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Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight
Flash for select Nikon cameras
Our take on the Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight by Crutchfield's Dave Bar
Great camera + creative illumination = fantastic photos
Have you ever noticed that professional photographers always seem to have an add-on flash attached to their rig? That's because they know proper lighting is essential to capturing the perfect shot, and a powerful add-on flash is the way to get it. Your camera's built-in flash may not be up to the task of providing the right light in every situation. That's where Nikon's SB-700 AF Speedlight comes in. It works easily and automatically with your Nikon camera to deliver precise illumination that can greatly extend your shooting range, reveal stunning detail, and add drama to your images.
Advanced features for better shots
You can tilt and swivel the flash head to bounce light off of surrounding room surfaces for better looking portraits or group shots. The bounce flash technique gives your photos soft, even illumination, rather than the harsh, "deer-in-the-headlights" look you sometimes see when using a camera's built-in flash. The included snap-on light diffuser softens harsh shadows even more. The SB-700 also comes with attachable fluorescent and incandescent filters for shooting indoors under artificial light. Each filter automatically balances the flash's light to the existing room lighting for photos with accurate, true-to-life color. And when ambient light levels get too dim for accurate shooting, the SB-700 emits a powerful auto focus-assist beam to help you capture sharp, in-focus images.
Manual settings for "hands-on" photographers
In addition to its fully automatic operation, the SB-700 also provides custom functions including a manual mode for maximum creativity. A rotary select dial and streamlined menus let you set key flash functions quickly. And the large LCD panel on back makes reading important exposure data easy.
Compatible with multi-flash setups
The SB-700 can also act as a "master" unit in a multiple-flash system. Transmitting wireless signals, this flash can trigger additional SB-700 Speedlights or SB600 flash units mounted off-camera, for sensational lighting effects.
For use only with compatible Nikon cameras. Requires 4 "AA" batteries (not included).
I purchased the flash for a family gathering and was amazed at how much better the pictures were when compared to previously using the built-in flash of the Nikon D7100. It's easy to use and makes a huge difference.
Walter, Medford, NJ
What's in the Box:
- SB-700 Speedlight flash unit
- AS-22 Speedlight stand
- SS-700 Soft zippered case
- SW-14H Light diffusion dome
- SZ-3FL Fluorescent Filter
- SZ-3TN Incandescent Filter
- User's Manual (English)
- User's Manual (Spanish)
- A Collection of Example Photos (English)
- A Collection of Example Photos (Spanish)
- Accessories Product Registration form
- Warranty Form
- compatible with Nikon SLR cameras; also compatible with select Nikon Coolpix cameras
- i-TTL flash exposure control optimized for use with Nikon's Creative Lighting System
- automatic FX/DX switching for optimum light distribution when using a full-frame or APS-C image sensor camera
- flash head zooms automatically to match the shooting angle (zoom coverage from 24-120mm in the FX-format)
- hot shoe and wireless flash operation as a "commander," "master" or "remote" light source
- tilt and swivel flash head (tilts up to 90 degrees or down to -7 degrees, and rotates horizontally 180 degrees to the left or right)
- built-in, slide-out bounce card and wide panel for better portraits and wide-angle shots
- three light distribution patterns: Standard, Center-weighted for portraits, and Even for groups or interiors
- automatically adjusts camera white balance on select Nikon digital SLRs
- automatic color filter identification with mounted hard-type color filter on select Nikon SLRs
- recycle time at full power: 2.5 seconds with NiMH or alkaline batteries
- manual settings
- uses 4 "AA" batteries (not included)
- weight: 15.9 oz. (with 4 "AA" batteries)
- 2-3/4"W x 5-1/8"H x 3-1/2"D
- warranty: 1 year
- Our 60-day money-back guarantee
- soft carry case
- Speedlight stand
- snap-on light diffuser
- incandescent and fluorescent filter set
Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight Reviews
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Overview: The Nikon Speedlight SB-700 flash has been optimized for use with CLS-compatible (Creative Lighting System) digital SLR (Nikon FX/DX format) cameras. It can also be used with i-TTL-compatible Coolpix cameras, such as the P7000 and P6000. Non-CLS-compatible cameras can use the flash with limited features.
Creative Lighting System (CLS): The SB-700 features a new Nikon Speedlight system called the 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-700 is used with compatible Nikon cameras with CLS. The SB-700 offers these major features:
- i-TTL Mode: This is a new TTL auto flash mode in the Creative Lighting System. Monitor pre-flashes 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 CLS-compatible 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.
- 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-700 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-700.
- 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-700 emits AF-Assist illumination, which matches the wider AF area of CLS-compatible cameras. With cameras supporting this function, autofocus photography in dim lighting is possible even when the camera's focus point (focus area) is changed.
LCD Screen: The LCD screen provides large, easy-to-read graphics and mode indicators, such as:
- Flash Mode: Icons indicating the flash mode status appear, including monitor pre-flashes, i-TTL, balanced fill-flash, auto FP high-speed sync, auto aperture flash, non-TTL auto flash, distance-priority manual flash, and manual flash.
- Flash Level: Shown as a fraction, the flash level is shown as 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, 1/128.
