Question about Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

2 Answers

Nikon SB 800 fires but pictures reamain dark

When I use sb 800 on D3, it fires but it does not light the picture. I have tried this same SB 800 with my D200 camera body as well and the problem is the same. So there should be nothing wrong with the camera settings.

Even if i try to increase the power from the flash pictures remain dark. Same happens with different modes.

Any idea what is happening?

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  • 9 more comments 
  • Anonymous Oct 06, 2008

    I have the same problem! Flash fires, but the light from the flash does not appear on the picture.

  • Ari V Oct 11, 2008

    Thanks for the comment and advise. I had to send the flash to Singapore yesterday. Before sending in the Phnom Penh camerashop they tested the flash still with another camera body, another lens etc and the result was still the same. I did not try different whitebalance settings, but I think the flash should normally light the picture no matter what is the whitebalance setting.

  • steigerakos Nov 07, 2008

    I have the same problem. It works only if I change the settings on the flash to manual. But than I have to set flash manually. I tested also on two different cameras D70 and D300. Actually the flash worked well, but since 2 months I have this problem.
    Is my flash broken?

  • calyps3270 Dec 15, 2008

    I only have this problem when using SU-4 setting. After messing around with shutter speed and different flash setting it appears the flash keep getting triggered just before the shutter opens. So I see the flash, but the camera doesn't. I'm not sure how to fix it.

  • jeikenberry Dec 30, 2008

    Hmmm, it seems that my SB-800 issue is not unique. I too always get dark pictures with my SB-800 mounted on a D700, D100, or D2X. I tried the hard reset of the unit (turn on, then press and hold 'mode' and 'on/off' together until screen changes) and also switching to white balance flash. No change to the picture. If I use the SB-800 as a slave flash, then it works just fine. Another SB-800 unit (a bit newer than mine) works just fine. Any new thoughts out there?

  • lhphoto Jan 31, 2009

    pictures are underexposed and it seems that it is flashing too early

  • Anonymous Feb 08, 2009

    I have the same problem. Took excellent care of the unit and then all of a sudden its defective. Sent to Nikon and it needs major parts replaced. Seems to be a product issue if everyone is having this issue

  • John Mar 30, 2009

    Same problem. The flash worked great for over two years and suddenly it has this problem. It seems to fire, but no image. How much and where to send for repair. I use it on a D1x and the new SB-900 in NOT compatible. Sent it back. Thanks for any help or advice.

  • lizmanchest Apr 02, 2009

    I have the exact problem! Have tried every possible 'solution' but still get dark, underexposed photos. The only time it seems to work is if i bounce the flash off the ceiling. But any range bigger than 3 meters then the flash don't seem to reach the subject. . .

  • Anonymous Apr 23, 2009

    My SB800 is four years old. It was VERY dependable and "Bombproof" until suddenly last week, when every picture with the flash was horribly underexposed. The built-in flash works "great" but the SB800 is not working.

  • Anonymous May 02, 2009

    I have the same problem... it seems like the flash fires first, then the shutter opens after, so none of the flash actually exposes



2 Answers

Check your flash syncro speed. if you put to fill in the flash ligth not appear
but i have other problem my flash in ttl always overexposed in all sitting

Posted on Nov 09, 2008


Make sure your white balance is set to "flash" on both cameras

Posted on Oct 11, 2008


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I am using a nikon D200 with a sb800. The flash is firing ok on TTL and the camera is set on 'P' however I am getting a dark picture every tme. The built in flash works OK It appears the flash/camera...

This is an excellent flash, very powerful and compact and actually more flash then what was available when the D200 first cam on the market. The two will work nicely together and I think the problem is that the SB-800 can be programmed within itself. This meaning with some cameras you program the camera for the flash output with the SB-800 you can program the flash as well. It has some excellent features like Flash value lock (which I think is set to slightly underexpose from what your question is asking) it also has Flash color information and a built in Flash compensation. Possibly the compensation or value lock are set to underexposure. I'm saying this over the camera setting because you stated that the internal flash appeared to be okay, check your SB-800 settings

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I dropped the flash on the floor, if I take a picture without diffuser, the picture will be over exposed.

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The flash is not in sync with my nikon d40 anymore. It fires first. Pictures come out dark. The camera itself takes great flash pictures

It sounds like you're trying to use the SB-600 off camera, as a slave flash. While the SB-600 does indeed have slave capability, the D40 does not have the ability to function as a commander. Thus, the SB-600 is being triggered by the D40's pre-flash.

As stated above, the D40 does not function in commander mode. You can mount an SB-800 or SB-900 flash unit, which will function as a commander as well as a flash. Or you can mount an SU-800 commander unit.

Alternatively, you can switch the D40 to manual flash mode so as to eliminiate the preflash. However, you will then have to calculate the proper exposure yourself.

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Looks like the tube is weak. Then it has to be replaced. If you are in India, I would have solved your problem. Johnsheen, 9341932677, Mysore

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Nikon SB 800 fires but pictures reamain dark

I have 2 SB-800s. When batteries leaked in one Nikon took forever to fix it, so they eventually sent me a refurb. Then they sent my original back. Which was great, until recently it developed this problem.

Another possibly related side effect is the modeling flash does not burst -- it only fires a single (very bright) flash.

The capacitor argument sounds likely. Coincidentally I also had a problem where the flash would fire sporadically -- but that was due to scuz buildup on the contacts.

Sorry I don't have a real solution for you.

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Check the conatcts on the shoe area and also the exp comp is done in the flash or in the cmaera to a minus 7 and that should help the exposure.

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My sb 600 fires with the camera but it seems not illuminate

Definately a settings problem. The camera will only syncronize on one specific speed. Youe best bet is to use auto. For manual, you'll have to set the shutter speed at the sync speed.

Flash Sync Speed
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  • up to 1/8000 FP High Speed Sync
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    3) Non-TTL Auto: Available with Speedlights such as SB-800, 28, 27, and 22S
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    Series of images is the KEY. If the Power you set the SB-600 is HIGH it will take a LONGER time to recycle than the SB-800. If you try to take a photo before the SB-600 is ready you will get a dark image. The randomness you get is due to the time between shots. In general try to run remote flashes at a lower power so they recycle faster.

    I like the SB-800 because it can take 5 cells. 5 cells can really make a difference in the recycle time (faster) The SB-600 only takes 4 cells so it is slower.

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