THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS | A PRO PHOTO & VIDEO BLOG

Nikon Announces SB-900 successor, the SB-910

Posted in Equipment, News by Nathan Lee Bush on November 30, 2011

Around the Adoramasphere is our weekly roundup of the internet goings-on of the Adorama family.

With an evolutionary enhancement to its highly-regarded portable flash unit, Nikon has announced a replacement for the SB-900. The flashgun addresses the main flaw of its predecessor – a propensity to overheat – with a thermal protection system that slows recycle times when the unit is in heavy use. The new strobe inherits a simplified menu system from the SB-700, introduced before Photokina 2010, which still manages to look like some 80s throwback. Still, this is welcome news, as the SB-900 required repeat viewing of video tutorials for me to understand the ins and outs, and diving deep into the menu system proved a chore. Nikon would do well to borrow a page from Apple in its next generation UX design. The flash also comes with Fluorescent and Incandescent balanced hard filters, which, when mounted, automatically adjust the white balance setting in camera.

In recent years, portable strobes like the 900 have rose in prominence in the industry. No longer relegated to event photography, working pros like Joe McNally and Strobist‘s David Hobby have popularized the flashes by writing, leading workshops and releasing DVDs explaining how to use them in place of more expensive industry standards. Some pros requiring mobility rely on them solely. Nikon’s CLS (Creative Lighting System), has been lauded as a pioneering and industry-leading wireless syncing system, foregoing the need for Pocketwizards. Of course, these can’t match the light quality and power of Profoto and Broncolor systems, but they are more than adequate for many applications, and a point of entry for photographers starting out.

The unit is expected to retail around $550 and should be available to rent within the next few months, as we gradually replace our existing lineups of SB-900s with the new model.

Press release after the jump.

New Nikon SB-910 Speedlight Offers Advanced Flash Technology and Intelligent Features

MELVILLE, N.Y. (November 29, 2011) – Today, Nikon Inc. announced the addition of a new flagship speedlight, the powerful and capable SB-910 speedlight. Building on the versatility of Nikon’s Creative Lighting System (CLS), the SB-910 incorporates an enhanced intuitive operating system and graphic user interface (GUI). The SB-910 speedlight comes equipped with a wide zoom range covering the most popular focal lengths as well as FX/DX-format identification that optimizes zoom settings based on the camera body. This new speedlight also provides more efficient battery usage as well as an enhanced Thermal Cut-Out function.

“As Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910 provides exceptional high performance and versatility that users have come to value in Nikon’s Creative Lighting System,” said Lisa Osorio, general manager of marketing at Nikon Inc. “By addressing the needs of photographers that work in challenging lighting scenarios, the SB-910 delivers a new level of portable lighting functionality, with performance and intelligent features that adapt to a wide range of lighting challenges.”

The SB-910 speedlight is designed to provide easy operation and menu navigation, with its enhanced operating system featuring illuminated function buttons, a dedicated Menu button with quick access to custom settings and an improved LCD screen graphic user interface. Whether the unit is used as an on-camera flash, wireless commander or remote, the SB-910 speedlight will provide dependable and consistent flash exposure. Engineered to address the creative lighting challenges faced by today’s photographers, the SB-910 speedlight includes quick on-demand performance and the ability to adapt seamlessly to nearly any possible lighting scenario.

Additionally, the new SB-910 incorporates a new Thermal Cut-Out function, which offers protection against damage to the flash panel and body from overheating during continuous flash use. Now, the flash recycling time is automatically delayed if a significant rise in temperature is detected, rather than ceasing operation to protect the unit. For additional durability, heat-resistance and ease-of-use, the SB-910 uses new hard-type color compensation filters for fluorescent and incandescent color temperature balancing. When using these filters, the flash automatically recognizes which filter is being used and adjusts white balance accordingly on the connected Nikon D-SLR camera. Additionally, the AF-assist illuminator of the SB-910 is compatible with the complete line of AF systems used in Nikon D-SLR cameras.

The SB-910 speedlight features three illumination patterns (standard, center-weighted and even) which are designed to match almost any shooting situation when utilizing the speedlight. The “standard” pattern will cover all conventional, standard flash coverage. The “center-weighted” pattern provides larger guide numbers than other light distribution types at the same focal lengths. This illumination pattern is ideal for subjects such as portraits, in which the light falloff at the image edges can be disregarded. When “even” is selected, the light from the flash will cover a subject from the center to the edges without light falloff. This pattern is applicable for shooting group photographs indoors. For coverage with a variety of lenses, the SB-910 speedlight incorporates a multi-step power zoom range that covers a wide 17-200mm angle of view, and can automatically detect Nikon FX and Nikon DX formats to help select suitable light distribution.

The SB-910 speedlight includes support for Nikon’s advanced wireless TTL operation and can function as a wireless commander with control over three separate groups of speedlights or as a remote speedlight triggered by other SB-910 speedlights, SB-700 speedlights, SU-800 Wireless Commander or the built-in speedlight set to Commander Mode on compatible Nikon D-SLR cameras. The SB-910 incorporates a high-speed recycling time of approximately 2.5 seconds for full power with NiMH batteries, and approximately 3.0 seconds with AA Alkaline batteries.

Optional water guards will be available for select cameras to protect the connection between the flash and camera, allowing users to utilize the flash when weather conditions are less than ideal. The SJ-4 Color Filter set provides a Warming, Red, Yellow or Blue filter for adding color to the background, foreground or just to accent the scene. The SB-910 will come equipped with the AS-21 Speedlight Stand, SW-13H Diffusion Dome, SZ-2FL and SZ-2TN hard type Color Compensation Filters and SS-910 soft case.

Nikon’s new flagship speedlight, the SB-910, will be available in mid-December 2011 for a SRP*of $549.95. For more information, please visit http://www.nikonusa.com.Price and Availability

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  1. […] this blog, Through The Looking Glass, we cover the new flagship speedlight from Nikon, the SB-910, an incremental upgrade from the SB-900 which features a simplified interface and better […]


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