Nikon SB-900 TTL AF Shoe Mount Speedlight, Guide Number 132 - Gray Market

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About Nikon SB900

SB-900 Speedlight provides Nikon digital SLR photographers with a flash capable of a wide zoom range, increased versatility, faster recycling time, and a wealth of intelligent features to enhance the already vast functionality of the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

The SB-900 offers a zoom range coverage from 17 to 200mm, three light patterns; "Center-weighted" provides the highest guide number "Standard" provides a familiar pattern, similar to the SB-800 and "Even" which delivers the most consistent edge-to-edge coverage, and an advanced wireless i-TTL capabilities allowing the utilization of multiple Speedlights

. The SB-900's innovative design has the Xenon flash tube and reflector system moving independently - allowing for a wider zoom range from an extreme wide angle of 17mm (FX) to the telephoto setting which reaches 200mm without the aid of accessories or as wide as 12mm in DX mode with the built-in wide-angle panel engaged.

The SB-900 offers a quick recycle time of 4.0 seconds (at full power) with four Alkaline AA batteries which drops to a mere 2.3 seconds (at full power) while using four rechargeable NiMH batteries about 25 percent faster than the SB-800 with its fifth battery attachment.

Controls for setting the wireless Master and Remote have been relocated to the outside of the unit for easier access and frequently used functions are easily adjusted with a new Rotary Select Dial. A larger LCD screen is easy to read, even in direct sunlight, and photographers can assign "My Menu" hotkeys for quicker access to commonly used functions.

For the first time, Nikon SB-900 Speedlight users will have the ability to take advantage of future performance advancements.The user will be able to download the firmware onto a flash media card and upload it to the flash unit through select digital SLR cameras.*

The SB-900 Speedlight is Nikon's most intelligent Speedlight ever, created in response to the needs of today's digital photographic professionals. When using the included fluorescent or incandescent filters and adaptor, the flash automatically recognizes what filter is being used and automatically adjusts white balance accordingly on the latest Nikon D-SLRs.* Additionally, the SB-900 aids auto focus with a broader AF assist beam that covers a wide 20-105mm that is matched to all of the D3, D700 and D300's 51 focus points. The bounce and swivel capability of the SB-900 has been expanded to include: tilt up to 90 degrees, down minus 11 degrees, and a full 180-degree swivel left or right, allowing more creativity for on or off camera use, or as a remote Speedlight.

* With D3 and D700 Cameras only

The Nikon SB900 is commonly used for Fill flash, General purpose, Night photography, Photojournalism, Portraits and more.The Nikon SB900 is most used by customers who consider themselves to be a Photo enthusiast, Pro photographer, Semi-pro photographer among others.The Nikon SB900 is popular because customers like the following qualities of the Nikon SB900: Consistent output, Durable, Easy to use, Fast recycling, Good power output and Versatile

Summary of Customer Reviews

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:
Consistent output (115),Good power output (115),Fast recycling (110),Easy to use (102),Durable (93),Versatile (92),Lightweight (37)
Heavy / bulky (42),Heavy (24),Pricey / poor value (3),Slow recycling (3)
Best Uses:
General purpose (118),Portraits (103),Fill flash (101),Photojournalism (76),Night photography (68),Sports photography (5),Wedding/event photography (3)
Reviewer Profile:
Semi-pro photographer (40),Pro photographer (28),Photo enthusiast (20),Enthusiast (19),Professional (18),Semi-professional (14),Casual photographer (6)

Nikon SB900 Features

  • Nikon's Flagship Creative Lighting System Speedlight
  • Control up to 3 remote Speedlight groups and an unlimited number of compatible Speedlights
  • Streamlined controls and menus
  • FX/DX format identification
  • Expanded Auto Power Zoom Coverage from 17-200mm in FX-format
  • Choose from 3 light distribution patterns
  • User-updateable firmware with D3 and D700
  • Colored gel filter identification with D3 and D700
  • Overheat protection
  • Drip-proof mounting foot cover for enhanced moisture protection

Nikon SB900 Specifications

Electronic construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Guide Number
40/56(ISO 100/200, m) (131.2/183.7, ft.) (At the 35mm zoom-head position in Nikon FX-format at Normal light distribution, 20°C/68°F.)
Zoom Range
17mm to 200mm (in FX-format)/12mm to 200mm (in DX format)
Bounce Capability
90° or down to -11°
Swivel Capability
180° to the left and right
Auto Settings
Flash Modes: TTL, Auto Aperture flash, Non-TTL auto flash, Distance-priority manual flash, Manual flash, Repeating flash
Flash Exposure Control Set on the Camera: Slow-sync, Red-eye reduction, Redeye reduction in slow-sync, Rear-curtain sync flash Shooting functions: Auto FP High-Speed sync, FV Lock flash
Recycle Time
Approx. 4.0 sec at full power output with 4AA Alkaline-manganese (1.5V) batteries for Approx.110 flashes
Approx. 2.3 sec at full power output with 4AA Ni-MH (2600 mAh) (rechargeable) (1.2V) batteries for Approx.190 flashes
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 78.0 × 146.0 × 118.5mm (3.0 × 5.7 × 4.7 in.)
Approx. 415g (14.6 oz.)
Notes & Special Features
Flash shooting distance Range: 0.6m to 20m (2 to 66 ft.) (varies depending on theISO sensitivity, zoom-head position, and lens aperture in use
Flash Output Level Compensation: -3.0 to +3.0 EV in increments of 1/3 steps in the i-TTL auto flash, Auto Aperture flash modes and Distance-priority manual flash

Nikon SB900 Reviews

Review Snapshot®


(based on 161 reviews)


of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars



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  • 1 Stars



Most Liked Positive Review


Nikon Quality Excells !!

