Nikon developing hotshoe-based wireless flash triggers

Nikon has patented a 'remote wireless adapter' that attaches to a Speedlight's hotshoe foot.

Nikon patent

Nikon appears to be working on a set of radio receivers for its hotshoe Speedlights.

Though the company already makes a flash with radio built in—the SB-5000—there is no way of adding radio capabilities to older optical-based flashes, such as the SB-700. And you currently can only trigger the flash with another SB-5000, or with one of Nikon’s weird dongles that fits into the side of a camera.

A patent filed late last year however shows plans for a ‘remote wireless adapter’ which does not yet appear in the company’s lineup. It physically attaches to the bottom of an existing flash, communicating with a ‘master wireless adapter’ (WR-R11) on its behalf. Chances are, this will be a radio receiver with a hotshoe on it, similar to third-party flash triggers, and to solutions from rival camera makers, such as the Sony FA-WRR1 or Olympus FR-WR. Canon doesn’t make an equivalent receiver module but the role is taken up by the third-party Phottix Laso.

The patent is originally written in Japanese, and auto-translated, so it’s hard to glean the exact specs. And camera companies patent a lot of things that never make it to market. But a proper flash triggering system from Nikon is long overdue.

What would you want out of a Nikon flash trigger?

David Selby
David is a keen photographer and has been editor of Lighting Rumours since 2010. When not writing about lighting, he works as a data scientist at the University of Manchester, UK.