SB-500
Speedlight
User's Manual (with Warranty)
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En
About the SB-500 and This User’s Manual
Preparation
A
Thank you for purchasing the Nikon Speedlight SB-500. To get the
most out of your Speedlight, please read this user’s manual thoroughly
before use.
How to find what you are looking for
i Table of contents
(0A-10)
You can search by item, such as operation method, flash control mode
or function.
i Q&A index
(0A-8)
You can search according to objective without knowing the specific
name or term of an item.
i Index
(0H-21)
You can search using the alphabetical index.
i Troubleshooting
(0H-1)
This is handy when there is a problem with your Speedlight.
For your safety
Before using the Speedlight for the first time, read the safety
instructions in “For Your Safety.” (0A-13–A-17)
A-2
Check that all items listed below are included with the SB-500. If any
items are missing, inform the store where the SB-500 was purchased
or the seller immediately.
❑ User’s manual (this manual)
❑ Warranty card
SPEEDLIGHT SB-500
❑ Speedlight Stand AS-23
❑ Soft Case SS-DC2
Speedlight Stand
AS-23
SB-500
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Viewer 2 can be downloaded free of charge from
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phone or Internet service provider.
A-3
A
Preparation
Included items
About the SB-500 and This User’s Manual
Preparation
A
About the SB-500
The SB-500 is a light and compact Speedlight compatible with
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) with a guide number of
24/78.7 (ISO 100, m/ft). The SB-500 works as both a master
flash unit and a remote flash unit in wireless multiple flash-unit
photography. The SB-500’s LED light, which has a maximum output
level of approximately 100 lx at 1 m (3.3 ft), provides illumination for
photography and additional lighting for movie recording.
CLS-compatible cameras
Nikon digital SLR (Nikon FX/DX format) cameras
(except D1 series and D100), F6, CLS-compatible
COOLPIX cameras (0G-1)
• The SB-500 can be used as a master flash unit only when mounted
on the D810 or D750.
• The SB-500’s LED light is designed for photography and movie
recording. Do not use it for other purposes.
About this user’s manual
This manual has been compiled with the assumption that the SB-500
will be used in combination with a camera compatible with CLS and a
CPU lens (0A-5). To get the most out of your Speedlight, please read
this user’s manual thoroughly before use.
• For use with COOLPIX cameras compatible with i-TTL flash control
(P5100, P5000, E8800, E8700, E8400), see “For Use with COOLPIX
Cameras.” (0G-1)
• For camera functions and settings, see the camera user’s manual.
A-4
Icons used in this manual
Describes a point to which you should pay particular
attention in order to avoid Speedlight malfunctions or
mistakes.
t
0
Includes information or tips to make Speedlight use easier.
A
Preparation
v
Reference to other pages in this manual
t Tips on identifying CPU NIKKOR lenses
CPU lenses have CPU contacts.
CPU contacts
• The SB-500 cannot be used with
IX-Nikkor lenses.
A-5
About the SB-500 and This User’s Manual
Terminology
Preparation
A
Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS): a lighting system that
enables flash photography functions listed below with improved
communication between Nikon Speedlights and cameras
i-TTL flash control/Advanced Wireless Lighting/Modeling flash/
FV lock/Flash (LED Light) Color Information Communication/
Auto FP high-speed sync
Guide number (GN): the amount of light generated by a flash
unit; GN = flash-to-subject distance (mƁorƁft) × aperture f-number
(ISO 100)
Effective flash output distance: flash-to-subject distance with
correctly adjusted flash output
Effective flash output distance range: range of effective flash
output distance
Flash exposure compensation: intentional flash output change
to obtain the desired subject brightness
i-TTL flash control: flash control mode in which the Speedlight
fires monitor pre-flashes and the camera measures the reflected
light and controls the Speedlight flash output
Monitor pre-flashes: a series of flashes emitted for a very
short time before the actual firing that enables the camera to
measure the light reflected on a subject
A-6
i-TTL balanced fill-flash: i-TTL flash control type in which flash
A
Preparation
output level is adjusted to well-balanced exposure of the main
subject and background
Standard i-TTL flash: i-TTL flash control type in which flash
output level is adjusted to the correct exposure of the main
subject regardless of background brightness
Manual flash control: flash control mode in which the flash
output level and aperture are manually set to obtain the desired
exposure
Wireless multiple flash-unit photography: flash photography
with multiple wireless flash units simultaneously firing
Master flash unit: the flash unit that commands remote flash
units in multiple flash-unit photography
Remote flash unit: a flash unit that fires following commands
from the master flash unit
Advanced Wireless Lighting: wireless multiple flash-unit
photography with CLS; multiple remote flash unit groups can
be controlled with the master flash unit
A-7
Q&A Index
Preparation
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
You can search for specific explanations according to objective.
Flash photography 1
Using the SB-500 mounted on a camera’s accessory shoe
Question
Key phrase
0
Which flash control mode can I take
pictures with?
Flash control modes
C-1
How can I take pictures in the simplest
way?
Basic operations
B-9
How can I take pictures with soft shadows
cast on a wall?
Bounce flash operation
F-2
How can I confirm lighting conditions?
Modeling flash
F-7
How can I take pictures of both the subject
and background at night?
Slow sync
F-13
How can I take pictures without the
subject’s eyes appearing red?
Red-eye reduction
F-13
How can I use the SB-500 with a COOLPIX
camera?
COOLPIX camera
G-1
H
A-8
Question
Key phrase
0
What are the features of the LED light?
LED light
D-1
How can I use the LED light?
Using the LED light
D-3
A
Preparation
LED light photography and movie recording
Using the LED light
B
C
Flash photography 2
Using the wireless SB-500
Question
Key phrase
0
How do I take pictures using multiple flash
units?
Advanced Wireless
Lighting
E-2,
E-5
How do I take pictures with the SB-500
and a COOLPIX camera compatible with
wireless multiple flash-unit photography?
COOLPIX cameras
compatible with CLS
G-1
D
E
F
G
H
A-9
Table of Contents
Preparation
A A
B
C
D
E
A-10
Preparation
About the SB-500 and This User’s Manual ........................ A-2
Q&A Index ....................................................................... A-8
For Your Safety .............................................................. A-13
Check before Use .......................................................... A-18
Operation
Speedlight Parts ................................................................B-1
Notes on Continuous Use .................................................B-7
Basic Operations ..............................................................B-9
Flash Control Modes
i-TTL Flash Control ........................................................... C-1
Manual Flash Control ....................................................... C-3
LED Light
Features of LED Light ....................................................... D-1
Using the LED Light ......................................................... D-3
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
SB-500 Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography Setup ....E-1
SB-500 Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
Functions .....................................................................E-3
Advanced Wireless Lighting ..............................................E-5
Remote Flash Units ...........................................................E-7
Checking Status in Wireless Multiple Flash-unit
Photography ..............................................................E-10
G
Functions
Bounce Flash Operation .................................................... F-2
Flash Photography Support Functions................................ F-7
• Test firing
• Modeling flash
• Standby function
• Thermal cut-out
Functions to Be Set on the Camera ................................. F-12
• Auto FP High-speed sync
• Flash value lock (FV lock)
• Slow sync
• Red-eye reduction
• Rear-curtain sync
• Exposure compensation/Flash exposure compensation
For Use with COOLPIX Cameras...................... G-1
A-11
A
Preparation
F
Table of Contents
A H
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference
Information
Preparation
Troubleshooting ............................................................... H-1
Guide Number, Aperture and Flash-to-subject Distance .... H-5
Tips on Speedlight Care ................................................... H-6
Notes on Batteries............................................................ H-8
Updating Firmware ........................................................ H-10
Optional Accessories ...................................................... H-11
Specifications ................................................................. H-13
Index ............................................................................. H-21
Warranty Terms - Nikon Worldwide Service Warranty ..... H-27
A-12
For Your Safety
This icon marks warnings and information that should be read
before using this Nikon product to prevent possible injury.
WARNINGS
Turn off in the event of malfunction. Should you notice
smoke or an unusual smell coming from the product, remove
the batteries immediately, taking care to avoid burns. Continued
operation could result in injury. After removing the power source,
take the product to a Nikon-authorized service representative for
inspection.
