

Flash output level is automatically compensated by changing the flash output level compensation value.

Underexposure is not indicated in Distance-priority manual flash mode.

Setting the Distance-priority manual flash

Distance-priority manual flash is not available when the SB-900’s flash head is adjusted to other than the horizontal/front or bounce-down flash position.

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate selector dial to indicate .

Press [OK] button to confirm the setting.

Display for Distance-priority manual flash (at 5 m shooting distance)

Shooting distance (numerical indicator)

Shooting distance and flash shooting distance range (▼ and bar) When (▼) appears on the shooting distance range indication (bar), the SB-900 fires with appropriate flash output.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–11

D

Flash modes and functions

Distance priority manual flash

Shooting in Distance priority manual flash mode

Camera’s control panel

Set the camera’s exposure

mode to “A” (Aperture-Priority Auto) or “M” (Manual).

Press the Function button 2.

Set the shooting distance by rotating the selector dial.

• The shooting distance varies depending on ISO sensitivity within a range between 0.3 m and 20 m.

Press the [OK] button.

Set the aperture on the camera.

• Aperture should be calculated using the calculation formula. (kD-22)

• The aperture on the SB-900 cannot be set directly.

Compose the picture, confirm that the ready-light is on, then shoot.

Flash shooting distance range in “Distance-priority manual flash” mode

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

1.1

1.3

1.4

1.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1.8

2.0

2.2

2.5

2.8

3.2

3.6

4.0

4.5

5.0

5.6

6.3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.1

8.0

9.0

10

11

13

14

16

18

20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See charts for flash shooting distance range.

If the desired shooting distance is not on the chart, select a shorter shooting distance (e.g. when your desired shooting distance is 2.7 m, select 2.5 m.).

D–12

t When the flash head is rotated in Distance-priority manual flash mode

When the flash head is rotated to other than the horizontal/front or bouncedown flash position in Distance-priority manual flash, the flash mode is automatically changed to Auto aperture flash mode or Non-TTL auto flash mode.

In this case, when the flash head is adjusted to horizontal/front or bounce-down flash position again, the flash mode is automatically changed to Distance-priority manual flash mode.

v Insufficient light for correct exposure

• When the SB-900 fires at full flash output level,

ready-lights on the SB-900 and in the camera’s

viewfinder blink for approximately three

seconds after shooting.

• In this case, underexposure may occur. To compensate, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject and reshoot.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–13

Manual mode

In Manual flash mode, you select the aperture and flash output level. In this way, you can control the exposure and flash shooting distance when shooting subjects where the correct exposure is difficult to obtain in the TTL or Non-TTL auto flash mode.

The flash output level can be set from M1/1 (full output) to M1/128 to match your creative preferences.

Underexposure is not indicated in Manual mode.

Setting Manual mode

D

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate selector dial to indicate .

Press the [OK] button to confirm the setting.

Flash modes and functions

Display for Manual mode

Flash shooting distance (numerical indicator)

Flash shooting distance (▼)

D–14

Taking a picture in Manual mode

Camera’s control panel

Set the camera’s exposure

 

mode to “A” (Aperture-Priority

 

Auto) or “M” (Manual).

Determine the flash output level and aperture to match the flash shooting distance.

• Flash output level and aperture should be calculated using the calculation formula. (kD-23)

Press the Function button 1.

Set the flash output level by rotating the selector dial.

Press the [OK] button.

Camera’s control panel

Set the aperture on the camera.

• The aperture on the SB-900 cannot be set directly.

• The shooting distance indicated matches the selected flash output level and aperture.

Compose the picture, confirm that the ready-light is on, then shoot.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–15

D

Flash modes and functions

Manual mode

Setting the flash output level

Press the Function button 1, and then rotate the selector dial to change the flash output level.

When you rotate the selector dial clockwise, the indicated denominator decreases (flash output level increases).

1/128 1/128 (+ 0.3) 1/128 (+ 0.7) 1/64

1/1 1/2 1/64 (+ 0.7) 1/64 (+ 0.3)

When you rotate the selector dial counterclockwise, the indicated denominator increases (flash output level decreases).

1/1 1/128 1/4 (0.7) 1/4 (0.3) 1/4

1/2 1/2 (0.3) 1/2 (0.7)

The flash output level changes in ±1/3 steps except between 1/1 and 1/2. 1/32 (-0.3) and 1/64 (+0.7) represent the same flash output level.

In default setting, flash output level compensation between 1/1 and 1/2 is ±1 step. This step can be changed to ±1/3 using custom setting (kC-22). With some cameras, and when using faster shutter speeds with a flash output level greater than M1/2, actual flash output may decrease to M1/2 level.

1/1

1/2

 

1/64

1/128

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(large)

flash output level

(small)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

distant

shooting distance

near

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D–16

Repeating flash

In Repeating flash mode, the SB-900 fires repeatedly during a single exposure, creating stroboscopic multiple-exposure effects. This operation is useful when shooting fast-moving subjects.

Be sure to use fresh or fully charged batteries and allow enough time for the flash to recycle between each repeating flash session.

Use of a tripod is recommended to prevent camera/flash shake, because slower shutter speeds are used.

Underexposure is not indicated in Repeating flash mode.

Setting the Repeating flash

Press the [MODE] button.

Rotate selector dial to indicate .

Press the [OK] button to confirm the setting.

Display for Repeating flash

 

Flash output level

Number of

Frequency

flashes

Flash shooting distance

 

 

(numerical indication)

Flash shooting distance (▼)

D

Flash modes and functions

D–17

D

Flash modes and functions

Repeating flash

Setting the flash output level, the number of repeating flashes, and the frequency (Hz) per frame

The number of flashes (Times) represents the number of times the flash fires per frame.

