SB900

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SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:51 pm

I was going to keep quite about my new purchase but I’ve lived with too many women to know how to keep my mouth shut.

Bought on Ebay at midnight on Monday and arrived this morning, Australian stock and costing me $725.

First impressions are that this is a far simpler unit to use than the SB800 but the reason for my posting is that I will have it with me on Saturday night at the AW dinner. So if anyone wants to try it out on the night you will be more than welcome.
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Re: SB900

Postby Geoff on Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:04 pm

Good to read Chris. You'll be flashing your new flash around :)
Look forward to having a look!
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Wed Jul 30, 2008 7:31 pm

oh cool. very interested in getting your impressions. lookls like a great menu and control layout compared to the older sb's.
especially the hotshoe, apparently it wont fit onto other flash stands and hotshoe adaptors for umbrella stands may not fit it either due to the thickness ??
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Re: SB900

Postby Alpha_7 on Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:35 pm

I'm definitely keen for a look Chris, you lucky devil!
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:44 pm

Alpha_7 wrote:I'm definitely keen for a look Chris, you lucky devil!


Bring your camera Craig (that’s if you are going to the dinner) and give it a whirl.
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Re: SB900

Postby Oneputt on Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:55 pm

I didn't even know that there was an SB900 :oops:
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Re: SB900

Postby ATJ on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:00 pm

Most obliging of you, Chris. :cheers:
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Re: SB900

Postby Alpha_7 on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:02 pm

sirhc55 wrote:
Alpha_7 wrote:I'm definitely keen for a look Chris, you lucky devil!


Bring your camera Craig (that’s if you are going to the dinner) and give it a whirl.


Katie and I will be there, better hand it to me when she isn't looking. :roll:
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Re: SB900

Postby gstark on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:08 pm

sirhc55 wrote:First impressions are that this is a far simpler unit to use than the SB800


That wouldn't be much of a stretch. :)

But congratulations. Looking forward to seeing it on Saturday.
g.
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:09 pm

has poon got any of thee yet gary ?
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Re: SB900

Postby the foto fanatic on Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:13 pm

In stock at d-d photographics for $689:

http://www.d-d-photographics.com.au/
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Re: SB900

Postby Yi-P on Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:47 pm

What is the 'premium' that you get by paying $200 extra over the SB800?
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:56 pm

power/ range is the biggy.
like they say there's no substitute for power except...well...power. lol
rotating head will be useful too.
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Re: SB900

Postby Glen on Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:21 am

Rooz wrote:power/ range is the biggy.
like they say there's no substitute for power except...well...power. lol
rotating head will be useful too.


Rooz when I looked at this a few weeks ago, from memory the GN on the 900 was something like 34 and the 800 is 38. That said, being able to use all the facilities makes it a more capable unit, in fact you could say much more capable
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Re: SB900

Postby the foto fanatic on Thu Jul 31, 2008 9:38 am

Glen wrote:Rooz when I looked at this a few weeks ago, from memory the GN on the 900 was something like 34 and the 800 is 38. That said, being able to use all the facilities makes it a more capable unit, in fact you could say much more capable


Glen, the GN on the SB-900 is a bit higher than that - it is 48. It also covers a 17-200 zoom range, as well as having a fully rotating head and easier-to-use menu.

Refer to the Nikon Australia web page.
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Re: SB900

Postby Mr Darcy on Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:15 am

cricketfan wrote:
Glen wrote:Rooz when I looked at this a few weeks ago, from memory the GN on the 900 was something like 34 and the 800 is 38. That said, being able to use all the facilities makes it a more capable unit, in fact you could say much more capable


Glen, the GN on the SB-900 is a bit higher than that - it is 48. It also covers a 17-200 zoom range, as well as having a fully rotating head and easier-to-use menu.

Refer to the Nikon Australia web page.