Do not disassemble or subject to powerful physical shocks.
Touching the product’s internal parts could result in injury. Repairs
should be performed only by qualified technicians. Should the
product break open as the result of a fall or other accident, take it
to a Nikon-authorized service representative for inspection, after
disconnecting the product from the camera and/or removing the
batteries.
A-13
A
Preparation
To prevent damage to your Nikon product or injury to yourself or
others, read the following safety precautions in their entirety before
using this equipment. Keep these safety instructions where all those
who use the product will read them.
For Your Safety
Preparation
A
Keep dry. Do not immerse in or expose to water or rain. Failure
to observe this precaution could result in fire or electric shock.
Do not handle with wet hands. Failure to observe this
precaution could result in electric shock.
Do not use in the presence of flammable gas or dust. Use
of electronic equipment in the presence of flammable gas or dust
could result in explosion or fire.
Keep out of reach of children. Failure to observe this precaution
could result in injury.
Do not clean with organic solvents such as paint thinner or
benzene, spray with insecticide, or store with naphtha or
camphor moth balls. Failure to observe this precaution could
damage or discolor the product’s plastic parts.
Observe caution when handling batteries. Batteries may
leak, overheat, or rupture if improperly handled. When handling
batteries for use in this product, follow all instructions and
warnings printed on or included with the batteries and observe
the following precautions:
• Do not combine old and new batteries or batteries of different
makes or types.
• Do not attempt to recharge non-rechargeable batteries.
When recharging Ni-MH batteries, follow instructions and use
compatible chargers only.
A-14
A-15
A
Preparation
• Insert batteries in the correct orientation.
• Batteries may become hot if the flash is fired multiple times in
quick succession. When removing the batteries, take precaution
to avoid burns.
• Do not short or disassemble batteries or attempt to remove or
otherwise damage the battery insulation or casing.
• Do not expose to flame or excessive heat, immerse in or expose
to water, or subject to physical force.
• Do not transport or store with metal objects such as necklaces
or hairpins.
• Batteries are prone to leakage when fully discharged. To avoid
damage to the product, be sure to remove the batteries when
no charge remains or if the product will not be used for an
extended period.
• Discontinue use immediately should you notice any change in
the batteries, such as discoloration or deformation.
• If liquid from damaged batteries comes in contact with clothing,
eyes or skin, rinse immediately with plenty of water.
• Dispose of used batteries in accord with local regulations. Prior
to disposal, insulate the terminals with tape. Fire, overheating or
rupture may result should metal objects come into contact with
the terminals.
For Your Safety
Preparation
A
Observe caution when using the flash
• Using a flash in close contact with the skin or other objects
could cause burns.
• Using the flash close to subject’s eyes could cause temporary
visual impairment. Stay at least 1 m (3.3 ft) from the subject
when using the flash.
• Do not aim the flash at the operator of a motor vehicle. Failure
to observe this precaution could result in accidents.
Observe caution when using the LED light
• Using the LED light in close contact with the skin or other
objects could cause burns.
• Looking directly at the LED light or shining it directly in subject’s
eyes (particularly those of infant) could cause temporary visual
impairment. Keep the light at least 1 m (3.3 ft) from the subject.
• Do not aim the LED light at the operator of a motor vehicle.
Failure to observe this precaution could result in accidents.
A-16
Notice for Customers in Canada
CAN ICES-3 B / NMB-3 B
Notice for customers in Europe
This symbol indicates that electrical and electronic
equipment is to be collected separately.
The following apply only to users in European
countries:
• This product is designated for separate collection at
an appropriate collection point. Do not dispose of
as household waste.
• Separate collection and recycling helps conserve
natural resources and prevent negative
consequences for human health and the
environment that might result from incorrect
disposal.
• For more information, contact the retailer or the
local authorities in charge of waste management.
A-17
Preparation
A
Check before Use
Preparation
A
Tips on using the Speedlight
Take trial shots
Take trial shots before photographing important occasions such as
weddings or graduations.
Have Nikon spot-check your Speedlight regularly
Nikon recommends that you have your Speedlight serviced by an
authorized dealer or service center at least once every 2 years.
Use your Speedlight with Nikon equipment
The Nikon Speedlight SB-500’s performance has been optimized for
use with Nikon brand cameras/accessories including lenses. Cameras/
accessories made by other manufacturers may not meet Nikon’s
criteria for specifications, and incompatible cameras/accessories could
damage the SB-500’s components. Nikon cannot guarantee the
SB-500’s performance when used with non-Nikon products.
A collection of example photos
“A collection of example photos” provides an overview of the
SB-500’s flash photography capabilities with example images. To
download the PDF file, access the link below and choose “Speedlights”
from the “Digital SLR Cameras” category, then go to the “SB-500.”
http://nikonimglib.com/manual/
A-18
As part of Nikon’s “life-long learning” commitment to ongoing
product support and education, continually updated information is
available online at the following websites:
• For users in the United States:
http://www.nikonusa.com/
• For users in Europe and Africa:
http://www.europe-nikon.com/support/
• For users in Asia, Oceania and the Middle East:
http://www.nikon-asia.com/
Visit these sites to keep up to date with the latest product
information, tips, answers to frequently-asked questions (FAQs)
and general advice on digital imaging and photography. Additional
information may be available from the Nikon representative in your
area. See the URL below for contact information:
http://imaging.nikon.com/
A-19
A
Preparation
Life-long learning
B Operation
Speedlight Parts
B
Operation
8
2
1
00
-5
HT
SB
IG
DL
E
PE
S
5
3
6
4
7
B-1
Flash head
LED light (0D-1)
Light sensor window for wireless remote flash (0E-7)
Battery chamber cover
Locking pin
Accessory shoe contacts
Mounting foot
Flash panel
B
Operation
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
B-2
Speedlight Parts
9
Operation
B
11
10
12
B-3
9
10
11
12
Operation
B
Flash head tilting angle scale (0F-3)
Flash head rotating angle scale (0F-3)
Flash-ready indicator (0B-14, E-10)
Mounting foot lock lever (0B-12)
B-4
Speedlight Parts
Operation
B
13
16
14
15
17
18
B-5
17 Power switch
• Rotate to turn power on
and off.
• Set the index to choose the
function to be used.
: Flash (0B-14, C-3, E-5)
: LED light (0D-3)
A: Remote mode group A
(0E-6)
B: Remote mode group B
(0E-6)
18 Lock release (0D-3, E-6)
Rotate the power switch
while pressing this button
to switch between [ ], [ ]
and [A].
B-6
Operation
B
13 LED button (0D-3)
: Press and hold down to
turn the LED light on
and off.
: Press briefly to change LED
light output level.
14 LED light output level
indicator lamps (0D-4)
Indicate LED light output level
15 Mode indicator lamps
Indicate flash control mode
TTL: i-TTL flash control
M: Manual flash control
CMD: Commander mode
16 Test firing button (0F-7)
Controls test firing
Notes on Continuous Use
Notes on continuous flash firing
Operation
B
• To prevent the SB-500 from overheating, allow it to cool down for
at least 10 minutes after the number of firings indicated below.
Flash control mode
Firing limit
i-TTL flash control
Manual flash control (output volume: M 1/1, M 1/2)
Up to 15 times
Manual flash control (output volume: M 1/4–M 1/128)
Up to 40 times
• When continuous flash firing is repeated in quick succession, the
internal safety function extends the recycling time.
• If flash firing continues, it may be temporarily suspended. The
internal safety function is deactivated and flash firing becomes
available after cooling down for several minutes. (0F-9)
• The condition in which the internal safety function is activated
differs depending on the SB-500 output level and the ambient
temperature.
• The condition in which the internal safety function is deactivated
differs depending on the ambient temperature.
B-7
Notes on LED light operation duration
B-8
B
Operation
• The internal safety function automatically lowers the LED light
output level by 1 level when the LED light is used for an extended
period of time. (0F-11)
• If the LED light is used for a longer period, the internal safety
function turns the LED light off. The internal safety function is
deactivated and the LED light becomes available after cooling down
for several minutes. (0F-9)
• The condition in which the internal safety function is activated
differs depending on the LED light output level and the ambient
temperature.
