D700 hot shoe problems

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dmcgphoto, Jul 5, 2009.

  1. Hey all, I've had 3, yes three D700 camera bodies, all using the SB900 flash exclusively, I'm a full time photographer (weddings and portaits, cameras used 25+ hours a week every week)
    All three exhibit, or have come to exhibit, exactly the same problem with the flash (I thought it ws the SB900, but all 5 of my Sb800's do the same thing with the D700's)
    The flashes will flicker, and strobe, not part of their normal operation, when I pick up the camera, or do anything that causes minute movement in what I suspect is the hot shoe mount, the strobes flicker. The problem has gotten severe enough that I can not depend on using flash at any time with the bodies.
    To test the theory, I have tried all the SB800's with the D700's and sure enough, turn on the D700, the flashes flicker when the camera moves or tries to focus, it's not a low light thing either, it does it in daylight when trying to use fill flash too.
    I have 3 SB900's, 5 SB800's, 3 D700's and 2 D200 backups. I am forced to send the D700's in for repair yet can gain no valuable insight into what is causing these problems.
    I don't pack the camera poorly, I do make certain that the flash is seated in the hot shoe all the way (so please don't think I'm just neglecting my equipment and blaming Nikon, because I'm not) I am coming to believe that the SB900 is so large that over a period of time the metal is being stretched just enough to cause an imperfect fit between flash and hot shoe seating. Is it a flash design problem (lower center of gravity needed?) or a camera flaw (inadequate planning for a heavier speedlight so the materials won't allow maximum reliability)
    So I ask if any of you professional shooters (those who earn a living from picking up the camera and shooting) if you have experienced the problems, No disrespect intended to those of you who don't shoot for a living but love it, but your use of the camera is not as heavy duty or constant as mine, I know some will still take offense, but that's not's what is intended, I'm just looking for answers as to what is causing this, if I'm doing it..I'd love to know how, I treat the camera's very well, if others are experiencing it, perhaps Nikon should be made aware.
    Nikon is like any business, it can't possibly tie all things together when sent to the tech department, and the repair department really doesn't seem to compile statistics about the nature of repairs needed.
  2. Just to be sure on one thing, Daniel: do you have the camera body's front function button set up to trigger the modeling light feature? If your way of gripping the body leaves your right-hand finger tips grazing that button, you could easily be firing off the modeling feature, which looks just like a flickering strobe (because it is a flickering strobe!). If that's the case, it a feature, not a bug. And you can turn it off.
  3. Nope, the modeling light is not what's going off, the strobe activates no matter what, when this first happened I was thinking that very thing, but to no avail...DANG!
  4. This is really disturbing report.
    Since the same flashes on your D200 work OK, we need to watch out for more experience with D700, but 3 cameras behaving like this is already plenty.
    Not asking you to do that, but we could try some more...
    Have you tried, just for test, a non-Nikon hot shoe flash ? Would SB-600 (no optical slave built) also behave like that of your D700 ?
    Would possibly use of a camera bracket (e.g. Stroboframe), and a SC-29 work OK on your D700 ?
    Would the flash flicker if in flash Manual mode ? or only in the iTTL mode ?
    Try disabling auto focus assist light, just for test...
    Trying a SU-800 commander ? and the CLS from that hot shoe?
  5. This may not be the ideal answer, but Nikon did not put the 'consumer pop-up flash' on the D3 and the D3x bodies for a reason. And you may have discovered the reason.
    If, after Nikon services your D700 bodies, you do not include a flash bracket to hold the SB-900 above the "pop-up flash," then there is not much you can do when the next "unexpected" series of flashes occur.
    Nikon does not consider the D700 a pro camera body....
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    I only have one D700 body, one SB-900 flash and two SB-800. I have used those flashes on the D700 and D300, and I don't think there is any weakness in those hot shoes. The D300 and D700 are pretty much as solid as my D2X, as well as the D3 and D3X bodies I have used extensively. The only issue is that with the pop-up flash, those bodies are not as well weather sealed.
    As far as I can recall, this is the very first time I have even heard of such flash flicker issues. I did a quick search on Google, and this very thread is the first to come up. It is important to send both the cameras and flashes to Nikon so that they can reproduce the problem. Obviously all D700 bodies and SB-900 flashes are still under their original warranty.
  7. Frank, thanks for the input
    Okay, tried a ProPhoto flash..same thing after a while, but that flash is much lighter and a smaller hot shoe arrangement, not really a fair test, tried a SB-80DX...flicker
    Don't use a Stroboframe...personal choice here, the way in which I work is to provide minimum distraction to my subjects, I've found, and seen, the size of the stroboframe arrangement attracts my subjects attention, and as I want to be invisible to document the proceedings......but I digress.
    Flicks in manual, ttl, A and every mode, if I suspect it's a hot shoe seating (be it flash or camera difficulty) You know how when you connect a synch cord to a studio flash that's powered on? The flash fires because of the connection? Well that seems to be what I'm getting, the flicker or strobing is because the small amount of space connects, disconnects, connects, disconnects as the weight of the flash settles into the hotshoe, the flash IR fires to focus (I can see this in reflections) I suppose if I haven't used enough metaphors, it's when you screw a lightbulb in to a socket where the circuit is closed, at some point there will be just enough contact to allow current to flow, but the bulb isn't seated correctly and it flickers...this is EXACTLY what happens with all my flashes.
    Su800 commander will trigger the flash, but not the TTL, and it fires only when the camera is absolutely still.
    Frank, I'm not really sure the pop up flash is the culprit per se, but it may very well represent an issue based on the housing, you may be on to something there. I don't use a D300 (I want a full frame) but is the D700 based on the D300 body or the D3 minus the flash?
    Shun, I did the same check and nothing as well. Thankfully the cameras are still under warranty.
