Nikon SB-800 speedlight to be repaired?

Started Dec 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
Paul Spatafora Contributing Member • Posts: 937
Re: Thinking of a SB-910

The flash tubes only last so long and then need replacing. With today's style of shooting through a diffuser, bouncing and indirect lighting, those flashes take a beating. Eventually, the tube burns out and needs to be replaced. Nikon in Canada has a under $200 repair policy, and that includes everything to bring back the flash to spec. I'm on my second tube on my SB800. The first one didn't pass the concrete drop test and the second one burned out through use and needed almost everything to be replaced.

All these flashes were never designed to be used in machine gun mode. The biggest issue with the 900 series is that Nikon introduced a fail safe to prevent the units from overheating when someone uses it in machine gun mode. Of course, those that shoot in machine gun mode, freaked that the fail safe kicked in and then complained that the flashes sucked. Heat is the enemy of electronics, and severely shortens the life span of any flash. Fire 10-20 consecutive flashes and then pull out the batteries and see what happens. I don't know of any portable flashguns that can work in machine gun mode without overheating.

If you've had your flash since 2004, and only now need servicing, consider yourself luck. It would appear your not a chronic machine gun mode photographer. I'm a bounce and indirect flash user, and I can hear the thing pop hard which tells me that one day I'll have to replace the tube again. The SB800 is a great flash and to repair it is under $200, verses the $500 for a new SB9xx. I don't believe that there was any new advances in the TTL technologies to differentiate between the two flashes. Finally, never buy a used flash for the reasons stated above.

Hope this helps.


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