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Thread: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

  1. #1
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    guys, seriously need your help here.

    this is the set-up that didn't work:

    Body: D70
    Lens: 50mm f/1.4 AIS
    Flash: SB-400
    Setting : Manual aperture at f4 and shutter at 1/250 ; ISO 200 ; In-camera flash setting at "Manual" mode at 1/4


    Problem: The shutter could not be depressed. Error code r04.

    My guess is since the lens is a non-cpu lens, there is no metering and so the in-camera flash setting should be "Manual".

    but how come the shutter could not be activated?

    i have searched this forum but could not find any relevant thread.

    The SB-400 flash Operating Manual states that it could be used with a D70.

    all advice is most appreciated. thank you in advanced.


  2. #2
    Senior Member cichlid's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by B-setting View Post
    guys, seriously need your help here.

    this is the set-up that didn't work:

    Body: D70
    Lens: 50mm f/1.4 AIS
    Flash: SB-400
    Setting : Manual aperture at f4 and shutter at 1/250 ; ISO 200 ; In-camera flash setting at "Manual" mode at 1/4


    Problem: The shutter could not be depressed. Error code r04.

    My guess is since the lens is a non-cpu lens, there is no metering and so the in-camera flash setting should be "Manual".

    but how come the shutter could not be activated?

    i have searched this forum but could not find any relevant thread.

    The SB-400 flash Operating Manual states that it could be used with a D70.

    all advice is most appreciated. thank you in advanced.


    At the time the SB400 was launched, only the D40 can manual control the SB400. Maybe that's the reason.

  3. #3
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by cichlid View Post
    At the time the SB400 was launched, only the D40 can manual control the SB400. Maybe that's the reason.
    thanks for the reply bro. but in the Operating Manual of the SB-400, there is mention that it is compatible with D70.

    that's why i am still scratching my head......

  4. #4
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by B-setting View Post
    thanks for the reply bro. but in the Operating Manual of the SB-400, there is mention that it is compatible with D70.

    that's why i am still scratching my head......
    depends what is the meaning of 'compatible'.
    If you mount the D70's kit lens, the AFS DX 18-70mm and the SB400, full TTL functionality works. So that means it's "compatible"
    Sorry I can't be of more help.
    Exploring! :)

  5. #5
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Tried without a flash?

    The Err is a camera malfunction code. The R04 is a buffer size of how many shots are left in the buffer.
    Michael Lim
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  6. #6
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Btw, the D70 isn't compatible with AIS lenses. Try it again with the 18-70 kit lens and see if you still have a problem.
    Michael Lim
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  7. #7
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    depends what is the meaning of 'compatible'.
    If you mount the D70's kit lens, the AFS DX 18-70mm and the SB400, full TTL functionality works. So that means it's "compatible"
    Sorry I can't be of more help.
    thnks for reply bro. yes, AF lens + SB-400 combo worked perfectly well. i have tried that.

    yeah, perhaps that is what it meant in the SB-400 Operating Manual... ha ha...

  8. #8
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Tried without a flash?

    The Err is a camera malfunction code. The R04 is a buffer size of how many shots are left in the buffer.
    hi zac, thanks for reply.

    yes, my bad. the r04 is not an error code as i found out later. it indicates that i was shooting in RAW mode and the buffer was 4 frames.

    anyway, yes, i have tried using the manual lens without flash and the shutter release worked perfectly.

    the reason i posted this thread is actually to see if anybody have this problem when they combined a SB-400 with a manual lens. apparently, without metering, and with the SB-400 mounted on the hot shoe, it disables the shutter button, and consequently the flash.

    Last edited by B-setting; 13th January 2010 at 10:54 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    Btw, the D70 isn't compatible with AIS lenses. Try it again with the 18-70 kit lens and see if you still have a problem.
    zac, the D70 can be used with AIS lenses, but without metering. so everything would be in "Manual" mode. I have used an AIS lens together with the built-in flash (on "Manual" again) with no problem.

    i think there is a broken link between the hot shoe and the manual lens and the camera body....

    anyway, thanks again for all the comments.