• The condition in which the internal safety function is deactivated
differs depending on the ambient temperature.
Basic Operations
This section covers basic procedures in i-TTL flash control in
combination with a CLS-compatible camera.
Slide the battery
chamber cover open.
Operation
B
STEP 1 Inserting the batteries
Insert the batteries
following the [+] and
[−] marks.
Close the battery
chamber cover.
B-9
Suitable batteries
1.5 V LR6 (AA-size) alkaline battery
1.2 V HR6 (AA-size) rechargeable Ni-MH battery
• For minimum recycling time and number of flashes for each battery
type, refer to “Specifications.” (0H-20)
• Alkaline battery performance may vary greatly depending on the
manufacturer.
• 1.5 V R6 (AA-size) carbon-zinc batteries are not recommended.
v Additional precautions regarding batteries
• Read and follow battery cautions on “For Your Safety.” (0A-13–
A-17)
• Be sure to read and follow the warnings for the battery on the
section, “Notes on Batteries” (0H-8), before using the battery.
B-10
B
Operation
Replace both batteries at the same time using fresh batteries or
fully-charged rechargeable batteries of the same brand from any of
the following types. Do not mix old and new batteries or batteries of
different types or makes.
Basic Operations
Replacing/recharging batteries
Operation
B
Refer to the following table to determine when to replace batteries
with fresh ones or recharge batteries according to how long the flashready indicator takes to light up after turning the SB-500 on or flash
firing.
1.5 V LR6 (AA-size) alkaline battery
20 sec. or more
1.2 V HR6 (AA-size) rechargeable Ni-MH
battery
15 sec. or more
Low battery power indication
When battery power is low, the
flash-ready indicator flashes repeatedly
twice per sec. for approximately
40 sec. Replace or recharge batteries.
B-11
STEP 2 Attaching the SB-500 to the camera
v Lock the Speedlight in
place
Turn the mounting foot lock lever
clockwise until it clicks into place
pointing to “LOCK.”
v Cameras with auto pop-up flash units
Turn the SB-500 on when it is mounted on a camera with a built-in,
auto pop-up flash unit. When the SB-500 is turned off, the camera’s
built-in flash may pop-up automatically and strike the SB-500. It is
recommended to detach the SB-500 from the camera when not in use.
B-12
B
Operation
Make sure the SB-500
and the camera body
are turned off.
Make sure the
mounting foot lock
lever is on the left.
Slide the SB-500’s
mounting foot into
the camera’s accessory
shoe.
Turn the mounting
foot lock lever to
“LOCK.”
Basic Operations
Detaching the SB-500 from the camera
Make sure the SB-500 and
the camera body are turned
off, turn the mounting foot
lock lever 90° to the left,
and then slide the SB-500’s
mounting foot from the
camera’s accessory shoe.
Operation
B
• If the SB-500’s mounting foot cannot be removed from the camera’s
accessory shoe, turn the mounting foot lock lever 90° to the left
again, and slide the SB-500 slowly out.
• Do not forcibly remove the SB-500.
STEP 3 Adjusting the flash head
Adjust the flash head
to the forward-facing
position.
B-13
STEP 4 Turning the power on
Turn the camera on.
Set the SB-500’s power
switch to [ ].
• Mode indicator lamp [TTL]
comes on.
STEP 5 Taking a picture
Make sure that the flashready indicator on the
SB-500 or in the camera’s
viewfinder is on, and then
shoot.
B-14
Operation
B
C Flash Control Modes
The SB-500 has 2 flash control modes—manual flash control and i-TTL
flash control.
• Flash control modes cannot be selected on the SB-500. The setting
of the camera on which the SB-500 is mounted automatically
applies.
Flash Control Modes
C i-TTL Flash Control
Information obtained by monitor pre-flashes and exposure control
information is integrated by the camera to automatically adjust flash
output levels.
• To take pictures using the SB-500 set in i-TTL flash control, see
“Basic Operations.” (0B-9)
• Either the i-TTL balanced fill-flash or the standard i-TTL flash option
is available depending on the camera settings. i-TTL flash control
options cannot be selected on the SB-500.
i-TTL balanced fill-flash
The flash output level is automatically adjusted for well-balanced
exposure of the main subject and background.
Standard i-TTL flash
The main subject is correctly exposed regardless of background
brightness. This is useful when you want to highlight the main subject.
C-1
t Camera’s metering mode and i-TTL flash control
v When insufficient flash output for correct exposure
is indicated
• When the flash-ready indicators
on the SB-500 and in the camera’s
viewfinder flash slowly for
approximately 3 sec. after firing,
underexposure due to insufficient
flash output may have occurred.
• To compensate, use a wider aperture
(smaller f-number) or higher ISO
sensitivity, or move the flash unit
closer to the subject and reshoot.
C-2
C
Flash Control Modes
• When the camera’s metering mode is changed to spot metering
while i-TTL balanced fill-flash is in use, the i-TTL flash control
automatically changes to the standard i-TTL flash.
• The i-TTL flash control automatically changes to i-TTL balanced
fill-flash, after changing the camera’s metering mode from spot
metering to other metering modes.
Manual Flash Control
When the SB-500 is mounted on a camera, manual setting of flash
output level can be enabled by selecting [Manual] under [Optional
flash] from the camera menu.
• Monitor pre-flash and the indication of insufficient flash output for
correct exposure are not available in manual flash control.
• Manual flash control is not available with D3 series, D2 series, D200,
D80, D70 series, D50 and F6 cameras.
C
Flash Control Modes
Taking a picture in manual flash control
Set the SB-500’s power
switch to [ ].
Set the flash output level
with the camera.
• For details, see the camera user’s
manual.
• Mode indicator lamp [M] comes
on when the setting is made with
the camera.
Confirm that the flashready indicator is on, and
then shoot.
C-3
D LED Light
Features of LED Light
The SB-500 is equipped with an LED light that has various features, as
detailed below.
Continuous light that enhances
your photography
Soft light suitable for close-up
photography
Control of glare on the subject and
shadows is a decisive factor in closeup photography, such as tabletop
photography. The LED light’s soft light
beam with natural-looking color tone
is suitable for close-up photography.
D-1
D
LED Light
In contrast to a flash light, the LED
light is a continuous light source. You
can check the lighting effects in real
time with live view and so achieve
your desired composition easily. The
LED light is also suitable for additional
illumination for recording movies.
Features of LED Light
Off-camera lighting that
inspires creativity
The LED light’s soft light beam blends
smoothly with natural light. You can
illuminate your subject freely from any
angle, height and distance by using
the SB-500 off-camera.
Flexibility that makes use of
multiple light source easier
D
LED Light
Multiple light sources expand your
creative expression. Photography
using multiple lights usually requires a
certain amount of expertise to control
lighting effects, but the SB-500 makes
it easy. Simply use multiple SB-500s
to achieve your intended results by
checking lighting effects in real time
with live view.
• Use the provided Speedlight Stand AS-23 for stable positioning of
the SB-500. Attach and detach the SB-500 to and from the AS-23 in
the same way it is attached to/detached from the camera’s accessory
shoe.
• When carrying the Speedlight Stand with the SB-500 attached, be
sure to hold the SB-500 in your hand.
D-2
Using the LED Light
Turning the LED light on
Set the SB-500’s power
switch to [ ].
• Rotate the power switch while
pressing the lock release.
Turning the LED light off
Press and hold the LED
button until the LED light
goes off.
• Turn the power off with the power
switch when not in use.
D-3
D
LED Light
Press and hold the LED
button until the LED light
comes on.
Using the LED Light
Changing the LED light output level
Briefly press the LED button
to change the LED light
output level.
• The LED light output level changes
as shown in the diagram below. The
output level is indicated by the LED
light output level indicator lamps.
• The LED light output level also can
be changed when the LED light is
off.
• Holding the LED button switches the
LED light on and off, and does not
change the LED light output level.