The frequency (Hz) represents the number of times the flash fires per second.

The number of flashes is the maximum flash firing number. Because the Speedlight fires during a single exposure, the actual number of repeating flashes per frame falls below the one set as the shutter speed increases or the number of flashes per second decreases.

Referring to the table below, set the flash output level, the frequency, and the number of repeating flashes separately for each picture.

Maximum number of repeating flashes per frame

 

 

 

 

 

 

Flash output level

 

 

 

 

 

Frequency

M1/8

M1/8–

M1/8–

M1/16

M1/16–

M1/16–

M1/32

M1/32–

M1/32–

M1/64

M1/64–

M1/64–

M1/128

 

1/3EV

2/3EV

1/3EV

2/3EV

1/3EV

2/3EV

1/3EV

2/3EV

1Hz

14

16

22

30

36

46

60

68

78

90

90

90

90

2Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3Hz

12

14

18

30

36

46

60

68

78

90

90

90

90

4Hz

10

12

14

20

24

30

50

56

64

80

80

80

80

5Hz

8

10

12

20

24

30

40

44

52

70

70

70

70

6Hz

6

7

10

20

24

30

32

36

40

56

56

56

56

7Hz

6

7

10

20

24

26

28

32

36

44

44

44

44

8Hz

5

6

8

10

12

14

24

26

30

36

36

36

36

9Hz

5

6

8

10

12

14

22

24

28

32

32

32

32

10Hz

4

5

6

8

9

10

20

22

26

28

28

28

28

20Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

60Hz

4

5

6

8

9

10

12

14

18

24

24

24

24

70Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

90Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100Hz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D–18

Shooting with Repeating flash

Camera’s control panel

Camera’s control panel

Set the camera’s exposure mode to “M” (Manual).

Press the Function button 1, rotate the selector dial to set flash output level, and press the [OK] button to confirm.

• Available flash output level is 1/8 – 1/128.

Press the Function button 2, rotate the selector dial to set number of flashes, and press the [OK] button to confirm.

Press the Function button 3, rotate the selector dial to set frequency, and press the [OK] button to confirm.

Determine the guide number according to the set flash output level and focal length, then calculate the correct aperture from the guide number and shooting distance. Finally, set this aperture on the camera.

The guide number and aperture should be calculated using the calculation formula. (kD-22)

The aperture on the SB-900 cannot be set directly.

The shooting distance indicated matches the selected flash output level and aperture.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–19

D

Flash modes and functions

Repeating flash

Camera’s control panel

Set the shutter speed.

Use the following equation to determine the shutter speed and use a shutter speed one or more steps slower than the calculated shutter speed.

Shutter speed = Number of flashes per frame ÷ Frequency of flashes (Hz)

For example, if the number of flashes per frame is 10 and the frequency is 5 Hz, divide 10 by 5 to get a shutter speed of 2 seconds or slower. (Set shutter speeds of slower than 2 seconds.)

B (bulb) can be used for the shutter speed.

Compose the picture, confirm that the ready-light is on, then shoot.

t Making sure the flash fires correctly before shooting

Confirm the test firing indicator appears on the LCD.

Confirm all shooting settings on the SB-900 and the camera are the same as for actual shooting, and then press the test firing button.

• Pressing the test firing button fires the flash for the selected frequency and number of flashes.

v Exposure compensation in Repeating flash mode

The flash shooting distance calculated in Step is the correct exposure for the first flash in the sequence. Therefore, repeating flash at this flash output level will result in overexposure of any overlapping images.

To prevent this, set a smaller aperture on the camera as needed.

D–20

t When the aperture value is not displayed in the SB-900's LCD

Camera’s aperture data is not transmitted to the SB-900.

Press the Function button 3 for one second to highlight f-number and set appropriate aperture value on the SB-900.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–21

D

Flash modes and functions

Determining the aperture, flash output level and shooting distance

In Distance-priority, Manual and Repeating flash modes, use the guide number table and the following equation to calculate the aperture, flash output level, and shooting distance to obtain the correct exposure.

The guide number (GN at ISO 100; m/ft) indicates the amount of light generated by the flash.

The larger the number, the greater the flash output.

ISO sensitivity factors

For sensitivities, multiply the guide number by the factors shown in the table below.

ISO

25

50

100

200

400

800

1600

3200

6400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factors

0.5

0.71

1

1.4

2

2.8

4

5.6

8

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guide number (GN at ISO 100; m/ft)

The table below shows the guide numbers while using the standard illumination pattern when the SB-900 is mounted on a Nikon FX format camera.

• For others, see “Specifications” (kF-18).

Flash

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zoom position (mm)

 

 

 

 

 

 

output

 

14mm

 

17

18

20

24

28

35

50

70

85

105

120

135

180

200

level

WP +

BA

 

WP

 

BA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/1

13/

16/

 

17/

22/

23/

24/

27/

30/

34/

40/

44/

47/

49.5/

51/

51.5/

54/

56/

42.7

52.5

 

55.8

72.2

75.5

78.7

88.6

98.4

111.5

131.2

144.1

154.2

162.4

167.3

169.0

117.2

183.7

 

 

1/2

9.1/

11.3/

 

12/

15.5/

16.2/

16.9/

19/

21.2/

24/

28.2/

31.1/

33.2/

35/

36/

36.4/

38.1/

39.5/

29.9

37

 

39.3

50.9

53.1

55.4

62.3

69.6

78.7

92.5

102.0

108.9

114.8

118.1

119.4

125.0

129.6

 

 

1/4

6.5/

8/

 

8.5/

11/

11.5/

12/

13.5/

15/

17/

20/

22/

23.5/

24.7/

25.5/

25.7/

27/

28/

21.3

26.2

 

