General FAQs

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Sigma’s DC lenses are designed to work on digital SLR cameras with an image sensor which is smaller than 35mm film (known as APS-C size). If you use one of these lenses on a film or full frame digital SLR, you will get a line (called vignetting) around the edge of the picture. Please use a lens from our DG range as these will be suitable.

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Yes, just phone or email sales@sigma-imaging-uk.com and we will post you a printed brochure. Alternatively, click here to download a PDF version.

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All Sigma products, lenses, cameras and flash units are manufactured exclusively by Sigma in Sigma’s own factory in Aizu, Japan. No Sigma Corporation product – lens, camera or flash – is manufactured outside of Japan. This is very unusual these days, as most companies have at least some of their products produced outside of Japan because of cost considerations.

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Due to the ultra wide angle shooting capabilities of lenses such as the 15mm, front filter use simply is not possible. It would damage the front element of the lens and cause heavy vignetting on the images. Gelatine filters are available from the following website: http://www.galvoptics.co.uk.

Lens FAQs

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The designation DG indicates that the lens has been optimised for digital SLRs but is equally compatible with film SLR cameras. These will work on digital SLRs with a small (APS-C size) image sensor, digital SLRs with a full frame sensor and film SLRs. DC lenses are designed specifically for digital SLRs with the small, APS-C size image sensor. These are not suited for full frame digital or film SLRs as heavy vignetting will occur.

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Each abbreviation has its own meaning and is an important part of the lens’ construction and design. For detailed descriptions of each abbreviation, please click here to visit the lens technology page on this website.

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Sigma produces lenses with exclusive fixed mount systems; therefore it is not possible to change the mount of a majority of Sigma lenses. However with the new Mount Conversion Service, any of the Global Vision Lenses can be converted to a different mount system. More details can be found in the Mount Conversion Service information tab in the Support section.

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Our tele-converters are matched to work with a few Sigma EX telephoto lenses and are therefore not compatible with all our lenses. For a full chart of compatible lenses, click here.

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The major difference between these two lenses is the optical performance. The DG model features a more conventional, achromatic optical design and uses one element of Special Low Dispersion glass (SLD). Its sharpness and contrast are rated very highly, however it is not quite as good as the APO model, which uses an apochromatic optical design and uses three SLD glass elements. This model has been top-rated by independent photo magazines. The APO DG model is also somewhat more expensive than the DG model. If you plan to make very large enlargements from your negatives, slides or digital files, the APO DG lens may be your better choice.

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With conventional auto-focusing, auto-focus is driven by electromagnetic force of a DC-motor, gear and shaft mechanism. However, Ultrasonic Oscillation Energy operates the HSM lens and creates high-torque drive. Since this motor has no reduction gears, it has much quicker response to start and stop compared to DC- motor lenses. HSM system has virtually silent auto focus function, very quick responsive auto focus function and “full-time” manual focus, wherein AF can be overridden without disengaging the AF mode altogether.

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W indicates wide focal length and T indicates telephoto. For example on a 28-80mm zoom lens W is equal to 28mm and T is corresponding to 80mm. Depth of field region can be determined by combination of depth of field scale and distance scale. The depth of field scale is printed on depth of field scales on the right and left sides of the centre index line. These figures show the depth of field for each aperture setting. The range between numbers of the same f-number is the depth of field. For instance, choose the aperture, f22 and rotate the zoom control to the wide position until it stops and focus the lens on a subject. The distance from the camera to the subject will be shown on the distance scale by the centre index line. Therefore, the region between the right and left sides of the centre index, which will be in the range of the same f-number at the chosen aperture, will be in-focus. The same process also can be applied for tele-position. Set the focal length to tele-position, choose the aperture, f22. You would see the range on the distance scale, which corresponds to the depth of field.

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OS lenses do make a soft noise upon start up. This noise emits whilst the OS system is setting into position. Once the OS is set, generally after one or two seconds, the noise will stop. This is completely normal for OS lenses.

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All Sigma products, lenses, cameras and flash units are manufactured exclusively by Sigma in Sigma’s own factory in Aizu, Japan. No Sigma Corporation product – lens, camera or flash – is manufactured outside of Japan. This is very unusual these days, as most companies have at least some of their products produced outside of Japan because of cost considerations.

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Each of the Sigma prime macro lenses offer up to 1:1 (Life-size) reproduction images, but at different working distances. For example, the 50mm lens provides the shortest working distance and the 180mm lens the longest working distance. Therefore, if you are looking to do copy or reproduction work, the 50mm is likely to be your best choice. If however you photograph small insects, the 150mm or 180mm may be better suited as these allow you to stand a little further away from the subject whilst still giving you the same image. This may prevent disturbing the insect. All provide excellent optical performance, and are fully compatible with current 35mm AF and digital SLR cameras.