LED Light
D
Low power
D-4
Mid power
High power
v Operation of the LED light when attached to the
camera
• LED light operation is manual only. The LED light does not
synchronize with the camera shutter.
• The LED light turns off when the SB-500 is in standby and does not
turn on when the SB-500 comes on again.
v White balance settings
Set the camera’s white balance as shown in the table below for
photography with the SB-500’s LED light.
• See the camera user’s manual for white balance settings.
LED Light
D
White balance settings by camera type
Camera
White balance setting
Nikon digital SLR cameras with LED Light
Color Information Communication
D810, D750
Auto, Flash
Nikon digital SLR cameras without LED Light
Color Information Communication
Auto*, Direct sunlight
Nikon digital SLR cameras D1, D50
Auto, Direct sunlight
COOLPIX cameras (0G-1)
Auto, Direct sunlight
* Adjust the white balance setting depending on results.
D-5
E Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
SB-500 Wireless Multiple Flashunit Photography Setup
The SB-500 is compatible with Advanced Wireless Lighting.
• The SB-500 has to be mounted on the D810 or D750 to be used as
a master flash unit.
SB-500 wireless multiple flash-unit photography
compatibility
Use as master
flash unit
Use as remote
flash unit
With Speedlight commander mode
(CMD)


Without Speedlight commander mode
(CMD)
—

Camera
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
E-1
Advanced Wireless Lighting
Remote flash unit
(Group B)
Remote flash units
(Group A)
Master flash unit mounted on camera
The master flash unit commands the remote flash units
to fire monitor pre-flashes.
The camera measures the reflected light.
The camera controls flash firing.
• The SB-500 mounted on the camera is the master flash unit. Other
Speedlights placed in positions as illustrated function as remote
flash units.
• Up to 2 groups (A and B) of remote flash units can be set up.
• Single or several remote flash units can be allocated for 1 group.
• Channel 3 must be used when the SB-500 is used as a remote flash
unit.
• The camera settings apply to the flash control modes of the remote
and master flash units.
E-2
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
SB-500 Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography Functions
When used in
commander mode
Flash control
mode
• i-TTL flash control
• Manual flash control
• Non-TTL auto flash
control*1
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
Group
Up to 2 groups (A and B)
Channel
4 channels*3 (1–4)
When used in
remote mode
• i-TTL flash control
• Manual flash control
• Repeating flash*2
1 channel (3 only)
*1 Setting can be applied to group A or B. The setting cannot be
applied to the master flash unit.
*2 See the master flash unit Speedlight (SB-910, SB-900, SB-800) or
the Wireless Speedlight Commander (SU-800) user’s manual for
details of repeating flash photography.
*3 One of 4 channels can be used. Remote flash units can be
triggered by other master flash units. Use a different channel
number if another photographer is using the same type of wireless
remote flash setup close by.
E-3
v Notes on canceling the flash of the master flash unit
When the master flash unit flash function is canceled and only the
remote flash units fire, the master flash unit emits a number of weak
light signals to trigger the remote flash units. This operation will
normally not affect the correct exposure of the subject, although
the exposure might be affected if the subject is close and a high ISO
sensitivity has been set. To limit this effect, tilt up the master flash
unit’s flash head.
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
E-4
Advanced Wireless Lighting
Using the SB-500 as a master flash unit
Set the SB-500’s power
switch to [ ].
Make settings with the
camera.
• Choose [Commander mode]
under [Optional flash] from
the camera menu and make
settings.
• For details, see the camera user’s
manual.
• Mode indicator lamp [CMD]
comes on when settings are
made with the camera.
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
Confirm that the flashready indicator is on,
and then shoot.
E-5
Using the SB-500 as a remote flash unit
Set the power switch to
[A] or [B] to correspond
with the remote flash
group selected on the
master flash unit.
• Rotate the power switch while
pressing the lock release.
• Set the remote flash channel to
3 on the master flash unit.
Confirm that the flashready indicator is on,
and then shoot.
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
E-6
Remote Flash Units
Remote flash unit setting
• The standby function is canceled when remote mode is set. Make
sure that there is sufficient battery power.
Setting up the remote flash units
• Position the remote flash units so that light from the master flash
unit can reach the light sensor window for wireless remote flash of
the remote flash units. This is particularly important when holding a
remote flash unit in the hand.
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
Remote flash units
(Group A)
Remote flash unit
(Group B)
Master flash unit
mounted on camera
E-7
• As a basic guide, the effective distance between the master and
remote flash units is up to approximately 10 m (32 ft) in the
forward-facing position, and approximately 7 m (22 ft) at both sides.
These ranges vary slightly depending on ambient light.
• There is no limit to the number of remote flash units that can be
used together. However, when using many remote flash units, light
may be unintentionally picked up by the light sensor of the master
flash unit and interfere with correct functioning. Therefore, the
number of remote flash units used for wireless multiple flash-unit
photography should be limited to around 3 for 1 group.
• Place all remote flash units in the same group close together and
facing the same direction.
Group B
Less than approx. 7 m (22 ft)
E
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
Group A
Less than approx.
10 m (32 ft)
Within 60˚
Master flash
unit
E-8
Remote Flash Units
• An obstacle between the master flash unit and remote flash units
can interfere with transmission of data.
• Take care not to let light from the remote flash units enter the
camera lens.
• Use the provided Speedlight Stand AS-23 for stable positioning of
remote flash units. Attach and detach the SB-500 to and from the
AS-23 in the same way it is attached to/detached from the camera’s
accessory shoe.
• When carrying the Speedlight Stand with the SB-500 attached, be
sure to hold the SB-500 in your hand.
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
• Be sure to confirm the remote flash unit flash-ready indicator is on
before photographing.
E-9
Checking Status in Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
The flash-ready indicator on the SB-500 can be used to check the
status during and after taking a picture in wireless multiple flash-unit
photography.
Checking flash operation using the flash-ready indicator
Remote flash
unit
Lights up
Goes out and
lights up when
ready to fire
Lights up
Goes out and
lights up when
ready to fire
Flashes slowly
for approx.
3 sec.
Flashes slowly
for approx.
3 sec.
Speedlight status
Ready to fire
Fired properly
Insufficient flash output for correct
exposure
Underexposure due to insufficient
flash output may have occurred. To
compensate, use a wider aperture
(smaller f-number) or higher ISO
sensitivity, or move the flash unit
closer to the subject and reshoot.
E-10
E
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
Master flash
unit
Checking Status in Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
Master flash
unit
Remote flash
unit
Speedlight status
• Non-TTL auto flash control mode
Goes out and
lights up when
ready to fire
Wireless Multiple Flash-unit Photography
E
E-11
Flashes quickly
for approx.
6 sec.
is set on the master flash unit.
Change the flash control mode to
an operable flash control mode.
• The remote flash unit light sensor
has failed to receive the command
light from the master flash unit.
This is because the light sensor
cannot detect when to stop firing
in sync with the master flash unit,
either due to a reflection from the
remote flash unit itself or light from
another remote flash unit that
may have entered the light sensor
window. Change the direction or
position of the remote flash unit
and reshoot.
F Functions
This section explains the SB-500 functions that support flash
photography and functions to be set on the camera.
• For detailed information regarding camera functions and settings,
refer to the camera user’s manual.
Bounce flash operation (0F-2)
Test firing
Flash photography
Modeling flash
support functions
Standby function
(0F-7)
Thermal cut-out
Auto FP high-speed sync
FV lock
Functions to be
Slow sync
set on the camera Red-eye reduction
(0F-12)
Rear-curtain sync
Exposure compensation/Flash exposure
compensation
Functions
F
F-1
Bounce Flash Operation
Bounce flash is a photographic technique using light that is bounced
off a ceiling or wall using a tilted or rotated flash head. This provides
the effects listed below compared to those with direct light from a
flash unit:
• Overexposure to a subject that is closer than other subjects can be
reduced.
• Background shadows can be softened.
• Glare on faces, hair and clothes can be reduced.
Functions
F
F-2
Setting the flash head
Tilt or rotate the flash
head.
• The flash head tilts up from 0°
to 90° and rotates horizontally
180° to the left and right.
