Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Additional info on Nikon Speedlights SB-6, SB-7E and SB-8E

Nikon Repeating Flash SB-6 This is a specialized flash unit designed primarily for advanced and high-speed continuous flash photography. It is a huge, heavy bracket flash but versatile in some of its specialized functions. But as a specialized flash units, this repeating flash offers more options than any other high-speed unit around.

Nikon SB-6 Repeating Flash.jpg (26k) Loading...
Start with its fastest operating mode, strobe operation can emitting up to 40 flashes per second, and you have the ideal high-powered unit for cine 18 or 24 fps or extra-rapidly moving subject, stop-action photography. For motor drive photography the unit operated at 1/8 illumination power will deliver synchronization capability for up to 3.8 fps. Additionally, there's a full series of 6 light intensity settings possible. Complete automatic flash cutoff operation is also available by utilizing the Nikon SU-1 Sensing Unit either on or off the flash. A special built-in protection circuit will automatically cut the power off before the unit overheats. Power is supplied by a Nikon SA-3 AC Power Unit. Open flash and a ready-light are both built-in.

This unit mounts directly onto F2 Nikons or by way of flash coupler AS-6 to the Nikon F3 (Only operational in manual and MD settings) or via AS-3, SC-9 and SU-1, auto mode is still possible) while providing a built-in hotshoe connection, and adaptors are available for other cameras.

Nikon F3 with SB-6
(via SC-6)



manual, MD

Nikon F3 with SB-6
(via AS-3, SC-9, SU-1)



auto, manual, MD


Light Output Control:
Guide Number (With ASA 100/m Film): 45 (FULL) 22 (At 1 /4) 11 (At 1 /16); 32 (At 1 /2) 16 (At 1/8) 8 (At 1/32)
Angle of coverage: 56° (Horiz.) x 40° (Vert.) (Coverage for up to 35mm lens)
Automatic Shooting Range: With SU-l/SC-9 & speedlight FULL 1 - 11 m at f /4 (orange); 1 - 8m at f/5 6 (yellow); 1 - 5.5m at f/8 (blue)
Recycling Time: Single flash operation can synchronize with MD of up to 3.8 frames/see. Strobe operation (flashes per second) at: (1/4) 5, (1/8) 10, (1/16) 20, (1/32) 40
Number of Flashes: AC operation, therefore not applicable.
Power Source: SA-3 AC Power Unit (100/117/220/240V) or SD-5 Power Pack.
Ready-light: Built-in
Open Flash Button: Built-in
Foot Mount/Position Capability/Contacts: F2 Nikon type shoe/fixed position/built-in hot shoe; Nikon F3 can also be used via AS-6 coupler
Dimensions: 128mm x 190mm
Weight (without batteries): 1.1kg (excluding Power Unit)
Compatible Accessories: AS-2,SA-3, SC-4, Sc-5, SC-6, SC-9, SF-1, SU-1 and AS-6 (Nikon F3 series bodies).

Nikon SB-7E Speedlights

The SB-7E shares many features found on the later SB-10 except the SB-10 was designed primarily as a dedicated unit for Nikon FE in 1978. An integral part of the design is the solid-state series circuitry which incorporates the latest in silicon controlled rectifiers (SCR). The resultant electronics made recycling time faster. On auto this can mean a maximum of less than 1 second with a subject of average reflectivity about 1 meter from the flash.

Nikon F2 SB-7E.jpg (13k) Loading..
Additionally, the circuitry has the capability of storing energy, the unused charge, in the capacitor thereby reducing battery drain and permitting up to about 1,000 flashes on one set of alkaline-manganese batteries. All of these features are further enhanced by the incorporation of a very unique high-efficiency tube. With the SW-2 Wide Flash Adaptor, the coverage should able to take in safely for a 28mm wideangle lens. Versatility being just as much a key as compactness, three modes of operation can be utilized, Two automatic exposure calculation/operations are colour-coded both on the front mode selector and on the top mode indicator-exposure dial.

At the wider aperture a full 0.6 to 6m (2-19.7 ft.) subject-to-flash distance can be covered, and with a reduced aperture (greater depth-of-field) a distance of 0.6 to 3m (2-9.8 ft.) is illuminated.

Useful accessory:- Nikon original Flash couplers for various flash models foot incompatibility

Except for the mounting foot, the SB-7E and 8E are identical. The SB-7E fits Nikon F-type hot shoes; the SB-8E fits conventional ISO hot shoes. The Nikon SB-7E has a special foot mount that slides and locks onto the rewind knob of the F2 Nikons. Additionally, incorporated in the mount are two electrical connections, one for the ready-light incorporated in the F2 Nikon series camera's eyepiece, and the other a hotshoe connection that eliminates the need for a PC cord which are common to older flash units.

