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Key Features

Powerful, Versatile Speedlight Unit
Atop the Nikon Creative Lighting System, the SB-900 is an indispensable portable light source providing effective solutions to lighting challenges.

Complete Flash Head Positioning Freedom
Bounce 90°up and 7°down with 360° rotation elevates creative lighting freedom.

Renowned Dedicated Wireless Flash Control
Wireless Commander Mode offers wireless control at the master Speedlight position, controlling up to 3 remote Speedlight groups and an unlimited number of compatible Speedlights. Four wireless channel options help manage wireless conflicts in multi-photographer environments.

Choose From 3 Light Distribution Patterns
Optimize light quality by selecting Standard for general illumination, Center-weighted for portraits or Even, for groups or interiors.

Color Gel Filter Identification
Automatically identifies mounted color gel filters and adjusts camera white-balance.* *With select Nikon digital SLRs

Automatic Format Identification
Automatically senses the FX or DX-format camera in use and optimizes light distribution.

Firmware Updating
Allows uploading of performance enhancement developments.*
*With select Nikon digital SLRs

Nikon’s Precision i-TTL Flash Control
Delivers precise flash exposures and seamless fill-flash performance—even in challenging lighting situations.

Hot Shoe and Wireless Operation
Use on-camera, as a wireless Master Commander or as a wireless remote light source.

Expanded Auto Power Zoom Coverage
Smoothly covers lenses as wide as 17mm and up to 200mm in FX-format and as wide as 12mm and up to 200mm in DX-format use.

Streamlined Controls and Menus
Convenient Rotary Select Dial sets key functions quickly and a prominent Master and Remote control switch simplifies wireless operation.

Flash Tube Overheat Protection
An added measure of safety is provided for sustained high-speed bursts.

Flash Value (FV) Lock
Locks in a specific flash output on the main subject, regardless of aperture, composition or the lens’ zoom position.*
*With select Nikon digital SLRs

Drip-Proof Mounting Foot Cover (Water Guard)*
Provides enhanced moisture protection.
*Optional