• Set the flash head at a click
stop at the angles shown.
30̊
0̊
30̊
̊
120
120
̊
F
Functions
180̊
150
̊
0°
90̊
90̊ 75̊
75̊
60̊
60̊
60̊
̊
150
90̊ 75̊
F-3
Bounce Flash Operation
Selecting flash head tilting/rotating angles
and a reflecting surface
Functions
F
• Good results are most easily achieved when the flash head is tilted
up to use the ceiling as a reflecting surface.
• Rotate the flash head horizontally to get the same effect when the
camera is held in the vertical position.
• Illumination can be softened further when the light is bounced off
a ceiling or wall behind the camera, as opposed to in front of the
camera.
• Select white and highly reflective surfaces to bounce the light off.
Otherwise, image colors will be influenced by the color of the
reflecting surface.
• Avoid illuminating the subject directly to achieve successful bounce
flash photography.
• The recommended distance between the flash head and the
reflecting surface is approximately 1 m to 2 m (3.3 ft to 6.5 ft), but
this number may vary depending on photographic conditions.
• If the reflecting surface is not close enough, a piece of A4-size white
paper can be used instead. Check that the subject is exposed to the
bounced light before taking a picture.
F-4
Behind the camera
White ceiling
1-2 m
90º
Lightproof
white paper
Functions
F
F-5
Bounce Flash Operation
Taking a picture with bounce flash
Set the SB-500’s
power switch to [ ].
Adjust the flash head
and shoot.
t Exposure in bounce flash operation
Functions
F
In bounce flash, there is some light loss compared with normal flash
photography (with flash head adjusted to the forward-facing position).
Therefore, a 2- or 3-step wider aperture (smaller f-number) or a 2- or
3-step higher ISO sensitivity should be used when taking pictures with
manual exposure. Adjust according to results.
F-6
Flash Photography Support Functions
The SB-500 features flash photography support functions.
indicates functions used with the flash light.
indicates
•
functions used with the LED light.
Test firing
Pressing the test firing button determines whether the SB-500 fires
properly.
• The flash output level during test firing varies depending on settings
and flash control modes.
Modeling flash
■ Advanced Wireless Lighting
• When the camera’s depth-of-field preview button is pressed, the
master flash unit (with the flash function activated) and all other
remote flash units fire as modeling flashes at the set flash output
level at the selected mode.
F-7
F
Functions
The flash fires repeatedly at a reduced flash output level. This is useful
for checking the illumination and shadows cast on a subject before
actually taking the picture.
• When the depth-of-field preview button on a camera compatible
with modeling flash is pressed, the modeling flash fires. For details,
see the camera user’s manual.
• The modeling flash fires for up to approximately 1 sec.
Flash Photography Support Functions
Standby function
If the SB-500 and camera are not used for a specified time, the
standby function is automatically activated to conserve battery power.
Standby activation depends on the functions being used.
Power switch
Flash
LED light
A / B Remote
mode group
Functions
F
Connection with camera
Connected
Not connected
No operation for a certain
• When camera’s standby
period
timer expires*
• When camera is turned off
• When light is on: does not
• When camera’s standby
go into standby
timer expires*
• When camera is turned off • When light is off: no
operation for a certain
period
Does not go into standby
Does not go into standby
* For details regarding the standby timer, refer to the camera user’s
manual. The standby timer is called “auto meter off” for some
camera models.
F-8
To cancel standby
•
•
•
•
Connection with camera
Connected
Not connected
• Select any function other than [OFF]
Press the camera shutter-release
with the SB-500’s power switch.
button halfway down.
• Press the SB-500’s test firing button.
Turn the camera on.
Select any function other than [OFF]
with the SB-500’s power switch.
Press the SB-500’s test firing button.
Thermal cut-out
F-9
F
Functions
The thermal cut-out function protects the flash panel, flash body and
LED light from damage by overheating. This function does not prevent
the flash head temperature from rising. Be careful not to let the
SB-500 overheat during continuous use.
• The flash-ready indicator flashes slowly when the internal
temperature rises as a result of multiple flash firings in quick
succession. All operations except power off are suspended when
there is a risk that the heat could damage the flash unit. (0H-3)
• LED light operation is available even when thermal cut-out is
activated during flash operation unless the LED light has overheated.
• Flash firing is available even when the thermal cut-out is activated
during LED light operation unless the flash panel has overheated.
Flash Photography Support Functions
Warning of flash-ready indicator
Flashes once per sec.
• Wait until the SB-500 cools down.
• Operation can be resumed once the warning goes off.
Functions
F
F-10
Notes on LED light thermal cut-out
Mid to low
Off
When the LED light is operating
at high power and the internal
temperature reaches a certain point,
the LED light output level falls to mid
power [ ] and the right lamp of the
LED light output level indicator lamps,
which indicates high power, begins to
flash slowly [ ]. If the temperature
rises further, the output level falls
to low power and the center lamp,
which indicates mid power, also
begins to flash.
If operation continues, the flash-ready
indicator starts to flash slowly and the
internal safety function turns the LED
light off. When this happens, allow
the SB-500 to cool down for a while
and then turn the power on again.
The LED light will not automatically
return to the same LED light output
level it was at before turning off.
F-11
F
Functions
High to mid
Functions to Be Set on the Camera
The following functions are available when used with cameras so
equipped. Set these functions on the camera. They cannot be set on
the SB-500 directly.
• For detailed information regarding camera functions and settings,
refer to the camera user’s manual.
Auto FP high-speed sync
Functions
F
High-speed flash synchronization up to a compatible camera’s highest
shutter speed is possible.
• Auto FP high-speed sync mode is automatically set when the shutter
speed exceeds the camera’s highest flash sync speed.
• This is useful even in daylight when a wider aperture is required to
achieve shallow depth of field to blur the background.
• Auto FP high-speed sync also operates in Advanced Wireless
Lighting.
• Available flash control modes are i-TTL flash control and manual
flash control.
• For effective flash output distance range for i-TTL flash control
and the guide numbers for auto FP high-speed sync, refer to
“Specifications.” (0H-19)
Flash value lock (FV lock)
The SB-500 sets the flash output to locked flash exposure. This
maintains the subject’s illumination, even if the composition changes.
• FV lock also functions in the Advanced Wireless Lighting.
• Operable flash control mode is i-TTL flash control only.
F-12
Slow sync
The camera slows the shutter speed to capture both the subject and
background illumination. This is suitable for capturing the subject and
background illumination during the evening and night.
• Use of a tripod is recommended.
Red-eye reduction
The SB-500 fires 3 flashes at low output just before the picture is
taken to reduce the red-eye effect caused by the flash light.
Rear-curtain sync
Rear-curtain sync flash creates the effect of a smooth stream of light
behind the subject.
• A slow shutter speed is usually used. Use of a tripod is recommended.
Exposure and flash exposure can be compensated using settings on
the camera.
F-13
F
Functions
Exposure compensation/Flash exposure compensation
For Use with COOLPIX Cameras
G For Use with COOLPIX Cameras
Using the SB-500 with COOLPIX cameras is also possible, although
some functions may not be available.
COOLPIX cameras compatible with CLS (A, P7800, P7700, P7100*1,
P7000*1, P6000)
COOLPIX cameras compatible with i-TTL flash control (P5100,
P5000, E8800, E8700, E8400)
• See the camera user’s manual as well.
*1 Only the flash light can be used when the SB-500 is mounted on
COOLPIX P7100 or P7000. Detach the SB-500 from the camera
when using the LED light.
G
G-1
When using with COOLPIX cameras
Operable flash control
mode
Operable wireless mode
for multiple flash units
Modeling flash
Cameras compatible
with i-TTL flash control
• i-TTL balanced fill-flash (A, P7800, P7700 only*2)
• Standard i-TTL flash
• Manual flash control (A, P7800, P7700 only*2)
Possible only as a remote flash unit
Not possible
FV lock
Possible (A only)
Auto FP high-speed sync
Not possible
Not possible
Flash Color Information
Communication
Possible (A, P7800,
P7700 only)
Not possible
Red-eye reduction
Possible (except P7800,
P7700)
Not possible
Firmware update
Possible (A only)
Not possible
*2 Flash control modes cannot be selected on the SB-500. The mode
set on the camera automatically applies.
