Question about Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

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Flash blows out the image!!!

When shooting a wedding recently several of the images were terribly overexposed, then 20 or so were okay, then 5 more blown out, then thirty okay, then more extremely overexposed and so on. The overexposed images were to the point that the entire frame was almost entirely white. The flash is nearly three years old. I am shooting using direct ttl and have never had a problem before. Any suggestions????

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Hi ,

it could be possible that the light sensor (the device under the red transparent plastic) in front of the flash is already failing. to test,set the camera mode to auto then cover the sensor with your hand and do some test shots, the images should be overexposed if the sensor is covered, then shoot some photos without covering the sensor, the images should be properly exposed , otherwise it might already be a light sensor failure .

Posted on Oct 13, 2008

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Ttl auto does not work

Digital Camera Fully Compatible, Newly Developed S-TTL System "S-TTL" enables TTL auto shooting by an external strobe for a digital SLR camera as well as for a point & shoot digital camera.
INON S-TTL auto strobe supports any manufactures' model providing highly accurate exposure control.
Film camera era without strobe selection problem TTL stands for "Through The Lens" and TTL auto strobe system controls flash amount to provide correct exposure based on calculation by camera's internal sensor metering reflecting strobe light from a subject through the lens. This TTL system meters actual light amount reflecting from a subject providing accurate exposure.
When we start with the history of underwater TTL auto strobe, underwater camera?"NIKONOS V" released in 1984 was the first to provide automatic TTL flash control for underwater strobe SB-102, SB-103 succeeded by NIKONOS V compatible underwater strobes form other manufactures. The 5 pin electrical sync connector for NIKONOS V is most popular and widely adopted to connect an underwater strobe and underwater film camera (underwater camera/housing).
A film SLR camera has flexibility to select an underwater strobe. As far as housing has NIKONOS type electrical sync connector and properly wired, automatic TTL flash control is usable with any TTL auto strobe like Nikon SB-105, INON Z-220, Z-22 connected via electrical sync cable.
NIKONOS type 5 pin electrical sync connector and NIKONOS V with INON Z-22 strobe
Film camera compatible strobe is not usable for a digital camera!? Underwater TTL strobe circumstances have been drastically altered with the spread of digital camera among divers. Some underwater housing for digital SLR camera has NIKONOS type electrical 5 pin sync connector as same as film camera housing. Since the housing has same NIKONOS type sync connector, existing film camera compatible underwater strobe has been considered compatible with a digital SLR camera via 5 pin sync cable but happened to experience error message on the digital camera or blackout on an image even the strobe worked. Why this happened?
This is because automatic TTL strobe system difference between a film camera and a digital camera.

The film TTL auto system makes single flash while digital TTL auto system employs pre-flash type making two to three flashes. Film TTL auto strobe system starts firing at the same time the shutter opens and reflecting strobe light from a subject is recived at a film. The reflecting light on the film is metered by the sensor to determine when to cease firing for correct exposure. This process takes only about 1/1000 second.
In contrast, digital TTL auto strobe system can not calculate adequate exposure based on reflecting light from a subject since image sensor (CCD/CMOS) reflectivity is comparably low comparing to a film. So digital TTL strobe system gives preliminary flash for very short period of time (pre-flash) just before the shutter opens metering reflecting light from a subject by the sensor to calculate necessary amount of light for correct exposure and starts emitting main flash at the same time the shutter opens. Canon E-TTL and Nikon i-TTL employs this system.

When we connect conventional film camera compatible TTL strobe to pre-flash type digital SLR via sync cable, the strobe makes full dump by pre-flash signal then the shutter opens before the strobe has been fully charged resulting in quite under exposed image only with ambient light. Even two time flash compatible strobe like INON Z-220 strobe, does not fully support a digital TTL and force to use Manual flash mode.

