ELECTRICAL HAZARD WARNING!
Please read Comment 23 and understand the risks before you attempt this DIY Fix. Also, if this is your first time, it helps to make a mental note of the order in which the items are taken apart.
I hate it when manufacturers roll out products that not only fall short of their promise but are evidently insufficiently tested. When Canon released the Speedlite 580EX II, they made it more dust and water resistant, 20% shorter recycling time and improved communication reliability through direct contacts. I’ve owned previous models of Canon flashes namely 550EX and the original 580EX none of them had given me any communication problems over the years of hard use (there may be exceptions). As far as I’m concerned, communication has always been very reliable—it was not broken and therefore needed absolutely NO fixing. So, if you’ve landed on this page because your 580EX II is misbehaving: gross overexposure, ETTL switches to TTL and occasionally not firing, welcome to my club—membership is free :) It may be nothing more than just loose contacts that can be fixed quite easily.
To sum it up, I’m grateful problems like this can easily be fixed at home (the only tools required are tiny Philips PH000 (+) screw driver and patience). About the only other annoyance with this flash is the completely unintuitive Master to Slave switch or lack-thereof! I use my Speedlites with studio umbrellas too so I have to put up with the silliness of this absent-minded ‘feature’ when working in slave mode.
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