Nikon SB-E

The Nikon SB-E flash is part of the Nikon “EM System”.  It is a light and small flash (only 130g and 55x110x33mm) that has a guide number of 17 (ISO100/m) and uses a set of 4 AAA batteries. When it is mounted on the EM, the camera will automatically set the shutter speed to sync speed 1/90 second, ready light in viewfinder will come on when flash is charged and, probably the most advance feature of its time (1979), you have freedom to adjust the apreture within a specific range for a specific ISO value without any adjustment on the flash itself plus the ready light will blink if apreture setting is incorrect according the ISO set on the camera. However, if the SB-E is mounted on older Nikons like the FM and FE, you have to preset a single apreture value depending on the ISO and you might even lose the viewfinder ready light (for the FM).  For forward compatibility, I am really not sure because my SB-E is mostly used off-shoe with an optical slave (Anyone has such information, you are more than welcome to leave a comment).

My SB-E was bought from an online used camera store for only $8USD and came with a case. Original intention is to use it with my Holga 135BC since apreture setting f/11 at ASA400 (see the smaller table on the back of the flash in the photo above) is well matched with the Holga. After using the SB-E a few times with the Holga, I started using it with an optical slave with my DSLR. Whenever I might need to use a flash but is too lazy to even carry my SB-600, I will put the SB-E and a little optical slave in my bag.

Note: If your DSLR built-in flash has TTL pre-flash and cannot be set to manual, then you will need a “digital slave” which will delay the triggering so that the slave flash can sync with the camera’s pop-up. I do not need one because I shoot Nikon DSLRs in which their pop-up’s can be set manually.

Status: In Collection

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3 Responses to Nikon SB-E

  1. jkkmendes says:

    Hi.I was looking for a cheap off camera flash to use in my studio just as a hair light or to lit the background. After reading your post I decided to buy the SB-E from eBay really cheap and also bought a digital wifi trigger as well as the optical one. When I put new batteries in, there is no “ready” light on. The flash doesn’t fire on my Nikon D3100 or on the wifi trigger. Is there anything I’m soing wrong? Should I set my DSLR to a particular setting or does it mean my flash does not work. The seller swears it was working perfectly fine.
    I would be happy if you could help me. There isnot much said online anout this flash.
    Many thanks

  2. Pingback: Diana F+ Instant | MY CAMERA CABINET

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