SB-900 AF Speedlight 3.6 5 53 53
Excellent Flash Really great flash, had some stunning results with this. Excellent for sports, quick recycle time. Took some shots at night in the snow and the results were fantastic. Extremely happy with it January 10, 2011
Great for CLS My old flash died a few days before a wedding shoot so I went out on a limb and purchased the SB900. I had heard about the overheating but went ahead anyway. Sure enough, 2/3 through the after wedding photos, it overheated. I let it cool down and it worked great. I realize now that I was abusing the flash. I have since turned off the overheat warning. I use it for portraits indoors and out and I am very impressed with its performance. I use it mostly with CLS. as Master and Slave. I would highly recommend it. Just don't abuse it. December 26, 2010
The best I ever had I also have SB600 and SB800. The SB900 is absolutely the best and it is simple to use. December 21, 2010
Not A Big Fan I have used the SB600 and the SB900, I found that on an average shoot outdoors female models, using as fill in it would go into the OVERHEAT Mode an not fire. So if you shut the Overheat mode down you can get by. The TTL is average as long as you use Aperture or Shutter priority, or manual. Nice recycle time if you use the Quantum SC Turbo as I have been using but never feel completely safe from failure of the strobe. I recently was on an shoot when the SB900 failed, no notice took several shots and then it just stopped, yet all the indicators acted as if it was working properly. I had an SB600 as back up which got me through the night, but I just can't trust this unit. I have sent it back to Nikon and waiting to hear what the problem is, I am guessing that the FLASH TUBE has failed. So In the mean time I have purchased a Quantum Flash to team up with the SC Turbo Battery so I will keep the SB600, and SB900 as backups. Sorry NIKON I just don't think this is one of the best strobes produced by Nikon. November 20, 2010
Superb Flash, The SB900 us just about the best Speedlight I have ever used. Fast recycling, consistent Exposure, Output and Color. I'm about to start using multiple SB-900's for more complicated lighting situations. I can't wait to play with these Multiple Strobes. November 6, 2010
Amazing This is one incredible flash unit. It has so many functions I doubt I will ever use them all. The images made in i-TTL are amazing and perfectly exposed. It will take me a long time to learn all the nuances of this unit. October 22, 2010
WOW I own a SB-600 and also use SB-800's when at work. At the last minute i had to fill in as the Wedding photographer at my sisters wedding. With only 1 days notice and 800kms from my home (traveled to the wedding and found out my family had not confirmed the date with the photographer and lost their booking) I made a few calls and was able to borrow some extra flash cards a reflector and the SB-900 from a colleague. I was very impressed with this flash! From shooting dark and expansive church interiors to an outdoor fill light (sunny late afternoon) from 30ft ( shots taken with couple atop a small bridge over a waterfall) this flash had the power to save the day (and made me the hero) . Very intuitive controls allowed me to configure the flash on the fly without having access to the instruction manual. I had not experienced any overheating issues as others have mentioned. This flashed handled a huge volume actuations and did a fantastic job in doing so.... the SB-900 is my next purchase and when paired with my SB-600 (or 2) will make a killer location lighting solution! October 17, 2010
Not worth flagship status In a few words, the SB900 is a powerlflash that does not last long. Without a expesinve power pack it overheats so fast that most times does not last. I will not recommend this flash unless you can afford to buy a power pack, which is another 400-500 dollars. I would recomend the SB800. October 15, 2010
easy to use I have had nikon products since the F1 film camera up to today. The D300, 2 SB800 and aSB900 oh and a 600 really get the job done indoors or outside. Its so easy to transport it all. We do models in remote areas and in hot weather and we have never had any of the units overheat. Thanks Nikon for excellent products October 9, 2010
Good, but ... Love this flash, except i wish it wouldn't overheat so often ... it's pretty embarrassing when it happens, mostly from the standpoint that i have to stop and wait ... in which case, wanting to save face, i quickly adjust the ISO and just pretend i need to get a few no-flash photos. September 28, 2010
Beats lugging around Monolights I love the Nikon Speedlights, especially the SB-900. The light output and power are phenominal. I use 1 SB-900 and up to 2 additional SB-600 when I am shooting on location. The Nikon Creative Lighting System in conjunction with the commander mode (either in camera or on the SB-900) make adjusting the light output simple and quick. I can take a picture and quickly adjust my lights without having to walk over to each one. Saves time and keeps the customer happy! September 22, 2010
Proud to have one I never used a flash when I was out shooting. I mean never! Although I was trained in it the lack of control and terrible options turned me away from lower end and third party flashes. I recently purchased on for my job and fell in love with it. The control is amazing, the range is phenomenal, and the usability is fantastic. It is the minor things on it that make it such a wonderful piece of equipment to work with. I am no longer an enemy of "fill" flash and would give it a 9.5 out of a10. I am a little turned off by the control setup but other than that it is a great unit... August 24, 2010
Great and versatile I have owned this flash for over a year now. I have loved using it since day 1. I find the optical slave and PC sync to be very useful when using it as a slave although I wish it had a 1/8" mono jack as well. The TTL is awesome on this and is amazing at getting correct exposures. the high speed sync feature on this and other Nikon flashes is also awesome, allows you to take down the ambient exposure very easily (turn up your shutter speed). I have had no problems with overheating like others have mentioned. I use this both with AA batteries and with an external battery pack and have not experienced excessive overheating. I love this flash, I'm very pleased and selling off some 3rd party flashes to buy two more! August 13, 2010
This is a donwgrade from the sb-800 I am a very active professional photographer. I own 1 - sb-28, 8 sb-800's and now 2 sb-900's. I bought the 900's right before a job in Switzerland and was unimpressed. The light output is great but the change of controls, the removal of the focus light and the overheating problem made me keep them in their cases because I could not rely on them. These things overheat just by being in the sun. The settings now have to be changed by selecting a feature and turning a dial to the correct location. This is annoying for me because I almost always use them on stands and the way the controls were setup on the 800 I could maneuver the power and zoom settings when the flash was in a position that was over my head level. I also used the focus light feature of the sb-800 on a regular basis. I have made a significant investment in Nikon over the years and am sorry to say that they no longer make a speed-light that I would buy. August 13, 2010
Perfect for my pictures When I purchased my Nikon kit I worried over the flash. I settled for the SB-900 and have never looked back. Taking pictures of family both action and portrait using bounce or straight on has been so easy and I get great pictures. My last trip to see family in Kentucky I took almost all the pictures indoor because it was a blizzard outside. The pictures came out clear, sharp and perfect and using the review ability on my D90 everyone was really impressed with the pictures. I'm glad I got the SB-900 as an accessory. August 7, 2010
Since 1983, My Only Nikon Disappointment Yes this flash is high tech, and integrates very well with my camera. The user interface is first rate. Which is why I am willing to give it 2 stars. The worst thing about the flash is that it overheats very quickly. Even when I only use it as an optical slave flash. Thank goodness I still have my 15 year old Nikon SB-26 flash for back up. If it wasn't for the overheating, this flash would be a home run, but otherwise it's been a failure for me. I do know how to turn off the overheat function, but why should I have to. It may or not be my copy of this flash, but I do know lots of other people who have had trouble with this flash model. July 30, 2010
Great Flash Vary fast recycle time plenty of flash very versatile July 30, 2010
Outstanding Product The SB900 has become my workhorse flash, capable of almost anything I throw at it. With one unit mounted either on-camera as a commander, and the other off camera, I am able to handle most lighting situations. Where I need 2 lights, I mount the second SB900 off camera and power both units with my commander mode on my D300 pop up flash. It's a superb system. July 9, 2010
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
3 Answers

