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Nikon SB-30 Flash
© 2013 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

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Nikon SB-30

Nikon SB-30 (3.8 oz./109g with one CR123 cell, about $40 used). enlarge. My biggest source of support is when you use any of these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Please always use these links when getting any of your gear so I can continue to share what I know. It helps me keep adding to this free website when you get yours through these links — but I receive nothing for my efforts if you buy elsewhere. Thanks for your support! Ken.

July 2013   Nikon Reviews   Nikon Lenses    All Reviews

Nikon SB-30




Introduction         top

Intro   Specs   Performance   Recommendations   More

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I use these stores. I can't vouch for ads below.

I love this little flash for many reasons.

I use it every day in my studio as a trigger for my studio strobes. The SB-30 has a built-in opaque pull-up panel that transmits only infra-red. This way the SB-30 has no effect on your subject, and still triggers my strobes.

It works TTL with Nikon's 35mm cameras that have TTL flash.

It won't do TTL flash with modern DSLRs, but you can use it at any of its four non-TTL automatic aperture settings.

It has a built-in slave that lets this flash fire in either its Auto or Manual modes.

Manual mode offers full, 1/8 and 1/32 power.

Exposure compensation is with a ±0.5 stop slide switch.

It works s great with the Nikon FM3a, even with flash exposure lock, in TTL mode, and even waking the SB-30 from standby mode.


Specifications         top

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Guide Number, ASA 100

16 meters.

52 feet.



SB-30 with CR123A cell: 3.825 oz (108.6g).

SB-30 Naked: 3.245 oz. (91.9g).

SS-30 case: 0.725 oz. (20.6g).

Cased ensemble: 4.555 oz. (129.2g).


Nikon Product Number




22 February 2002 (2/22/2002).


Performance         top

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measured GN, July 2013: 40 feet (12 meters).


There's no vertical bounce, but it does pivot to point down slightly for close-ups.


With the Nikon FE:

Ready light blinks fast if the SB-30 is set to TTL, which of course doesn't work.

In STBY. the SB-30 won't wake up when the FE turns back on, but it will wake up after a picture's taken. Of course the SB-30 won't fire for that picture that just woke it up.

If a faster manual speed is set, the FE shoots at that faster speed, while the ready light blinks slowly to warn you.

With the Nikon FE set to AUTO, its shutter sets itself to 1/250, regardless of meter reading. The shutter works normally when set manually.


On the Nikon FA:

The SB-30 will wake from STBY mode when the FA wakes up.


Recommendations         top

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Get one if you want a tiny take-everywhere flash for use with any 35mm camera, or as an infra-red flash trigger.

I've never used it as a slave.

If you've found all the time, effort and expense I put into researching and sharing all this, this free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.


More Information         top

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Nikon's SB-30 User's Manual.


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Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.


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