Accessories Care and maintenance "Red Eye" phenomenon Battery Issues Specifications
The Nikon Speedlight SB-15 is a direct-mounting electronic flash unit onto any Nikon camera that has a standard ISO accessory shoe, while the same unit with a dedicated mounting foot for the Nikon F3 is called Nikon SB-17.
Both of these units virtually share the same dimension, specifications and equal in performance but only distinguishable with the way they are mounting on respective camera models
(The SB-17 has an additional, but very useful TTL sync socket terminal which mysteriously has been omitted from the SB-15, the SB-15 has only a standard sync socket which can be used for normal AUTO and manual off camera OR multiple flash setup)
OFF TOPIC: My friend LARS, defended for Nikon by explaining: " ...I agree that the multi TTL socket is sometimes missed on SB-15 but I think it is a design compromise. SB-17 sits on the "corner" of F3 and this allows for plenty of room for the non-angled SC-18 and SC-19 plugs. SB-15 however sits in the ISO-hotshoe and the SC-plug would therefore not have the same space. It would be cranked in between the rewind knob and the prism housing...".
Illustrated below is the SB-17's unique mounting foot and how it is mounted on a Nikon F3 camera. To mount the SB-15 onto a standard ISO type accessory shoe and a simple and direct slot, slip, lock-in-place process.
Note: Nikon has designed a new, very useful little device called AS-17 Flash Coupler, which enable ALL TTL flash (Including the current AF models) with a standard ISO accessory shoe (Like the SB-15 featured here) to be used on the F3 models (except those which use the ISO-type accessory shoe on DE-5 finder) and retaining TTL flash exposure control.
I am too lazy to update all the info here, keep it simple - with the AS-17, you don't have to carry two types of flash units if your setup is consist of an F3 camera and a Nikon body that also has TTL flash exposure control capability (Or you don't have to live with only one camera now for flash). The coupler can retain TTL flash feature of any TTL flash that has a standard ISO accessory shoe with a Nikon F3 now (So now, if the camera setup is still the same, you should carry only the SB-15 and go without any earlier flash unit for your F3 camera with the new AS-17 coupler on your F3 body).
The SB-15/17 provides automatic through-the-lens (TTL) control of the flash exposure when used with the any Nikon bodies that offer TTL flash exposure control (like Nikon F3 (SB-17); FA, FE2 and FG (SB-15)). Because light is measured through the actual picture-taking lens, you are assured of just the right exposure with a variety of lenses and accessory attachments at any aperture from f/2 to f/22 as long as the flash to subject distance falls within the working range of the flash. For any other Nikon bodies, manual mode and normal automatic flash feature is also available. Although it has a different mounting foot, both SB-15 and SB-17 can be use on each other cameras by mean of a flash coupler (AS-6, AS4), however, the TTL flash exposure control (neither flash ready light and auto sync speed setting) will NOT be possible and only normal AUTO flash and manual control is permissible in such combination. Updates: Only way to retain TTL flash is to use the new AS-17 for the SB-15 on your F3 but not the other way round, i.e. SB-17 on other SLR models (In which only AUTO and manual flash is possible).
The incorporation of a front-mounted light sensor, the Nikon Speedlight SB-15/SB-17 is also compatible with all other Nikon cameras for automatic, but not through-the-lens, or manual flash output control (Direct attachment via sync cord or by means of flash coupler). Through the use of a silicon-controlled rectifier and series circuitry, the SB-15/SB-17 is able to conserve energy when shooting subjects at close range in automatic mode; thus recycling times are shorter and the number of flashes per battery set is greater.
In addition, the SB-15/SB-17couples with the flash ready lights inside the viewfinders of the Nikon FA, FE2, FG, FM2, F3-series (SB-17), FG-20, FE and EM cameras (But this feature will not be available if an external sync cord is used for multiple flash setup).
<<--- (Top) The SB-15 is a SB-17 with an standard ISO-type mounting foot (Except there is only a standard PC sync terminal, while the SB-17 has an additional TTL sync socket.
As soon as the flash is ready to fire, the LED comes on and, if the light is insufficient for correct exposure after a shot is taken, it will immediately start blinking to warn you to take the picture again at a wider aperture or a closer distance.
Compared with the SB-12 for the F3 and SB-10 for the rest of other Nikon bodies, of particular merit is the SB-15/SB-17's movable flash head which allows you to bounce the light off the ceiling or walls for softer, more flattering lighting for portraits and snapshots. Not only is the entire flash unit rotatable on its foot through 180° with click stops every 90°, but the flash tube module itself can be tilted back with click-stops at 15°, 30°, 60°, and 90° positions.