Film SLR:
A strobe starts firing at the same time the shutter opens and quenches firing when correct exposure has been obtained.
A film compatible TTL strobe connected to a pre-flash type digital SLR via electrical cable flashes does not support TTL auto exposure resulting in synchronization only with first pre-flash or totally uncontrollable.
The birth of digital fully compatible S-TTL S-TTL auto compatible INON D-2000 strobe and Z-240 strobe works in TTL auto mode by simply setting their main dial to S-TTL position. A film camera seems to depend more on photographer's skill, experience and feel since the camera does not allow checking images on site. A digital camera allows us to check images right after shooting and enable to try to shoot again as much as we like. And high capacity memory card further allows to shoot hundreds of images. The digital camera makes entry level of underwater photography getting down and nowadays more people buy a digital SLR camera and underwater housing even they have just started underwater photography. However underwater photography gets more difficult because underwater strobe does not work in TTL auto.
INON is among the first to support digital TTL auto system with "S-TTL" auto mode equipped D-2000 strobe and Z-240 strobe.
The proper name of S-TTL is "Optical Synch TTL". S-TTL enables to perform in TTL auto exposure as same as genuine TTL strobe from camera manufacture, based on camera's built-in flash light to use as a signal to be transmitted to a strobe. S-TTL uses digital camera's built-in flash light not as a light source but as like a controller to trigger S-TTL strobe.
The built-in flash of a digital camera makes weak flash (pre-flash) before main-flash to calculate exposure. This pre-flash is transmitted to S-TTL strobe to control the strobe to make pre-flash to a subject. The reflecting light from the subject goes through the camera's master lens to an image sensor then a processor calculates main flash light amount for correct exposure.?Finally the built-in flash makes main-flash which is transmitted to the S-TTL strobe to cause main-flash of the S-TTL strobe.

Digital camera's built-in flash lights are transmitted via an optical fiber to the
S-TTL strobe to make pre-flash and main-flash instead of the built-in flash.

Apr 30, 2010 | Olympus FL-20 TTL Flash

2 Answers

My images are being way over exposed at least 80 percent of the time using either of my sb 800s with my D3 has happened on several photoshoots whereas when I use the same flash with the D2X the images are...

D3 NOW THATS A CAMERA! Although I shoot with the Canon 5D Mark II, my hubby shoots Nikon and he currently has the D700, but I have been watching him go in and out with HIS exposure issues.

I will recommend two people that will change your life when it comes to NIKON, Scott Kelby and Joe McNally! Honestly these two gentlemen should be called the New Age Nikon Pioneers, they are amazing knowledgeable and trust me ready, willing and able to help us all with their blogs, online tutorials and mostly, their books.

Scott Kelby's Volume I II and III are a must as is Joe's book, the "Moment it Clicks." They are like you, me and my husband who will NOT read the manuals and understand them, their books are funny and as you read you will feel as if they are standing right next to you and just trotting along with you revery step. It's almost like they are stuffing money into our pockets, because that is what it feels like to us with our own wedding and portraiture business.

Tell me what you have been doing and what is the scenario what you would like to achieve and what you have tried.

ONE major important thing to remember of course is when you are getting too HOT (overexposed), try dialing down your compensation meter OR just fuddle around with your f-stop. ALWAYS start your flash power at +0 and make sure your ISO and shutter speed are at a ambiant mixing light source with your flash. Oh you can always bump up your shutter speed too.

When I enter a church here's my rule.....if low light I start at ISO 800 f 5.6 shutter speed (depends on the lens I am using), usually 60-80 on my 24-70 lens or 125 on my 70-200mm's a starting point.

Of course, when I move I realize I may have to re-adjust. I NEVER shoot in AV if low light, it is better to be in manual, AV works best when you have got liight! Just like TV mode.

Good luck and keep us posted! Excuse the poor type menship!

Oct 20, 2009 | Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

1 Answer

D300, SB-800 fires but no exposure.

Thats is odd.
When you hook everything up, do you turn on the flash last?
It sounds like the battery pack is giving the flash a different voltage then it should have causing incorrect readings and exposures.
I would send the pack back to Quantum(located in Ronkonkoma, NY) and have them check it.

