Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

The Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) is Nikon’s original flash system that uses optimized data communication between Speedlights and cameras. A variety of advanced features are achieved via a combination of Speedlights and CLS-compatible cameras*, this expands the possibilities of flash photography. CLS is composed of a variety of functions, as shown below. Available functions differ depending on the combination of Speedlights and camera used.

User-added image

*CLS-compatible cameras:
• FX-format/DX-format Nikon mirrorless cameras.
• FX-format/DX-format Nikon digital SLR cameras (except D1 series and D100), F6.
See the Speedlight compatibility chart for more detailed information.

Major features of i-TTL flash control

i-TTL flash control
A camera sensor meters reflected light from subjects via monitor preflashes before the main flash, then analyzes the information and adjusts the flash output. The number of monitor pre-flash and its amount are optimized for more precise flash output adjustment. When a G-/D-/E-type lens is attached, the distance information from the subjects is applied to determine the most appropriate output. 

Advanced Wireless Lighting
Wireless multiple flash photography is made possible with multiple Speedlights. Speedlights’ positions and flash settings can be adjusted
to enjoy various lighting choices. There are two control systems: Radio-controlled and optically-controlled.

Modeling illumination
A repeating pulse of light is fired consecutively, which allows you to confirm the lighting before shooting.

Flash Value (FV) lock
Based on an appropriate flash value which is determined with the monitor pre-flash, this automatically adjusts the flash amount even when you change composition, zooming or aperture to deliver proper exposure. Locking the flash amount enables photography with consistent and stable exposure.

Flash color information communication
When a camera’s white balance is set to Auto or Flash, it automatically selects an appropriate white balance according to the flash or the SB-500’s LED light conditions.

Auto FP high-speed sync
For i-TTL flash control and manual flash control, flash photography using a shutter speed faster than the camera’s own sync speed is enabled. This function automatically activates when the shutter speed exceeds the normal flash sync speed.

AF-assist illumination for multi-point AF
When it is difficult to focus on a subject in low light, this function projects AF-assist illumination compatible with multi-area AF and multi-point AF of the camera to achieve autofocus.

Unified flash control
This function can share various flash settings with Speedlights and cameras. Speedlight settings can be adjusted using a camera or Camera Control Pro 2 (optional). Settings executed on Speedlights are reflected on the camera and Camera Control Pro 2.

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