SB-900: will you upgrade?


May 1, 2005
Minnesota (formerly Florida)
Well, the SB-900 has been announced...the question is...are you upgrading?

I'm placing my order at the local dealer in the morning...hopefully NPS allocation will get it to me before I head out for the new semester in Mid-August...I'd like to have it for the first assignments of the year.

It seems to be offering some things that will be useful to me, and the so-far- ignored accessory weather seals that you can get to protect the mounting on certain bodies will be very nice in the rainy season here.

Meanwhile my SB-800 isn't in the best shape, so I figure I should retire it to backup.
Feb 19, 2006
LA (Lower Arkansas)
I've just retired from this discussion in another thread.

It just seems that the 800s are quite sufficient - as folks have been getting amazing shots from them for years. As for the other bells and whistles, I'll leave them to my imagination. But hopefully the price of used 800s will drop. Then I can fill up my lighting bag with the refuse of others...:biggrin:
Nov 13, 2005
Malta (freakin' EU :-)
the 900 seems underpowered... WA FL settings, which is where so many pros (& non-pros) have been clamoring for more power for years.:frown:

At those WA settings, it is even slightly less :eek:powerful than the SB800, correct?
Jan 9, 2006
Nope, not for $500.

If it had Radio CLS...maybe.
If it was more powerful the SB-800, maybe
If it has a super fast recycle (with more power), maybe

But for that price, my SB-800's are all I need
Jan 27, 2006
Kingsville, Ohio
Cheap strobe

At $500 it is quite a bargain. Have you priced Quantum gear? They kill you with all the cables, modules, battery connectors, etc.

Nevertheless, having just bought a Hensel studio kit, I won't be dropping another $500 on a Nikon flash. The D700 is next in line for my dollars.

I have four SB800s and they just keep flashing wedding after wedding. Can't say enough good about them. But CLS stinks in most venues and I generally use PWs. The radio signal is much more reliable in real life venues, like reception halls, outdoors and churches. I see CLS as a novelty, not a serious, reliable professional tool. If it were radio, it would fantastic, but it would also increase the strobe cost by 50 percent or more and create all kinds of licensing issues with the the FCC.


Guest SB-800 is pretty dead right I'll probably pick up a couple 800s since the price is dropping and when the 900 comes out, I'll get one and see if it's worth replacing all the 800s.
Nov 14, 2007
Laurel, MD USA
I will probably upgrade at some point in time. I like the range of the 900 (18-200) versus the 800 (24-105). I have two lens that go below the 18' range but with the built in diffuser, the 900 will go to 14'. That, and the longer reach is very attractive.
Jun 5, 2008
Im doing more fill flash with my 8oo 5.6 ED-IF AIS these days, so more power is good thing. Not that I will always need it but its nice toi have when you do. Plus the battery pack is a nice touch. So Ill get one for sure. Im still waiting for Nikon to come out with the side handle mega flash like my old Metz 60.
Apr 28, 2008
Southern NH
Out of curiosity I called the local Ritz Camera in Burlington (specifically listed on the Nikon Site as authorized to carry the SB900)

Me: Hi, I'm calling to find out about availability of the new SB900

Ritz guy - Huh? You want what? An SD900? What is that

Me: It's an SB, B 900. It's the new Nikon flash that was just launched today

RG - Huh, let me go look into that [5 minutes pass] I don't have any information on that.

Me: How long does it usually take for you to get new Nikon stuff into your store? You're listed as a specific location for the SB900

RG - We are? I don't know about that. We get Nikon stuff when Nikon decide to send it to us
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