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SB28DX malfunctions on TTL output


New Member
Hi, I have heard that the SB-28DX can sometimes have faulty TTL output. Not always, but once in a while i have heard the flash puts out a totally eroneous output for no obvious reason. One person i asked said he heard of some problems withearly nikon D1 and SB-28DX, but he had not heard of any problems beyond that. I want to use it with my F100 and primarily with my Fuji S2 (nikon compatible), and am concerned if i should instead get the much more expensive SB-80DX. The 28 would work fine for my needs, but i do not want erratic TTL output at any price. anyone know of these problems? thanks, john


I bought a f100 on ebay recently. It looks like the pictures are somewhat underexposed consistently. With film it's hard to tell, but the slides seem to be for the most part on the dark side.

Should I take the camera and have it serviced/calibrated/checked out? Anybody has any idea what would that cost?


Well-Known Member

When shooting slides, the highlights are all important. Detail in a blown highlight can not be recovered by any means. Automatic exposure is biased to protect your highlights.

However, you must be highly aware what you have in the frame when shooting. If you have light source in the image, the camera will try to protect it. Since the light source may be many times brighter than what you want for your mid-tones, mid-tones will be pushed way done the characteristic curve of the film. To a lesser degree, the contrary is also true. Shoot a couple of performers on a huge black stage, and the camera will render them transparent.

With slides, you are getting the raw output of the camera, exactly as you are with negatives. The camera has no idea what kind of film you just loaded. However, with negatives you have a very expensive large machine and (hopefully) well-trained operator who is trying to adjust these exposures to something acceptable. Shooting slides is a reality check, since there is no one there to cover for your inconsistencies.

It is entirely possible to get reasonable results with an auto-exposure camera, as long as you do a careful assessment of the content of each shot and adjust your angle to keep within a fairly short dynamic range. However, if the pictures are mission-critical, bracket like crazy. A magazine photographer may well go through half-a-dozen rolls for a single image. While a variety of viewpoints will be explored, the bulk of the shots are bracket shots for insurance.

I have an old digital spot-meter that will measure the contrast range of the scene and tell me if and how far I need to bracket. If it says bracketing is not necessary, I can trust it. With this, the number of insurance shots drops considerably. Of course it requires the combined intelligence of meter and photographer.



I just heard the SB80Dx Nikon Speedlight has been discontinued to make way for the SB800DX (which has iTTL and DTTL not on the 80). Anybody have any ideas when they will be in shops??? Also, the SB80DX seems to be out of stock across the U.S. -- at least I have found none.