Electro gee-gaw Nikon with mashed potatoes

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Anscojohn, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Hello all,
    This dinosaur has been tasked to shoot a birthday reception in a dark restaurant with a digithell Nikon SLR I am forced to use. I would like to use my beat up old Sunpak 555 potato masher for added light.
    I have rigged a piece of gummed label covering all the electronic connection points on the hot shoe of the camera, with a single hole over the actual hot contact. I have a screw on hot-shoe to pc adapter. It fires o.k.
    Any reason why this will not be harmless to the electronics of this electronic "thing" tonight at the shoot?
     
  2. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    I posted here because it would seem to me the electronics issues would be the same with a film camera.
     
  3. Tim Gray

    Tim Gray Member

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    I don't really know. But it depends on the sync voltage of the flash and what you camera is capable of handling. A lot of new cameras only like lower voltages for flashes, and some older flashes used very high voltages.
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The bottom of the pc-adapter has only the single hot spot, right? In that case I'd think you could just slip it right in there without covering anything. How will you do the exposure? Is there some manual flash setting on the "camera?"
     
  5. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Without knowing the synch voltage of the old flash, this could definitely be a gamble.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Nikon DSLRs are o.k. up to 250v. I personally think a lot of the voltage paranoia is just marketing nonesense to sell new flashes.


    Steve.
     
  7. Randy_Va

    Randy_Va Member

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    The lower end Nikon DSLRs have a tough time focusing and deciding on exposure in subdued lighting, putting a manual lens on solves that problem nicely. Of course the lower end Nikons also won't meter with a manual lens, but then that will make using the external flash that much easier (that is easier when you don't let the camera think for you).
     
  8. Marvin

    Marvin Member

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    I used my 285 Vivitar with my D70 to do a Wedding and had no problems but I used the Nikon hot shoe to PC adapter and used the 285 on a bracket. I used the camera on manual with sync shutter speed and kept check on the hystogram for exposure. I think the adapter was AS-15 Nikon and was about $20.
     
  9. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Not always. I fried the autofocus on a Pentax 645N by using an old flash. Luckily, it was a relatively cheap fix. But I'd suggest getting a "safe sync" hotshoe adapter.
     
  10. jime11

    jime11 Member

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  11. jime11

    jime11 Member

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    umm... looking on that page - looks like the 555 is safe
     
  12. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    Thanks one and all. I couldn't find a voltage spec on the 555 booklet; decided to go for it. And, yes, selected shutter speed (100 sec. equiv) and f/8 manually; the digithell camera is still working fine. The images looked fine, even in that dark restaurant; and, since I was using a strobe on a "L" bracket, no red-eye to try to remove.
    Thanks again, for all your input.
     
  13. CJBo001

    CJBo001 Member

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    I think you were lucky! Some years ago I fried a circuit in my Nikon FG using an earlier flash.
     
  14. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    Before digital came along all flashes were designed to work with all cameras and all cameras were designed to work with all flashes.

    I think the current low voltage flash sync. ideas are just paranoia and mythology.


    Steve.
     
  15. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    The Sunpak 555 is a thryristor unit can be adapted to the electronics of film slrs on those machines that have those capabilities. I would not have considered using an old Strobonar or Metz potato masher on that circuitry. As of this morning (ca 14 hours after the shoot) the Nikdon D50 dighithell camera is still working. Thanks, again, to the advice I have received.
     
  16. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The current low voltage flash sync is due to the fact that new cameras use solid state switching device (SCR, transitor etc..) rather than simple dry contact. The solid state devices don't wear out with repeated use but are not easy to make them work with a wide voltage range.
     
  17. Rol_Lei Nut

    Rol_Lei Nut Member

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    Many "electronic" cameras back in the 1980's could also be damaged by, say, a Metz 45-CT1 (I measured 250 volts on mine)....
     
  18. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    The D50 is an underrated digital camera. It's one of the few consumer models you can use non-AFS lenses on, because it has the AF screw drive motor built into the camera.
     
  19. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    It was certainly possible to fry the electronics in an SLR with electronic sync not designed for use with studio strobes before digital, and even mechanical sync contacts could be degraded over time by arcing from high voltage shutters. I don't worry too much about the mechanical sync with my Norman portable and studio strobes, figuring that it's one of the things that can be adjusted or repaired with a regular CLA, but with electronic cameras I use a Wein Safe-Sync to reduce the trigger voltage to safe levels. The risk is probably low, but it's easy enough to avoid.