I recently brought out my trusty SB-800 speedlight but could not get it to work. To be honest it has been sitting in my camera bag for a while unfortunately so with the batteries in, a definitive no-no when it comes to camera gear – always remove batteries when you put the stuff away for more than a day or two.
So I replaced the old dead batteries and found one connector that had corroded a little. Not good, but with some rubbing alcohol and patience it cleaned up nicely and I got a good electrical connection. Unfortunately that did not help much the flash refused to start anyway.
So I started looking around, not noticing anything in particular and I was prepared to ask Nikon for an RMA when I did a quick google on the problem. Turns out that several people have had problems with SB-800 and SB-600 when they have been sitting collecting dust for a while and then they don’t want to start up.
The solution was simple. Hold down the power on button while twisting the top back and forth as well as shaking the whole thing. I could not believe it, it started right up and now it is working fine.
I have no idea what was going on there but the twisting-shaking motion definitely brought it back to life.