How do you prevent overheating with the SB900?

Apr 9, 2012 by
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CourtneyB13
Maryland, USA
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I recently got my SB900. During my first time practicing with it, it gave me the overheating warning and turned off. I had been taking multiple pictures in a short amount of time, as I was testing out different settings and lighting situations. However, I got the overheating warning within about 10 minutes of testing it out, and I was shocked to receive the message so early.

My question is, what measures can I take to prevent from overheating? I'm assuming I can't take multiple shots in mass succession. What IS the rate of pictures I can take? One every 30 seconds, one every minute, etc. Is there anything else I can do to prevent this from happening?

(other info - I was using this with the d90)
2 years, 8 months ago by
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CourtneyB13
Maryland, USA
Location : 
Maryland, USA
Age: 25-34
Favorite Subject: Family & Friends
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: Less than a month
Role: Semi-professional photographer
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Answer: 
Increase the iso on your camera. the more you rely on a flash to fill the room, you are putting strain on it. Set the iso to a value you find acceptable and go from there. Also do not use FP sync. on my current camera i have found a happy medium between an acceptable iso value and firing at 1-16th full power and have found overheating issues to go away and i can fire in pretty rapid succession using plain duracell batteries. (another advantage is you will not find yourself fumbling to change batteries as often)
Apr 5, 2013 by
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RB
New York, NY, USA

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Answer: 
I have experienced the problem when shooting fire performers. where shooting time is limited to the time the flames are alight for. You don't have to use the flash for that long before it goes, a couple of minutes (and that is with the flash shooting at -1. A lot depends on the batteries you use, from what I have read. I have heard all sorts of different advise on reasons why and what batteries work better or worse. Turning down the power of your flash and using multiple flashes is the easiest way to stop it. Shooting slower, allowing the heat to dissipate will help but is limiting. I am not going to say which batteries you should use or if you should use a battery pack as I have heard so many things.
Apr 10, 2012 by
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Anonymous

