Nikon F and F2 Flash Power Sources


LA-1 AC Unit

Presumably, this unit receives mains power (as with most Nikon AC units, input voltage is switcheable between 110, 117, 220, and 240V) and supplies power to the built-in ringlight of the Medical-Nikkor. Recycling time will be appox. 8 sec. (full) or 5 sec. (1/4 power). This is the appropriate unit for the later Medical-Nikkor, which has a three-pin power socket. It has two switches on the control panel, one for power on-off and the other for supplied power full-1/4.

This is also the appropriate unit for the SR-2 and SM-2 ringlights.

LD-1 DC Unit

This unit derives its power from eight "D"-type 1.5V batteries. It supplies power to the built-in ringlight of the (later) Medical-Nikkor. It has two switches on the control panel, one for power on-off and the other for supplied power full-1/4. With fresh alkaline cells, it will provide 600 full or 1 400 1/4 power flashes, recycling at 9 sec. (full) or 4 sec. (1/4 power).

This is also the appropriate unit for the SR-2 and SM-2 ringlights.

Medical-Nikkor AC Unit (original)

Presumably, this unit receives mains power (as with most Nikon AC units, input voltage is switcheable between 110, 117, 220, and 240V) and supplies power to the built-in ringlight of the Medical-Nikkor. Recycling time will be appox. 8 sec. (full) or 5 sec. (1/4 power). This is the appropriate unit for the earlier Medical-Nikkor, which has a four-pin power socket. It has two switches on the control panel, one for power on-off and the other for supplied power full-1/4.

Medical-Nikkor DC Unit (original)

This unit derives its power from four "D"-type 1.5V and one 240V battery (Energizer 4912). It supplies power to the built-in ringlight of the (early) Medical-Nikkor. It has two switches on the control panel, one for power on-off and the other for supplied power full-1/4.

SA-1 AC Unit/Charger

The SA-1 is officially known as the AC Unit/Charger SA-1, and is designed for use with the SB-1. It has a switch to change the input voltage from 100, 117, 220, and 240V AC, and takes standard mains current. It is a "brick" with two cords, one for the mains supply, and the other a four-socket connector for the SB-1.
Not only does it serve as a power supply to the SB-1, it also recharges the (low-capacity) SN-1 NiCad slowly: a full charge (providing 80 flashes with the SN-1) takes 14-16 hours. However, you are cautioned to remove the SN-1 if you will be using the SA-1 as your main power supply. Recycling time is approximately 4 seconds.

SA-2 AC Unit

The SA-2 is the proper AC adapter for the SB-2/3 and outputs 300V, 23mA DC. The input is taken from standard house current, and is switcheable between 100, 117, 220, and 240V AC. It consists of a fairly small "brick" to which two cords are attached: one connects to the speedlite and the other connects to an AC socket. The AC input selector is on the brick. The recycling time is approximately the same as if you used batteries: approximately 8 seconds on manual and less than 1 second in automatic, with a distance of 2m at f/5.6.

To use the SA-2:

  1. set the proper AC input voltage on the SA-2 "brick"
  2. turn the SB-2/3 off
  3. connect the speedlite to the brick
  4. connect the brick to the AC source; at this point, the unit should charge and be ready for action in 8 sec.

SA-3 AC Unit

This is the AC mains adapter for the SB-6 Repeating Flash. From a small, grainy picture, I can discern an on/off slider, a pilot light (to indicate power), two sockets for power connections, and little else.

SD-1 Battery Pack

No known data. Perhaps an early SB-1 power pack? Did it even exist?

SD-2 D-Cell Pack

The SD-2 is a portable battery pack that provides up to 1 000 flashes when filled with six 1.5 D-type alkaline batteries. It is designed for the SB-1 and plugs into the same square four-pin port as the SA-1. It has a power switch which overrides the one on the back of the SB-1's flash head (which should be turned off when using the SD-2). The recycling time varies between 3.5 to 6 seconds (from fresh alkalines to depleted high-rate manganese batteries).

SD-3 510-Volt Battery Pack

The SD-3 is a portable battery pack that provides up to 700 flashes when filled with one 510V (Energizer 497) and four 1.5 AA-type batteries. It is designed for the SB-1 and plugs into the ringlight port (so you can't use the SM-1/SR-1 at the same time as the SD-3). It has a power switch which overrides the one on the back of the SB-1's flash head (which should be turned off when using the SD-3). Recycling time is the fastest of all SB-1 power sources at 1.5 seconds.

SD-4 Battery Pack

The SD-4 provides dramatically longer endurance and shorter recycling for the SB-5. You put either two 240V (0160 type, Energizer 4912, same as the original Medical-Nikkor DC unit) or one 480V (0160W type) laminated battery into it and hook it up. Recycling time ranges from 0.25 to 1.5 sec., depending on the mode in use.

SD-5 DC Unit

The SD-5 makes the SB-6 somewhat mobile. You load it up with eight rechargeable SN-3's and just walk out ... I have no data on the SD-5.

SN-1 NC Battery

The SN-1 is the only battery that fits into the handle of the SB-1, providing ultimate portability (discounting the added weight of a charger) and reasonably rapid recycling (appox. 4 seconds) at the expense of endurance -- maximum of 80 flashes. It may be recharged by the SA-1 in 14-16 hours or the SH-1 in approximately 3 hours. NC stands for "Nickel-Cadmium", the type that thrives on deep discharge and other such abuses.

Although the SN-1 is tapered to fit correctly into the handle of the SB-1, it may be useful to know that the positive terminal faces upwards (i.e. towards the head). It is loaded as you would load a typical hand-held electric torch: unscrew the bottom cap, put in the SN-1, and close it back up.

SN-2 NiCad

The SN-2 is a composite-cell NiCad cluster (similar to the Metz 45-series NiCd) that fits into the SB-5's handle and provides excellent portability and fairly decent performance. Just like the SN-1, it poops out fairly quickly -- after just 75 full-power flashes, although the SB-5 has multiple lower-power modes, including three automatic settings, which help extend its life. Recycling times range between 0.25 and 2.6 seconds, depending on the mode in use.

SN-3 NiCad

These you load into the SD-5 to provide a portable power source for the SB-6.

SH-1 NC Battery Charger

The SH-1 is a rapid charger for the SN-1. It plugs into mains current and recharges the SN-1 in approximately 3 hours (plug the SN-1 into a socket on the body).

SH-2 NC Battery Charger

Just as you'd expect, the SH-2 recharges the SN-2 fairly rapidly. It plugs into mains current.

SH-3 NC Battery Charger

Although this is the rapid charger for the SN-3 NC Battery, I do not know how many batteries it will take or how quickly it can charge them.

MS-2 Battery Clip

According to B. "Moose" Peterson, this is the battery clip for the SB-7E/8E. I have some doubts about this, as this is the same designation for the the MB-2's battery clips, although it is possible, as the MB-2 uses eight batteries in two clips ...


F Index | F2 Index | Next: Flashes: Flash Accessories