    Thanks for the input folks, I appreciate the responses, and will be looking in on this post to update and answer any questions.
    Hopefully the Nikon repair people will tell me something more valuable than they merely swapped the hot shoes out. That's the most frustrating thing of all.
  8. Not using a Stroboframe. So all your vertical photos with flash are lit from the side? We used the "flip" stroboframes during weddings, and we never felt there was a distraction to the subjects. Getting the correct lighting was more important. Plus you can always remove your camera from the stroboframe if you want and shoot loose without flash.
  9. Dave, I bounce the flash from side walls getting a much nicer lighting, again, it's personal choice.
  10. Sorry you're having these problems, Daniel.
    Joining sportsshooter.com just to query other pros about this issue might be a lot of work, but that's the first site that occurred to me when I read that you'd like feedback from those who use their equipment as many hours/week as you do.
    Good luck.
  11. I had the same problem last year with my D200. It appeared that the flickering was not unheard of since the guy at the Nikon counter immediately stated that they have to replace the hotshoe. Note that my D200 only got moderate amateur use with the occasional wedding thrown in. Apart from weddings I rarely use flash.
  12. Hi Daniel,
    I'll be watching this thread, as it deals with equipment I "constantly" use...
    I guess the reason I'm chiming in, is that unlike you, I tend to abuse my equipment... I've banged the SB-900 around pretty good while mounted on the D700... trees, rain, other equipment...
    I do notice that it fits more securely than the SB-800 so I don't mount the 800 to the D700 hot shoe at all. The 900 has a thicker mount I believe... none the less, I mention this because I basically wake up each day with a camera in my hand and shoot into the night. I am frequently attaching and then stowing equipment for re-locating.
    I've never had this problem and "knock on wood" don't want any problems if I can help it. I will be very interested in what you eventually learn, so please do share the findings of those at Nikon...
    In closing, I have to ask... other than the sputtering light, did you lose any function? Has the equipment actually gone down and been rendered non-functional?
    I wish you the best of luck in resolving this annoyance.
  13. Daniel I remember a post a while ago on dpreview about a hot shoe corrosion at a d700. Not the same problem but might be worth to look it up.
  14. FWIW...I once dropped a D2H about 3 feet and it landed on a hardwood floor directly on the hot shoe. The impact bent the flanges on the shoe inward so that my SB-800 could no longer be fitted to the camera. I had to take a tool and bend the shoe flanges out slightly and have not had a problem since. You are right that the 900 is big and I suppose it is very possible that it could act like a lever and cause some deformation of the hot shoe. Do you store the camera in a bag with the flash attached? Does the flash seem loose when mounted? If so then that is probably what has happened.
  15. Daniel I have just joined this forum as I had been searching for a solution to this problem and read your post. I too am a career photographer shooting all day, every day. I shoot allot of interiors using my d700 + sb800 as a commander unit and this is driving me nuts.. It has become progressively worse.
    I have also tried several flash combos to no avail . I have cleaned the hot shoe adapter and tightened the spring load - which seemed to work for a very short time. There is definitely a manufacturing issue. Unfortunately for me I have just made the change from dx gear to fx gear and cannot afford to be without my d700 while off for repairs. I may have to buy a new d700 before I can send my current one off ..
    I have spent a min of 10k a year on Nikon gear and as someone who will continue to spend with Nikon there should be some sort of pro photographers support.. i.e. quicker repairs - loan gear - direct support etc..
    anyway I have no real solution yet, but I will be doing some more research and I will advise accordingly.
    Ta Stuart
  16. Update:
    I spoke to Nikon Australia (I am in Brisbane Australia) - they have a pro register which gives you priority repairs & support .They wont discuss the issue (admit no liability ) - so you must send the camera for repair. As I stupidly did not buy from an Authorised dealer I do not qualify for warranty repair or priority service.
    Possible fix. I spoke directly to a local nikon repair centre tech, who I am familiar with. He has dealth with this problem before and confirms it is the hot shoe contact shorting, and suggested cleaning the hot shoe - paying particular attention to the spring loaders on each side. He suggested using a pencil eraser and or some metho and a cloth.
    I have tried this using a old sensor swab and some metho, and I also ran the tip of a pen lid under the springs to create a tighter lock when the speedlight is loaded. I cant see this been a long term fix - but it seems to have fixed the prob for now..
    Daniel - I would suggest you will have to send your d700's off for repair and ask them to give you some priority - try and have a chat to a Nikon rep. You obviously buy allot of gear and spend allot on their product, they should be doing everything to assist you.
  17. Stuart, would really like to get in direct contact with you about this one, anything I can tell Nikon will be a help
    Thanks mate.
  18. I am experiencing the same issues with my D700, it has about 7800 actuations on it, started on July 11 while shooting a wedding.
    Seems to be more common when using by SB-900's it does occur with my SB-800's but less frequently.
    I dropped my camera off at Nikon Canada yesterday, and they said it was a circuit problem with the hotshoe, I asked if it is common of course they said no!
    I got an NPS loaner D700 from them and it is working fine so not sure I've asked some colleagues and none have experienced it.
    I'll post an update once I get the camera back!
  19. Hi,
    Please get us as much information from them as you can, I was told today to update my firmware from 1.0 to 1.01. If that doesnt work they will change the hot shoe @ 215.00 aud - not sure if that included the circuit too... ( I dont get NPS or warranty as I bought from a store that imports direct from Asia ) saved 1000.00 aud but dont get the NPS service...
    Please try ask them what exactly they did so I can tell the techs here..
    Cheers Stuart
  20. They replaced the hotshoe entirely and said is it was a circuit problem with the hotshoe. They managed to return it to me in 24 hours which was good!
    I asked if there have been any reports in Canada of a similar nature and they said no (which is the typical Nikon answer)
    It seems to be working fine right now I'll be using it on Saturday this week heavily if there are any issues I'll update.
