Flash

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Mike Kennedy, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    I've never been a fan of flash photography.Maybe it's time I learn.Can anyone suggest a unit that would fit a Pentax ESII.

    Thanks
     
  2. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Almost any flash would work with the ESII except a few modern units with lots of pins on the hot shoes and some may not work if these pins are shorted. The Vivitar 283 and 285 comes to mind if not for any reason but they work just about as well as typical flash units like Nikon SB-800, 900, Canon 580 etc.. when mounted on the ESII. They are also widely available and finding one in good working condition cheap is easy. I think you can buy a brand new 285 for around $90.
    If you don't mind using a handle mount unit then some old flashes from Metz like 45CT1, 60CT1 and Sunpak 611 and 511 would work very well and not expensive either especially the Sunpak units.
     
  3. Pinholemaster

    Pinholemaster Member

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    Any flash that does not have to be attach to one's camera is better than a flash that only work when mounted to the camera.
     
  4. Mike Kennedy

    Mike Kennedy Member

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    Pinholemaster.Are you suggesting I use a slave for flash work?
    If so,are they pricey?

    Thanks
     
  5. gordrob

    gordrob Subscriber

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    I use a Vivitar 283 normally on a L bracket so the flash sits to the side of the camera. The 283 is a workhorse and has given me good results.
    The ESII is a great camera but hasn't seen a lot of use lately - mainly because I shoot more medium and large formats.

    Gord
     
  6. GeorgeDexter

    GeorgeDexter Member

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    Beware putting a Vivitar 283 or 285 on some cameras. They can cause circuitry damage because the PC voltage is too high. Check the acceptable voltage for the ESII before you try it.
     
  7. Edimilson

    Edimilson Member

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    I bought a Vivitar 285 HV recently. Even though I had no previous experience with flash units, I got very good results with it using its automatic mode. The same did not happen with another model I bought (a Vivitar 2800). I now think that paying around US$ 90 for a new 285 HV is a bargain. It is not hard to learn how to adjust the unit and your camera using that big knob that at first seems very complicated. I really don't feel the need to look for a more sophisticated unit with displays, beeps and what not.

    As to the voltage issue, I bought the low-voltage model, i. e. a new unit from B & H, which I use with my newest film cameras. I wouldn't try it on the older cameras I own.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    The new low trigger voltage 285s will work on any camera with an x-sync, even ones from the 1950s. The problems arise with a vintage Vivtar, Honeywell, etc with a sync cord trigger voltage of 280 volts. That can fry a lot of newer cameras.
     
  9. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    Pentax ESII is an old camera, there is no problem whether the flash has high or low voltage.
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    This might not be a question which is capable of an answer, but why aren't all cameras designed so as to be able to use a wide variety of flashes, including vintage flashes? I'm no engineer, but to me a camera that can be "fried" by the wrong synch voltage has been very badly designed. Why don't the problem cameras include something like the electronics in those add-on safe synch products?
     
  11. Excalibur2

    Excalibur2 Member

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    Maybe its because the camera manufacturers want to sell their own flash guns at exorbitant prices?
     
  12. Edimilson

    Edimilson Member

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    And there's no danger of a new low-voltage flash being fried when used on an old high-voltage camera?
     
  13. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    My guess and this is a guess.
    Most modern flashes have a similar safe sync built-in.
    Modern cameras use solid state switching circuit and not an electro mechanical switch like old cameras. These devices would last much longer than the mechnical type especially with repeated use. These solid stated devices can only work with a certain range of voltage and not almost all like a mechanical switches. If they have to limit to a range of voltage it's better to use the lower one as it's safer. Inside a flash unit high voltage switching is still needed but a device to switch high voltage circuit with low voltage (that is what the safe sync does) can be built inside the flash and there is no exposed high voltage on the outside of the flash.