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In an effort to help, try checking your settings. Per page 30 of the manual the E stands for Auto External Flash Metering (You probably already know this)
The flash reflected off the subject is metered by an external metering
sensor in real time.
When the standard flash exposure is attained, the
flash output is cutoff automatically.
E: Auto External Metering
• With auto external metering, the camera's ISO speed and aperture will
be set automatically in real-time by the Speedlite.
Hope this helps
Actually, I had totally forgotten about that function...I will have to check it out later. Still, I fear that something is amiss since 'Auto External Metering' needs to be activated via a custom function and I did not have the flash set-up that way. This problem occured right after I knocked the flash off the hot shoe and it took a tumble on some turf. I'll try resetting the custom functions and see if that 'fixes' it but I would think that any impact hard enough to change a custom function may have caused permanent damage. I'll check it and report back.