    That being said they didn't seem to concerned about changing the hotshoe, I'm assuming based on that it's a pretty simple repair, no circuit boards to be changed etc.
    Good Luck
  21. BTW I upgraded my firmware prior to having the repair done, no change whatsoever!
  22. Daniel, I have same problem with my D700 and SB900, I think SB900 cause this problem, before I use SB800, and work prefectly, and since I have this problem, I try SB400, SB600, SB800, and they firing as you said.
    Now I never put SB900 directly to camera hot shoe, I use Commander mode (CLS), I try to upgrade SB900 firmware, also D700 firmware, and reset the camera setting also, but nothing happen...
    I live in Indonesia, soon we will hear a lots of D700 have this problem after they use SB900 for couples times...
  23. Hallo...I'm from Greece, and I have exactly the same problem. I tried the combination between SB 900 and my second D80 and after some shots the same problem occurs. As I notice, the space left for flash gun's shoe to slide is much fatter than gun's thickness. So...please don't laugh, I tried to repair it using a little hammer. It took me about one hour of hitting precisely trying to avoid any damage of the contacts and other materials.
    After all, I have a system working properly since now, one week after the "operation"..:)
  24. Hi all again
    I have had nikon service centre replace the following - contacts, hot shoe, all circuitry attached to unit. This did not work - so they opened it up again - double checked it all again. No luck - still not working..Contact points are tight - this is not the issue.. - - also hammering your hot shoe (even lightly is very very bad for the camera internal mechanisms - it could mess up your shutter or many other very delicate mechanisms - I would not do this ) - sorry I can not shed any light on this.. yet..
  25. I just started having the exactly same problem today on an assignment. Luckily I used a backup camera to finish the shoot. I've been using the D700 with no problems with the SB600 for over six months. I just bought an SB-900 and have been only using that on 6 shooting assignments and now these symptoms with the unpredictable strobing effect and not firing the flash when taking pictures. I was hoping that cleaning it would solve the problem but it looks like a hardware repair. I was using the SB900 in portrait mode and setting the camera down between shots to give instructions to each portrait taker. I switched back to my SB600 but it exhibited the same symptoms. Possibly, the SB-900 shorted something out. I hope someone else finds a solution aside from sending in for warranty service and losing the use of my camera.
  26. And yes you're rigth hammering was not the solution. The problem insists and now it became worse. It happens with SB900 and the Metz 54i d and !! with built-in popup flash when I work triggering SB900 remotely. I want to avoid Nikon service's not confirming the problem because you must work with it for a short period to confirm it. I will remain till the posts here and anywhere became many enough..
  27. I was looking for a thread like this - glad to get more info on this issue. I shoot with 2 D700's; one about 15 months old (bought when they first launched); and a backup purchased this summer - a refurb.

    I use SB-800's on both and work the head of the flash left and right, up and down, pretty aggressively - change the bounce angle on almost every shot. I can tell the extra pressure over time feels like it's loosening the connection with the camera.

    And in the past couple weeks, I got the same problem you all describe: flash flickers on occasion, firing on it's own, sometimes the flash not firing - and the attendant Pocket Wizard won't trigger remotes (linked to camera by PC sync) as well. UGH. Both cameras seem to exhibit the same issue.

    Thought it might be one of the SB-800s, but all four of mine seem to have this issue, and another photog I worked with last night suggested it's a hotshoe problem - he had the same thing and sent his body into NPS.

    So anyway, just wanted to throw my 2c in here since there are only a couple threads that came up via Google last night. This definitely seems like and issue and I think it's important to get this info out there so others know about it...especially the folks at Nikon.

    I'm sending my cameras out to Melville first thing - hope I can get them back ASAP and give everyone interested in this issue an update.
  28. I have just started to experience this same problem with my Nikon D700 and SB900. I put a SB800 on my D700 and the same thing accured. I took my SB900 and put it on my D300 and the problem went away. I searched Google for a possible solution and I ran across this post.
    You can take if for what it is worth, but I believe that it has some validity to it. I did not start hammering or chisseling yet, but I am very close to it. I did take a business card and folded it in half. I wedged the card stock between the bottom of the SB900 and the top of the on camera flash to prevent the SB900 from wiggling. The problem stopped and I was able to fire off 50 shots without one pre-flash. Therefore, I am convinced that my problem is with the proper fit of the hotshoe on the D700 and the flash connector.
  29. Ι suspected that this could be the solution but I did not try it. Now I will, cause I am disapointed with this behavior. At my last work I put Sb900 in a bracket connected with a pc cord and pocket wizard on the hot shoe. It worked fine, but i have no TTL, neither AF beam. The built in AF led for low light works very slow and many shots went lost.
  30. I am a wedding photographer, and I have 3 D700s too. I bought my 3rd D700 because i kept having this "flashy" problem with my SB900 on my first D700. I think the SB900 is too heavy and its puts a strain on the connection. This is especially true for us wedding photographers because the flash is on the camera all day and we are running and moving alot. I find i had to hold the flash and apply a little front downward pressure to it to make sure the contact are secure when i wanted to shoot with flash...a real pain, (yes, one hand holding camera, one hand putting pressure on the flash). Thus, i went head and purchased a 3rd D700. The same Sb900 works fine on the new D700. This made me to believe it has to be a hot shoe problem. I plan to bring the oldest D700 to Nikon Service...hopefully they can fix it!
  31. Confirming the same problem with Nikon D200 and SB-800.
  32. For what it's worth, my d700/sb900 just started this flickering BS last week. i'm on the fence between the pliers trick or sending my stuff off to melville, new york, for god knows how long. i'll say this from experience, canon's pro service blows nikon away. if i could afford triple back-up on my gear, i wouldn't have to work so much in the first place.
    thanks for all the info,
    rob o'neal
  33. I also want to add more info. I had a SB-800 D700 problem with my second D700. My first one went in to Melville as noted in an earlier post and they replaced the hotshoe. This one is at the shop here in NY and they can't seem to duplicate the problem.
