Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Additional information relating to Nikon SB800 AF-TTL Speedlight - Part VI

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Flash shooting with digital SLRs cameras using Colour-Gel Filters Supplied with the SB-800, the Colored Gel Filter Set SJ-800 includes two filters: the FL-G1 for taking flash pictures under fluorescent light and the TN-A1 for use with incandescent/tungsten light.

Balancing light from the flash With digital cameras, if you shoot flash pictures under fluorescent light with the cameraís white balance set to ìFlash,î the main subject illuminated by the flash will look normal. However, the background will come out green. To compensate, use the FL-G1 (green gel filter) to convert the light coming from the flash to the same color as fluorescent light, then adjust the cameraís white balance to ìFluorescent.î Follow a similar procedure when shooting flash pictures under incandescent/tungsten illumination using the TN-A1 filter. In this case, set the white balance to ìIncandescent.î Available with digital cameras featuring white balance. You cannot set the white balance on the SB-800. Choose an appropriate white balance setting on your digital camera. When using tungsten film with a film-based camera, use the TN-A1 (for incandescent/tungsten light) filter for more effective results.

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How to use colored gels 1 Fold the colored gel filter securely on the line. 2 Insert the colored gel filter between the wide-flash adapter and the flash head. 3 Adjust the white balance setting on your digital camera, then shoot.

Optional Colored Gel Filter Set SJ-1 The optional Colored Gel Filter Set SJ-1 contains a total of 20 filters in 8 models of colored gels for balancing the color of light or adding specific colors to the scene using a Speedlight. a. FL-G1 (for fluorescent light) ï FL-G2 (for fluorescent light) . b. TN-A1 (for incandescent/tungsten light) c. TN-A2 (for incandescent/tungsten light) d. BLUE e. YELLOW f. RED g. AMBER h. With the last four filters, adjust your digital cameraís white balance (if available) to ìFlashî for the most effective results.


Notes on using colored gel filters 1. These filters are consumable items. When they extremely fade in color or deteriorate, purchase optional Colored Gel Filter Set SJ-1. 2. Colored gel filters may become deformed due to the heat generated from the flash head. However, this will not affect their performance. When taking pictures using repeating flash, do not use these filters, because they may become deformed quickly due to the heat. 3. There is no difference between the front and back of colored gel filters. Even though they may be curled, this will not affect their performance. Likewise, scratches on these filters will have no effect on performance. 4. The amount of exposure compensation printed on each filter is provided as a guide only. Be sure to make test shots to determine the actual amount of compensation required. 5. To remove dust or dirt, wipe the filter lightly with a soft, clean cloth.

Bounce flash operation With the SB-800 mounted on your cameraís hot shoe, you can tilt or rotate the flash head to bounce the light off the ceiling or walls. This is a good technique to use when shooting indoors, because you get more natural-looking pictures of people with softer shadows. Also, you can soften the shadows even more by using the Nikon Diffusion Dome.

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Setting the flash head As shown in the illustrations, tilt or rotate the SB-800ís flash head by holding down the flash head tilting/rotating lock release button and adjusting the flash head to match the shooing environment or your creative preferences.
Flash head tilting and rotating angles
The SB-800ís flash head tilts up 90° and down - 7°, and rotates horizontally 180° to the left and 90° to the right.

Set the flash head at a click stop at the angles shown. When taking close-up pictures with flash, tilt the flash head down to the - 7° position. Note: In color photography, select white or highly reflective surfaces to bounce the light off of. Otherwise, your pictures will come out with an unnatural color cast similar to that of the reflecting surface.

<<<--- Compared it to Nikon SB-28 AF-TTL Speedlight. Setting the aperture In bounce flash, there is a light loss of 2ñ3 stops when compared with normal flash photography. Therefore, you should use a wider aperture. When the flash head is adjusted to other than the horizontal/front position, the flash shooting distance range indicator on the SB-800 disappears.

To ensure correct exposure, first confirm the flash shooting distance range and aperture with the flash head in the normal position. Next, set this aperture on the camera, then adjust the flash head to the appropriate bounce position. Note: In Non-TTL auto flash operation, set the same aperture on the SB-800.

domeD.gif domeE.gif domeF.gif  
Using the built-in bounce card In bounce flash photography, use the SB-800ís built-in bounce card to create a highlight in the subjectís eyes, making the eyes look more vibrant.