27.9

36.1

37.7

39.3

44.3

49.2

55.8

65.6

72.2

77.1

81.0

83.7

84.3

88.6

91.9

 

 

1/8

4.5/

5.6/

 

6/

7.7/

8.1/

8.4/

9.5/

10.6/

12/

14.1/

15.5/

16.6/

17.5/

18/

18.2/

19/

19.7/

14.8

18.8

 

19.7

25.3

26.6

27.6

31.2

34.8

39.3

46.3

50.9

54.5

57.4

59.0

59.7

62.3

64.6

 

 

1/16

3.2/

4/

 

4.2/

5.5/

5.7/

6/

6.7/

7.5/

8.5/

10/

11/

11.7/

12.6/

12.7/

12.8/

13.5/

14/

10.5

13.1

 

13.8

18.0

18.7

19.7

21.9

24.6

27.9

32.8

36.1

38.4

40.4

41.7

42.0

44.3

45.9

 

 

1/32

2.2/

2.8/

 

3/

3.8/

4/

4.2/

4.7/

5.3/

6/

7/

7.7/

8.3/

8.7/

9/

9.1/

9.5/

9.8/

7.2

9.2

 

9.8

12.5

13.1

13.8

15.4

17.4

19.7

23.0

25.3

27.2

28.5

29.5

29.9

31.2

32.1

 

 

1/64

1.6/

2/

 

2.1/

2.7/

2.8/

3/

3.3/

3.7/

4.2/

5/

5.5/

5.8/

6.1/

6.3/

6.4/

6.7/

7/

5.2

6.6

 

6.9

8.9

9.2

9.8

10.8

12.1

13.8

16.4

18.0

19.0

20.0

20.7

21.0

21.9

23.0

 

 

1/128

1.1/

1.4/

 

1.5/

1.9/

2/

2.1/

2.3/

2.6/

3/

3.5/

3.8/

4.1/

4.3/

4.5/

4.5/

4.7/

4.9/

3.6

4.6

 

4.9

6.2

6.6

6.9

7.5

8.5

9.8

11.5

12.5

13.5

14.1

14.8

14.8

15.4

16.1

 

 

BA: With the Nikon Diffusion Dome attached

WP: With the wide-flash adapter in place

D–22

in the Distance-priority, Manual and Repeating flash modes

Calculating the correct aperture

Determine the guide number by referring to the guide number table. The correct guide number depends on the flash output level and zoom position. Next, calculate the correct aperture by using the equation below. The correct aperture depends on ISO sensitivity and shooting distance (m/ft.).

f/stop (aperture) = Guide number (GN at ISO 100; m/ft.) × ISO sensitivity factor ÷ Shooting distance (m/ft)

For example, for an ISO sensitivity of 400 (or ISO sensitivity factor: 2), with the zoom position adjusted to 28 mm, and the flash output level set to M1/1:

Referring to the guide number table, determine the guide number as 30/98.4 (m/ft.). When the shooting distance is 4 m (13.1 ft.), the correct aperture value is:

30/98.4 (GN at ISO 100, m/ft) × 2 (ISO sensitivity factor for ISO 400) ÷ 4/13.1 (shooting distance; m/ft.) = 15 (aperture)

Set the smaller aperture value (larger f-number) than calculated above on the camera. D

Obtaining the correct flash output level

When the shooting distance and aperture are fixed, calculate the guide number (GN at ISO 100; m/ft.) by using the equation below, based on shooting distance and aperture:

Guide number (GN at ISO 100; m/ft.) = Shooting distance (m/ft) × Aperture (f/) ÷ ISO sensitivity factor

Referring to the guide number table, determine an appropriate flash output level corresponding to the guide number obtained above, then set the same value on the SB-900. For example, for the shooting distance of 6 m (19.7 ft) with an aperture of f/8 and the ISO sensitivity of 400 (ISO sensitivity factor: 2):

6/19.7 (shooting distance; m/ft.) × 8 (aperture value) ÷ 2 (ISO sensitivity factor of ISO 400) = 24/79 (GN at ISO 100; m/ft.)

When the zoom position is adjusted to 35 mm, set M1/2 flash output level on the SB-900, which can be obtained from GN 24/79 (m/ft.) corresponding to the zoom position of 35 mm referring to the guide number table.

In Distance-priority manual flash operation, the correct flash output level is automatically determined by the SB-900 according to the shooting distance, aperture and ISO sensitivity that are set.

Calculating the shooting distance

Determine the guide number by referring to the guide number table. The correct guide number depends on the flash output level and zoom position. Next, calculate the shooting distance by using the equation below. The shooting distance (m/ft.) depends on ISO sensitivity and aperture.

Flash modes and functions

Shooting distance (m/ft.) = Guide number (GN at ISO 100; m/ft.) × ISO sensitivity factor ÷ Aperture (f/)

D–23

D

Flash modes and functions

Switching illumination pattern

In flash photography, the center of the image is most illuminated, while the edges are darker. The SB-900 provides three types of illumination patterns with different light falloff at edges. Select suitable type according to the shooting environment.

For sample images of three types of illumination patterns, see the separate volume “A collection of example photos.” Pp. 2-3

Standard

• The basic illumination pattern type for common flash shooting environment.

• To match the image circle of digital cameras, light falloff at the edge of image is less than shooting with existing external flash unit.

Center-weighted

• The center-weighted pattern provides larger guide numbers at the center of the image than other illumination patterns at the same focal length (the light falloff at the edge will be greater than other illumination patterns).

• Suitable for shots, such as portraits, in which the light falloff at the edge of an image can be ignored.

Even

• The light falloff at the edge of the image is less than with the standard illumination pattern.

• Suitable for shooting group photographs indoors, in which sufficient light is required without light falloff at the edges.