The SB-15/SB-17 also features a special MD (Motor Drive) setting which allows you to shoot up to four flash pictures in sequence with a motor-driven camera firing continuously at up to 3.8 frames per second.
Warning: The bounce flash application and MD setting on ANY flash units will drastically reduced the guide number (normal power output and light intensity) of a flash. The extra distance from flash to subject and dispersion of light by means of a medium (like ceiling) may require extra exposure compensation (Usually by opening up aperture or use faster film). The MD setting (Motor Drive) is to divided a normal Full capacity flash output into few bursts of light, which means the light intensity will be diluted greatly as well - NEVER attempt to use this mode for distance events as usually results will be disappointing. Although one can compensate for the light loss by using faster films but it still has its limitations.
Basic Operations - Setting up
1. Open the battery chamber. Depress the battery holder release locks (the knurled surfaces on the top and bottom of the left side of the flash head) and the battery holder MS-6 will pop out.
2. Load the batteries. Power is supplied by four 1.5V AA-type pen light batteries; insert them, making sure the positive and negative ( + and -) terminals are installed according to the diagrams inside the holder.
Note: 1) When replacing batteries, it is a good practice to exchange all four with a fresh set.
2) It's also possible to use AA-type rechargeable NiCd batteries, but the performance of the SB-15 will not be comparable to that with alkaline-manganese cells.
3.Replacing the battery holder MS-6.
Push the battery holder MS-6 into the battery chamber until it clicks into place. Note: Be sure not to put the battery holder In upside down.
4. Attach the flash unit to the camera's accessory shoe. First turn the locking nut on the mounting foot counterclockwise until it reaches its upper limit Then slide the mounting foot forward into the shoe as far as it will go.
Note: With Nikon F3-series cameras, the AS-4 or AS-7 Flash Unit Coupler must be attached to the camera's accessory shoe before mounting the SB-15. With the new AS-17, you can mount directly on the flash coupler.
For SB-17 which has a different mounting foot for the Nikon F3 bodies (except those models with DE-4 finder). Followed the steps illustrated at the left and right:
5. Lock the Flash unit securely into place. Tighten the locking nut to prevent the unit from accidentally slipping off.
4. Attach the flash unit to the camera's accessory shoe. First turn the locking nut on the mounting foot counterclockwise until it reaches its upper limit Then slide the mounting foot forward into the shoe as far as it will go.
Note: With a Nikon F3-series cameras, the AS-4 or AS-7 Flash Unit Coupler must be attached to the camera's accessory shoe before mounting the SB-15. With the new AS-17, you can mount directly on the flash coupler.
6. Rotate the flash unit to the horizontal position.
Turn the flash unit 90°, so that the exposure calculator dial is on top for easier reference and proper flash coverage for horizontal format composition. The same applies to SB-17 on a Nikon F3.
7. Set the mode setting knob .to "N" (Normal). Turn the knurled knob in the center of the exposure calculator dial until the "N" is opposite the index.
(Steps 8 through 14 are divided into two sections according to the model of Nikon camera you are using.)
ORANGE section: 8-A. (TTL Operation with the Nikon FA, FE2 and FG that has standard ISO accessory shoe).
Set the camera's shutter speed/mode selector to "P" (Programmed AE) for Nikon FG or FA or "A" for FE, FE2, FG, FG-20, FA or EM); for FM (1/125 sec or below), FM2 (1/200 sec setting or 1/125 sec and below), FM2n models (1/250 sec or below).
Note: With any Nikon SLR models that offer TTL flash exposure control, TTL operation is possible at all manual shutter speed settings, except M90 (with the FG), M250 (with the FE2, Nikon FA) or B. However, Normal AUTO and manual flash is possible at these settings. (Each camera has their own maximum permissible flash sync and shutter speed settings, click here for the Nikon FE2, Nikon FA and Nikon FG (as shown)).
9-A. Set the ASA/ISO film speed.
Turn the ASA/ISO film speed setting ring (the outside ring of the exposure calculator dial) until the ASA/ISO index is opposite the speed of the film loaded in your camera. Note: If camera's ASA/ISO dial is set higher than 400, the top and bottom warning LEDs will blink alternately to let you know the film speed is above the usable range.
