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How Do You Get a NiceFoto NFlash Repaired?

Published: 14/08/2018
By: larry

Zoltan in Miami asks:

I have a question/warning for PFRE readers. Where can I get my NiceFoto NFlash680A flash repaired?

I have been desperately trying to reach the manufacturer. I have been sending emails to them every day for 4 days but I get zero response.

The phone number on their website is wrong. I managed to call them as all I had to eliminate was one 0 from the phone number provided but they do not speak English well enough to be of any help.

So if there is no place to repair it then it is practically a disposable flash for over $400 and the community should know about this. I have 3 of them and they are great for as long as they work. But now I need repair on one of them which just stopped working.

I know there are many PFRE readers who use NFlashs because we have talked about them before. I was talked into getting one too. Has anyone ever gotten one repaired?

12 comments on “How Do You Get a NiceFoto NFlash Repaired?”

  1. you might try contacting in Austin - they sell them and may know how to get something repaired ... i have one that is having issues but i’m trying a bulb replacement first... just haven’t put it in yet but am currently shopping for something else with a more customer friendly solution for just that reason... my first one was put through about 3 yrs of everyday all day work... battery would last a whole day and then some with heavy use and many full power blasts ... dropped many times... never missed a beat until all the sudden it wouldn't recycle so i thought it was the batt... just dawned on me ciupek weeks ago to try the batt in the newer unit and it works great... so i’m thinking it’s the bulb ...

    also you might try a local reputable photo shop that does some repairs ... might be something they can handle ... curious what others suggest as well

  2. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of these fly by night photo companies don't last long. When you spend the money on a proven manufacture, you get the customer service that goes with the added expense.

    That said, even a proven manufacture service can be more expensive than the item is worth. Four years of use assuming you do a decent amount of got your money out of it.

    Just sent in a Manfroto 410 gear head for service and at least they were honest in their assessment:

    So, I just ordered another new one from B+H for less than the cost of repair. That unit was over 15 years old.... may it rest in peace

  3. You may want to try a general electronics repair shop or a camera store. If the problem turns out to be a bad connection, shorted transistor or a tripped thermal fuse, a decent technician can get you going again. If it turns out to be a fried board with the microcontroller, there may not be replacement parts available. Don't just dump the unit in the trash if it turns out to be too expensive to fix. You may find a buyer on eBay that has a working unit with a damaged case that will happily buy it from you. There may also be somebody that that is willing to spend the time doing more troubleshooting or will want the housing for a DIY project.

  4. I cannot understand people buying cheap junk! Our gear as professionals is tax deductible. So why try and save money at the wrong end? I always purchase branded products as they also offer service facilities if anything should go wrong.

  5. I’ve been working with Paul C. Buff for many years, but even reputable manufacturers eventually have to let old products fade into the sunset. My old white lightning ultra 1200 lights are finally not unable to be serviced by Buff, though they’ve been pretty bulletproof. Fortunately, bath still carries flash tubes and modeling lights for retired products ...mine are 35 years old.

  6. @desmond, for a while the NFlash was one of the only high power, handheld, battery supplied flashes on the market. While gear is tax deductible, that's once a year and when you need (want) new gear, cost is an issue. It's also hard to know that something is going to be a rotten piece of junk until there is enough feedback from real users. Lots of people use the nFlash and it can return good value for the price.

    Nikon speedlights are much better than the Yongnuo, but they smash to bits in the same way if you drop them on a hard floor. Harbor Freight tools are the bottom of the barrel, but they can do the job briefly and most people aren't too crushed if a box of HF tools are stolen vs a box of Snap On.

    I'd certainly like to have cases full of Hensel studio strobes and Westcott modifiers, but I can make just as nice of a portrait with no-name modifiers and cheap JTL strobes. I can buy a whole replacement JTL strobe often for less than the cost of a new xenon lamp in a Hensel.

    @Andrew, if the strobe can be repaired for $50-$100, that's better than $475 for an AD600 if budgets are tight. It also means that it can be sold off easier and for more which leaves more budget to get the AD600 to take it's place.

  7. You have no idea what is wrong with it though. You can guess, buy a part, be wrong. There went your time and money for the part and you are in the same spot.

    In the long run, I believe it is best to waste zero time on stuff like this and just grab a new one. Even if you did fix it I guarantee it is going to take you at least three to four hours of your time when everything is added up. How much is your time worth? We all need to answer that question I suppose to decide if these thimgs are worth it. If you do enjoy fixing stuff that would be another matter i suppose.

  8. @Andrew, Actually yes, I do like tinkering with things, but even more I just hate throwing away an item that might have something as simple as a broken wire that keeps it from working. There is a point where even I throw up my hands and just give up and buy another one. Even if it means paying someone, it can be a good idea to have a $400 broken item looked at to see if the fault is something quick to fix. A well used $20 thing, not so much.

  9. Ken Brown: "Actually yes, I do like tinkering with things" - Hi Ken, where and when do you find time to tinker with things?

  10. I have used nicefoto for years and do not consider them junk, I have replacement flash tubes and recently bought two new batteries, one is a couple years newer than the other but I use them every day, and would buy another if the arises, like Andrew said, maybe the best is buy a new one.

  11. I've been using Nicefoto flashes for years, and I shoot 3-5 homes every day. They have sat in hot cars, sat in snowbanks, and just continue to work. Granted, their customer service is shoddy (probably the language barrier as much as anything else), but I hardly understand calling them cheap junk when you don't know anything about them.

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