  10. #10
    Senior Member zac08's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by B-setting View Post
    zac, the D70 can be used with AIS lenses, but without metering. so everything would be in "Manual" mode. I have used an AIS lens together with the built-in flash (on "Manual" again) with no problem.

    i think there is a broken link between the hot shoe and the manual lens and the camera body....

    anyway, thanks again for all the comments.
    I think that's the problem. Because you're using it without metering, the flash is not able to communicate with the camera in terms of amount of light to be used. Might be a issue with just the SB-400 as it is meant to be a simple flash for iTTL or TTL usage.
    Michael Lim
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  11. #11
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by zac08 View Post
    I think that's the problem. Because you're using it without metering, the flash is not able to communicate with the camera in terms of amount of light to be used. Might be a issue with just the SB-400 as it is meant to be a simple flash for iTTL or TTL usage.
    Yeah I agree on that.
    In fact i'm slightly surprised there were some remarks that it can be used in manual flash mode with the D40. Quite interesting...

    TS, if you have another speedlight (eg. sb600 or sb800) that can be intentionally set to manual mode, try again with your AIS lens. If this combo works, then it's likely the sb400 is only in TTL mode with your D70.
    Exploring! :)

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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Can sb400 do manual flash exposure such as +3 EV ? or control the power output like 1/2 to 1/32 like the D40 ?

  13. #13

    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    The SB-400 Manual clearly states that manual operation of the flash is only possible with D40. D70 does not know how to talk to it.
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    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedSuns85 View Post
    Can sb400 do manual flash exposure such as +3 EV ? or control the power output like 1/2 to 1/32 like the D40 ?
    yes you can, provided you are using AF lens in AF mode. the in-camera menu setting for flash can be set to "Manual", following which, you could tweak the power output to 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 or FULL.


    [only speaking from D70 perspective]


  15. #15
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    The SB-400 Manual clearly states that manual operation of the flash is only possible with D40. D70 does not know how to talk to it.
    thanks for this clarification michael. appreciate it!

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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by B-setting View Post
    yes you can, provided you are using AF lens in AF mode. the in-camera menu setting for flash can be set to "Manual", following which, you could tweak the power output to 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 or FULL.


    [only speaking from D70 perspective]

    icic Thanks, because I read somewhere that sb400 can only manual D40 . Not sure which "manual" function it refers to

  17. #17
    Senior Member B-setting's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by RedSuns85 View Post
    icic Thanks, because I read somewhere that sb400 can only manual D40 . Not sure which "manual" function it refers to
    the SB400 is a very very basic flash. unlike its big brothers SB 600, SB 800 and SB 900, it does not have any switch that allows us to choose "Auto" or "Manual". So we have to do settings in-camera.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by B-setting View Post
    yes you can, provided you are using AF lens in AF mode. the in-camera menu setting for flash can be set to "Manual", following which, you could tweak the power output to 1/16, 1/8, 1/4 or FULL.


    [only speaking from D70 perspective]

    If I use Flash EV and reduce the value, eg. -1.0EV, wouldn't that be the same thing as going to manual mode (I don't even know if there is such a mode with my D80) and reducing the flash power from 1/8 to 1/16, for example?
    Exploring! :)

  19. #19

    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZerocoolAstra View Post
    If I use Flash EV and reduce the value, eg. -1.0EV, wouldn't that be the same thing as going to manual mode (I don't even know if there is such a mode with my D80) and reducing the flash power from 1/8 to 1/16, for example?
    Technically, no, it wouldn't.

  20. #20
    Senior Member ZerocoolAstra's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to use SB-400 in manual mode?

    do explain please!
    0EV to -1.0EV is a reduction of 1 stop of light.

    1/8 power to 1/16 power is also a reduction of 1 stop of light.
    Exploring! :)

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