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Due to the ultra wide angle shooting capabilities of lenses such as the 15mm, front filter use simply is not possible. It would damage the front element of the lens and cause heavy vignetting on the images. Gelatine filters are available from the following website: http://www.galvoptics.co.uk.

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The lens you received has a serial number which has not been issued by Sigma’s factory in Japan. It appears that the lens you received is a “Grey Market” lens, and has been tampered with having its serial number changed. This would explain why you received no factory warranty card with the lens; the serial number printed on the warranty card at the factory, would not match the number on your lens. The Sigma lens should always be supplied with the factory warranty card, which is necessary to help verify the factory warranty. This altered serial number has implications for the Sigma one-year warranty. We suggest that you contact the dealer regarding this situation, immediately.

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The AF control system for some Nikon Cameras does not work with HSM lenses. Sigma’s HSM lenses have full compatibility with F5, F4 series, F100, F90/N90, F90X/N90S, F80/N80 F70/N70, u/F65/N65,Pronea 600 and Pronea S. With other Nikon cameras, Sigma’s HSM version lenses can be only used in manual focusing mode.

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The vibration caused by the firing of the shutter and the movement of the mirror is transferred to the tripod. The characteristics of these movements are different to those experienced during hand held photography and the OS system cannot compensate for them. If you wish to use a tripod, please switch off the OS function.

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This is the distance from the film plane/image sensor to the subject. Many people assume it is the distance from the front of the lens however it is measured from the film plane. The shorter the Minimum Focusing Distance, the closer you can focus on the subject.

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First, set the zoom control to its maximum telephoto position. Then, slide the Macro Switch to the “Macro” position. Now the focus ring can turn from infinity to macro range. (The macro switch cannot be changed to the “Macro” position if the zoom ring is set to other than the maximum telephoto setting.) While the Macro Switch is set to the “Macro” position, the zoom ring is locked in the maximum telephoto setting and zooming is not possible. To avoid damage to the lens, please do not force the zoom ring to turn. To return the normal mode, please then turn the focusing ring out of the macro range. Then slide the Macro Switch to the “Normal” position. If the focus ring is in the macro range, the switch will not move.

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The image of the subject, which is taken by both lenses, will have same magnification, however the size of backgrounds will be different. The picture, which is taken by 50mm/f2.8 EX Macro Lens, will have wider background if compared with the 105/f2.8 Macro Lens. Further, lens to subject distance will be different for making life size pictures with both lenses. The subject to lens distance for 50mm/f2.8 is 40.5mm/1.7in., however this distance is 120mm/4.7in., for 105/2.8EX lens.

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The filter used in the 300mm f/2.8, 500mm f/4.5 and 800mm f/5.6 lenses have a 46mm filter size and there is no problem if you attach the filters of the other brands. However, if the thickness of the filter is over 5mm then you cannot attach this filter to its holder. In the case of polarising filters, you can only use the Sigma filters.

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Unlike most cameras, the Nikon D40x does not have an auto focus motor built into the camera. Therefore, auto focus will only work with our HSM lenses as these have a motor built into the lens.

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Sigma lenses do come with a 1 year international warranty, however, the warranty is only honoured if VAT and duty have been paid on importation into the UK, otherwise it is an illegal import. Once these taxes have been taken into account, our customers usually find it better value to buy an official UK imported lens. Sigma UK also offer an extended 2 year warranty on all EX lenses which have been imported through us. For further details click here.

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No. All our lens hoods are matched exactly to the lens they are supplied with.

General lens troubleshooting

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Simply turn the lens’ aperture ring to the minimum aperture (eg. f/22) where it will lock into position. This is usually indicated by an orange dot.

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OS lenses do make a soft noise upon start up. This noise emits whilst the OS system is setting into position. Once the OS is set, generally after one or two seconds, the noise will stop. This is completely normal for OS lenses.

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No, simply set the aperture ring to F22, marked in red, and lock the aperture ring. Then use the camera to change the aperture instead of the lens.

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EX converters are matched tele-converters designed to give optimum quality. This does limit the lenses they can be used with. Please refer to the table here for a list of compatible lenses.

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This could either be due to the lens’ iris or the lens’ circuit which may need upgrading. Please contact us for further details. To speed up you enquiry, please have to hand the exact model number and serial number of your lens.

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The majority of lenses we can rechip. However there are a few older lenses which we are unable to re-chip due to parts no longer being available. In order to answer your question, we need to determine which 70-300mm lens you have. If you look at the lens, is the Macro switch held on by two screws? Or does it state ‘Super’ on the unit?

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Ensure that the camera / lens is in MF mode when manual focusing otherwise this could cause damage to the gearing system.

