What flash for the Mamiya RZ67? Will Canon Speedlites work?

Discussion in 'Medium Format Cameras and Accessories' started by jedrek, Jun 25, 2006.

  1. jedrek

    jedrek Member

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    Hello,

    I shoot mostly 35mm (ok, it's digital) but I dabble quite a bit in MF and LF. My system of choice is Canon, so I have a couple of flashes (550EX and Sigma DG 500). I'd love to be able to use them on the Mamiya. Will they work? Should I even try to mount them? Is my only hope a PC connector?
     
  2. Drew B.

    Drew B. Subscriber

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    I'd leave out the "ok, its digital" part...first. But, I'm glad you asked that because i have an RZ but have not had any use for a flash. I would, however, like to know that kind of info from RB and RZ users on apug.. I'm sure my old Vivitar 285 would work just fine. Sorry, no help here except for getting rid of the D word.

    drew
     
  3. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I would not recommend using your speedlights, they have different trigger voltages than the RB puts out and could cause damage to the flashes, pick up and old Vivitar 285 or simular type flash and it will work fine, I used an RB with a 285 for years in a studio and it was a great combination, also the speed lights are programed to work with the Canon bodies and the various flash modes it has, the RB has no programed flash modes hence you, if it would work would get unpredictable results.

    As Drew said, get rid of the (Okay its digital)!

    :D

    R.
     
  4. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    What is trigger voltage? I assumed that was something the flash put out, and the camera just closed the circuit to fire the flash. How do you find the trigger voltage? I am in a similar situation and wish to fire a Nikon flash from an RZ67. I have used the Nikon flash with my large format lenses and haven't had any problem.
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    The newer flashes have different voltages that are feed between the flashes and the newer program cabable cameras, so you can actually damage the flash or the camera, if you have the PC flash socket on your camera, which the RB does and the flash has the PC cababilitiy then all may be fine, what Nikon flash are you using with your LF gear? This is information passed along from the various camera reps when I was working in the camera store, as said the Vivitar 285 is a great flash and they are cheap now a days, pretty much any older camera with the center post flash shoe will trigger most any newer flash with the center pole, but the accumilated triggering over time can damage the flash, I fried a Minolta AF 4000 flash using it on a Mamiya 645, your milage may vary.

    R.
     
  6. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Sorry guys, I read RZ and thought RB, I have never shot an RZ, so the circutry might be different, I would email canon support and ask them the same question..

    R.
     
  7. L Gebhardt

    L Gebhardt Subscriber

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    I have used a Nikon SB80DX and an older Sunpak PZ5000 (I think that's it) with Nikon adapter with the LF gear.

    So is the PC socket voltage standardized? The SB80 has a PC socket, so I guess I could fire it through that. I was using a PC to Shoe adapter in the past.
     
  8. Nick Zentena

    Nick Zentena Member

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    Worse case you could get a safe sync to protect the camera. It's not newer flashes that are the problem it's older ones. Newer ones are designed to not damage new cameras with built in computers. Older cameras and LF lenses are much tougher.

    http://aaronlinsdau.com/gear/articles/flashvoltage.html

    I just glanced at it so check it closely but it seems to cover measuring your flash voltage.

    I don't think the RZ has any fancy flash features. So no need to get an advanced flash.

    You might try asking on the Mamiya MAC forum. The tech support tends to be pretty good but they won't know about third party flashes. But they might tell you if it's safe to use the hotshoe.
     
  9. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    The trigger voltage is internal to the flash. The camera has nothing to do with it unless it's one of the newer cameras with electronic switching.
    Any camera with a mechanical shutter will work with any flash unit regardless of the trigger voltage.
    With an electronically controlled switch you must be aware of this voltage and the polarity of the voltage to prevent reducing the cameras circuit board to ash. Slight exageration here but it is possible to functionally destroy the board.
    The only damage I've seen from high TV has been arcing or pitting of the contacts. OK in really extreme cases it's possible to see the sw. contacts welded together.
     
  10. waynecrider

    waynecrider Member

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    Besides a Safe Synch you can get a Wein SSR Jr. Infrared. Their nice and I use it on everything to trigger any flash.
     
  11. Pragmatist

    Pragmatist Member

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    What they said

    What Nick & John have said is the case. Many older camera and studio flashes may route anywhere from 20-250 volts through the shutter sync contacts. Not a problem with most older cameras, disaster for new digital and film boxes. The Safe Sync is the solution to that problem. I have one that I use inline with my old Photogenic AA01-A power pack to reduce any potential for arcing, pitting, or welding. Too many lenses and cameras that parts are no longer available for.

    Here is a good resource for determining the sync voltages of various flash systems:

    http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

    On the RZ due to the sync being in the lens, most of these should not be a great consideration, but the safesync is not a bad deal, again to reduce pitting and other problems.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 25, 2006
  12. Lopaka

    Lopaka Member

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    I don't see a problem with any of the low voltage units (6-volt and 9-volt). The problem with the Cannon flashes is they have an automatic 'sleep' mode and wake up when you focus the camera. Not going to happen on the RZ. I found that if I used the Cannon on another camera, I always had to manually switch the flash back on to shoot. Since the RZ has no TTL or such, you have to use the flashes in manual mode. I think voltage to the camera is a higher risk with the high-powered portable units like Quantum, Lumedyne and Norman. Even though the circuitry is supposed to limit voltage received by the camera, a safe-sych filter is a wise investment. I once had the synch contracts burned to a cinder on a Mamiya TLR when a studio rat plugged a cord in the wrong place and sent 120 volts to the camera. Not too expenseive there - but a major financial disaster on electonic cameras like the RZ. An EX+ replacement from KEH is cheaper than a repair.

    To answer the question - yes it will work. But unless your unit (newer than mine) has a way to disable the automatic sleep mode - it is a pain. The RZ does have a hot shoe on the side - gets in the way of a bracket though. Cannon makes a 'hot shoe relocator' cord (not sure of its correct name) while it has the circuitry to manage the Cannon auto functions, it actually does work on the hot shoe of other cameras if all you need is synch trigger. I have used it with Metz low-voltage units on the Mamiya. Strictly manual mode - but if you are shooting MF you shouldn't expect the camera to do your thinking for you. (The 645 Pro-TL and 645AF support TTL but it doesn't come cheep - proprietary interfaces that cost as much as a flash unit!)

    Bob