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Crutchfield

Nikon SB-400 Speedlight

Flash for select Nikon SLR cameras

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  • Nikon SB-400 Speedlight

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  • Nikon SB-400 Speedlight

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Item# 054SB400
 

Review Summary

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Original price $129.99
 
 
 
 

Our take on the Nikon SB-400 Speedlight

by Dave Bar
Nikon

The SB-400 Speedlight works with select Nikon SLR cameras to improve the look of your flash photography. This powerful-yet-compact add-on flash lets you shoot in low-light conditions from far greater distances than your camera's built-in flash will allow. Plus, you get the added ability to direct light where you need it for more professional-looking photos.

The SB400's flash head can be tilted upward at multiple angles to create indirect lighting effects. Bounced from walls or ceilings, reflected light provides softer illumination with less glare and fewer shadows — ideal for taking more pleasing portraits.

All of the necessary connections are made by simply mounting the flash to your camera's accessory shoe. With advanced automatic exposure control, this easy-to-use flash works together with your Nikon camera to provide just the right illumination for your photos every time.

Highlights:

  • i-TTL (intelligent through-the-lens) flash exposure control
  • manual setting (with select Nikon cameras only)
  • four-position tilt flash head (tilts up from horizontal to 60, 75, and 90 degrees)
  • approximate guide number at ISO 200: 98.4 ft./30 meters (at 18mm zoom head setting)
  • compatible with select Nikon SLRs using the Creative Lighting System including the D40, D50, D70s, and D200
  • uses 2 "AA" batteries (not included)
  • weight: 4.5 oz. (without batteries)
  • 2-9/16"W x 2-1/4"H x 3-3/16"D
  • soft carry case included
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
 

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • SB-400 Speedlight flash
  • SS-400 Soft case
  • Instruction Manual
  • Warranty Form
  • Product Registration card

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Features
Specifications

Features

Creative Lighting System: The SB-400 features a new Nikon Speedlight system, called Creative Lighting System (CLS). This system offers additional flash shooting possibilities with digital cameras by taking advantage of a camera's digital communication capabilities. CLS is available only when the SB-400 is used with compatible Nikon cameras.

Compatibility: The SB-400 is currently compatible with the following point-and-shoot and digital SLR Nikon cameras (as of 12/30/2011).

  • D-Series: 3, 3S, 3X, 300, 300S, 3000, 3100, 40, 5000, 5100, 60, 700, 7000, 90
  • Coolpix Series: P5000, P5100, P6000, P7100

Note: List subject to change as newer model cameras are released.

Microcomputer-Controlled: The Speedlight incorporates a microcomputer to control flash operations.

i-TTL Flash Operation: This is a new TTL auto flash operation in the Creative Lighting System. Monitor Preflashes are fired at all times. The subject is correctly exposed by the light from the flash lighting and the exposure is less affected by the ambient light than in the conventional TTL operation

Flash Modes: The SB-400's available flash modes vary, depending on the cameras and lenses in use or the camera's exposure mode. The following flash modes are available.

  • Slow-Sync Flash: In Slow-Sync Flash mode the flash is controlled at a slow shutter speed to obtain the correct exposure for both the main subject and background in low-light situations or at night.
  • Red-Eye Reduction: Red-Eye Reduction prevents the center of your subject's eyes from appearing red in color pictures. The SB-400 fires three flashes at reduced output just before the picture is taken.
  • Red-Eye Reduction with Slow-Sync Flash: In this mode, red-eye reduction is combine with the slow-sync mode.
  • Rear-Curtain Sync: Rear-Curtain Flash Sync creates a picture in which the blur or a moving subject appears behind the subject and not in front.
  • FV (Flash Value) Lock: FV is the amount of flash exposure for the subject. Using FV Lock you can lock in the appropriate flash exposure for the main subject.
  • Exposure Compensation and Flash output Level Compensation: Exposure compensation allows you to take well-balanced pictures by intentionally modifying the flash exposure. This is useful when a subject of extremely high or low reflectivity is included in the scene or when you want to create flash photographs to match your creative preferences.
  • Manual Mode: Manual flash operation is possible with only the Nikon D40 series.

Note: Each mode should be set on the camera body, since it cannot be set through the SB-400.

Bounce Flash: With the SB-400 mounted on your camera's hot shoe, you can tilt the flash head in four steps (horizontal, 60-degrees, 75-degrees or 90-degrees) to bounce the light off the ceiling or other surfaces. This technique offers the following advantages - eliminates red eye, creates soft shadows and prevents hair or clothing from appearing to sheen .

Ready Light: The Speedlight features a rear-mounted LED that lights up when the SB-400 is recharge and ready to fire. The Ready Light will blink to indicate insufficient light, insufficient battery power, incompatibility of camera with the SB-400 or overheating.

Power Source: The Speedlight can operate off of two of the following AA-type penlight batteries (1.5V or lower) - Alkaline manganese (1.5V), Lithium (1.5V), Oxyride (1.5V), Ni-MH (rechargeable 1.2V). When the battery power becomes low the Ready-light blinks twice in a second for approximately 40 seconds advising you to replace or recharge your batteries.

