Launched in conjunction with Nikon's new D700 full-frame DSLR, the Nikon SB-900 Speedlight flashgun touts its wide-angle coverage and improved recycle times over previous models.
Automatically detecting and adapting to FX- or DX-sensor bodies as appropriate, the flagship SB-900 is capable of providing illumination for shots out to 17mm on a full-frame camera (with coverage to 200mm on the telephoto end as well). Guide numbers for the new unit are 48 meters/157.5 feet at ISO 200.
Three selectable illumination styles provide appropriate flash coverage regardless of the shooting situation: "Standard" fill provides typical flashgun performance; a more balanced "Even" mode provides consistent edge-to-edge fill for frame-filling shots; and "Center-Weighted" is "suitable for images such as portraits, where light falloff at the image edges is of less importance," according to Nikon.
Flash recycle times have been reduced compared to the previous-generation SB-800, coming in at a quick 2.3 seconds for a full-power discharge when using NiMH batteries. In addition, wireless functionality and full integration with Nikon's Creative Lighting System technologies are nothing less than what's expected for a new top-of-the-line flash unit.
The SB-900 is expected to go on sale in August, with an estimated street price just under $500.