Get Auto-Zoom to Work on New SB-800 (w/D80)?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by blash, May 19, 2009.

  1. blash

    blash TPF Noob!

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    Somehow one of the local Ritz Camera's had one single SB-800 left on the shelf (I know, really?), so I picked it up for $390 before sales tax. I bring it home, charge up some batteries, everything looks fine except for the zoom. With a CPU lens (I've tested this on my 18-135, 55-200, and 50mm f/1.4 which all have the pins) the zoom label has an M over it, meaning that it's a forced manual setting even though the pre-flash, TTL, BL, and FP icons (indicating CLS compatibility) are all showing. Pressing the right/left arrows of the d-pad (the zoom in and zoom out buttons respectively, according to the manual) does nothing, and according to the manual if the zoom is in manual it should change the zoom factor one way or the other. Went into the custom setting menu, and found the Zoom M setting, which is set to off. Switching it on changes the icon to a zoom icon with an x next to the M, and I still can't affect the zoom setting.

    Am I missing something here? Some setting on the camera or flash? The manual from what I've seen for myself (so I know it's not just me) and from what I read on the internet is notoriously difficult to get through so I'm hoping that's leading to my woes here. My understanding is that I should be able to just slap on the SB-800, slap on a modern lens, and it should automatically set the zoom according to the focal length of the lens. Doesn't really matter if the zoom function is a gimmick or not, it's an advertised feature so I'm wondering if I should call Nikon now.

    As mentioned in the title, I'm trying this on a Nikon D80. Any ideas? Everything else seems to work and from the test shots I've made I like what I've bought very, very, very much :D

    EDIT: WELL ****. Look what happens when I use Google - apparently attaching the included diffuser dome sticks the zoom level to 14. I wouldn't think that a bit of Tupperware not physically part of the flash in the front would be picked up by a sensor in the camera. Guess I'll have to pick up a decent 3rd party diffuser then.

    you may delete this thread now...
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2009
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Err no there's a specific reason the zoom locks at 14mm when using the diffuser and that is that otherwise the entire diffuser wouldn't be lit up, thus given that just the front would light up you wouldn't actually be diffusing anything and the tupperware would be pointless, unless that is you actually want reduced battery life and output power for no reason.

    Incidentally the sensor for this is on the bottom of the flash head (that little triangle switch right next to the rail that holds the diffuser in place), so if you want to defeat it all you need to do is cut that section out of the diffuser.

    Double incidentally most decent 3rd party diffusers will also set this off for the exact reason that it wouldn't work if the head is zoomed beyond 14mm.

    The Flash manual even says when using the diffuser for additional bounce light you should pull out the wide angle deflector before mounting the diffuser on the flash head.
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If you look at the diffuser and the flash, the diffuser presses in a small pin into a hole on the side of the flash head that activates this feature.

    You see, google works! :D

    Now... *I* wish I could find another SB-800 for $390!!!!!
     

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