R1C1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight System

6 Reviews

Product 4803



The ultimate Speedlight system for creative, wireless close-up photography; intuitive controls and exceptional flexibility.
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5 / 5

Based on 6 Reviews

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  • 4

    Good Design but High Operating Cost

    Posted by Shutterbug on September 16, 2012

    I have the flash with the controller so I can use it with my D3 as well as my other Nikon SLRs. I also have four flash heads.

    The images I´ve been able to obtain with this flash sometimes just leave me in awe. I´ve used a ring flash for years but this one has made my ring flash obsolete. For macro I often use my 105 mm macro lens and the flash is excellent for that. I do a lot of bellows work as well, sometimes complete with extension tubes. With those technologies needless to say, I have virtually no light at all especially at F40. But the flash, for me at least, seems powerful enough to get me awesome images though sometimes that´s at ISO 800 or 1,600 instead of 200. In those difficult shots though I use at least three flash heads, sometimes four. This doesn´t just get me enough light but also allows me to illuminate behind the subject when desirable. The flash and its accessories are well thought out, excellent designs. It´s the flash I recommend now in my Macro Photography seminars. But, that said, there are also issues.

    My biggest complaint is the cost of the batteries. It costs me $85 to replace all my batteries and considering the number of images I do in a season, I go through a lot of replacements. It quickly came to the point where I couldn´t afford to use it as often as I´d like. I solved this by finding rechargeable batteries that seem to work. The problem with them is that they have about half the power of the non chargeable ones and as a result fail quicker. The voltages are a little higher too but so far that hasn´t damaged anything, at least not yet. The chargers aren´t reliable either, sometimes a battery is not charged. But I bought enough of the batteries and two chargers which together enable me to use the flash extensively in the field. Even so, despite the fine design of this flash, it´s clear the designers don´t have to pay for batteries, if they had to pay for batteries I bet they´d have gone with AA batteries instead.

    The only other complaint is the size of the carrying case and the time it takes to set up. I could wish for a smaller case to carry everything and I wish there was some way to cut down on the set up times. The other problem is changing lenses is a real pain since you have to first disassemble the flash and then mount it on another lens. But alas, this isn´t the fault of the design, it they solved these problems I probably will not have liked the flash. So I guess you do have to put up with some issues for awesome images.

  • 5

    Handy, with limitations

    Posted by MO on March 22, 2012

    Easy to setup, light and extremely handy. Nevertheless, the two head system lacks power at the very small apertures often required for macro shots: the guide number of one SB-R200 head is 10 (m, ISO 100) and about 14 for two. You need exactly 9 of them to get the output of a single SB-600 flash (square root of the sum of the GNs to the square).
    The 3V CR123A Lithium batteries required for the flashes and the commander (one for each) are quite expensive and their physical dimensions are not standard (diameter of about 16mm, and length between 32 and more than 36mm, depending on the brand). The 16x32mm size fits well. I got close to 400 shots with a set of fresh batteries. Rechargeable batteries may be usable, but their voltage of about 3.6V could damage the units.

  • 5

    Excellent product - very versitile

    Posted by Marty on November 8, 2011

    I purchased this product to get more serious about my micro photopraghy and even though that interest has not developed as I had hoped I find this kit one of the most versitile items I own.

    I use it for portrait lighting, micro, and almost anytime I plan to use a flash this unit gets used in one capacity or another.

    I use two SB900´s, an SB800 and the Nikon R1C1 almost everytime I need to use flash!

    Thanks Nikon for an extremely versitile flash system.

  • 4

    excellent macro flash, clumsy lens attachents

    Posted by Frank on November 7, 2011

    The R1C1 macro flash is a near perfect flash unit for macro photography, probably the best macro flash ever designed by any camera company. The wireless flash units are completely cable-less and can easily be steered with most pop-up flashes in commander mode so that the large commander unit is really not necessary unless you have Nikon that has no pop-up.
    The design would be perfect had Nikon not shot itself into the foot by constructing a lens attachment that can only be described clumsy at best. The large plastic ring to which the macro flash heads are attached is huge!!! Tough it fits quite well into the supplied adapter rings and holds surprisingly tight it is less then ideal for lenses that extract and retreat. It works perfectly with older Nikon lenses that in addition to their front lens element have a screw-on attachment ring for lens-hoods like the 105 mm Micro Nikkor. There the ring adapter can be attached to the lens hood ring thus not affecting or weighing the front lens. This does not work with all modern Micro Nikkors, where the hoods are no longer screwed on. Ironically Nikon recognized this flaw for the older 60 mm Nikkor, which has no seperate hood attachment ring at all and therefore supplies the UR-5 with which the flash ring can be attached to the lens barrel.
    For the modern lenses where the front element does not move during focusing this is not a big deal because here the attachment roing can be screwed to the front lens. However, several new macros including the newest 40 mm DX have moving front lens elements that would suffer considerable wear or even damage if the flash is attached directly to the front lens. An sad, unforgivable design flaw of this flash. Therefore this flash unfortunately cannot possibly be rated as excellent.

  • 5

    Product Review

    Posted by Mike on May 12, 2011

    This is an amazing product. I use it both for macro photography (or as Nikon says, Micro) and I use it as a lighting system for product shots, portraits, etc. The light from the flash heads is nice, very easy to get a nice soft light from. This system is very flexible (not like if you bought a flash ring) and comes with more than I could ask for. Even the case it comes in is well built...although it could be more flexible...but thats my only complaint about this system.

  • 5

    Worth the Price

    Posted by dmbNik on August 2, 2010

    I go back with Nikon Camera and lenses about 20 years. When I was much younger I loved taking photos and was almost always with my manual film camera - I had a great love for photography in my youth. Over the years with life changes such as Military Service, Family, Job and responsibilities, I had for a long time put my photo equipment on the back burner and only got it out on occasion. Earlier this year I upgraded to a D700 and my photography took off with my interest returning in full force. Thanks Nikon for putting Photography back in my life.. On to the Review; I recently began doing Micro Photography using my D700 and trusty 105mm Nikkor Lens (older version). Using nothing more than the D700 and the 105mm Nikkor Lens, I was getting very nice results. Depending on personal needs Micro Photography can be demanding when it comes to proper lighting. Some prefer to hand hold using natural light and just crank up the ISO. That certainly works but for me I wanted to sync natural light with flash. I began using the pop up flash on my D700 and said wow, but I wanted more flexibility. I purchased the Nikon R1C1 Wireless Close-Up Speedlight System. I must say it is exceptionally easy to use, and comes with everything you need except the 3 batteries. I was taking my first photos in approx 25 minutes.
    Using the SU800 I can dial in exactly how much flash I need independent of each flash unit. One flash can be used as 1:1 output the other 1/3 or what ever makes the best photo. This system makes it easy to use in the field, In some situations I move one flash off the ring and position it slightly behind the subject to bring out some details in the shadows. This system makes good Micro Photography even better, and help captures the photo in high detail.
    When the background is distracting, I rotate the exposure to Manual with a sync speed of 250 and set the aperture to the highest f number. In almost all cases this puts the subject in perfect exposure with a blackened background. The camera and flash does all the heavy lifting - and you get the rewards. When used correctly the results are spectacular - without the ´´flash´´ look. Again, the system comes with everything you need including diffusers, clamp, and color filters. Don´t forget this can be used for general Portrait photography or in your studio for close ups. Bottom Line: It is a wonderful system. I take it with me in the field and hike miles with it attached to the lens.When something catches my eye it is ready to go in a flash ´´pardon the pun´´.