10-A. Choose an f-stop from the calculator dial. BEFORE you proceed, you MUST understand TTL flash exposure also has its limitation and certain guideline (Especially with the effective flash working distance) must be followed in order to achieve a higher degree of rate-of-success . Depending on how far away your subject is from the camera, you must select an appropriate working aperture by referring to the calculator dial. You'll notice that each f/stop (from f/2.0 to f/22) has its own color-coded line above the white distance scale indicating the range of distances at which you can shoot. For example, if you're using ASA/ISO 100 film and want to shoot subjects up to 6 meters (20 ft.) away, you can select f/4.0, f/2.8, or f/2. At f/4.0, the automatic shooting range is indicated by an orange line; it indicates you can shoot any subject between 1 and 6.2 meters (approx. 3 and 20 feet) away.
11-A. Set the lens aperture ring to the appropriate f-stop. If you decide to shoot at an aperture of f/4.0, then you must set the aperture ring on the lens to f/4.0.
12-A. Set the SB-15''s shooting mode selector to TTL setting.
Slide the selector to the right as far as it will go for automatic through-the-lens (TTL) flash exposure control.
There are four settings on the selector switch. "A" (Automatic) flash mode is separated into two A1 and A2, each has its working distance. The "MD" setting next to the "A" is the Motor drive setting which can be used for stropic effect in rapid sequential shooting with popular Nikon motor drive units like MD-12 for Nikon FM, FE and FA model(s), MD-14 (For Nikon FG, EM and FG-20) or MD-15 for the Nikon FA. For non-TTL automatic flash in this setting, you can use them on other models as well (Even the mechanical FM, FM2 models and the electronic Nikkormat EL models with the dedicated Motor winder AW-1). The "M" setting is for manual flash, in this case, FULL flash output and intensity is at its maximum. The "TTL" is for through the lens and meter the flash output off the film plane and by far this is the most accurate and effective way of flash exposure control especially in close up and multiple flash setups.
Slide the ON/OFF switch to the right; immediately the green LED will light up indicating TTL operation.
Note: The green LED may blink for a short time after the power switch is turned on, but this does not indicate a malfunction.
14-A. Wait for the ready light to come on.
First turn on the camera's meter by lightly depress ing the shutter release button. Then wait for the LED ready-light inside the finder to light up, indicating that the SB-15/SB-17 is ready to fire.
At the same time, the ready-light built into the back of the SB-15/SB-17 will come on. < Viewfinder ready-light Illustrated at left is using Nikon FG. Check Nikon FA or Nikon FE2.
In the case of Nikon F3/SB-17 combination:
As soon as the LED ready-light comes on the flash is ready to fire. If you depress the shutter button halfway, you'll notice that the LCD displays 80 indicating that the proper synchronization speed of 1/80 sec. has been automatically set by the speedlight.
With the new AS-17 coupler, TTL flash may be possible with SB-15 or another flash with normal TTL flash exposure control capability.
Operations in Detail Part II
BLUE section: (For other cameras operating in automatic flash mode) Set the camera's shutter speed for correct flash synchronization. For example, with the Nikon FE, just set the shutter speed dial to "A" as with you are using other dedicated flash like the companion electronic flash SB-10.
Popular Nikon bodies that do not has TTL flash exposure control feature when used with the SB-15 direct like, Nikon F2 bodies (via sync cord or coupler), the Nikkormat (Electronic EL series or mechanical FT series); EM, FG-20, FE, FM, FM2, FM2n models, FM-10 and FE-10).
9-B.Set film speed. Turn the ASA/ISO film speed setting ring (the outside ring of the exposure calculator dial) until the ASA/ISO index is opposite the speed of the film loaded in your camera.
10-B. Choose an f/stop from the exposure calculator dial.
Located at the bottom of the exposure calculator dial are the blue A1 and red A2 aperture indicator bands which provide a choice of two f/stops. For example, with ASA/ISO 100 film, you can choose f/4 or f/8; the auto shooting ranges are 0.6 ~ 6.1m (2~20 ft.) and 0.6~3.1m (2~10 ft.), respectively.
11-B. Set the lens aperture ring to the appropriate f/stop. In the example, f/4.0 is set on the lens.
12-B. Set the mode mode selector to "A" and the A1/A2 switch to either A1 or A2.
Again using ASA/ISO 100 film as an example, if you select f/4.0, you must set the switch to A2.
13-B. Turn on the flash unit.
Slide the ON/OFF switch to the right. Immediately the red LED on the back of the flash will light up indicating automatic operation.
