problems with sb-800's

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by holga girl, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. holga girl

    holga girl TPF Noob!

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    so yesterday i shot a wedding. i was using my d700 with a new sb-800 and my d70 as back up with a sb-800 that is just under a year old. i first noticed a problem with the d70 and the old sb800 not firing consistently. i figured it was weak batteries, changed them, switched back to my d700 and the new flash and went about my business.

    then, i started having the same issue with the new sb-800. i changed the batteries and it was better for a few shots and then went back to not firing. so then i had to bounce back and forth between the 2 flashes, letting them sit for 10mins or so and then trading back again.

    i missed a lot of key shots as a result. what is also weird, is that the camera registered the flash info as 'did fire' in those shots.

    i have never had this issue before and i certainly can't have it again. the older flash has seen me through about 5 weddings and several shoots and the newer flash has done at least 5 portrait sessions with no issues.

    any thoughts?

    thanks,

    j
     
  2. Trenton Romulox

    Trenton Romulox TPF Noob!

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    I wish I could tell you what the problem was, but I really don't know. But I do know that I have this same issue with one of my two SB-800s. One of them has been consistently great through many battery cycles, but the other one doesn't fire nearly as consistently whether the batteries are new, or old. It hasn't really been a huge issue to me because I mostly do portraiture and still lifes that allow me to shoot again if the shot doesn't look how I want it, but I can definitely see the issues when it comes to weddings. I mean, that's one and done (sometimes, haha). I would just send it to Nikon and say, 'Hey, this isn't working properly, help me out.'

    P.S. My flashes are about the same age, so life span doesn't really play into mine, I don't think.
     
  3. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm wondering if one of the contacts isn't egnaging correctly. Gently push on each of the little 'points' on the flash and see if there is tension on them.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Indeed contacts are the first source of this. Check to make sure there's no corrosion. The Nikon flashes should have a self cleaning mating system meaning that they should scrape through any dust or corrosion when you mount the flash but this can also not be perfect.

    If all the contacts are fine I can only assume it's an internal fault and it's back to Nikon for them.
     
  5. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    I listened to 3 or 4 different videos of guys (pros in high visual/prestige jobs) giving tips on this or that where each one mentioned this trouble and said it was the camera's hot shoe that was the problem. One guy even opened it up and showed how to fix it right there in the video. He was being interviewed by some magazine or something and was credited with shooting the most recent (couple of?) Oscar ceremonies - so I guess he knew what he was saying.
     
  6. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I would appreciate a link to this if you could get it. It'd be worth knowing!

    The easiest thing that comes to mind is getting a clean pencil eraser and rubbing the contacts on the flash and the hotshoe and see if that helps.
     
  7. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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    OK I'll try... That was several weeks ago tho and there are maybe 100,000 camera related videos on youtube. :D Here I go...
     
  8. Bifurcator

    Bifurcator TPF Noob!

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  9. Sw1tchFX

    Sw1tchFX TPF Noob!

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    hmm, never had anything like that happen with my 600's.
     
  10. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    What batteries. I have the same issue. Depending on the batteries used, the flash overheats and shuts down. If you look inside the manual, it will tell you the recycle time of each battery used, NiCd.....NiMh.....Lithium and such. It also states that if used for continuous shooting, it will only shoot so much.

    More than likely, that's the problem. If I remember correctly, the NiMh (Nickel Metal Hydrides) are the best as far as recycling time and continuous shooting goes.

    Hope that helps

    ~Michael~
     
  11. holga girl

    holga girl TPF Noob!

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    thanks. i will look into that. will the camera register the flash as fired still? this happened on all the shots that did not fire.
     
  12. iflynething

    iflynething TPF Noob!

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    I haven't actually looked to see if the shot showed if the flash fired or anything. Usually, if I know it didn't fire, I delete the picture anyways, so I couldn't help you there. Sorry

    ~Michael~
     

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