    I did not have the rapid flashes this time, just some random errors in the flash output. I could see when chimping that in TTL mode the exposures were way off, usually too much flash. Then sometimes the flash would NOT fire. Hmmm. Sounds like another semi-loose hotshoe. I wonder if the next symptom will be that short and the involuntary spastic flashing of the SB.
    Oh well, the tech is taking another look and I'll keep you posted. Someone else on FM just referred me to a DP review story as well - the home of the plier crimp rescue method. http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/readflat.asp?forum=1021&message=33207948
  34. Anyone tried the DeOxit with success? I have got the same flickering problem with my D700 and my SB-900 :/
  35. I too have a D700 with flash problems. Both of my 800s and a 600 do not fire unless I apply pressure to flash. Ugh!
  36. OMG -- Talk about a rough week! I was out at a shoot last week with my D700 and SB900 -- and started experiencing the flash flicker. Thought it was the strobe. Today -- I'm shooting an event using my SB600 -- and it started again. When it starts to flicker -- I am unable to take a picture until I turn off the strobe -- turn off the camera, and turn the camera back on.
    Oh, and this problem occurred in the middle of awards presentation!
    Just called Nikon -- and the person I spoke to said it sounds like a circuitry problem. Thank God I have a 3 year warranty.
    Thanks for posting this problem!
  37. At the office we have four D700 bodies. All but one have now been off for replacement hot shoes, after the familiar strobing effect, then the complete flash fire failure.
    We are now buying the Nikon TTL cords, and mounting our flashes on brackets, so as to keep only the lightest load on the D700 hotshoe. It works well (so far!).
    A poor design fault which should be quickly remedied by Nikon. The hot shoe is the camera's weakest point, and there are not many cameras you can say that about, certainly not those aimed at the pro and semi-pro market.
    Best Wishes to all by the way ;-)
  38. I was beginning to think I was the only one with this problem. I shoot mainly weddings (37 a year) and this began happening to me about 2 weeks ago. I use fill and bounced diffuse flash 95% of the time and had noticed over the 2 years I have had the camera that I would get the occasional very over exposed flash pic – as if it had just flashed at full power. Now I get random misfires where it doesn’t flash at all and I also get the rapid flash effect when I move the camera, not all the time but enough for it to be a problem. This happens with both my SB800′s although the older one is MUCH worse than the new one – to the extent that it is actually unusable. It’s hard enough shooting a wedding without having to fight the technology as well. The flash does appear a bit loose on the hot shoe, so I agree that this is probably a design fault brought about my the shoe bracket loosening up over a period of time. Yesterday I resorted to the pop up flash at times.
    If it costs you guys in the US $250, then it will cost me in the UK with our overinflated ripoff prices about $375. The thing is I’m bang in the middle of the wedding season and can’t afford to send it in for repair – which may not work anyway.
    By the way, does anyone know what Nikon did to your camera to repair it??
    This is a professional camera with what appears to be an inherent fault. Has anyone convinced Nikon to repair free of charge?
    Just a thought. I have an old Vivitar 285 bracket. I suppose I could mount the SB800 on that and use the Commander mode of the pop up flash to fire it? I might give it a try and see how it works.
  39. I got my D700 from the local Nikon dealer on July 2008, few weeks after the announcement. It's been working perfectly until couple of months back when I started experiencing the same flicker problem you discussed above.
    Everywhere I read, all concluded that the problem is with the D700 hot shoe, and the only effective way to fix the problem is to have the hot-shoe replaced by Nikon (~US $260).
    It has nothing to do with the SB-900 "weight". I have the same problem with my SB-400, which I use virtually all the time. I've also tested the SB-600 and SB-800 and get the same erratic behavior. I've never tried the SB-900 but can safely conclude it's the D700 hot shoe and not the strobe.
    The erratic behavior includes:
    • hot shoe flash would fire on its own.
    • pressing the shutter button would not take a picture - exposure meter still turned off.
    • pressing the shutter button takes a picture without firing the flash - very very underexposed exposure.
    • pressing the shutter button takes a pictures with flash - expected behavior (although sometimes well overexposed).
    Very disappointed. Nikon should fix such a known and wide-spread issue for free.
  40. Daniel,
    i'm also a full-time wedding shooter with 2 D700s + another Nikon body (so my shooting is distributed over 3 bodies) and have been primarily using two SB-900s for my speedlights (i also have 5 SB-800s that i use) and have experienced the same problems with my D700s with the SB-900s.
    one of my D700 hotshoes is being replaced by Nikon now + i'm going to be sending the other into service once i get the first one back.
  41. Hi All,
    I'm a pro photographer using the D700 and SB-900 for press and publicity photography. About a month ago I encountered the rapid random strobing/flashing problem and sent both camera and flash to the nearest authorised Nikon repair centre. I researched the fault on the net and spoke to someone at the repair centre regarding my concerns about the hotshoe. Their response was along the lines of 'people on forums can get the diagnosis wrong'.
    The camera was out of warranty by six months and I was charged £160+ for repairs to the camera only (but they did not replace the hotshoe) and the fault was still there when both camera and flash were returned after two weeks. It was as if they hadn't even tested it.
    They said there was nothing wrong with the SB-900 flash (But forums suggest that it is probably too heavy for the d700 causing both stress on the hotshoe and the resulting random flashing - this would be a design flaw).
    I conclude that there is a major problem with the hotshoe on the d700, but I can't believe that authorised Nikon repairers are ignorant of it, given so much about it on forums like this and dpreview. Surley there must be enough repairs going in to alert all the repair centres to the issue.
