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Nikon SB-900 speedlight has reached end of life?

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I received separate emails from retailers in two different European countries that the Nikon SB 900 speedlight has reached end of life and can no longer be ordered. This is a rather unusual development since the SB-900 was announced in 2008. The previous SB-800 model was announced in 2003. Maybe this is just a glitch in Nikon's ordering system.

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  • juicebox81

    SB-10000?!

    IT HAS BEGUN!

    • preston

      SB-1000. No need to jump to 10,000 :)

      • LOL

        MOAR ZEROES!@!

      • juicebox81

        hahaha oops… got carried away with excitement!

    • Paul

      No that’s not good enough. I vote SB-1,000,000!

      • Paul

        With the power of the sun*!

        *Nuclear power pack sold separately.

  • whtchocla7e

    IT HAS BEGUN!!!!!!!

  • Bob the Builder

    I hope this means a return to TTL instead of iTTL

  • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

    Just to be clear – so far I have not heard anything on a new SB flash. It was just weird to receive two emails form retailers in different countries stating the same thing.

    • Yhannoby

      probably its a glitch

    • http://www.novumlucis.com/ Dr SCSI

      @ admin,
      I do remember you reporting about a Nikon Speedlight pantent with a built in fan for cooling. Maybe its finally ready for prime time.

    • AnoNemo

      NR Admin,
      I think we may see 2 new flashes. We know the SB900 had its issues but Nikon does not really have a “flash” for video. I expect something around the LED department.

      One question since we are talking about flash. Have you heard anything about whether the D800 will have flash? I have this feeling that it will not have flash but you will be able to use external LED type of “flash” (or you can call it flash + light in one unit).

      • Jabs

        Already done with the new Nikon 1 System – just needs to be now released for the rest of the DSLR’s.

  • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

    Hmm. Maybe Nikon realizes the flaws with the current system, and will release a new kick-ass flash with the D800. :D

    Mark

    • Troll Boy

      What are the flaws you are referencing?

  • The invisible man

    ????????????
    I have a SB900, great flash, what could possibly be improved ????

    • Mark

      Overheating!

      • http://www.detgyldnesnit.dk dgs

        apply firmware 5.02!

        • harry couvert

          which stops overheating?

          • http://www.detgyldnesnit.dk dgs

            “With uninterrupted shooting with the SB-900 set to i-TTL mode, images captured just before the flash ceased firing were sometimes overexposed.
            This issue has been resolved. By resolving this issue, metering precision has been further increased and the number of times the flash fires has also been increased.”

        • btdown

          Even with 5.02 more than like 6-7 pics in a row the thing overheats.

          • dino B

            you use max power with 8 fps maybe hehe

        • T.I.M

          Just checked mine, 5.2 firmware, never had heating issues.

      • The invisible man

        I live in Florida, never had heat problems with my SB-900 (I use NiMh batteries).
        That’s a great flash, I use it alot with the ceilling deflexion, make studio-like pictures.
        I may have to get an other one before it’s too late.

        • Mr. Kotku

          My 2 SB-900′s are crap. They both over heat after just a few shots. Sent them both back to Nikon USA. They said they found no problems. So now my $1000.00 Speedlites sit in a box and use my ugly old Sb-800′s.

          • http://japanathan.blogspot.com J. Harold

            I’d be more than happy to take those SB-900′s off your hands for you Mr. Kotku. ;)

    • Noel

      LEDs for video light.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.comp Ron Adair

      Scrap the horrible interface on the SB-900 and start over, beginning with the Canon-esque click wheel that takes brain damage to understand. The SB-800 was a bit daft, but way faster/more usable than the SB-900.

      Then make it smaller like your SB-800, and forget about matching the look/feel of Canon’s speed lights.

      Everything else: great. Nikon flashes are great as-is.

      If you decide to add PW-compatible radio slave, you’ll get 17 <3s from me and every other pro.

      • Jesus_sti

        I like way more Sb-900 interface than sb-800… maybe some more bouton for faster configuration but it’s very esay to use…

        • Benjo

          Agreed, my 600s and 800s are not intuitive. My 900s are much easier to operate (the on/slave/master switch alone saved plenty of time). Haven’t used the 700 but it looks only more intuitive.

          • Soap

            Yea, the 600 has the worst interface of them all.

            Interfaces peaked with the 26! The perfect blend of buttons and slide switches!

