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SB-800 or SB-900

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by Ales, Aug 18, 2008.

  1. Ales


    Dec 29, 2005
    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Hi, I own D300. I have to buy new flash for it.

    I read a lot against and for new SB-900.

    Can someone post illumination patterns (even, Center-weighted ,standard) on same image compared to SB-800 ?

    Price difference is quite high. Should I take SB-800 or Sb-900 ?

    Regards, Ales
  2. I have the SB800 and I love it, but it's only rated to 105mm. The 900 is rated for 200mm, uses only 4 batteries and recharges faster. My next flash purchase will certainly be the 900.
  3. avyoung


    Dec 17, 2007
    I have been happy with my SB800s, but wanted another flash so I got the new SB900. I prefer the smaller size and lighter weight of the SB800 (the SB800 balances on the camera with smaller lenses better). So far for me the SB900 advantage is faster recycle time, greater zoom range, easier gel swapping, better UI.

    As for power, the SB800 has slightly higher guide numbers, but they are pretty close.

    If price difference is a big concern, I would go for the SB800.

    I have not made any conclusions with the illumination patterns yet, but I did start a thread with my initial analysis. https://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/showthread.php?t=184700
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  4. Ruff Draft

    Ruff Draft

    Sep 2, 2007
    Maybe you can find someone switching from an 800 to a 900, and enjoy the price saving. :) 
  5. I will be looking to switch soon, and I only just got my 800 - the main reasons are the much improved UI, and I'm hoping that Nikon will release a firmware update for the D300 so that the 900 will report the white balance when using gels, as it does with the D3 and D700.
  6. Ales


    Dec 29, 2005
    Kamnik, Slovenia

    So I should take SB-900 ? Will I notice difference wort money difference ?

    Regards, Ales
  7. Well, if you can't see much of a need for the SB900, you probably don't need to spend 30% more on it.
  8. JDann24


    Dec 15, 2007
    Garland, Texas
    What I like most about the '900 is that you can just turn a dial and switch from commander mode to remote mode rather than menu diving.
  9. Ales


    Dec 29, 2005
    Kamnik, Slovenia
    Well, I need flash, but I don't know if I should buy SB-900 or SB-800.

    I like new faster recycling time of SB-900. (from specs)

    I think I could live with clumsy SB-800 UI.

    I would like to see difference in modes (even,spot,normal) on same subject. I can't find them any where. I found samples, but not with same scene.

    Regards, Ales
  10. For me, that isn't a biggie - for what I shoot, I don't need to suddenly switch from commander to remote.
    To answer your points.

    1. I shot an engagement party on Sunday (or was it Monday?), anyway, I just shot with 4 batteries, as I'd left the 5th battery adaptor at work, and recycle times were fine in a dim hall.

    2. Me too - it's not perfect, but I don't normally need to change anything in such a rush that it's a problem.

    3. The only examples I've seen have been of a blank wall - doesn't seem to have that much of an effect, but as you say, I'd love to see some controlled examples of the same scene.

    Oh, and one last thing, I like the smaller size of the SB800.
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