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Subject: "SB-900 with intermittent flash failure" Previous topic | Next topic
Snappo Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2004Wed 15-May-13 10:21 PM
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"SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"


Tulsa, US
          

This is a new problem for me. It has occurred several times recently. And it is not related to heating, at least the temp gauge shows very low on the scale and shots are a minute or two apart in 60-70 degree temps. Has anyone else had this experience?

an old duffer with the time to have fun,
Jim

  

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Replies to this topic
Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
ScottChapin Moderator
15th May 2013
1
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
kodiak photo Silver Member
15th May 2013
2
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
Snappo Silver Member
16th May 2013
3
     Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
ScottChapin Moderator
16th May 2013
4
     Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
kodiak photo Silver Member
16th May 2013
5
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
franco1 Gold Member
16th May 2013
6
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
Snappo Silver Member
16th May 2013
7
     Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
ScottChapin Moderator
16th May 2013
8
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
MEMcD Moderator
16th May 2013
9
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
Snappo Silver Member
16th May 2013
10
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
blw Moderator
16th May 2013
11
Reply message RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure
Snappo Silver Member
16th May 2013
12

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberWed 15-May-13 11:10 PM
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#1. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 15-May-13 11:11 PM by ScottChapin

Powder Springs, US
          

It should be able to handle about 1 full power dump every 40 seconds without overheating. How long does it take to recover and how long does it take to cycle between flashes? What type of batteries are you using? Are they fresh?

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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kodiak photo Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013Wed 15-May-13 11:19 PM
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#2. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 0


Montrιal, (Qc), CA
          

*
Hey Jim,

Still today, I occasionally get a call from one of my teams saying
that they have a problem with one or more flash units. Unmista-
kably, no problem was found other than the last user did not put
back the units to zero! The zero values were established by me
and should be restored every time the equipment comes back
to the studio.

Since I have been using the SB 900, knock on wood, I never had
to report a failure from these units. Very, very reliable flash units.

This intro to demonstrate that sometimes some special dialings
are required to adjust to given situations, forgetting to put them
back to their "usual" place.

Since you do not describe the type of failure you encountered,
• check if everything is setup the way it should be
• make sure that you are getting a "confirmation of focus"! Under
certain setups conditions, the camera will not respond unless you
have good focus.
These are very common reasons why a SB 900 will not respond as
expected.

If you have controlled these two points and your problems should
persist, please describe what, when, how etc, the problems occur.

Vbrg

Kodiak
Groovy Shootings
Image Mιdia
www.kodiakmedia.at

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Snappo Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2004Thu 16-May-13 12:06 AM
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#3. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 2


Tulsa, US
          

Thanks for the comments. I use the Nikon D600 and SB-900 to shoot RV interiors. Images are used on their web site. Batteries are Enloops and are 100% charged between outings. I have to move, compose and focus between pictures. This likely eliminates the heat issue.

Failure to fire is obvious as I have started to check the monitor. Recycle is very fast as the subject is quite close; almost instantaneous. During Jan, Feb and March this was not a problem. Shooting style has not changed, focus is good with plenty of ambient light, so I doubt that focus is an issue.

As you may guess, I'm a bit frustrated. At this point the extra work is minimal, but I'm concerned. I loaned my back up 900 to our son for a church shoot, so temporarily I'm without a backup flash.

an old duffer with the time to have fun,
Jim

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 16-May-13 12:09 AM
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#4. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 3


Powder Springs, US
          

Try a factory reset by pressing and holding both green buttons.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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kodiak photo Silver Member Nikonian since 28th Feb 2013Thu 16-May-13 12:17 AM
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#5. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 3


Montrιal, (Qc), CA
          


*

Jim,

Scott is giving you a good tip: bring all to default settings
and start from there. This is very much like rebooting a
computer because that little devil contains a couple of these…

If you are sure that your shooting setup is giving a green light
in the viewfinder as you are focusing very close…
then, since I never encounter another problem than clumsiness,
I am afraid not to be able to help you more. Sorry!

Good luck

Kodiak
Groovy Shootings
Image Mιdia
www.kodiakmedia.at

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •
In photography, light is free but catching it is not!
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

  

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franco1 Gold Member Nikonian since 10th Mar 2009Thu 16-May-13 12:45 AM
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#6. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 0


Athelstone, AU
          

Hi Jim,
I'm having intermittent faults as well with my D700 and SB900 combination but what I have found is that the SB900 works fine on my D300 with no faults at all. Also, strangely enough, my SB800 works fine on the D700 with no faults so I have now resorted to using this combination for important shoots. I'm actually wandering whether the fault is with the camera rather than the flash.

If you can, try your SB900 on another camera and see if the fault still occurs. I would be very interested to know your findings.

Cheers
Elio

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Snappo Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2004Thu 16-May-13 01:13 AM
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#7. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 6


Tulsa, US
          

Thanks again for the feedback!

If this rain decides to go away, I will be back to work when it clears up and yes I will switch camera's.

I only shoot about 300 interior images on a given day. Seems to take an equal amount of time to edit them. Keeping distortion down in close quarters can be a challenge.

an old duffer with the time to have fun,
Jim

  

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ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter MemberThu 16-May-13 01:25 AM
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#8. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 7


Powder Springs, US
          

There have been historical problems with the hot shoe on the D200. I have not heard of that for a long time though. See if there is more play on the body that has the problem, if the problem follows the body.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA
Nikonians Team Member

  

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MEMcD Moderator In depth knowledge in various areas Nikonian since 24th Dec 2007Thu 16-May-13 02:54 AM
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#9. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Hi Jim,

I assume the Speedlight is fully seated and locked in the hotshoe.

Did you try cleaning the electrical contacts on the flash and the cameras hotshoe?
I would recommend using a drop of DeOxit Cavailable at radio shack) on a Q-tip.

Best Regards,
Marty

  

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Snappo Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2004Thu 16-May-13 11:23 AM
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#10. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 9


Tulsa, US
          

I'll give the DeOxit a try, good suggestion.
Thanks

an old duffer with the time to have fun,
Jim

  

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blw Moderator Awarded for his high level of expertise in various areas Nikonian since 18th Jun 2004Thu 16-May-13 02:00 PM
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#11. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 0


Richmond, US
          

Is the "failure" simply not firing, or is it more drastic than that? Reading the thread makes me wonder if the problem is agonizingly slow recycle - which might *possibly* be bad batteries or contacts. Corrosion or oxidation on the battery contacts is a possibility and is easy to fix per Marty's recommendation). If the batteries are known good, it's also possible that the capacitor is intermittent. Do you get a recycle ready indication?

I've had corrosion on battery contacts on two or three different flashes over the years.

_____
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member

My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!

  

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Snappo Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Apr 2004Thu 16-May-13 08:48 PM
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#12. "RE: SB-900 with intermittent flash failure"
In response to Reply # 11


Tulsa, US
          

The recycle ready "Red" light is on almost immediately, as the target is quite close inside various RV's. My Enloops are quite new and used very little prior to the gig. They are fully charged and I even rotate a complete set each time I go out.

I'm reading up on focus options in Darrell Young's "Mastering the Nikon D600". It seems the problem has occurred primarily in very low light levels. Some one mentioned that the flash may not fire if there is no clear focus on the target. Thanks to all the Nikonians who have supplied suggestions that are causing this old duffer to dig more deeply into the camera settings.

Indoor architecture with speedlight is a new world for me, even though I have taken thousands of pictures, using digital, since the early D70 days.

an old duffer with the time to have fun,
Jim

  

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