How powerful is the Nikon SB-900/SB-910?

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The new release Nikon SB-910 hasn’t change much from its predecessor SB-900. You can read more about it here. The Guide Number(GN) remained at 111ft (ISO100) and 157ft (ISO200). The recycle time is 2.3s with Ni-MH batteries which is identical to the SB-900. The SB-900 has previous battled with overhearing issues when it strobes continuously. These little portable speedlights do punch out a lot of light in the shortest amount of time. In fact, the flash duration is only 1/880s at full power. So when you put the speedlights through heavy use, the unit itself plus the batteries can get to some dangerously hot temperate before it starts to meltdown. To avoid this meltdown, the new SB-910 has a new thermal cut-out feature which now automatically delays the recycling time instead of ceasing operation.

                                                                         Nikon SB-910                                                                                                                Nikon SB-900

Nikon SB-900/SB-700/SB-600

So how much power does the SB-900/SB-910 give out?

In one of the wedding shoot, I wanted to take a shot using the beehive parliament building as the background. However, It was dark and the top half of the structure can barely be seen, whereas at ground level there were plenty of street lights.

I decided to light up the parliament building using a single SB-900, so I did a couple of test shots, one with the SB-900 directing full power to the building (Left) and one without (Right). You can clearly see how powerful the SB-900 can be, lighting up the top half of the structure. The SB-900 was off camera at ground level on the left hand side just outside the frame which is quite a distance away from the top half of the building.

Camera settings: ISO 1600, f/2, 1/50s

Flash settings: SB-900 at full power, 200mm

                                                                                 Ambient light only                                                             SB-900 off camera targeted the building at full power

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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