D–24

To set/confirm illumination pattern

The illumination pattern can be set using custom setting. (kC-22)

Standard is the default setting.

The selected illumination pattern is indicated with an icon on the LCD.

Standard

Center-weighted

Even

D

Flash modes and functions

D–25

1-2m
90º
White ceiling

Bounce flash operation

You can tilt or rotate the SB-900’s flash head to bounce the light off the ceiling or walls, providing more natural-looking pictures of people with softer shadows. Also, you can soften the shadows even more by using the Nikon Diffusion Dome.

For more details and comparative example photos, see the separate booklet, “A collection of example photos” Pp. 4-9.

Setting the flash head

D

Tilt or rotate the SB-900’s flash head by holding down the flash head tilting/rotating lock release button.

The SB-900’s flash head tilts up 90° and down -7°, and rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right.

Set the flash head at a click stop at the angles shown.

Flash modes and functions

90° 75°

60°

45°

° 30

60

°

 

90°

 

°

 

120

°150

°180

30°

60

 

°

 

°90

°

120

 

150 °

150

120

90

60

30

t Setting flash head tilting/rotating angles, and choosing the reflecting surface

• Good results are generally obtained most simply when the flash head is tilted up and you use the ceiling as a

reflecting surface.

• Rotate the flash head horizontally to get the same effect when you hold the

camera in the vertical position. • Take care not to let light from the flash

unit illuminate the subject directly.

• The effective distance between the flash head and the reflecting surface is approx. 1 m (3.3 ft.) to 2 m (6.6 ft.) depending on the shooting conditions.

In color photography, select white or highly reflective surfaces to bounce the light off of. Otherwise, your pictures will come out with an unnatural color cast similar

to that of the reflecting surface.

D–26

Bounce flash operation

Camera’s control panel

Setting the camera’s exposure mode and metering system.

Set the exposure mode to Aperture-Priority Auto (A) or Manual (M).

Set the metering system to Matrix Metering “” or Center-Weighted Metering “”.

Setting the SB-900’s flash mode.

Set the flash mode to i-TTL, Auto Aperture, or Non-TTL auto.

Setting the camera’s aperture.

In bounce flash, use an aperture 2 to 3 stops wider than with normal flash

photography, and adjust it according to the results.

In Non-TTL auto flash, set the same aperture on the SB-900 as is set on the camera.

In Manual exposure mode, set the shutter speed.

Adjust the flash head and shoot.

t Setting the aperture in bounce flash operation

In bounce flash, there is a light loss of 2 to 3 stops when compared with normal flash photography (with flash head adjusted to horizontal/front). Therefore, you should use a twoor three-step wider aperture (small f-number), and adjust it according to the results.

When the flash head is adjusted to other than the horizontal/front position, the flash shooting distance range indicator on the SB-900 disappears. To ensure correct exposure, first confirm the flash shooting distance range and aperture with the flash head in the normal position. Next, set this aperture on the camera.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–27

D

Flash modes and functions

Bounce flash operation

t Using the built-in bounce card

In bounce flash photography, use the SB-900’s built-in bounce card to create a highlight in the subject’s eyes, making the eyes look more vibrant and avoiding illuminating the front of the subject.

Tilt the flash head up 90° to use this feature most effectively.

Setting the built-in bounce card

Pull out the bounce card and the wide-flash adapter and, while holding the bounce card, slide the wide-flash adapter back into place inside the flash head.

• To insert the bounce card, pull out the wide-flash card again and slide both cards together back into place.

D–28

t Shooting with the Nikon Diffusion Dome

By attaching the provided Nikon Diffusion Dome over the flash head, you can diffuse the light even more when doing bounce flash, creating extremely soft light with virtually no shadows.

With the camera in either the horizontal or vertical position, you get the same effect.

Good results are generally obtained when the flash head is tilted up 60°.

When the Nikon Diffusion Dome is attached and when the camera's image area is set to FX format, the zoom position is automatically set at 12 mm, 14 mm or 17 mm, and 8 mm, 10 mm or 11 mm while setting the camera’s image area to DX format.

Attaching the Nikon Diffusion Dome

Attach the Nikon Diffusion Dome as shown in the illustration with the Nikon logo facing up.

v Notes when using the Nikon Diffusion Dome

The distance between the camera and subject differs from the center of the frame to the periphery, so the peripheral area might not be sufficiently lit in some cases.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–29

D

Flash modes and functions

Taking close-up photographs with bounce-down flash

When the distance between the camera and subject is less than approx. 2 m (6.6 ft.), you can take more natural-looking close-up pictures using the wide-flash adapter.

Be careful when using a long lens that the light from the flash is not obstructed by the lens barrel.

Vignetting may occur in close-up flash photography due to the illumination pattern, lens in use, focal length setting, etc. Therefore, make test shots before shooting an important assignment.

When the SB-900 is attached to the camera and used as the only flash unit, tilting down the flash head is recommended to ensure sufficient illumination of the lower portion of the subject in close-up photography.

A bounce-down icon appears when the flash head is tilted down.

Bounce-down icon

D–30

Setting the built-in wide-flash adapter

Slowly pull out the wide-flash adapter all the way, and position it over the flash head.

Then slide the bounce card back into place inside the flash head.

When the built-in wide-flash adapter is attached and when the camera's image area is set to FX format, the zoom position is automatically set at 12 mm,

14 mm or 17 mm, and 8 mm, 10 mm or 11 mm while setting the camera’s image area to DX format.

To set the zoom position manually, go to custom setting and set “Zoom position

setting if the built-in wide-flash adapter is broken off accidentally” to [ON] (manual setting is available). (kC-25)

To put the built-in wide-flash adapter back into place, lift it and push it into the flash head as far as it will go.

