• SB-500
  • SB-500: angle1
  • SB-500: angle2
  • SB-500: angle3
  • Guide number 24/78.7
  • LED light
  • CLS
  • 226 g

Key Features

  • Compact and lightweight design for superb portability
  • Guide number of 24/78.7 (m/ft, ISO 100) and coverage for the angle of view of a 24 mm lens (FX format)
  • Flash head tilts up to 90° and rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right
  • High-performance LED light (100 lx) is incorporated that is effective for movie recording and close-up still shooting
  • Enables Nikon Creative Lighting System with simple operation
  • Easy-to-understand operation with buttons and switches
  • Compatible with readily available R6/AA-size batteries


Electronic construction

Automatic Insulated Gate Bipolar Transistor (IGBT) and series circuitry

Guide number
(23 °C/73.4 °F)

24/78.7 (ISO 100, m/ft)

Angle of illumination

Covers angle of view of 24mm lens (FX format) or 16mm lens (DX format)

Effective flash output distance range in i-TTL flash control

0.6 m to 20 m (2 ft to 65.6 ft); varies with ISO sensitivity and lens aperture

Flash control modes

  • i-TTL flash control

  • Manual flash control

Other available functions

Test firing, monitor pre-flashes, modeling flash

Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

A number of flash operations are available with compatible cameras: i-TTL flash control, Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling flash, FV lock, Flash (LED Light) Color Information Communication, auto FP high-speed sync

Compatible cameras

  • Nikon digital SLR (Nikon FX/DX format) cameras (except D1 series and D100)

  • Nikon film SLR camera F6

  • COOLPIX cameras compatible with CLS (A, P7800, P7700, P7100, P7000, P6000)

  • COOLPIX cameras compatible with i-TTL flash control

Multiple flash-unit photography operation

Advanced Wireless Lighting (commander mode/remote mode)

Bounce capability

  • Flash head tilts up to 90° from 0° with click-stops at 0°, 60°, 75° and 90°

  • Flash head rotates horizontally 180° to the left and right with click-stops at 0°, 30°, 60°, 75°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°

Flash duration (approx.)

1/1100 sec. at full power

LED light maximum output level

Approx. 100 lx at 1 m (3.2 ft), high power

LED light angle of illumination

Covers angle of view of 24mm lens (FX format) or 16mm lens (DX format)

Power ON/OFF

Power switch

Power source

Use 2 AA-size batteries of the same brand from any of the following types:

  • 1.5 V LR6 (AA-size) alkaline batteries

  • 1.2 V HR6 (AA-size) rechargeable Ni-MH batteries

For minimum number of flashes, recycling time and duration of continuous LED light emission for each battery type, see the user's manual

Flash-ready indicator

Fully recycled: lights up
Warning indication: flashes slowly

Mounting foot lock lever

Provides secure attachment of the SB-500 to camera's accessory shoe using locking plate and locking pin to prevent unintentional detachment

Other functions

Thermal cut-out, firmware update

Cameras compatible with firmware updates

  • Nikon digital SLR (Nikon FX/DX format) cameras compatible with CLS (except D2 series, D200, D80, D70 series, D60, D50, D40 series)


Dimensions (W × H × D)

Approx. 67 × 114.5 × 70.8 mm (2.7 × 4.6 × 2.8 in.)


Approx. 273 g (9.7 oz), including 2 AA-size alkaline batteries
Approx. 226 g (8 oz), body only

Accessories supplied

Speedlight Stand AS-23, Soft Case SS-DC2

  • Products and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
  • Specifications and design are subject to change without notice. Nikon will not be held liable for damages that may result from any mistakes that this manual may contain. Unless otherwise stated, all figures are for a unit with fresh batteries operating at the temperature specified by the Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA): 23 ±3 °C (73.4 ±5.4 °F).