Simultaneously the appropriate red LED will light up inside the A2 aperture indicator band bust below the exposure calculator dial) as an indication.
Note: if neither of the light turns on, the most possible culprit is the batteries. Open the battery compartment lid and check the polarity of individual cell resides inside.
14-B. Wait for the ready light to come on.
If your camera has an LED ready-light inside the viewfinder, make sure that it is lit up, indicating that the SB-15/17 is ready to fire. If you are not attending to the camera (like self timer or remote control operations), use the flash ready-light built into the back of the SB-15/SB-17.
In the case of Nikon F3/SB-15 combination by way of flash coupler (Except for the new AS-17, TTL not possible with any other flash coupler): As soon as the LED ready-light comes on the flash is ready to fire. If you depress the shutter button halfway, you'll notice that the LCD displays 80 indicating that the proper synchronization speed of 1/80 sec. has been automatically set by the speedlight.
The ready light at the back of the SB-15 can also be used to determine the status of the flash charge.
After taking the picture, just monitor inside camera's viewfinder or the back of the flash and see if it blinks. If it does not - then you should have a theoretical good exposure.
15. Take the picture.
If it blinks, use a wider aperture OR if possible move closer (Change to faster film will works as well, but too tedious of a process in the mid of an assignment).
Turn off the flash to conserve power. end.
User tips: Every Nikon SLR camera has a differing maximum sync speed. The slower the speed used in flash photography will determine the amount of ambient light and detail of the surrounding in an eventual image taken with a flash (Most electronic flash has a extremely short flash duration of 1/8000 sec and above to capture an image stilled on film, while the rest of the remaining time ( If you are confused - Just imagine the time remaining from 1/125 sec minus 1/8000 sec..) may absorb the available light presents on any given photographic scene. The slow speed used will not affect the automatic function of any electronic flash, regardless TTL or not. However, if a sense of movement (or ghost image) in your prints/slides is not desirable, the use of higher sync speed will reduce the chances of having double image formed in a brightly lit environment (such as a bright or video light filled receptions or even apply to syncro-sunlight photography). The proper f-stop used, in this case, is to ensure the subject is properly exposed given the distance from the flash unit, the fast or slow shutter speed used for the flash will have a direct effect of detail reveals in a photography.
Shooting Mode Selector
There are four settings to choose from. Note that as soon as the SB-15 is turned on, the appropriate LED (either red or green) on the back of the unit will light up to indicate the setting.
TTL Mode (Through the lens) OTF (Off the film-plane) flash Metering
This mode is usable only with some of the manual focus based Nikon SLR bodies that offer TTL flash exposure control such as Nikon FA, FE2 and FG (Nikon F3 in the case of SB-17). Except when the FA or FE2 is set to M250 or B, or when the FG is set to M90 or B (Which are all mechanically governed and operated), this mode provides automatic through-the-lens (TTL) control of flash exposure at any aperture from f/2.0 to f/22 to match the flash-to-subject distance: the farther away the subject, the more light emitted by the flash unit; the closer the subject, the less light given off. In addition, recycling time varies with distance; the closer the subject, the shorter the recycling time and vice versa. The key to successful TTL flash is NOT to stress the flash working distance and select an appropriate f-stop which is within the flash maximum output.
Warning: Also note that the usable film speeds in this mode are recommended to be within ASA/ISO 25 to 400.
"A" Mode: Automatic electronic flash exposure mode.
In the automatic (A) mode, the light output of the flash varies automatically to match the flash-to-subject distance, but instead of the light being measured through the lens, it is read by the light sensor on the front of the SB-15/SB-17. At any film speed setting, you have a choice of two working apertures indicated by the blue and red (A1 and A2) aperture indicator bands on the top of the flash unit just below the exposure calculator dial. Some usable Nikon SLRs are Nikon F2 series camera models (via coupler AS-1 for SB-15, AS-5 for SB-17, or sync cord to the PC terminal); the old workhorse bodies like the mechanical Nikkormat FT series or electronic EL series models, mechanical Nikon FM, FM2, FM2n models, current highly controversial Nikon FM-10; electronic Nikon FE, EM, FG-20, F-301 and the current FE-10 etc..).
"M" Mode for back to the basic, manual flash control.
