Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon SB-28 AF-TTL Speedlight
Instruction Manual - Part VI

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Checking the correct exposure -For cameras in all groups

In Non-TTL Auto Flash SB28iconA.gif mode, you can determine whether the subject will receive the correct exposure by test firing the SB-28 before actually taking pictures.

1 Set the camera’s exposure mode to Aperture-priority auto (A) or Manual (M).
2 Press the SB-28’SB28LCDrearB.gifbutton until SB28iconA.gif appears on the LCD panel.
3 Set the same aperture on both the SB-28 and the camera.
4 Check that the SB-28’s ready-light is on.
5 Focus on the subject and check the shooting range indicator bars icon-barA.gif to make sure it's within range.
6 Press the icon-flash.gif button to fire the flash.

If the ready-light blinks for approx. 3 seconds after shooting, this indicates the light may have been insufficient for correct exposure. In this case, use a wider aperture or move closer to the subject.

NOTE To determine if the exposure will be correct in TTL Auto Flash icon-TTL.gif mode, press the SB28LCDrearB.gif button to change the flash mode to the Non-TTL Auto Flash SB28iconA.gif mode. Set the same aperture on the SB-28’s LCD panel as in theicon-TTL.gif mode, then perform test firing. If the ready-light blinks for approx. 3 seconds after shooting, the light will be insufficient for correct exposure in theicon-TTL.gif mode as well.

Autofocus flash operation in dim light - For autofocus cameras only Take care not to block the AF assist illuminator LED while shooting. The AF assist illuminator LED turns off as soon as the subject is in focus. • The AF assist illuminator LED will not light up with an F5, F100, F80-Series/N80-Series or F65-Series/N65-Series camera unless the camera’s central focus area is selected. Conditions necessary to activate the AF assist illuminator LED: 1 The subject must be sufficiently dark and within the range of 1m
(3.3 ft) to 8m (16.4 ft) at 20°C (68°F). 2 AF Nikkor lenses must be used. Lenses from 24mm (35mm for F-501/N2020) to 105mm are recommended. Other AF Nikkor lenses can be used depending on shooting conditions. Perform test firing before use. 3 The camera's autofocus mode is set to Single Servo Autofocus (S). 4 Focus lock is not employed.
5 The SB-28’s ready-light is on. • Replace batteries whenever the ready-light becomes dark or blinks after the AF assist illuminator LED turns on. NOTE If the AF assist illuminator LED comes on but no in-focus indicator appears in the camera's viewfinder with the shutter release button pressed halfway, the subject is outside the flash shooting distance range. In this case, set the camera’s focus mode selector to manual icon-M.gif and focus manually.

To cancel autofocus flash operation with the AF assist illuminator LED

Hold down the SB28LCDrearB.gif button as you press the icon-minus.gif button. The indicator comes on or disappears on the LCD panel every time you press the SB28LCDrearB.gif and icon-minus.gif buttons simultaneously. The AF assist illumination LED is set when the indicator is not on and canceled when the indicator appeared. The AF assist illumination LED is preset to operate when the SB-28 is shipped from the factory.

Optional Accessories (also refer to the Nikon F5 Flash Section for more information)

Accessories for multiple flash Sync Cord SC-11 and SC-15 Sync Cords SC-11 and SC-15 are handy when you want to use the SB-28 off-camera or for use with cameras without accessory shoes. These cords also allow you to perform Multiple Flash photography in the Manual icon-M.gif mode. The SC-11 is approx. 25 cm (9.8 in.) long and the SC-15 is approx. 1m (3.2 ft) long.

TTL Remote Cord SC-17 and SC-24 The TTL Remote Cord SC-17 provides TTL Auto Flash operation when the SB-28 is used off-camera. Its flash shoe comes with one tripod 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 with a High-Magnification Finder DW-20 or DW-21. Both the SC-17 and SC-24 are approx. 1.5m (4.9 ft) long.

TTL Multi-Flash Sync Cord SC-18 and SC-19 Multi-Flash Sync Cords SC-18 or SC-19 are useful for connecting the SB-28 to the multiple flash terminal of the SC-17 or AS-10 for TTL multiple flash operation. The SC-18 is approx. 1.5 m (4.9 ft) long, and the SC-19 is approx. 3 m (9.8 ft) long.