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Many lenses have large and heavy front optics which cause zoom creep. We suggest pointing your lens up or down 45 degrees to the horizontal. If your lens doesn’t creep, we are unable to tighten it. If however it still does, please send the lens into us.

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No. This will make no difference to image quality as the dust is too far away from the sensor. If you do have dust specs on your pictures, this will be due to dust particles on you image sensor.

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Small chips are unlikely to make any difference to picture quality and therefore is generally not worth any further action. Larger chips may cause flair under certain lighting conditions. If you feel this may be the case please contact us.

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This is more than likely due to a phenomenon called ‘bleeding’ on your image sensor. This is where light from one pixel bleeds over to an adjacent pixel which is designed to detect a different colour. This is a disadvantage to Bayer type sensors and the result is a thin red outline around dark areas on a bright background.

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Very slight ‘play’ between lens and camera is quite common. If all the functions are working correctly, ie. the aperture information is being passed from the lens to the camera, you will not need to take any further action. If the functions are not working correctly, please send the lens into us.

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Ensure you are not using a DC lens on a full frame or 35mm film camera. If your lens uses a petal type lens hood, ensure this is correctly fitted otherwise the hood outline will appear in the corners of the picture. If your lens uses a front cap adaptor ring to hold the lens cap in place, such as a fisheye or 12-24mm, ensure this adapter ring is removed.

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This is due to the lens hood blocking part of the light from the flashgun. Either remove the hood from the lens or purchase an external flashgun such as the EF-530 DG ST.

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Zoom the lens out to 100mm or further and lock the ‘CONV’ switch into place. This will allow your converter to fit without damaging the rear element of your lens. See your instruction leaflet for further details.

Focusing troubleshooting

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If you have a DF (Dual Focus) lens, you will need to pull the clutch/focusing ring to activate the AF. See you lens’ instructions for further details. If using a Nikon camera, the AF/MF switch is located on the camera body as opposed to on the lens, ensure you turn this switch to the AF position.

Camera FAQs

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The Synchro mode enables to shoot fixed shutter speed 1/180 sec. Setting with Auto bracketing function allows selection desired aperture value and easily flash exposure bracketing.

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The dust protector is optical glass shield unit which is equipped SD series Digital SLR camera. It prevents dust or dirt from entering the camera. In addition, the dust protection can be detached easily for cleaning image sensor.

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SD14 camera is available in 8 languages from English, Japanese, German, Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian and Korean.

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The durable focal plane shutter mechanism has life cycle of over 100,000 shots. The shutter is ideally suited to the requirements of digital cameras. This new shutter dramatically reduces the amount of dust and dirt from the shutter mechanism.

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The Quick Set button enables users to display important settings, ISO, pixels, JPEG quality and file type, white balance, on the LCD monitor, using one button.

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The mirror lock-up mechanism raises the mirror thus preventing vibration when the shutter is released. This prevents camera shake, and is especially effective for macro photography or landscape using extremely long telephoto lenses. Use of remote controller (sold separately) or cable release (sold separately) also reduces the possibility of camera shake.

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SIGMA SD cameras are available with SA bayonet mount (non-external mount type).

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SIGMA SD cameras video output system can be switched between PAL system (used in Europe, etc.,) and NTSC system (in Japan and the U.S., etc.). This means that video output of pictures is possible in many parts of the world.

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The SD14 is not equipped IEEE1394 terminal.

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USB2.0 is available in SD14. It is possible to transfer multipurpose images by using USB (2.0) interface. The SD9 and SD10 are supplied with USB 1.1.

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It is possible to download the Firmware “Ver1.01” from the following site. http://www.sigma-sd14.com/software/firmware/index.html Please read “HOW TO UPDATE” before operation. Please notice it is not necessary to update this firmware to the firmware version “Ver.1.01” or later.

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In the SD14, you can use CompactFlash (TypeI/II) and Microdrive (FAT32 Compatible). The SD9 and SD10 is only compatible with FAT16 cards (less than 2GB in size)

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The SIGMA SD14 is compatible with FAT32 system, allowing usage of CF cards larger than 4GB CF cards to be used. With the SD9 and SD10, cards no larger than 2GB can be used.

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The number of images can be recorded in 1GB storage media depending on the resolution mode – approximately 75 images, Medium – approximately 153 images, Low – approximately 307 images. This number is varied depending on subject.

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When using a camera with an APS-C size image sensor, you will have to multiply the focal length. With the SD cameras, you will need to multiply the focal length of lenses by 1.7x. Therefore an 18-200mm lens, for example, effectively becomes 30-340mm.

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There are many factors to battery life, such as how often the LCD screen is used, if you use auto-focus or manual focus. However, one charge of the battery should give about 300 images.

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The entire range of Sigma lenses are compatible with the SD cameras, including DC and DG lenses. Just ensure you purchase the Sigma SA fit as the other fittings are not compatible.