For Use with COOLPIX Cameras
Cameras compatible
with CLS
G
G-2
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
H Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
This section explains troubleshooting, Speedlight care, specifications
and optional accessories.
Troubleshooting
If the flash-ready indicator flashes slowly, or any trouble occurs, use
the following chart to determine the cause of the problem before
taking the Speedlight to a retailer or Nikon-authorized service
representative for repair.
Problems with the SB-500
Problem
The power
cannot be
turned on.
The flash-ready
indicator does
not light up.
Cause
0
Insert the batteries
correctly.
B-9
Battery power is weak.
Replace the batteries.
B-11
The standby function is
activated.
• Press the camera
shutter-release button
halfway.
• Set the SB-500’s power
switch to any mode
other than [OFF].
• Press the SB-500’s test
firing button.
Battery power is weak.
Replace the batteries.
The power switch is set
to [ ].
• Normal operation
• The flash-ready
indicator does not flash
when the LED light is
in operation, except for
warning indications.
H
H-1
Solution
The batteries are not
correctly installed.
F-8
B-11
—
Remote flash
unit does not
fire.
Cause
Solution
The distance between
the master flash unit and
the remote flash unit is
too long, or there is an
obstacle between them.
Change the positioning
of the master flash unit
The light from the master and remote flash units.
flash unit does not enter
the remote flash unit
light sensor window for
wireless remote flash.
The SB-500
does not work
properly.
• Set the SB-500’s power
switch to any mode
other than [OFF], then
Microcomputer may have
remove the batteries
malfunctioned if this
and insert them again.
occurs even when fresh
• If the problem
batteries are properly
continues, contact
installed.
your retailer or Nikonauthorized service
representative.
The SB-500
does not
operate.
Thermal cut-out is active.
Wait until the SB-500
cools down.
0
E-7
E-8
E-9
B-9
F-9
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Problem
H
H-2
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Troubleshooting
H
Warning indications of flash-ready indicator
Status
After firing
Flash has not
fired
Flash-ready indicator
Cause/solution
0
Flashes for approx. 3 sec.*1
Correct exposure may not
have been achieved. Use
a wider aperture (smaller
f-number) or higher ISO
sensitivity, or move the
flash unit closer to the
subject and reshoot.
C-2,
E-10
Flashes once a sec.
The Speedlight has
overheated. When the
flash or LED light are used
for an extended period of
time, the thermal cut-out
function suspends flash
firing and the LED light.
Turn the Speedlight off
and wait for it to cool.
F-9
Flashes twice a sec.
Battery power is weak.
Replace batteries.
B-11
Flashes 8 times a sec.
Internal circuit error.
Turn the camera and
Speedlight off, then
remove the Speedlight
and take it to a Nikonauthorized service
representative.
—
*1 When used in i-TTL flash control
H-3
Flash-ready indicator
Cause/solution
The camera does not
Flashes 4 times over 0.5 sec. support CLS. Flash cannot
at intervals of 0.5 sec.
be used. Use a CLScompatible camera.
Flash has not
fired
0
—
• Non-TTL auto flash
control mode is set
on the master flash
unit. Change the flash
control mode to an
operable flash control
mode.
• The remote flash
unit light sensor has
failed to receive the
command light from
the master flash unit.
Flashes 4 times over 0.5 sec.
This is because the light
at intervals of 0.5 sec. for
sensor cannot detect
E-11
2
approx. 6 sec.*
when to stop firing in
sync with the master
flash unit, either due
to a reflection from the
remote flash unit itself
or light from another
remote flash unit that
may have entered the
light sensor window.
Change the direction
or position of the
remote flash unit and
reshoot.
*2 When used in remote mode
H-4
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Status
H
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Guide Number, Aperture and Flash-to-subject Distance
H
The guide number (GN) indicates the amount of light generated by a
flash unit. As the number increases, the flash output becomes greater
and the light extends further.
There is a relation represented by an equation, guide number (ISO 100,
m/ft) = flash-to-subject distance (m or ft) × aperture f-number.
The SB-500’s guide number is 24/78.7 (ISO 100, m/ft, angle of
illumination: covers angle of view of 24mm lens, FX format,
temperature: 23 ˚C/73.4 ˚F). When ISO sensitivity is 100 and aperture
f-number is f/8, the illumination of the SB-500 reaches 3 m (9.8 ft),
which is determined by the equation, flash-to-subject distance (3 m or
9.8 ft) = guide number (24/78.7) / aperture f-number (f/8).
• For ISO sensitivities other than 100, multiply the guide number by
the factors (ISO sensitivity factors) shown in the table below.
ISO
25
50
100
200
400
800
Factor
0.5
0.71
1
1.4
2
2.8
1600 3200 6400
4
5.6
8
• See “Specifications” for the guide number table. (0H-19)
t Determining aperture and flash-to-subject distance
for correct exposure
Aperture f-number
= guide number (GN for ISO 100; m or ft)
× ISO sensitivity factor / flash-to-subject distance (m or ft)
Flash-to-subject distance (m or ft)
= guide number (GN for ISO 100; m or ft)
× ISO sensitivity factor / aperture f-number
H-5
Never use thinner, benzene or other organic solvents
when cleaning the Speedlight, as this may damage the
WARNING Speedlight or cause it to catch fire. Using these agents
may also impair your health.
"
Cleaning
• Dirt on the flash panel can cause it to break when the flash is fired.
Clean the flash panel regularly.
• Use a blower to remove dust and lint, then wipe gently with a soft,
dry cloth. After using the SB-500 at the beach or seaside, wipe off
sand or salt with a cloth lightly dampened in distilled water and
then dry the product thoroughly by wiping it gently with a dry cloth.
• The SB-500 contains a large amount of precision electronics. Do not
subject it to shock or vibration.
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Tips on Speedlight Care
H
H-6
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Tips on Speedlight Care
H
Storage
To prevent mold or mildew, store the SB-500 in a dry, well-ventilated
area. If it is to be placed in storage for 2 weeks or more, remove the
batteries to prevent damage caused by the batteries leaking. Take the
device from storage about once a month and fire it 2 or 3 times to
keep the condenser inside the unit from deteriorating. Do not store
the device with naphtha or camphor moth balls, or in locations that:
• are in the vicinity of equipment that produces strong
electromagnetic fields, or
• are exposed to extremely high temperatures that could cause
product malfunction, such as next to a heater or in an enclosed
vehicle on a hot day
Use
• Sudden changes in temperature, such as those that occur when
entering or leaving a heated building on a cold day, can cause
condensation inside the device. To prevent condensation, place the
device in a plastic bag or other sealed container before exposing it
to sudden changes in temperature.
• Do not use the device in the vicinity of equipment that produces
strong electromagnetic fields, such as transmission towers or highvoltage power lines. Failure to observe this precaution could cause
product malfunction.
H-7
• The large amounts of current used by the Speedlight may result
in rechargeable batteries becoming unusable before reaching the
manufacturer’s stated recharge/discharge limit.
• When replacing the batteries, turn the product off and insert the
replacement batteries in the correct orientation.
• Dirt on the battery terminals can interrupt the flow of current. Clean
dirt from the terminals before inserting the batteries.
• After being fired multiple times in quick succession or using the
LED light for an extended period of time, the Speedlight may stop
operating to allow the batteries to cool depending on battery
specifications. Normal operation can be resumed once the batteries
have cooled sufficiently.
• Batteries tend to lose capacity at low temperatures, recover lost
voltage when allowed to rest, and slowly discharge when not in
use. Be sure to check the battery level before use and replace the
batteries before they are fully discharged.
• Do not store batteries in locations subject to high temperatures or
high humidity.
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Notes on Batteries
H
H-8
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Notes on Batteries
• For information on handling and recharging rechargeable batteries,
see the documentation provided by the manufacturers of the
batteries and the battery charger.
• Do not attempt to recharge non-rechargeable batteries. Failure to
observe this precaution could cause the batteries to rupture.
