SB-600 Flash not firing consistently


Nov 4, 2008
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#1
Hi all, my SB-600 has not been firing consistently recently on my D700.

When set to auto, the flash does not fire consistently.

When set to manual, the flash fires more consistently.

I am not sure if it is due to ageing battery but I tested the flash when all four batteries are fully charged.

Is this due to faulty flash unit?

Thanks.
 

Jun 2, 2012
821
16
18
Singapore when back at home
#2
Hello.

If the SB600 doesn't fire consistently when mounted on the D700 hot shoe, you may need to check if the D700 hot shoe is loose. Some D700 had this problem and needs the hot shoe to replaced at the service centre.

You may also clean the SB600 hot shoe contacts and the battery contacts and test it again with a fresh set of battery on another camera just to confirm if the problem is with the SB600 flash or the D700 hot shoe.
 

Nov 4, 2008
263
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#4
Thanks for the advice!
Hi, I tried the SB-600 on a D90 and the inconsistencies continues though not as bad as on the D700. I noticed that the SB-600 almost always indicates -2.7, -3.0 on its LCD screen. Does this mean the flash has insufficient power? The strange part is that when I switched to manual flash mode, the it fires much more consistently with the -2.7 or -3.0 on the LCD screen.
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#5
It is very strange you didn't mention how are the photos look like when you shooting with auto mode and manual mode.....

anyway,

I believe you are shooting with either very low ISO, very small aperture, or your subject is far far far away, that explain why it shows underexposed on the LCD screen, and the flash has already given full output, so the recycle is slow.

but when you switch to manual, the flash probably set at half power or even much lower power, and since the power out is lower, so the flash is able to recycle much faster.

if this is truth, your flash has noting wrong, your camera has noting wrong.
 

Jun 2, 2012
821
16
18
Singapore when back at home
#6
Hmm.

Well you have tried it out on another body. Basically it rules out the problem with the camera.

Also I am quite sure you are well versed enough to operate the camera & flash. If not have another Nikon user to check it out.

If the problem is confirmed to be the flash then it is time you send it in for a check up. Flash aren't safe to poke around inside. The high voltage can seriously hurt or kill a person.
 

Nov 4, 2008
263
0
16
#7
Thanks Catchlights.

I have actually tested using a variety of aperture ranging from f2 to f5.6. Object is usually near, say between 2 feet to 1 metre.

The image when flash not fired is dark. Some times the flash did fire but seem underpower and the image is even darker. It's like the camera thought the flash fired sufficient light and chose a faster shutter speed and lower ISO. I tested those shots in Aperture Priority mode.
 

Lighthouse

Deregistered
Aug 22, 2005
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#8
Check if you have accidentally turned on bracketing.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
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lil red dot
#9
Hi, I tried the SB-600 on a D90 and the inconsistencies continues though not as bad as on the D700. I noticed that the SB-600 almost always indicates -2.7, -3.0 on its LCD screen. Does this mean the flash has insufficient power? The strange part is that when I switched to manual flash mode, the it fires much more consistently with the -2.7 or -3.0 on the LCD screen.
-2.7, -3.0??
can you take a picture of the LCD and post up here?

Anyway things to check:
1. What is your Exposure compensation setting (EV)? set to zero.
2. What is your Flash exposure compensation setting (FV)? check on camera body and on flash LCD. Set to zero.
3. Check if your flash bracketing is turned on? Set to OFF
4. Check if your exposure bracketing is turned on? Set to OFF
5. Check your metering mode? Set to Matrix metering
6. Make sure your shutter speed is below 1/250 (for now).
 

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