Nikon SB900 issues?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by ZEPHYR, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. ZEPHYR

    ZEPHYR TPF Noob!

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    Hola fellow shooters!

    I have been having over heating issues with my Nikon SB900 speedflash. It get too hot too fast and not sure why. I've used all sorts of diff batteries and still same ol crap. It's on my D300, so when I'm shooting rapidly the "speed" flash can't keep up with the shutter speed after 3 or 4 (if I'm lucky) shots.
    Anyone know what I may be doing wrong?

    Tanx a ton.:lmao:
     
  2. jackieclayton

    jackieclayton TPF Noob!

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    wow, i just posted a similiar complaint on another post... i will be stalking this thread in hopes of some good feedback
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Nothing. There's a fundamental design issue with the SB-900's thermal protection. This is exactly the reason why the SB-800 costs so much right now. Demand skyrocketed when it was discontinued.

    There is a lot of mis-information on the net, some people saying it's an outright silly feature in a flash whereas it is infact present in every flash. I have had the SB-800 cut out on me once during a wedding.

    In any case read your manual, it has instructions for bypassing the thermal override. It is over-engineered and somewhat safe to do, but bear in mind that it is completely overridden and it is possible to melt your flash head by firing successive shots with a flash at high power.
     
  4. nikonfxfan

    nikonfxfan TPF Noob!

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    Overheating comes from two things, overshooting and the power source.

    What mode are you in TTL? M? A? What type batteries are you using? What is the voltage output? Are you using a battery pack? Is it Nikon's battery pack or a third-party company that says it works? How far is your subject away from you?

    I tested my SB-900, to see what it's limits were. Shot over 1000 frames, TTL, no over heating, didn’t even raise the thermometer.

    Then I put the flash in “M” at ½ power, this will cause the flash to get warmer much quicker; (the output is like that of the sun). The thermometer increased after a short use. (even faster when the diffusion dome was on it at 90 degrees) You’ve got to expect this will happen.

    It’s a small portable light, which can produce a full-blast of light to that of a balanced light. It will be limited. If you need that many frames in that short of time, you may want to consider, secondary flash units (backups) or even portable lights.

    What would you rather have a flash that melts because it became so hot from overuse, (which is not warranty, because you didn’t read the manual) or a flash that shuts down to protect itself and your wallet?
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How about a flash that works as intended? If you think this is just a idle case of complaining then maybe you should hit up google just to see quite how wide spread this problem is. When wedding photographers come up to you and ask you if they can swap an SB-900 for an SB-800 for a day because they have an important shoot, you know you have a problem.
    When all initial advice is to turn off the thermal protection then you know you have a problem.
    Further more when world + dog disables thermal protection, but the repair claims for burnt bulbs do not suddenly increase you know you have a problem.

    You must be one of a lucky few who actually enjoys having an SB-900. I know 3 nightclub photographers who sold theirs and bought SB-600s instead because of thermal issues (800s are expensive these days and much sought after).


    I am all for thermal protection, but when the flash fails to fire 4 consecutive shots at full power you don't have thermal protection problems, you have major design issues!
     

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