Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Additional information on
Nikon SB-50DX AF-TTL Speedlight - Index Page

File size: 45k HTML Loading.....

Introduced in Feb. 2001 during the PMA Show along with a few exciting Nikon bodies (Nikon D1X/H & Nikon FM3A). The Nikon SB-50DX AF-TTL Speedlight combines good features of compactness, lightweight and carries many functional features that makes it compatible with a wide range of Nikon camera models. The flash offers photographers enhanced flash shooting flexibility for a wide range of applications. The SB-50DX can synchronizes and fires flash light with another camera's built-in Speedlight for greater flash working range. It also offers various features that are not possible with built-in Speedlights, such as bounce Flash capability, close-up shooting, built-in wide flash adapter for l4mm wideangle coverage, TTL wireless slave flash, and the supplied Infrared Filter SW-91R enables you to use the SB-50DX as an infrared remote commander In addition, the SB-50DX fires Monitor Pre-flashes for 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for Nikon SLRs, including the Nikon D-series digital SLR cameras.

Relative: Nikon AF-TTL SB-80DX speedlight.

Main features of the SB-50DX:

1) The SB-50DX is a high-performance Speedlight that can
operate in combination with Nikon's built-in SLR speedlights in providing increased power in flash photography. Having a moderately powerful guide number of 22/72 (at 35mm zoom-head position, ISO 100, m/ft., 20°C/68°F). Depending on the combination to the camera/lens used with the SB-50DX, you can perform various types of TTL auto flash and Manual flash. When used with Nikon digital SLR cameras, D-TTL auto flash exposure control can be performed.
2) Automatic power zoom continuously changes the zoom-head position from 24mm to 50mm according to the lens' focal length (incompatible with some lenses). The built-in wide-flash adapter increases the angle of coverage to match a 14mm lens
3) Flash head tilts up to 90° or down to - 18°, enabling bounce-flash photography or close-up photography (
accommodates AF Nikkor lenses engaged in close-up to a mere 11.8 inches)
4) When used with a camera having a built-in Speedlight, both the SB-50DX and the camera’s built-in Speedlight fire simultaneously for double-flash photography. A diffuser is provided to diffuse light for bounce-flash photography with the double flash.
5) Wireless multiple flash photography is also possible with its
Wireless Slave Flash with TTL Auto Control
6) The supplied Infrared Filter SW-9IR enables you to use the SB-50DX as an infrared remote commander
7) For operation in dim light, an illuminator for the LCD panel is provided (p. 8) and light condensing paint is applied to characters and symbols on the rear section.

Supplied accessories: Soft Case SS-50; Infrared Filter SW-9IR

Warning:- With newer series of Nikon Digital Stll SLR cameras that offer Nikon CLS (creative Lighting System), such as Nikon D70, the SB-80DX may perform differently, CliCK HERE to see the incompatibility of its features (@&#*@(@!!)

mapfront.gif   maprear.gif
Main Reference Map / Nomenclature

1. Flash head - Can be tilted up to 90° or down to -18°.
2. Wide-flash adapter Attach the wide-flash adapter in front of the flash head to increase the angle of coverage to match a 14mm lens or to perform close-up flash photography.
3. AF-Assist Illuminator Automatically turns on for autofocus operation when the light is dim.
4. Diffuser Use to diffuse light from the camera’s built-in Speedlight when performing double-flash photography (bounce flash photography).
5. Operation button combination chart * Underexposure value * AF-Assist Illuminator cancel * Sound monitor off Operation button combination chart is under diffuser.
6. Camera contacts
7. Built-in Speedlight detecting lever Automatically detects the camera’s built-in Speedlight if it is used with the SB-50DX.
8. Light sensor Senses light from the master flash unit in wireless multiple flash operation.
9. Tilting angle scale
10. LCD panel
11. Ready-light Lights up when the SB-50DX is fully charged and ready to fire. Blinks after the SB-50DX fires at its maximum output in TTL/D-TTL auto flash mode, telling you that light may be insufficient.
  12. FLASH button Press to test fire the flash or for Long time exposure
13. Illuminator/SLAVE button Press to turn on the LCD panel illuminator. Or hold it down for approx. 1 second to set wireless flash mode (only for wireless multiple flash).
14. ON/OFF button
15. "-" button Press to decrease values when setting flash output level compensation.
16."+" button Press to increase values when setting flash output level compensation.
17. MODE button Press to set the flash mode or type of TTL auto flash.
18. ZOOM button Press to adjust the SB-50DX zoom head position.
19. Lock lever
20. Battery chamber lid
21. Mounting foot
22. Lock plate
23. Infrared Filter SW-9IR Attach in front of the flash head to use the SB-50DX as an infrared remote commander

Note: Light condensing paint is applied to the backside indications for clearer identification of the characters and symbols in dark conditions.

