Some Nikon Speedlight SB-700 details

Some small details about the rumored Nikon Speedlight SB-700: it will have various illumination patterns (center-weighted, even and normal); the color gels will communicate the type of gel inserted to the camera and the white balance will be set automatically. That's all for now.

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  • Kevin

    What? Built in gels?

    First, btw.

    • not sure if the gels will be included

    • LGO

      The SB-700 is looking more and more like the SB-900 minus the Master Control features … which is great news! The 135mm zoom in a smaller body is a good compromise. Now if only it has a battery-life indicator, it would be perfect. I am definitely getting one to add to my SB-900.

      • You won’t get a battery indicator unless they switch to lithium batteries. And that is unlikely at the moment.
        (Battery indicators are awfully difficult technology, especially with unknown cells.)

        • LGO

          I understand and thanks for that input which is not widely known.

          I had in mind that Nikon would allow the user to input the battery type which would then be used to compute battery life. The D700 for example has such a feature with the MB-D10 if it uses non-Nikon batteries.

          • LGO: are you the person who had a long review of the 16-35 f/4 posted at Amazon?

            • Anonymous

              rhlpetrus, as far as I know you are our official Amazon Monitor 🙂

            • LGO

              @ rhlpetrus

              Guilty as charged.

            • @LGO

              Very nice review, made me want one. I’m going back and forth between staying APS-C (D7000 or wait for D400) or moving to FF. The 16-35 and 24-120 f/4 were the lenses I had been waiting to make the move. Since I’m planning to wait a bit, anyway, I may get the 24-120 f/4 first and use it with the 12-24 f/4 on the D80 and later get the 16-35 + D700s or D800, whatever comes. 12MP is all I need, I have printed very nice A3 sized images with the 10MP files from D80, much better than anything I ever got from film.

              Thanks again, Renato.

            • LGO

              I have also ordered the Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 VR – useful for both my DX and FX bodies. Since you already have a DX ultra-wide angle, get the Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR when you finally have an FX body.

            • zzddrr

              Reanto, if I were you I would wait for the new FF. Believe me, it is a big difference. If you don’t believe me just try out the D3x…. since I tried it I’ve been bitching 😉 why nikon cannot put this thing into the D700 body.

              Ok seriously, buy 1-2 lenses (as you said) and get an FF.
              Have a nice weekend,

        • PPop

          Hmmm… How come all my GPS recievers, radios and the like have an indicator that works? I too hate it when that last pop goes off and there is no more!

          • LGO

            Low-discharge batteries (e.g., Sanyo eneloop) plus smart chargers (e.g., Powerex and La Crosse) should help.

        • A battery indicator would work since no matter the kind of battery you are using the flash will give you the “low batt” indicator at the same voltage and even though alkalines have 1.5v per cell there is also zinc batteries with 1.6v so i guess they could adjust the scale of the indicator bar from “low batt” voltage up to the voltage of 4 fresh alkaline batteries around 6.2v and anything above that will just give you a full charge graph

          i know most of us heavy users are running NiMH batteries with 1.2v cells so our top is around 5.2v with fresh batteries.

          I do think they can make it work if they want to, and also think given the current technology that Nikon uses to represent the charge status in the cameras, they just have to use the same in future flash units.

          And also think the actual menu (sb900) could include a battery selector so the battery graph would be more accurate, since there not so many options for AA’s cells; alkalines, NiCd, NiMH, Lithium and maybe an option for those using the external battery pack. So there you have a 5 option menu that could be easily included in the next firmware (if possible) in the SB-900 because there is so much unused real state in that big matrix screen.

          And another thing i would like to see in the new SB700 is the switch present in the SB900, so you could go Off – On – Slave in just seconds. Let’s face it, we are not getting commander mode in this flash but as a secondary flash it has the potential to help photographers to achieve studio like lighting using CLS, which FYI is the most useful feature Nikon could give us, I use it in weddings and gives you the chance to modify remote units in few clicks!

    • Joe

      No, not built in I guess. I’ll be like with the SB-900, some colored foil in a mount, that can be attached to the flash. If so, this is so cheap to produce that it will be included.

