Coolpix 950 / 990 / 995 Flash-adapter
This adapter allows the safe connection of non-Nikon strobes
to the Coolpix 9xx digital cameras.
The Coolpix 9xx series are some of the best digital cameras on
the market especially the 990.
However the internal flash is too close to the lens which results
in red eyes in all portrait shots.
The internal flash also drains the camera batteries and extends
the time until the camera is ready after each shot.
Therefore an external flash is one of the most useful
It is good that Nikon added a connector for an external flash
even though they used a Nikon flash connector in lieu of a hot
They recommend to use the $$ Nikon-flash cable and the $$
Nikon-flash adapter to mount a $$ Nikon flash.
Any other flash can damage the camera and such damage is not
covered by warranty.
If you are using a Nikon flash or another flash whose sync
voltage doesn't exceed 6 Volts you probably will not need an
I use the Canon Speedlite 300TL that came with my T90 which I
The Speedlite 300TL is powerful, is power adjustable and has a
zoom reflector, and its sync voltage is only 3.5 Volts. which
makes it an ideal companion for the Coolpix.
I don't use the TTL functionality but I am planning to use it as
soon as I know hoe the Speedlite's interface works. If you know
please send me an e-mail.
The adapter works with any Strobe:
my Flash list and Kevin Bjorke's Flash list"
The coolpix flash socket:
Nikon uses a special connector for the eternal flash socket.
Until someone cones up with a compatible plug you'll have to buy
an original $$ flash cable.
All Nikon flash cables that I have seen so far had a white and a red wire and a
The shield is the ground (common) conductor.
The white wire is the flash trigger.
The red wire is the quench trigger.
Both outputs seem to be made with some sort of low voltage triac.
They are bipolar and will not switch off if there is too much current flowing.
Therefore it is recommended to always have a (100nF || 1MOhm) filter in series
with the outputs.
Nikon claims that the max. Voltage allowed at the output is 5V.
You will need a Nikon SC-18 (or similar) flash cable,
because the connector is not available anywhere.
Cut the cable in two pieces (and use the second half to build an
adapter for a friend).
The pinout of the connector like this:
This adapter is a relative of my SX-70 flash
A Lithium cell provides power for the camera side circuitry.
Anything in between 3 and 5V will do.
A button cell with soldering contacts will last a long time.
R1 / C1 is a high pass filter. The coolpix output seems to be
some kind of thyristor output.
Without this filter, the dc current will keep the output active
until the adapter is disconnected.
R2 limits the current through the LED of the coupler. A
miniature 3V Light bulb does also work.
High Voltage Output Section
For Strobes with a trigger voltage of 25 V or more:
The optocoupler is one with a Triac output, MOC 3021 (Motorola)
R3 / C3 form a high pass filter that prevents a steady current
which might keep the triac open.
Low Voltage Output Section
For Strobes with a trigger voltage of less than 25 V:
This version uses an ordinary transistor-output coupler. These
are directional, The bridge rectifier makes sure the polarity is
I am not selling these adapters, mainly because I can't get
those Nikon connectors, and Nikon wants 60$ for one cable (which
they have probably manufactured somewhere in the third world for
20 cents a piece).
If you have any questions please send me an email
Marais has built a (low voltage) adapter to connect a Metz
CL45 flash to his Coolpix 990
He sent me a photo and the circuit diagram of it
images copyright by Quinton