          • binary_eye

            Just like most Nikon bodies, the SB-600 isn’t intuitive. But once you learn the controls, changes can be made very quickly.

          • http://AdairCreativeGroup.comp Ron Adair

            Notice I didn’t say the word ‘intuitive’ to describe the SB-800. ;)

            I concur that the SB-800 interface isn’t ‘intuitive’, as in ‘see it and know it’ operation, but then neither is the SB-900 really. However, the SB-800 is MUCH faster to operate once you learn where stuff is, and takes IMO a lot less time to get stuff done. A click wheel on screen options that are adjacent to each other (as opposed to in a vertical array, for instance) is pretty bad UX, and takes a lot of slow, precise movements or looping/back & forth to get to the right spot. Not ideal when you’re in a hurry.

            • http://micahmedia.com Micah

              …that’s interesting to read you think the 800 is faster. I picked up an 800 in 2007, and looking at the controls, I imagined the 900 was faster. Never used one though. The specs didn’t seem better in any positive ways.

              Now I’ll have to try.

              Haha, if a 910 or 1000 comes out, maybe it’ll be time to upgrade to a 900. :D One of my 600s just ate it and I could use one more.

      • PHB

        I don’t think I have ever been able to figure out the interface on a Nikon flash.

        That is not good for a tool whose purpose is to be used in THE DARK.

        I was taking pictures of hotrods with flames shooting out the back and trying to change the settings on my SB600. The i/f is completely unintuitive and requires the user to look at the display while they are changing stuff. Which is impossible at night.

        So I ended up missing shots because the i/f is crappy.

        I will probably move to some pocket wizards though. That is if those chuckleheads ever come up with an explanation of what is needed to make a set of stuff work. Why do I need to get flash sync cords as well as the PW? Why can’t the flash just plug into a hotshoe on the PW? Why not put a tripod or lighting stand mount adapter on the PW? It all seems so bogus to pay $1000 for a bunch of gear and then tie it together with bobby pins and gaffer tape.

    • Samuel

      I have problem with AF assist beam with current flashes.. when I use Af assist on flash my D700 is backfocusing like crazy.. when I turn this feature off in flash menu everything is just dead on :-) so may be Nikon want improve this with new D800 and flash :-))

    • Been there guy

      It’s design.

      I just had a thought, what if Steve Jobs worked at Nikon. What kind of sleek and functional camera we otherwise would have? Just a thought in regarding the industrial design.

      wouldn’t that be cool to have Leicanish compact body with D800 functions?

      • Jesus_sti

        I call it a 1 bouton camera !

      • AM

        It would have been the iAmComing. LOL

      • btdown

        Oh yeah..I’d want that..it would be a super stylish camera that took half assed photos. But everyone would be so enamored with its cool styling that they would overlook the fact that that the actual quality of the photo/etc was substandard.

        • photdog

          +100

      • iamlucky13

        Apple is a heavily consumer-oriented company. I’m not sure there’d be anything remarkably different.

        Especially since Nikon already tried touch screens…

      • ZoetMB

        Be careful of what you ask for. While Jobs was terrific at making these kinds of design decisions and I’m a big fan of Apple’s products, Form exceeded Function for Steve (like the one-button mouse).

        A camera designed by Steve would probably have had no ISO, aperture or speed settings. And it certainly wouldn’t have had the hundreds of available settings available from Nikon’s menus.

        However, Apple expertise would have been useful to improve the usability of the Nikon menuing system, but there are others, such as Thom Hogan, who also has great understanding of how this could be improved.

      • Patrik

        You would not get access to your photos with anything else but iTunes! Have to load them up to the ‘cloud’, and have them compressed in that mysterious ppc format. Printing would be only through an iPrinter, where you get advertisements to print famous photographs for only $0.99 each. Heaven forbid that anybody else use a flat piece of paper to print on: that is patented! … Maybe its best the way it is.

      • dino B

        well first iphone wasnt able to even take videos and at the time phones at half the price were able to.. so the first camera wouldnt even be able to take pictures. only view them and every year u get one extra feature….. not trying to be mean or anything bu it is true.. heis definitly a marketing genius not to mention nothing iphone is compatible with anything else and not to mention itunes

      • Foolishcfo

        Then the D800 would come out wuth Thunderbolt instead of USB3.0. That would have been sweet!

        • B!

          Sweet for who a handful of mac pro users? USB 3.0 is going to have 95% market share. Hopefuly Nikon doesn’t start catering to apple fanboys.

