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Why I like this New Flash SB 900

GEEJAMES

US
210 posts

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GEEJAMES Basic Member
Wed 30-Jul-08 07:35 AM

I received a copy of the SB 900 today which was ordered from B&H two days ago. I spent most of the day reviewing the User's Manual and testing out the features. I have come to the conclusion that I like this flash very much. So while everyone is drueling over their new D700 which I just cannot afford at this time I am going to druel over my SB 900. ( I imaging there is some NAS release here somewhere)
First of all if you own or ever owned the SB 26 it is almost the same size just a hair bit bigger. Since I do own an SB26, Sb28, SB50DX and four SB 800 I am very familiar with the controls. I was very disappointed when Nikon decided to drop the user friendly SB 26 for the sleek and complicated SB28. Since then they have been rolling out these flash units with menu's and sub menu's which have made setting them increasingly difficult. The SB 800 was not an exception to this however after owning a SB 600 for a couple of days I returned it to B&H and picked up another SB 800. The SB 900 like the SB 26 eliminates the mystery and returns the unit to what it should be, User friendly. I figure the SB 900 will appeal to all photojournalist and wedding photographers because it just so much easier to handle when situation change on the fly.
Now that I have said that, I want to comment on the thermal cut off feature, If you have burned out a SB 800 as I have with a quantum Battery you know how scarry it becomes to use anything other then the Nikon battery pack, even though Nikon does not endorse using third party equipment, I am willing to gamble that it may be safer to use a Quantum with this puppy however I will wait for some one else to burn theirs out before I try it.
The zoom feature works great with my 70-200mm AFS-F 2.8 and I was surprise at the images produced by the flash at that setting. It seems to fill the frame with flash at distances with very little trace of light falling off on the sides.
I also like the feature called the illumination pattern and will mainly keep it on wide when shooting Weddings. I think the doom diffuser and the included filter holder was icing on the cake. The larger doom seems to immulate the need to spread light something like the Lightsphere.

I also found the recycle time refreshing however may need to try it on a job before I make a conclusion on how much better it is.
Is it the flash of all flashes, I can not say that, I have a lot of professional friends who shoot Nikon but use Sunpaks and Metz however It seem to give me the versatility I need to do what I want to do so I'm going to stick with it. For example: Setting up slave using a Pocket Wizards and/or CLS and being able to switch between the the two and use the flash on its own when needed. The controls just make this much easier. Now if they could just come up with a Flash that responds to voice commands. Would I buy another one, my answer is yes dispite the price tag it just seems to work for me. Unlike the SB 800 you don't really have to read the manual to learn how to work the flash, however if you want to understand it a little better by all means read the manual.

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G