Did I wreck my flash?

Started May 13, 2013 | Discussions
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HansN46
HansN46 Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Did I wreck my flash?

I put the batteries in my Metz 36 AF-5 the wrong way around. From that moment my flash doesn't work properly anymore on my two bodies (Nikon D5100 and D50). It seems it only flashes with maximum output and it doesn't synchronise shutter speed properly.

I read in the manual that putting the batteries the opposite way can harm the flash. So I guess I wrecked it.

I have two questions:

-Does anyone know if it's possible to repair it yourself? (Sending in is out of question for a flash of € 70, I assume. Although it's still within the warranty, but I did it wrong myself.)

-Could it be possible have done any harm to the electrical circuit of the hot shoe? (Both bodies function properly without flash and with the built-in flash, but it might have been affected the circuit nevertheless.)

Any experience/knowledge available? Thanx for response.

H.

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dad_of_four Veteran Member • Posts: 7,801
Re: Did I wreck my flash?

HansN46 wrote:

I put the batteries in my Metz 36 AF-5 the wrong way around. From that moment my flash

Does your flash have any type of reset mechanism?  either a hidden button, or a 2-finger salute?

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HansN46
HansN46 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: Did I wreck my flash?

No it doesn't. It's a simple straight forward flash (Nikon-dedicated in my case) with only a test button. But yesterday I read about a possible reset of a Nikon SB600 on Ken Rockwell's site, by putting the batteries in while the power switch is ON.

I tried that and I made some test shots in my room (low light) and they all were perfect and the flash behaved as it should, also synchronizing the camera properly. So I will do some more tests the next days and report here.

Thanks, H

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It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

 HansN46's gear list:HansN46's gear list
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Sailor Blue
Sailor Blue Veteran Member • Posts: 9,420
Re: Did I wreck my flash?

HansN46 wrote:

I put the batteries in my Metz 36 AF-5 the wrong way around. From that moment my flash doesn't work properly anymore on my two bodies (Nikon D5100 and D50). It seems it only flashes with maximum output and it doesn't synchronise shutter speed properly.

I read in the manual that putting the batteries the opposite way can harm the flash. So I guess I wrecked it.

I have two questions:

-Does anyone know if it's possible to repair it yourself? (Sending in is out of question for a flash of € 70, I assume. Although it's still within the warranty, but I did it wrong myself.)

Do NOT open the flash.  Hot-shoe flash units contain high voltage capacitors capable of delivering a lethal shock.  Unless you are specially trained, and I'm guessing you aren't, in how to deal with high voltage electronics you are trying to commit suicide if you open your flash.

Send in the flash, just don't say why it quit working.  Who knows, they may repair or replace it without out asking why it failed.  You have nothing to lose except the cost of the postage - a pretty good gamble.

-Could it be possible have done any harm to the electrical circuit of the hot shoe? (Both bodies function properly without flash and with the built-in flash, but it might have been affected the circuit nevertheless.)

Probably not but don't keep trying it with your cameras.

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

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Clueless Wanderer
Clueless Wanderer Senior Member • Posts: 1,142
Re: Did I wreck my flash?

Do NOT open the flash.  Hot-shoe flash units contain high voltage capacitors capable of delivering a lethal shock.  Unless you are specially trained, and I'm guessing you aren't, in how to deal with high voltage electronics you are trying to commit suicide if you open your flash.

Er... Ive been bitten TWICE by the same SB600. The first bite let me know I shouldn't have been messing around inside. Ten mins later it bit me big style! telling me who was boss :-o . I was shaking like a sh*tting poodle screwing it back together, scared it was gonna bite again

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HansN46
HansN46 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: Did I wreck my flash?

Sailor Blue wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

I put the batteries in my Metz 36 AF-5 the wrong way around. From that moment my flash doesn't work properly anymore on my two bodies (Nikon D5100 and D50). It seems it only flashes with maximum output and it doesn't synchronise shutter speed properly.

I read in the manual that putting the batteries the opposite way can harm the flash. So I guess I wrecked it.

I have two questions:

-Does anyone know if it's possible to repair it yourself? (Sending in is out of question for a flash of € 70, I assume. Although it's still within the warranty, but I did it wrong myself.)

Do NOT open the flash.  Hot-shoe flash units contain high voltage capacitors capable of delivering a lethal shock.  Unless you are specially trained, and I'm guessing you aren't, in how to deal with high voltage electronics you are trying to commit suicide if you open your flash.

Ok, as a former marine engineer I'm technically trained but definitely not in the field of high voltage flashes. That's the reason I ask it here.

Send in the flash, just don't say why it quit working.  Who knows, they may repair or replace it without out asking why it failed.  You have nothing to lose except the cost of the postage - a pretty good gamble.

-Could it be possible have done any harm to the electrical circuit of the hot shoe? (Both bodies function properly without flash and with the built-in flash, but it might have been affected the circuit nevertheless.)

Probably not but don't keep trying it with your cameras.

Well, I have done several times now because I didn't realize what was wrong actually. So far no damage occurred. I'll have to do an assignment coming thursday. Let's hope for the best.

