There are a couple of modifications for the SB-800 to overcome this problem but there were none for the SB-600, so I decided to find one.
Important Notes and Disclaimer:
If you're going to do this mod, please read it through carefully before you begin.
There is high-voltage circuitry inside the flash gun and a chance of an electric shock. I got zapped a couple of times making these mods so please be careful. I've indicated the zappy bits.
This modification involves grinding out part of the inside of the flash gun, it will void the warranty on your expensive flash and Nikon will know if you've taken it apart. I've taken care to document every step, and I have completed these instructions once but I can't be responsible if you stuff your flash or if you get zapped.
Step 1: Tools
- Dremel with a #420 Cut-Off Wheel and a #115 High-Speed Cutter (or similar)
- Needle-nosed pliers, small to middle sized
- No. 00 sized Philips screwdriver or jewelers screwdriver
Note: It's probably best to use a larger handled screwdriver than a jewelers as the screws have had thread-locker added to them. You must make sure that your screwdriver fits the screws perfectly as they're very stiff and you'll need to apply quite a bit of force.
Step 2: Removing Lower Screws
Once you have loosened all four, remove the upper two shown in the notes.
Step 3: Upper Screws
Loosen both of these screws by a quarter turn and remove the top screw as shown in the notes. Again these had been secured with Loctite and were very hard to undo initially so make sure your screwdriver fits properly or you'll destroy the screw head.
Step 4: Removing the Cover
Try not to disturb the plastic cable envelope just yet.
Step 5: Before Continuing
First, there are two of these screw boss plates on either side of the flash (see notes). The reason you only loosened the bottom screws was to stop these falling into the electronics. Make sure the bosses are still attached and won't fall in
Secondly take note of how the cable envelope lies around the cables and where it fits into the body of the flash. The envelope stops the cables tangling when you rotate the flash head and so it needs to go back in the way you found it. Take some photos too if you can.
Step 6: Dangerous Bits
Also the ceramic paste that looks like toothpaste is actually hard so don't worry about getting it everywhere.
Step 7: Separating the Flash Head
Start by pulling out the plastic cable envelope and rotating it to one side.
To remove the flash head, first squeeze the rotate button on the head and lift the head up and out of the flash gun body.
Step 8: Accessing the Connectors
Step 9: Front Cover Removed
Step 10: The Bump Stop
Step 11: Grinding
I only wanted to add 45° to my rotation so this is all I removed. If you want your flash to rotate 180° then you can grind this stop away. You could probably leave a smaller section as well, but I'm hard on my flash gun and wanted to make sure I didn't snap the bit off.
Use a gentle hand and make sure to use an air gun or something to blow all the plastic dust out of the inside of the cover, that's why we had to separate the cover from the flash housing.
Step 12: Reconnecting
Step 13: Putting It Back Together
2. Fold the small side of the envelope in and tuck it back into position. If you're unsure how it goes, check back to the earlier photo where the cover had just come off. See notes on the pic below.
3. Squeeze the rotate release button on the flash head and push it back into the collar of the flash body. You must squeeze the button to insert the flash head.
4. Test the flash head rotation by squeezing the button and rotating it gently. This will check whether the plastic envelope is fouling the rotation.
5. Manoeuvre the wires connecting the front cover so they're in front of the LED and put the cover back into position. You may need to adjust the plastic envelope and the some of the wiring to get the cover to sit in position. See notes on the picture below.
6. When it's right, secure the front cover by installing all four screws and tighten them all up. Tighten the four screws that you loosened as well. I didn't use any more threadlocker to secure the screws.
Step 14: The Finished Product
Stick your batteries in and see how it goes.
Any questions or suggestions lemme know. I've got another SB-600 to modify so I'll see if I can simplify the procedure. Good luck and have fun.