Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 - Flash Photography - SB-16A/B Part III

Differences between Flash Unit Couplers AS-8 and AS-9

AS-8.jpg AS-9.jpg
The detachable lower part of the SB-16, called the Flash Unit Coupler AS-8 or AS-9, houses the mounting foot, the shooting mode selector with shooting mode indication LEDs, the ready-light/open-flash button, the light sensor, the sync/multiple flash terminal, and the special terminal for TTL multiple flash.

The only difference in appearance between the AS-8 and AS-9 is the type of mounting foot. The AS-8's mounting foot is specially designed for use with Nikon F3-series camera, while the AS-9 has a standard ISO-type mounting foot. The flash unit with the AS-8 attached is identified as the Speedlight SB-16A, whereas the flash unit with the AS-9 as the Speedlight SB-16B. The SB-16A and SB-16B can be mounted on almost any type of Nikon camera* either directly or with the use of another Nikon Flash Unit Coupler. The TTL automatic shooting mode, however, is available only when the SB-16A is used with a Nikon F3 series camera or when the SB-16B is used with either the Nikon FA, FE2, F-501/N2020, F-301/N2000, FG or Nikonos-V (via V-Type Sync Cord).

* Even with use of the Flash Unit Coupler AS-4 or AS-7, the SB-16B cannot be used with F3-series cameras with the AF Finder DX-1, Action Finder DA-2, Waist-Level Finder DW-3 or 6X Magnification Finder DW-4. (However, May be possible with the new AS-17, need to check it later..) Note: Be careful not to soil or damage the contact pins on the coupler or the contacts (on the main flash unit as this may cause poor connection and possible malfunction.


Synchronization Speed In flash photography, the shutter speed with which electronic flash will synchronize depends on the camera in use. The table shows the usable shutter speeds with various cameras. As shown in the table, automatic sync speed setting is available with Nikon F3-series, FA, FE2, FE, F-501/N2020, F-301/N2000, FG, FG-20, EM and Nikonos V cameras.

Nikon Camera

Synchronization
Speed (sec)

Camera Setting

Actual Shutter Speed (sec)

Viewfinder Shutter Speed Indications

F3 series

1/80 sec or slower

A *

1/80

80

1/2000 - 1/125 sec *

1/80

M80

1/60- 8 sec, X, B and T

As Set

LCD shows manual-set shutter speed, no indication at B or T

FA

1/250 sec or slower

ALL shutter speed settings except M250 and B in "P", "S" and "A" modes *

1/250

LCD shows 250

1/4000 - 1/500 sec in "M" Mode *

1/250

LCD shows M250

1/125 - 1 sec in "M" Mode

As Set

LCD shows manual-set shutter speed

M250 and B in "P", "S", "A" and "M" Mode

As Set

no indication

FE2

1/250 sec or slower

1/4000 - 1/500 sec *

1/250

-

1/250 - 8 sec

As Set

-

M250 and B

As Set

-

FE **

1/125 sec or slower

AUTO *

1/90

-

1/125 - 8 sec, B

As Set

-

FM2n **

1/250 sec or slower

1/250 - 1 sec, B

As Set-

-

FM2 **

1/200 sec or slower

1/200 - 1 sec, B

As Set

-

F-501

1/125 sec or slower

P Dual, P, PHi

1/125

125 lights up

A, 1/2000 sec - 1/250

1/125

125 lights up and LED for proper non-flash shutter speed blinks

1/125 - 1 sec, B

As Set

LED for manually-set shutter speed lights up, and LED for proper non- flash shutter speed blinks. No indications at B

F-301

1/125 sec or slower

Phi, P *

1/125

125 lights up

A, 1/2000 sec - 1/250

1/125

125 lights up and LED for proper non-flash shutter speed blinks

1/125 - 1 sec, B

As Set

LED for manually-set shutter speed lights up, and LED for proper non- flash shutter speed blinks. No indications at B