As shown in the illustrations, pull out the wide-flash adapter and while holding the bounce card, slide the wide-flash adapter back into place inside the flash head. Tilt the flash head up 90° to use this feature most effectively.

domeB.gif domeA.gif
Shooting with the Nikon Diffusion Dome By attaching the provided Nikon Diffusion Dome over the flash head, you can diffuse the light even more when doing bounce flash, creating extremely soft light with virtually no shadows.

With the camera in either the horizontal or vertical position, you get the same effect. 1. Good results are generally obtained when the flash head is tilted up 60°. 2 Use of the built-in wide-flash adapter in conjunction with the Nikon Diffusion Dome results in the maximum amount of diffused light

Attach the Nikon Diffusion Dome as shown in the illustration. Note: The zoom-head position is automatically set at 14mm. To adjust the zoom-head position automatically using the power zoom function, go to the Custom settings ìPower zoom function using the built-in wide-flash adapter/Nikon Diffusion Dome

Close-up flash operation When the built-in wide-flash adapter is used, close-up flash shooting can be performed. The built-in wide-flash adapter diffuses the light from the flash to soften shadows. When the SB-800 is used off-camera, you can take more natural-looking close-up pictures. Note: Be sure to use the wide-flash adapter when taking close-up flash photographs. Be careful when using a long lens that the light from the flash is not obstructed by the lens barrel. Vignetting may occur in close-up flash photography due to the lighting situation, lens in use, focal length setting, etc. Therefore, make test shots before shooting an important assignment.

Setting the built-in wide-flash adapter and adjusting the zoom-head position 1 Slowly pull out the wide-flash adapter all the way, and position it over the flash head. Then slide the bounce card back into place inside the flash head. 2 Press the iconWIDE.gif or iconTELE.gif button to adjust the zoom head position to 14mm or 17mm. Note:When the wide-flash adapter is set on the flash head, the power zoom function becomes inactive and the zoom-head position is adjusted to 14mm or 17mm. To adjust the zoom-head position automatically using the power zoom function, go to the Custom settings ìPower zoom function using the built-in wide-flash adapter/Nikon Diffusion Domeî Note: To slide the wide-flash adapter back into place, lift it and push it into the flash head as far as it will go.

Setting the aperture Calculate the aperture by using this equation and table. To ensure the correct exposure, use an aperture smaller than the one obtained from the equation.

When shooting subjects closer than 0.6m (2 ft.) With the SB-800 attached to the camera, sufficient illumination of the subject cannot be obtained. In this case, use the SB-800 off-camera by attaching the optional TTL Remote Cord. Note: In iconTTL.gif iconBL.gif flash operation where Monitor Preflashes are fired, when the SB-800 is used with D/G-type CPU lenses, you may not be able to get the correct exposure, because distance information from the lens is used. In this case, position the one camera and the SB-800 at equal distances from the subject. For Nikon F5 cameras with the High-Magnification Finder DW-30 or DW-31, or F4 cameras with the High-Magnification Finder DW-20 or DW-21, use the optional TTL Remote Cord SC-24 instead of the SC-17. SC-28

Flash shooting in the 1/300 TTL High-Speed Flash sync mode (Nikon F5 only): -The farthest flash shooting distance cannot be read on the SB-800ís LCD panel. In this case, use the guide number table and equation for calculating this distance, according to each zoom-head position. D (farthest flash shooting distance) = Guide number ÷ f/stop (aperture)

Guide number (m/ft.) in the 1/300 TTL High-Speed Flash sync mode

*1 With the Nikon Diffusion Dome attached and the wide-flash adapter in place
*2 With the Nikon Diffusion Dome attached
*3 With the wide-flash adapter in place

For example, when shooting with an ISO sensitivity of 100, at a 35mm zoom-head position and an aperture of f/5.6:
D = 14 ÷ 5.6 (f/stop) = 2.5 (in meters) (farthest flash shooting distance)
D = 46 ÷ 5.6 (f/stop) = 8.2 (in feet) (farthest flash shooting distance)

Optional Accessories (for multiple flash)

accessSC29.gif ciord
TTL Remote Cord SC-29/28/17 (approx. 1.5m or 4.9 ft)
TTL Remote Cord SC-24 (approx. 1.5m or 4.9 ft)
Both groups of TTL Remote Cords SC-29/SC-28/SC-17/SC-24 provide TTL auto flash operation when the SB-800 is used off-camera. Their flash shoes come with one tripod socket and two TTL multiple flash terminals. The TTL Remote Cord SC-24 is for use with F5 cameras mounted with a High-Magnification Finder DW-30 or DW-31, or F4 cameras having a High-Magnification Finder DW-20 or DW-21. The SC-29 features an AF-assist illuminator function (The SC-29 is not equipped with a TTL multiple flash terminal.)