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

Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 The Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15 is necessary when connecting the SB-28 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 slave Speedlight. The SU-4’s light sensor not only triggers the slave unit to fire in unison with the master flash, but controls the flash duration of the slave unit in sync with the master unit to provide 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 SB-29 and SB-28 featuring ISO-type mounting foot (not designed for F3).

Connecting the SB-28 to your camera using a sync cord You can connect the SB-28 to your camera by attaching a sync cord to the SB-28’s sync terminal. Note: You CANNOT use a sync cord when the SB-28 is set to the icon-TTL.gifmode.

Usable sync cords
SC-11 (approx. 25 cm)
SC-15 (approx. 1m)
NOTE • To connect the SB-28 to a camera without a sync terminal, use optional Sync Terminal Adapter AS-15. Use the sync/multiple flash terminal when connecting the SB-28 to other Nikon flash units via sync cords. When the SB-28 is connected to a camera via a sync cord, it provides neither automatic sync speed setting nor ready-light indication inside the camera’s viewfinder. To maintain all functions, use the optional TTL Remote Cord SC-17 If a non-Nikon flash unit one incorporating a high-voltage (above 50V) or negative voltage sync circuits is connected to the SB-28’s sync/multiple flash terminal, the SB-28’s protection circuit is activated, resulting in improper operation of the unit.

Available external power sources
External power source SD-7
External power source SD-8/8A*
Power Bracket SK-6/6A*

* Available in the European market only. Because the European version of the SB-28 comes with a different shaped connector, Nikon DC Units SD-7, SD-8 and the Power Bracket Unit SK-6 are not compatible.

Use only Nikon-approved external power sources Using external power sources other than those specified by Nikon may cause damage to the SB-28.

Using an external power source Nikon's external power source DC Units increase the number of flash firings and provide faster recycling time. To use a DC Unit, connect its power cord to the SB-28's external power source terminal. Note: Even when a DC Unit is used, the SB-28 still requires batteries inside the flash unit.

Tips on Speedlight care Avoid physical shocks Do not drop the SB-28 or hit it against a hard surface as this may damage its precision mechanisms. Never disassemble the SB-28 Never attempt to disassemble or repair the SB-28 yourself. The SB-28 contains high-voltage circuitry which can cause electric shock. Keep the SB-28 away from water The SB-28 is not waterproof and therefore should not be exposed to rain or saltwater. If water gets inside the SB-28, corrosion may occur, resulting in high repair costs. Cleaning Use a blower brush to remove dirt and dust from the SB-28 and clean it with a soft, clean cloth. Never use commercial cleaners containing thinner, benzene, or alcohol as they could damage its parts. Maintenance When storing the SB-28 for two weeks or longer, remove the batteries to prevent battery leakage. Also once a month, insert fresh batteries and fire the unit several times to reform its capacitor and keep the SB-28 in top working order. Storage Store the SB-28 in a cool, dry place to prevent mold and mildew. Also keep it away from chemicals such as camphor or naphthalene. Avoid exposing the SB-28 to magnetic waves from TVs or radios and never store it the truck or glove compartment of a vehicle during the summer.

Notes on Batteries

Four AA-type alkaline-manganese, lithium, or rechargeable NiCd or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries are required to power the SB-28.

For fast recycling times: NiCd batteries are recommended followed by (2) Ni-MH, (3) alkaline-manganese, and (4) lithium batteries.
* For increasing the number of flashes per battery set: at normal temperatures, lithium batteries are recommended followed by (2) alkaline manganese, (3) Ni-MH, and (4) NiCd batteries; at low temperatures, lithium batteries are recommended followed by (2) Ni-MH, (3) alkaline manganese, and (4) NiCd batteries.
* Ni-MH batteries feature approx. the same battery power as 1000mAh NiCd batteries.
*1000mAh NiCd batteries have approx. 1.4 times the power capacity of 700mAh NiCd batteries
* Lithium batteries have approx. 1.1 to 1.2 times the power capacity of alkaline-manganese batteries. * Lithium batteries feature greater efficiency at low temperatures when compared with alkaline-manganese batteries. Lithium batteries boast consistent performance in terms of recycling times and number of flashes, regardless temperature changes.
* NiCd batteries boast a constant recycling time regardless of temperature changes when compared with other types of batteries. Recommended for use in temperatures as low as 0°C (32°F).
* Ni-MH batteries feature a constant recycling time but a little longer recycling time at low temperatures when compared with NiCd batteries. However, Ni-MH batteries maintain their efficiency regarding the number of flashes regardless of temperature changes.

