I'll preface my question by saying that I own two D700 cameras and my results have moved up to an entirely different level with them. When I transitioned from the D200 to the D700, I assessed it not as an evolutionary change, but a revolutionary one. It raised the bar by an order of magnitude. I am neither a Nikon hater nor a D700 disliker. I love both.
But now -- my problem. My second D700 body is off for service, including replacing the hot shoe because of problems with communication between the camera and SB-800 flashes. I was informed today that I am in for a hot shoe replacement on this body and when I asked if that was unusual, I was informed that this has not been an unusual repair -- they have replaced "a lot" of them.
Again, I am not complaining about my D700 cameras -- just their hot shoes -- and I think it is high time that Nikon acknowledges there is possibly a problem. In the meantime, I am going to get a flash bracket of some sort and move my SB800s off of the hot shoe, both to move the light source farther from the lens axis and to take the strain, that it appears the camera cannot take.
I'm not calling for a revolt or a march on Nikon or a class-action suit. I have no thought of changing brands or replacing either of my bodies or anything else rash. But I'd be interested in other D700 users' experiences with their hot shoes and Nikon flashes on same. This marks the 3rd repair I have needed on a D700 -- and that is the third Nikon body I have had to have repaired in 40+ years -- two times now for hot shoes. Coincidence?
#1. "RE: D700 problem with hot shoe?" In response to Reply # 0
as i recall, early on, there were numerous posts about repairs for the D700 hot shoe problem. If I remember correctly, the tolerance of the hotshoe was a bit loose allowing the flash to move enough communication with the camera was lost. some brave souls tried tapping on the top edges of the shoe with a hammer to bend them down a bit solving the problem in some cases at least.
____________________________________________________________________ When no one is looking, Pigs can walk on they're hind legs
#3. "RE: D700 problem with hot shoe?" In response to Reply # 1 Sun 29-Jul-12 01:42 PM by Bu Lai En
Genesee Depot, US
>as i recall, early on, there were numerous posts about >repairs for the D700 hot shoe problem. If I remember >correctly, the tolerance of the hotshoe was a bit loose >allowing the flash to move enough communication with the >camera was lost. some brave souls tried tapping on the top >edges of the shoe with a hammer to bend them down a bit >solving the problem in some cases at least.
I was one of those that adjusted the hot shoe by carefully pressing down at several points along the length of each L shaped legs to close the gap. I used my drill press (turned off of course) with a squared off 3/8 inch diameter rod in the chuck. This really worked! BUT it took sometime before I noticed that my manual focus was out, but my auto focus was right on.
One of my photography experts said the problem could be that the manual focus uses the prism mirror to verify focus but autofocus does not. So, the act of me pushing down on these contacts may have thrown out the alignment of the prism, but I'm not sure since I had also dropped the camera once.
Why didn't I notice this out of focus problem earlier? I thought it was my poor shooting technique or manual focus abilities. After carefully shooting to eliminate poor technique to test manual focus I determined there was actually something wrong with my D700 and it wasn't me. I finally sent it in for repair with copies of my out of focus test photos. Nikon did a wonderful job of repairing the out of my warranty camera by replacing the rubber grips, focusing screen, card holder door AND replacing the hot shoe. This cost me $224 USD plus the cost of me shipping the camera to Nikon. I have not had a problem since with my SB900 firing erratically, so the replacing of the hot shoe and what ever else Nikon did to fix the manual focus did fix the flash issue too.
In conclusion: 1. I wouldn't push down on the L shaped legs. 2. The erratic flash firing is, I think, a Nikon problem that should be fixed by Nikon by sending it in for repair under warranty - if the camera still is under warranty, or providing a complaint to see if Nikon will repair without charge. I could not try this because of me making adjustments to the contacts. Good luck!
Update: I just read ajdooley's comment that he has replaced his hotshoe 2 or 3 times already, so my currently working hotshoe may begin loosening up it's contacts again. I have to admit that the pressing down technique I used had to be done periodically to maintain a good connection. Based on this, I think the Nikon flash connection design should be changed to similar connection Canon uses which consists of a thumbscrew that firmly pushes the unit onto the contacts - however, I have read there have been issues with that design too, but not related to erratic flashing. If erratic flashing starts up again, I will just go with the off-camera connection rather than sending it in for a new hotshoe. In any case, something needs to be done to permanently fix this problem.
#2. "RE: D700 problem with hot shoe?" In response to Reply # 0
I had the hotshoe problem with D700. The hotshoe exhibits some odd misfires when communicating with the flash. I experienced frequent unwanted low-power discharges; almost as if the flash were “loose”, even when fully secured. Then I shipped to be repaired at APS spending about $300. At the studio I work, there were 6-7 D700 had the same problems.
Now I use "water guard (WG-AS3)", when I place SB900 on hotshoe of D700 or even D800e.
#4. "RE: D700 problem with hot shoe?" In response to Reply # 2
I have a D200, the first Digital I purchased, and a D700. I opened Nikonians tonight to ask about the very problem you posted. I have had my D700 for over a year with no problems. I am in Boston now helping my first grandson celebrate his 2nd birthday. I brought my D700 with a SB910 and SAB900 flash.When I tried taking pictures, neither flash would work when attached to the flash shoe of the D700 . I tried both flashes on my daughter's D200 and they worked perfectly. I was able to take some pictures with my D700 by shooting the SB910 or the SB900 remotely by using the pop up flash on the camera as commander. This is the first time that this problem has occurred. I was hoping that I had just pushed a wrong button or changed a menu setting somewhere by mistake, and someone on the forum could advise me of a possible solution. But from reading your post I probably need to send the camera to Nikon for repair. Do you agree? Thank you, Mike
#6. "RE: D700 problem with hot shoe?" In response to Reply # 0
Update: I got one of my D700 bodies back, with a new hot shoe. It is DEFINITELY tighter and the SB-800 more rigid than on the one that has had problems again. But... try this before you send the camera off:
-- Clean the contacts ob both the camer hot shoe and the flash. -- Mount the flash on the camera. If it is loose, gently press it backward , and if it resumes functioning correctly, the issue is a loose or "sloppy-loose" hot shoe. Before you spend $200+, I'd be inclined to try the water guard recommended elsewhere in this thread and or go to a flash bracket and connection to the hot shoe. That puts less stress on the camera hot shoe and reduced red eye substantially. I don't recommend trying to bend the hotshoe closed a little, as some have done. There are parts under it and dinging them is a distinct possibility -- probability in my clumsy case!
I am NOT a camera repairman -- but this worked for me. I am now more convinced than ever, that the D700 hot shoe is NOT strong enough to take the use many of us subject it to when using Nikon flashes. It seems to "open up" under use, causing insufficient contact with the contacts and thus, disabling communication between the flash and camera.