It’s been awhile since I talked about any equipment and I was having this conversation with a fellow photographer recently, so I thought I’d talk about the main flash/speedlight I use, the Nikon Sb-910. Now, in this Nikon SB-910 review, I will mainly focus on how well it works for wedding photography, but you could also use it for any other type of photography.
Nikon SB-910 Review: My past experiences
In my wedding photography career, I have used several different flashes, on and off the camera. I want to say it’s been 8 different flashes and I’ve even reviewed Nikon Sb-80dx, Yongnuo 560 II, Lumedyne, and White Lighting Ultrazap. Honestly, the Nikon Sb-910 has been my favorite out of all of them for weddings.
The main reason I’ve had so many different flashes is because I’ve been searching for one that can handle the craziness of a wedding. It needs to be accurate for TTL, powerful, have a quick recycle, durable, portable, and easily adjusted. All of my previous flashes hit some of these things, but they all missed at some point or another. The biggest common problem I found out of the smaller flashes was the lack of power and the recycle time. For weddings, this is a big no, no. You never know what the situation is going to be, so you need power for the darkest rooms. You also need a quick recycle for those times you are popping off multiple shots.
Here’s what I like about the Sb-910. It does extremely well in the power and recycle category. There have been very few situations where I was waiting on the flash to recycle or got a black exposure. It definitely has never shut down on me like two other flashes have. Is it the most powerful flash I own? No, but it gets the job done in almost every situation. I’ve used it for ceremonies, group photos, receptions…you name it. It also feels like I tank. I have yet to drop it, but I believe it could take it. The controls are so, so. I like that I don’t have to go through a bunch of menus to change things, and it is very quick to respond, but there’s just something about the back I’m not in love with. Maybe it’s because I’m not use to it, but I’ve found myself having to push several different buttons before I found the right one.
Some bonus features not on my list of must haves are the wireless modes, high speed sync, and option for external power. I use off camera flash quiet a bit, especially at receptions. The Sb-910 gives me two different options. It can be the master flash and control other flashes, or it can itself be an off camera flash. I like having the option to do either. Cameras sync with flashes at 1/250th for most, but with this flash, you can increase the shutter speed to darken skies or the freeze action. The only problem with this is that it uses a lot of power; that’s where the next part comes in. The flash does have a port for an external power source like a Quantum battery. This would allow you to shoot much faster and not worry about running out of power.
The Not as Good
When I was talking to the other photographer about the flash, the main argument against it was the price, which is what will scare most people away. I believe I paid close to $500 for it new. That’s a good chunk of change, but after looking at all the things in this Nikon Sb-910 review, I’m thinking I made a good decision. Really, when you think about it, $500 is a small price to pay for nailing the perfect photo over and over again, especially if it’s a wedding.