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Although it is possible to remove the dust protector and clean the image sensor yourself (see the camera manual for instructions), we do not advise that you attempt this procedure yourself. Due to the extremely delicate nature of the image sensor, we strongly recommend that you contact an authorized Sigma Service Station to have the sensor cleaned.

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The dust protector does not degrade the image quality in any way, nor does reduce the cameras sensitivity. The camera will not function properly if the dust protector is removed.

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Occasionally small particles from the shutter mechanism will flake off and adhere to the image sensor. If these particles are big enough to be visible in your images, it will be necessary to have the image sensor cleaned.

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Formatting a CF card erases all of the data on a CF card, including files, images and directory structures. Formatting a CF card may also repair a non-functioning card with corrupted data. Physical damage, faults or bad sectors cannot be fixed by formatting.

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The number of remaining images shown in the frame counter is only an estimate based on a fixed file size. However, all images are compressed in the camera. The RAW files use a lossless compression algorithm (meaning that the compression does not, in any way, degrade image quality). Therefore, the actual size (in megabytes) of each image will vary depending on the subject, shooting conditions and shooting mode, which can all affect how well an image compresses.

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The camera performs a limited amount of processing, in order to display and store a small preview of each image. When the user magnifies an image to examine it in more detail, the camera further processes the target area to give a higher resolution view. With a goal of saving time and power, these previews and magnified views do not use the full high quality processing that is available in Sigma Photo Pro.

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If you are photographing under very unusual light conditions such as mixed light sources, or very specific studio lighting, such as strobes, for best results, it is recommended that you use the Custom white balance setting. This feature allows you to capture a sample of a known neutral colour object (such as a grey card or a white wall) and use that information to adjust the white balance of the following photographs.

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As long as the image is taken in RAW, the white balance setting does not in any way effect how the image is actually captured, but rather just appends certain information to the image file telling the computer how to process the image. If the image was captured with the wrong white balance setting, it is easy to change this once the image is on the computer using SIGMA Photo Pro.

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No, Sigma flashes are designed to provide an angle of coverage that accommodates the picture area of a standard 35mm film camera. The area covered by the flash will, therefore, be larger than the recorded image due to the 1.7X focal length multiplier of the camera.

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A histogram is a graph depicting the distribution of brightness values in the image. The horizontal axis shows the brightness level (from 0 to 255), with darker pixels towards the left side and brighter pixels toward the right. The vertical axis shows the proportion of pixels at each level of brightness. By examining the histogram you can gauge the over-all exposure of an image. When the histogram is higher on the left side, the image is mostly composed of dark pixels, causing it to appear dark-either because the image is underexposed or because it is a dark scene such as night shot or sunset. When the histogram runs off the right side, the image will have many white pixels-either because the image is overexposed or because it is a bright scene such as the beach or snow. A histogram with a fairly even distribution of pixel values usually indicates that the image is well exposed, with good contrast. However, the histogram distribution of a well-exposed image will vary greatly depending on the subject.

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Regardless of the File Numbering setting, the next image captured will be assigned the larger of 1) the next available number from the camera image counter or 2) one number greater than the highest numbered image already on the card. This system prevents images from showing up on the card chronologically out of sequence.

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The Fill Light affects tone correction by adding extra light energy into the shadow regions without overexposing highlight regions. Decreasing this setting can be used to increase shadows in darkness.

Flash FAQs

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Illumination angle of Sigma flashguns is adjusted to 35mm film format. Therefore when using these flashguns with APS-C size digital SLR cameras, the illumination angle will be wider.

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Nikon D200, D2X, D2H, D2Hs, D70, D70s, and D50 will function in “i-TTL” mode. D100, D1X, D1H and D1 will work in D-TTL mode.

Flash troubleshooting

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Ensure the 17mm Wide Panel is not down and covering the flash head as this will stop the zoom mechanism from working.

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Check the batteries have sufficient power in them. Check the contacts are clean and the batteries have not leaked. If the problem persists, please return your flashgun for inspection.

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Ensure you are using the correct fitting flashgun, ie. a Canon fit gun on a Canon camera. Ensure the flash / camera is not on Manual mode. Ensure the 17mm Wide Panel is not covering the flash head. If using a digital camera, ensure the model is compatible See our compatibility chart for details. We suggest using spot metering for more accurate results. If the problem persists, please contact us for further information.

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Your flash requires an upgrade to fully function with the D200, we can carry out this modification. If your flash is under warranty we will carry out the service free of charge, if not, the cost will be either one of the following; If you bought the flash from new and you can provide proof of purchase, the charge is just £5 to cover return postage and packaging. If the flash was bought second hand or you have no proof of purchase, the charge is £33.99 which covers parts, labour, VAT and return postage and packaging.