Nikon SB-800 Flash Inconsistency

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by antonio_toplyn, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. I shoot with a D300 and use a SB 800, my problem is that whenever i shoot with a flash i get very inconsistent light output, my settings may be where i want them and utilize the flash for fill but at first the image may be extremely to bright but on the very next shot the image will come out under exposed, and this is with a delay in order to ensure proper flash recycling, could someone please try to explain what i may be doing wrong, thank you!
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    First of all, double check that you don't have exposure bracketing set unintentionally. That is a fairly common issue on the D300.
    My first SB-800 came with that problem, and I discovered it during a wedding. It turns out that a circuit board inside was malfunctioning from day 1.
  3. I agree with Shun. I had the same trouble with the d300 combined with the SB 800 and I reached the point that I almost flushed the strobe down the toilet, a friend talked me out of that. When I checked I did. in fact, have exposure bracketing set and changing that solved the problem.
  4. ..and you could reset the flash to factory default state, by using the 2 finger technique, describer in the flash manual... to see if it could help.
    Once my SB800 locked in some logic state that nothing could work, and interface acted improperly. Resetting helped.
    I have 2 SB800 flashes, and this one gives me more trouble than the other. Both purchased as new at the same time and used similarly. The SB800 has abundance of modes, so it is not surprising that Nikon dropped flash modes from the latest flash models, that do not match and do not exist in the latest DSLR.
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The SB-800 was Nikon's first i-TTL flash introduced simultaneously with the D2H in July, 2003. I bought both of mine in 2005 but about 2, 3 months apart. My first one was the one with problems, initially with the D100 (D-TTL) and later on with my D2X. The flash output was inconsistent so that I got over and under exposed images.
    I first thought I was using it wrong; it wasn't until I got my second one that I realized the flash was falty, as the second one was perfect. After Nikon El Segundo fixed it under warranty, both of my SB-800 have been great so far.
  6. Try Auto-Aperture mode - just as good as i-TTL in my experience, except a lot more predictable.
  7. I too had inconsistency problems with my SB-800 with my D80 then my D300s. I finally solved the problem by setting the camera exposure to manual, say 1/125 @ f5.6, and the flash to TTL. That way the flash exposure is the only variable and I get extremely consistent exposures. It is interesting since I never had the inconsistencies with my film bodies and the SB-25.
  8. Never had any trouble with my SB-800 but I shoot in manual and iTTL most of the time. I do love his flash and I trust it with my heart. Read Neil van Neikerk website. He is a professional wedding photographer and he used he SB-800 for long time before he bought the newest SB-910. I do also have a D300 and never had any problem with the combo.

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