R.I.P. Nikon SB-400 Speedlight flash

After the announcement of the SB-300 ($146.95), the Nikon SB-400 Speedlight flash is already listed as discontinued at B&H. If you need to get one, Amazon still has them in stock via third party resellers. The SB-400 is also listed as discontinued on the official Nikon Imaging website:

Nikon SB-400 Speedlight flash discontinued
The rumor is that Nikon introduced the SB-300 so it can be used with the upcoming Nikon 1 V3 camera (expected to have a fully compatible flash hot shoe).

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  • ZinhaEq

    More like: Rot In Hell SB-400

  • ZinhaEq

    More like: Rot In Hell SB-400

  • Dave in NC

    I love my SB-400. It is small, easy to put in a pocket, and gives better light than the build-in flashes on DSLR’s. I almost always carry it when I do not want to carry a larger flash. This is a Nikon product I will not upgrade.

    • phil

      Well, I hated mine. Gave it away and bought the SB-700 – a proper flash. When it’s on my camera, I always bounce it sideways, or over my left/right shoulder.
      Yesterday, as the kids decorated the christmas tree, I just put it on a tripod a triggered it remotely, since I wanted to bounce it off one specific wall, and got tired of rotating it back and forth as the kids moved around the tree.

      None of this would be possible with the SB400, without buying additional gear.

  • Crocodilo

    I actually think the SB400 is quite nifty, even after working with SB600, 700 and 800. To each his own, the 400 does it’s work rather well. Smack on top of a small camera like a P7100, or use a TTL cord to get it off camera, and you’ve got quite a nice set-up for general indoor photography.

  • I hope they replace it with something that size that includes tilt, swivel and remote.

    • jr456

      They won’t. That’s what the SB-700 and SB-900 are for.

      • I have those. Looking for something smaller for just a kiss of rim and hair light and on-camera flash for the Dƒ.

        • Eric Calabros

          oh my.. there is a Df owner among us!

          • Yep.

            Love it.

            http://inthemistphoto.com has lots of info, images, early review and more.

            • fred

              Talking retro, a camera with a pop-up flash, that’s old.
              How old?
              Possibly the 1960 Ricoh was first with a pop-up bulb flash.
              Ha, so Nikon, how about ADDING some retro and giving the Df a built-in pop-up flash. 😉

            • Yoshi Spendiff

              Honestly I think it comes down to those shot count figures on that small battery as to why there is no flash on the Df

            • nikomment

              Pretty nice web site “InTheMist.” Looks like a pro magazine article. Nice images and nice equipment. Impressive. (typo: lens description said 24-35).
              But I think 24-85 is a good idea for DF.

            • Thanks! It’s not at all professional, just something I threw together to try to give back to the community that helped me so much.

              Typo is fixed, thanks again!

  • broxibear

    They’d sell way more of these SB400/300s if they added a basic manual control…just a simple full/half/quarter setting.

    • Merv S

      You can manually change the flash setting in the camera menu where the controls for the pop-up flash are. Unwieldy to get to but its there.

      • broxibear

        Hi Merv S,
        I didn’t know you had that control on a body with a pop up flash, (I don’t have one on my body).
        I was actually thinking of off camera, trigger it with a pocketwizard or similar.

        • Flash Genius

          There’s this thing in flash photography. It’s called “GN/D=A” or Guide Number divided by Distance equals Aperture. You can use it to determine the perfect exposure for your flash every time.

          See, instead of adjusting your flash output you simply move the flash further or closer to the subject. To figure this out use some basic algebra and change the flash formula to GN/A=D.

          I know, this may sound like magic or wizardry to you, but it really works.

          • Can’t Believe It

            Good point. But how do you deal with the harshness? The farther away a light source gets, the harsher it becomes. Flashbulbs seemed to be much more flattering in that respect (although I only know what I’ve seen in old pictures since by the time I was old enough to shoot, flashbulbs were already pretty rare.)