At the manual (M) setting, the SB-15/SB-17 fires at its maximum light output regardless of the flash-to-subject distance. To insure correct exposure when the subject is closer than the near limit of the automatic shooting range, it is recommended to shoot on manual; likewise when the subject is near the far limit of the auto shooting range, it is a good idea to use the SB-15/SB-17 on manual. In this case, you have to calculate the exposure manually using the exposure calculator dial or the a simple flash equation. On manual, the guide number is 25 (ASA/ISO 100 and meters) or 41 (ASA/ISO 25 and feet). The SB-15 or SB-17 virtually will work with any Nikon SLR camera bodies either by way of direct attachment or via a flash coupler or through a sync cable plug into the PC terminal of the camera body.
"MD" Mode - Motor Drive Mode
At the motor drive (MD) setting, the SB-15/SB-17 is able to recycle fast enough to synchronize with a motor driven camera firing continuously up to 3.5 frames per second. It is possible to take up to four flash pictures in rapid succession in this way. At MD, the SB-15's light output is reduced to approx. one-thirteenth that of its maximum power; the MD guide number is 7 (ASA/ISO 100 and meters) or 11 (ASA/ISO 25 and feet). Like the M setting, this is also a manual setting; therefore, the exposure must be calculated manually using the exposure calculator dial or guide number equation.
In flash photography, the shutter speed with which electronic flash will synchronize depends on the camera in use. With the Nikon FA, FE2, FG, F3-series, FG-20, EM or FE camera set for automatic operation or at certain manual shutter speeds, the correct shutter speed is automatically set by simply turning on the SB-15/SB-17. However, with ail other Nikon cameras, the correct synchronization speed must be set manually. Refer to the following chart for the shutter speeds which are usable with your camera.
Note and Updated info: Automatic switching to the correct synchronization speed only occurs when the SB-15 is mounted in the camera 's hot shoe and turned on; it does not occur when the SB-15 is turned off or when a sync cord is used for off-camera operation.
However, the SB-17/F3 combination has the edge over the SB-15 + Nikon bodies, because the SB-17 has an additional TTL sync socket which enable full feature to be retained as long as you are using a TTL sync cord. The newly introduced AS-17 should also provide same functionality when a SB-15 is used on the Nikon F3.
Nikon Manual focus SLR camera Models
Proper Sync speed
Actual Shutter speed for proper Synchronization
Nikon FA *
1/250 sec or slower
P, S, A (all shutter speed dial settings except M250 and B) or M (1/500 sec. or faster)
P, S, A (M250 or B)
M (1/250 sec. or slower)
1/250 sec or slower
A or 1/500 sec. or faster
1/250 sec. or slower
Nikon FG **
1/90 sec or slower
P, A or 1/125 sec. or faster
1/90 sec. (M90) or slower
Nikon F3 models ***
1/80 sec or slower
A or 1/125 or faster
1/80 sec. ( x ) or slower
Nikon FM2 (1/250 sec) ****
1/250 sec or slower
1/250 sec or slower
Nikon FM2 (1/200 sec) ****
1/200 sec or slower
1/200 sec. (X-200) or slower
Nikon FE ****
1/125 sec or slower
1/125 sec. or slower
1/90 sec or slower
A, M or 1/125 sec. or faster
1/60 sec. or slower
1/90 sec or slower
M90 or B
* With the Nikon FA, the LCD indication in the viewfinder varies according to the settings: 250 appears in the (P, S, and A) automatic exposure modes, M250 appears at a manual setting of 1/500 or faster, M and the shutter speed set (e.g., M125) appears at a manual setting of 1/250 or slower, while no indication appears at M250 and B. ** With the Nikon FG, the viewfinder indications vary according to the settings: two adjacent LEDs indicating 1/90 sec. appear at P, A, or 1/125 sec. or faster, one LED indicating shutter speed as set at 1/60 or slower, while no indication appears at B or M90. *** With Nikon F3-series cameras the LCD indication in the viewfinder varies according to the settings: 80 appears on A, M80 appears at X or 1/125 or faster, the shutter speed set (e.g., M60) appears at a manual setting of 1/60 or slower: while M~appears at B and T. **** When the shutter speed dial setting is improper for flash synchronization, the camera's ready-light blinks as a warning.
The SB-15/SB-17's exposure calculator dial helps you select the usable range of f/stops for the speed of the film in use and the camera-to-subject distance. On the dial there are eight f/stops to choose from. Each f/stop determines the usable distance range in which you can obtain the correct automatic exposure. The automatic shooting range for each f/stop is indicated by a color-coded line. When the subject distance remains the same, the larger the aperture selected, the less the depth of field in the final photograph, and the maximum shooting distance is greater, but the recycling time of the speedlight is shorter. On the other hand, the smaller the aperture, the greater the depth of field, but the recycling time is longer and the maximum shooting distance is less. Therefore, in choosing an f/stop, all these factors should be taken into consideration.
