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on Aug 20, 2008 in Wildlife Photography

SB-900 & Birds

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It’s testing time and the test subject is a juvenile White-headed Woodpecker (above is the with and without flash).  Here’s the deal, I’ve just not got this new SB-900 dialed in for flash fill for bird photography. Flash is not flash is not flash especially when it comes to birds. In bird photography, we don’t have the luxury of telling our subject to hold still, adjust lights, take a bunch of exposures to perfect the exposure. It’s generally real basic, 1 flash over the lens barrel and either flash fill or flash main light (yes, there are special cases where this is not the case)

So, I’ve been out testing the SB-900 with my standard rig using the 600VR, SB-900 & SD-8a. The testing involves changing the lighting patten of the SB-900 from Standard, Center-weighted and Even. The first thing I’ve run into that I’ve not solved is the exposure compensation I used with the SB-800 doesn’t directly work with the SB-900 except in Standard. The photo above was taken with the SB-900 set to Even so the compensation was set in the SB-900 to -1 2/3 stop iTTL where in the SB-800 it would be -2/3 stop (zoom head was set to 135mm, no Better Beamer used).

I ~really~ like the light quality coming from the SB-900 but more testing is required before it’s an integral and intuitive part of my bird photography.

Photo captured by D3, 600VR on Lexar UDMA digital film