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Nikon SB-5000

Radio control AF Speedlight flash unit for select Nikon DSLR cameras

3 Reviews | 1 question - 1 answer

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Overview

Our take on the Nikon SB-5000

To us, the arrival of Nikon's new radio control Advanced Wireless Lighting System looks like the start of something big — wireless flash control that's not dependent on line-of-sight. The near-total flash placement freedom of a radio control system gives you more creative lighting options than ever.

Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight

The Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight has intuitive controls for quick access to your favorite settings and functions.

Creative lighting with fewer limits

To us, the arrival of Nikon's new radio control Advanced Wireless Lighting System looks like the start of something big — wireless flash control that's not dependent on line-of-sight. The near-total flash placement freedom of a radio control system gives you more creative lighting options than ever.

The SB-5000 is Nikon's first Speedlight to offer this radio control system. With a compatible DSLR (Nikon D5 or D500 as of January 2016 — look for more compatible camera models to be released in the future), a WR-A10 wireless remote adapter and WR-R10 wireless remote controller (both units sold separately), you can control up to six groups of SB-5000 Speedlights from anywhere at all within 98 feet, even from another room.

The SB-5000 also offers traditional optical wireless control, so it can be used with any combination of Nikon DSLRs or Speedlights without radio control. You can even mix optical wireless control flash groups with radio control flash groups to get the most out of all your gear.

Keeps cool under pressure

The SB-5000 is also the first Speedlight with Nikon's innovative hot-shoe mount flash cooling system. The Speedlight's highly efficient heat-shedding design allows more than 100 consecutive flash firings at full output without overheating. As Nikon puts it, "great shots don't wait for a flash to be ready, and neither should you."

What are you waiting for?

If the above-listed innovations weren't enough to get your drool reflexes going, Nikon's flagship SB-5000 Speedlight also features a smaller form factor with intuitive, easy-to-find controls and quick access to your most frequently used settings and functions. When using radio control with a compatible DSLR, you can adjust flash settings right from the camera's menu. What can't you do with a lighting system that affords so much creative freedom? We dare you to find out.

Product Highlights:

  • radio control offers 98-foot range — no need for line-of-sight
  • compatible with Nikon DSLR cameras
    • radio control function only works with select Nikon DSLRs (D5 and D500 as of January, 2016); regular optical wireless function for all other DSLR models
  • i-TTL flash exposure control
  • manual power output from 1/1 to 1/256
  • innovative hot-shoe mount flash cooling system allows more than 100 firings at full output without overheating
  • automatic adjustment of light distribution angle to the camera's image area in both FX and DX formats (24-200mm lens coverage; 14mm with wide panel in FX format)
  • three light distribution patterns: Standard, Center-weighted for portraits, and Even for groups or interiors
  • auto focus-assist illuminator for multi-point AF
  • manual settings
  • tilt and swivel flash head (tilts up to 90 degrees or down to -7 degrees, and rotates horizontally 180 degrees to the left)
  • use on-camera as a master flash to control other remote Speedlights (up to 6 groups) or use off-camera as a remote flash
    • optical wireless control groups can be mixed with radio control groups
  • backlit rear LCD panel
  • uses 4 "AA" batteries (not included)
  • weight: 14.9 oz. (without batteries)
  • 2-7/8"W x 5-7/16"H x 4-1/8"D
  • warranty: 1 year
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • soft carry case
  • Speedlight stand
  • diffusion dome
  • hard color-correction filters for fluorescent and incandescent light

What's in the Box:

  • SB-5000 AF Speedlight flash
  • AS-22 Speedlight stand
  • SW-15H Nikon Diffusion Dome
  • SZ-4FL Fluorescent Filter
  • SZ-4TN Incandescent Filter
  • SS-5000 Soft case
  • Accessory pouch
  • User's Manual (English)
  • User's Manual (Spanish)
  • Warranty sheet
  • Errata sheet
Reviews

Nikon SB-5000 Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(3 Reviews)
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Hands-on research

Product Research

Features

Overview: The SB-5000 is Nikon's new flagship external flash unit designed to be used with Nikon DSLRs. It can be used in multi-flash photography, and is compatible with new radio-controlled units, as well as conventional optical-controlled systems. The SB-5000 comes with a diffusion dome, two filters, a stand, and a soft case.

