Classic SLRs Series :
The Nikon TTL Macro Speedlight SB-29s was introduced in 2002.(announced almost at the same time with Nikon SB-80DX AF-TTL speedlight in Feb.2002). Although it inherits many basic functions of the Nikon SB-29 model that it replaced. This macro flash SB-29s offers M1/32 flash output and it is compatible with many of the current and possibly future generations of Nikon digital SLR cameras. As differences between the original Nikon SB-29 (2000) and the SB-29s are quite minor, so the site here combines two versions as one source and outlines the differences where it relates.
Overall, the new flash is more affordable (approx. retailed at USD$400.00) as a entire setup over the earlier Nikon SB-21 A/B and more versatile as compared to its predecessor. Note: The SB-29 series eliminates option of an F3-mounted Controller unit (TTL Flash Coupler AS-17/Nikon F3 combination is recommended instead, for other Nikon F bodies such as the Nikon F2, using medium via other flash couplers is possible in manual flash control). However, the SB-29 series only workable in manual flash mode with the Nikon Digital bodies (such as the Nikon D1 series models) where Multi-Sensor Balance Fill Flash (with CPU lense) is provided but 3D Matrix balance fill flash is not possible even if a AF-D-Nikkor lense is used.
The SB-29 series Macro flash was the updated version of the classic Nikon SB-21A/B macro ring flash (1986-2000) where it has faithfully served many Nikon macro enthusiasts for such a long time. So, the SB-29 featured here does carried a long development history on its own and now this update encompasses many of the latest Nikon's flash technologies inside to enable Nikon users to enjoy exposure-perfect illumination at its best even at closest working distance.
This NIkon new flash updated model provides a streamlined design with a couple of significant new features inside but among the many features, the most important feature is its ability to support Automatic TTL-flash photography directly with the various TTL-capable AF/MF Nikon SLR models as well as, where applicable, the inclusion of distance-Signal feature in its flash exposure calculation. (Manual Flash Exposure works on virtually all Nikon SLR bodies).
Relative: for those who like to follow the development history of Nikon's Macro ringlight, read the original Nikon SM/SR 1 ringlight and the subsequent SR-2/SM-2 macro flash setups.
Technical Highlights: -
* The flash is made up of a Main Unit (2 modules) and Controller - The Controller attaches to ISO hot shoe where brightness ratio of left and right flash can be reduced incrementally. The Main Unit is for attaching to front of a Micro Nikkor and/or Nikkor lense via the supplied 52mm, 62mm and 72mm adapter rings for most convenient and accurate flash control. Further, when the controller unit attaches to the Main unit, it is compatible with lenses the come with filter attachment that rotates when focusing as the flash unit can be rotate by 360° (The controller unit can be rotated 90° when attached to the front of the lens)
* During shooting, you can ignite both the flash modules (left:right or right:left) or indipendantly and adjust the power output (can be set to 1:4 and 1/32 power) by using built-in light reducers. Manual flash output level compensation is possible.
* GN: 36 (feet) 11 (m) (ISO 100, both modules)
* Modeling light lets you check effects of flash (duration approx. 3 sec.) before shooting and and confirm the lighting effect through the viewfinder. It has ability to select light ratio of the two flash tubes.
* Moderately wide flash coverage: 20mm (flash modules set horizontally); 24mm (flash modules set vertically) at a distance of 1m (3.3 ft.) with 35mm-film cameras.
* A clear and easy to understand Aperture/Reproduction Ratio panel that provide one glance reproduction-ratio scale on back of Controller esp. when using the Micro Nikkor lenses*. The LCD panel comes with illumination
* AF assist illuminator for dim light or illuminate dark subjects for accurate focusing
* Extensive Nikon Multiple Flash System compatibility includes; SC-17, SC-18, SC-19 andSC-24 Cords and SU-4 Wireless Slave Flash Controller for creative creative lighting effects in Multiple flash TTL operation
* Power stand-by mechanism and a Safety-lock system
* Excellent performance in operation with a wide varieties of power sources and a short recycling time of approx. 3 sec. (4 x with alkaline cells); 2 sec. (Ni-MH), 4 sec. (cold resistant lithium cell) or NiCd (?) cells.
