SD-8A on a Nikon SB-900

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by shane_gilbert|1, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. I have a SD-8A Battery pack I've used on my SB-800 and I was wondering if it would also work on my SB-900's I just ordered. According to B&H's website the SB-900 uses the SD-9.
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Yes, you can use the SB-8A (6 AA batteries) with the SB-900, but the recycle time will be a bit slower than using the SD-9 (8 AA batteries) with the SB-900.
    I have all three of those but not the SD-9, so I am not 100% sure you can use the SD-9 on the SB-800.
  3. That's great! Thanks for the info Shun...I love this site.
    One follow up question to whom ever, I see the SB-8A has two cords that plug into the flash (a 3 prong cord for power and a PC Connector plug that I have No idea what it does). The SD-9 only has the 3 prong power cord.
    My question is I Really need to attach the PC Connector cord on my SB-800's or my SB-900's? The only reason I ask is because I use my strobes not on the hotshow but on a stand with a small softbox and the PC slot is tough to get to while mounted on this set up.
  4. Shane: don't forget that you can use an SB-800 (or 900) in a hot-shoe softbox and simply rotate the strobe head to make it easier to get to the connectors/ports.
  5. Thanks Matt. That's actually how I keep my flash/softbox set up. I find the way I shoot this set up keeps the sensor in line-of-site with the fill flash/trigger I keep on the hotshoe.
    But what is the PC Connector for on the SB-8A for? The unit seems to work whither I hook it up or not.
  6. The 2nd PC cord was intruduced some 33 years ago with the SB-8 original design to provide low voltage, while the 3-prong high voltage provided voltage directly to flash capacitor. Seems the power supply is produced this way today, even though the extra cord finds no use on SB-800 since the low voltage must be applied by internal batteries and not by the PC sync cord.
    Luckily, SB-800 has extra PC sync socket, so instead of having it dingling around, you might as well plug the PC sync extra cable of the SB-8A into that socket, with no difference in flash operation. It will look better if the unused cable does not hang around there with no purpose and promts questions that Nikon did not bother to find an answer for.
  7. My SB-8a will not function with the SB-900 without plugging in the PC cable. It is not necessary on the SB-800.
    Shun, how much slower will the recycle time be from the SB-8a to the SB-9 with the SB-900?
  8. "My SB-8a will not function with the SB-900 without plugging in the PC cable." - that is pretty bad. This is another thing against SB-900 when comparing to SB-800. If the PC cable must occupy the PC sync socket on the SB-900, one cannot use the PC socket for anything else, like PW radio transmitter or sync cable for additional flashes.
    I wonder what Nikon was thinking when designing the SB-900, or was not?... so many cut corners in SB-900 when comparing to SB-800.
  9. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    Elliot, I don't have an SD-9, but the SB-900 manual says roughly 1 second vs. 1.5 second recycle time.
  10. My SB-900 will not work period with the SD-8A, when I use it as an off camera remote. It work when attached to the hot shoe, but nit off camera. Anyone have an answer to this?
  11. "My SB-900 will not work period with the SD-8A, when I use it as an off camera remote." - this makes sense in view what I already stated,
    When SB900 or SB800 is used as a remote CLS flash, the PC sync socket gets disabled.
    Since SB900 requires the PC sync cable in the SB900 PC side socket, (you say), then when this socket is disabled in the remote CLS flash, cannot even function to gate the strobe signal, or the use with the short PC sync cable from the SB-8A.
    This is certainly Nikon oversight.
    The SB800 does not require the cable from SD-8A in the PC socket of thye SB800 flash.
  12. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    In case you come across this old thread (via some search engine), we have a newer thread that should answer the remaining questions:

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