Jul 13, 2009 | Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

1 Answer

Flashing negative sign

A few suggestions for outdoor flash too bright with SB-600.
1 - If flash is in the auto mode, try hitting the (-) symbol a few times to lower the flash output
2 - Quick fix for close shooting - pull down the diffuser. You loose about 2 stops of flash light and effect is much softer. Don't forget to raise it later or you might think you have the opposite problem
3 - On the camera side, you play with your ISO. Depending on the scene, changing ISO can increase or decrease effect of flash vs background. This can be tricky to predict in auto because the camera is doing calculations of its own.
4 - You can put the camera in aperture mode and set your apeture so that you get a good balance between flash and ambient light. The camera will adjust the shutter speed, which increases or decreases the effect of the background - while the flash remains a constant. This can be very effective in tricky lighting situations, but be prepared to take lots of test shots to get it right.
5 - You can put the flash in manual mode. That will give you a consistant fixed reduced flash output regardless of what the camera tries to change. You have to keep checking your display to see the effect, but with camera in auto this can be a winner.
6 - Finally, you can go "old school" and put both camera and flash in manual and find your best combination. When I'm pressed for time in tricky conditions I often do this by finding a good setiting for a fixed distance, and then adjusting my apeture up or down as I shoot closer or farther things. We had to do it like this back in the day, and with the histogram on the display, I can get dead on where the camera "brain" would get tricked.

Jun 30, 2009 | Nikon Speedlight SB-600 TTL Flash

1 Answer

Sb 800 and sb900 overexposing

It might be you are not making a good contact on your camera and flash .

Are you using a cord to get the flash off the camera . If so the cord could be intermittent .

Jan 26, 2009 | Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

1 Answer

Inconsistent exposure. even if i change my settings. but this is only sometimes. i can shoot twenty shots and they may all be perfect. but then for no apparent reason the exposure is either over or under...

There are dozens of causes of inconsistent exposure with automatic flash systems. More common ones are inadequate recycling time (shooting before the ready light comes on), weak batteries that lengthen the recycling time or an intermittent anomaly in the internal circuitry of the unit which can only be traced by a qualified technician.

If the unit is used in auto mode (not TTL) dirt or ones hand can block the photo-electric sensor on the unit and affect exposure accuracy.

One other cause of inaccurate exposure is something called “subject failure”. This can occur in a large room like a church, ballroom, gym or a large rotunda. What happens is the automatic system in the flash or the TTL system in the camera reads the entire room and not a smaller subject in the image. Think of a bride and groom dancing in a large hall, the system would read all the space and possible darkness surrounding the subject and overexpose the subject. This often happens with automatic flash equipment that was originally designed for film cameras. On DSLRs, the sensor in the camera may react differently in terms of the area that it is reading. Some of the newer flash units are more compatible with digital equipment.

If you are missing only 1 shot out of 20- that’s not too bad considering all the variables.

I hope this helps!

PS- If there are problems in the circuitry, unless you are an experienced technician with high voltage devices, it is not advisable to try and service the unit at home. Many flash units harbor lethal voltages that can cause burns, nerve damage, serious electrical shock or even death. Theses voltages can remain in the unit even after it is turned off.


May 22, 2008 | Metz 70 MZ-5 TTL Flash

1 Answer

Sb-800 Nikon

Try Weld Bond to glue those back.

Jan 05, 2008 | Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

3 Answers

My snaps are underexposed with 350D camera and 580EX TTL

Set camera:

Single shot mode not servo/C modes
Focus sensor set for center
Make sure exp. comp is not set on -(minus) side.
Make sure your subject is locked on and not moving out of the autofocus (center) sensor.

Jan 02, 2008 | Canon SPEEDLITE 580EX TTL Flash

1 Answer

Fried Unit

Mixing the batteries should not have damaged the flash. More likely the smoke came from the odd battery.

Aug 09, 2006 | Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

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