Question about Nikon Speedlight SB-800 TTL Flash

2 Answers

No iTTL mode (or TTL mode) in SB 800 synced with cord to D300

I can only use the manual mode. If I set the SB 800 to "TTL" it seems to receive a signal from camera (via sync cord) but it does not flash. I've tried every combination of settings imaginable.

The only thing I can think of is that I'm not using a Nikon cord, but an off brand. I have to use an adapter to connect it to my camera. Please someone help me figure this out. I shot a wedding in full manual and it sucked.

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  • umberh Feb 04, 2009

    Thanks for the input. I'm using a D300 and a sync cord (sorry don't know that brand, probably from Alzo). I use the cord and not wireless because it is mounted on a bracket on the same plane as my camera so the wireless signal is out of reach. The flash sits on a hot shoe and the cord end is the same as the end that is on my camera (i.e. both are male parts) so an adapter is needed to allow for male/ female connection. Does that makes sense?

    After all of my research I'm reallly thinking it is an issue of buying the right cord. If you have any other suggestions, though, I'd love to try them.

    Everything is great when I go wireless.

  • umberh Feb 04, 2009

    OK, here's the skinny:

    It's a hotshoe adapter w/ cable, brand name Kaiser. I set my light in there and the cable end of it is the small round plug w/ metal sheath which looks just like the place on my camera where I am to plug it in (on the D300 if you're facing the camera lens it is on the front right, just under the built-in flash.)

    So then I have an adapter cable to join the hotshoe synch cord to the camera body.

    I'm pretty convinced that it's the cord. I'll just get a new one. Thanks everyone for your input. It's great to know that there are answers out there to life's most burning questions. :)

  • umberh Feb 05, 2009

    Thanks dotball!

  • umberh Feb 05, 2009


    The only time I don't do wireless is when it is mounted on the bracket. Since there is no angle (it is on the same plane) the wireless signal cannot reach the flash trigger.

    I love Nikon.

  • Dot Ball
    Dot Ball May 11, 2010

    Umberth, a little more info - you say the cable end is male and the connection of the camera is male and the adapter goes between the 2. This is way not right. Sounds as thought you have the flash sitting on a universal hotshoe which only allows 2 contacts to set the camera off (as I said before, you need at least for contacts for TTL)

    Does the end of your cable look like a small round plug, about 2mm in diameter, with a metal sheath around the outside (contact area) and a small hole in the centre, OR is it much larger (ie, 5-7mm) with a number of pins/contacts inside?

    Do you know what an X-sync cable is - could this be an X-sync cable?

    Where abouts on the camera is it connecting - into a provision on the body, or onto a fitting on the hotshoe?

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  • Sujith Gopinath
    Sujith Gopinath May 11, 2010

    What camera do you use the SB 800 with?

  • Dot Ball
    Dot Ball May 11, 2010

    Ur right, shooting a whole wedding in manual would ****. TTL is lazy but such comfort in peace of mind.

    A bit more info would be welcome. The adapter thing doesn't sound good. If you have a Nikon brand flash and a 3rd party adapter this may be the key.

    Can you give us some specifics on how the flash is mounted and why you need the adapter and what exactly is the adapters role. What is the adapters make and model and I can look it up.

    See all those contacts on your hotshoe of the camera, you have as many of those contacts on the 'adapter' to the flash.

    There should be about 6 contacts (sometimes 4 will suffice).

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Umberh, why do you need to use a cable to trigger the SB800through the D300 (even D70s and D200)? You can use the 'remote off-camera flash' with the built-in flash as commander. Here's how to do it:

  1. From the custom settings menu on the camera, select 'Bracketing/Flash'
  2. Select 'flash cntrl for built-in-flash
  3. Select 'Commander Mode'
  4. Set the built-in flash to '--'. This will make the built-in flash trigger the SB800 without registering itself in the shot. Also set one channel (this should be the same you set on the flash for the built-in-flash and SB800 to communicate)
  5. Now on the SB800, hold down SEL button for a few seconds
  6. Choose the icon with two flashes with curved arrows and press SEL to select it
  7. Now on the menu at the right, select REMOTE
  8. Press the on/off button to get back to the main menu.
  9. Make sure that you have selected the same channel (indicated CH) on both the camera and the flash
Now you don't need a TTL cord to trigger the flash. If you want the built-in-flash as master and SB800 as slave, the select Master instead of '--' in step 4.

Posted on Feb 05, 2009

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  • 64 Answers

Bingo! That's an X-sync cable, only for firing the flash, syncing it withe shutter - carries out no auto features or communication with the camera.
Don't waste your money on another cable the same. There is no TTL light measuring features with an X-sync cable.
You can, however, get the proper 'off-the-camera' TTL syncing cable either from Nikon or a 3rd party provider. This proper TTL cable can cost a fair bit, I don't know exactly but thinking from $40-$50 to $80'odd.
Shop around, buy from a store where you have the face-to-face enquiry and a return facility if 'they' get it wrong.

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Posted on Feb 05, 2009


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