Ni-MH
H
H-9
Recycling
Used batteries are a valuable resource;
rechargeable to protect the environment, recycle used
batteries in accord with local regulations.
batteries
The latest Nikon firmware can be downloaded from the Nikon
website. Firmware is updated through a Nikon digital SLR camera
compatible with SB-500 firmware updates and Nikon COOLPIX A.
• For users in the U.S.A.:
http://www.nikonusa.com/
• For users in Europe and Africa:
http://www.europe-nikon.com/support/
• For users in Asia, Oceania and the Middle East:
http://www.nikon-asia.com/
• Additional information may be available from the Nikonauthorized service representative in your area. See the URL below
for contact information:
http://imaging.nikon.com/
• SB-500 firmware can be updated through a D3 camera with
firmware A and firmware B version 2.00 or later.
• SB-500 firmware can be updated through a D300 camera with
firmware A and firmware B version 1.10 or later.
• If your camera is not compatible with firmware updates, please
contact a Nikon-authorized service representative in your area.
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Updating Firmware
H
CLS-compatible Nikon digital SLR cameras without
firmware updates
D2 series, D200, D80, D70 series, D60, D50, D40 series
H-10
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Optional Accessories
■ Speedlight Stand AS-23
2
1
Same as that provided with this SB-500.
AS-23 parts
1 Speedlight mounting shoe
2 Tripod socket
Attaching/detaching a flash unit
to/from the Speedlight Stand
Attach/detach your Nikon Speedlight to/
from the AS-23 in the same way as when attaching/detaching your
flash unit to/from the camera’s accessory shoe.
Note
• When carrying the Speedlight Stand with the SB-500 attached, be
sure to hold the SB-500 in your hand.
Specifications
Dimensions (W × H × D): approx. 57.2 × 10.4 × 72.8 mm
(2.3 × 0.5 × 2.9 in.)
Weight: approx. 13 g (0.5 oz)
Specifications and design are subject to change without notice.
H
H-11
AS-21
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
■ Speedlight Stand
AS-21/AS-22
AS-22
■ TTL Remote Cord SC-28
(approx. 1.5 m/4.9 ft)
The SC-28 enables i-TTL flash control when
the SB-500 is used off-camera. The SC-28 is
equipped with a tripod socket.
■ TTL Remote Cord SC-29
(approx. 1.5 m/4.9 ft)
The SC-29 enables i-TTL flash control when
the SB-500 is used off-camera. The SC-29
features an AF-assist illumination function.
The SB-500 does not support the AF-assist
illuminator function.
H
H-12
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Specifications
Electronic construction
Flash
H
H-13
Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor
(IGBT) and series circuitry
Guide number
(23 °C/73.4 °F)
24/78.7 (ISO 100, m/ft)
Angle of
illumination
Covers angle of view of 24mm lens (FX
format) or 16mm lens (DX format)
Effective flash
output distance
range in i-TTL flash
control
0.6 m to 20 m (2 ft to 65.6 ft); varies with
ISO sensitivity and lens aperture
Flash control modes
• i-TTL flash control
• Manual flash control
Other available
functions
Test firing, monitor pre-flashes, modeling
flash
Nikon Creative
Lighting System
(CLS)
A number of flash operations are available
with compatible cameras: i-TTL flash control,
Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling flash,
FV lock, Flash (LED Light) Color Information
Communication, auto FP high-speed sync
LED
light
Multiple flashunit photography
operation
Advanced Wireless Lighting (commander
mode/remote mode)
Bounce capability
• Flash head tilts up to 90° from 0° with
click-stops at 0°, 60°, 75° and 90°
• Flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the
left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°,
60°, 75°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°
Flash duration
(approx.)
1/1100 sec. at full power
Maximum output
level
Approx. 100 lx at 1 m (3.2 ft), high power
Angle of
illumination
Covers angle of view of 24mm lens (FX
format) or 16mm lens (DX format)
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Flash
Compatible
cameras
• Nikon digital SLR (Nikon FX/DX format)
cameras (except D1 series and D100)
• Nikon film SLR camera F6
• COOLPIX cameras compatible with CLS (A,
P7800, P7700, P7100, P7000, P6000)
• COOLPIX cameras compatible with i-TTL
flash control (P5100, P5000, E8800, E8700
and E8400)
H
H-14
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Specifications
Power ON/OFF
Power switch
Power source
Use 2 AA-size batteries of the same brand
from any of the following types:
• 1.5 V LR6 (AA-size) alkaline batteries
• 1.2 V HR6 (AA-size) rechargeable Ni-MH
batteries
For minimum number of flashes, recycling
time and duration of continuous LED light
emission for each battery type, see H-20
Flash-ready indicator
Fully recycled: lights up
Warning indication: flashes slowly
(0H-3–H-4)
Mounting foot lock lever
Provides secure attachment of the SB-500 to
camera’s accessory shoe using locking plate
and locking pin to prevent unintentional
detachment
Other functions
Thermal cut-out, firmware update
Cameras compatible with
firmware updates
• Nikon digital SLR (Nikon FX/DX format)
cameras compatible with CLS (except
D2 series, D200, D80, D70 series, D60,
D50, D40 series)
• COOLPIX A
H
H-15
Approx. 67 × 114.5 × 70.8 mm
(2.7 × 4.6 × 2.8 in.)
Weight
Approx. 273 g (9.7 oz), including 2 AA-size
alkaline batteries
Approx. 226 g (8 oz), body only
Accessories supplied
Speedlight Stand AS-23, Soft Case SS-DC2
• Products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their
respective companies.
Specifications and design are subject to change without notice. Nikon will not
be held liable for damages that may result from any mistakes that this manual
may contain. Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a unit with fresh
batteries operating at the temperature specified by the Camera and Imaging
Products Association (CIPA): 23 ±3 °C (73.4 ±5.4 °F).
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Dimensions (W × H × D)
H
H-16
H
Effective flash output distance range (for i-TTL flash control)
The effective flash output distance range of the SB-500 is between
0.6 m and 20 m (2 ft and 65.6 ft). The effective flash output distance
range differs depending on the ISO sensitivity and aperture.
50
1.1 –
1.4
12
0.8 –
2
8.4
0.6 –
2.8
6
0.6 –
4
4.2
0.6 –
5.6
3
0.6 –
8
2.1
0.6 –
11
1.5
0.6 –
16
1
0.6 –
22
0.7
100
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
6
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
0.6 –
2.1
0.6 –
1.5
0.6 –
1
0.6 –
0.7
32
—
45
—
—
64
—
—
H-17
200
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
6
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
0.6 –
2.1
0.6 –
1.5
0.6 –
1
0.6 –
0.7
—
400
3 –
20
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
6
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
0.6 –
2.1
0.6 –
1.5
0.6 –
1
0.6 –
0.7
800
4.3 –
20
3 –
20
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
6
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
0.6 –
2.1
0.6 –
1.5
0.6 –
1
1600
6 –
20
4.3 –
20
3 –
20
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
5.9
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
0.6 –
2.1
0.6 –
1.5
3200
8.5 –
20
6 –
20
4.3 –
20
3 –
20
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
5.9
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
0.6 –
2.1
6400
12 –
20
8.5 –
20
6 –
20
4.3 –
20
3 –
20
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
5.9
0.6 –
4.2
0.6 –
3
12800
17 –
20
12 –
20
8.5 –
20
6 –
20
4.3 –
20
3 –
20
2.2 –
20
1.5 –
16.9
1.1 –
12
0.8 –
8.4
0.6 –
5.9
0.6 –
4.2
Effective flash output distance range (m)
ISO sensitivity
Aperture (f)
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Specifications
32
—
45
—
—
64
—
—
200
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.6
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
2 –
6.8
2 –
4.9
2 –
3.2
2 –
2.2
—
400
9.9 –
65.6
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.6
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
2 –
6.8
2 –
4.9
2 –
3.2
2 –
2.2
800
14.2 –
65.6
9.9 –
65.6
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.6
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
2 –
6.8
2 –
4.9
2 –
3.2
1600
19.7 –
65.6
14.2 –
65.6
9.9 –
65.6
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.3
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
2 –
6.8
2 –
4.9
3200
27.9 –
65.6
19.7 –
65.6
14.2 –
65.6
9.9 –
65.6
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.3
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
2 –
6.8
6400
39.4 –
65.6
27.9 –
65.6
19.7 –
65.6
14.2 –
65.6
9.9 –
65.6
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.3
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
12800
55.8 –
65.6
39.4 –
65.6
27.9 –
65.6
19.7 –
65.6
14.2 –
65.6
9.9 –
65.6
7.3 –
65.6
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.3
2 –
13.7
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
100
5 –
55.4
3.7 –
39.3
2.7 –
27.5
2 –
19.6
2 –
13.7
2 –
9.8
2 –
6.8
2 –
4.9
2 –
3.2
2 –
2.2
Effective flash output distance range (ft)
Aperture (f)
ISO sensitivity
50
3.7 –
1.4
39.3
2.7 –
2
27.5
2 –
2.8
19.6
2 –
4
13.7
2 –
5.6
9.8
2 –
8
6.8
2 –
11
4.9
2 –
16
3.2
2 –
22
2.2
H
H-18
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Specifications
Guide number table
The SB-500 guide numbers differ depending on the camera’s ISO
sensitivity and flash output level.