    • JY

      i hope the new one can turn its head like sony’s

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/sooperkuh/ außerirdischegesund

      There are lots of things that could be improved:

      Size (make it smaller)
      It could take LiIon batteries (EN-EL-something)
      Radio transponder/receiver
      Options to mount an umbrella without a bracket
      Make it stand by itself, or include several mounting options
      Modeling/Video light

  • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

    I figured we might see a new flash system introduced with the new flagship. If you do have a new technology, lets say a wireless triggering system integrated into your flagship cameras, you would need to introduce them at the same time.

    Plus, didn’t the 900 have problems with overheating and shutting down to limp mode way to easily? For both of the reasons, I have stayed away from the 900. I’m hoping against hope that the D4/D400/D800 will have wireless triggering, so there’s no point in buying more PocketWizards until I know for sure. Wouldn’t it be awesome if Nikon partnered with LPA and made the PocketWizard integral to the camera system?

    Zinchuk

    • Paul

      Why would Nikon even need to partner with anyone to make a wireless TTL system (RF based), especially with Pocketwizard whose prices border on the absurd? If Yongnuo can create their own flashes with receiver technology built in for wireless TTL (RF), then surely Nikon can do it better. I would argue that Nikon could do it and render PW null for their system.

      • anonymous

        YuongNuo, CowboyStudios are God-sends. I have been using their equipment without any fail and they definitely do the job and a cheaper price point.

      • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

        If Nikon partnered with PW, it could also mean partnerships will many of the major strobe manufacturers. PW now makes specialized units for Elinchroms, for instance, allowing you to control the output from the Elinchrom strobes much like their in-house skyport. Imagine if you could do that straight from the body? Wouldn’t that be sweet? Maybe mix strobes and speedlightins all in a CLS style mult-light shoot? I’m drooling right now, thinking of it.
        Zinchuk

    • Adam

      Well if the next Nikon flashes has RF wireless TTL, I hope they’ll give an update or attachment for SB900 to receive this RF signal.

  • http://doomgoat.tumblr.com Wilbur J. Huffnagel

    This is some of the best Nikon news I have heard all week.

    If we are lucky Nikon might even innovate and get a really useful tool into the hands of the masses instead of putting out a larger, more energy intensive version of a prior model.

    Don’t get me wrong; CLS is quite useful to me (despite only one eye on the flash unit). And I would not argue if a ‘bigger, better’ version of an recent flash unit really does add value; just I want to see some (more) innovation.

  • http://nicolaiecostel.blog.com inginerul

    Maybe they will release a new model with the rumored LED lamp for video and external radiator for heat dissipation (there were some patents posted here about a year ago). Also, maybe the new flash will not overheat.

    • Jesus_sti

      If you a Led you don’t have heat problem anymore…. led don’t creat heat …

      • Soap

        If you a Led you don’t have heat problem anymore…. led don’t creat heat …

        You could not be more wrong.

        http://www.aavidthermalloy.com/product-group/led

      • Benjo

        Sure they do, they’re just much more efficient than incandescent or fluorescent. And the LED would be a supplementary light, only used for video. It would not replace the traditional capacitor-fed flash bulb.

      • jivs

        My friend, you have not experienced the high power 3W and above that are made by the likes of CREE, and SSC. The XML, ST50, ST90, and P7 are some of the worlds brightest LEDs… Those all need heatsinks, and get super hot – yet still more efficient than halogen bulbs, and perform better, in smaller package, than an array of LEDs like light panels.

      • B!

        It’s strange that LED don’t creat heat yet they are mounted to extensive and elaborate hetsink often with active (fan) cooling. LEDs GET HOT!!! Period.

  • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

    My initial post seemd to vanish into the ether, so I’ll try this again.

    I anticipated this, or at least hoped for it.

    If you were to launch a totally new technology like wireless flash triggering with your speedlights, a la PocketWizard ControlTTL Flexes and Minis, the time to do it would be with the launch of your flagship cameras.

    Plus the 900 had overheating issues, and appears to have been something of a dog in that regard.

    In eager anticipation of a possible Nikon wireless radio trigger system (remember, CLS is ‘wireless’ too, but has definite line of sight and brightness limitations) I have held off on buying either more PocketWizards or speedlights.

