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Nikon SB-27 AF-TTL Speedlight

This compact AF-TTL flash was introduced during second quarter of 1995.

The SB-27 was a departure of a standard Nikon flash design since debut of the SB-24. It has a flat panel and a very compact design, something similar to older Nikon non-AF Speedlight like the SB-12, SB-15/SB-17. The pivoted flash head allows horizontal, slightly off center placement when mounted at the center of the accessory shoe in any Nikon AF-SLR but will center vertically when tilts upwards. This highly portable design enables this flash be easily keep and maintain in any photographers' camera bag.

With a slightly compromised power output than some of the comparing Nikon AF-TTL flash units such as SB-24, 25, 26 and/or 28, the SB-27 has a Guide number (ISO 100, m) of 30 (with zoom head set at 35mm), this flash has eliminated some functions found in those higher power Nikon Speedlight (such as Repeating Flash and a less versatile flash heads to maneuver) but added with a few which only can be found in latest Nikon units (such as the built-in reflector cards/wide flash adapter and power zoom heads). However, the flash has great system compatibility with all Nikon AF-SLRs in various flash exposure modes as well as its AF illuminator which works with ALL Nikon AF bodies introduced thus far.

This cute little Nikon flash has an automatic/manual zoom flash head that offers a coverage of 24-50mm (horizontal) and 35-70mm (vertical) and the power output is varied according to zoom head positions set (82 (25m) (ISO 100, m) with zoom head set at 24mm to 112 (34 m) at 50mm setting). Operating just by 4xAA penlight batteries (alkaline, NiCd or lithium batteries), this flash can charged up to 140 flashes and with a recycling time of merely 5 seconds ! Besides, the flash has a power terminal provided should you need to use an external DC Unit SD-7 and/or High Performance Battery Pack SD-8 which provides longer operating time. The back panel display is a combination of switches and a centered LCD panel, the entire design at the rear section is simple and easy to understand and any Nikon users that may have some experience operating a Nikon AF flash will find it quite at home to find its functions.

Credit: Mr. Anthony Velazquez for updating on the slave function which is NOT available with the SB-27.

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Nikon SB-27 Flash / speedlight compatibility chart with various Nikon cameras.

Source: Nikon Europe

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The built-in/slip-out flash diffuser (may covers down to a 20mm ultrawide) and the extendable bounce reflector for indirect illumination do provide some form of convenience, in particular when operating in macro photography when using when using an AF micro-Nikkor lense with the support of the camera/flash's reliable flash metering. Naturally, such operation will also dilute the power accordingly.

Credit: " ... When mounted on an older Nikon AF SLR camera it does not zoom as you zoom an AF-lens as you expect it to be (tested on an F-801 with a 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 zoom). In fact when you zoom the aperture changes accordingly but no zoom function ..." Image of SB-27 courtesy of Mr. Robert Furnari® <frendakfurnari@earthlink.net> who operates an Ebay Store. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Overall, the SB-27 can be quite appealing at times to some who may find other high performance Nikon speedlight a little too bulky for traveling. Although the newer Nikon SB-28(DX) AF-TTL speedlight has also managed to greatly reducing in its overall size and weight to make it more portable (merely 320g, almost comparable to the SB-27's 340g) but the SB-27's pivoted flash head design and flat body may also find a few interested users on its own. As the SB-28 has also eliminated some features such as the weireless slave flash, external rear sync switch etc. this compact Nikon TTL flash has also find its footing to stay a little more comfortable in the Nikon flash product listing. As compared to the earlier SB-26 AF-TTL speedlight, and if high power output is not entirely a decisive factor in acquring a good speedlight, some unique design characteristic of the SB-27 on its own can become quite appealing indeed - the only complaint I have is - at USD225.00 (new) its price which doesn't call for a good investment. Perhaps a used price of USD170.00 used is more logical.

