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Flash not firing - Nikon D700 hotshoe problems?

SkipperlangeSkipperlange Member
edited April 2016 in the gear


It looks like the hotshoe on my D700 is not working but before I say a fond farewell to this awesome reliable great camera I wanted to see if I may have inadvertently changed a setting that is causing this. 

I put the flash on the camera and it does not fire. As far as I can tell I have the same settings I always have. Also I used this body about two weeks ago and it worked fine. I put the flash on a different body and it fires just fine. So it's not the flash. 

Is there some setting on the camera that disables flash that I'm not aware of?

If it's the hotshoe I think it's time to retire this body, it's very old and has been great, but I probably won't fix it. Well past time to upgrade.

Thank you. 

Also, as aside, just to show how important it is to always have back-ups with you, I was about to go to a ceremony last week at which I was taking photos. (It was a personal thing, not a paid assignment but that doesn't matter.) I decided to take a few quick test photos in my hotel room shortly before leaving for the ceremony. That's when I discovered to my surprise that the flash wasn't firing! Panic. No problem, I said, I brought two flashes. So I put a new flash on the camera. That one, too, did not fire. Uh oh. Luckily, I had also brought two bodies. I put one of the flashes on the second body and everything worked fine. Whew. (Had this been a paid assignment I actually would have had a lot more gear with me.)


  • There have been problems reported with the D700 misfiring or not working at all. The fix is to get the hot shoe replaced although some people have done that and the problem came back again. A couple of things you could try are cleaning the contacts and try using the pc sync port. 
  • Thanks Bobh665. Yes, I've heard of that. I have had great luck with the D700s overall, I have two. I did have to replace the hotshoe on one a couple of years ago, I don't know off hand if it's this one or not but will check. I did try cleaning the contacts. Not sure about a PC sync port ---- will look into that. Thank you.
  • The internet grapevine said that if you've been using SB-900s or later, these flash units are heavier than NIkon's older flash units.  Nikon D700s and older were not designed to hold these units, so over time, the hotshoe loosens.  I've had to have my hotshoes replaced by an authorized repair service.
  • Thanks Stephen, Yes, I remember now that you mention it I also read that at some point. Thank you. This was not the same D700 that I had to replace the hotshoe on a few years ago so looks like this one is now in need of replacement (or tightening?). I think I will let it go and sell it "as is" with disclosure of the problem. I love it but needs to be more reliable. 
  • StephenStephen Member
    edited April 2016
    Hi Skipperlange,
    When I had my D700 serviced, they replaced the entire hotshoe with a new one that looked slightly different than before. It wasn't just a tightening of screws.  All D700s not retrofitted with a new hotshoe will likely have the problem if the camera uses a SB-900/910.  The new SB-500 is lighter than the SB-900/910, so if some D700 users used that flash, the problem probably wouldn't be noticed for a while longer.

    After fixing the hotshoe, the D700 operates reliably for me.  But, if you are doing a lot of business, I would agree it is probably time to get a newer camera.  The D700 is definitely showing its age at this point.
  • Thanks Stephen, yes that's probably it. It's a 910. It's definitely time to bid a fond farewell to this wonderful camera. I've had it a really long time. By today's measure of long. I will see if I can get a few bucks for it, with full disclosure. If not I'll give it to a "natural light" shooter,
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