    I would love to see Nikon work with PocketWizard and integrate the two systems. LPA has already worked with the likes of Paul C Buff, Bowens, and Elinchrom, but scoring with a top two manufacturer would take the cake.

    Perhaps this can be Nikon doing a Steve Jobs “One more thing…”

    Zinchuk

  • instamatic

    I hope, the SB-800 is re-introduced, perhaps a refined version like an SB-810, but the SB-800 was such an awesome flash that it should continue to be produced.

    The refinements might be a new type of capacitor, and some improvements in user interface, but otherwise it was an awesome flash, a pinnacle of versatility for film and digital users.

    • http://AdairCreativeGroup.comp Ron Adair

      Totally agree. SB-800 = great flash. Compact, efficient (love the 5th battery holder for <3 second recycle times), and powerful. Pretty solid, too. I'm still powering away with three that all well over 4 years old.

      • http://techprolet.com Pavlos

        It’s a pity I lost it to burglars (along with almost all my other Nikon equipment)
        :-(

      • Tiger1050Rider

        I agee about the SB800. However the menu system is a real PITA.
        So I leave mine set in Commander Mode and use the commander on my Cameras. (Yeah, I have the R1C1 kit).
        Doing it this way, seems to work fine for me especially for fill in flash off camera.

      • photdog

        5th battery! That’s one major point for me not to be happy with the 800. During using the flash it may pay off. But I haven’t seen any charger yet doing five AA batteries. It’s whether 2, 4 or 6 – most of them 4.
        In the studio this might be a minor catch – with equipment one carry around it’s a disadvantage.

        I personally did not like the user interface of the SB600 (and as far as I remember the SB800 wasn’t too far away from it) Now, using the SB 900 I can see already on the switch position if it is on Master or Slave, I have preset many functions, hardly ever changing them, the zoom is access able through a separate button and I adjust +/- EV I only on the camera.
        All in all I’m pleased with the SB 900 though there is always space for improvement.
        There is a promising Quantum -batterypack but I assume it drives the SB 900 even faster into the heat cut off. Nikon has the sd-9 but I wonder if a camera battery wouldn’t be even more efficient concerning recycle times and duration.
        I’d love CLS per radio transmission as additional option but I’m wondering if radio is fast enough to transmit all CLS functions (as far as I know, light is the fastest medium there is…)

        • http://www.createdbylove.com Lewis

          Technically IR and RF are both Electromagnetic radiation just at different frequencies. Also, the Radio Popper PX system transmits the CLS functions via RF so an internal system should be able to do the same thing.

        • http://AdairCreativeGroup.com Ron Adair

          You do realize you don’t HAVE to use the 5th battery compartment, right? Indeed, the SB-800 is shipped from the factory with the standard door, and the 5th battery compartment is an additional accessory in the box.

          And trust me, once you get used to the much faster recycle times, you won’t mind picking up an extra set of 4 batteries and charger to compensate for the odd number of slots.

    • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

      +1
      I was definitely sad to see the SB-800 go. Not only did it have everything I need from a speed-light but it was also 40% cheaper than it’s replacement. I never updated to the SB-900. Instead I just found a used SB-800 when I needed another flash.

  • kenny

    Im from Asia, i dont think so…we still received a lot stock from nikon japan…

  • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

    A small note, I suggested this wireless idea to NPS reps at WPPI in Februrary, 2011, obviously too late to be integrated in the current product cycle. But the Nikon rep I spoke to said it was something they had heard suggested many times before from other Nikon pros. Maybe they listened?

    Zinchuk

  • preston

    I have a SB-700 and can confirm what reviews say about it handling overheating issues much better than SB-900, so maybe they’re taking this tech and releasing an updated SB-900 with it.

  • David Purdy

    NR first posted a link to a Nikon patent on using RF for flash synchronization in August of 2009

    http://www.google.com/patents/about?id=URLHAAAAEBAJ&dq=nikon&ie=ISO-8859-1

    I conjecture that such a system might appear in concert with the D4 along with a major upgrade to capture NX 2

  • http://www.visionphotostudio.co.uk Les

    Maybe the next flashgun will have a built-in camera..

    • Martin McColgan

      Now, that’s funny.

      • silmasan

        +1 laugh :D

  • Robert Daniels

    Flash was too heavy and Nikon knows it. The problems it was causing in the D700 amounted to the ridiculous I won’t even begin to mention the overheating!…When doing Event based photography when using SB800 and SB600 I never had a problem. Now I carry 2 SB900′s because I have to be on the ready when the flash overheats. I was going to retire the sb900′s in trade for the SB700′s I will keep the SB-900′s for off camera flash because of the stupid D700 Flash shoe debacle.