Taking close-ups with bounce-down flash

Camera’s control panel

Setting the camera’s exposure

 

mode and metering mode.

 

• Set the exposure mode to Aperture-Priority Auto (A) or Manual (M).

• Set the metering mode to Matrix Metering “ ” or Center-Weighted Metering “ ”.

Set the SB-900’s flash mode. Position the built-in wide-

flash adapter.

Tilt the flash head down. Confirm the ready-light is on then shoot.

D–31

D

Flash modes and functions

Taking close-up photographs with bounce-down flash

t When shooting subjects closer than 0.6 m (2 ft.)

With the SB-900 attached to the camera, sufficient illumination of the subject cannot be obtained.

In this case, use the SB-900 off-camera by attaching the optional TTL Remote Cord as shown below.

When monitor pre-flashes are fired, distance information from the lens is used to determine the correct exposure. In this case, position the camera (A) and the SB-900 (B) at equal distances from the subject.

A

B

D

Flash modes and functions

Use TTL Remote Code SC-29, SC-28 or SC-17.

t Setting the aperture in off-camera close-up flash operation

Calculate the aperture by using this equation and table.

To ensure the correct exposure, use an aperture smaller (larger f-number) than the one obtained from the equation.

ISO sensitivity

100

200

400

800

1600

3200

6400

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Factor (m/ft)

2/6.6

2.8/9.2

4/13

5.6/18

8/26.2

8/26.2

16/52.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

f/stop ≥ Factor ÷ Flash-to-subject distance

For example, at an ISO sensitivity of 100 with a subject 0.5 m (1.6 ft.) away and the wide-flash adapter in place, the suggested aperture is:

f/stop ≥ 2 ÷ 0.5 = 4 (in meters) f/stop ≥ 6.6 ÷ 1.6 = approx. 4 (in feet)

v Notes on using a wideangle lens

Generally, when using a wideangle lens, the distance between the camera and subject differs from the center of the frame to the periphery, so the peripheral area might not be sufficiently lit in some cases.

D–32

Flash photography with color filters

Two types of color filters are supplied with the SB-900 for taking flash pictures under fluorescent lighting and for use with incandescent/tungsten lighting.

The optional Color Filter Set SJ-3 is available. (kF-11)

Four types of color filters for changing the color of the light from the flash are optionally available.

For more details on photo examples with color balanced using color filters, see the separate booklet, “A collection of example photos” P. 10.

Using color filters

Filters

Purpose

 

 

Fluorescent filters (FL-G1, FL-G2)

Balance the color of light from the flash to match that of fluorescent lighting

Incandescent filters (TN-A1, TN-A2)

Balance the color of light from the flash to match that of incandescent or tungsten lighting

Color filters (Optional)

Create interesting effects by changing the color of the light from the filters

Corresponding light source for each type of color compensation filter differs slightly. FL-G1 provides a greater compensation effect than FL-G2, and TN-A1, greater than TN-A2. Select the appropriate filter according to the results.

v Notes on using color filters

These filters are consumable items. When they fade in color or deteriorate, replace them with the backup filters provided.

Do not use these filters when taking pictures with repeating flash, as the heat can damage them.

The heat generated from the flash head can deform color filters. However, this will not affect their performance.

Scratches on the filters will have no effect on performance unless the filters fade in color.

To remove dust or dirt, wipe the filter lightly with a soft, clean cloth.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–33

D

Flash modes and functions

Flash photography with color filters

How to use color filters

Fold along the line marked on the color filter.

Attach the filter to the filter holder as shown in the diagram.

• Align the identification codes (silver marks) on the filter with the black portion on the holder.

• Insert the tip of the filter into the slit on the holder, then align the positioning hole on the filter with the projection on the holder.

v Attach the filter securely to the filter holder without

creasing the filter or leaving any gaps.

Place the filter holder on the flash head with the Nikon logo facing up, as shown in the diagram, and insert into the slit at the top.

D–34

Confirm the color filter indicator is displayed.

• Filter mounted and filter type indicators will be displayed.

• Do not block the filter detector window.

LCD indication while attaching an FL-G1 filter

• If the warning shown in the figure in the left below appears on the LCD, the filter is not properly attached. Remove and reattach.

Warning

D

Flash modes and functions

D–35

Flash photography with color filters

Balancing light from the flash using color filters

When using SB-900 with a camera equipped with filter detection (such as D3, D700)

When a color filter is attached to the SB-900 while the camera’s white balance is set to AUTO or FLASH, filter information is automatically transmitted to the camera, and the camera’s optimum white balance is automatically adjusted to give the correct color temperature.

When using SB-900 with a camera not equipped with filter detection (such as D2 series, D300, D200, F6)

Set the camera’s white balance according to the filter in use.

DWhite balance/exposure compensation value depends on camera in use

Flash modes and functions

Camera

 

D2 series, D300, D200,

 

 

 

Filter

D3*1, D700

D100, D80, D70 series,

D1, D50

 

 

 

D60, D40 series, D1X,

 

 

 

 

 

D1H

 

 

 

FL-G1

Auto, Flash

Not compatible

Not compatible

 

 

 

 

 

 

FL-G2

Auto, Flash

Not compatible

Not compatible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TN-A1

Auto, Flash

Incandescent (fine tune +3),

Not compatible

 

+1.0 EV*2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TN-A2

Auto, Flash

Direct sunlight (fine tune

Not compatible

 

+3), +0.3 EV*2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Color filters

 

 

Auto, Flash, Direct

(RED, BLUE,

Auto, Flash, Direct

Auto, Flash, Direct sunlight

sunlight (+0.7

*2

EV with

YELLOW,

sunlight

(+0.7*2 EV with AMBER)

 

AMBER)

 

 

AMBER)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*1 D3 camera with either firmware A or firmware B version 2.00 or later. (kF-10) *2 Set the camera’s white balance and exposure compensation value.