Power Requirements: The SB-5000 is powered by four "AA" batteries (not included). You can use Alkaline or Nickel-Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) batteries. With Alkaline batteries, the flash has a recycling time of 2.6 to 30 seconds, and 150 or more flashes. Ni-MH batteries are good for 190 or more uses with a recycling time of 1.8 to 30 seconds. Optional external power sources from Nikon are also available.

LCD Panel: The SB-5000 features a 1-7/8" x 1-3/16" LCD panel on the rear of the flash unit which shows the status of the settings, including the Flash Mode, Flash Range, Zoom Setting, Flash Head position, Optical Control Master Mode, Radio Control Master Mode, and Remote mode. The rotary multi-selector can be used to highlight and select the settings you want to change.

Bounce Flash: The flash head tilts down to -7°, or up to 90° with click-stops at -7°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, and 90°.  In addition, the flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right, with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 75°, 90° 120°, 150°, and 180°.

Wide Panel: The SB-5000 has a lens coverage of a 24-200mm lens. The unit's built-in wide panel, when in position, diffuses the flash light and increases the angle of illumination to the equivalent of a 14mm lens (FX format). It can also be used to soften shadows and prevent glare on faces. When not in use, the adapter can be stored on the flash head above the flash window.

Bounce Card: In addition to the Wide Panel, the SB-5000 has a built-in bounce card. When taking portraits, the bounce card is used to make the subject's eyes look more vibrant by reflecting the light in them. It is used with the flash head tilted at 90°.

Advanced Wireless Lighting (Radio Control): The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight can be used with Nikon's new Advanced Wireless Lighting with Radio Control. You will need a compatible camera (Nikon D5 or D500), the WR-R10 Wireless Remote Controller, and the WR-A10 Wireless Remote Adapter. Advanced Wireless Lighting with Radio Control allows you to place up to six groups of remote flashes, out of view, behind obstacles, up to 98 feet away. Each group can have up to 3 flashes, so a total of 18 flash units is possible. The camera (with the WR-R10 and WR-A10 installed) communicates with the flash units via radio frequencies for greater range and non line-of-sight flash communication.

Advanced Wireless Lighting (Optical Control): You can use the SB-5000 in multiple flash-unit photography using optical control. Up to 3 groups can be set up, and single or multiple flash units can be allocated to a group. The SB-5000 can be used as a Master or a Remote Flash unit. Speedlights compatible with Advanced Wireless Lighting (Optical Control), including the SB-910, SB-700, and SB-500, can be used as remote units. The remote unit's light sensor must be within line-of-sight of the master unit in order to function.

Cooling System: The SB-5000 features the world's first hot-shoe mount flash cooling system, that effectively cools down the flash head, extending the time before the thermal cut-out functions starts operating. The cooling system allows the flash unit to handle more than 100 consecutive firings at full output without overheating.

Specifications: The Speedlight SB-5000 has the following specifications:

  • Electronic Construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
  • Guide Number: 34.5m/113 ft. at 35mm (ISO 100); 55m/180 ft. at 200mm (ISO 100)
  • Effective Flash Range (i-TTL): 2' to 65.6' (varies with ISO sensitivity, bounce angle, and aperture
  • Flash Duration: 1/980 sec at full power (M1/1); 1/30820 sec at M1/256 output
  • Minimum Recycling Time: Approx 2.6 seconds (AA alkaline batteries), Approx. 1.8 sec (Ni-MH 2600 mAh) batteries
  • Dimensions:
    • Width: 2.892"
    • Height: 5.409" (at 0°); 7.354" (at 90°-straight up)
    • Depth: 4" (at 0°); 2.217" (at 90°-straight up)
  • Weight: 18.4 ounces (with batteries); 14.9 ounces (Speedlight only)

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Q & A

Customer Q&A

Crutchfield asked  
Why did you buy this?

Wanted a flash designed for my D500. [ Barry L.  May 15, 2018 ]
Will be using with another nikon camera [ KELVIN  Sep 20, 2017 ]
Latest flash by Nikon has better heat control and faster recycling time. Also has builtin radio controls, which is not much use now (need D500 or D5), but over time as their product line increasingly includes these controls it will be a good investment. [ Art  Apr 11, 2016 ]

1 question already asked

The included AS-22 Speedlight stand? It's plastic. I hope that helps. My Bio: https://www.crutchfield.com/bio/Ryan [ Ryan  Mar 07, 2018 ]  Staff
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