The Nikon speedlight series
Nikon makes several Speedlight units that work very well with your Nikon DSLR. The SB-300, SB-400, SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 and now since 2016, the SB-5000. These units are all compatible with your new Nikon DSLR camera. There are also the R1C1 flash units (SB-R200), which are designed to be used in small groups, such as for a ring-light arrangement.
We discuss and learn more about these Nikon accessories in our Speedlights forum.
Let’s consider each of the available Nikon Speedlights, along with basic information on the unit’s guide number, lens coverage, and other relevant data.
Nikon SB-910 Speedlight
The SB-910 is Nikon’s flagship Speedlight (now in the year 2016 replaced by the SB-5000). It has adjustable beam width that goes wider and farther than most other flash units. It has a big, detachable diffuser that really helps control hotspots and contrast. Plus, it has an included filter system that communicates with the flash unit.
I really enjoy using the Nikon SB-910 Speedlight unit. It is a very powerful and easy to use in the CLS arrangement because it has external controls for setting remote mode. It can also be used as a CLS commander when needed.
The SB-910 was released as a minor upgrade to the previous flagship SB-900. The SB-900 had a perceived flaw—it shut down when too hot—which was actually a protection circuit for preventing flash overheating. However, the SB-910 works differently. Instead of shutting down the flash unit when its internal temperature gets too high from rapid firing, the SB-910 simply slows down the flash recycle rate to allow the unit to cool down between flashes. Note: A firmware upgrade for the SB-900 pretty much solves the overheating problem.
Otherwise the SB-910 and SB-900 are similar flash units, with matching power and capability. The controls and menus on the SB-910 are very easy to use; much easier than the older flagship flash, the SB-800. The unit is somewhat larger than the SB-800 while being almost identical in size to the SB-900. If you want maximum power in a Nikon Speedlight flash unit, you can’t go wrong with the powerful and flexible SB-910.
The SB-910 comes with color filters to modify the color of the flash output, a built-in diffuser, a built-in bounce card, and a large white detachable diffuser, as seen in the Nikon SB-910 Speedlight picture above, on the left.
This flash unit works very well with any Nikon DSLR and supports all the advanced Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) features.
Official SB-910 Guide Number Information
34m/111.5ft. (at ISO 100, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F) to 48m/157.5ft. (at ISO 200, 35mm zoom head position, in FX format, standard illumination pattern, 20°C/68°F)
Official SB-910 Lens Coverage
17 to 200mm (FX-format, Automatic mode)
12 to 200mm (DX-format, Automatic mode)
12 to 17mm (FX-format, Automatic mode with built-in wide-angle panel deployed)
8 to 11mm (DX-format, Automatic mode with built-in wide-angle panel deployed)
Flash head tilts down to -7° or up to 90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°
Dimensions / Weight
3.1 x 5.7 x 4.4 in. (Approx. 78.5 x 145 x 113 mm) / 14.8 oz. (420 g)
Built-in Wireless Commander Mode for Nikon CLS
Wireless Commander Mode offers wireless control at the master Speedlight position, controlling up to 3 remote Speedlight groups and an unlimited number of compatible Speedlights. Four wireless channel options help manage wireless conflicts in multi-photographer environments.
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