TTL Multi-Flash Sync Cord SC-26/18 (approx. 1.5 m or 4.9 ft)
TTL Multi-Flash Sync Cord SC-27/19 (approx. 3 m or 9.8 ft) Multi-Flash Sync Cords SC-18/SC-19/SC-26/SC-27 are useful for connecting the SB-800 to the multiple flash terminal of the SC-17 or AS-10 for TTL multiple flash operation.

TTL Multi-Flash Adapter AS-10 Use the Multi-Flash Adapter AS-10 when connecting more than three flash units together for TTL multiple flash operation, or if the remote flash units are not equipped with multiple flash terminals. The AS-10 comes with one tripod socket and three TTL multiple flash terminals.

Sync Cord SC-11 (approx. 25 cm or 9.8 in.)
Sync Cord SC-15 (approx. 1 m or 3.3 ft) Sync Cords SC-11 and SC-15 are handy when you want to use the SB-800 off-camera or for use with cameras not having accessory shoes. These cords also allow you to perform multiple flash operation in the Manual mode.

Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 The Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 is necessary when connecting the SB-800 to cameras not having a sync terminal.
Wireless Slave Flash Controller SU-4 Useful for multiple flash photography, the SU-4 features a built-in, movable light sensor and an accessory shoe for attachment of a remote flash unit. The SU-4ís light sensor not only triggers the remote unit to fire in sync with the master unit, but controls the flash duration of the remote unit to provide wireless TTL, Non-TTL, or Manual operation.

TTL Flash Unit Coupler AS-17 for F3-Series cameras Dedicated adapter for F3-Series cameras providing TTL flash operation with Nikon Speedlights such as the SB-800 featuring an ISO-type mounting foot (not designed for the F3).
Bracket SK-7 A metal plate with attachment screws allowing the camera and Speedlight to be positioned side by side. Use the optional TTL Multi-Flash Adapter AS-10 to attach the SB-800 to Bracket SK-7.
Multi-Flash Bracket Unit SK-E900 (One AS-E900 Multi-Flash Adapter is included with the SK-E900)
Multi-Flash Adapter AS-E900 The SB-800 can be used as a multiple flash unit with Nikon COOLPIX 900-series digital cameras by attaching the COOLPIX to Multi-Flash Bracket Unit SK-E900 and connecting the SB-800 to the multi-flash terminal of the COOLPIX using the Multi-Flash Adapter AS-E900

AS19grayouline.gif SJ1gray.gif
Others: - Speedlight Stand AS-19 Same as that provided with this SB-800. Colored Gel Filter Set SJ-1 A total of 20 filters in 8 models are provided. Colored gel filters are consumable items and subject to a gradual deterioration in color due to the heat generated when the flash fires. Therefore, it is recommended to check and replace these filters when necessary.

External Power Sources To use an external power source, remove the cover and connect its power cord to the SB-800ís external power source terminal. A. Power Bracket Unit SK-6; B. Nikon high-performance Battery Pack SD-8A C. Nikon DC Unit SD-7

*1 With AA-type alkaline-manganese batteries in the SB-800.
*2 With the same type of batteries in both the external power source and the SB-800.
*3 When fired at an interval of 120 seconds.
Note: The above data may vary due to variations in performance or whether fresh or old batteries are used. In rare cases, when firing the modeling illuminator with SD-8A or SK-6 attached, the SB-800 may be powered by its own batteries, and the external power source does not operate. This is not a malfunction.

Usable Batteries Use four (or five) AA-type batteries (1.5V or lower) of any of the following types.

* High-power manganese batteries are not recommended.
* Using the Quick Recycling Battery Pack SD-800 or an external power source increases the number of flashes and provides faster recycling times.