    • http://www.seidphotography.com CS

      +1
      Agree. SB900 too heavy for a long day of wedding…too heavy for the hot shoe that is…had to bring every single one of my D700s to fix the hot shoe.

    • Benjo

      I’ll agree the thing’s pretty darn huge, smaller would absolutely be nicer.

      You can just turn the overheating protection off though, I did so after encountering the shutoff and it acts just like my SB-600s and 800s. It hasn’t burned up on me or showed any signs of doing so. I’m sure it would if I attached an external pack and fired it nonstop for ten minutes, but realistically it has not been a problem for me while doing (relatively rare) PJ and event work.

  • http://www.novumlucis.com Dr SCSI

    Let us hope that they implement the ControlTL from Pocket Wizard. A built in PW receiver would get another $100 from me.

  • Sylvesterii

    Maybe the new D800 will have built-in radio rather than IR, and the new flash will trigger with that, rather than IR?

  • Jabilson007

    A good replacement has to have RF wireless built-in and overheating fixes. The bodies would have to have it also and a hot shoe unit for older systems would need to be available. Having a video light built-in is too consumer orientated for a pro flash.

  • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

    @Jabilson007 – I would agree with all you said except for the video feature. For a wedding photog who is integrating video into his workflow, having a dual purpose speedlight/video light would be ideal. I don’t know squat about video lights, but could you use the difuser over an LED video light, or would that cook it?

    Zinchuk

    • http://www.jpgmag.com/people/markwjr Mark

      Like you hinted at, I think a LED video light, without a diffuser, that would fit into the body of a hotshoe-mounted flash unit would be a bit like a flashlight. Way too harsh. Whatever kind of diffuser Nikon comes out with to go with it will probably have space between that will not only have alot of light spill, but will diffuse the light quite well.

      Mark

    • http://nicolaiecostel.blog.com inginerul

      No.

    • silmasan

      video? you mean continuous light? AC power? cabled to a big batt pack? Nikon? SB? really?

      • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

        Continuous lighting doesn’t have to be AC. LEDs only work with DC anyway.

        • silmasan

          Ahh.. so he meant one of those little micro-fills? OK

          Of course there’s always AC/DC PSU, but I was thinking of SB-900′s max power + long use. I don’t know how that will work out, but interesting. May work just great with D3s-class sensitivity, no?

      • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

        I can buy very bright LED flashlights at Costco that run off three AAA batteries for hours and hours. Surely a speedlight with perhaps a ring of LEDs around the flash head could operate off the 4 AAs (or 5, as with the SB-800). Indeed, you would likely kill off the camera battery shooting video before your speedlight NiMH set running such video lights.

        Here’s the general idea – X’s being LEDs, looking at the front of the flash head.

        XXXXXXXX
        X_______X
        X__***__X
        X_______X
        XXXXXXXX

        Doug Gordon sells a specially made LED flashlight for exactly this reason, with a set of colour balanced diffusers to match the ambient lighting. The SB-700 has a similar set for flash. Surely the same could be done with a speedlight?
        Zinchuk

        • soap

          Have you tried photographing with LED flashlights as the primary lightsource? I rather suspect their color response is poor.

          By way of analogy go to Home Depot and look at the flourescent tubes.
          Take one of each model and put them in order by their lumens per watt.

          You’ll notice, regardless of color temperature the rated color accuracy is inversely correlated to efficiency. Point is that it is easy to make a very efficient monochromatic light source – it is very hard to make a full spectrum light source which is efficient. Full spectrum LEDs are orders of magnitude less efficient than the narrow-spectrum ones they use in flashlights.

          • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

            I’m sure there would be quality controls on colour temperature, output, etc., from a company like Nikon. Costco flashlights are just an example of the relative cost and output capabilities. Whether or not it needs to be full spectrum, I don’t know. Do most sensors work better with full spectrum lighting, or specific kelvin temps? I would suggest specific colour temps.

            Zinchuk

            • soap

              The issue isn’t one of quality control, the issue is that LEDs tend to produce a very narrow spectrum of light. The efficient ones a very very narrow spectrum.

              Good spectrum or good efficiency – pick one.