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Answer: 
Some people report this issue, but I've never experienced it. Getting your speedlight to overheat after 10 minutes of use suggests you were pushing it pretty hard -- which means rapid-fire shooting at full power. You have some control over flash output, which includes shooting with a larger aperture (smaller number), slower shutter speed and higher ISO value. In this way you can mediate between camera and flash to produce required output from the SB-900. Even though the thermal warning feature can be turned off, I wouldn't recommend it -- for obvious reasons.
Apr 10, 2012 by
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Hugo First
Richmond, VA, USA
Location : 
Richmond, VA, USA
Age: 45-54
Favorite Subject: Nature
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: Less than a month
Role: Semi-professional photographer
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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How do you install recent firmware updates on SB900 if the cameras you own are not on list

Apr 5, 2013 by
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Anonymous
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I own a d800 and two sb900's. how do i update the firmware? the d800 is not listed as a camera to use to update the flashes
1 year, 8 months ago
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Anonymous
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Answer: 
The most recent firmware update for the SB-900 Speedlight is version 5.02 which was released in November of 2008. The "Update" date reflects a change to the web page while the "Published" date is the date of the firmware itself.

If the firmware on your SB-900 is older than version 5.02 then you can use your D800 to do the update. Any DSLR that shows the "S" firmware option when a speedlight is attached can be used to do a Speedlight firmware update.

Firmware version 5.02 can be downloaded from this address:
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/ans...
Apr 6, 2013 by
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NikonCatherine
New York

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Answer: 
You should be able to do it with the D800, just follow the instructions, I suspect the only reason the D800 is not showing is because the SB-900 has been discontinued and therefore the camera list will not be updated. Either that or find someone that uses one of the listed cameras and do it like that.
Apr 5, 2013 by
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KeithD

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Answer: 
What firmware update are you referring to? There hasn't been a firmware update for the SB900 since 2008. That was version 5.02,
Apr 5, 2013 by
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JoeR
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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SB-900 doesn´t overheat on D7000

Jun 15, 2011 by
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Gerlan
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SB-900 would always overheat on my D40, specially during the worst of times, such as crucial moments (grooms kissing in a wedding, happy birthday in a birthday party...). Since I got my D7000 I NEVER had a single overheat on SB-900, and I´m taking the same types of shots. Is that due to D7000´s new metering processor being more efficient? Thanks in advance for clarifying it!
3 years, 6 months ago by
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Gerlan
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Answer: 
either that or you are using the d7k in a higher iso mode, since the d7k has eons better high iso than the d40. and higher iso->less need for light, so it's possible you're simply using your sb900 on a lower output.
Jun 17, 2011 by
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AndrsK

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Answer: 
Overheating alert issues were corrected with the latest firmware version for the SB-900.
Jun 16, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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Why does my SB_900AF Speedlight overheat all the time with my D40?

Oct 18, 2011 by
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RSnyder
Pennsylvania
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3 years, 2 months ago by
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RSnyder
Pennsylvania
Location : 
Pennsylvania
Age: 18-24
Favorite Subject: Landscape
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: Less than a month
Role: Semi-professional photographer
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Answer: 
They all overheat, the firmware update does not help. Different batteries does not help. The only things that helps is slowing down how fast you are shooting, turn up the ISO and shoot in brighter areas.......

Nikon staff, please admit to the problem and fix it. I have 10 of these sitting on the shelf at my studio not being used because we cannot not depend on them. If you can't or won't fix the problem, bring back the SB-800.....call it an SB-850 and charge $50 more than the cost of an SB-900 and I will buy 10 right away.
Oct 22, 2011 by
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Anonymous

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Answer: 
Please verify the latest Firmware that you have on your SB-900:
Answer Title: SB-900 5.02 firmware update
Answer Link: http://support.nikonusa.com/app/ans...
Oct 18, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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I can use the SB-900 wirelessly with my D5000 without an additional command unit?