    This is costing money and business time.
    I would like to know if anyone who has had a hotshoe replaced has had the problem recur a few months later? Or have Nikon redesigned the hotshoe?
  42. Dave, sorry to hear about your problem. I had the same problem with my D700, my SB-900 and both of my SB-600. This helped me narrow it down to the camera.
    Before sending my camera in, I spoke to a not-very-helpful repair tech at Nikon, who basically told me that with hundreds of thousands of cameras in the field and the ease of the internet to share data, sometimes very small problems can sound like very big issues and told me that he was not aware of any D700/SB900 hotshoe problems (my camera was out of the Nikon warranty). He was almost to the point of being rude about my "small" problem.
    I sent my camera in to Mack Camera (I will never buy an extended warranty through anyone but the manufacturer again)-- and after about 7 long weeks my camera was returned with a new hot shoe.
    Everything works like a charm now. However, I tried putting my Cybersync transmitter in the hot shoe and noticed that it was going to take an extreme amount of force to get it in. Not wanting to have similar problems arise down the road, I am using a cord to connect to the PC port.
    So, long story short, it was the hotshoe.
  43. Thanks for replying Frances. A workaround some people have suggested is using a flash bracket with the D700 and SB-900, so that the camera hotshoe doesn't get the stress on it. I'm not sure this such a great option due to added weight, and whether you would get all the functionality out of the gun using a lead to the camera instead of using the hotshoe.
    Do you think that the fault appeared with your SB-600 because the damage had already been done to the hotshoe by the heavier SB-900? In your opinion, would the fault have happened if you had only used the SB-600 and not the SB-900 with the camera? (I'm trying to work out whether a lighter gun on an undamaged D700 would or would not develop the fault.)
  44. You are correct.
    I primarily used the SB-900 on the D700 -- so I assumed the problem originated there, and since the hotshoe became "loose" the SB-600's stopped working correctly too.
    I'm with you on the flash bracket. I don't need any extra weight, especially when I have my 70-200mm lens on :}
    The repair tech at Nikon did tell me that if I sent it through to Nikon -- that he would get mine in line ASAP. So you might consider giving them a call and asking (since they didn't solve your problem the first time) them to push it through their professional services.
    Good luck!
  45. Positive news. As a member of Nikon Professional User (NPU) scheme I rang the number for technical queries at Nikon UK. They said that the problem between the D700 and the SB-900 was now a known and common problem.
    At the time of writing, Nikon do not consider it to be a 'critical' fault. However, they did tell me to ask the repair centre for a hotshoe replacement. The centre agreed to do this for free as the previous repair and service to the camera has a six month warranty, and they did not spot the faulty hotshoe during that service. They have also agreed to collect the camera at no charge to myself this time.
    Whilst there may be no redesign of the hotshoe by Nikon, the repair centre are going to strengthen the mount of the hotshoe inside the camera.
    So hopefully everything will be okay, and the new hotshoe will have a warranty of six months.
  46. I got my D700 fixed by replacing the hot shoe. Here's the deal:
    • The original hot shoe has part number ending in 1.
    • The "new" (improved?) hot shoe has a part number ending in 2.
    • The new hot shoe is less shiny (somewhat matte). Seems to be made in part with a different material? It also has a tighter fit when inserting a flash.
    • The faulty hot shoe "looks" like new, with no sign of damage, whatsoever.
    • Here's the irony. The new hot shoe costs US $7.50 (I became friends with our local Nikon repairman!)
    • Nikon repair also had to replace the rubber grips (front, 2x rear, and bottom). The bottom rubber of my D700 was fine, so not replaced. Total cost for front+rear rubber grips was about $45.
    • Service charge was considered major, in the category of US $105. After discussing the issue, they agreed to lower the category to US $65.
    • Finally, I got another discount from the cashier. Total was US $105.
    • For the record, the D700 hot shoe is universal: SB-400, SB-600 and SB-800 as well. Didn't try other flashes.
  47. Getting ready to pull my hair out. My D700 camera's hot shoe was replaced late August 2010. I started experiencing the same problem today with the SB900. Either Mack Camera did not replace the hot shoe, or, the new hot shoe is only a temporary fix.
    Has anyone experienced problems again after their hot shoe was replaced?
  48. Hi
    I live in the UK and had a 2 year warranty on my D700.
    Sent it back with the strobing issue 3 weeks ago and picked it up today expecting a bit of a battle.
    But no problem. Nikon accepted everything I said, changed the hot shoe and did some stuff to a pcb and gave it back to me FOC.
    I haven't tried it out yet, but the gun does seem tighter on the shoe than before.
    I still think this is a known issue that should have been the subject of a recall - but the 2 year warranty has stood me in good stead.
  49. This is an ongoing issue with the d700. I've had my hotshoe replaced four times already and its pretty much guaranteed to happen. I wasn't aware that there was a "good" hotshoe replacement. (if there is, they have not given it to me and of the four times I've had it serviced) Unfortunately, It always seems to occur in the middle of a wedding. At this point I can only say that the d700 is not suitable for wedding photography. A shame because its a pretty amazing camera otherwise.
  50. Same problem occurs with both of my D700 bodies. Wedding season is here and I can't afford to send either of my cameras away for any extended amount of time. It seems "hammering down" the hot shoe works temporarily, but I'm litteraly beating my camera and this is just palin bad.
  51. I too have struggled with the issues presented by the D700 and SB900 with my pro wedding business. After sending in my camera and flash to Nikon, I stumbled upon what seems to be a great solution.
    This device not only offers water protection to the hotshoe/flash connection, it also greatly reduces the stress on the D700's hot shoe by distributing the weight and stress of the SB900 to the areas surrounding the hot shoe. I have shot many weddings since installing the WG-AS3 on both my D700's and the flickering flash problem has been completely eliminated.
