Nikon SB900

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by rawphotos, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. I have an SB600 and an SB900. If I remember right my SB600 when I was set on auto and using a zoom lens the flash automatically set the the flash distance when I changed the zoom. When using my new SB900 I have to set it before each picture. Is there a way to have it change auto? Is there a good book on how to use the SB900? Thanks for any help. Jim
  2. Just set the flash zoom to Auto through the flash menu. Didn't you get a manual with the flash?
  3. Yes I did and I set it to auto but don't hear or feel the flash head change when I change the zoom on my lens.
  4. Have you tried it with the diffuser off?
  5. You cannot have the wide angle diffuser deployed, that will force the zoom to the widest setting
  6. Also, .. not sure with SB600 flash, but for auto flash zoom to work you should use only one central focusing point active, and the flash head pointing straight ahead. That is, flash head not rotated or bounced. And your zoom lens must be Nikon's compatible lens with CPU, and preferable a "D" lens.
    In addition to conditions already mentioned, the micro switches on the flash head (SB900/800) should work and not be ingaged.
    Not sure if you understand how the flash zoom head works?, by saying "automatically set the the flash distance when I changed the zoom". That could possibly be the MAX distance display only. The flash automatic zoom features can only set flash head zoom position and flash light beam width to match (and follow) your compatible zoom lens zoom position - (not the focus distance - as the lens "D" information is used for other important things, depending on mode).
    The auto flash zoom head feature adjusts the angle of flash light beam. Try to see if the max flash distance display changes with manual flash head zoom position seting, and then if the same is in auto flash head zoom operation?. The flash must sit in the camera hot shoe, and all confitions mentione must be met.
  7. " but for auto flash zoom to work you should use only one central focusing point active"
    If so..., would be very sad... :)
  8. For a book other than the manual, you might look at The Nikon Creative Lighting System by Mike Hagen.
  9. I think Frank has Auto Zoom and AF Assist light confounded.
  10. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Right, apparently Frank has the AF-assist LED in mind instead. That typically works only if the center AF point or at least one in the center column is selected, depending the exact camera/flash combination.
    I just tried my SB-900 on a D700 with the 24-120mm zoom on. The flash zoom head follows the zoom focal length without any problems. The zoon coupling works with the flash head tilted up, side ways and even backwards. Pulling the built-in diffuser out would disable the zoom coupling; so does pressing on the "zoom" button on the flash to manually control the flash zoom head. Which AF point is selected does not matter with this functionality.
  11. Yes, I got it messed up a bit.
    The zoom position makes most sense when in straight head position. The flash zoom in other positions will never be a substitute for light modifiers, barn doors, snoot, etc.
    What is important to know that the flash head zoom does not set any flash distance. Just the minimum and maximum range estimate display for automatic iTTL exposure with more concentrated beam. The max range is 20 meters (66 ft), and is the same as max CLS commanding range for SU-800, or max iTTL automatic flash exposure for Nikon DSLR.
    The flash with fast lenses, and high ISO, and in zoom position, can provide longer distance illumination, but that would be already beyond the flash exposure automation.
    Also there was an interesting test of SB800 and SB900 at their max zoom head positions. SB800 set at max zoom of 105mm was providing narrower beam concentration than the SB900 at zoom 200mm.
  12. Thanks for all the replies. I purchased the CLS DVD and will study it. I guess I'm confused in that If I have the flash set on ttl it is fully auto and I don't need to set the zoom to 20 or 105 or 200 it does it auto? Like a wedding shot where I'm in the back of the room then the next shot is within 10 feet? I did have the flash diffuser up and the zoom did sound like it was moving the flash inside when I manually changed the zoom number. Thanks everyone I appreciate all the help. Jim
  13. Interesting to know that the SB-900 doesn't decouple autozooming when swivelled or tilted!
    I thought that it was a standard feature of all autozoom hotshoe poppers to go to a preset zoom setting or into manual zoom mode when tilt or swivel was detected. I really can't see any point in maintaining zoom coupling in a bounce situation - unless you're bouncing off a nearby mirror!
  14. "SB800 set at max zoom of 105mm was providing narrower beam concentration than the SB900 at zoom 200mm."
    I find this even more interesting... because they justify the enormous size of the SB900, by the need to zoom at 200mm !
  15. ... perhaps also they justify the huge size of the SB900 head for providing "lighting patterns" ?
    I believe, (and I hope I am wrong on this one?), that the SB900 lighting patterns are more of pre-set different light output setting, or light modification that could otherwise be achieved via flash light compensation.
    The unanswered question remains:
    For normal to longer shooting distances: How single point source of flash light can possibly provide different lighting patterns ?

Share This Page