Nov 11, 2011 by
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Anonymous
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3 years, 1 month ago
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Anonymous
Age: 35-44
Favorite Subject: Portrait
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: 6-12 months
Role: Serious passion, hobbyist
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Answer: 
Or use the SB-900 in SU-4 mode and control it manually.
Nov 12, 2011 by
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KeithD

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Answer: 
No, D5000 does not have a built in commander, you would need A SU800 commander.
Nov 11, 2011 by
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JoeR
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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Can the firmware be updated in the SB-900 flash using a D7000 DSLR body?

Nov 20, 2011 by
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Ron
Sterling Heights , Michigan, USA
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Maybe a deal braker. Please send/post a link to whare I can find this infomation.
3 years, 1 month ago
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Ron
Sterling Heights , Michigan, USA
Location : 
Sterling Heights , Michigan, USA
Age: 45-54
Favorite Subject: Family & Friends
Nikon Family: 0-1 years
Role: Just getting started with photography
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Answer: 
Yes it can.
Nov 20, 2011 by
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Anonymous

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Yes it can. Its all on the Nikon website here just in case you cant find it
http://support.nikonusa.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/16174/session/L2F2LzEvdGltZS8xMzIxODA2NzMyL3NpZC93eTRBSUJKaw%3D%3D
Nov 20, 2011 by
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KeithD
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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Can I use my 900 off of my camera?

Dec 9, 2011 by
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Debbie
Florida
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If I want to take it off of my camera and position it apart from the camera, can I do that? What would I need to do so?
3 years ago
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Debbie
Florida
Location : 
Florida
Age: 55-65
Favorite Subject: Nature
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: More than a year
Role: Serious passion, hobbyist
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Answer: 
Yes. Use it in the Remote function. There is a lot of great info online for Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS).
Dec 10, 2011 by
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Anonymous

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Answer: 
You can use the SB-900 off of the camera. There are a couple of ways of doing this. If you have a DSLR with Nikons creative lighting system build into the camera you can use the built in flash (not with the D5100) to activate the flash. You can use SC28/SC29 attached to the camera to activate the flash. Or you can use another SB800/SB900 as a master or a wireless flash trigger with varying degrees of control.
Dec 9, 2011 by
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Anonymous
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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Can I use the SB 900 with my D 200 Camera ?

Jun 20, 2011 by
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Anonymous
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3 years, 5 months ago by
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Anonymous
Age: Over 65
Favorite Subject: Portrait
Nikon Family: 6-10 years
Experience: More than a year
Role: Serious passion, hobbyist
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Answer: 
Yes.
Jun 20, 2011 by
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KeithD
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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Can I use the SB 900 with my D80 Camera?

Jun 23, 2011 by
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Shutter
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Looking for decent flash for my D80. Saw the SB-900 and need to know. Thanks.
3 years, 5 months ago by
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Shutter
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Answer: 
Yes, you can use the SB-900 with the D80.
Jun 24, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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SB-900 AF Speedlight
 
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sb900 not firing at all

Jun 29, 2011 by
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del
abu dhabi, uae
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i just got my new sb900 from a retail store. jammed it with a set of fresh batteries, everything seems to work fine, but when i tried pushing the test button, it doesn't fire. even when the test button lights up, still not firing. i tried it with the D90, still not firing. i tried putting it on wireless triggers, not firing. is it a product defect?
3 years, 5 months ago by
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del
abu dhabi, uae
Location : 
abu dhabi, uae
Age: 25-34
Favorite Subject: Portrait
Nikon Family: 2-5 years
Experience: Less than a month
Role: Serious passion, hobbyist
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Answer: 
If you already tried troubleshooting and the problem still persists, you are welcome to send your camera for evaluation.
Title: How do I get my Nikon product serviced?
URL: http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bi...
Jul 11, 2011 by
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NikonStaff
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