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Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Thanks for advise. H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

 HansN46's gear list:HansN46's gear list
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Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Did I wreck my flash?

HansN46 wrote:

No it doesn't. It's a simple straight forward flash (Nikon-dedicated in my case) with only a test button. But yesterday I read about a possible reset of a Nikon SB600 on Ken Rockwell's site, by putting the batteries in while the power switch is ON.

I tried that and I made some test shots in my room (low light) and they all were perfect and the flash behaved as it should, also synchronizing the camera properly. So I will do some more tests the next days and report here.

Good luck with that... (my fingers are crossed for you.)

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Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

HansN46
HansN46 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Any suggestions for new flash?

After all I guess my flash is gone indeed. I used it om my assignment last Friday and I had to adjust the aperture every time I the distance to object was changed. So the TTL didn't work properly. Very annoying because I had to check all the images immediately after shooting.

So I'm looking for another flash now. Any suggestions within the pricerange to € 200 or a little higher?

Thnx, H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

 HansN46's gear list:HansN46's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR Nikon D600 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM +8 more
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: Any suggestions for new flash?
1

HansN46 wrote:

After all I guess my flash is gone indeed. I used it om my assignment last Friday and I had to adjust the aperture every time I the distance to object was changed. So the TTL didn't work properly. Very annoying because I had to check all the images immediately after shooting.

I think it is very UN-likely that you have permanently damaged your flash by putting the batteries in the wrong way.... especially as you have stated that it appeared to have recovered normal operation.

Instead, I think you have some other problem....

..... maybe nothing more than a lack of appreciation that MOST shots need flash compensation, and this is true even when TTL is working properly and without any actual fault.

If I am right, buying a new flash isn't going to "fix" anything.

Perhaps you should do some controlled tests with your present flash, say, with camera on a tripod, and aimed at a domestic subject with a wide range of evenly distributed tones in it... possibly a wall of your family room? Then shoot frames with TTL flash control, and see what happens with a range of Flash Compensation values applied in incremental fashion.

When you have some results, maybe we can help to evaluate them.... [??]

So I'm looking for another flash now. Any suggestions within the pricerange to € 200 or a little higher?

Thnx, H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

HansN46
HansN46 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: Any suggestions for new flash?

Barrie Davis wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

After all I guess my flash is gone indeed. I used it om my assignment last Friday and I had to adjust the aperture every time I the distance to object was changed. So the TTL didn't work properly. Very annoying because I had to check all the images immediately after shooting.

I think it is very UN-likely that you have permanently damaged your flash by putting the batteries in the wrong way.... especially as you have stated that it appeared to have recovered normal operation.

Normal operation, well it's more like this: it worked again but then I noticed the problems I described. And more, one of my questions was: could it have been disorganized the electronic flash control in the body? In that case I need a new body i.s.o. flash.

Instead, I think you have some other problem....

..... maybe nothing more than a lack of appreciation that MOST shots need flash compensation, and this is true even when TTL is working properly and without any actual fault.

Many shots need flash compensation, obviously, but the adjustment needed after were bigger than before. I noticed a difference in exposure.

If I am right, buying a new flash isn't going to "fix" anything.

Perhaps you should do some controlled tests with your present flash, say, with camera on a tripod, and aimed at a domestic subject with a wide range of evenly distributed tones in it... possibly a wall of your family room? Then shoot frames with TTL flash control, and see what happens with a range of Flash Compensation values applied in incremental fashion.

When you have some results, maybe we can help to evaluate them.... [??]

That's what I plan to do, probably coming week. And I'm trying to sort out if it's the flash or the camera, using a borrowed Nikon speedflash.

So I'm looking for another flash now. Any suggestions within the pricerange to € 200 or a little higher?

Thnx, H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

Thanks anyway. H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

 HansN46's gear list:HansN46's gear list
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HansN46
HansN46 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 790
I tested the old flash-then bought a new one.

Barrie Davis wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

After all I guess my flash is gone indeed. I used it om my assignment last Friday and I had to adjust the aperture every time I the distance to object was changed. So the TTL didn't work properly. Very annoying because I had to check all the images immediately after shooting.

I think it is very UN-likely that you have permanently damaged your flash by putting the batteries in the wrong way.... especially as you have stated that it appeared to have recovered normal operation.

Instead, I think you have some other problem....

..... maybe nothing more than a lack of appreciation that MOST shots need flash compensation, and this is true even when TTL is working properly and without any actual fault.

If I am right, buying a new flash isn't going to "fix" anything.

Perhaps you should do some controlled tests with your present flash, say, with camera on a tripod, and aimed at a domestic subject with a wide range of evenly distributed tones in it... possibly a wall of your family room? Then shoot frames with TTL flash control, and see what happens with a range of Flash Compensation values applied in incremental fashion.

When you have some results, maybe we can help to evaluate them.... [??]

So I'm looking for another flash now. Any suggestions within the pricerange to € 200 or a little higher?

Thnx, H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

Well, I decided to check my "lack of appreciation" on wich I actually did not very much doubt about . I used the flash already for 17 months. It would have been strange if it started to act different than it did the time before without any reason.

