Question about Nikon DSLR D90 Digital Camera

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Nikon D90 flash will not pop.

After a 30-40 cm drop on it's head (right on the hot shoe), the pop up flash won't pop up anymore. Flas button seems to work fine, I can change flash settings, but the flash comes up only if i pry it open with my fingernail. Also when open, it works fine. How can I fix the problem?

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  •  Richard Nagy
    Richard Nagy Apr 18, 2013

    the thing is, they charge from 100 USD upwards, and the whole body, new, costs around 300. It's ridiculous when you consider my problem, i think you get my point.

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  • Nikon Master
  • 32,281 Answers

I suggest you take your camera to a Nikon camera repairer.

Posted on Apr 18, 2013

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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A sync cord between the camera and the flash is usually more reliable than the hot shoe. Before getting a cord though try cleaning the contact in the middle of the hot shoe and the contact on the bottom of the flash with an ink pen eraser. They are more aggressive than a pencil eraser but still won't hurt the metal contacts.

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Not sure about the repair costs but why not invest in a Phottix Odin wireless system? I use them in my work and they perform flawlessly. Small and lightweight plus they are wireless which means that the camera can communicate through windows and walls etc.
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There is a switch in the hot shoe that detects whether or not an external flash is connected - the pin that operates the switch may be stuck down. Remove the spring piece on top of the hot shoe (I usually use an Exacto blade to loosen it and then slide it to the rear. Then remove the 4 screws and you can see the pin. If it is stuck down, moisten a Q-tip with water and rub it over the pin and blow with canned air to dry. The pin may pop back up. If not, or if the pin is damaged, you will have to remove the top cover and get to it from the bottom.

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1 Answer

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There is a small flat leaf spring under the hot shoe rail where an eternal flash slides in. If an external flash is mounted the leaf spring is pressed against a small button telling the camera that there is an external flash mounted. Take a toothpick and rub under the hot shoe rail gently to more the leaf spring or unjam the leaf spring. You may even see the button depressed, poke at it a time or two with a toothpick, even a drop of rubbing alcohol may unstick this button if a sticky beverage sprayed on it.

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1 Answer

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Since the flash is working on test, it means the connection to the camera via the hotshoe is not working. With the flash on and ready light showing that the flash has charged, take a small thin copper wire and short between the the metal spring on the side of the hotshoe (in the slot) and the round metal contact tip of the hot shoe. This should cause the flash to fire if the internal connections to the shoe are working.
If the shoe is working then it must be the camera that is not working. Many modern digital cameras cannot fire older flashes directly, because the voltages on these older flashes are too high. This could damage the camera or if the camera has protection against the high voltage, that will make it impossible to fire the flash. In that case you need an adapter. These are available cheaply. You should try borrowing a modern flash to test that your camera is still working and has not been damaged, if it is a modern electronic camera.

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1 Answer

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Try a factory reset. In the menu go to the third spanner and select 'Clear settings'

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When the pop up flash is up no matter what the light situation the flash will not flash.


Kind of difficult to answer without a make & model, but the flash should pop up every time you power the camera ON. If you search through the camera's menu you'll find a flash option that let's you select when the flash will work. You likely have it switched OFF.

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My Rebel T1i's built in flash stopped working after I used a 580EX external flash on it. It won't even show up on the LCD screen.


Really? the best solution available is to take the top of your camera off?
i don't think so.
Here's a very simple solution I found to get the flash to pop up without destroying your camera.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=31993875
the person suggests using a fingernail. (s)he must have long fingernails. I had to use a piece of paper folded in half. Swipe the paper from back to front, as in, from the eyepiece side towards the lens side.
Here's a picture: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougpardee/133066175/
good luck

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Have you tried cleaning the hot shoe contact? If the contact is dirty it may not communicate with the camera. The "contact" Its the metal "circle" in the middle of the hot shoe. Using a pencil eraser, rub the contact gently until you create eraser crumbs, then gently rub the "circle" with a soft cloth. See if this fixes it.

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There is a switch on the hot shoe to detect the external flash. When you use an external flash, the switch will be pressed down, then the unit will bypass the internal flash and won’t let it fire. If the little switch gets stuck somehow, you won’t get your internal flash on.
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