* Note: Nikon UR-3 adapter ring is required when AF-D Nikor 60mm Micro Nikkor is used.
Credit: Images courtesy of KEA-Photo, Hong Kong. KEA-Photo® has an online shop selling various photographic equipment at the popular Store at Ebay. Image copyright © 2004. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Operation in brief: The Nikon SB29s mainly made up of two components - the Controller and the Main Unit. The Controller, as the name suggested, is where all the switches and buttons for control located. The Main unit is where the flash tubes are. You can either mount the Controller or the Main unit attached with the Controller on the camera's hotshoe. A Modelling illuminator button is provided at the top of the Controller. When activated, the flash will emit for approx. 3 sec. with a series of burst of flash beam for user to determine the flash effect through the finder. An illuminator lamp is also provided for dim light operation. Further, an overexposure indicator on the Controller will lights up if the subject if flash is fired at its maximum output which may suggest overexposed picture. The main unit is made up of two flash modules at each side and it comes with an dial at the top section which allows you to control the intensity of the power output of the flash modules. It works by changing the light output in ratio of 1:4 via a translucent plastic over one of theflash tube. The main unit also has a siwth that allows user to select either to use one or both the flash during shooting. Howerver, flash compensation is not permissible (other than setting the flash output). The flash compensation should be set at the camera rather than from the flash unit. anyway, the unit has no SIO setting either. The entire flash can be rotated to faciltate vertical or horizontal shooting, correspond with user defined flash positions (left/right or top/bottom).
Additonal information: Nikon Macro Cool-Light for Coolpix-Series Digital compact cameras: More than 6 hours of continuous operation possible with two lithium batteries. Shooting distance up to 12cm makes hand-held operation more flexible. Flat-front design makes possible 2cm macro photography with Coolpix 4500 and Coolpix 900-series cameras. Compact, lightweight design ensures portability and comfort. The Macro Cool-Light SL-1 is compatible with the following Nikon digital compact cameras: * Coolpix 4500 * Coolpix 950 * Coolpix 990 * Coolpix 995 * Coolpix 880 (via Step Down Ring Lens Adapter UR-E2) * Coolpix 885 (via Step Down Ring Lens Adapter UR-E4) * Coolpix 775 (via Converter Adapter UR-E3)
Technical Specifications for Nikon TTL Macro Speedlight SB-29s
Electronic construction: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Flash exposure control TTL automatic control with Nikon F5, F100, F80, F65 or FM3A; Manual control: full (M), 1/4 (M1/4) and 1/32 (M1/32) output
Guide number (ISO 100, m/ft.): 11/36 for both flash modules (12/39 for single module) at full output; 5.5/18 for both flash modules (6.0/19.6 for single module) at M1/4 flash output; 1.9/6.2 for both flash modules (2.1/6.9 for single module) at M1/32 flash output
Flash coverage: 20mm (flash modules set horizontally); 24mm (flash modules set vertically) at a distance of 1m (3.3 ft.) with 35mm-film cameras.
Power switch: 3 positions: ON/OFF/STBY button provided. At ON and STBY positions: the SB-29 is turned on. °At STBY position: the SB-29 automatically turns itself off after approx. 80 seconds to conserve battery power, if the flash is not used.
Film speed range in TTL auto flash mode: ISO 25 to 1000 (depends on the camera)
Power source: Four AA-type zinc-carbon, alkaline-manganese, lithium (1.5V), NiCd (rechargeable) or Ni-MH (rechargeable) penlight batteries
Number of flashes and recycling times
*1 With fresh batteries
*2 Duration until the ready-light comes on after firing at full manual output.
*3 Total number of flashes when fired at full manual output with an interval of 30 seconds between flashes.
Note: Number of flashes are greater in TTL Auto Flash and M1/4 flash output modes.
