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drewleavy

Anyone had problems with SF-24D and M9?

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Having followed some of the flash discussions, I decided to get a Nikon SC-17 cable and a Leica SF24-D flash unit. I found the flash first at a good price on eBay. It arrived looking near-mint, Leica boxed and even the little red dot tag inside. Batteries seemed fresh, everything lights up and it test flashes brightly. I popped it into the hotshoe, dialled the footholder down to secure the post and looked through the viewfinder. There was the red lightning symbol all lit up. She's ready to go.

 

Except she doesn't go. Press the shutter release. Nice dark photograph. Look everything up and down. Set to TTL/gnc. Try again. Nice dark photograph. Check sync settings. everything is under 1/160th. Hold halfway, then click, release, whirr. No flash. Nice dark photograph. Try Automatic setting on flash. Rinse. Repeat. Nice dark photograph.

 

I contacted my eBay seller for advice and to let him know that I had a problem. Very accomodating gentleman. I told him I'd bundle the flash up with the M9 and trot up to Richard Caplan and have them look it over. It's going to be one or the other right? Richard Caplan can try another flash on my M9 and the flash on another working M9.

 

Then I go back to obsessively trying to get the flash to trigger. My visiting father makes a suggestion - try the flash on another camera. I shrug my shoulders and pull out the 5D that's been gathering dust since the M9 arrived. The contacts sort of don't match up up probably one might, so on it goes. Turn it on, point it at my dad, click, mirror slap, flash. Nice, overexposed photograph.

 

It's not you, it's me.

 

The camera goes back to Richard Caplan tomorrow. Looks like my 5D just got a new lease on life.

 

So, anyone else had this sort of situation pop up?

 

Drew

 

Flickr: drewleavy's Photostream

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Drew,

My M9 and M8 work perfectly with SF24D !

my recent wedding photos are successful !

Check the electrical contacts at the shoe of a M9 and the flash

by cleaning with alcohol

Henry

Edited by Doc Henry

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Flashes for the Leica digital M's are truly bizzare. The manuals either lost something in the translation from German, or the author didn't even know how they work. I've had the same problem. Even though the flash sync speed looks to be workable, the camera / flash just decide that the combination of shutter speed / flash setting / aperture don't require the unit to actually flash.

 

This indicates to me that Leica has no interest in flash on M cameras.

 

Hopefully someone can provide a simple answer without pages of unintelligable monologue, like the articles in the old LFI magazines when the M8 came out.

 

The Metz units even seem to be more bizzare. I was hoping the S2 introduction would do something to help the situation, because S2 are designed studio use in mind.

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Have you tried to clean the contacts?

 

I had a similar problem wit a Metz-54 and a Nikon D90. It was resolved by cleaning the contacts on the camera and the flash

 

regards

Meino

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Not sure about the M9, but my M8 will not fire the flash unless the meter is already 'awake' requiring me to activate the meter with a half press to be sure the flash will fire when I do press the shutter button. This happens even when the shutter speed is manually set - where the meter is effectively redundant.

 

I've also had issues where the flash ready indicator will show, but the flash will still not fire. this has happened with both the SF-24D and the SF-58.

 

Basically, I think the M8 electronics are a bit flaky, but that's no news really

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I don't quite follow - the camera does not fire when it is asleep, that is logical. On the M9 it takes 0.7 seconds to wake up - and all functions are working then, including the flash. The flash will fire when the flash symbol in the viewfinder is on. Can it be because the flash switches off automatically as well, and may need some more time than the wakeup time of the camera to reach a state of charge that enables it to fire?

Edited by jaapv

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My SF24D works great with the M9.

 

If you (OP) have access to another flash (doesn't have to be Leica TTL) see if your camera will fire it.

 

I don't quite follow - the camera does not fire when it is asleep, that is logical. On the M9 it takes 0.7 seconds to wake up - and all functions are working then, including the flash. The flash will fire when the flash symbol in the viewfinder is on. Can it be because the flash switches off automatically as well, and may need some more time than the wakeup time of the camera to reach a state of charge that enables it to fire?