• For more details on the white balance, see your camera user’s manual.

D–36

Flash output level compensation and exposure compensation

Making flash output level compensation

You can make exposure compensation for the flash illuminated subject only without affecting the background exposure by modifying the SB-900’s flash output level.

As a basic guide, some plus compensation may be necessary to make the main subject brighter, and some minus compensation to make it darker.

Flash output level compensation is possible in i-TTL auto flash, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL auto flash and Distance-priority manual flash modes.

Press the Function button 1 to highlight the Flash output level compensation value.

Turn the selector dial to set desired flash output level compensation value.

• The compensation value can be set in 1/3 steps from +3.0 to -3.0 EV.

Press the [OK] button.

v Canceling flash output level compensation

To cancel, turn the selector dial to return the compensation value to “0”.

The flash output level compensation cannot be canceled by turning the SB-900 off.

tFor cameras with a built-in flash featuring the exposure compensation function

You can also set the flash output level on the camera. For details, see your camera user’s manual.

If you compensate the flash output level on both the camera and the SB-900, the exposure is modified by the sum total of both compensation values.

In this case, the SB-900's LCD panel shows only the compensation value set on the SB-900.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–37

D

Flash modes and functions

Flash output level compensation and exposure compensation

Making exposure compensation

Exposure compensation allows you to make both the subject and background brighter or darker by intentionally modifying the correct flash exposure. This is useful when a subject of extremely high or low reflectivity is included in the scene or when you want to create flash photographs to match your creative preferences.

Some plus compensation may be necessary when the background includes a highly reflective surface. Likewise, some minus compensation may be required when the background is dark or includes subjects of low reflectivity.

In i-TTL and Auto Aperture flash mode

Make exposure compensation on the camera. For more details, see your camera user’s manual.

In Non-TTL auto flash and Manual flash mode

In the Non-TTL auto flash mode, the correct exposure can be obtained when the same aperture is set on the camera as that set on the SB-900. Therefore, to make exposure compensation, vary the aperture set on the camera while retaining the aperture set on the SB-900 or vice versa.

In the Manual flash mode, calculate the proper aperture for the correct exposure from the guide number and the shooting distance (kD-22). Then, use a larger or smaller aperture on the camera to make exposure compensation.

As a basic guide, set a wider aperture on the camera or lens to make the main subject brighter or a smaller aperture to make it darker.

D–38

Wireless multiple flash shooting

With the SB-900, the “Advanced” and “SU-4 type” wireless flash operations are available.

The Advanced Wireless Lighting mode is automatically set as the default. Advanced Wireless Lighting is recommended for standard multiple

flash photography.

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash, set the wireless flash mode to “SU-4” in the custom setting. (kC-22)

Flash shooting with Advanced Wireless Lighting

Available when the SB-900 is used with CLS-compatible cameras.

Compatible with i-TTL flash mode.

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.

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash is particularly suitable for shooting fast moving subjects as both the master flash unit and remote flash units fire simultaneously.

There are no restrictions as to which cameras can be used.

Speedlight featuring wireless multiple flash capability can be used either as the master or remote flash unit.

Speedlights compatible with TTL auto flash can be used as the master flash unit. The optional Wireless Slave Flash Controller SU-4 is necessary when you want to use these Speedlights as remote flash units.

The camera’s built-in flash can also be used as a master flash unit.

t Master flash unit and remote flash unit(s)

In this user’s manual, a flash unit mounted on the camera, the camera’s built-in flash, or the one directly connected to the camera via a TTL Remote Cord is called the master flash unit. All other flash units are called remote flash units.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–39

D

Flash modes and functions

Wireless multiple flash shooting

v Notes on performing wireless multiple flash photography

To avoid accidental firing, turn off the camera and all flash units before mounting the master flash unit on or connecting it to the camera.

The master flash unit cannot be test-fired.

The brightness of the flash illumination is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between the flash unit and the subject. For example, if the distance between Speedlight A and the subject is 1 m

(3.3 ft.), and Speedlight B is 2 m (6.6 ft.) and both A and B have the same guide numbers, the combined brightness of the two Speedlights will be:

A : B = 1 : 4 (in meters) or approx. 11 : 44 (in feet)

See the instruction manuals of your cameras and Speedlights.

Notes on remote flash

Take care of the following.

v Notes on setting a remote flash unit

When using a Speedlight that has a standby function as a remote flash unit, make sure that the standby function is set to “OFF,” or select a standby duration that is long enough in the custom setting.

The standby function of the SB-900, SB-800, SB-600 and SB-80DX is canceled when wireless remote flash mode is set. Make sure that there is sufficient battery power.

The SB-50DX’s standby duration is automatically extended to approx. one hour when it is set to wireless remote flash mode.

Set the angle of coverage of the remote flash units wider than the picture angle, so that the subject will receive sufficient illumination even when the angle of the flash head is off axis from the subject. When the flash-to-subject distance is very short, set the angle of coverage wide enough to achieve sufficient light.

v Notes on setting up the remote flash units

In most cases, position the remote flash unit(s) closer to the subject than the camera, so that light from the master flash unit can reach the light sensor of the remote flash unit(s). This is particularly important when holding a remote flash unit in your hand.

Data communication cannot be performed properly if there is an obstacle between the master unit and remote flash units.

D–40

Take care not to let light from the remote flash unit enter the camera lens directly or indirectly in i-TTL auto flash mode. Also, prevent light from entering the master flash unit’s light sensor window for Non-TTL auto flash (in Auto Aperture or Non-TTL auto flash mode). Otherwise, the correct exposure cannot be obtained.