The exposure calculator dial on the top of the SB-15 helps you select the aperture you must set on the lens depending on the camera-to-subject distance. To use the dial, follow these steps:
1) Setting the film speed.
To set the ASA/ISO film speed, turn the ASA/ISO film speed setting ring until the number corresponding to the speed of your film is opposite the ASA/ISO film speed index. Note: Dots between the numbers on the film speed sea/e represent intermediate settings.
2) Setting the mode setting knob Located in the center of the exposure calculator dial is the mode setting knob.
There are three settings to choose from: "N" is for normal shooting, "W" is used when the Wide-Flash Adapter is in place, while "MD" should be set when operating the SB-15 in the MD shooting mode. To change the setting, grasp the knob with your fingertips and turn it until the appropriate N, W, or MD is aligned with the white index.
The SB-15's flash head rotates through an arc of 180° with click-stops every 90°. With the flash unit mounted on the camera, it is recommended to turn the flash head to the horizontal position (with the calculator dial on top) to insure adequate coverage when using wideangle lenses. Of particular interest is the SB-15's tilting flash tube module which has click-stops at the 15°, 30°, 60°, and 90° positions.
These movements used singly or in combination allow you to bounce the light off the ceiling or walls for softer, more flattering lighting when shooting portraits or snapshots. To tilt the flash tube module back, slide the lock in the direction of the arrow as you move the flashtube.
Note that unless the surface you are bouncing the light off of is white or silver, your color photographs will come out with an unnatural color cast similar to that of the reflecting surface.
Notes: 1) A special red LED is built into one end of the flash tube to ensure stable light output.
If you release the camera's shutter or push the open-flash button before the SB-15/SB-17 is fully charged, the LED might light up?this is not a malfunction.
2) When mounted on F3-series cameras with the AF Finder DX-1, the SB-15/SB-17's flash head cannot be rotated so that it is over the finder
The color temperature of the SB-15's light output is balanced for use with daylight-type color film.
In bounce-flash photography, the exposure calculator dial cannot be used to determine the correct aperture or the automatic shooting range.
Therefore, it is recommended that you make sure there is adequate illumination by watching the ready-light after the shot is taken; in the regular automatic (non-TTL) mode, you can test fire the SB-15 using the open-flash button to determine whether the illumination is sufficient. Because there is less light illuminating the subject in bounce flash, fast film such as ASA/ISO 400 is recommended.
Warning: Electronic flash produces a color temperature of around 6,000 degrees Kelvin. They are generally considered to have the same photographic effect as daylight.
Filters on the camera or over the flash unit can be used to alter the color if necessary. The same applies to bounce flash if the medium (like ceiling or wall) has a strong color.
For shooting close-ups with the flash mounted on the camera, you might try this method: rotate the flash head 180° so that the exposure calculator dial is on the bottom; then tilt the flash tube module down to illuminate the subject directly.
Depending on how close the subject is to the camera, you can select either the 15° or 30° position. It is also recommended that you use the Wide-Flash Adapter SW-6 to insure even lighting.
Wide Flash Adapter SW-6
This diffuser snaps into place in front of the SB-15/SB-17's flashtube to increase the angle of coverage from the normal 56° horizontal and 40° vertical to 67° and 48° respectively, allowing the SB-15 to be used with a 28mm wideangle lens.
To mount the SW-6, hold it with the smooth side up; then insert the protruding tab into the groove and push the diffuser down until it click-locks into place. To remove it, insert your fingernail under the tab on the left-hand side of the SW-6 and lift it out.
Warning: With the Wide-Flash Adapter SW-6 attached, remember to set the mode setting knob to "W", Because the SW-6 diffuses the light emitted from the SB-15, the guide number is reduced to 18 (ASA/ISO 100 and meters) or 30 (ASA/ISO 25 and feet); in addition, the auto shooting ranges for regular automatic operation are less. the previous SW-4 designed for the SB-12 is not compatible in size (But no one stops you from held it manually... hehe.)
Sync/Multiple Flash Terminal
Located on the bottom of the flash head is a threaded terminal which serves two purposes: it can be used to attach a sync cord to the SB-15 for off-camera operation or you can attach a second electronic flash in series for multiple lighting setups.