I use this on camera as well as on pocket wizards remotely with no problems. I also have the SD-9 battery pack which provides plenty of power and quick recycle times. One word of caution ..... in TTL mode the 900 tends to get "hot" and shut down after about 20-25 consecutive shots. Using in manual mode eliminates this problem if rapid fire is needed.


Most Liked Negative Review



Flash overheats. If you want to use the a Nikon SB900 buy a SB800. In normal use as a professional photographer I got 20 shots in 1/2 power and the flash cut off because overheating. I just returned 2 of them.

Reviewed by 161 customers


Great Flash, But...


from Berkley, MA  -  Semi-pro Photographer

There is not much if anything bad you can say about this flash. It does everything you expect it to do and more. I have a wedding to shoot in August and I wanted to replace my less expensive, less feature full Sigma flash with something that will not let me down. From my brief testing this flash is incredible. BUT.... When I ordered over the phone they didn't tell me it was grey market, they said is was used with an E+ rating. The Flash came in and it was in perfect condition. The filters were still in their bag unopened. SO... Unbelievable Flash, but don't appreciate not getting told the truth. Norm


Great Buy


from MN  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I've already owned SB-900 and I wanted to expand my speedlight set (I use them wirelessly with the SU-800) controller. I was excited to see the deal for the used flash. I was first cautious, but buying used equipment from Adorama turned to be a great experience. The speedlight was in an excellent condition, I'd say it was in a better shape than rated by Adorama. It came with all the listed accessories, which were also in excellent shape. In fact, the flash came with more accessories than listed. I ordered my flash by phone. The sales person who helped me was very knowledgeable and courteous, without being too push with the sale. Overall, I was very pleased with the purchase experience and I'm very, very happy with my speedlight - it works perfectly, can't really tell it's second-hand.

(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)


Don't buy this flash.


from Undisclosed

The many reviewers who have mentioned the overheating problem are correct. Do not buy this flash; you will be very disappointed the first time you use it if you take many shots. I cannot believe Nikon could put such a poor product on the market and not even offer to replace it to its loyal customers, of which I am one.


Units over heat under load


from Undisclosed

I have found that my flash over heats under heavy load, which interrupts shooting. For this alone, I have given this a lower rating than I would have otherwise.




from Dallas TX  -  Photo Enthusiast

Very effective flash. Not one you want to pull out every day but I am thrilled to have it available when I need it.


Great flash


from New York, NY  -  Semi-pro Photographer

I just upgraded from my Sigma flash and this is just far superior. Works wonders when shooting weddings in low light.


Couldn't tell this SB-900 from new!


from Chicago, IL  -  Semi-pro Photographer

Still factory wrapped in the box! Adorama is very generous in its ratings!




from Fairfax, VA  -  Pro Photographer

Flash overheats. If you want to use the a Nikon SB900 buy a SB800. In normal use as a professional photographer I got 20 shots in 1/2 power and the flash cut off because overheating. I just returned 2 of them.


this is my third SB speedlite is


from Garnet Valley, PA  -  Photo Enthusiast

Takes time to learn the programming works well with DX and DX Nikon cameras

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)


could have been great


from Mesa, AZ, USA

This flash has a lot of potental, plenty of flash power but use it to hard and it overheats fast. I aways have to keep an eye on the temprature gauge. I wish it had a small cooling fan to keep it from ovrheating. Also if you plan to use it much you will need to invest in an external power supply, it cooks the 4AA battries in minutes when you try to use it hard. I realy mean cooks them, the batteries get so hot you can't hold them. I use a quantum turbo battery pack and just keep an eye on the tempruture gauge and it does a great job. I also have a SB800 and the 5th battery makes a big diffeance I wish they had kept that on the 900. I would think a flash that is suposed to be for pro use wouldn't have these problems.


Questions & Answers Powered by TurnTo®

Questions about this item:

Shopper  Why Did You Choose This?
KENNETH E  I prefer top of the line attachments for my camera as I want the best quality images. So far, the images have been very good.
Shubhra B  Can I use this as a master unit, with my SB-600 as a remote slave?
OLEKSANDR S  Yes, you can!
Shopper  Did it last?
VANESSA F  Gray market flash seems to be identical in appearance, build quality and functionality to US model. Very satisfied with product thus far.
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