  52. I have experienced the exact same problem with both of my D700 bodies. While shooting weddings I've been plagued with misfires, random strobe bursts, etc. among my two cameras and 3 SB-900 units. This is really irritating and now I'm in the thick of the wedding season and cannot send out cameras for time consuming repairs. Common Nikon, haven't you guys figured out how to get a simple flash/camera connection right by now!?
  53. John Shetron: That dont worked for me. Still same flickering....
  54. Im having the same problem with my D700 and the problem starts with the SB600 and after with SB900 --- The Sb900 fits well on the shoe instead the Sb600 is a little bit lose and it moves on the shoe. I have done some tests with another flash the AF48-1 from Metz , the Metz use the old system of fixing the flash on the shoe , you remember with a big screw that fix the flash shoe with the camera, and also the Metz has a plastic shoe , and the flash goes ok over 1000 shots.
    I have tried to put something ( a thin piece of metal or paper) between the shoe of the flash and the shoe of the camera with the intention to keep firm the flash with the camera in the major cases the thing has done it job the flash was stable and fire corectly no problems at all.
    Second my opinion and for what i have seen with my flashes the problem is not only the shoe on the D700 but the entire system Flash shoe and Camera shoe and over all the big problem is the new system that nikon has on the new flashes the switch that fix the flash in the shoe, this system is big B.... SH...
  55. I would like to add my experience with the D700 and SB-900 to the growing list of disappointed photographers. Random flashes, modeling light, focus assist on, no flash, reset to Aperture priority...
    I sent the camera for repair which was cleaned and checked. They did not replace the hot-shoe even though I stated that this was damaged. The "repaired" camera continues to fail.
    The flash shoe is snug and I am using the protective shoe. It appears to be something internal brought on by a number of factors. Replacing the hot-shoe appears to be the fix, but I would like to know what is really going on with the electronics.
    The "repair" was $224 plus tax.
  56. I posted earlier in the thread (October 2010) when my first D700 body was sent away. I bought a second D700 body (the D3 was out of my price bracket) just before it was sent away. One year later and that body has also developed the same fault. I can't believe that Nikon have not remedied this issue by strengthening the hotshoe or by changing the design of the SB900 flash mount to something more secure or have addressed the size/weight of the flash.
    The second D700 body has two years warranty and there were no protests from the Nikon repair centre when I sent it back for a free replacement hotshoe. That repair will also have a warranty.
    I can expect this fault to re-occur every six to twelve months because of a design fault with the SB900. I am considering other manufacterers of flashes, lighter flash guns/ ones with a more secure method of fixing to the camera for when all warranties have expired.
  57. A user in this thread suggested that the Nikon water guard WG-AS3 for the D700 had worked for him. I've now bought one (£28.34 inc vat). The item itself is a small locking collar made of rubber and plastic that fits over the flash hot shoe. If it spreads the weight of the flash over a larger surface area that may help stop the fault from recurring. It does fit quite closely to the camera body. I had no problems mounting and unmounting the flash with it on.
    I'll use it on the repaired body and report back in six to twelve months!
  58. Hi Daniel,

    You are not alone, I just sent my D700 back to Nikon to get fixed, same issue identically
  59. same thing as all others, just got the quote, they wont admit, saying no one else has reported to them this issue and the cost is 256.00 dollars.
    Can you say they are ignoring this!
  60. Just found this forum and this thread in response to my google search. This strobe problem started happening to me last night at a wedding I was shooting, but I am using a D300s and an SB-800. It sounds like exactly the same problem, so I may just try to pliers trick first and hope that works. But just for the record, apparently this is not just a D700 problem!
  61. Thank goodness for Google. I'm outside London at a big conference that my company is holding. My SB-900 stopped working this morning on my D700 body. Tried my second SB-900, same issue. Tried the SB-900 on my D5100 (use primarily for high def video) and it worked, so I knew it was the D700. A quick search and I found this post as well as others.
    I used some heavy printer paper to apply pressure to the springs inside the hot shoe, increasing the tension, and that solved the problem for now. I'll send the body in for repair when I return to the US.
    Do the professional bodies have this issue? I'm open to upgrading if, since I never use the on-body flash in the D700.
  62. Dear fellows.
    I am a weadding photographer in Ecuador and had these very same problems. For us, sending the equipment to the states to get fixed is more than a pain!..but what can be worse than having an unreliable photo equipment and since my two D700 are missfiring and I had to finish my last job this Saturaday using a D90 I am thinking about taking a trip to NY and visit the nikon offices in Melville and try to get more than an unswer. Has anyone talked to them about this problem?
    When the first camera gave me problems, I bought an otherone and then more flashes...and same thing kept happening.....some howis a relieve to know about you guys!!sorry you are going through the same thing though!!
    I simply love my D700s but i am very dessapointed since, after many years of being a Canon guy, I sold ALL my gear loosing a lot of money to get the best equipment....and it is...when it works properly....please advise!!!
  63. Wow. I read this whole forum after narrowing my issue down to the hotshoe of one of my two D700s. It has all these symptoms, it strobes, it fails to fire, camera won't fire, but it completely misses the boat using TTL- underexposing horribly. I thought I was nuts all of a sudden. I can send it off for replacement right now, as long as they don't dally, but from all these responses, I am concerned that they will get it right. Very bothersome indeed.
  64. Just read through thread trying to see if I could find an answer to my problem. I have all the same symptoms but not on
    the D700 and SB800. I use a D90 with SB600. It works fine when directly connected to the shoe on the camera. But
    when connected via cable to the Stroboframe I get the same syndrome. The flash does not seem to clip in as solidly as
    on camera but wiggling it by hand does not seem to affect whether it flashes or not.
  65. Sent my D700 into Nikon for service. US$240 to fix. Ouch. But it was quick -- back in my hands two days after authorizing the repair.