FG

1/90 sec or slower

P, A, 1/1000 - 1/125 sec*

1/90

TWO LEDs representing 1/90 sec lights up

1/60 - 1 sec

As Set

LED for manual shutter speed lights up

M90, B

As Set

No indications

FG-20, EM

1/90 sec or slower

A , (Audible, 1/1000- 1/125 sec *

1/90

-

1/60 - 1 sec, M90 and B

As Set

-

Nikonos-V
(V-type cord)

1/90 sec or slower

A , 1/1000 - 1/125 sec

1/90

LED for proper non-flash shutter speed blinks

1/60 - 1/30 sec

As Set

LED for proper non-flash shutter speed blinks

M90 and B

As Set

No indications

* Automatic sync speed setting only occurs when the SB-16 is mounted to the camera's hotshoe and turned on. It does not occur when the SB-16 is turned OFF when sync cord is used for OFF-camera operations.
** When the shutter speed dial setting is higher than flash sync speed, the camera's ready light blinks as a warning.

Zoom head.jpg
Zoom Head The SB-16's zoom head has four settings which provide various angles of coverage as shown in the table. The number with an orange background indicates that you can use a lens with the same or a longer focal length at that setting. However, please remember that the lower the numbered setting, the smaller the guide number and the narrower the automatic shooting range is.

zoom head settings

usable lens

angle of coverage

vertical

horizontal

T - 85

85mm or longer

23

31

S - 50

50mm or longer

34

48

N - 35

35mm or longer

45

60

W- 28

28mm or longer

53

70

W1(With Wide adaptor SW-7)

24mm or longer

60

78

(For guide number and automatic shooting range for each zoom setting, referred to other sections that follow). To set the zoom head, simply pull it out or push it in until your desired number appears with an orange background behind it.

Notes: 1) With subjects closer than 1 meter, it is recommended that you select a setting with a one-stop smaller number than the focal/ length of the lens In use to reduce the amount of light at such close distances 2) With the wide-flash adaptor attached, you can use a 24 mm lens

Shooting mode.jpg

Shooting Mode Selector

The shooting mode selector on the back of the SB-16 has five click-stop settings.

Directly above the selector (reading from left to right), there are blue and orange dots for non-TTL automatic operation, two white dots in the middle indicating MD (Motor Drive) and M (Manual) operation respectively, and a white square at the far right which is for TTL flash operation. As soon as the SB-16 is turned on, one of the appropriate LEDs (green for TTL and red for all the rest) above the selector lights up to indicate the setting selected. Usable shooting modes depend on the combination of the type of the flash unit and models of camera.

"TTL" (through-the-lens automatic operation): This mode provides automatic through-the-lens (TTL) control of the flash exposure at any aperture from f/2 to f/22 to match the camera-to-subject distance: the farther away the subject, the more light emitted by the flash unit; the closer the subject, the less light given off. Because the exposure is measured through the lens, no exposure compensation is required in off-camera and/or bounce-flash operation or even with a teleconverter or filter attached to the lens. This setting is also used for programmed TTL auto operation with F-501/N2020 and F-301/N2000.

"A" (non-TTL automatic operation): In the non-TTL automatic (A) mode, the light output of the flash varies automatically to match the flash-to-subject distance, but instead of the light being measured through the lens, it is read by the light sensor on the front of the SB-16. At any film speed setting, you have a choice of two working apertures indicated by the blue A1 and orange A2 aperture indicator lines on the bottom of the exposure calculator dial.

"M" (manual operation): At the manual (M) setting, the SB-16 fires at its maximum light output regardless of the flash-to-subject distance. When it is difficult to obtain correct exposure on auto, i.e., when the brightness of the background affects exposure strongly, use the SB-16 on manual. In the manual mode, exposure should be determined with the exposure calculator dial or with the guide number equation found in a later section.

"MD" (synchronization with motor drive): At the motor drive (MD) setting, the SB-16 is able to recycle fast enough to synchronize with a motor-driven camera firing continuously up to four frames per second. It is possible to take up to eight flash pictures in rapid succession in this way. At the MD setting, only the main flash head fires and the light output is approx. one sixteenth that of the flash unit's maximum power. Like the M setting, this setting is also for manual operation; therefore, the exposure should be calculated manually using the exposure calculator dial or guide number equation.

