Take your photography to the next level and beyond...

  • NEWS

Why not join for free today?

Join for Free

Your total photography experience starts here

PortraitPro 17 SITEWIDE 50% off sale + EXTRA 15% OFF code EPZR18

SB800 not firing reliably - advice on SB800 or SB910 for new one

27 Jan 2012 3:33PM
Hi can anyone help me?

I have an SB800 that has worked perfectly for 3-4 years but now is not firing reliably - and sometimes when it does, the power is less than it should be (and the image not bright enough).
I asked Park Cameras and they didn't know why but said it would cost between 60 and 250 to send it off to be checked and hopefully mended (Yikes!!) and that this would take up to
3 weeks. Well, I have a wedding in 2 weeks so that is not an option. So I think I am better off getting a new one and using this as a reserve until I can find someone else to mend it cheaper.
Does it make sense to get another SB800 or upgrade to an SB910? I have yet to experiment with off camera / remote use and therefore want both speed lights to talk to each other easily.

Any advice would be very gratefully received - thanks guys!

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 3:39PM
I suppose if it has been heavily used the capacitor could be losing its charge storing properties. Does it take a long time before the red light comes on?

Dumb question I know but are you sure it isn't the batteries?

StuartAt 13 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 3:47PM
Have you thought about the SB700? The SB900/SB910 seems incredibly expensive and you could almost buy two SB700s for the same price. I'm not sure what range you would lose from the downgrade, but the SB700 seems to be very well respected.
27 Jan 2012 3:57PM
Thanks to you both for a quick reply.

I have changed the batteries with new ones several times now and no difference - rechargeable or brand new normal ones. The light takes several seconds to come on as ready, sometimes 10 seconds - this happened at a wedding - hugely embarrassing as you can imagine. There is also a very faint whirring/high pitched sound as though it is trying to charge.

I had D80's but have also upgraded to a D7000 body. I use an 18-200mm lens regularly and am not sure if the SB700 range is good enough for that? (I am reasonably no techie so I hope you get the gist!). The SB910 is expensive and I am not keen on spending that much unexpectedly and without very good reason/benefits and all I can see is that it has an extra fill flash function. Do you know what the SB800 offers that the SB700 doesn't ? I will consider them both happily.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:07PM
If the batteries are good then it sounds like the charging circuit/capacitor is on its way out. I have no idea how much it would cost to repair something like that but would tend to agree you may be better off getting a new gun and keeping that as a spare.

As you use it for weddings then I assume you want the distance. I have an SB600 which is excellent and actually recycles more quickly than the 800, but you do lose a couple of meters which may prove unfortunate.

I don't know about the SB700 sorry.
27 Jan 2012 4:20PM
Thank you digicammad - it all helps! Will see if I can find anyone that knows how to check/fix the circuit/capacitor then - I was shocked that Park Cameras thought it might cost 250, a new one seems a better option and repair the old one if the cost is reasonable.
Thanks again,
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:29PM
This may help
StuartAt 13 1.1k 8 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:30PM
Guide number for SB800 is 125, whereas SB700 is 92 (SB600 is 98).

Technical comparison here although doesn't include the SB700 (but I guess you could get the numbers from somewhere else).
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:32PM
This one actually says the 700 is less powerful than the 600, so I would think you would miss the length if you have been used to using your 800 to its max range.
digicammad 14 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:32PM
Oops Stuart beat me to it Smile
su671 8 33 United Kingdom
27 Jan 2012 4:33PM
this months Nikon Magazine, theres an artical about a Dedicated Flash "BUT NOT NIKON MAKE", its got a good review,, might be worth reading it before you buy the new speedlight, i bought the magazine from WHSmiths, but you could always read it whi;e your in the shop "which most people seem to do lol".

iv got a SB800, if you live inManchester you could borrow it from me, for a FREE LEASON on how to get the best out of the flash gun?
27 Jan 2012 4:47PM
hmmm it's never a straight forward decision is it! More time needed to read and think. Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice and links. And Su lovely thought, but I am near Gatwick - sorry!
27 Jan 2012 5:24PM
Isn't the D800 discontinued? If so, you are going to be buying secondhand in which case it will be an unknown quantity unless you can find someone who can vouch for it's whole life since purchase. A new SB900/910 would be warrantied and have a full life time ahead, it would be big on a D7000 though. The SB800's seem to be holding their price well. I have two and generally find them smaller and more convenient than my 900.
27 Jan 2012 5:44PM
Hi Blackcloud - you are right, the SB800 is no longer being made but I think some suppliers still have a few left in stock. When you say SB910 would be big on the D7000 do you mean the increase in weight as the D7000 is relatively light in build?
scottishphototours 14 2.6k 2
28 Jan 2012 12:34AM
So you're doing somebody's wedding in 2 weeks and you're on here complaining about a 300 flashgun??

Just buy a new one and be done with it!!!!! You're happy to do weddings and you have one poxy flashgun??...sorry, but there's no way you should be on here asking about things like this or the difference between x and y. And forget about being a "techie", you're representing an industry so you should have the technical knowledge.

Rant = over.

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.