Technical Highlights:

3D Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill-Flash with Monitor Pre-flashes (with F5, F100, F80 series, F90(x), F70 or other capable Nikon AF SLR bodies and D-type AF Nikkor)
Multi-Sensor Balanced Fill Flash with Monitor Pre-flashes
(with F5, F100, F80 series, F90(x), F70 or other capable Nikon AF SLR bodies and CPU lense
* except D-type AF Nikkor)
Matrix Balanced Fill-Flash
(with F4-series, F-601 or other capable Nikon AF SLR bodies F50 and CPU lens
Red-Eye Reduction
(with F 90(x), F70 or other capable Nikon AF SLR bodies)
AF-Assist Illuminator
(with any Nikon AF SLRs)
Manual flash output level compensation
Automatic power zoom coverage from 24mm to 50mm
(with F5, F100, F80 series, F4-series, F90(x) or F70 and CPU lense)


Built-in diffuser card and bounce flash adapter
Rotating flash head at horizontal and vertically
LCD panel
* CPU lenses refer to those A F Nikkor, AF-i Nikkor or Ai-P Nikkor lenses which feature a micro-computer and and CPU contacts. ** With F4-series, Ai-S or Ai-Nikkor lenses are also usable.

Credit:Image of SB-27 courtesy of Mr. Robert Furnari® <frendakfurnari@earthlink.net> who operates an Ebay Store. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Specifications for Nikon SB-27 AF-TTL Speedlight

Electronic construction
: Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry
Flash exposure control
: TTL automatic control with Nikon F5, F100, F80 series, F4-series, F90x, F70, F-601, or F50; non-TTL automatic control with any Nikon SLR (with Flash Unit Coupler AS-4 (non-TTL), TTL-AS-7 or AS-17 required with Nikon F3 series).
Manual control
: full 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/ 16 output
Guide number
(ISO 100, m): 30 (with zoom head set at 35mm)
Flash coverage
: 50mm, 35mm, 28mm, 24mm (horizontal position); 70mm, 50mm, 35mm (vertical position)
Film speed range in TTL auto flash mode
: ISO 25 to 1000 with Nikon F5, F100, F4-series, F90(x), F70, F-601 or F50
Recycling time
: Approx. 5 sec.
Number of flashes
: Approx. 140
Flash Duration: 1/6700 sec. to 1/1000 sec.


AF-Assist Muminator: Automatically fires LED beam toward subject when performing autofocus with Nikon F4-series, F5, F100, F90(x), F80 series, F70, F-601, F50 or other capable Nikon AF-SLRs in low-light conditions
Power source
: Four 1.5V AA-type alkaline, NiCd or lithium batteries; DC Unit SD-7; High Performance Battery Pack SD-8

Credit:Image of SB-27 courtesy of Mr. Robert Furnari® <frendakfurnari@earthlink.net> who operates an Ebay Store. Image copyright © 2003. All rights reserved.

Dimension (without mounting foot): Approx.107mm (W) x 70mm (H) x 97mm (D) (horizontal position)
(without batteries: Approx. 340g
Other features
: External power source terminal, Red-Eye Reduction: The SB-27 Red-Eye Reduction lamp, used with the F5, F100, F90(x) or F70, lights up in advance to make the pupils of the eyes become smaller, thus reducing the appearance of Red-Eye;
AF-Assist Illuminator Dedicated Nikon Speedlights with autofocus illuminators - the SB-28, SB-27, SB-26, SB-25, SB-24, SB-23, SB-22 and SB-20 (and others) - send an LED-patterned beam of light to the subject, making it possible to take sharply focused pictures even in total darkness. Open flash/test button
Optional Nikon flash accessories There are various ways of connecting Nikon Speedlights to a Nikon SLR such as F5, F100 or a F90(x) other than direct mounting. For instance, you can use the Nikon SC- 17 TTL Remote Cord for off-camera flash photography (approx. 1.5m). Up to two more units can be connected to the SC-17's terminals through the TTL Multi-Flash Sync Cord SC-18 or SC-19 for TTL multi-flash photography.
Sync terminal: provided
Accessory provided
: Soft Case SS-27

| previous | NEXT | Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight SB-28

Main Index Pages for Nikon Flash Photography with Nikon F4 and others:
| Part I | Part II | Part III |

Nikon AF-TTL Speedlights | SB-20 (1986) | SB-22 (1987) | SB-23 | SB-24 (1988) | SB-25 (1991/2) | SB-26 (1994) | SB-27(1997) | SB-28 (1997) | Nikon SB-29(s) (2000) | Nikon SB-30 (2003) | Nikon SB-600 (2004) | Nikon SB-800 (2003)
Nikon AF-TTL Speedlight DX-Series:
Nikon SB-28DX (1999) | SB-50DX (2001) | SB-80DX (2002) (updated)