Check the US web site:
SB800: GN38 @ISO100
SB900: GN48 @ISO200 but GN34 @ ISO100
The SB800 is the more powerful unit
Refer to
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/speedlights/sb-800/index.htm and
http://imaging.nikon.com/products/imaging/lineup/speedlights/sb-900/index.htm
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Re: SB900

Postby the foto fanatic on Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:31 am

Review from Strobist here.
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Re: SB900

Postby Glen on Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:42 am

Very fair and positive review Trevor, thanks for pointing that one out. I am itching to see Chris' on Saturday night
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:18 am

Glen wrote:Very fair and positive review Trevor, thanks for pointing that one out. I am itching to see Chris' on Saturday night


A case of I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: SB900

Postby Glen on Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:07 pm

Lets hope not!
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Re: SB900

Postby ATJ on Thu Jul 31, 2008 12:35 pm

I'm not sure I want to go to the dinner now. :roll:
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:31 pm

ATJ wrote:I'm not sure I want to go to the dinner now. :roll:


With your new haircut Andrew you will be allowed to enter Neutral Bay :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Fri Aug 01, 2008 8:57 am

hmm...the power and GN results are curious . there seems to be something significanlty wrong with the info out there cos its vastly different.
having read a bit more on strobist and by mcnally, i wonder if indeed the GN is as indicated, (sb800 has a higher GN), but the dispertion of light on the 900 is better. ie: perhaps the peak power of the 800 is higher but the 900 throws out a wider and more even amount of light a little less far ? i cant figure it out. with a 200mm zoom head you would THINK that the 900 would throw out more light further...perhaps GN's are becoming less and less relevant as technlogy improves and the techniques used to distribute light via the flash heads becoms increasngly superior than just using it as a "torch".

looking forward to getting my hands on one of these puppies and reading a bit more from joe on what he thinks of it after he's jhad a longer time to use it.
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Re: SB900

Postby fozzie on Sat Aug 02, 2008 3:58 pm

Chris - so you are flashing (SB-900) tonight :lol: :lol: :lol: . Almost worth the trip from Adelaide to Sydney and back to see :wink:

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Re: SB900

Postby ATJ on Sat Aug 02, 2008 4:34 pm

The meaning and use of Guide Number has not changed and nor should it. It is actually very useful for estimating the correct f/stop given the distance to the subject and the ISO.

The guide number of a flash with a zoom head will always change depending on the zoom chosen because the area over which the light is being spread changes with the zoom, despite the fact the maximum light output of the strobe will always be the same. Ideally, a flash should come with a table showing the guide number for each zoom head position - the SB-800 manual has this and so does the SB-900 manual.

If you are comparing 2 flashes with zoom heads, you need to compare them at the same zoom. According to the SB-900 Manual, the guide number of 34 (metres @ ISO 100) is with the zoom head at 35mm. This means the SB-900 is slightly less powerful than the SB-800.
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Sat Aug 02, 2008 5:48 pm

lol you're such a cranky old man sometimes andrew.
what i was referring to was not the defintion of GN's, but the value of it as a term for evaluating strobes. times change...hell even you got a haircut. lol
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Re: SB900

Postby seeto.centric on Mon Aug 04, 2008 2:39 am

full rotating head, AF assist for all 51 AF points, zoom all the way to 200mm and different light dispersion modes = yay!
i want... $645 @ ECS is cheaper than ebay :o

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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:47 am

i picked mine up yesterday from ECS.

first impressions...its a big sucker !! :shock:

WTF with the plastic screw mount on the foot ?? this is unforgiveable ! :evil: i use that mount a heck of alot on little tripods without a hotshoe adaptor and being plastic i can see i'm gonna have long term problems. even the sb600 has a metal thread. :roll: it does fit as a tight squeeze onto the older as-19 foot but i wouldnt recommend it cos you'll bend the plastic and your sb800 may get real loose in there. forget mounting it to existing hotshoes adaptors, it wont fit. this is another compatability pain in the ass if you use multiple flash.

not sure what it is, perhaps the plastics used ?? but it reminds me of the 580EX, personally i think the sb800 feels more robust. thats probably not true and not based on any sort of technical facts, it just doesnt feel as solid as the 800. what do you think chris ?

controls are FABULOUS. so easy !! so unbelievably easy !!! if nothing else, this unit is worth the extra cost for that alone. if you use strobes alot, especilly off cam flash, this unit is a dream to use as master. adjustments for all slaves are simple, easy to get to, easy to change and very fast. kudos nikon...this is excellent. my menu on a strobe ?? woohoo !! :cheers:

the performance so far is outstanding. the three light modes are surprisingly effective and quite different. the 200mm zoom head on CW is awesome. gives off something akin to a torch light. i can think of some awesome cababilities here. quick and nasty tests show a really nice soft light for portraits when boucned or using a card which appears to be a little less hot in TTL than the 800. light fall off is smooth and even, another benefit over the 800.