NikonSB50DXchart.gif (25k) Gif Loading slowly now ....
Nikon SB-50DX Flash / speedlight compatibility chart with various Nikon cameras.

Source: Nikon Europe

LCD Panel Illustrations
1 Flash mode
D: D-TTL auto flash
icon-TTL.gif : TTL auto flash
icon-matrix.gif : Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash with TTL Multi-Sensor
: Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash, Center-Weighted / Spot Fill-Flash
icon-M.gif : Manual flash
2 Wide-flash adapter
3 Wireless Flash mode
4 Sound monitor off
5 Flash head tilting up/double flash (horizontal position)
6 AF-Assist Illuminator cancel

7 Flash output level compensation
8 Underexposure
9 Underexposure value/flash output level compensation value
10.Flash head tilting down (close-up photography)
11.Camera’s built-in Speedlight
12.Zoom-head position

About LCD panel Because of the directional characteristics of the liquid crystal, the LCD is difficult to read when viewed diagonally from above; however, the display can be seen clearly from a somewhat lower angle. The LCD panel display tends to be darker at high temperatures (approx. 60°C/140°F). When the temperature returns to normal (20°C/68°F), the display also returns to normal. The LCD’s response time tends to slow down at low temperatures (approx. 5°C/41°F and below). When the temperature returns to normal (20°C/68°F), response time also returns to normal.

Compatible Lenses: Types of CPU Nikkor lenses and non-CPU Nikkor lenses
CPU Nikkor lenses   G-type AF Nikkor
D-type AF Nikkor
Non-G/D-type AF Nikkor lenses
(except for AF Nikkor for F3AF)
AI-P Nikkor
Non-CPU Nikkor lenses   AI-S Nikkor
AI Nikkor
Series E

CPU lenses - CPU lens has CPU contacts.
G-type AF Nikkor lenses • The G-type Nikkor lens does not include an aperture ring. The lens sends the distance information to the camera body. With some camera bodies, the usable exposure mode is limited (see the lens’ instruction manual).
D-type AF Nikkor lenses • The lens sends the distance information to the camera body. (See the lens’ instruction manual).

Battery Issue: The SB-50DX uses two CR123A lithium batteries. Llithium cellss are more expensive and not as convenient to locate as with others like alkalines.But the Lithium recycles the unit in less than 4 sec. and has a better cold resistant characteristic.

Camera Model(s) Compatible with TTL/D-TTL Auto Flash Mode


1: 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash is activated with G-and D-type lenses.
2: Center-Weighted/Spot Fill-Flash is activated.
3: When Standard TTL Flash is selected.
4: Standard TTL Flash is automatically set when the metering system is set to Spot.
5: Aperture-Priority Auto and Manual exposure mode cannot be selected with a G-type Nikkor lens.
6: Standard TTL Flash is automatically set with a non-CPU lens.
7: Center-Weighted Metering is automatically set when the exposure mode is set to Manual.
8: Standard TTL Flash is automatically set when the exposure mode is set to Manual.
9: Spot Metering is not available with the F-801/N8008 and F-601M/N6000.
10: Only icon-TTL.gif appears in the SB-50DX’s LCD panel but Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash is selected. ( appears in the camera’s LCD panel with the F-601/N6006 and F-601M/N6000.)
11: G-type lenses cannot be used with the F-601/N6006. G-type lenses can be used with the F-601M/N6000; however, Aperture-Priority Auto and Manual exposure modes cannot be used.
12: Cancel Automatic Balanced Fill-Flash on the camera body to perform Standard TTL Flash ( disappears in the camera’s LCD panel).
13: Programmed TTL Flash is selected with exposure mode set to Programmed Auto or Shutter-Priority Auto.
14: G-type Nikkor lenses cannot be used.
15: Use optional V-type sync cord.
16: D-TTL auto flash mode is selected.
17: 3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash for Digital SLR is selected with G- and D-type Nikkor lenses.
18: When Standard TTL Flash for Digital SLR is activated. (Standard TTL Flash for Digital SLR is automatically selected when the metering system is set to Spot.)
Manual Flash

In Manual flash mode, the SB-50DX always fires at its maximum output. Manual flash can be performed in any camera, lens and metering system combination. By selecting the aperture, you can control the exposure and flash shooting distance. Flash shooting distance is determined by the guide number and aperture.