Note: As sufficient power is required for the flash unit to synchronize with a motor drive, use the newest and freshest batteries whenever possible For the same reason, avoid tripping the shutter immediately after the ready-light comes on, but wait for at least 30 seconds before beginning the motor drive sequence

CalculatatorDial.jpg

Speed.jpg
Exposure Calculator Dial

The exposure calculator dial on the back of the SB-16 helps you select the aperture you must set on the lens depending on the camera-to-subject/flash-to-subject distance. To use the dial, follow these steps:

1) Set the film speed: To set the ASA/ISO film speed, turn the ASA/ISO film speed setting ring until the number corresponding to the speed of your film is opposite the ASA/ISO film speed index. Dots between the numbers on the film speed scale represent intermediate settings.

Zoomsetting.jpg

Dial.jpg (11k) Loading..
2) Set the zoom setting knob:

Note: The W2 setting on the dial is used when the wide-flash adaptor is attached to the flash unit with the zoom head set at W1.

Turn the zoom setting knob at the centre on the dial until the zoom setting index is opposite the same letter as you selected in setting the zoom head. For example, if you set the zoom head at T for a 85mm lens, the zoom setting knob must also be set at T.

3) Determine the exposure: Depending on which shooting mode you've selected, read off the usable f/stop(s) from the dial. in either the TTL or non-TTL automatic mode, more than one f/stop is usable. When choosing an aperture, make sure that your subject is within the auto shooting range indicated by the colour-coded lines. The larger the aperture (the smaller the f-number) you select, the greater the maximum shooting distance, whereas the smaller the aperture (the larger the f-number), the less the maximum shooting distance. If the subject distance remains the same, the larger the aperture you select, the less depth of field in the final photograph; however, the recycling time is shorter. On the other hand, the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field, but the recycling time is longer. Therefore, in choosing an f/stop, all these factors should be taken into consideration.


For through-the-lens (TTL) operation

Selector.jpg
On the dial there are eight f/stops ranging from f/2 to f/22. Each f/stop determines the usable distance range in which you can obtain the correct automatic exposure. These ranges are indicated by a series of colour-coded lines above the distance scale.

For programmed TTL operation, it is not necessary to select the lens aperture. Once the lens is set to its minimum aperture, the camera automatically selects the proper aperture according to the lens in use.

Dial1.jpg Dial2.jpg Dialc.jpg

Example 1: If you are using ASA/ISO 100 film (with the zoom head set at N for a 35mm lens) and select f/4, the auto shooting range is indicated by an orange line. Thus, you can take pictures of subjects located between 1.4 and 8.0m (approx. 4.6 and 26 ft.) from the camera.

shotrangesml.jpg
PDF File (244k)
Example 2: If you are using ASA/ISO 400 film (with the zoom head set at T for an 85mm lens) and select f/4, the auto shooting range indicated by the orange line this time is 3.8 to 21 m (approx. 12 to 69 ft.).Example 3: If you are using ASA/ISO 100 film (with the zoom head set at N for a 35mm lens) and the subject is 2m away, you can select either f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11 or f/16. If a shorter recycling time is preferable, use f/2.8. If greater depth of field is desired, use f/16. For non-TTL automatic (A) operation For non-TTL automatic operation, you can select one of two f/stops, indicated by the blue and orange aperture indicator lines at the bottom of the calculator dial.

After determining the aperture, set the shooting mode selector corresponding to the aperture you selected.Example 1: If you are using ASA/ISO 100 film (with the zoom head set at N for a 35mm lens), the usable aperture is f/8 at the blue A1 setting and f/4 at the orange A2 setting.


DialnonTTLa>jpg DialnonTTL>jpg
The automatic shooting range in this case is 0.6 to 4.0m (2.0 to 13 ft.) at A1 and 0.6m to 8.0m (1.0 to 26 ft.) at A2.

For a subject more than 4m away, the only usable f/stop is f/4. With a subject 3m away, you can select either f/8.0 or f/4.0. If a shorter recycling time is preferable, use f/4.0. If greater depth of field is desired, use f/8.0.

