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Who likes their new SB900???

Discussion in 'General flash photography, lighting, and technique' started by avyoung, Aug 10, 2008.

  1. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    Of course I like the new flash: recycling time is very fast; the extra zoom reach is good; new interface is nice...but is taking time to learn (I already had the SB800 down); gel holder is good (no tape needed!); oh and that head rotates all the way around in both directions!!!...

    But the SIZE!

    Bigger, taller and heavier than the SB800--the SB900 does not balance as nicely on the D300. I am a DX holdout because I like the size, and weight advantage of the DX package, and here I go and get a mammoth flash!

    I haven't explored the light distribution options much, but it wonder if it is just zooming in and out abit more (is there really a difference?). It will take awhile for me to figure out the usefulness of this feature.

    I only had the flash for a day, but changing the settings for master flash/remotes is significantly better laid out, I can see that I will be willing to change settings/ flash compensation/ manual--output of the remotes...etc much more with the SB900 over the SB800.

    Now if only if it had a built-in carbon fibre 6ft light stand and built-in 43" white umbrella somewhere in there...I would be in heaven.

    A sample pix...with 2 SB800 relegated to remote duty.
    2750386021_1ebebb4ec5_b.jpg
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
     
  2. nice shot, alan
    i like it a lot

    i'm toying with the idea of an SB-900, as well
     
  3. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    Another thing that I was thinking about: the gels tell the camera (D3/D700) what white balance and flash compensation to use.

    I thought this was pretty hoaky at first, but for casual users that don't shoot all the time, it makes total sense. Most people will not shoot daily and have a wealth of experience to help them make micro decisions on lighting on the fly.

    Anyhow, if you haven't been using the speedlights off camera, getting a SB900 and using your old ;)  SB800 as remotes is a great reason to make a purchase!
     
  4. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    Does the SB900 set WB on the D200?
     
  5. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    Hi Joe,

    No it doesn't (not even on my D300); only on the D3 or D700 (according to the manual).

     
  6. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    DAMN!! Well, here's a NEW excuse to tell the wife why I need to upgrade... AGAIN!! :eek: 
     
  7. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    You don't need to upgrade...but you do need to keep that SB600 as a remote off camera flash!!! :biggrin:

    Having a SB800/900 as master allows you to use the high speed FP sync. You will no longer be tied to the 1/250s speed of the built-in flash on the D200. My more reliable communication to the remotes with the accesory flash too.

     
  8. taat2d

    taat2d

    Sep 28, 2007
    NYC
    So using an SB-800-900 and the SB-600 as a slave will allow SS's higher than 1/250?
     
  9. jfrancis

    jfrancis

    May 8, 2005
    Orlando, FL
    Except that the gels have to be positioned quite precisely for this to work, and the compensation is handled automatically by CLS AFAIK, making that less of an advantage.

    That said, I like the SB900. Its size is less of an issue on the D3, and I use it off camera for the most part.
     
  10. I like it. but if your used to the size of the SB-800, I don't think it will balance much better for you on a D3. it just gets heavier, and i feel like I've crossed a line with this one, its starting to become hard to maneuver.
     
  11. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    Oh yes!!!!

    Set your D200 to FP sync, and you will be able to sync to 1/8000s (of course with more limited range). Big advantage over the built-in flash as commander.

     
  12. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    Since my gels are on with tape, I am reluctant to tear them off and swap them out for another color. Atleast with the holder, I can just snap in on and off and I am pretty sure I will switch them out more often to experiment more (and that is a good thing!).

     
  13. I like my 900, however, it will take getting used to the weight and size. The controls are much better than the 800 and a lot easier to understand and use. I will keep my 800 a back up and remote along with my 600.
     
  14. I still use rubber bands for gels other than the ones that came with the 900. I might abandon the gel holder altogether because changing colors is much faster with rubber bands on the flash head. I use rubber bands from the hobby shop, they are used to hold wings on model airplanes. the fit is perfect and they are more reliable than the office shop variety. just cut strips off gel sheets that are the same width as the flash head with plenty fold over length.
     
  15. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    Joe thanks for the tip...I have been too cheap to buy sheets...I have been living off the sample packs :rolleyes: 

    Perhaps it is time to upgrade to sheets of gels!!! oh yeah, I spent all my cash on the SB900! hahhahaha

     
  16. i don't get how people deal with the sample packs, they are smaller than the flash.
     
  17. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    One day my friend...I will probably say the same thing!

     
  18. I like my SB-900. Of course I do not do a lot of flash photography and did not get an SB-800 after reading the problems people were having with the UI. I have used this enough to get familiar with it, but the UI is good enough I won't have to hunt for what I want when I want it. Plus the 157' guide number at ISO 200 is great and the auto zoom between 17 and 200mm may come in handy.
     
  19. I rarely used my SB-800! I found the UI was WAY too troublesome and inconvenient to shoot with any difference (i.e. changing settings fast). My memory is such I did not find memorising how long to hold a button etc. to nav. the system much use.
    Now, the Sb-900, WOW! I have only had it a few days but am becoming a flash convert it is THAT easy to use! Both on D3, D300 and D2x!
    I shot a wedding Sat. night and the prime shooter was a canon guy. He changed batteries and I did not! and I shot more frames!!!
    There are still many things have NOT played with on SB-900 but thus far, YAY! I sold my SB-800 and am gonna buy another 900 (basically to diminish need to change flash on diff. cameras etc. and as UI is that much better, as is batt. life, recycle speed and usefullness, like rotating the head horizontally, attaching gels with holder etc. etc.).
     
  20. avyoung

    avyoung

    Dec 17, 2007
    Canada
    It seems that there are many happy owners of the SB900. Thanks for chiming in!

    I almost forgot. This thing is really quiet. No high pitched whining sound as it charges. Nice!
     
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