Alkaline-manganese (1.5V)/Nickel (1.5V) batteries Non-rechargeable. Never attempt to charge these batteries in a battery charger. Otherwise, they may explode.
Lithium (1.5V) batteries Non-rechargeable. Never attempt to charge these batteries in a battery charger. Otherwise, they may explode. Depending on battery specifications, when these batteries become hot, the safety circuits are activated, cutting off power. This often occurs when the flash unit is operated in the repeating flash mode. Battery power will recover when the temperature returns to normal.
NiCd battery (rechargeable, 1.2V) /Ni-MH (rechargeable, 1.2V) Rechargeable. Before recharging the batteries, be sure to read the instruction manuals for your batteries and battery charger for detailed information on how to handle and recharge the batteries.

Because flash consumes a large amount of battery power, rechargeable batteries may not operate properly before reaching the end of their stated life span or the number of charging/discharging as specified by the battery manufacturer.

Coolpix Brackets.jpg
Using the SB-800 with COOLPIX digital cameras For COOLPIX cameras having an accessory shoe (hot-shoe) or TTL multiple flash terminal (Please note that wireless multiple flash using the COOLPIXís built-in flash as a master flash unit and the SB-800 as a remote flash unit cannot be performed)*:

When more powerful illumination is required or when performing multiple flash, it is recommended to connect the SB-800 or another Nikon Speedlight compatible with TTL auto flash to the COOLPIX. Auto flash operation is possible by setting the SB-800ís flash mode to TTL auto flash. The flash output level is controlled by detecting signals from the camera to determine when to start and stop firing in sync with the built-in flash, which is controlled by the cameraís Non-TTL auto flash operation.
* For connection to COOLPIX cameras featuring hot shoe contacts such as the COOLPIX 5400, attach the Speedlight directly to the accessory shoe. Optional accessories such as the Multi-Flash Bracket Unit SK-E900 should be used for connection with COOLPIX cameras having a TTL multiple flash terminal but no hot-shoe contacts

Technical Specifications of Nikon SB800 AF-TTL Speedlight

Electronic construction:- Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Guide number (at 35mm zoom-head position, 20
°C/68°F): - 38/125 (ISO 100, m/ft), 53/174 (ISO 200, m/ft)
Flash shooting distance range (TTL auto flash/ Auto Aperture flash/ Non-TTL auto flash):- 0.6m to 20m (2 to 66 ft.) (varies depending on the ISO sensitivity, zoom-head position, and lens aperture in use)

Flash exposure control:-

Other available functions:- Test firing, Monitor Preflashes, AF-assist illuminator, and Modeling illuminator
Creative Lighting System:- A variety of flash operations are available with cameraís compatible with CLS: i-TTL mode, Advanced Wireless Lighting, FV Lock flash, Flash color information communication, Auto FP High-Speed sync, and Wide-area AF-Assist Illuminator.

Multiple flash operation: -
Flash exposure control set on the camera:- Slow-sync, Red-Eye reduction, Red-Eye reduction in slow-sync, Rear-curtain sync flash, Auto FP High-Speed sync, FV Lock flash

Angle of coverage:- Variable in 7 steps, plus three steps with wide-flash adapter and Nikon Diffusion Dome
Bounce capability:- Flash head tilts down to -7°D or up to 90°D with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°; flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left or 90° to the right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
ON/OFF button:- Press the iconONOFFsml.gif button for approx. 0.3 sec. to turn the SB-800 on or off. Standby function can be set.

*1 With the Nikon Diffusion Dome attached. * 2 With the built-in wide-flash adapter set

Power source/min. recycling time/no. of flashes (at M1/1 output):- Four AA-type penlight batteries (1.5V or lower) of any of these types: Alkaline-manganese (1.5V), Lithium (1.5V), Nickel (1.5V), NiCd (rechargeable, 1.2V), or Ni-MH (rechargeable, 1.2V)

tableS.gif External power sources (optional):-tableT.gif
* With fresh batteries. M1/1 output without use of AF-assist illuminator, zoom operation, and LCD panel illuminator.

