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Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight

Flash for Nikon digital SLR and select Coolpix cameras

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  • Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight

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Item #: 054SB600
 

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Original price $249.99
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Our take on the Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight

by Ralph Graves
Nikon

The Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight delivers the degree of lighting control the "pro-sumer" photographer demands.

You can control the SB-600 manually, or you can fire it wirelessly from your camera (it even has four selectable channels to prevent other photographers from accidentally triggering it if you're shooting in a crowd). A Flash Value lock lets you change the composition or zoom for the shot while keeping the lighting just the way you want it.

The SB-600 has a large LCD screen with an easy to read graphic display, and all the buttons and switch controls are readily accessible on the back. The flash fits your Nikon digital still camera's accessory shoe, and can even be angled up and down or left and right for bouncing light off ceilings and walls.

For use only with compatible Nikon cameras. Requires 4 "AA" batteries (not included).

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Highlights:

  • compatible with Nikon digital SLRs and other select Nikon cameras
  • fully automatic and manual modes
  • wireless remote operation
  • 4 selectable frequency channels
  • power on/standby/off switch
  • vertical and horizontal angle adjustment
  • number of flashes: About 200 per set of fresh batteries
  • weight: about 10.6 oz. (without battery)
  • flash cycle: approximately 3.5 seconds
  • stand and soft case included
  • 2-3/4"W x 3-7/8"H (4-15/16" when tilted up) x 3-1/2"D
  • 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-600 Speedlight flash
  • AS-19 Speedlight stand
  • SS-600 Soft case
  • Instruction Manual
  • "A collection of example photos" book
  • Warranty card
  • Warranty Form
  • Product Registration card

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Features
Specifications

Features

Creative Lighting System: The SB-600 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-600 is used with compatible Nikon cameras. The SB-600 offers these major features:

  • i-TTL Mode: This is a new TTL auto flash mode 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 mode.
  • Advanced Wireless Lighting: With Advanced Wireless Lighting, wireless multiple flash operation in the TTL (i-TTL) mode can now be accomplished with digital SLRs. In this mode, you can divide the remote flash units into three groups and control the flash output independently for each group, expanding your range of creative multiple-flash shooting techniques. The SB-600 can be used only as a wireless remote flash unit.
  • Flash Value Lock: Flash Value (FV) is the amount of flash exposure needed for a subject. Using FV Lock with compatible cameras, you can lock in the appropriate flash exposure for the main subject. This flash exposure will remain fixed, even if you change the aperture or composition, or zoom the lens in or out.
  • Flash Color Information Communication: When the SB-600 is used with compatible digital SLRs, color temperature information is automatically transmitted to the camera. In this way, the camera's white balance is automatically adjusted to give you the correct color temperature when taking photographs with the SB- 600.
  • Auto FP High-Speed Sync: High-Speed flash synchronization at your camera's highest shutter speed is now possible. This is useful when you want to use a wider aperture to achieve shallow depth of field to blur the background.
  • Wide-Area AF-Assist Illuminator: In autofocus operation, the SB-600 emits AF-Assist illumination over a much wider area than existing Speedlights. This enables you to perform autofocus photography in dim light even after you change the focus area of cameras supporting this function.
    • Note: The SB-600's available flash modes vary, depending on the cameras and lenses in use or the camera's exposure mode and metering system. For more details, please refer to your camera's instruction manual.

LCD Screen: The LCD screen provides large, easy to read graphics and mode indicators.

Adjustable Flash Head: The flash head can be tilted from 0° to 90° and rotated horizontally 180° to the left and 90° to the right, enabling bounce flash or close-up flash photography.

Wide-flash Adapter: When the built-in wide-flash adapter is used, close-up flash shooting can be performed. The built-in wide-flash adapter diffuses the light from the flash to soften shadows.

Power Zoom Function: A power zoom function automatically adjusts the zoom-head position to match the lens focal length (with the exception of some camera/lens combinations). When the built-in wide-flash adapter is used, the zoom-head position is automatically set to match a 14mm lens.

Wide-Area AF-Assist Illuminator: When the light is too dim for normal autofocus operation, the SB-600's Wide-Area AF-Assist Illuminator enables you to perform autofocus flash photography.

Batteries: The SB-600 can use any of the following types of batteries: Alkaline-manganese (1.5V), Nickel (1.5V), lithium (1.5V), NiCd battery (rechargeable, 1.2V), and Ni-MH (rechargeable, 1.2V).

Standby Function: If the SB-600 and camera are not being used, the standby function will automatically activate after 40 seconds, switching the SB-600 to standby mode to conserve battery power.