- ISO Sensitivity
- Distance Information: Indicated in meters or feet, flash range shown for i-TTL, non-TTL, and Auto Aperture Flash; Shooting Distance shown for Distance Priority manual flash; and Flash Shooting Distance for manual flash
- Zoom Position: Shown as status of Zoom function and angle of coverage
- Light Distribution Angle: Light distribution for DX- or FX-format in auto or manual set, and with power zoom on or off
- Aperture Value: shown as camera setting, flash setting, or out of flash output control range
- Flash Output Level Compensation: Indicates amount of flash output level compensation between -3.0 and +3.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps
- Flash Condition: Icon indicates use of color filter (including type of filter), illumination pattern (standard, center-weighted, even), bounce flash, tilt angle, backlight on/off, AF-assist illumination, communication with camera, thermal cut on/cut off, key lock
- Test Firing: indicates test firing and modeling illumination status
Controls: The Nikon SB-700 has several controls on the back panel:
- Flash Mode Selector: 3-way slide switch lets you select from the
- iTTL: information obtained by monitor pre-flashes and exposure control information is integrated by the camera to automatically adjust flash output levels
- Manual: aperture and flash output are manually selected to allow for control of exposure and flash-to-subject distance
- Distance-priority Manual Mode (GN): when the flash-to-subject distance value is entered, the flash output levels are automatically controlled according to the camera settings.
- Zoom: for manually setting the zoom head position to match the focal length
- Illumination Pattern Selector: 3-way slide switch lets you select the illumination pattern: standard, center-weighted, or even
- Power/Wireless Mode: 4-position rotary control lets you turn flash power on or off, plus select the master or remote mod in wireless multiple flash-unit photography.
- Select Button and Selector Dial: The Select (SEL) button lets you select the configurable settings shown in the LCD. The rotary selector dial lets you change the settings, while the OK button, located in the center of the dial, confirms the selection.
- Menu: Custom settings can be changed using the Menu button and the Selector dial. Custom settings include: Color Filters, Remote Flash Unit Setting, Sound Monitor contrast, Standby function, FX/DX format selection, flash compensation step (manual mode), unit of measuring distance, AF-assist illumination, firmware version, and reset custom settings.
Adjustable Flash Head: The flash head can be tilted from -7° to +90° and rotated horizontally 180° to the left or right, enabling bounce flash or close-up flash photography.
Flash Exposure Control: The SB-700 is compatible with numerous flash exposure controls, as set by the camera:
- Auto FP High-Speed Sync: Auto FP High Speed sync is automatically set when the shutter speed exceeds the camera's sync shutter speed.
- Flash Value Lock: You can lock in the appropriate flash exposure, while keeping the subject illumination constant even if you can't change the composition.
- Slow Sync Flash: The flash is controlled at a slow shutter speed to obtain the correct exposure for both the main subject and the background in low-light situation or at night. A tripod is recommended to prevent camera shake.
- Red-Eye Reduction: To prevent the center of your subject's eyes from appearing red in color pictures, the SB-700 fires three flashes at reduced output just before the picture is taken. Note: You can combine this flash with the slow-sync flash (tripod recommended).
- Rear-curtain/Front Curtain Sync: When using slow shutter speeds and shooting fast moving objects, rear curtain sync creates a picture in which the blur of the subject appears behind the subject. With front-curtain sync, the blur occurs in front of the subject.
Batteries: The SB-700 requires 4 "AA"-sized batteries, and can use any of the following types of batteries: Alkaline (1.5V), Lithium (1.5V), and Ni-MH (rechargeable, 1.2V).
Standby Function: If the SB-700 and camera are not being used, the standby function will automatically activate after a set amount of time, switching the SB-700 to standby mode to conserve battery power. You can set the standby function to Auto (standby activates when the camera's exposure meter is turned off), 40 seconds, or function canceled.
Built-in Accessories: The flash has a built-in wide panel and bounce card that are stored above the flash panel. When taking close-up photographs, the wide panel covers the flash panel to diffuse the light to prevent overexposure. The white bounce card is used with 90° bounce flash to make a portrait subject's eyes look more vibrant by reflecting the light in them.
Supplied Accessories: Included with the SB-700 are the following accessories:
- Speedlight Stand (AS-22): provides a stable placement for the flash when you want to use it as a remote flash unit
- Diffusion Dome (SW-14H): diffuses the light creating extremely soft light with virtually no shadows
- Incandescent Filter (SZ-3TN): balances the color of light from the flash to match that of incandescent or tungsten lighting
- Fluorescent Filter (SZ-3FL): balances the color of light from the flash to match that of fluorescent lighting
- Effective Flash Output Distance Range (in i-TTL mode): 0.6m to 20m (2 ft. to 66 ft.) (varies depending on the camera's image area setting, ISO sensitivity, zoom-head position and lens aperture in use)
- Bounce Capability: flash head tilts from -7° to +90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°; flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
- Flash Duration
- 1/1042 seconds at M1/1 (full) output
- 1/1136 seconds at M1/2 output
- 1/2857 seconds at M1/4 output
- 1/5714 seconds at M1/8 output
- 1/10,000 seconds at M1/16 output
- 1/18,182 seconds at M1/32 output
- 1/25,000 seconds at M1/64 output
- 1/40,000 seconds at M1/128 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 (1.5V)||2.5 seconds||160 / 2.5-30 sec|
|Evolta (1.5V)||2.5 seconds||230 / 2.5-30 sec|
|Lithium (1.5V)||3.5 seconds||330 / 3.5-30 sec|
|Ni-MH (2600 mAh)||2.5 seconds||260 / 2.5-30 sec|
|Ni-MH (eneloop)||2.5 seconds||230 / 2.5-30 sec|
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 verify what’s in the box, 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.
Why did you buy this?
Looking for a replacement for an older flash and think this will do just fine. [ Stacie Mar 30, 2017 ]
Good reviews on the product on Crutchfield's and other websites. Great experience dealing with Crutchfield. [ Anthony Dec 17, 2016 ]
Excellent Flash at very reasonable price. [ DILIP Sep 25, 2016 ]
advise from of Rusty Rusty's Bio: http://www.crutchfield.com/Support/Bio.aspx?bio=179 [ SIVA Aug 05, 2016 ]
Good price and good reviews [ Michael Dec 17, 2015 ]