The Official Car Sticker

The Official Car Sticker

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Nikon SB900 "Thermal Cut-Off"

I finally got the chance to officially shoot using my new SB900. I have not actually used it since I bought it like a few weeks ago. So far, I had only done some test shots here and there but not an actual event shoot.

Last Sunday, I covered a music school's annual concert at The Ballroom of Flamingo Hotel (somewhere in Ampang...and yes, very near the Bukit Antarabangsa landslide...the actual day itself). The SB900 performed very well, very intelligent in making flash exposure outputs. Pictures were very nice and well lit. The flash zoom at 200mm was awesome. Perfect exposures! It definitely is a better flash unit than the SB800.

But one thing really turned me off...the auto "thermal cut-off" feature in the SB900. The flash unit disables itself when the temperature gets high after several continuous bursts. I was shooting half way when suddenly I realise the unit ain't firing! A check on the unit's LCD panel shows that the temperature was "high" and auto "thermal cut-off" has kicked in! Char tou! I couldn't fire anymore!!! I was literally paralysed and had to wait for the flash unit to "cool down" before operations can be resumed again.

I waited for about a minute but the unit was still in "cut off" mode! So, I switched back to my old SB800 and continued my shoot. After a while, I returned back to the SB900 but this time, I kept a close watch on the temperature readings. I finished the rest of the concert with the SB900.

Came home, checked the user's manual on how to disable the auto "thermal cut-off" in case I need to switch it off in future! Well, for all SB900 users, watch out for your unit's temperature!

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