There is no limit to the number of remote flash units that can be used together. However, when using many remote flash units, light may be unintentionally picked up by the light sensor of the master flash unit and interfere with correct operation. The practical number of remote flash units for wireless multiple flash shooting are three. In Advanced Wireless Lighting, for practical purposes, the number of remote flash units should be limited to three for one group.

Use the provided Speedlight Stand AS-21 for stable placement of the

remote flash units.

Be sure to perform test firing after setting up all flash units.

Using the Speedlight Stand

Use the provided Speedlight Stand AS-21 for stable placement of the remote flash units.

Attach the SB-900 to the Speedlight Stand in the same way that you attach it to the camera’s accessory shoe. The same is true when detaching it from the camera.

Speedlights SB-15 and SB-27 cannot be used with the AS-21.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–41

D

Flash modes and functions

Wireless multiple flash shooting

Confirming shooting situations in wireless multiple flash operation

You can confirm wireless multiple flash operation by checking the ready-light on the SB-900 or the sound monitor during and after shooting.

When the SB-900 is used as a wireless remote flash unit, you can monitor its operation

by listening to the sound monitor. This function can be activated or canceled using custom setting (kC-24). This function is set to activate as the default.

To save battery power, the ready-lights on the remote flash units can be turned

off in the custom setting. The rear ready-light is set to light up and the front ready-light is set to blink as the default. (kC-24)

Confirming flash operation using the ready-light or sound monitor

Ready-light of

Ready-light of

Sound monitor

Speedlight condition

master flash unit

remote flash unit

 

The rear ready-

 

 

Lights up

light lights up and

One beep

Ready to fire

the front ready-

 

 

 

 

light blinks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The rear ready-

 

 

Lights up or does

light lights up,

 

 

not come on (not

and the front

Two short beeps

Fired properly

blinking)

ready-light blinks

 

 

 

or goes out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both the master and remote flash units have

Blinks for approx.

Quickly blinks for

Three long beeps

fired at full output but light may have been

3 sec.

approx. 3 sec.

for approx. 3 sec.

insufficient for correct exposure. Use a wider

 

 

 

aperture and reshoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The light sensor of remote flash could not

 

 

 

receive correctly the command light from

 

 

 

master flash. The light sensor could not detect

Lights up or does

Quickly blinks for

Three long beeps

when to stop firing in sync with the master

not come on (not

flash unit, because a strong reflection from the

approx. 3 sec.

for approx. 3 sec.

blinking)

remote flash unit itself or light from another

 

 

 

 

 

remote flash unit may have entered the light

 

 

 

sensor window. Change the direction or

 

 

 

position of the remote flash unit and reshoot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning chime rings

The SB-900’s temperature has risen as

 

 

twice (when the

 

 

a result of the flash being fired multiple

Normal operation

Normal operation

SB-900 detects high

times in quick succession. Wait until the

 

 

temperature), or once

 

 

(for each flash firing)

SB-900 cools down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warning chime

The SB-900’s temperature has risen to a certain

Goes out

Goes out

level and the SB-900 enters protective shutdown

rings twice.

 

 

mode. Wait until the SB-900 cools down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

D–42

Flash shooting in Advanced Wireless Lighting

When the SB-900 is used with Nikon CLS-compatible cameras, Advanced Wireless Lighting is possible. 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. This is defined as Flash Shooting in the Advanced Wireless Lighting.

To take photos with repeating flash, see custom setting. (kC-22)

For more details on the example photos in Advanced Wireless Lighting, see the separate booklet, “A collection of example photos” Pp. 16-19.

Mechanism of the Advanced Wireless Lighting

Remote flash units (Group B)

D

Remote flash units

Remote flash units

(Group A)

(Group C)

Master

Remote flash units can be set up to a maximum of three groups (A, B, C).

Single or several remote flash units can be allocated for one group.

For a total of four groups including the master and other remote flash units in three groups, you can set the flash mode and flash output level compensation values separately for each group.

Select one of the four available channels through which the master and remote flash units exchange data.

If another photographer uses the same type of wireless remote flash setup close by, your remote flash units may accidentally fire in sync with that photographer’s master flash unit. To avoid this, use a different channel number.

Flash modes and functions

D–43

D

Flash modes and functions

Flash shooting in Advanced Wireless Lighting

Flash set-up in the Advanced Wireless Lighting

Arrange the master and remote flash units within the range as instructed in the illustration below.

Less than approx.

Group C

 

10 m (33 ft.)

Approx. 5 to 7 m

 

 

(16 to 23 ft.)

 

Within 30˚

Group B

Master

flash unit

 

Within 30˚

Approx. 5 to 7 m

(16 to 23 ft.)

Group A

Direct the light sensor window of the remote flash units toward the master flash.

As a basic guide, the effective shooting distance between the master and remote flash units is approx. 10 m (33 ft.) or less in the front position, and approx. 7 m (23 ft.) at both sides. These ranges vary slightly depending on the ambient light.

Be sure to place all remote flash units that are set in the same group close together.

See “Notes on the remote flash”. (kD-40)

D–44

Setting the SB-900 to Advanced Wireless Lighting

You can set the SB-900 to Advanced Wireless Lighting using the Power ON-OFF switch/wireless setting switch.

• Turn the switch while holding down the button on the center.

Setting the SB-900 as

Setting the SB-900 as

the master flash unit

the remote flash unit

• Align the index on the Power

• Align the index on the Power

ON-OFF switch/wireless setting

ON-OFF switch/wireless setting

switch to MASTER.

switch to REMOTE.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–45

D

Flash modes and functions

Flash shooting in Advanced Wireless Lighting

In this mode, set the following items on either the master flash unit or the remote flash units.