Manual flash operation
1. Set the camera’s exposure mode to Aperture Priority Auto (A) or Manual (M). 2. Press the SB-50DX’s MODE button until the "M" for Manual flash appears in the LCD panel.

3. Set the camera’s flash sync mode (See camera’s instruction manual). Set the flash sync mode to Front-Curtain Sync with normal flash shooting. The flash sync mode is automatically set to Front-Curtain Sync with a camera without flash sync mode selection.

4. Determine aperture by referring to the guide number and flash shooting distance and set the aperture.
In Manual flash mode, the SB-50DX always fires at its maximum output and the amount of flash output cannot be adjusted. Control exposure by changing aperture. Some zoom lenses have variable aperture (lens’ brightness) with zooming (variable focal length). 5. Compose, focus, confirm that the ready-light lights up, then shoot.

Note: Camera’s exposure mode in Manual flash mode The aperture must be manually selected in Manual flash mode. In exposure modes other than Aperture-Priority Auto and Manual, the shutter in some cameras may not be released.

| Previous | NEXT | 1/3 Attachment, adjustment of zoom head, Wide-flash adapter, Guide Number, Automatic flash synchronization, various flash modes etc.

Page One | Page Two | Page Three

| Back | Index Page of Nikon Flash Photography with Nikon F5

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

| Back | Main Index Page - Nikon F5 Professional SLR camera

The Camera - Background, Issues & Summary

Basic Features | Focusing | Metering Systems | Exposure Control | Reliability Issues | Nikkor lens Compatibility

/Finders -
Index page - 2 parts
Film Backs:
Index Page - 1 parts
Focusing Screens -
Index Page - 1 part
Flash System -
Index Page - 3 parts
System Accessories: |
Power Sources | Cases | Remote Control | Miscellaneous

Macro Photography - Related info on Micro-Nikkor lenses

Specification for Nikon F5
Main Reference Map / Nomenclature

Resource Centre
: Instruction Manuals
Nikon F5 Camera Body - 18 parts
MF-28 Multi-Function Back HTML - 8 parts
PC Links - Photo Secretary - 2 parts
AF-TTL Speedlights: SB-28 / SB28DX | SB29(s) info | SB30 | SB50DX | SB80DX | SB600 info | SB800

F5 50th Anniversary Model | Nikon/Kodak DCS-620 | DCS-720 Digital Still SLR camera

| Back | Index Page of Digital Nikon SLR cameras
| Back | Main Index Page of Pictorial History of Nikon SLR cameras


weblibrary.gif   Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat / Nikomat | Nikon FM | Nikon FE/ FA | Nikon EM/FG/FG20 | Nikon Digital SLRs | Nikon - Other models

The Eyes of Nikon:-

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
Nikon Manual Focus Nikkor lenses:- Fisheye-Nikkor Lenses - Circular | Full Frame | Ultrawides Lenses - 13mm15mm18mm20mm | Wideangle Lenses - 24mm28mm35mm | Standard Lenses - 45mm 50mm 58mm | Telephoto Lenses - 85mm105mm135mm180mm & 200mm | Super-Telephoto Lenses - 300mm 400mm 500mm 600mm 800mm 1200mm |

Nikkor Link.jpg

Index Page
  Special Application lenses:
Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
Perspective Control (PC) - 28mm 35mm PC-Micro 85mm
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
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

Howkiat 3D F5 logo.gif
| Message Board | for Nikon F5 Series SLR model(s) |

Message Board | for your Nikon Optics in a shared environment
| Message Board | Specifically for Dispose or Looking for Nikon/Nikkor Photographic Equipment

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.

MIR Logo
HOME - Photography in Malaysia


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.