      • WoutK89

        They weren’t included on the SB-600, they used the same gels as the SB-800

        • Joe

          Ok, I didn’t know that. They look like a cheap plastic thingy that can be produced for some few Cents, so I don’t see a reason not to include them in a 250 Euro product.

  • Genji

    You read incorrectly, “insert” like SB-800/900.

    • Kevin

      Wow awesome. does it automatically tweak the auto white balance as well?

      • Kevin

        nevermind. i’m too tired.

        • X0I2o5y2

          Here, have a cookie.

  • Phillip

    Great news!

  • Paul

    This sounds just like a less powerful, cheaper SB-900.

  • sword

    great! I need it.
    How much?
    I’m poor,sorry.

    • WoutK89

      Previous rumor (look for the “RECAP” rumor) said around $300

      • sword

        thanks,that’s wonderful.

  • zzddrr

    I would be interested in seeing some kind LED based flash. With different colors combined they would be able to make some great effect and even corrections. Also, LEDs can serve the video recording. I hope we see something really innovative and not just something small improvements.

    • Anonymous

      zzddrr, you seem to be full of bright ideas. There is an open position in Nikon, Production Specialist, google it. Apply and make use of your comments.

      • Global

        Most great ideas were stolen. >=)

      • f/2.8

        That Production Specialist post was already filled. The Professional Whiner title is available though.

      • st r

        An idea for a FLASH has to be a BRIGHT idea, doesn’t it

      • asdf

        No one stole this idea from anyone. The idea itself painfully obvious and has been for years.

        The problem is the light distribution of LEDs. There are peaks and a lot of valleys in the distribution curves. Google it.

        Also, source link is wrong inasmuch TFT screens _filter_ light and don’t _produce_ it. This is why professional TFT monitors use CLD and not LED lighting.

        • gt

          I think he was just making a comment. I don’t think he was trying to “steal” the idea or pretend it was his in any way.

          However, I still thought it would be nice to give credit to the guys who are actually making this technology a reality. It appeared some NR readers thought zzddrr came up with it

          • Canonknight

            gt looks like you failed to detect sarcasm of Anonymous, lol!

        • zzddrr

          thanks asdf, LEDs are in the public domain for a long period of time and is very well researched area due to its low energy consumption, long life and theoretical unlimited opportunities when it comes to special applications etc. OTOH, manufacturing costs are biggest obstacle.

          All I said in my first post is that I would welcome some new try with LED when it comes to flash.

      • zzddrr


        No I did not read it there but I know that LED’s have characteristics that are very unique and I can imagine that they can be good use for us (photographers).

        BTW, thanks for the article.

    • tanaka

      Conversation between ZZDDRR and his wife:

      Wife: Honey! I’m glad you’re home early! I made you a luxurious 7 course dinner and baked you a pie from scratch for dessert!

      ZZDDRR: Don’t you think the world has already seen 7 course meals? and pie? what am I supposed to do with that? Safeway has been making pies for years! Get out of my sight wench!

      Wife: *cries* Can I at least give you a massage and bring you your slippers?

      ZZDDRR: You can’t stop disappointing me can you? I’m sure Mr. Canon’s wife is already massaging him.

      Wife: *sob* I can start right now! Just let me get you your slippers first…

      ZZDDRR: pah! slippers? what’s taking you so long? why are they not on my feet already? And don’t expect me to thank you for being stupid and slow.

      Wife: I’m back! I’ll start massaging you now

      ZZDDRR: Don’t touch me. Too little too late. You think 10 fingers is enough to massage me? I expect no less than 25 fingers! You disgust me.

      • Joe Boston


      • LGO

        That was funny guys … but perhaps we should stop here and not incite a flame war.

      • STJ

        Most funny comment for a while 🙂

      • zzddrr

        Thanks, Tanaka you made my day 🙂

      • f/2.8

        Is this what is called stuck in a loveless marriage?

  • I thought that the gels are built in. Guess I was wrong.

    Thanks for the post. Was dying for some rumours lol :p

  • Rafael

    I think this new Nikon CEO, is a cool guy! nice new products!

    (there is a new boss at nikon, isnt it?)