Notes on using alkaline-manganese and lithium batteries
* Non-rechargeable batteries such as alkaline-manganese and lithium batteries should not be charged in a battery charger as they may explode.
* Lithium batteries incorporate internal safety switches. When the battery becomes hot, its safety circuit is activated, cutting off power. This often occurs when the SB-28 is operated in the repeating flash mode. The flash ready-light will not light up after firing approx. 24 exposures. However, battery power will recover when the temperature goes back to normal.

Notes on using rechargeable NiCd and Ni-MH batteries
* When recharging batteries, be sure to use the battery charger specified by the battery maker and read the instructions thoroughly. Recharging should be done in temperatures from 10° to 30°C (50° to 86°F).
* Do not recharge NiCd or Ni-MH batteries with their terminals reversed in the charger or before the batteries have cooled off sufficiently.
* Overcharging and excessive use may shorten battery life. Do not overcharge and be sure to turn the SB-28 off when not in use.
* 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.
* If NiCd or Ni-MH batteries do not last as long as they should after being fully charged, they are approaching the end of their life. Replace them with a new set.

WARNING Keep batteries out of the reach of children. If a battery is accidentally swallowed, call a doctor immediately.

Notes on handling batteries
* Do not expose batteries to excessive heat. Never store them in the truck or glove compartment of a vehicle during the summer or place them near a fire or hot surface. Even hot, direct sunlight may cause them to explode.
* When loading batteries, make sure the SB-28 is turned off, then follow the + and — symbols inside the battery chamber.
* If the SB-28 is not used for more than two weeks, remove the batteries and store them in a dry place at 20°C (68°F) or below.
* Battery power tends to weaken as the temperature drops. It also weakens after heavy use, recovering gradually after a short break. Power gradually decreases when batteries are not used for a long time. Check battery power before use; replace batteries with a new set before they are completely exhausted.
* Battery performance may differ with each brand, due to modification in specifications or improvement in performance.


Download a copy of the image file (27k Gif)

Warning indications: The flash ready-light in the camera's viewfinder will blink:


Cameras in Groups I (except F70-Series/N70), II, III, V and VI. In the TTL mode, when you press the shutter release button halfway, to warn that the SB-28 has not been securely mounted on the camera or that the flash output may have been insufficient for correct exposure. Cameras in Groups V and VI in the mode, to indicate that the ISO rating of the film in use is higher than the ISO set on the SB-28's LCD panel, (or lower in the case of the FA camera). Cameras in Group VI in the mode, when the shutter speed is set to M90, M250, or B. Cameras in Group VII to warn that flash shooting is not possible. FM3A, New FM2 when the shutter speed set is faster than the flash sync speed

spec Technical Specifications for Nikon SB-28 AF-TTL Speedlight (*Applicable to Nikon SB-28DX except parts that relates to digital photography)

Electronic construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry.
Guide number specGN.gif
Note: for details on guide numbers in FP High- Speed Sync Flash and see also sections for details on guide numbers in 1/300 TTL High-Speed Sync Flash.
Angle of coverage specangle.gif
(Variable in 6 steps, plus 2-steps with built-in wide flash adapter)

Flash duration (approx.):

1/840 sec. @ 1/1 (full) output
1/1100 sec. @ 1/2 output
1/2300 sec. @ 1/4 output
1/4800 sec. @ 1/8 output
1/9100 sec. @ 1/16 output
1/19000 sec. @ 1/32 output
1/28000 sec. @ 1/64 output

Bounce capability: Flash head tilts down to - 7° or up to 90° with click-stops at - 7°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°; flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left with click-stops at 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180° and 90° to the right with click stops at 30°, 60°, 90°

ON/OFF button: Press the icon-onoff.gif button for approx. 0.5 sec. to turn the SB- 28 on or off. When the SB-28 is not used for approx. 80 sec. the SB-28 automatically turns itself off to conserve battery power. To turn the SB-28 back on, press the icon-onoff.gif button.