For off-camera operation, use either the optional SC-10, 11, or 15 sync cord; screw one end of the cord into this terminal and the other end into the camera's sync terminal.
Shown above is the SB-15. However, the SB-17 designed for the F3 has an additional TTL Sync socket in addition to the normal sync terminal as shown here in the SB-15. That enables F3 with SB-17 can truly enjoy the convenience of TTL multiple flash setup. Why Nikon left this feature in the SB-15 ? May be intentionally to push you to go and buy the SB-16B which has both of the sync sockets in place for normal and TTL flash setup.
For multiple-flash, you can use this terminal to attach a second Nikon flash unit to the SB-15 in series. If the secondary flash unit is either the Nikon Speedlight SB-11, 12, 14, 15, 16 or 17, the use of either the SC-10, 11, or 15 sync cord is recommended; however, with the Speedlight SB-7E or 10, you must use the SC-5 ( 15cm), the SC-6(1 m), or the SC-7(25cm) sync cord.
Warning: 1) When the SB-15 is used off-camera via a sync cord, the ready-light inside the camera's viewfinder will not operate, nor will the correct flash synchronization speed be automatically set when the SB-15 is turned on; 2) The SB-15 employs a special low-voltage triggering circuit to prevent electrical shock and damage to the hotshoe contacts. Nikon claimed they do not recommend mixing Nikon Speedlights with flash units of other makers for multiple flash photography; unless you use slave units for remote triggering. Otherwise, incorrect operation and/or damage to the unit may result.
All the diagrams above illustrate multiple flash setups with the sync/multiple flash terminal of the SB-15/SB-17. However, if your Nikon camera has a sync terminal, it may be used, too.
Download a PDF File (140k) Excluding possible combination with the newly introduced AS-17 flash coupler.
Some Handy Accessories for SB-15 and SB-17:
Sync Cords SC-10, SC-11 and SC-15.
For use with cameras not provided with a hot shoe or for off-camera or multiple-flash lighting setups. The SC-11 is 25cm long while the SC-15 is one meter. To use the SC-10 with F3-series cameras, the Nikkor Flash Unit Coupler is required.
Flash Unit Coupler AS-4 and AS-7 and the AS-17 (new)
These accessories convert the accessory shoes of Nikon F3-series cameras to the standard ISO-type accessory shoe, allowing direct attachment of the SB-15. A special feature of the AS-7 is that it lets you change film with the Nikon F3 without removing the flash unit.
The newly introduced AS-17, was 20 years late since F3 was introduced way back in 1980, it solves a big problem for many F3 users who has to maintain two flash module all these years if ones has a backup compact body such as models within the FM, FE series or the FA. The new coupler allows flash with standard ISO type accessory shoe to be used on the Nikon F3 without the expense of TTL flash exposure control. (With AS-4 and AS-7, those flash units NOT designed for F3 will have only AUTO and manual flash modes to operate). Which also means flash like SB-15, SB-16B and many other autofocus based TTL flash can also be used now on the F3 series models (except on finder like DE-4 on camera like F3 P and F3H).
TTL Remote Cord SC-17
The coiled cord SC-17 enables the SB-15 to be used up to one and half meters off a Nikon FA, FE2 or FG camera. Even with the SC-17, automatic switch over of shutter speed and ready-light indication in the viewfinder are provided just as if the flash unit were mounted directly on the camera.
TTL Multi-Flash Sync Cords SC-18 and SC-19
They are used to connect flash units in TTL multiple flash operation. The SC-18 is approx. 1.5m long while the SC-19 is approx. 3m.
This is especially comes in handy for SB-17 which has the TTL sync terminal, you can combine the SB-17 to several TTL flash units such as SB-16A or 16B or for that matter any flash units that has a TTL sync socket for multiple TTL flash. If you intend to use more than three, the multi TTL flash connector AS-10 should comes in very useful for such application.
TTLMulti Flash Adapter AS-10
When you plan to perform TTL multiple flash operation with more than three flash units or to use the SB-15 as a slave flash unit, the AS-10 is required. With one AS-10 having three TTL multiple flash terminals, you can use up to three slave flash units including one mounted on it.
TIPS ON SPEEDLIGHT CARE
Cleaning: Never use tissue moistened with thinner, benzine or alcohol, because these solutions might damage the plastic parts which forms the basic structure of the exterior. If the Wide-Flash Adapter gets dirty, wash it with soap and water. Before you put away the SB-15/SB-17, make sure to turn off the power switch. If you do not plan to use the unit for more than two weeks, it is best to remove the batteries to avoid possible damage to the circuitry by battery leakage.