  • http://www.curtisbrandt.com Curtis Brandt

    Many users here appear to hope for RF communication between Speedlights, as opposed to the IR communication which is currently used by major camera manufacturers. I’d agree, built-in RF technology would be great in terms of extending range and relieving us of the generally line-of-sight limitations of CLS. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath. I once overheard a Canon rep indicating that they would not be able to produce a flash system using RF because of differing international regulations on RF use. If true, this may be a significant barrier.

    • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

      But Pocket Wizard seems to be producing radio transceivers without any problems so I don’t see why a camera manufacturer couldn’t include such a transceiver in their flash.

      • http://www.curtisbrandt.com Curtis Brandt

        I wish we had more first hand knowledge about this. I’m like you, I’d hope that the manufacturers would include superior technology if they could. But what I heard from the Canon rep made sense, apparently they as a company were just not able/willing to navigate the necessary terrain to include RF technology built-in. I’m implying that Nikon’s situation may be similar.

        My guesses would be that it has something to do with topics such as various regulations, patents, etc. PW and Radio Poppers indeed distribute to multiple markets. A quick perusal of the Radio Popper site, for example, reveals that they seem to sell different models to different markets. The need to develop multiple specification models may be something the larger companies are not willing to do. I don’t know, unfortunately it’s all a guess.

        I have no doubt that Nikon (and Canon) are technically capable of offering built-in RF transmission. My point is that we should perhaps not hope to sincerely for the inclusion of RF technology, as the fact that they have not yet introduced it, in the face of several other competing companies whose efforts could probably be improved upon, suggests that there are factors we’re not taking into consideration. That is, factors other than “can or should it be done”.

        • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

          That make sense to a point – no one regulates IR transmissions. But there are worldwide standards: think Wi-Fi. And Nikon has already produced Wi-Fi transmitters. I have one for my D200 that cost over $700. They make one for each generation of pro bodies, as does Canon.

          While yes, there can be issues with interference, I would say they are less than the line of sight issues I encounter every day using CLS. Perhaps it could be a hybrid IR/Wi-Fi system?

          If you have Wi-Fi on board, not only can you trigger your flashes with it, but you could also use the same system for downloads. If Eye-Fi can do it in an SD card, surely there is room for a similar system within the hulking body of a pro SLR, even a consumer SLR.

          For flash triggering at least, you don’t need a strong signal. Just one or two bars should be able to pop the flash at the programmed strength. File transfers are another story, however.

          Long story short, if I can have a Wi-Fi in my cell phone, or SD card, or point and shoot, Nikon can surely do it for my SLR and speedlight.

          Zinchuk

          • David

            Exactly,

            10 years ago, coming up with a RF protocol that would work world wide would have been problematic

            today, there are a number of RF protocols that can be used, for example blue tooth or zigbee or wifi

            and if Nikon were to use those (which is what they have in a patent) then they could produce a universal RF system that could be certified world wide

            not certain that will heppen but it would be a big selling point to me

            in regards to SB800 vice SB900 – the SB900 is a better flash function wise to put on the camera but i prefer the SB800 size

            the SB800 is a better slave because you can just setup up as a slave and push on the button and away you go

          • http://www.createdbylove.com/ Lewis

            I’m not sure WiFi would be robust enough though. Timing is a lot more important when you’re firing a flash than it is when you’re transmitting photos.

  • http://mato34.es/ Mato34
  • nobody

    My SB 900 has been collecting dust since I bought the SB 700. The SB 900 is simply too big and heavy, IMO. And that caused the well known problems on many D700 cameras, mine included.

  • http://photo.plantae.sk miso

    hope finally end of this heavy and bulky thing. it´s time for going back to lighter equipment…

  • grumps

    GUYS, firstly the overheating is OLD news, it never overheated if you guys ever owned one, it was just the prevention system kicking in too early. I own four among other strobe lighting system, I come back to my multiple SB-900 all the time, they are Great!

    Too many of you are judging from very old news, or never tried to understand and use the system extensively. The SB-800 was great, and so is the SB-900, and better in my opinion!

    • Kon_head

      +1

      SB900 is head & shoulders above the SB800 (user interface sucks big time) , those sb900 problems floating around the web were old old old news. I have a 1.5 yr old SB900, never have a problem with over heating.

      You want small, get the SB700. Fast, small and even better user interface.