Flash exposure control Selected by SB28LCDrearB.gif button Available flash operation
  Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash with TTL Multi Sensor with Nikkor lenses with built-in CPU (for cameras in Group I only) with Monitor Preflash
  Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash or Centre-Weighted Fill-Flash/ Spot Fill-Flash (for cameras in Groups I through IV. The indicator appears when used with cameras in Groups I and II only.)
  icon-TTL.gif Standard TTL Flash (for cameras in Groups I through VI). 1/300 TTL High-Speed Flash (for F5 only)
  SB28iconA.gif Non-TTL Auto Flash
  icon-M.gif Manual Flash • Flash output setting (7 steps):1/1,1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64 (in increments of ±1/3 steps icon-FP.gif High-Speed Sync Flash (for cameras in Group I [except F70-Series/N70])
  Repeating Flash
  Rear-curtain sync flash Setting is possible in icon-TTL.gif, SB28iconA.gif or icon-M.gif mode on cameras featuring rear-curtain sync flash mode by setting camera’s flash sync mode to rear-curtain sync.
  Red-Eye reduction Setting is possible on cameras having Red-Eye reduction or Red-Eye reduction in slow-sync. (When set, indicator appears in the LCD panel.)
Power source: Four AA-type alkaline-manganese (1.5V), lithium (1.5V), NiCd (rechargeable) (1.2V), or Ni-MH (rechargeable) (1.2V) penlight batteries.
Optional external power sources:

DC Unit SD-7; uses six C-type alkaline-manganese batteries
• DC Unit SD-8/8A; uses six AA-type alkaline-manganese batteries
• Power Bracket Unit (SK-6/6A); uses four AA-type alkaline manganese batteries (The SD-7, SD-8 and SK-6 not compatible with European version of
the SB-28.)

* With fresh batteries ** With AA-type alkaline-manganese in the SB-28 ***With same type of batteries in both the external power source and the SB-28 • Above data may vary depending on the performance or type of batteries.

Number of flashes and recycling times at full output (with batteries installed in the SB-28)
Red-Eye reduction The Red-Eye reduction LED lights up for approx. 1 sec. before the flash fires. This function is set on the camera. Applicable to cameras in Group I (except F5) and Pronea 600i/6i.

AF assist illumination Automatically fires LED beam toward subject when performing autofocus in dim light or in the dark with Nikon AF cameras. Can be canceled.

Ready-light Lights up when SB-28 is recycled and ready to fire. Blinks for 3 seconds when flash fires at its maximum output, indicating light may have been insufficient (in TTL Auto Flash icon-TTL.gif and SB28iconA.gif·mode only).

FLASH button Performs test firing for correct exposure detection SB28iconA.gif mode or test firing in icon-repeat.gif mode. Can turn the SB-28 on again after the unit enters standby mode.
Built-in wide flash adapter Allows the SB-28 to be used with 18mm or 20mm lenses.
Safety lock system With cameras equipped with a safety lock system, the mount pin is automatically inserted into the locking hole in the camera’s accessory shoe to secure the SB-28.

LCD panel illuminator Turns on and off every time the icon-lightbulb.gif button is pressed. Illumination lasts approx. 16 seconds.
Flash shooting distance scale Distance scale on the LCD panel can be set to either meters (m) or feet (ft) by pressing the icon-lightbulb.gif and icon-onoff.gif buttons simultaneously with SB-28 turned off.

Other features External power source terminal, TTL multiple flash terminal, and sync/multiple flash terminal.
Dimensions (W x H x D)
Approx. 69 x 128 x 90mm (2.7 x 5 x 3.6 in.)
Weight (without batteries)
Approx. 320g (11.3 oz.)
Accessories supplied Soft Case SS-28, External power source terminal cap

All performance data are for normal-temperature operation (20°C/68°F)

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Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight Models:
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Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series:
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