Flash mode selector: TTL, M, M1/4 or M1/32 mode selectable (M1/32 feature is NOT available on the original Nikon SB-29)
Overexposure warning indicator: Lights up for approx. 4 sec. after shooting to indicate that the picture may have been overexposed.
Built-in light reducer: Sets the ratio of the brightness of the right flash module to the left one (or vise versa) to 1:4.
FLASH button: Performs test firing for correct exposure determination. Can turn the SB-29s on again after the unit enters standby mode.
Flash duration (approx.): At full flash output: 1/1400 sec. with both flash modules (1/250 sec. with single flash module) At 1/4 flash output: 1/5500 sec. with both flash modules (1/3300 sec. with single flash module)
Modeling illuminator: Lights up for approx. 3 sec. (when both modules are fired), if flash is completely recycled. Repeat firing at approx. 40 Hz.
Ready-light: Lights up when SB-29 is recycled and ready to fire. Blinks for 3 seconds when flash fires at its maximum output, indicating light may have been insufficient (in TTL mode).
Credit: Image courtesy of KEA-Photo, Hong Kong. KEA-Photo® Image copyright © 2004.
Nikon SB-29(s) Flash / speedlight compatibility chart with various Nikon cameras.
Source: Nikon Europe
Dimensions (W x H x D): Main unit: Approx. 119 x 133 x 28.5mm Controller: Approx. 69 x 106.5 x 88.5mm
Weight (without batteries): Approx. 410g
Standard accessories: 3 Adapter Rings (°52mm, °62mm, °72mm), Hard Case SS-29, Wide Adapter Panel as optional acessories.
Other features: Sync/multiple flash terminal provided
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Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight Models: Nikon SB-800 | Nikon SB-600 | Nikon SB-30 | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-27 (1997) | Nikon SB-26 (1994) | Nikon SB-25 (1992) | Nikon SB-24 (1988) | SB-23 | SB-22 (1987) | SB-20 (1986)
Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series: Nikon SB-28DX (1999)| SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002)
Additional information on various Nikon MF Bulb Flash - Nikon MF-Speedlights SB-1 ~ SB-21A/B
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Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
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Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
Depth of Field Control (DC): 105mm 135mm
Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
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Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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W A R N I N G: The new G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have removed the conventional aperture ring on the lense barrel, they CANNOT adjust aperture(s) when operating in manual exposure control even with certain earlier MF/AF Nikon SLR camera models. But they are FULLY COMPATIBLE with the Nikon F5 featured here in all usable metering systems and/or exposure modes. Please refer to your local distributor for compatibility issue(s).
About this photographic site.
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A resource dedicated to my kids, Alvin Foo & Esther Foo- one day, BOTH might need to use all these information for his/her Nikon F5A camera.
Volunteered Maintainer(s) for the Nikon F5 Message Board: Tony Davies-Patrick, UK; Rick Oleson, US; Koh Kho King, Malaysia.
Credit: Mr. Chuck Hester, US for his text re-editing skill for this site; Our staff, HowKiat® who created the 3D-Nikon F5 logo. Mr. Lew Chee Wai of YL camera for lending his F5 for me to take some shots appeared in this site. All those nice folks who have contributed their images, in particular Mr. Mike Long, Edwin leong, Palmi Einarsson, Sergio Pessolano, Fred Kamphues, Harry Eggens, Curtis Forrester, Nick (Natures Moments), Sandra Bartocha; fellow countrymen, Vincent Thian, Koh Kho King, Philip Chong, CY Leow etc. and contributions from a few nice folks from Photo Malaysia Forum. Disclaimers & acknowledgments: Certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets, brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their own work for public publishing in this website, where majority of the extracted information are used basing on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from any possible dispute except rectifying them after verification from respective source. Neither Nikon or its associates has granted any permission(s) in using their public information nor has any interest in the creation of this site. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" "Silent Wave", "Focus Tracking Lock-on", "Nikkor" & other applicable technical/business terms are registered trade name(s) of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple G5 IMac.