Flash and Meter Questions

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Terry Again, Feb 2, 2009.

  1. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Hi All,
    My Friend has a XD-11 Minolta Camera and I wonder if a Vivitar 2000 Flash I gave her is ok to use with this camera? I have a Sekonic Auto-Lumi ModelL-158 I wonder If Anyone knows of this Compny And Model's Accurate or not? Thanks for any replys!
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    I'm not quite certain what it is you want to know. I am very familiar with the Minny's and the use of a Viv on top. Light meter's a light meter to a point. But what do you want to know exactly?
     
  3. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Hi Chris,
    Well I wonder with the XD-11 having "programs" if the flash has a too high a voltage in it's circuits as it fires and charges? that what I mean by safe to use being it's a vivitar 2000 a model I haven't heard or seen written about? On the meter I wonder IF it's an accurate piece and most of all is there a place I could go to figure out how to read the scale so once I have the needles match up I know what to set camera to? I have never used a hand held meter before! And I wonder If the Sekonic has a battery? I can't find a switch to shut on-off!! A place to go to find out how they work if there is no battery? I really am concerned about the flash being OK to use on the XD because I gave the flash and hate to mess up a 100 dollar at least camera!! I haven't the money to replace the camera!!:sad:
    I hope this is clearer?
    Thanks for any replys and place to post!!
     
  4. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    My excuse is:I have no brain!
    Sekonic is still making quality meters. If the front of the meter looks like a honeycomb pattern it is selenium
    and has no on-off switch.
    There should be a calculator dial on top. Set your ISO/ASA in the window and IF I recall correctly line the needle up with a reference mark in the window. When that's done the calculator gives you a series of f stop/speed combinations any of which are OK to use.
     
  5. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    XD-11 is OK to use with flashes with high voltage sync circuit. I have the XD-11 and the dedicated flash Auto 320X and the only thing it does more than a generic flash is that it automatically set the shutter speed to sync speed in A mode.
     
  6. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    YOUR FLASH GUIDE NUMBERS

    You don't need a meter. Consider the following equation.

    FSD = gn / av

    Where FSD represents FLASH-to-SUBJECT DISTANCE
    gn represents a flash's GUIDE NUMBER
    av represents APERTURE

    The guide number for your flash is 79 feet with a normal lens and ISO100 speed film. (I did a quick search, 79 IS your published guide number)

    Let's say your subject is 30 feet away.

    FSD-30 and gn-79 so let's put it in, shall we.

    30=79/av

    30=79/2.63333333333

    So in this instance f/2.8 would probably be more than sufficient to illuminate a subject 30 feet distant through a normal lens with ISO100 film.
    Figure out your FSD's for each aperture. Run a test roll to find out if all the exposures are comparable in the light values in your subject and you should be good to go.

    If using different films (ISO) or length lenses it is simple to transfer this equation through simple modification.

    (information on this subject was accessed at Creative Image Maker Magazine for reference in formulating this post. not a shameless plug contrary to popular belief. i had to consult my article as little as i use this info)
     
  7. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Hi Chris, So I do a bunch of math and to remember the answers,write them in a book. Always have a way of measuring how far away I am from subject. How do I get an automatic thing going with the flash and the camera? I hope using the Vivitar 2000 and the Minolta XD 11? Anyone out there Know and how? Would a Vivitar 283 work any better to get an automatic snyc'd flash and exposed correct is what I'm asking?
    Thanks for reading and any answers,
     
  8. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I don't know about the Vivitar 2000 but a 283 would work fine because you can use it on automatic mode. The 283 has a choice of 3 automatic apertures. All you have to do is to set the lens aperture the same as that on the flash.
     
  9. Toffle

    Toffle Member

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    I'm still fuzzy on this... We have FSD, GN and aperture... (and ISO, which is an easy variable to employ) Where does shutter speed fit the equation? It seems to me to be an essential part of the calculation. Or is this considered to be an assumed constant, say 1/60 or so?

    Cheers,
     
  10. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    For flash exposure the shutter speed doesn't matter as long as it is equal or slower than maximum sync speed. Of course unless the ambient light is quite bright or the shutter speed is quite slow to make exposure by ambient light significant. In such case one must meter the ambient light also.
    The exposure time for flash is assumed to be shorter than the shutter speed used. This is true in most cases as flashes used to have duration of 1/1000 sec or shorter. Today, many flashes have their duration at full power a bit longer than the top sync speed 1/250 (I believe because today flashes have larger capacitor and charge at lower voltage than older flashes) of most modern SLRs and it does matter a bit.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2009
  11. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    I'll have to check this 2000 out better when I get a 283 in the mail that's a present from a member here? I thank you for the info now I might figure out what is what? So I can see I have to learn/remember the numbers from the math Chris pointed out to use a flash with a Minolta SRT 100. I'll see what I can do? Thanks for the info!!
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Terry:

    The math isn't bad, and once you have done it and recorded it in a table, it is really easy to use.

    Example: If you end up with a Guide Number of 80 for the film you are using, and your subject is 10 feet away from the flash, then set your f/stop on your lens to 80/10 = f/8. Or, if the subject was 5 feet away from the flash, you would set your f/stop on your lens to 80/5 = f/16.

    If you have a Vivitar 283 you can use it on the Minolta SRT100 as well.

    Matt
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    You don't need to do the math. You need to estimate camera to subject distance. Most flash including the 2000 should have the calculator dial to figure out the aperture without the need for math. With the 283 you just select the aperture then the flash can automatically control its output to match. To use the 283 on the SRT100 you would need an adapter because the SRT100 doesn't have a hot shoe. It does have a cold shoe.
     