Flash Coupler AS-2 is available to permit hotshoe connection mounting or connecting cord required mounting of the SB-7E on other Nikon cameras* with standard ISO type flash mounting foot. For Nikon F3 which has a differing TTL accessory shoe from that of the F2 and other Nikon with standard hot shoe, use the AS-3.

* F5, F100, F4 series models, F90x, F90, F70, F60, FE, FM, FE2, FA, FM2(n), older AF bodies such as F801s, F801, F601, F501 or F301 cameras are workable in AUTO or manual mode. However, as many models do not provide standard PC sync terminal now, you can still use a Sync Terminal adaptor AS-15 for cable plug in operation.

sfreadylite.jpg SB-8E.jpg
Viewfinder SF-1 Pilot Lamp is a handy flash accessory that attaches to the eyepiece of older Nikon and Nikkormat cameras that do not have a built-in ready-light in the viewfinder.

<< -- Nikon SB-8E flash is essentially a SB-7E with an ISO flash mounting foot.

However, it has a disturbing cord extension that needs to be plug into the PC terminal. For those who has older Databack MF-12 on the Nikon FM/FE which also require a PC socket to plug in the connection cable, go for the SB-10 instead (In the case of FE user or just forget it ..). The SF-1 has a small red LED that glows when the flash is ready to fire. SF-1 can be used with SB-2, SB-3, SB-5, SB-7E, SB-8E and even SB-10.

For other useful accessories, click here.


Light Output Control:

sb7edial.jpg sb7emap.jpg
Guide Number (With ASA 100/m Film): 25 (At FULL output); 17 (With SW-2 wide flash adaptor)

Angle of coverage:
56° (Horizontal.) x 40° (Vertical); 67° x 48° (With SW-2 wide flash adaptor)

Automatic Shooting Range:
0.6 - 6m at f/4 (
orange); 0.6 - 3m at f/8 (blue)

Recycling Time:

Number of Flashes:

Power Source: Four 1.5V AA-type batteries
Built-in ready-light/open flash button dual operation
Open Flash Button:
(see above)
Foot Mount/Position Capability/Contacts:
SB-7E: F2 Nikon type shoe/tilts 180°/built-in hot shoe
110mm x 79mm x 37mm (excluding mounting foot)
Weight (without batteries):
Compatible Accessories:
AS-2, MS-2, 5C-4, SC-5, SS-7, SC-6, SC-7, SF-1, SW-2 Wide adaptor for 28mm lens.

Nikon SB-8E Speedlights
Very similar in nature, appearance and features with the SB-10. Other than the designation inscribed on the front, one can even mistaken it is an SB-10. So what is the difference ? Changes are more with internal rather than exterior - the main difference is the 'dedicated' function for use with cameras such as Nikon FE.
SB-8e.jpg SB-8edial.jpg

When it is used with Nikon FE, it will not auto set the sync speed when operate in AUTO mode when you turn on the flash unit. No flash ready light is provided. Calculator dial for SB-8E is similar to SB-7E and SB-10. Sensitivity control operates pointer to show manual (M) or one of two f-stop choices for automatic.

 When the Nikon FE was introduced, Nikon brought along with a new SB-10 flash that supposedly has additional dedicated function that goes along with it when a FE is mounted. It replaced the SB-8E for quite a while until the newer SB-15 was eventually introduced with the first compact Nikon bodies that went TTL flash exposure control after the pro-orientated F3 - the Nikon FG and the original FM2 in 1982 and thus, may be there might not to be too many of the SB-8E around. Calculator dial for SB-8E is similar to SB-7E and SB-10. Sensitivity control operates pointer to show manual (M) or one of two f-stop choices for automatic.

SB-8E is just the SB-7E outlined earlier with an ISO type mounting foot for any Nikon bodies that has a standard ISO accessory shoe.

It will not provide TTL, but in most cases, it should be very likely to be able to operate in AUTO or manual mode.

Energy saving AUTO or Manual
: SB-8E with ISO type
Auto Range: Two
Manual Light Control: Full output only
Guide Number (ASA 100). Manual Meter (ft):
25; 17 with SW-2 (83); (56) with SW-2

f-stop choices on AUTO with ASA 100: f4.0; f8.0
Max. shooting distance on AUTO meters(ft) Minimum is 2' (0.6m):
6 (20); 3 (10)
Angles of coverage:
56 degree x 40 degrees (67 x 48 degrees with SW-2)
Power Source:
4 x AA Alkaline Batteries
Approx. No of flashes per battery or recharge:
Manual 160; AUTO less than 1 sec

Approx. Recycling Time (sec): Manual 8 AUTO less than 1 sec
Ready Light:
Yes, combined with open flash button
Open Flash Button: Yes, combined with Ready Light

Size and Dimensions: 110mm x 79mm x 37mm (Flash module only, excluding mounting foot).
Weight: 270g (For other
useful accessories, click here.)

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Modern Classic SLRs Series :
Additional info on Nikon Speedlights SB-6, SB-7E and SB-8E

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