Item

Speedlight

 

Remarks

to be set

 

 

 

 

 

 

• The following five flash modes are available:

 

 

·

i-TTL mode

 

 

· Auto Aperture flash*1

 

 

· Non-TTL auto flash*1

Flash mode

Master flash

·

Manual flash

·

Flash canceled

unit

 

 

 

• Set the flash mode of the remote flash units on the

 

 

master flash unit.

 

 

• The flash mode can be set independently on the

 

 

master flash unit and for each group of remote

 

 

flash units.

 

 

• Flash output level compensation values of the

Flash

 

remote flash units can also be set on the master

Master flash

flash unit.

output level

unit

• The flash output level compensation values can be

compensation

 

set independently on the master flash unit and for

 

 

 

 

each group of remote flash units.

 

Master and

• Select one of the four available channels.

Channel*2

remote flash

• Be sure to set the same channel number for both

 

units

the master flash unit and remote flash units.

Group

Remote flash

• A maximum of 3 groups (A, B, C)

unit

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*1 Auto Aperture flash is automatically set. When the SB-900 cannot receive lens information such as focal length and aperture, the flash mode automatically switches to Non-TTL auto flash.

*2 If another photographer uses the same type of wireless remote flash setup close by, your remote flash units may accidentally fire in sync with that photographer’s master flash unit. To avoid this, use a different channel number.

D–46

Flash shooting in Advanced Wireless Lighting

1.Setting the flash mode, flash output level compensation values, and channel number on the master flash unit

Press the Function button 1 on the master flash unit to highlight “”.

Press the [MODE] button, then turn the selector dial to choose the desired flash mode, and press the [OK] button.

Press the Function button 2, then

turn the selector dial to choose

the desired flash output level

compensation value, and press the

[OK] button.

Press the Function button 1 to highlight Group “”, and press the [OK] button.

• Turn the selector dial to choose a group other than “”.

Repeat procedures,above to set the flash mode and flash output level compensation values of the remote flash units in Group “A”.

In the same way with Group A, set the flash mode and flash output level compensation values of the remote flash units in Groups “B”and “C”.

Press the Function button 2, then turn the selector dial to set a channel number, and press the [OK] button.

D

Flash modes and functions

D–47

D

Flash modes and functions

Flash shooting in Advanced Wireless Lighting

2.Setting a group and channel number on the remote flash units

Press the Function button 1, then turn the selector dial to choose a desired group name, and press the [OK] button.

• Group name and channel number being set appears larger.

• For remote flash units where the flash mode and flash output level compensation values are to be set identically, place these flash units into the same group.

Press the Function button 2, then turn the selector dial to choose the desired channel number, and press the [OK] button.

• Be sure to choose the same channel number as set on the master flash unit.

t Commander function

The “Commander function” enables the SB-900 to trigger remote flash units without firing itself. To activate the “Commander function,” set the SB-900 as the master flash unit and set its flash mode to “Flash canceled.”

This operation will normally not affect the correct exposure of the subject, although the exposure might be affected if the subject is close and a high ISO sensitivity has been set. To limit this effect as much as possible, bounce the light by tilting or rotating the SB-900’s flash head.

Refer to “Commander mode” in your camera user’s manual when using a camera’s built-in flash as a master flash unit to trigger the remote flash unit (SB-900) in the commander mode.

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Repeating flash shooting

In the Advanced Wireless Lighting, the repeating flash operation is possible.

The Repeating flash mode can be activated or canceled using the custom setting. (kC-22)

LCD display in the repeating flash mode

 

Repeating flash mode

 

Flash output level

Number of

Channel number

 

repeating

Frequency (Hz)

flashes per

 

frame

 

Flash firing of master flash unit and remote flash units (ON/OFF) in Group A (B, C) activated/canceled

In the repeating flash mode, the flash mode can be set to either the Repeating flash activated or Repeating flash canceled only.

In the repeating flash mode, all settings of flash output level, frequency and the number of repeating flashes per frame are common to both the master flash unit and remote flash units.

Referring to “Repeating flash shooting”, set the flash output level, frequency, and the number of repeating flashes per frame. (kD-17)

D

Flash modes and functions

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D

Flash modes and functions

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash shooting

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash is particularly suitable for shooting fast moving subjects as both the master flash unit and remote flash units fire simultaneously.

SU-4 type wireless multiple flash can be performed in two ways: (1) In the AUTO (auto) mode, in which the wireless remote flash units start and stop firing in sync with the master flash unit, and (2) in the M (manual) mode, in which the wireless remote flash units only start firing in sync with the master flash unit.

Suitable cameras and Speedlights

Suitable

 

Suitable master Speedlight

Suitable remote Speedlights

cameras

 

 

 

 

 

Speedlights compatible with Non-

• Speedlights compatible with SU-4

 

 

TTL auto, Distance-priority manual

type wireless flash operation

No limitation

 

flash and manual flash and monitor

• Speedlights connected to the

 

pre-flashes that can be canceled in

optional Wireless Slave Flash

 

those modes

Controller SU-4.

 

Camera’s built-in flash with monitor

 

 

 

pre-flashes that can be canceled.

 

Setting the SB-900 to SU-4 type wireless multiple flash

To perform SU-4 type wireless multiple flash, set the wireless flash mode to “SU-4” in the custom setting. (kC-22)

Use the Wireless setting switch to switch over the SB-900 to the master or remote flash unit.

Hold down the button on the center to turn the Wireless setting switch.

Setting the SB-900 as the master flash unit Setting the SB-900 as the remote flash unit

• Align the index on the Wireless

• Align the index on the Wireless

setting switch with [MASTER].

setting switch with [REMOTE].

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