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I'm actually excited to get an SB-900 Flash!

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Jonathan F/2, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. I was just reading the specs regarding the SB-900 and I'm more excited picking one these up over a D3/D700! Reading Nikon's description, these 4 things caught my eye:

    - FX/DX format identification: Automatic FX/DX switching optimizes light distribution angle.

    - Expanded Auto Power Zoom Coverage: The SB-900 provides zoom coverage from 17-200mm in the FX-format and 12-200mm coverage in the DX-format.

    - Choose from 3 light distribution patterns: Improve light quality by selecting Standard for general illumination, Center-weighted for portraits, or Even for groups or interiors.

    - User-friendly firmware updating: Allows uploading of performance enhancement developments to the SB-900 with select Nikon digital SLR cameras.

    :eek:  Seriously, these 4 things are freaking advance for a flash system. I think my money might go towards this instead of a new camera body! Anyone else interested in picking one up?
  2. I'm definitely interested Jonathan, but the price is a real OUCH!! I must admit that coverage from 12-200mm is very appealing. I'm sure a few SB800s will find their way to the used market as a result of this updated flash... :rolleyes: 
  3. It's cheaper than a D700! From a business point of view though this flash can give me the edge against the competition, so I'm definitely going to pick one up when I can. The whole firmware feature blows my mind, I wonder if it'll also allow us to hack our flash. Not sure why I'd hack it, but the thought crossed my mind! :wink:
  4. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Jonathan, I am with you. I pre-ordered 1 the day it was announced, and may bump that to 2.

    I am selling 2) SB-800's to help fund the purchase.
  5. Nope im not excited at all, i rarely use my sb800's other then as "dumb slaves" so that explain why.
  6. I'm not a studio guy Paul and I shoot in very diverse environments, the SB-900 should be quite the flash in the field. I'm looking forward to it!
  7. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    I plan to get one :smile:
  8. mchung


    Sep 17, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    The best usability feature for me is switching between normal and remote mode on a switch. Followed next by having more buttons to access features instead of scrolling. And maybe the reported ability to swivel 360 degrees. Those are almost compelling enough to upgrade, but probably not, which makes me somewhat relieved there's no killer new feature as I'd hate to have to replace my three SB-800s!

    Note that I may be a bit like Paul in that I've started to move away from CLS towards portable studio equipment. I'm definitely finding it easier to bring a proper studio beauty dish or softbox and use the SB's more for accents. I tried using the SB-800 as my main light on my last model location shoot, got frustrated with the results, and got out my Hensel gear. I probably won't attempt to use CLS in a main light mode like that again, likely just as an accent slave.

    For my work, I'm realizing that quality of light is more about your light shaping tools you put in front of the flash, not about specific features like a portrait light distribution mode. Portrait mode light distribution plus direct flash on a person is going to look interesting indeed (but how else would you use it?)! And if you do the right thing, like bounce it off the ceiling or diffuse it, how different will the final result be to other light distribution modes?

  9. Well im sure its great, still its a very limited when it comes to modifiers and output regardless if i shoot on location or in the studio.

    The diffrence will not be that big, belive me. Its how you diffuse/modify the light that makes the diffrence.
  10. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    Hi Jonathon,

    I can see the new features and reach a real boon for you and your style of photography....plus faster recycling.

    I personally can live with the sb800, but I am certainly interested in seeing how the different light patterns turn out.
  11. NPA2008


    Apr 15, 2008
    I am absolutely dying to receive and try my pair of SB-900's on order. It was quite a thrill to download and read the manual. There is a significant amount of improvement of this model over the SB-800. I feel more excited than many of the future D700 owners.

    As of yet, I have been unable to locate an online retailer that has the colored filters for pre-order. Have any of you found an online store that has the filters available for advance ordering?
  12. If the sb900 can cover 200mm in dx format, shouldn't it cover 300mm in fx format? It's the same FOV.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 24, 2008
  13. Are you sure it doesn't come with filters, the SB800 did.
  14. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    I just received confirmation that the SB-900 hits the dealer's shelf Friday (tomorrow) 7/25. Surprising to me, they are not all pre-sold. I am really excited about this new flash. It fits my shooting style to a "T" (all field shooting, no studio).

    NPA2008, it comes with the same 2 filters as did the SB-800.
  15. jfrancis


    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    My dealer has 16 SB900's inbound. One of them now has my name on it :biggrin:
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