  66. I have the EXACT same issue.. (D700/SB900) issue.. so, what you all are saying is to get the hot shoe replaced? damn..... I tried to test this issue and a D90/SB900 combo worked fine.. but not on the D700.. I got the D700 a month after it came out, so Im way out of warrantee. Should we complain to nikon as this seems to be an engineering problem?
  67. Since the locked in SB600 was clearly not as well seated in the Stroboframe mount as on my D90, I squeezed down the side clips of the Stroboframe just slightly. Seating is more firm and my initial testing indicates problem solved.
  68. OMG. After reading post after post after post of all of us having the same problem with the Nikon products, I'm absolutely stark raving MAD. I didn't read through 100% of the responses here, maybe 50%, but all over the world, photographers, professional or not, are having the exact same problem with this product, and not just product, but an entire SERIES of products by the same manufacturer.. We've paid thousands of dollars for and the ONLY solution you guys are talking about, aside from hammering the camera (which I may be driven to do eventually) is to send it for repairs, or just boy a NEW ONE??
    Maybe I'm in the minority here. I shoot in nightclubs, and my relatively inexpensive D200 has received a lot of punishment, a lot of wear and tear. Besides that, I shoot for and publish my own magazine, so I need my camera to be a workhorse of sorts.. I cannot afford to have multiple D700s and D3s, three and four SB800s, etc. at my disposal. So I just assumed this flickering, misfiring and miscues were a result of overuse. However, from reading this thread, you guys don't abuse the camera nearly as much as I THOUGHT that I did.
    Which leads me to the conclusion, as I'm sure all you have reached, the product is DEFECTIVE. And obviously, Nikon is not owning up to the problem. I don't know about other countries, but in America, is the automobile industry the only one that has a LEMON LAW? The Nikon product should have been recalled, and the problem corrected YEARS AGO!
    Is the only recourse we have to go and spend even MORE money with Nikon on a defective product that, eventually is going to need to be repaired, or does anyone agree that since Nikon isn't going to do ANYTHING about this problem, perhaps a class action lawsuit should help Nikon FINALLY find a SOLUTION to the problem instead of continuing to push defective products on the market?
    You guys have invested in your equipment and careers just as I have. With no fault of our own, they are asking us to shell out more money, buy more equipment, and pay for unnecessary repairs when they have the ability, the finances and technology to fix the problem before it gets sealed in a box and put on the open market for all of us to miss that money shot because of a defective hot shoe. Forget the warranty. With so many photographers having the exact same issue, it falls under the jurisdiction of a MANUFACTURER DEFECT, and not a warranty issue.
    Am I crazy?
  69. I've had the same problem with my D700 and two of my SB-700 flashes. I thought it was my first SB-700, so I bought a second one, thinking I had a lemon or it had to be repaired. When the newer flash acted the same way, I realized it had to be the camera. A colleague of mine said he had the same problems with his D700 before going over to the dark side (i.e. he shoots Canon now...), and after reading a number of testimonials here, it sounds like this is a model defect.
    Fortunately my D700 is under warranty for another 2 weeks, so I'm dropping it off today to get it serviced. I'll post here again with an update when I get my camera back.
  70. I agree with those who believe that this issue should have been rectified by a redesign and recall. The SB910 certainly could have been redesigned to deal with the issue.
    Sean, I'm sorry to hear that the problem is also happening with the lightest of the three main guns, so it is reasonable to assume that the d700 hotshoe problem will be caused by the weight of any of the SB700/900/910 models.
    I have been using the Nikon water guard WG-AS3 which fits over the bottom of the SB900/910 flash and effectively increases the surface area that the flash has to sit on the camera. This puts less strain on the hotshoe by spreading the weight over the camera. I've been using the guard daily for three months (I'm a Press photographer), so far without the hotshoe problem recurring.
    Unfortunately I haven't found a guard for the SB700 on the net.
    For those of you with SB900's or 910's the guard is worth a shot, and a few dollars/pounds (I bought mine for around £24) on this is a cheaper solution than switching to Canon (assuming of course that it works long term and the problem doesn't happen again after six months or so). I'll let you know if it does.
    Good luck!
  71. I've been experiencing this issue with my D700 + sb-600 and 800 for the last few months. It's very frustrating that it seems to occur mostly during weddings when I need the flash to behave.
    My camera is out of warranty, so I think I would be paying a lot for a repair on this..
  72. My friends experiencing this problem. The SOLUTION as with all things in life is: Duck tape, duck tape, duck tape. Tape small little squares on the bottom of your flash just after the hot shoe where it will rest up against the in built flash. It will secure it and stop the flash rattling around and miss firing/strobing.
    I know this isn't a long term solution but for those not wanting to send it off the Nikon it is a cheap and effecting option. I have had no problems with it since and you can barely notice it.
    Cheers, Dale
  73. can you contribute with a pic on the duck tape solution?
    cheers, Janne
  74. The pic would really help as I am not clear on wher you put the duck tape. Thanks. Dean
  75. Nikon D700 hot shoe problems - again.
    After being embarrassed while my Nikon D700 w/ SB900 Speedlight ON A BRACKET WITH AN SC-29 TTL REMOTE CHORD started acting more like a disco strobe light during a college award ceremony assignment I sent my D700 and SB900 to Melville NY for repairs. Got both back with no explanation from Nikon as to what was fixed. This was well over a year ago and the items were still under warranty so I was not charged.
    Now, I am having problems with my hot shoe again. I almost always use an SC-29 and bracket when shooting with my SB900 - so there is really no weight being put on the hot shoe. However, the flash now acts as if it is possessed by the devil. Regardless of what I have the camera set for the flash will suddenly read ISO 100. When I shoot the photos will be blown out to pure white. I take the SC-29 off the camera and put back in - same problem. Then, for no apparent reason the camera will work fine for the rest of the assignment. But then it happens again out of nowhere on the next assignment - a problem for a bit then goes back to normal after some fiddling.