ISO 100; m/ft
Flash output
level
1/1
1/2
1/4
1/8
1/16
1/32
1/64
1/128
Guide number
24/
78.7
16.9/
55.4
12/
39.3
8.4/
27.5
6/
19.6
4.2/
13.7
3/
9.8
2.1/
6.8
Guide number table (for auto FP high-speed sync)
ISO 100; m/ft
Flash output
level
1/1
Guide number 10.1/
33.1
1/2
1/4
1/8
1/16
1/32
1/64
1/128
7.1/
23.2
5.1/
16.7
3.6/
11.8
2.5/
8.2
1.8/
5.9
1.3/
4.2
0.9/
2.9
• Guide numbers in the above tables are for when the SB-500 is used
with a D4 camera with a 1/500 sec. shutter speed.
• Guide number for auto FP high-speed sync varies depending on
the camera’s shutter speed. For example, when the shutter speed
is changed from 1/500 sec. to 1/1000 sec., the guide number
decreases 1 step. The higher the shutter speed, the smaller the
guide number.
H
H-19
Batteries
Min. recycling time
(approx.)*1
Min. number of
flashes*2/recycling
time*1
1.5 V LR6 (AA-size) alkaline
batteries
4.0 sec.
100/4.0 – 30 sec.
1.2 V HR6 (AA-size)
3.5 sec.
rechargeable Ni-MH batteries
140/3.5 – 30 sec.
*1 Time between flash firing at full power and the flash-ready indicator
illuminating when flash is fired once every 30 sec.
*2 Number of times flash can be fired at full power with flash-ready indicator
illuminating within 30 sec.
• Figures are for fresh batteries; actual results may vary with performance and
other factors even among batteries of identical ages and makes.
Minimum duration of continuous LED light
emission at high power for each battery type
Batteries
Duration
1.5 V LR6 (AA-size) alkaline
batteries
Approx. 30 min.
1.2 V HR6 (AA-size)
Approx. 60 min.
rechargeable Ni-MH batteries
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Minimum number of flashes/recycling time
for each battery type
H
• Figures are for fresh batteries; actual results may vary with performance and
other factors even among batteries of identical ages and makes.
• The minimum duration may vary depending on the ambient temperature.
H-20
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Index
H
• Refer to “Speedlight Parts” (0B-1) for names of parts.
A
Accessories ........................H-11
Advanced Wireless
Lighting .................... E-2, E-5
Aperture ..............................H-5
Auto FP high-speed sync .... F-12
E
Effective flash output
distance ...........................A-6
Effective flash output
distance range .................A-6
Effective flash output
distance range table .......H-17
B
Batteries .................... B-10, H-8
Bounce flash operation ........ F-2
C
Channel ............................... E-3
CLS ......................................A-6
CLS-compatible cameras ......A-4
Commander mode............... E-3
Continuous flash firing......... B-7
COOLPIX cameras
compatible with CLS ....... G-1
COOLPIX cameras
compatible with i-TTL
flash control .................... G-1
CPU lens ..............................A-5
H-21
F
Firmware update................H-10
Flash control mode ..............C-1
Flash head .................. B-13, F-3
Flash-ready
indicator ....... B-14, E-10, H-3
Flash-ready indicator when
used in remote mode ..... E-10
FV lock............................... F-12
I
Insufficient flash output for
correct exposure .....C-2, E-10
ISO sensitivity .......................H-5
ISO sensitivity factors ...........H-5
i-TTL balanced
fill-flash ............................C-1
i-TTL flash control ................C-1
L
LED button .......................... B-6
LED light ..............................D-1
Light sensor window for
wireless remote flash........ E-7
Lock release ......................... B-6
Low battery power
indication ....................... B-11
M
Manual flash control ............C-3
Master flash unit ...........A-7, E-5
Min. recycling time ............H-20
Modeling flash ..................... F-7
Monitor pre-flashes..............A-6
Mounting foot ................... B-12
Mounting foot lock lever.... B-12
Movie recording ..................D-1
Multiple flash-unit
photography .................... E-1
N
Nikon Creative Lighting
System (CLS) ....................A-6
Number of flash firings ......H-20
P
Photography using multiple
lights.........................D-2, E-1
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
G
GN (guide number) ..............H-5
Group .................................. E-3
Guide number .....................H-5
Guide number table ...........H-19
H
H-22
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Index
H
R
Rear-curtain sync ............... F-13
Recycling time....................H-20
Red-eye reduction .............. F-13
Remote flash unit...A-7, E-6, E-7
Remote mode ...................... E-3
Replacing batteries............. B-11
S
Slow sync........................... F-13
Speedlight Stand
AS-23 .......................D-2, E-9
Standard i-TTL flash .............C-1
Standby function ................. F-8
T
Test firing ............................ F-7
Thermal cut-out ................... F-9
TTL remote cord.................H-12
W
Wireless multiple flash-unit
photography .................... E-1
H-23
H
H-24
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
H
H-25
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
H
H-26
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Tips on Speedlight Care and Reference Information
Warranty Terms - Nikon Worldwide Service Warranty
Your Nikon equipment is guaranteed against any manufacturing
defects for one full year from the date of purchase. During this
period, repairs or adjustments will be made free of charge only upon
presentation of the Nikon Worldwide Service Warranty Card together
with the sales slip or other evidence of purchase to anyƁauthorized
Nikon serviceƁfacility. Establishing the original purchase date should
be made by the original consumer purchaser via the sales slip or other
evidence. The warranty is not transferable nor will it be reissued.
The warranty does not cover damage caused by accident, misuse or
unauthorized repair, damage caused by dropping, improper care or
storage, or damage resulting from sand or water. It is only valid at
authorized Nikon service facilities.
The warranties are in lieu of all other express or implied warranties and
of any other obligation on the part of the manufacturer and distributor
except for the obligations provided by applicable law.
For information on authorized Nikon service facilities, visit
http://imaging.nikon.com/support/index.htm
H
H-27
No reproduction in any form of this manual, in whole
or in part (except for brief quotation in critical articles
or reviews), may be made without written
authorization from NIKON CORPORATION.
Nikon User Support
Visit the site below to register your camera and keep up-to-date
with the latest product information. You will find answers to
frequently asked questions (FAQs) and can contact us for
technical assistance.
http://www.europe-nikon.com/support
Nikon Worldwide Service Warranty Card
Serial No.
Model name
SB-500
M
A
S
Name and address of customer
Dealer
Distributor
E
L
P
Purchase date
Nikon Europe B.V.
Tripolis 100, Burgerweeshuispad 101,
1076 ER Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Manufacturer
NIKON CORPORATION
Shin-Yurakucho Bldg., 12-1, Yurakucho 1-chome,
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8331, Japan
AMA16146 Printed in Europe
TT4H02(11)
© 2014 Nikon Corporation
8MSA6711-02
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