    • i_still_want_a_D900

      I bet all these new products you see this september had started for a very , very long time. long before this change at the top.

    • zzddrr

      Rafael, the new Nikon president beats Walt Disney when it comes to stories and imagination. The difference between the two is that the old Walt was entertaining. The problem is that this “new boy” raised the expectations so high that it is almost impossible to meet. 🙂

      • Jose

        Yep, that pretty much sounds like a function in the job description for a CEO, just below the line item that says “Make a whole lot of money for shareholders” 😉

        • zzddrr

          … and make everyone laugh 🙂

  • Ren Kockwell

    If by cool you mean he likes to talk, then yes, he’s really really cool.

  • the gel thing is just like the sb900, it recognizes which gel its on by some marks underneath so it adapts the WB (tho only works on d700 and d3s d3x)

    but maybe thats a standard feature from now on, it just makes sense to me

    • D90

      And D90, and stuff after that.

      • it doesnt change the WB in the D90, if that’s what you are saying, because i have one and i have to adjust the WB everytime i put a gel, which is mostly the A gel to make it match incandescent lighting

        but they are REALLY helpful to adapt your flash to the light available in the venue

  • jo

    Would that WB auto correction for gels work with any Nikon DSLR (or even compact) or are there different revisions of the protocol for flash communication?

    • jo

      sorry, should read all comments before posting :/

  • Abhinav


  • Alex

    I just hope that they use the interface from the SB-900 as well as the 180 degree swivel in both directions.

  • Svolto

    I honestly think those features are the most point less of the sb900. The gel recognition feature even makes it harder to insert a gel.
    I whish they made a cheaper version with only these 2 out.
    Who uses these features. ?

    • f/2.8

      “Who uses these features?”

      The creative types, no?

      • Jose

        I’m pretty sure the people making pictures for “How to use CLS” leaflets that come with the Speedlights use them… or so I want to believe 😀

    • STJ

      You can for example balance the light from your flash to the sourrounding lightsources for one…. Not that that would be handy for anyone who want to take serious flash photography.. what am I saying..hhmmmm…

      • Jo


        Guys, I’m not saying gels are useless, but the auto-recognition features.
        It adds additional parts and cost and is only usefull when you shoot AWB AND on camera flash AND jpeg. 3 things I hardly do.

        And the illumination patterns, I think it’s not that noticeable of a difference when shooting on a wall, so on real life subjects, playing with the zoom get’s you close enough.

        Again, if all these features where free, I wouldn’t mind them, but there is no such thing as free additional feature.

        • danpe

          The auto-recognition feature is hardly expensive, it’s a four bit value read optically and including it adds very little cost to the flash.
          The gels might be a tad more expensive though, but Nikon charges too much for them anyway and always have. As for the usefullness I agree.

          The illumination patterns are free, what happens in reality is just playing with the zoom, at least that is how it works on the 900. You can’t have 200 mm and center-weighted. Still not very useful.

  • Slightly OT, non-CPU lenses in D7000

    Any news or thoughts on the software in the D7000, and whether it’ll be able to do metering with non-CPU lenses?

    Even with my D60, and using a 1957 Gosen Sixtomat lightmeter plus screen & histo, I can get excellent results from two AI lenses and two AIS lenses, all prime-ish.

    Direct metering would be fab, in fact this capability is a deal-maker for me.

    And thanks for this great site.

    • Nikkorian

      lol. what is “prime-ish” – are they so loose by now that focal distance changes? 😉

      • lolcatmaster FTW

        are lenses that kinda zoom because the front optical element is about to fall off the barrel and wobbles 😉

    • st r

      There are cameras that don’t meter or AF with older lenses (e.g., d60)
      There are cameras that don’t meter with older lenses (e.g., d90)
      Then there are cameras that meter and AF with older lenses (d300/s and up)

      However there are no cameras that meter but do not AF.

      It is not known whether D7000 will AF with non-AFS lenses. If it doesn’t, I doubt it will meter either.

      These are mechanical parts which, if left out, make production costs much lighter

    • Jose

      I guess D7000’s customers will be lucky if it keeps the old, in-body AF motor. So just keep your mind open to current trends (AF-S/built-in lens motor) and economic environment (not that good yet)…

      • Anonymous

        Most of the primes by Nikon are still AF, I doubt they will take out the motor from D7000.

