Nissin Di866

Check availablity: Adorama, Amazon USA, B&H, eBay.

For people looking for a CLS-compatible flash, the Nissin Di866 is a serious alternative to the Canon 580EX II or the Nikon SB-900. Yes, it is less solidly built, the guide numbers listed in Nissin's sales literature is inflated by half a stop and it is missing a few bells and whistles, including Nikon's very handy sound-monitor. Also, on the software side, the Di866 falls short by not showing ISO in the top level displays, and by not picking up ISO from the camera body in all modes. In addition the implementation of the FP/HSS mode is flawed. Whether or not these shortcomings are important, depends on your style of shooting.

For me, the Nissin Di866 delivers where it counts. It does TTL well on and off the camera, and the built-in “dumb” slave mode also makes it equally suitable for “strobist”-type work.


For dedicated flash systems: Canon, Nikon.
Head: 18, 24-105mm coverage, power zoom (w. manual override).
Swivel & tilt: -180° to +90° swivel, 0° to +90° tilt.
Exposure modes: TTL, HSS, Auto, Varipower, Multi.
Manual settings: 1/1 to 1/128 in 1/3 EV steps (22 steps).
Wireless modes: Master, Remote (dedicated), Plain slave, Digital slave.
Features: LCD, Overheat protection, Sync. socket, Ext. power, Bounce card, Strobist.
Trigger voltage: 3.4 volt.
Batteries: 4xAA.
Field upgradable: via USB.
Dimensions: 74 x 134 x 110 mm, 380 g.

Zoom head setting:f=35mmf=50mmf=maxSubflash
Guidenumber (ISO 100, meter):34 [40]37 [56]39 [60]12
Measured GNs. Manufacturers specification in square brackets.

Price: USD 329 (new, w/o tax).
Production: 2009-2011, replaced by: Nissin Di866 II.

For a detailed explanation of the above specifications, see the guide.



Review links:

Brand profile

Key info

Established: 1959
HQ: Tokyo, Japan
Web: Global, man

Nissin is a Japanese manufacturer of flash units. It differs from almost any other Japanese company I've dealt with by having poor communication skills, not responding to customers concerns, and putting stuff on the market before it is ready. Its manufacturing facility is located in Shenzhen (China) and its sales operation is located in Hong Kong. For all practical purposes, I would say that this is a Chinese company.

The company was founded in 1959, and has produced professional flash units since 1967. In 2007, the company introduced Di622, its first dedicated flash aimed at the DSLR TTL-market.

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