Example 2: If you are using ASA/ISO 400 film, the usable aperture is now f/16 at A1 and f/8 at A2.

The auto shooting range varies according to the zoom head setting as shown in the table. At the same zoom head setting, the range is the same regardless of the film speed and the corresponding f/stop available at A1 or A2. As you can see in the table, the closest subject distance is always 0.6m (2.0 ft.) except at the T setting of the zoom head. Note: Regardless of the settings on the exposure calculator dial, any film speed can be used for non-TTL automatic operation


AUTO Shooting Range

Zoom head setting

Shooting Mode

Shooting Range

T

A1

0.8-5.2 (2.6- 17)

A2

0.8-10 (2.6-33)

S

A1

0.6-4.7 (2.0-15)

A2

0.6-9.5 (2.0-31)

N

A1

0.6-4.0 (2.0-13)

A2

0.6-8.0 (2.0-26)

W1

A1

0.6-3.3 (2.0-11)

A2

0.6-6.7 (2.0-22)

W2

A1

0.6-2.3 (2.0-7.5)

A2

0.6-4.7 (2.0-15)

Unit: m (ft) * W2 is used when the wide-flash adaptor is attached to the flash unit with the zoom head set at W1.

Selector.jpg
For manual (M) operation After setting the ASA/ISO film speed and zoom setting knob on the exposure calculator dial, focus on the subject; then look at the lens and read off the focused distance to determine exactly how far away the subject actually is. Now, find the end of the colour-coded line directly above the flash-to-subject distance and read off the f-number next to this line. Then, set this aperture on your lens.

Example: When using ASA/ISO 100 (with the zoom head set at N for a 35mm lens) and the subject is located 1.5m (5.0 ft.) away, the correct aperture is approx. f/22. With a subject 3m (10 ft.) away, the aperture is approx. f/11. Without referring to the exposure calculator dial, you can also determine the f/stop by using the following equation:

Dial>jpg (12k) Loading...
f/stop = guide number divided by flash-to-subject distance

With ASA/ISO 100 film and meters (and the zoom head set at N for a 35mm lens), the SB-16's guide number is 32.

If the subject is 4m away, divide 32 by 4 to get f/8. With ASA/ISO 25 film and feet (and zoom head set at N for a 35mm lens), the guide number is 52. Therefore, if the subject is 20 ft. away, divide 52 by 20 to get approx. f/2.8.

The guide number at various film speeds and zoom head settings is shown in the following table: Guide numbers in the manual mode

Zoom head setting

ASA/ISO Film Speed

880

400

200

100

50

25

T

119(390)

84 (276)

59 (194)

42 (138)

30 (98)

21 (69)

S

107 (351)

6 (250)

54 (177)

38 (125)

27 (89)

19 (62)

N

90 (295)

64 (210)

45 (148)

32 (105)

22 (72)

16 (52)

W1

76 (250)

54 (177)

38 (125)

27 (89)

19 (62)

13 (43)

W2

54 (177)

38 (125)

27 (89)

19 (62)

13 (43)

9.5 (31)

Note: Unit: m(ft); W2 is used when the wide-flash adaptor is attached to the flash unit with the zoom head set at W1.

MD setting.jpg
For motor drive (MD) operation After setting the ASA/ISO film speed and zoom setting knob on the exposure calculator dial, focus on the subject; then look at the lens and read off the focused distance to determine exactly how far away the subject actually is.


Now, you are ready to read the usable f/stop from the dial. Each colour-coded line indicating the auto shooting range for each f/stop has a notch on it. Find the notch directly above the flash-to-subject distance and read the f-number at the end of the line. For example, if you are using ASA/ISO 100 film with the exposure compensation dial set at + 2 (overexposure), you can read 25 from the table. Reset the exposure calculator dial of the SB-16 to ASA/ISO 25, and then the correct TTL auto shooting range to match the compensated amount will be shown on the exposure calculator dial.

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Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Nikon F3 - Flash Photography - SB-16A/B Part III

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