Ready-light:- Lights up when the SB-800 is recycled and ready to fire. Blinks for 3 sec. when flash fires at its maximum output, indicating light may have been insufficient (in TTL Auto Flash, Auto Aperture iconA.gificonA.gif Flash and Non-TTL Auto Flash iconA.gif operations)

Flash Duration (approx.):-
1/1050 sec. at M 1/1 (full) output
1/1100 sec. at M 1/2 output
1/2700 sec. at M 1/4 output
1/5900 sec. at M 1/8 output
1/10900 sec. at M 1/16 output
1/17800 sec. at M 1/32 output
1/32300 sec. at M 1/64 output
1/41600 sec. at M 1/128 output

Mounting foot Lock Lever:- Provides secure attachment of SB-800 to cameraís accessory shoe using locking plate and mount pin to prevent accidental detachment.
Flash output level compensation:- -3.0 to +3.0 EV in increments of 1/3 steps in the TTL auto flash, Auto Aperture flash modes and Distance-priority manual flash
Custom settings:- By pressing the iconSEL.gif and iconminus.gif, iconWIDE.gif or iconTELE.gif buttons, the following custom settings are possible: ISO sensitivity, Wireless flash auto, Sound monitor in the wireless flash mode, Non-TTL auto flash, Standby function, Selecting the distance unit (m, ft.), Canceling power zoom function, Power zoom function using the built-in wide-flash adapter/Nikon Diffusion Dome, LCD panel illuminator, Brightness of the LCD panel, AF-assist illuminator, and canceling flash firing.

Other functions:- Recalling the underexposure value in the TTL auto flash mode, Resetting the settings, Button lock
Built-in wide-flash adapter:- Allows SB-800 to be used with 14mm or 17mm lens
Dimensions (W x H x D):- Approx. 70.5 x 129.5 x 93.0mm (2.8 x 5.1 x 3.7 in.)
Weight (without batteries):- Approx. 350g (12.3 oz.)
Accessories supplied:- Quick Recycling Battery Pack SD-800, Speedlight Stand AS-19, Colored Gel Filter Set SJ-800, Nikon Diffusion Dome SW-10H, External power source terminal cap, Soft Case SS-800

Important Update & Credit info: Construction of this Instruction Manual Section was suspended midway through because a caring gentleman has given me a link to the Instruction Manual in a PDF format for this Nikon flash. So, this has saved me the trouble of converting one for all of you (believe me, it is tedious process...). However, I am only listed things that are critically of importance in the handling of both SB-600/SB800 Speedlights so anyone of you can set up the flash as fast as you can for your assignment if you have purchased an used unit or borrowed one from someone else.

coversb600.gif   coverSB800.gif
My personal advice: You SHOULD download a copy of the User's Manual in PDF format for safekeeping for future reference WHILE it is still available there online. - Nikon SB-600 | Nikon SB-800. This section of the site will only serve, assuming one day, the online resources provided are not there anymore and it may be useful for whoever that may, for any reasons require it for online reference. Please note: as many parts of this section are using the original user's manual as the basis for construction, so, if there are any discrepencies, the content from Nikon official manual should be as final.

| Back | 6/6 to Index Page - Nikon SB800 AF-TTL Speedlight

Index Page | Page Two | Page Three | Page Four | Page Five | Page Six |

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Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight Models:
Nikon SB-800 | Nikon SB-600 | Nikon SB-30 | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-27 (1997) | Nikon SB-26 (1994) | Nikon SB-25 (1992) | Nikon SB-24 (1988) | SB-23 | SB-22 (1987) | SB-20 (1986)
Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series:
Nikon SB-28DX (1999)| SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)
Additional information on various
Nikon MF Bulb Flash - Nikon MF-Speedlights SB-1 ~ SB-21A/B

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Credit: Mr. Chuck Hester, US for his text re-editing skill for this site; Our staff, HowKiat® who created the 3D-Nikon F5 logo. Mr. Lew Chee Wai of YL camera for lending his F5 for me to take some shots appeared in this site. All those nice folks who have contributed their images, in particular Mr. Mike Long, Edwin leong, Palmi Einarsson, Sergio Pessolano, Fred Kamphues, Harry Eggens, Curtis Forrester, Nick (Natures Moments), Sandra Bartocha; fellow countrymen, Vincent Thian, Koh Kho King, Philip Chong, CY Leow etc. and contributions from a few nice folks from Photo Malaysia Forum. Disclaimers & acknowledgments: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work for public publishing in this website, where majority of the extracted information are used basing on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from any possible dispute except rectifying them after verification from respective source. Neither Nikon or its associates has granted any permission(s) in using their public information nor has any interest in the creation of this site. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" "Silent Wave", "Focus Tracking Lock-on", "Nikkor" & other applicable technical/business terms are registered trade name(s) of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple G5 IMac.