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Worth picking up an SB-900 for my D2X?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Jonathan F/2, Sep 4, 2008.

  1. I currently use my D2X for flash photography. I'm quite happy with the SB-800, but I'd be willing to invest in the SB-900 if there is significant improvements. If anyone has used this combination, I'd love to hear your feedback. Thanks!
  2. I have used both, although I only got the 900 last week.

    Some points:

    900 is physically larger - a problem if you pack a bag tight for a flight say.

    900 is much easier to navigate the menu with. Canon like wheel instead of the Nikon iconic n/s/e/w rocker and the teensy "set" button in the center. Can operate the 900 with gloves; no chance on the 800. There is also a separate switch to change from normal to master to remote etc. This is a big point.

    900 with 4 batts recycles as fast as the 800 with the 5th battery. No need for the door attachment.

    900 door is much easier to use. On all 3 of my 800's, the battery door comes off too easily when changing batts since I have removed them so often to add the 5th batt holder.

    Tried to try out the 900's 3 focal length patterns. Was unable to discern any difference, but really did not have a chance to really play with it. Jury is out on this one.

    900 swivels almost 360 degrees which may help if using as a slave in order to orient the "eye" toward the master.

    900 supposed to adjust automatically for gel use. Did not try it; I don't think I have gelled a flash since my SB25 days. Might help some if it works, but I can make no comments on that point.

    By the way - want a BIG negative? The flash stand that Nikon includes is an absolute piece of cr*p compared to the one for the 800. The female on the bottom of the stand is plastic; not metal like the 800. Nikon can just be infuriating sometimes. How in the hell can they sell a $500 pro flash with a plastic threaded female? Reminds me of the white plastic (useless) body cap that they included with the D2 series camera. Damn it Nikon - add 5 cents to the purchase price and provide a stand with a metal tripod socket.

    And yes, I tried to mount the 900 on the 800 stand; will not work for 2 reasons. First - the foot does not fit in the stand. (how that is possible if both the 800 and 900 fit in the camera hotshoe, but believe me, it doesn't fit) and second, the snoot of the 900 is longer than one on the 800 and the flash is taller, so that even if I could get the foot into the 800 stand, the stand is probably too small to keep it from tipping forward.

    For me - the best part about the 900 is the 4 batt max recycle time and the simplified menu (especially when going from normal to master or remote.)
  3. thanks, rick
    for that very thorough and thoughtful review
  4. Sounds good, but I think I might have to sell some flashes!
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