  • Drunkenmiller

    If Nikon can incorporate GOOD RF wireless flash performance (CLS II) into their next generation of DSLRs and speedlights, along with producing a RF replacement for the SU-800 that would make it backwards compatible with existing DSLRs, they will provide an extremely compelling reason for Nikon users to upgrade and non-Nikon users to switch. I’m all for it!

    • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

      Agreed. As one poster mentioned above, they would need a retofit module for older speedlights, like the PocketWizards ControlTTL system. If PocketWizard can do it, surely Nikon can. I towuld definitely be a big draw.

  • tk

    SB900 overheating is not an old issue….

    I have one that is less than a year old with 5.0.2 firmware. Shooting outside in humid Florida weather, I trigger the over-heating protection on fairly regular basis. The problem is real. I have it turned off so that it will beep but won’t stop from firing. I’ll take my chances.

  • D700guy

    It is a piece of shit compared to the SB800.

  • http://www.graphy.ro MC

    You guys are wrong! The new Nikon bodies starting with D800 will be able to shoot in the complete dark so the use of flash will become obsolete. That’s why Nikon stop the production of SB900! LOL!

  • Steve Starr

    I hope its replacement has integrated RF. My SB-900′s don’t work so hot in the desert sunlight to knock down harsh shadows using their IR as it is. Sometimes they fail at 3 feet from the Commander. Really is annoying and why some RF system needs to be called into play. Hope they have a i-TTL /CLS transmitter for the older bodies if they do.

    The SB-900 weight doesn’t bother me at all and I leave mine on the camera most of the time along tied with a wrist strap on the camera. However, I have had them shut down in the sun as 110 degree heat and sunlight don’t play nice with them and mine will shut down for a few minutes after rapid firing in that stuff.

    If this is appearing around the time of the D800, that body must have something to work with this new coming thing.

  • Alan

    Nikon, seriously…WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?
    D800 36mpx and 4fps?
    Sb-900 replacement ?

    There’s no need of a Sb-900 replacement!
    What feature could you add?
    A sub-flash like Nissin Di866?
    A touchscreen menu?
    An Mp3 reader?
    A modem?
    Seriously Nikon, what the duck are you doing?

  • http://www.redseatphoto.com Mike R

    You sure it’s not just supply problems? Nikon had the same issue back in May. Tried to get an SB 900 from Adorama using the McNalley Flash Bus discount and they were out of stock.
    I’d wiss for built in RF control the Mini iTTL PW stuff is so kludgey.

  • http://www.eaglewheel.us bikinchris

    My guess? SB-900 with improvements like the patents which were published a while back.
    http://nikonrumors.com/2010/11/25/update-on-the-latest-nikon-patents-filed-in-japan.aspx/

  • broxibear

    Hey Peter/admin,
    Which European countries are you referring to ?
    I’ve just checked here in the UK and there are no SB -900 stock issues at all.
    The D3s and D700 bodies are also back in stock across the major retailers too.
    The only reason Nikon would be replacing the SB-900 so quickly is a particular feature that only works with any new D800/D4.
    Who knows ?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ [NR] admin

      I prefer not to mention the countries in order not to get anyone in trouble. The was sent by retailers who got the message from Nikon when they tried to order the SB-900. The SB-900 could still be in stock in the stores.

      • to-mas

        i bought one sb-900 few days ago in Slovakia. No mention about problems with ordering.

      • broxibear

        No problem.

  • Richmonster

    Weird, my SB900′s still appear to have loads of life left in them!

  • John

    If the new d800 has new AF and face recognition, there is a good chance that a new flash is needed. The Sb900 is a great flash but the Sb700 seems to have fixed all it’s issues. I could see a replacement on the horizon.

  • Roddy

    Why would you discontinue a product so far ahead of another announcement. This makes no marketing sense. What would happen if Google stopped making Android phones. Apple has occasionally scaled back deliveries, but their timeline is well-known and releases are regularly expected. Nikon may make great products, but they seem to be suffering a lack of business acumen.

    • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

      Apple seems to be really good of running out their stock just before the new model comes in. Rarely do you see much of the older model after the new one has been announced. This appears to be precisely what Nikon may be doing with the SB-900. Let the old inventory dwindle, and start shipping new models for the impending announcement date.

      • Roddy

        I don’t see it.

  • Drunkcaballo

    Unless the new flash does full 1080p/360fps ultra slowmo video and has built in GPS, and extends ISO capabilities to shoot in the bottom of a cave Im switching to Canon.

