Suffice it to say we found the test sample to be an excellent performer that delivered an evenly-exposed set of test shots with different camera-to-subject distances and focal length settings.
One other noteworthy change is that the SB-900 swings both ways — you can go reverse 180 in either direction. This is especially useful, in that whichever way you mount a remote flash you can have the receiving window facing the master light source.
Jump on over there to see whether you should sell all of your SB-800’s to make room in your bag for SB-900’s. (Ok, it’s not that simple, but David’s got some great insights on the pros and cons of the new flash, particularly for those of you who already own a stable of SB-800’s.)
For those of you wanting an in-depth look at the Nikon D700 and/or the SB-900, you can read up on the new gear via the official user manuals – even if you can’t get your hands on the new camera or flash just yet.
UPDATE: It looks like the links to the D700 are down at the moment. The SB-900 manual still downloads though. (Here’s the link to Nikon’s download page for the D700.)
D700 User Guide (Warning: 19MB)
The Nikon SB-900 has just been announced along with the new D700. For the details a features offered by the SB-900, see the press release below.
TOKYO – Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the Nikon Speedlight SB-900, a new external i-TTL flash unit with advanced features. The SB-900 offers a powerful guide number of 48/157.5 (ISO 200, meters/feet) and an incredible array of creative flash functions. The SB-900 is an ideal way to solve lighting challenges and extend Nikon D-SLR creativity.
The SB-900 is a high-performance Speedlight developed as the successor to the hugely successful Nikon SB-800. Practical functionality was emphasized in designing the SB-900, especially evident when used with Nikon digital SLR cameras compatible with the Nikon Creative Lighting System. It provides a wide 17-200 mm auto zoom range (expanded from the SB-800’s 24-105mm), three illumination patterns, newly designed, streamlined operation with a full-information LCD panel, and AF-Assist illumination compatible with new-generation AF sensors. The SB-900 has an improved booster circuit for high-speed recycle time. In addition, firmware can be uploaded via a Nikon digital SLR camera-a world’s first* for flash units, assuring that the SB-900 can accept technological advancements. The SB-900 serves as the new core for the Nikon Creative Lighting System when used in combination with current Nikon digital SLRs, and it supports Advanced Wireless Lighting as a master or a remote Speedlight, inviting photographers to explore the many creative possibilities.
Additional new functions include 180 degrees of left or right head swivel, a special built-in overheat protection system and automatic filter detection for unprecedented white balance correction, even in fluorescent lighting conditions.
With the SB-900, users can enjoy all the benefits of the Nikon Creative Lighting System for both automation and comprehensive control, enabling endless lighting possibilities.
*The world’s first flash unit with a user-applied firmware update function via a digital SLR camera as of July 1, 2008 (according to research conducted by NIKON CORPORATION).