Standby Function: If the SB-400 and camera are not being used, the standby function will automatically activate after 40 seconds, switching the SB-400 to standby mode to conserve battery power.

Mounting: The Speedlight mounts to the accessory shoe of your compatible Nikon camera via the unit's mounting foot lever lock which provides secure attachments to prevent accidental detachment.

Specifications

Electronic Construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry

Guide Number (20°C/68°F): 30/98.4 (ISO 200, m/ft), 21/69 (ISO 100, m/ft)

Angle Of Coverage: Light distribution cover an 18mm lens when mounted on a Nikon DX format camera and a 27mm lens when mounted on an F6

Flash Shooting Distance Range: 0.6m to 20m (2 to 66 ft.) (varies depending on the ISO sensitivity, angle of flash head and lens aperture in use)

Bounce Capability: flash head tilts from 0° to 90° with click-stops at 0°, 60°, 75°, 90°

Flash Duration (approximately): 1/1300 second at full output

Maximum Number Of Continuous Firings:

Flash Mode Max. Number of Continuous Firings
i-TTL Auto Flash
Manual Flash (Flash output level: M1/2, M1/2)
15
Manual Flash (Flash output level: M1/4 to M1/128) 40

Minimum Number of Flashes and Recycling Times:

Batteries Minimum Recycling Time Minimum Number of Flashes/Interval Between Full Flash Output and Ready Light on
Alkaline-manganese 3.9 seconds 140/3.9-30 seconds
Lithium 4.2 seconds 250/4.2-30 seconds
Oxyride 3.1 seconds 150/3.1-30 seconds
Ni-MH (2600 mAh) (rechargeable) 2.5 seconds 210/2.5-30 seconds

Weight: 4.5 oz (without batteries)

 
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Nikon SB-400 Speedlight Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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Filter by rating:
5 out of 5

Nilon Flash

Written By Don, Minocqua, WI on Monday, August 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Really a very cool Flash. Works very well and small
Pros:
Size and price
Cons:
Non
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Light and bright

Written By Mikmax1, Suburban Chicago on Wednesday, July 03, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great little light. Keeps the weight down and the red eye out. I prefer this to my larger SB 600.
Pros:
Weight, convenience
Cons:
None.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Nikon SB-400 Speedlight

Written By Jerry, New Mexico on Monday, June 04, 2012
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Can now photograph my dog Lucky witrh out green eyes
Pros:
Buy it
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Very nice!

Written By sxd9mm, Rochester, NY on Friday, September 23, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Great powerful flash. Easy to carry, lightweight. Can tilt up to 90 degrees. Great for 'bouncing'. One minus is that it does not rotate horizontally, but that's totally different price range we are talking here :o)
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Perfect Match

Written By Hector, Puerto Rico on Friday, February 18, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is the perfect companion flash for the Nikon Coolpix P7000. Small but
powerful and with through the lens exposure. Great for traveling light.
Ordering from Crutchfield is always a pleasure.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

great little flash

Written By mark m, columbus oh on Thursday, February 03, 2011
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
for the money this one does it. makes your indoor pics turn out great. able to keep up
w/fresh set of batts.
Was this review helpful?    Yes | No
 
5 out of 5

Nikon SB-400

Written By Moonshine David, Landrum, SC on Sunday, September 26, 2010
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought this product specifically for our semi-annual Home Owners party, as half the pictures taken would be after dark.
The Nikon Flash performed admirably, cutting down on my editing time to just a mere fraction.
The extra power compared to the Nikon's built in flash was well worth the purchase made.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Small and capable

Written By Pavel, Longmont, CO on Saturday, July 25, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
This is an excellent take along flash for a DSLR like a D40. Power is greater than built in flash, and when you bounce it off the ceiling the lighting is so much better than straight on, I couldn't believe it. It also can fill flash outdoors to over 15 feet, which helped a lot taking pictures of hummingbirds in flgiht, which I couldn't do nearly as well without the SB-400. I now keep it on the D40 almost all the time. It is ready as quickly as you are: slide the switch, point and shoot, it will flash as necessary. Everybody with a Nikon DSLR should get one.
6 out of 6 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Small Powerhouse

Written By Daniel, Huntington Beach,Ca on Sunday, January 25, 2009
 
This is a great little flash. It can bounce which almost eliminates red eye! It's can keep up with the fast speed of my Nikon D60 which the on board flash can NOT do. It's really improved the quality of my indoor pictures especially and, again has almost eliminated red Eye.

The only drawback is that you can't bounce off the ceiling in portrait mode.

This is all the flash I need for my family pictures!
13 out of 14 people found this helpful
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For a more in-depth review and enhanced detailed information on the Nikon SB-400 Speedlight, please visit the Crutchfield website product page (/ISEO-rccbcspd/p_054SB400/Nikon-SB-400-Speedlight.html ).