        • WoutK89

          Wow, applause, you didnt flame Nikon there. I am proud of you, keep up the good work, I seriously mean it 🙂

    • AI Guy Adelaide

      1. My question was simply whether there had been any news and/or rumours about inclusion of “non-CPU lens” capability in the D90 replacement.

      2. Primes: 24/2.8 AI, 28/2.0 AI, 50/1.4 AI-S

      3. Prim-ish: 75-150/3.5 AI-S

  • Rell Wenkock

    The SB-400 is all anyone ever needs for every type of shot. The SB-700 is too big and clunky and it hasn’t even been released yet.

    • woble

      Judging from your name you must be Ken Rockwell in disguise. Shoo.. go away!

      • STJ

        Yep – all he ever needs is to go away…

    • Abhinav

      somebody does love to twist ken rockwell’s name and spam on his behalf lol

      • WoutK89

        This Ken impersonators are starting to become annoying, PLEASE stay on topic, and keep away from this growing nonsense you guys spew out.

        • Anonymous

          you mad?

        • +1

        • I must say I enjoy mocking Ken post.

    • Nikkorian

      Especially if you combine it with the can-do-all D40x, not to forget!

      • Nikkorian

        sorry, D40, the x made it worse…

        • hexx

          i love my d40:D

    • One moment people:rockwell’s opinions are really useful…
      ..when read upside down.

      • f1.4

        I pretty much do the opposite of what Ken Rockwell says. Once in a blue moon I visit his site and I shudder, vowing never to come back. I guess I don’t keep promises to myself.

        • Nicola

          This is because you take horrible images and therefore in your frustration masks rockwell’s omniscient photo knowledge.
          Shot at 2Mpx,4-bit jpeg,edit in RGB color space or preferibly with MSPaint,and here you get better pictures than hasselbloodyies 😉

        • Nicola

          In the last part,with no audio and blurred video,he is explaining how to divide by zero using photoshop levels.

        • f/2.8

          I use Ken Rockwell site when I need to find the size of the filter or the part ID of the hood of a lens. Easy to use, easy to read, great site, for that.

    • Zupi

      Really. well I guest you do not even need a flash if you say such stupid things

    • lol

  • Oh by the way,gels communicating with the flash!!Nice!!

    Nikon,while your’re designing it:dont’ do that.Let me have a nice selection menu on the sb700 lcd from which i can choose the gel color code.In this way,should the chip communicating eith the sb700 body break up,or should I ran out of nikon gels,everything would just work FINE without stopping my work.

    If you don’t do that,and insist on “talking gels”, Canon will do.


  • Gareth

    just needs to be able to use radio and i’m all over it.

  • Make it a big GN, and the controls easy to use like the Sony Alpha flashes, and I’m all over it.

    • WoutK89

      Because we need to light up the moon?

  • mrpassion

    I want Nikon to give us a flash that uses the same battery as the D90 and D300 cameras.

    • Anonymous

      Another “pro”. There is an open position in Nikon, Production Specialist, google it. Apply and make use of your comments.

    • WoutK89

      The rumor was for Nikon to introduce a new battery (system), if that means the end of the EN-EL3e, then what’s the use in having those batteries in a new generation flash?

      • ob1ne

        why can’t the flash take the en-el3e? smells like a money making scheme to me.

        oh well, i never bought a genuine nikon battery anyway. funny how people were saying how 3rd party batteries will not work with future cameras, so it’s better to spend the money on a genuine nikon battery..

        • WoutK89

          I just said what the rumor says, the D7000 will not have the EN-EL3e if that’s what they mean with, new battery (system). So why keep a battery that will probably be phased out?

          • ob1ne

            because we all have it already, so why phase it out if there’s no need to? why can’t nikon design the new flash/cameras to take the old batteries? are they really that bad?

            • WoutK89

              You know how technology comes and goes? It’s not like Diamonds that last forever. There is probably size/weight improvement and otherwise stamina improvement possible. You ask me why, I dont know, lets wait and see what Nikon does. BTW the external power pack of the SB-900 takes EN-EL3e if I am right.