180deg rotation is excellent, (the 800 is hamstrung by that), packaging and case are top notch. great little seperate pouch for the diffuser dome. thats really clever.

so far, very happy. will post some pics later on. :)
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:37 am

Rooz wrote:not sure what it is, perhaps the plastics used ?? but it reminds me of the 580EX, personally i think the sb800 feels more robust. thats probably not true and not based on any sort of technical facts, it just doesnt feel as solid as the 800. what do you think chris ?


I think that this can be attributed to size. The SB800, being smaller, does feel more robust but only for a fleeting second when holding both at the same time :D
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Re: SB900

Postby DVEous on Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:04 pm

... Obsolete ...
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:25 pm

VK4CP wrote:I have read the SB900 foot is marginally thicker, but what exactly is the issue with mounting it?
Can I assume an SB900 will come on and off a D300, without trouble?
I find it hard to believe there are issues in mounting an SB900 to Nikon's own AS-19, because my SB800s are disconcertingly loose and sloppy when sitting in the AS-19.

How is the SB900 compared to the SB800 with wide angle shots (ie; using 12-24 @ 12mm)?
Is the light broader, (softer overall)?



There is no issue with mounting the SB900 on the D300. The SB900 mounting foot is thicker and as such will not fit on the SB800 AS19 stand which is a shame as the AS19 has a metal thread for tripod mounting. It is also reported that the SB900 will not fit on some third party mounting devices.

I have not tried my 12-24mm with the SB900 but will try it over the weekend.
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:23 pm

just being a little silly.

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Re: SB900

Postby methd on Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:48 pm

My SB900 arrived Tuesday and I had a good play with it today and yesterday. As a commander unit for my two SB800 slaves, it's really easy to use (but I still much prefer the PW rather than CLS).

The biggest problem I have with the SB900 from limited use is the the EV control (adjust +/- ev) is a lot more cumbersome than the SB900. With the SB800, and using it in manual with PW, it's a simple matter of pressing up or down to adjust EV. With the SB900, you have to first press the button to highlight the EV control and then after that, spin the dial. Since remote lighting is all about setting the correct flash ratios and amounts, it's definitely a step backwards for me for ease of use.
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Sun Aug 10, 2008 5:51 pm

Test shot at 12mm of my boring living area. Bounced flash with lighting control set to CW and auto aperture.

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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Tue Aug 12, 2008 12:10 am

here are some flash examples which i think shows some of the flashes performance. all shot in regular old TTL, sb900 mounted to camera using only built in bounce card. all SOOC.

even mode:
this is a fantastic feature of the sb900 which gives excellent light across the frame with apparently very little light fall off. while this may not be something i use often, (i like a little light fall off), for this type of shot it works great. nice soft light with no highlights blown and a perfect exposure...look at the white on the top of the car. also notice minimal shadow behind lucas. this is quite good for a simple bounce standing in front of subject with 3.2m high ceilings.

Image

CW mode:
does what its meant to i suppose but i find it a little too flashy for my taste. i much prefer the even or standard modes. still, very good control of highlights and minimal hot spots on his face considering i was maybe 30-40cm from subject. wanna know how fast this little bugger moves ? look at the motion blur on his hand at 1/100s. lol

Image

standard mode:
this was the first opportunity i had at using the sb900. i did this is the worst possible lighting conditions with light streaming across and into the lens front element from the right casting strong shadows and blown hihglights without strobe.

what i wanted was the flash not to overpower the beautiful warm afternoon sun, (especially on the lady's hair giving me nice natural hair light), but give me just enuf to fill in the blanks. very good exposure for zero effort. if i stood a foot more to the right i would have eliminated the shadow across her face aswell. the light dispertion of the sb900 is even and soft. i find the 800 can be a little hotter and more prone to hotspots on faces at closer range.

