Nikon SB-800 Speedl ight
It’s a powerful, professional-grade flashgun with a bit on the side
A breakthrough product when it was originally released, the SB-800 flashgun ushered in Nikon’s current ‘Creative Lighting System’. With ‘intelligent’ i-TTL rather than the older D-TTL system, it’s able to work out flash exposure settings automatically when used in multi-flashgun set-ups. Indeed, it has full wireless master and slave facilities that make it compatible with all subsequent Nikon and third-party flashguns that support the CLS format.
The SB-800 also introduced the ‘flash colour information communication’ system to improve colour accuracy when using flash in conjunction with the camera’s auto white balance mode. Another innovation was the FV (Flash Value) lock for capturing and locking flash exposure settings.
The usual refinements of top-flight flashguns include a motorised zoom head with bounce and swivel, an LCD info display and on-board controls, plus an even greater maximum power than Nikon’s subsequent flashguns (see page 118 for an in-depth round-up of current models). Standard accessories supplied with the SB-800 included colour filters, a diffusion dome, stand, carrying pouch and an extra AA battery holder that you can clip onto the side, to enable faster recycling.
Jason’s view… The control panel and menu system are clear and intuitive, and I love the way the recycle speed after a full-power flash accelerates from four seconds to just over 2.5 seconds when you fit the extra battery holder. The push-button modelling function is also nice to have