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09-08-2017, 10:20 PM   #1
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AF540FGZ flash - issue with wide angle overlay

I just purchased an AF540FGZ flash from a private seller via Facebook. Got a great price for it ($85 USD), but when I received it, it had a couple of issues.

The wide angle overlay appears to be missing, and the zoom head is jammed - the LCD indicator is stuck, flashing, at 16mm, and can't be changed either via auto or manual zoom. If I had to guess, I'd say the wide angle overlay got pushed back into the flash head and is blocking the zoom from operating.

Besides that, the flash operates as expected, and I could see myself using it as-is for a good long while. Test shots appear to be well-lit, even with the zoom head not working. I don't have a great need for long-range flash; mostly within 10-15 feet or so. I don't have any great desire to return it, even though it's not quite what I was expecting.

I found an exploded view of the flash on the forum, and it doesn't appear to be hard to take apart for a look-see, if I'm feeling adventurous. I checked Precision Camera, and their standard starting quote is $175 (which doesn't make sense to me; I can get another decent used one for that).

So, looking for advice. Should I just use it as is? Try to open it up? Is there another repair option I should investigate (maybe someone on the forums, or a private shop)? I'd be willing to pay maybe another $75 to to get the zoom head up and running, if necessary.

Thoughts appreciated!

09-08-2017, 10:27 PM   #2
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"great price" !!!

Seriously though, the wide angle pull out lens sets the flash to the wide setting and disables the zoom control. Are you sure it has not been pulled out and broken off ?
09-08-2017, 10:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
"great price" !!!

Seriously though, the wide angle pull out lens sets the flash to the wide setting and disables the zoom control. Are you sure it has not been pulled out and broken off ?
It's possible. I understand there's a switch inside the head that senses whether the pull-out lens is there, and it's certainly not seeing it. The catchlight card is still in the slot and can be pulled out but there's something that blocks it when I try to slide it all the way in. I can fiddle around and get it to retract fully, but I have to hit it just right. I guess that's what made me think that perhaps the wide-angle lens was still there.

So, assuming the wide-angle lens is really gone, if I got inside the flash and taped/glued down that switch, would the zoom head operate properly?

---------- Post added 09-08-17 at 10:56 PM ----------

More info: it does look like the pull out lens is just gone. I was able to shine a light down inside the slot, and there's nothing there. Sooo...any way to trigger the switch so the flash thinks it's there?

---------- Post added 09-08-17 at 11:04 PM ----------

Ok, I think I know what I'm going to do. I'll keep an eye out for a non-working parts flash, and scavenge the wide angle assembly from there. It's not urgent, and it might provide a fun rainy-day activity sometime - and that way, I can make any disassembly mistakes on the parts flash first.

Till then, I'll use it as is and not worry about it.

Last edited by babywriter; 09-08-2017 at 11:06 PM.
09-09-2017, 12:23 AM   #4
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Hi BW. If you do decide to DYI, please be careful of the very high voltage that remains in the capacitor of flashes.

09-09-2017, 02:11 AM   #5
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I stuck a piece of board in mine i cut to size. Now the zoom activates. It just needs to depress a button or something in that slot.
09-09-2017, 07:54 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I stuck a piece of board in mine i cut to size. Now the zoom activates. It just needs to depress a button or something in that slot.
Good to know! I played with something similar a little bit, but wasn't able to get it to work. I'll try again.

---------- Post added 09-09-17 at 07:55 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by pjv Quote
Hi BW. If you do decide to DYI, please be careful of the very high voltage that remains in the capacitor of flashes.
Ah, thanks for the heads up! I hadn't thought about that.
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