Nikons new addition to the creative lighting system – SB-700

Author sophos9 - Last updated: 08.10.2010

Nikon has for prerelease, a new Speedlight the SB-700. Packed with features, this is an easy-to-use, yet sophisticated flash in a compact body. It will be a welcome addition to anyone looking to develop their lighting skills and explore the options of the Nikon Creative Lighting system.

Zurab Kiknadze, Product Manager Lenses, Accessories and Software, Nikon Europe BV says: “SB-700 offers users the opportunity to expand their creative potential beyond the built-in camera flash. It integrates flawlessly with Nikon’s DSLR cameras, taking advantage of i-TTL to provide optimal results with minimum of effort.”

Inheriting the advanced features of the professional SB-900 flash, the new flash also boasts an intuitive interface and easy-to-understand operating system. It features Nikon’s i-TTL, through-the-lens metering system, ensuring accurate light measuring as well as multi-step auto zoom, which automatically detects the lens focal length and adjusts the flash output accordingly for angles of view from 24mm to 120mm.

Users have the choice of three illumination patterns, which can be quickly selected to match different shooting scenarios. The high performance Speedlight is ideal for a wide range of applications, from portrait and studio to events and night-time photography.

Built for versatility

The SB-700 is compatible with FX and DX cameras and its fast wireless control will make the flash attractive for a wide range of customers, including advanced photographers seeking to extend their Creative Lighting System. It can act as a master, controlling up to two groups of flashes and their light ratios, and can also act as a remote unit in a flash set up.

With its rotating head and built-in bounce card, the photographer can use the flash to direct the light and bounce it off ceilings or walls. The SB-700 also comes with the practical Nikon Diffusion Dome to soften the light and even the shadows of direct flash.

The flash has a mounting foot lock lever, through which the flash can be securely attached to the camera, preventing it from coming loose. There is also an optional weather-sealed mount available for outdoor photography.

Major features:

  • The new, improved LCD panel interface and an intuitive layout of switches make it quick and easy to set the features.
  • With a maximum guide number of 38 (for an FX camera, at the standard illumination setting at ISO 100 at 120mm) the flash is powerful and versatile to suit most lighting conditions.
  • The multi-step power zoom automatically responds to the current focal length of the lens attached to the camera and covers angles of view, ranging from 24mm to 120mm.
  • Three illumination patterns can quickly be selected to match each shooting situation, making it the ideal flash for a range of scenarios. The Centre-weighted pattern offers more power and higher guide number which highlights the subject from its surroundings. The Even setting works well for indoor group shots or a flat surface whilst the Standard setting has a slight emphasis on the centre.
  • The high-speed recycling time is only approximately 2.5 seconds with NiMH batteries and alkaline batteries and approximately 3.5 seconds with lithium batteries.
  • The quick wireless control mode allows the user to change the light ratios of A and B group Speedlight units and can also act as a remote unit in the Nikon Creative Lighting System.
  • The SB-700 automatically detects flash head heat and delays the recycling time if the temperature of the flash head rises, protecting the flash from heat damage.
  • The firmware of the flash can easily be updated through Nikon DSLR cameras.
  • The SB-700 comes with fluorescent and incandescent hard, plastic-type colour filters, which are more durable, heat-resistant and easier to use than the conventional film-type filters. The flash automatically detects these two hard-type colour filters and instructs the camera to set the optimum colour temperature. The optional colour filter set SJ-4 is also available.

Available at Warehouse Express in the UK –


#1Derelict-UKOctober 10, 2010, 5:53 am

I have the SB-900 and as much as I love the range of the light, it has a major flaw, and from the look of the 700’s pics, it has inherited it too!

The flaw being, when you take multiple pictures in a short period of time (I take night club pictures: ) the thermometer rises (bottom right of the LCD display) and it will eventually cut out as it thinks it is too hot! This is extremely annoying and I have to take the external flash off and use my internal flash whilst it is cooling down!

I used to own the SB-800 and it had no such problem, you could snap away and no obvious harm was done, it didn’t exactly melt away!!

So if anything, If I buy a flashgun, I will be downgrading to the SB-800, not the SB-700!!

#2sophos9October 11, 2010, 9:11 pm

Yes, good point… lots of issues about these. They seem to be not designed for continuous flash cycles… As you have said, the SB-800 seems to be more robust against them. For continuous flash cycles, something like the Quantum Q-flash or a Lumedyn with high voltage pack will work great 🙂

#3AndréAugust 17, 2011, 8:19 pm

Well guys, the SB800 has no temperature sensor, so it just doesn’t notice it’s getting hot as hell.
I have a SB600 and a SB900. I got the latter one mainly for outdoor stuff when you need every piece of light to fight against the sun 😉 I like the ergonomics of the SB900 – i suppose the SB700 is at least as good. The downside of the SB900 is its size and i think the SB700 is the best thing you can get. When urbexing you need a flash rather seldom anyways.

BTW: AFAIK you can turn off temperature shutoff and continue shooting like mad 😉

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