    There seems to be a little bit of play in the hot shoe when the SC-29 or the SB900 is seated on it. The SC-29 is extremely light so I don't know how it is lossening the hot shoe.
    I refuse to take a hammer or pair of pliers to my hot shoe. I just don't have the confidence or skill to pull something like that off on such a sensitive piece of electronics as a $2,500 camera body. Duct tape might be a good temporary solution - but it looks tacky.
    Nikon has a tendency to keep items in for repair for quite a long time - sometimes well over a month. It seems some people on this forum have had the hot shoe replaced with a stronger version for little or no money while others have had the same hot shoe with a fee of over $250. Some get it back in days and others in a month or more. I wonder what process I should go through to assure I get the better hot shoe and little or no charge and short time?
    Anyway, I thought readers would be interested to know that using the SC-29 TTL chord has caused the same problems for me with that hot shoe so maybe it's not a weight thing.
    -Charles S.
    Fitchburg, Mass. USA
  76. Have had similar issues with both my D700s. Sent one to Nikon. Took them 5 weeks. It came back squeaky clean, and completely nonfunctional with flash at the very first event I used it at. All they did was 'reset' it and said it was fine. I have another thread regarding that, but here is the post is just put there.
    "Much happier camper now! Instead of sending my camera back to Nikon, I found an authorized service center and called them. He explained why he wanted my flash so well, I sent him both my SB900s. Then they called to verify that the hotshoe was indeed defective and my flashes were in perfect shape, fixed it and sent everything back to me with a 7 day turnaround!!! Could not give a higher recommendation to Isaac at Southern Photo in N Miami Beach, FL!! Actual personal service from the actual person who looked at my camera, and likely fixed it too. Invaluable:)
    In the meantime, I tried a Demb flash bracket on the other camera. I forgot it was even there! I did not shoot with a cord, just used my on-camera flash to communicate with it. Worked beautifully. Camera feels well balanced and that bracket only weighs 7 oz or something. Didn't even notice it. HIGHLY recommended. I will be buying a second to keep on both cameras at all times. Got that recommendation from someone on here. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!"
    At Southern Photo, they were completely upfront regarding the known issues with the D700 hotshoe. He said it is something about the metal(he was more specific, it just went over my head) not grounding properly and that Nikon is perfectly aware of it. Makes me mad. This should be a recall, not an emergency $250 fix, IMO. Nikon needs to step up. However, I am very glad to have found a flash bracket that solves the problem and dependable, fast service from an authorized dealer I can count on.
  77. I have this problem with my D700, SB-800 and SB-900. I test the Nikon water guard WG-AS3 and problem don't appears again for last six weeks (1000 shots) . I hope this fixs the issue almost with my SB-900. Thanks for information. I'll Test it and report any change.
  78. I am having exactly the same problems, I have 2 D700 bodys and one seems to be less affected , but it is probably only a matter of time, I thought it must be the flash so I just spent over £300 on a new Nikon 910. it is doing exactly the same thing, strobing at inappropriate moments and then switching back to 100 asa and not firing at other times, seems to work again when I unlock the hotshoe and wiggle it so came to the
    same conclusion as you that it may be the hotshoe connections. just written to Nikon for advice, will see what they say, but I may take it to an independent repairers in london if I get no joy from Nikon.
    So frustrating but glad to hear that its been happening a lot to other Nikon D700 users and not something silly I am doing. I do quite a lot of events and it always seems to go wrong just at the critical moment.....
  79. How to replicate the problem

    I had similar issues as described here with my D700. Things like
    • Stopped working just before the bride came up the aisle
    • Flash not firing and autofocus assist light showing up in the photo
    • Crazy strobing
    Authorized Photo Service in Morton Grove fixed it for me for about $250. Most of the cost was for labor. I had considered hammering the foot, but something internal was the problem so hammering wouldn't have helped at all.
    What was extremely helpful is that I was able to replicate the problem and determine the problem was with the body and not with the flash units.
    • Put camera on the tripod
    • Mount flash
    • Activate AF assist lights and wiggle flash
    • The AF pattern on the wall makes it easy to see how much play is in the foot. Some play is complete normal.
    • I was able to duplicate my the misfiring issue by shooting frames while wiggling the flash unit.
    • Repeating the setup with a different camera body did not replicate the problem, even though just as much play was visible in the AF pattern on the wall.
    • Therefore, it was time to send my D700 in for service.
  80. Hi Tom,
    I'm a pro photographer using two d700's and solved this problem some time ago. The problem is the flash (SB900) is too heavy for the d700 hot shoe and eventually pulls the hotshoe until it causes a fault on the body.
    I bought a water guard for the body and the extra support it gives to the flash solved the issue for me. You can get them through Amazon. £20 (UK), $29.95 (US)
    Nikon WG-AS3 Water Guard

    Kind Regards

    Dave Finchett
  81. Fort what its worth, I have a nikon D700 and use a SB-800 flash gun.
    a few months ago in the middle of a shoot my flash started to strobe. Never happened before. I was using a Nikkor AFS 28-70 2.8D lens. Immediately after the flash started to flicker, my lens' auto focus feature stop working. I changed lenses and all three flash, new lens and same D700 body worked fine. Nikon repaired the lens and I've been using it since.
    Just last night the strobing again happened. This time I was using a Nikkor AFS 80-200 2.8D. No problem with the lens or flash or body after that strobing. I turned the flash off and started using it again then worked fine.
    Did my flash cause the 28-70 silent motor to go or did the lens cause the flash to strobe? are any of these problems related? I'd say it is the flash to camera compatibility.
    Any thoughts?

Share This Page