  • Ken

    Obviously another typo :-) D700=SB900 : D S B and 7 are all on the same keyboard….

  • Anonymous

    Here we go again. Well do not get your hopes up for a new flash with RF! There is no rumor! Remember, this is just a bunch of talk on the boards, so do not be disappointed when it turns out there is no new flash coming (like what happened in August when everyone was talking D800/D4 release).

  • spamdie

    My guess will be it’ll be the same flash but with minor changes like the temperature sensor change. Enough were they won’t change the model name but they want to make sure the old supply is run out of the market so current retailers don’t get stuck with Lame duck models. Eg old, works, but people won’t buy them knowing for the same price then can get the fixed model.

  • jacob

    The SB-900 overheats if you over-use it. You should be happy there is a system in place to let you know you may risk frying the flash head. Btw, if it really bothers you you can switch the protection off, and you have your SB800 :)

  • MJr

    Need matching flash for awesome new D800 tech !

  • Jake

    Anyone remembers this post?

    http://nikonrumors.com/2011/01/21/pocketwizard-patents-a-new-type-of-embedded-radio-flash-trigger-for-nikon-cameras.aspx/

    Hopefully it lands in the D800 as well. Not just the top tier…..

  • Kevin Osmond

    Maybe it will be a SB 900S LOL

    minor internal upgrade with fan cooling and new optic for the zoom features. ha ha ha

    BTW im not hatin on the new iphone, cus i preordered mine.. ha ha ha
    still an upgrade from my 3Gs.

    and also, if theres a new one out its possible its for a new flash feature on the D800 and D4, like iTTLSX-1000 or some ha ha ha

  • Smudger

    SB-900 going? Gone?
    No great loss.
    Too big, too heavy and not as powerful as the SB800 through most of the zoom setings.

  • http://atmikesphotography.blogspot.com/ Atmikes

    I have no problem with My SB-900 on the D700?

    Overheating? what are you guys doing, mine never overheats? I shoot an entire wedding on 1 set of batteries. why do you need Full Power 10 shots in a row???

    It’s big and heavy, ok on that… but it’s built for pro use, i dropped mine, several times, “it just works”

    Love it, would by it again!

  • http://www.flickr.com jivs

    Video light built in. Its about time. I’ve been shooting extensive video with the D90 and now D7000! But have had to build my own video lights for these suckers. I shoot club events, so those crappy LED panels on ebay don’t work for what I need. Thet are fine as close range interview lights. Peter, maybe I should send you a post on what I have done with the SSC P7 LEDs and 4 AA Ni-Mh batteries? Dare I say it, but it will blow the shit out of most commercial “light panel” type devices in terms of performance, size, and power requirements :). I have 2 SB900…and had to make a DIY solution for super low light video! And it works like a charm.

  • Ren Mockwell

    Too many “strobists” idiots are complaining because they encounter the thermal protection kicking in after they have done 300 shot in a burst at high power using battery packs and Nikon is fed up with their bullshit so they are going to do a Nikon SB900F which has a 3 meter diameter fan built in the unit so these morons can continue shooting like they do without spamming their tech support mails and lines.

    • Hom Thogan

      Oh boy… tell me about it… often I do find these dumbie dumbs asking this kind of stuff too much..

      • http://www.zinchuk.ca Zinchuk

        What about the working pro, like a photojournalist or wedding photog (me?) I will shoot up to 2400 frames in a day, sometimes more. I need flashes that can keep up to a heavy shoot.

        • tk

          It doesn’t take that kind of heavy shooting to trigger a thermal cut-off. Imagine shooting outside on a typical warm humid evening in Florida. Pop a dozen or so as soon as it cycles at 1/2 power or less. Beep….

          In a cool air conditioned room, it’s fine. Humid outside, not so.

        • Hhom Togan

          They raise ISO and lower ouput power of the flash, professionals aren’t idiots who don’t read the user manual of the flash, neither they are dumbs who don’t know the relationship between flash output power and ISO.

          Even if it is a SB-800 or a Canon 580EX II, if you go popping your flash at full power in long consecutive shots with a battery the result is going to be the same (or worst because these don’t have a thermal protection safety feature).

          From those 2,400 shots they won’t be done all at full power, nor all will require flash… Dumbie dumb!!!. If you are shooting like that then eh… you aren’t a smart chap mate…

          Are you one of those “storbirsts”? because you sound like one: clueless

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