 

I've had that happen and came to the same conclusion as you.

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remember to screw the locking nut down once you have inserted the sf24d, pushing it fully into the hotshoe. make sure that your shutter speed is 1/180th sec. or less. over this, it won't fire. try it with the mode switch set to auto and with the lens stopped down a bit, say to f8 and at iso160. does the flash fire off camera when you press the test button?

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remember to screw the locking nut down once you have inserted the sf24d, pushing it fully into the hotshoe...

 

My SF-24D sits so tight, I often do not use the locking nut. I did experienced a few strange flash times if the M9 is in A and Auto ISO mode, if set to 1/180sec and fix ISO all fine.

 

I'm starting to use the SF-24 with the Nikkon cable, but find the handling not easy. I liked the old Metz 45 style on the side.

 

Cheers

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I don't quite follow - the camera does not fire when it is asleep, that is logical. On the M9 it takes 0.7 seconds to wake up - and all functions are working then, including the flash. The flash will fire when the flash symbol in the viewfinder is on. Can it be because the flash switches off automatically as well, and may need some more time than the wakeup time of the camera to reach a state of charge that enables it to fire?

 

If you're responding to my post - then no, it's not that the flash isn't ready to fire. My camera simply doesn't send the flash trigger unless the meter is 'properly' awake before the shutter is triggered. This happens even when the meter should have no influence as the shutter speed has been manually set.

 

0.7 seconds is a lot longer than the time it takes to depress the shutter button, consequently there is a very high chance (assuming your meter has passivated in the meantime) that you won't get a flash when you take a shot rapidly. I tend to be in environments where I need to shoot quickly when the opportunity presents, and so I have to be continually waking my meter (and draining my battery) in order for the M8 to be ready for action. It's annoying, and makes the camera vastly less useful as an event camera.

 

I have no personal experience with the M9, but it seems possible that the same effect occurs on that camera as well.

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You're faster than I am - it takes me more time than 0.7 secs to raise the camera and focus. And if I walk with the camera to my eye I tend to fall flat on my face..

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You're faster than I am - it takes me more time than 0.7 secs to raise the camera and focus. And if I walk with the camera to my eye I tend to fall flat on my face..

 

Yes - I can partially depress the shutter button on the way up (but usually the camera is in my hand already at chest/shoulder height, and sometimes I don't even raise it to frame and/or have the lens prefocused to my working distance). The irritation is that I have to remember to do this at all... not that it isn't possible to workaround. Usually I'm more concentrating on framing and focus, fiddling with the shutter button in advance to get the flash to fire is in my opinion - the camera 'getting in the way', which is unusual for an M camera.

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I sympathize, it took me some months to get that half-press into my routine. But now it is second nature.

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Drum roll please..................

 

It's the M9. Yes, a £5000 camera has failed so as to protect a £165 second-hand flash. Admirable self-sacrifice, don't you think? Something inside the camera is kaput.

 

Actually, it has worked out well in the end. Rather than wait 4-6 weeks for a 8 week-old camera to be repaired, Richard Caplan and Leica are exchanging it for me. Quite gratifying as I am not expected to see another Christmas and 4-6 weeks is a significant proportion of my remaining lifespan. Impressively, I have unexpectedly outlived an M-series Leica camera. It's a miracle!

 

On the half-press issue for the SF-24D in 'TTL/gnc' mode, the manual stated that it was necessary to send a meter reading to the flash. In 'A' mode the thyristor does it's own independent measurement a flashes accordingly. Not that I have had any experience of either yet. Maybe tomorrow.

 

Thanks for all your help. I did try everything.

 

All the best,

 

Drew

 

Flickr: drewleavy's Photostream

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Guest mc_k
...everything is under 1/160th...
assume you mean over (> 1/160 sec)

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assume you mean over (> 1/160 sec)

 

Equal to or longer. That's what I meant. Numbers is hard!

 

Picked up new body. It works with the flash. It is rather disconcerting that a camera with a non-working hotshoe made it out of the factory with one of those nifty signed inspection slips. Which, by the way, I opened and placed on top of the camera when I repacked the camera for the journey home.

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