But I have thoroughly tested the Metz flash and I'm convinced that the flash is gone, at least the controlling electronics inside.

I made a series of images with diffferent shutterspeeds, a series with different apertures and a series in different Manual settings and ISO-auto and in each of the series there were only one or two images next to each other that were about correctly exposed. The higher-numbered and lower-numbered images were gradually under- or over-exposed. So my conclusion was the TTL did not affect the controlling system in the flash anymore.

So I decided to buy another one but not untill the salesman let me try it before buying. And of course he did. I immediately noticed the difference: the images were all correctly exposed, wich means that the in-camera TTL control was not affected.

It may not have been caused by putting the batteries in the wrong way, that's wat the salesman said too, but nevertheless the Metz was broke. Not a good score for Metz after 17 months.

I bought the new flash, a Nissin Di866 Mark II Pro. So far my opinion is that it's a big plus.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make ONE real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make MANY average images with a pro-cam!

 HansN46's gear list:HansN46's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR Nikon D600 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM +8 more
Barrie Davis
Barrie Davis Forum Pro • Posts: 21,460
Re: I tested the old flash-then bought a new one.

HansN46 wrote:

Barrie Davis wrote:

HansN46 wrote:

After all I guess my flash is gone indeed. I used it om my assignment last Friday and I had to adjust the aperture every time I the distance to object was changed. So the TTL didn't work properly. Very annoying because I had to check all the images immediately after shooting.

I think it is very UN-likely that you have permanently damaged your flash by putting the batteries in the wrong way.... especially as you have stated that it appeared to have recovered normal operation.

Instead, I think you have some other problem....

..... maybe nothing more than a lack of appreciation that MOST shots need flash compensation, and this is true even when TTL is working properly and without any actual fault.

If I am right, buying a new flash isn't going to "fix" anything.

Perhaps you should do some controlled tests with your present flash, say, with camera on a tripod, and aimed at a domestic subject with a wide range of evenly distributed tones in it... possibly a wall of your family room? Then shoot frames with TTL flash control, and see what happens with a range of Flash Compensation values applied in incremental fashion.

When you have some results, maybe we can help to evaluate them.... [??]

So I'm looking for another flash now. Any suggestions within the pricerange to € 200 or a little higher?

Thnx, H.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make one real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make many average images with a pro-cam!

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

Well, I decided to check my "lack of appreciation" on wich I actually did not very much doubt about . I used the flash already for 17 months. It would have been strange if it started to act different than it did the time before without any reason.

Okay. That's fine. I wrote "maybe"....

..... it was only a suggestion to stop you binning what may have been a perfectly viable piece of equipment..

But I have thoroughly tested the Metz flash and I'm convinced that the flash is gone, at least the controlling electronics inside.

I made a series of images with diffferent shutterspeeds, a series with different apertures and a series in different Manual settings and ISO-auto and in each of the series there were only one or two images next to each other that were about correctly exposed. The higher-numbered and lower-numbered images were gradually under- or over-exposed. So my conclusion was the TTL did not affect the controlling system in the flash anymore.

Did you do any test where flash compensation was employed?

So I decided to buy another one but not until the salesman let me try it before buying. And of course he did. I immediately noticed the difference: the images were all correctly exposed, which means that the in-camera TTL control was not affected.

It may not have been caused by putting the batteries in the wrong way, that's what the salesman said too, but nevertheless the Metz was broke. Not a good score for Metz after 17 months.

I think it is very doubtful that putting the batteries in the wrong way was the cause of the flash losing its ability to regulate output, whilst STILL being able to output (fire) at all.

I am also very sorry that you have had such poor service from your Metz gun, something which is uncharacteristic of my own experience with the brand. The company has been a top manufacturer since the earliest days of portable electronic flash (my Daddy had a Metz in 1955).. and is still considered pretty much bulletproof by the pros.. [??] .. and I'm still using a Metz 45 CT-1 from the 1980s... (just upgraded it with a brand new NiMh battery set)....so...[??]

I bought the new flash, a Nissin Di866 Mark II Pro. So far my opinion is that it's a big plus.

I can only wish you better luck with, and lots of enjoyment from, your new flash.

-- hide signature --

It's a great art to make ONE real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make MANY average images with a pro-cam!

-- hide signature --

Regards,
Baz
:
"Ahh... But the thing is, these guys were no ORDINARY time travellers!"

HansN46
HansN46 OP Contributing Member • Posts: 790
Re: I tested the old flash-then bought a new one.

Thanks Barrie for your concern. I did it all and besides, as I said, it started acting different at once. Definitely not because of the batteries.

And sure Metz is a respected manufacturer, the reason I bought it in the first place. But I did't consider it worth the effort to send it in for a 70 bucks flashgun.

Thanks anyway.

HansN

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It's a great art to make ONE real pro-image with any cam; it's very common to make MANY average images with a pro-cam!

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Fujifilm FinePix F70EXR Nikon D600 Nikon D7200 Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Sigma 12-24mm F4.5-5.6 EX DG Aspherical HSM +8 more
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