Nikon SB-500 AF Speedlight

Nikon SB-500 AF Speedlight

Nikon SB-500 AF Speedlight

B&H # NISB500 MFR # 4814
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Product Highlights

  • Compatible with Nikon i-TTL
  • Guide Number: 79' at ISO 100
  • Coverage: 24mm (FX Format)
  • LED Video Light with 3 Output Levels
  • Tilts Upward 90°
  • Rotates Left and Right 180°
  • Commander Mode for Wireless TTL Control
  • Recycle Time: 3.5 Seconds
  • Slow, High-Speed,1st & 2nd Curtain Sync
  • Runs on 2 AA Batteries
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Nikon SB-500 overview

  • 1Description

Featuring an LED video light and a compact design, the SB-500 AF Speedlight from Nikon provides users with a portable unit for use specifically with Nikon's i-TTL metering system. The flash has good power with a guide number of 79' at ISO 100 and while no direct manual adjustments are available the output can be tuned via the camera's flash exposure compensation settings. The unit offers wide coverage for a 24mm lens with FX-format full-frame cameras and the 100 lux LED light has quarter, half or full power output levels, which is beneficial for both video and close up still photography.

Versatility is important in this unit with the ability to tilt upward 90° and rotate left and right 180° for excellent bounce and swivel capabilities. The flash will also function wirelessly as either a commander unit on the D810 and D750 or a remote slave for full compatibility with cameras, other flash units, and wireless flash controllers in Nikon's Creative Lighting System. Other features include slow, Auto FP high-speed, 1st, and 2nd curtain synchronization. The SB-500 will also transmit LED and flash color information to the camera for setting an optimal white balance and runs on 2 AA batteries, which provide a recycle time as fast as 3.5 seconds. Included with the camera are a soft case and stand.

Offers test firing, the ability to monitor pre-flashes, and an LED modeling flash function
Flash compensation from -3 to +1 EV in 1/3 EV steps is available in-camera
Head tilts up 90° with click-stops at 0°, 60°, 75°, and 90°
Head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 75°, 90°, 120°, 150°, and 180°
Four wireless channels are available in Commander mode while only 1 is available in Remote mode
Two wireless groups, A and B, are available
Flash-ready indicator lights up when fully recycled or flashes slowly as a warning
Delivers approximately 100 full-power flashes from a pair of Alkaline batteries and 140 from Ni-MH
A thermal cut-out function protects the flash
Firmware can be updated through camera body
UPC: 018208048144
Table of Contents
  • 1Description

Nikon SB-500 specs

Mount Shoe
Guide No. 78.74' / 24 m ISO 100 
Exposure Control i-TTL
Angle of Coverage 84°
Bounce Head Yes0 to +90°
Swivel Head Yes, 360°
Coverage - mm (Full Frame)
Distance Range 1.97 to 65.62' (0.6 to 20 m)
Zoom Head None
Off-Camera Terminal None
Recycle Time Approximately 3.5 to 30 Seconds
Flash Duration 1/1100 sec @ Full Power
Flash-Ready Indicator Yes
Compensation -3 EV to +1 EV (in 1/3 EV steps) In-camera control
Wireless Operation
Distance: Up to 32.81' / 10 m
Mode: Commander, Slave
Wireless Communication Channels 4 Channels
Wireless Groups 2 Groups
Power Source 2x AA Alkaline, Rechargeable NiMH Batteries
Dimensions (W x H x D) 2.6 x 4.5 x 2.8" / 67.0 x 114.5 x 70.8 mm
Weight 8.0 oz / 226.8 g
Packaging Infozrrrrucwzyetzazbye
Package Weight 1.05 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 7.0 x 4.6 x 3.4"

Nikon SB-500 reviews

SB-500 AF Speedlight is rated 4.5 out of 5 by 53.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Small but capable I was looking for something small, but with a swivel head. The SB-300 on my Df is pretty formidable, but what it really lacks is a rotating flash head. This guy, on the other hand, can be rotated according to one's needs. If you get it, be aware there isn't an LCD on the back -- you control most of the settings on the camera. The CLS capabilities are a plus, though I admit I've not used them yet. Fortunately, the remote roles are controlled from the power switch, and not maddening button combinations like the SB-600. I've had no complaints with output, recycle times or the usual problem areas (although I'm still on the lookout for a diffuser). If you're looking for small but capable, this should be given consideration.
Date published: 2014-12-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best flash after the sb-400 i owned an sb-400 that i sold and i was searching continuously for sth similar and little better without breaking the bank. one B&Hphtovideo sales guy was kind enough to recommend me the sb-500 which was absolutely the best flash i owned. the flash is great to bounce light indoor and even has a video light that help if you are shooting a movie at night, also it sync perfect with my nikon D7000 and should also work with the other D-series..if you are starting to experiment with flash photography, this where you want to start.
Date published: 2015-01-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice Light Change I've only had the SB-500 for a couple of weeks, but have shot almost 500 images with the flash. In the past, I had used a Nikon SB-910 paired with a Nikon D700 in the office, so when I retired, I purchased my own gear. So far, this has proven to be a great flash, smaller and much lighter than the SB-910, and yet the light output has been more than sufficient to provide nice interior lighting bouncing off the ceiling, as well as great fill lighting for exterior shots in strong sunlight conditions.
Date published: 2015-07-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Flash for Travel I bought this flash to go with my D-500 for use when traveling on vacation and for when I just don't want to lug my much larger SB-910 around. I have been pleased with the results so far for still shots. While the power obviously is less than a big unit, I can jack up the ISO on my D500 if needed and still get a decent result. It uses only 2 AA batteries but that's what helps keep it smaller. The swivel and tilt head are nice to have features. I haven't had an occasion to use the LED lights yet for video work but they do appear to light things up, so I expect that feature will be helpful also when needed. No, this is not a full feature unit, but it has all the essential things I need and want in a light travel flash unit.
Date published: 2017-03-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazed of this small monster small flash... lightweight.... and with a decent power.... I love it and I sold my old SB400 without thinking about it twice.... I loved my old SB400 because it was small and portable and can bounce in 90 degrees.. but the SB500 can do that and more including the bouncing at 180 degrees too... recharge time is not an issue with good batteries. The LED can blind you if you are closer than 2 meters... great basic flash with options as a commander (i has a D750) and channels....
Date published: 2015-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from So easy to use I used the flash to take pictures of my grandkids. The flash performed perfectly. The pictures came out bright, clear and so sharp. I only had to turn it on and I got the right amount of light for my pictures. I also appreciate the help I got from B&H Photo in choosing this flash.
Date published: 2015-06-29
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good choice for off-camera flash This unit is a good choice, at a good price, for an off-camera flash for the beginner level Nikons. It also offers a useable video light for those occasional video moments. The slow recycle time means it will never compete with Nikons top line units, buts its a better choice than the SB-300 or SB-400 units for the amateur user.
Date published: 2015-01-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Just received my Nikon SB-500 Speedlight Just received my Nikon SB-500 Speedlight. What a great addition to my Nikon camera gear. It is small but powerful enough to most any lighting situation I need. I prefer available light and now I have a little portable light available for me. The Nikon SB-500 is just easy enough that even I was able to figure it out quickly. Thanks Nikon for coming out with this new Speedlight and saving me a few hundred dollars.
Date published: 2015-02-20
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