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Re: SB900

Postby DVEous on Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:48 am

... Obsolete ...
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:02 pm

I’ll give it a go. CW is centre weighted.
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Re: SB900

Postby DVEous on Sat Sep 06, 2008 9:28 am

... Obsolete ...
Last edited by DVEous on Sat May 03, 2014 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SB900

Postby DVEous on Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:08 am

... Obsolete ...
Last edited by DVEous on Sat May 03, 2014 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:54 am

Sorry Adam, just overloaded with work ATM even to pick the camera up.
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Re: SB900

Postby ozimax on Thu Sep 11, 2008 8:17 am

Chris, I think you need another DVD player. It seems from the photo that you have about 5... :lol:
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Re: SB900

Postby chrisk on Thu Sep 11, 2008 9:41 am

sorry adam, i thought about this on the weekend and ddint get round to geting it done with fathers day and all.

i think the differences are very subtle so not sure i could give you a comparison that shows the lighting is way better cos i dont think it is way better. if you ae making your decision based on image quality alone, then i say take the sb800 and pocket the difference. i do however think the light produced by he 900 is more even and more consistent. i use flash a heck of alot and find my results with the 900 are almost always spot on, particualry when the subject is really close to the camera. i will also add that imho, the 360deg swivel head, (particularly if you use off cam flash with nikons CLS), and the new imenu nterface is worth its higher asking price. thats just my preference though.
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Re: SB900

Postby sirhc55 on Thu Sep 11, 2008 10:40 am

ozimax wrote:Chris, I think you need another DVD player. It seems from the photo that you have about 5... :lol:


From top-to-bottom:

Onkyo 705 receiver
Foxtel IQ2
Samsung DVD-HR725
Toshiba XA2 HD-DVD
Gefen scaler
Digitec HDMI switch box
Samsung DVD-SH855
D-link router

to the right:
Samsung 40" HD TV
Slimbox
Sony PS3
Polk audio bar
Plus 300w sub woofer and channels 6 and 7 Near bipole speakers

So, let’s see, 1, 2, 3, and 4. Oops! Forgot the little DSE portable to the right of the TV.

Spot on Max. :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: SB900

Postby ATJ on Thu Sep 11, 2008 12:17 pm

What? No Blu-Ray?
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Re: SB900

Postby Ant on Thu Sep 11, 2008 1:26 pm

ATJ wrote:What? No Blu-Ray?

that would be the PS3 :P

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Re: SB900

Postby Big Mike on Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:59 pm

Wow! Finally, a website that actually answers the question: Why should I go out and buy this flash?!!!
I shoot with a Nikon d200 and sb800. Recently, I sent the sb800 off for repair which will cost another $150.00. I believe I've read somewhere that the quality of photo the sb900 produces is a little better than the 800; something to do with it's ability to read the wb and do a better job of getting the exposure correct. Is there any truth in this?
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Re: SB900

Postby gstark on Sat Nov 01, 2008 6:28 pm

Big Mike wrote:Wow! Finally, a website that actually answers the question: Why should I go out and buy this flash?!!!


Was that the question? :)

Whatever, we all know the answer is 42 :)

Hi Mike, and welcome. Please take a few moments to read the FAQ and the message for new members on the front page - you will observe that you need to have a meaningful location in your profile, and "meaningful" actually has a meaning that's meaningfully explained in those places.

I shoot with a Nikon d200 and sb800. Recently, I sent the sb800 off for repair which will cost another $150.00.


At that sort of a repair cost, you're getting quite close to just going and getting a replacement.

I believe I've read somewhere that the quality of photo the sb900 produces is a little better than the 800; something to do with it's ability to read the wb and do a better job of getting the exposure correct. Is there any truth in this?


At a rough guess, I'd say no.

First of all, reading wb has nothing at all to do with how your flash works, nor with how a flash might determine correct exposure.

Whatever "correct exposure" might mean.

And bearing in mind, also, that with CLS it's the camera that's determining the exposure settings to be used. Which may, or may not, be deemed to be "correct exposure".

Confused? Don't be. If you want a Nikon flash head, then go with either; they will both help you to do a good job, but it's you who needs to learn how to get the most out of them.

And that's the key: you.
g.
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