Specifications

Specifications:

  • Guide Number (at 35 mm zoom-head position, 20°C/68°F): 30/98 (ISO 100, m/ft), 42/138 (ISO 200, m/ft)
  • Flash Shooting Distance Range (in TTL auto flash mode): 0.6m to 20m (2 to 66 ft.) (varies depending on the ISO sensitivity, zoom-head position and lens aperture in use)
  • Bounce Capability: flash head tilts from 0° to 90° with click-stops at 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°; flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left or 90° to the right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
  • Flash Duration (approximately):
    • 1/900 seconds at M1/1 (full) output
    • 1/1600 seconds at M1/2 output
    • 1/3400 seconds at M1/4 output
    • 1/6600 seconds at M1/8 output
    • 1/11100 seconds at M1/16 output
    • 1/20000 seconds at M1/32 output
    • 1/25000 seconds at M1/64 output
  • Flash Output Level Compensation: -3.0 to +3.0 EV in increments of 1/3 steps in the TTL auto flash mode

Minimum Number of Flashes and Recycling Times:

Batteries Minimum Recycling Time Minimum Number of Flashes/Recycling Time
Alkaline-manganese 3.5 seconds 200/3.5-30 seconds
Lithium 4.0 seconds 400/4.0-30 seconds
Nickel 2.5 seconds 180/2.5-30 seconds
NiCd (1000 mAh) (rechargeable) 2.9 seconds 90/2.9-30 seconds
Ni-MH (2000 mAh) (rechargeable) 2.5 seconds 220/2.5-30 seconds
 
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Nikon SB-600 AF Speedlight Reviews

Average Customer Review:

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5 out of 5

Nikon SB 600

Written By Steve, Concord NC on Thursday, April 23, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
A must have for the serious amateur. The fast recycle time and the ability to zoom with the camera lense is an unbeatable combination. I recently shot my sons wedding with this flash the results were spectacular
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Terrific Accessory

Written By Karl, Clifton, VA on Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Very well integrated with my new D90. I haven't yet had a chance to use it as a slave to my D90's built-in flash. A very versatile unit.
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Must have accessory

Written By Jason, Aiea, Hawai'i on Saturday, May 10, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I think lighting is
the most important
element in great
pictures. Though the
built-in flash is
good on my D80, it's
less affective from
across the room at
my grandson's school
recital. That's
where a good flash
like this SB600 made
a big difference. I
wanted the SB800 but
after reading some
of the reviews I
decided on the SB600
and it has not
disappointed. The
coolest feature I
think is the
wireless remote
operation. I'm still
fooling around with
that but I think it
helps with
creativity. I would
have given 5 stars
if it came with a
diffuser.
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Great Flash!

Written By Sharif, Houston, TX on Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Works great! Pictures are soooooo much better than when using the built in flash. Rmember to put your camara on P mode vs the green auto mode.

sz
2 out of 2 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

Superior product

Written By Edward, Flagstaff, AZ on Monday, January 21, 2008
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Bought the flash for my daughter whose kids are into sports and standard flash couldn't catch rapid actions. This one freezes the instant perfectly. Just plain superior!
1 out of 1 people found this helpful
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5 out of 5

EZ and packed with good stuff!!

Written By heeeerod, East Texas on Thursday, May 03, 2007
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
Ealier this year I purchased my first digital SLR. A WONDERFUL Nikon D80. As a 35mm photog enthusiest for many years it didn't take me very long to figure out that the lighting situation needed to be broadened. Sure...I wanted a SB800, but the price was a bit steep. I looked at the third party flashes...all had problems reported. When I ran across the specs for the SB600 I was expecting to be taking a pretty big step down. Boy was I EVER wrong! This thing is AMAZING! If I ever do get a SB800 I may pass out! The SB600 is fairly compact, especially given it's power and it is VERY easy to use (something I heard the SB800 isn't). I was firing away in no time flat...yeah it'll do more that I've asked of it and it will take me a while to realize all the possibilities, but I expected hours of reading and days of trial and error. Nope! Just pop it on and get going! On camera..off camera (the D80 has a "commander" mode) it is fantastic! I was shooting perfectly lit pics in less than an hour. I was earning a check with it in less than a week! The SB600 is pretty easy on batteries...I have taken well over 250 pics to a set of alkalines (full power and fill mixed) and it recharges quicky. On fill flash mode it has seldom left me hanging. I just don't know what else to tell you...it is GREAT!! If you don't have the green to pony up to a SB800...the SB600 will do 95% what the big boy will do at almost HALF the price. That is a good deal no matter how you slice it!
35 out of 39 people found this helpful
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