            • WoutK89

              Must have been confused with the Wi-Fi pack…, my bad.

  • Thoppa

    Any chance this flash will have a commander function for wireless CLS ?

    • WoutK89

      No chance, buy the SB-900/SB-800

      • Steve

        If your camera doesn’t have a commander built-in, you probably don’t want to spend over half the cost of the camera on a flash that you can’t use off-camera anyway. The Nissin Di866 works well as commander for Nikon ittl and costs half the price of the SB900 if you need a budget option.

        • Is it me, or the price of Di866 has been raised?

  • bonzo

    I’m not Bonzo. So how did I steal his/her identity ? I just put B in the name and B in the email and selected his details.

    NR – serious bug with this site.

  • Steve

    And I’m not Steve !

  • Sounds nice, but I’m still very happy with the SB600, haven’t learned all that is there to learn. For those starting a midrange system, or as a back-up for the higher models, should be a great unit.

    • Phillip

      I am still happy with SB-28.

  • DX2FX

    Hope the SB700 comes with the diffuser dome and the bounce card, which the SB600 doesn’t have.

  • Del-Uks

    Discontinued SB-600 = VERY VERY BAD NEWS for Nikon F100 (and much of Nikon film cameras) owners (-> old TTL support).

    • WoutK89

      it’s not a surprise that Nikon would some day take out old camera support, to make US, the consumer, buy the latest 😉

    • Broxibear

      Discontinued doesn’t mean you can’t buy one, there’s plenty of stock out there and hopefully the price of the SB-600 will drop more after the SB-700 is announced ? are selling it for £195.44 + £4.50 shipping
      I’m guessing the SB-700 will be around £240 since the SB-900 is £320 ?

    • Are you sure that SB-700 will not keep the support for old TTL?

  • The invisible man

    Great news !
    It will fit perfectly with the D900 !

  • stepper

    sounds nice but unfortunately I was hoping for something with less riff raff at a lower price. this one sounds expensive.

    • WoutK89

      It’s in the same price point as the SB-600, the SB-600 is just around longer and so cheaper. If you want cheap with no riff raffs, buy the SB-400

  • d40-owner

    This update is interesting.
    The SB-700 becomes a very good flash, feature wise, and the SB-600 (which I love) becomes cheaper!! This will be a way for me to stock a few SB-600 for my strobist self, to work together with my future D7000’s commander mode
    Happy days, happy days…

  • Is there any pros that use the SB-600 out there ?

    • Nikon Canon

      Many. Cost efficient.

    • Ken Elliott

      Since we pros have a budget, the cheaper the lights are, the more of them you can have. I use a couple of SB800 as controllers (one is a spare), and the rest are SB600. If you cook one on the job, its handy to have a bunch of spares.

  • Matt

    The SB-700 sounds perfect for me. Nikon basically added the exact 2 features to the SB-600 that I would have asked for, which is the automatic gel recognition (I use gels all day, every day) and an extended range of 24-135 (matching my shortest lens – the 24 2.8 – and my longest – the 135 DC). I don’t think I need the SB-900 after all!

    • Merv

      Do you use those more expensive nikon gels with chips in them? I imagine you’d have to use Nikon gels to get the automatic gel recognition, which is a feature in the SB-900

      • Matt

        No, I use regular gels, but I’ve gotten pretty tired of them. All that velcro, you know? I’ve been eager to step up to Nikon’s gels, which are designed to fit their flashes, and are hopefully more durable than people say they are.

  • A battery indicator would be a dream come true…and more power.

  • benS

    … hmm, could be that this SB700 is one of the items in the rumored Sept 20 announcement …

  • Ryan

    If it has a PC sync port, I’ll get a handful, but will be really surprised by this…

  • chimphappyhour

    Hmm, no one is asking the big question…

    Will they make this one sturdier than the SB-600?

    I think there is literally a new thread each week where someone has dropped their 600 and it died. I’ve dropped my 800’s a few times without issue. Those stories were enough to keep me in the upper reaches of Nikon flashes. If the 700 is sturdier, I sure could use a few more lights. 🙂

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