Nikon BC-flash Series | Original Nikon Speedlight
SB-2 | SB-3 | SB-4 | SB-5 | SB-6 | SB-7E | SB-8E | SB-9 | SB-E | SB-10
| SB-12 | SB-14 | SB-140 UV-IR| SB-15 | SB16A | SB-17 | SB-18, SB-19 | SB-21A (SB-29) Macro flash | Flash Accesories | SF-1 Pilot Lamp

The Camera Body - Features | Reliability | Focusing | Metering | Exposure Control | Lense Compatibility| Various Power Sources | Interchangeable Prisms | Data Film Backs | Focusing Screens | Flash Photography | Other system accessories | Cases for Nikon F4 Series | Remote Control |

| Specification | Main Reference Map | Nikon F4 Variants
Instruction Manual: PDF (4.5M) - External Link

| Message Board | for Nikon F4 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

| Back | to Pictorial History of Nikon SLR / rangefinders / Nikonos / digital 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

Nikon Auto Focus Nikkor lenses:- Main Index Page
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:
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

W A R N I N G: The New G-SERIES Nikkor lenses have no aperture ring on the lense, they cannot adjust aperture(s)when operating in manual exposure control even with certain earlier AF Nikon SLR camera models. Similarly, not ALL features provide in a modern AF-S series AF-Nikkor lenses can be utilized fully with a Nikon F4. Please refer to your local distributor for compatibility issue(s).

PLEASE NOTE: Complimentary links are appreciative but it is not necessary, I have limited bandwidth here in this server... So, PLEASE don't distribute this URL to any bulk mailing list or unrelated user-groups, just be a little considerate, thank you. (The more you distribute, the slower this server will response to your requests...). I am NOT a Nikon nor Nikkor expert, so don't send me any mails, use the Message Board Instead. While the content prepared herein should be adequate for anyone to understand and evaluate whether you should invest into a used Nikon F4 pro-camera system for your kind of photography. Well, IF you like what you have seen so far, please help to perfect this site by reporting any broken links or any errors made.

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About this photographic site.

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Credit: Chuck Hester, US for his patience, encouragement and help to setup the various content in this site; Robert Johnson for some of his original images on the F2H-MD appeared in this site; my ex-staff, KiaSu for his superb 3-D logo appeared in this Nikon F2 site; Marc Vorgers from Holland who generously provide me with some of his images of F2AS; MCLau®, who has so much time with me to re-edit the content in this site and not to mention buying a Nikon Coolpix 990 just for this site; Paul Armstrong (pkared@ameritech.net) for his explantion of the FF2 Slidemagic and Nikon F2 Pin Camera Keat Photo, Kuala Lumpur for providing their Nikon F2A to take some images for this site; Mr Edward Ngoh the great camera collector who provides us his collection of F2AS with MD-2; hawkeye.photographic.com for their images on the Speed Magny film backs; Sean Cranor for his image on Nikon F2 25th Anniversary Model; Ted Wengelaar®, Holland for his continuous flow of input on some of the early Nikon bodies; Genesis-Camera for granting permission to use an image of the SS-F2 camera; Mr Sover Wong, Australia for those great images of his rare F2 Gold;CYLeow ®, photo editor of the Star newspaper, Malaysia for some of his images used in this site. Ms Rissa Chan, Sales manager from Shriro Malaysia who has helped to provide some of the very useful input. HiuraShinsaku®, Nikomat ML, Japan for some of his images on various F2 models; my staff, Wati, Maisa, Mai and my nephew, EEWyn®, who volunteered and helping me did so many of the film scanning works; Hong-sien Kwee of Singapore for all the Nikon F2 Pin camera images appeared in this site; Luigi Crescenzi for many of his images on the Nikon F2 Titan; John for two of his images of the Nikon F2/T used in this site; Contributing photographers or resellers: Jen Siow, Foo KokKin, Arthur Teng, Mark Fallander, John Ishii, Ed Hassel, YoonKi Kim, Jean-Louis, M.Dugentas (Dell Corner.com.), Mr "Arsenall", Yang Zi Xiong and a few images mailed in from surfers with no appropriate reference to their origin. Note: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 to publish in this site based on educational merits. The creator of this site will not be responsible for any discrepancies that may arise from such possible dispute except rectifying them after verification."Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. A site made with an Apple IMac.