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Nikon SB-15 & D90

Russell Tobias , Jul 19, 2009; 07:58 a.m.

Is the Nikon SB-15 speed flash compatible with The D90 in any way without causing a problem with the camera?


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Michael R. Freeman , Jul 19, 2009; 09:44 a.m.

TTL mode will *not* work. If you attempt to use TTL on the SB-15 with the D90, the camera will refuse to fire the shutter.

The non-TTL auto modes (A1, A2) and the manual mode (M) will work.

There are much better choices for a D90 flash, but you will do no harm or cause any problems by using one.

Russell Tobias , Jul 19, 2009; 09:58 a.m.

Yes thank you for that But I have tried it out and you are right it will not work on TTL So now my next problem is to find a setting on the D90 ( because I just got it ) as to keep the shots from being washed out/white out could use some help on this if you don't mind.

gogu , Jul 19, 2009; 11:06 a.m.

Hi Michael!
By saying "The non-TTL auto modes (A1, A2)" what do you mean?
I have to use my camera in Aperture Priority (A) mode and set the same A mode on my flash?
I also have a D90 and an almost unused SB-28 from the film days so the OP's question interests me, too:-)


Hans Janssen , Jul 19, 2009; 11:16 a.m.

@Russell: I think the old rule "aperture = guidenumber/distance at 100asa" still works.

Michael R. Freeman , Jul 19, 2009; 11:35 a.m.

"By saying "The non-TTL auto modes (A1, A2)" what do you mean?"

The SB-15 has two auto-thyrister settings, A1 (2 - 10ft ) and A2 (2-20ft) . With A1 you can use 1 aperture, with A2 you can use another. You are restricted to only two aperture settings for each ISO in use.

"... could use some help on this if you don't mind."

Russell - do you have the instruction manual for the SB-15?

Michael R. Freeman , Jul 19, 2009; 11:39 a.m.

"I also have a D90 and an almost unused SB-28 from the film days so the OP's question interests me, too:-)"

The SB-28 is considerably easier to use in A mode on a DSLR than the SB-15. Read the section in the SB-28 manual about manually setting the ISO on the flash (you can only change ISO for the first few seconds after the flash is turned on), and the section on non-TTL Auto flash, and it should be easy to figure out.

Richard Driscoll , Jul 19, 2009; 11:46 a.m.

I'm sure Michael is refering to the auto mode where the flashgun regulates the flash independantly of the camera. This mode will work with almost any camera.
I can think of two ways to do it:
1. If the flash is the sole source of illumination the I'd put the camera in manual and set the shutter to 1/200 sec. Set the flash to auto mode choosing a suitable aperture for the distance and ISO you have the camera set to and then set the camera to the same aperture.
2. If you are using the camera for fill flash then you could use A mode on the camera but I'm not sure that this flash will ensure that the shutter speed is limited to 1/200 sec. so you may need have to check this. For fill flash you can set the camera to 1-2 stops smaller than the flash which will ensure that the flash light is not too bright. As an alternative use M mode again, setting the exposure with the meter.
Hope that make some kind of sense....

Richard Driscoll , Jul 19, 2009; 11:48 a.m.

Sorry folks - my answer crossed with Michael's...

gogu , Jul 19, 2009; 01:03 p.m.

Michael, Richard,

thank you both for your answers, as soon as I return home in a week I'll check with my flash and see what happens;-)
Basically what I want to do is:
- mount the SB-28 on the D90
- put the SB-28 on A mode.
- choose the same ISO on flash and camera
- put the D90 on A mode and choose an aperture
- fire away without having to bother about shutter speeds, etc and have excellent results.
Is this too much to ask from the D90/SB-28 combination?;-)
Will it work or should I give up and understand that if I want long reach I must go for the SB-600?

Note: I am using flash casually and quite rarely, just for shots of my 4-years old daughter and friends.

Rgrds to all

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