Keep the camera away from places where the temperature is likely to go higher than 60°C, such as in the trunk of a car under the summer sunlight, and places full of moisture, to prevent circuit damage. (The ideal working temperature range in which the flash should be used is from -10°C to +50°C).
Reforming the capacitor
If you haven't used your flash unit for a long time, the recycling time may differ from that listed in the specifications. If this is the case, use the open flash button to fire the unit a few times to bring it back to normal working order. "Red eye"
"Red eye', is a phenomenon in flash photography where the center portions of the subject's eyes appear as bright red orbs in color photographs (or white in black and white pictures). This is a result of the light from the flash illuminating the retina directly. If the subject looks straight into the lens and there is little or no ambient light, the pupil is wide open, making the retina clearly visible in the picture.
To avoid "red eye," you can take any or all of the following precautions:
1. Ask the subject not to look directly into the lens when the picture is taken. 2. Remove the flash unit from the camera and hold it as far away as possible from the camera by using a sync cord. 3. Increase the room's overall illumination to reduce the opening of the subject's pupils.
New batteries: Between manufacturing and first use, all batteries exhibit some drain. Therefore, care should be taken to purchase the newest (and freshest) ones possible. To help you do this, some manufacturers stamp the date of manufacture on the bottom of each battery. Ask your camera dealer for assistance in interpreting the codes. Battery life ratings are based on operation at around 25°C (77°F). At other temperatures, battery life is shortened. Spare batteries should therefore be kept available if operation in low temperatures is anticipated.
Warning: When not in use, the batteries should be removed to prevent damage from leakage. To minimize drain during the period of disuse, store the batteries in a cool, dry place below 20°C (68° F). If possible, avoid mixing new and old batteries since proper performance will not be obtained and battery leakage into your SB-15 may occur. Do not dispose of batteries by burning. Also, for safety's sake, do not disassemble batteries when disposing of them.
When installing batteries, observe the voltage polarities carefully. Reversal of the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals will result in leakage.
Notes: In comparison with regular batteries, NiCd batteries provide faster recycling time and better efficiency at low temperatures. However, note that the recycling time and the number of flashes per battery set are dependent on the age of the batteries, how much charge they have, and their capacities.
Electronic Construction: Automatic silicon-controlled rectifier and series circuitry Guide Number: 25 (ASA/ISO 100 and meters); 18 (with Wide-Flash Adapter SW-6); 41 (ASA/ISO 25 and feet); 30 (with Wide-Flash Adapter SW-6)
Angle of coverage:
35mm or longer
With Wide Adapter SW-6
28mm or longer
Number of Flashes
About 9 sec at minimum
About 8 sec at minimum
TTL auto exposure: Through-the-lens automatic exposure control with the Nikon FA, FE2 and FG, Nikon F3 series bodies (Direct mount for SB-17 or using AS-17 with SB-15), film speeds from ASA/ISO 25 to 400; Film speed range: ASA/ISO 25 -1000 (For SB-17); usable aperture range from f/2 to f/22. Automatic Non-TTL flash control: Possible with any Nikon SLR cameras. For SB-15 on Nikon F3: use flash coupler AS-4 or AS-7. For SB-17 with other SLRs with Standard ISO accessory shoe: Use flash coupler AS-6. Recycling Time: variable depending on shooting distance; Manual: approx. 8.5 sec. Regular auto exposure: Automatic exposure control via the front-mounted light sensor; film speeds from ASA/ISO 25 to 800; two working apertures depending on film speed.
AUTO shooting distance range
f/4.0 (ASA/ISO 100)
A2: 0.6 - 6.2m (2 - 20 ft.)
f/8.0 (ASA/ISO 100)
A1: 0.6 - 3.1m(2 - 10ft.)
Manual exposure control: Full output at M setting; approx. 1/13 power at MD setting Dimensions: Approx.101mm x 90mm x 42.5mm (excluding mounting foot) Weight: Approx. 270g (without batteries) for SB-15; Approx. 300g for SB-17
Batteries: Four 1.5V M-type penlight batteries, alkaline-manganese batteries recommended; Ni-Cd M-type batteries usable, but performance is lowerin power efficiency but recycling time is faster
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- NO.모델명 출시연도 GN NO (mm) recycle time 중량 g 발광시간 세로mm 가로mm 깊이mm (sec) (sec) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1 . SB-1 1969 38 4 sec 670 2000/1