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Nikon Introduces the SB-800 Speedlight Flash with i-TTL

Advanced and intuitive wireless multiple flash
forms the core of the new Creative Lighting System

The Speedlight solution
built to complement D-SLR photography

Jan 28th, 2004





Nikon Speedlight SB-800 Major Features

  • Compatible with both digital and film SLR cameras; auto flash control is set to match the camera body: i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash control with the Nikon D2H and Nikon D70, D-TTL Balanced Fill-flash control and Auto Aperture Flash [AA] with D1 Series and D100 digital SLR cameras, and TTL and Non-TTL Auto Flash [A] with film cameras
  • As easy to use as a single on-camera speedlight
  • Intelligent i-TTL system (with Nikon D2H, D2X and the D70), supports Advanced Wireless Lighting and versatile functions for up to 3 remote i-TTL speedlight groups controlled through the master SB-800
  • Individual flash mode settings ([TTL], [AA], [A] and [M]) are available for each of the four groups (including master controller) for easy total lighting control based on the brightness of the subject and not simply on general output ratios for each group
  • Four frequency channels prevent other photographers from inadvertently triggering flashes
  • FV Lock (Flash Value Lock) allows photographers to change the composition or zoom for the shot while maintaining desired lighting of the subject
  • Auto FP High Speed Sync Mode delivers needed fill flash in bright light
  • Distance Priority Manual Mode is a great feature for manual flash [M] shooting at fixed distances, such as wedding photos and product shots
  • Modeling Flash allows photographer to preview lighting effects
  • Dot matrix LCD provides large, easy to read graphics, and ergonomic control design makes the buttons and switches simple to access and use
  • New SD-800 Quick Recycling Battery Pack is included - adds a fifth R6(AA)-size battery for shorter recycling time between flashes

  • New SJ-800 Color Filter Set is included - contains two color filters, one for tungsten lighting and one for fluorescent lighting

  • The AS-19 Speedlight Stand is included - complete with tripod connector

  • A (SW-10H) Speedlight Diffusion Dome is also included

The SB-800 Speedlight is as easy to set up with the Nikon D2H as a single on camera speedlight.

Sample multiple flash set up

  1. Set all SB speedlights in all Groups for i-TTL operation

    Flash setup information as displayed in the D2H top LCD panel, shows the master SB-800 speedlight and the Remote units A, B, C set to i-TTL

  2. Using Pre-Flash info from all groups, camera measures pre-flash values & determines best exposure
  3. Take picture
  4. Use cameras LCD screen to verify effects

Nikon Speedlight SB800

Flash exposure control : 1) i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash with Nikon D2H and D70 Digital SLR's. i-TTL flash with Nikon Coolpix 8800 and Coolpix 8400
2) D-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash with Nikon with Nikon D1 series or Nikon D100
3) TTL Auto Flash with many film SLRs, including the Nikon F5, F100, F80 (N80), F75 (N75), F65 (N65) and FM3A,
4) Auto Aperture Flash [AA],
5) Non-TTL Auto Flash [A] with many film SLRs, including the Nikon F55 (N55) and FM10
6) Manual Flash [M]
Guide number (ISO 100, m/ft.) : 38/125 (at 35mm) to 56/184 (at 105mm)
Flash coverage: Automatic 24 to 105mm zoom;
14/17mm with built-in wide flash adapter;
14mm with Diffusion Dome SW-10H
Bounce capability: Flash head tilts down to -7 degree or up to 90 degree ; flash head rotates horizontally 180 degree to the left or 90 degree to the right
Power switch: ON/OFF button provided
Film speed range in TTL auto flash mode: ISO 25 to 1,000
Minimum recycling time: Approx. 2.7 seconds (manual, w/R6 (AA)-size Ni-Cd or Ni-MH batteries, with Quick Recycle Battery Pack SD-800) Approx. 6 sec. [manual w/FR6 (AA-size Lithium batteries)]
Minimum number of flashes: Approx. 150 (Alkaline, Ni-MH batteries)
Power source:
  • Four 1.5V LR6 (AA-size alkaline), 1.2V KR-AA (AA-size NiCd) or 1.5V FR6 (AA-size lithium) batteries;
  • Quick Recycle Battery Pack SD-800 holds a fifth AA-size battery for faster power recycling
  • DC Unit SD-7 (optional)*1*2;
  • Battery Pack SD-8A (optional)*2
  • *1 SD-7 is not available in European countries.
  • *2 SD-7/8 cannot be used with the SB-800 sold in European countries
Weight (without batteries): Approx. 350g (12.3 oz.)
Supplied accessories:
  • Quick Recycle Battery Pack SD-800 [for one R6(AA)-size battery]
  • Speedlight Stand AS-19
  • Colored Filter Set SJ-800 (FL-G1 and TN-A1)
  • Diffusion Dome SW-10H
  • Soft Case SS-800
Dimensions (W x H x D) : Approx. 70.6 x 127.4 x 91.7 mm / 2.8 x 5.0 x 3.6 in


Check out the latest price at B&H Photo and Video on digital cameras, flashes,
memory cards and other accessories.


Press release: Jan 28th, 2004 - Nikon Corporation is pleased to announce the introduction of the Speedlight SB-800, the foundation of the new Nikon Creative Lighting System for the Nikon D2H.

The new i-TTL Flash Control system supports automatic balanced fill flash that delivers outstanding results as well as new creative possibilities. i-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash flash control employs Nikon's new Advanced Data Communication system to introduce an improved method for the monitor pre-flash and wireless operation that marks an evolution in higher precision over Nikon's acclaimed D-TTL Balanced Fill-Flash control system and forms the core of the new Creative Lighting System.

The Nikon Speedlight SB-800 makes Advanced Wireless Lighting (= wireless multiple flash) as easy to use as a single on-camera speedlight, inviting professional and advanced amateur photographers to explore the unlimited creative possibilities.

Advanced Wireless Lighting lets you divide SB-800 Speedlights into 4 groups, including the Master and 3 remote i-TTL speedlight groups, to achieve total lighting control. All groups can be controlled from the Master, including independent flash mode ([TTL] / [AA] / [A] / [M]) settings and any-time adjustment of flash output level compensation values for each group.

Each of the three remote groups can contain any number of Speedlights, giving photographers full control over how they illuminate the background.

With new Distance Priority Manual Flash Mode, the photographer can set the distance and aperture, and the SB-800 automatically sets the power output -- a great feature for manual flash [M] shooting at weddings and for product shots.

The new FV Lock (Flash Value Lock) maintains the flash value for correct exposure of the subject while zooming or otherwise changing the composition for a shot, so photographers can concentrate on lighting a particular subject.

New Auto FP High Speed Sync Mode provides ample fill-in flash when shooting in bright light with fast aperture lenses to achieve effective blur in the background. When the mode is active, the camera automatically uses high-speed flash synchronization to make shutter speeds available that exceed the camera's own flash sync speed.

A new Modeling Flash allows photographers to visually preview the lighting effects for all groups of speedlights when using Advanced Wireless Lighting to shoot with multiple flash units, a great aid in achieving the exact lighting desired.

The SB-800 is also fully compatible with existing Nikon cameras, retaining the same functions as the SB-80DX when used with them. Auto flash control uses D-TTL on Nikon DX Format digital SLR cameras and TTL and Non-TTL Auto Flash on film cameras. Advanced i-TTL requires support for the new Creative Lighting System and is currently available only on the D2H.

With its ease of use and unlimited creative potential, the Speedlight SB-800 will be welcomed by photographers who want complete, yet simple, control over their lighting.

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