            • Anon

              Being just old enough to have started with flash bulbs, there were two things about them: first, the reflectors were huge as compared to things we have today (pro flashes had about 10 cm diameter fixed reflectors, and the amateur version I used had a foldable reflector about the same size, made of very thin chrome-plated steel segments). If somebody just would bring those reflectors back… Maybe too expensive nowadays. The second thing was that the bulbs were very powerful, enabling the use of indirect light even with the slow film (slide 25 – 50 ISO, color negative 80 ISO).

              To Flash Genius: Nikon actually manufactured GN Nikkor 45/2.8 ( http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/nikon/nikkoresources/special/GN45mm.htm ), which had the guide number adjustment coupled to focusing, and the Medical Nikkors had flash adjustment coupled to the magnification.

          • broxibear

            Hi Flash Genius,
            I am aware of the “magic or wizardry” of moving things thanks, lol.
            But my original point was “They’d sell way more of these SB400/300s if they added a basic manual control…just a simple full/half/quarter setting.”
            Which I think is a perfectly valid point.
            Take care.

        • Merv S

          As I think about it, what would really work best if they created another small flash below the SB-700 and above the SB-300 would be a small autofocus assist lamp. These SB-400s are best for indoor social situations.

          Not sure how much bigger an SB-400 would have to be to have circuitry to have it triggered remotely by a Pocketwizard or via Nikon’s CLS flash system.

          I’d pay more just for the autofocus assist lamp

        • aim54x

          I have used mine of camera for years with a SB28/29 (or vintage SB17) and with the arrival of the Phottix Strato TTL I have wireless triggering as well

      • Mansgame

        Not same thing. Maybe you want to slave it.

  • Sonikon

    rockwell did make a valid point about SB400 VS SB300

    SB 400 uses AA batteries, recycles faster. and is more powerful for less money.

    I think SB300 would be fine if it was using AA instead of AAA’s

    • jec6613

      The SB400 is a great way to upgrade your internal flash to handle bigger lenses and bounce, for not much money. It was also the first of the, “Designed for D40,” bits that Nikon made.

  • Stepper

    Full CLS compatible SB-500 please.
    Keep everything else the same and I’ll take six of them

  • Jon Porter

    Sorry to see it discontinued. Compared to a pop-up flash, the 400 didn’t run down the camera’s battery and didn’t have its light cut off at the bottom when using longer lenses. I just wish it had manual and auto modes like the equally excellent SB-30.

  • MB

    SB-300 is a useless toy … SB-400 is or rather was much better …
    If Nikon now just remakes SB-600, maybe slightly less powerful and smaller with 2 AA batteries but with a bit better controls and call it SB-500 that would be something to carry around …
    Actually this sounds exactly like Olympus FL-36R …

  • DoubleYouTeeEff

    Yes, but look at the prices!!!

  • BlueBomberTurbo

    Mr. Rockwell will be devastated.

  • Mansgame

    Man up and get a real flash that can bounce off the ceiling. A used SB-600 probably costs the same as one of these weaklings.

    • Mike

      The SB-400 has 60, 75 and 90 vertical tilt. And it fits in your pocket. It is comparatively inexpensive and very useful for light duty for those not needing to compensate for manly things that are, um, shall we say, on the small side.

      • NoMeJodas

        ROTFL. You made my day 🙂

      • Mansgame

        I knew it couldn’t do one of the motions. It’s still very limiting. I didn’t make the laws of physics, I only enjoy them.

    • Anon

      A used SB-600 goes for over $200 on eBay. The SB-400 was between $100 and $115 new when it was still around. And it was super useful when you had very limited space for packing and were going into situations where just a bit of extra light was needed.

      • Mansgame

        I sold one for $120 once when the new ones were $180.

  • Bob

    The SB400 is one of the best flashes, assuming you own 1 or 2 of the others that can do regular flash duty. Atop a D800, Df or even my little P7700, the SB400 delivers and keeps the form-factor small. My SB800 is used 90% of the time, but sometimes you don’t want a big rig, but better than a built in flash.

  • EvaK

    A bad move if Nikon does so. I like my SB-400 on my D3S and as a replacement of the built-in flash on my D600. Other than my SB-900, the SB-400 is permanently placed in my camera bag. There’s no reason to replace it with something like a SB-300 or whatever.

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