  14. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Hi,And I wonder If the 2000 is the same as the 283 in that it can control it's output? I just wonder IF it'd be a good match to the XD 11 and the auto programs it has! My Friend and I both are new to flash and using one! The 283 that I have coming has the cord needed so that's good to go for the SRT it's the XD I wonder about or should I have posted this in Lighting forum?
    Thanks for the info,
     
  15. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    I found the manual for the Vivitar 2000 flash unit.
    Set the switch in front to A.
    Determine the aperture depends on the ISO of your film by looking at the chart on the back of the flash. Use the aperture column that is highlighted ( black number on white background). for example ISO 100= f/4, ISO 200=f/5.6 etc..
    Set the XD-11 shutter speed dial at X.
    Set the M/A/S level by the side of the shutter speed dial to M.
    Set the aperture ring on the lens to the aperture that matches that's on the flash (i.e. ISO100=f/4...)
    Make sure your subject distance is between 3.5ft to 15ft.
    Shoot away. The flash will automatically control its output for correct exposure within this distance range.

    With the SRT-100, the procedure is almost the same.
    Set the shutter speed dial to 60
    Set the lens aperture as indicated on the chart on the flash.
    Pull out the sync cord from the back of the flash and plug it into the PC sync terminal marked X on the side of the lens mount.

    That's it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 5, 2009
  16. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    There are many ways to do this. The 100% best way is to obtain owners manuals for your gear and to consult them. We can math it up til we're blue in the face but if arithmetic is not one's forte, then more than likely there is an easy to follow chart in a thin paper booklet that indicates results published by someone who has already done the work for you.
     
  17. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Hi, I also found the manuals for the 2000 and the 283 and the sekonic meter! Thanks Mr. Butkus!! I have to read them and learn now. Any other thoughts on this shall go on in Lighting.
     
  18. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, Terry;

    The Vivitar 2000 is an early version flash unit that has a high trigger circuit voltage; around 220 volts. I would use the Wien "Safe-Sync" with this flash unit and a modern camera.

    The Vivitar 283 flash is available in two (2) versions, the early and the late. The early ones had a high trigger circuit voltage; the later ones have a low voltage trigger circuit. The best way to check it is with a voltmeter. You can go from the pin in the very center of the shoe and the metal part on the outside of the shoe to measure the voltage while the unit is turned on and charged. The industry specification calls for 20 volts or less, but many camera manufacturers ask for a trigger voltage applied to them of no more than 6 volts. Again, if there is any doubt or question, the Wien "Safe-Sync."

    Both the Vivitar 2000 and the Vivitar 283 are electronic flash units that have an "Automatic" mode. They have a built-in light sensor that can measure the light falling on the subject and stop the flash tube when the sensor thinks the light is correct. All you need to do is set the film ASA speed on the flash unit and set it to "Auto." We have talked about this before.

    The specific camera flash circuit for the Minolta XD-11 is not known to me. It is right around the time when they switched from the electro-mechanical flash contacts to the electronic switches. To be safe, I would use something like the Wien "Safe-Sync" with the Vivitar 2000 and probably with the 283 flash unit.

    The Sekonic L-158 Auto-Lumi is a good light meter, if it has not been damaged. I believe that it has a selenium light cell. You can check to see if it still works and is in calibration by taking a light reading outside on a sunny day. Set the ASA scale to 125. Go outside and point the light meter at a "normal scene" or at an 18% grey reflectance card. You are making a "reflected light" reading. Adjust the dial to move the pointer with the round circle over the meter needle. Then looking at the point where "f 16" appears on the dial, right next to it on the shutter speed part of the dial should be 125, just like the ASA number you set earlier. If they match, or they are very close, the meter is good.

    For your concern about the flash unit trigger voltage being not compatible with the camera flash synchronization circuitry, the Wien "Safe-Sync" is a cheap form of insurance, and will provide piece of mind.
     
  19. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    The Wein Safe Sync is selling for around $50 and is not really cheap. The cameras that the original poster has are the Minolta SRT100 and XD-11 both are of the same vintage or even older than the Vivitar 2000 and 283 flash units and can handle the high sync voltage without a problem. Either of the camera isn't worth much more than the price of the Wein Safe Sync unit.
     
  20. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    The Main Concern I still have is with the XD 11 and It having more auto programs even though with the flash the camera would be in Manual there might be some leakage? And the same leakage problem for the SRT 100 effecting the meter? IF either one of these cameras fries there would be no buying replacement out of next week's check!! IF one were to get a Safe Sync for a hot shoe what would it look like/where would it fit? One For the cold shoe I know goes on the snyc cord. As IF we could get the bucks to get one,but one never knows? Better to know and safe than sorry!! I reall HATE I told you SO!!!:smile:
     
  21. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Terry,
    No problem with leakage as the meter and flash circuits are separate. The 283 will work with a hot shoe if you unplug the cord.
    The safe sync looks like a small cube with a male shoe on the bottom and female on top. It's about 3/4" tall.
    So you put the SS in the shoe & slide the flash into it. Just like stacking alphabet blocks.
     
  22. Terry Again

    Terry Again Member

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    Thanks john,
    I'm really concerned about my Friend's XD 11 and it's auto programs being effected by the high voltage! That's my question now! With the Vivitar 2000 flash. There's no money to buy a safe snyc anyways. IF there is a problem between the flash and the camera then just not use the flash till a snyc can be purchased, I wonder about now!
    I hope some people can say? Thanks for the info all!!