How to use Sunpack B3000
among the second hand camera gear that I have, there is a working Sunpack B3000. Would anyone of you give a tip or two how to use it? I have a few Nikons (FE, FM2 etc) and a Zenit ET (SLR). It would be nice to mount it on my FED3 as well, but a special cable would be necessary for that.
The flash can be set to ISO 25-1000 with slide. There is also a slide that switches the flash between four different modes: M, 1/16, A (white) and A (green).
I am not sure if the output is variable, or if the different modes only offers help to combine the output with different ISOs and and apertures. Actually, I have only used fully automatic flashes before, so I am a bit lost. It feels stupid to sacrifice a fresh roll of film before having some tips to start with.
In short, thanks in ahead for any help that you could offer!
Not familiar with the model # but that's never stopped me before.
M is manual. Focus the lens, look at the distance scale & set the f stop to what the distance scale on the flash tells you.
1/16 just a guess on this one. It lowers the power to 1/16th of full power. Some flash units used this so the flash would recycle fast enough to keep up with a winder.
Both A settings work the same way, set your ISO look at the scale, determine your working range & use that setting
White may be 5-20' and green 5-30'. both allow you to work between closest and furthest distance using one aperture.
John, thanks for your reply. Indeed the output on 1/16 is much weaker. That would be a difference of four stops, right?
What still bugs me is that with a 100 ISO film, and A(green) the flash says f2.8 on a range between 1,4 to 11 meters (4,5 to 35 feet). That is a lot, and several stops less light would hit an object 11 meters away, compared with an object 1,4 meters away. Or is that difference not so large?
Anyway, I guess I should load an old film and try this out.
Another thing, If the flash is directed upward in order to bounce on the ceiling or a wall, one just has to guess distance and aperture, right?
Yep, thats basically how they all work with variations on the color coding and settings. The flash power is controlled by the thyristor circuit. The settings tell you how to set the aperture for your working distance. It's pretty simple really, but these flash units can easily be fooled if the sensor isn't seeing what the lens sees.
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That is the range the flash set to Auto (the green or white A) will able to cope with.
Originally Posted by Erik Petersson
Get too close, and the output will be too high when using f/2.8. Get too far and the output will not stretch far enough when using f/2.8.
In between, the electronics will cut off the flash as soon as its sensor has 'seen' enough light. Which is later when the subject is far away, sooner when the subject is close.
If you happen to have someting close by and far away, neither of which filling the field of view of the built-in sensor, neither will get exposed properly.
At the same time, the closer subject will get too much, the far away subject will get too little light.
The joys of automatic flash.
Now things make sense. The sensor would also detect light bounced off a ceiling or a wall. Time for me to load a film and try it out!
I'm assuming that this is the flash you are speaking of:
If so, the flash's auto sensor is that "eye" on the front of the foot. That is what you want to try to point toward your subject so that it can read the light reflecting back.
It looks to me like the head will swivel to permit bounce off of the ceiling. If so, you can still use the auto function with ceiling bounce, because even with the head swivelling, the sensor continues to point forward.
You can do the same thing with bounce off of a wall, as long as you turn the flash sideways - again, just make sure to have the sensor pointing forward.
If you are going to use bounce, you need to remember that the light has to travel a longer distance, and that when it bounces off of a surface, it loses a fair amount of intensity (which limits your maximum distance).
Hope this helps.
M is manual. With a fixed-power flash, you have to set the f stop according to the guide number, or the scale that is on the flash (which is made based on the GN). The guide number may or may not be different than the specified guide number, and should be tested. A quick way to find out what the stated GN is is to set the scale to ISO 100 and then look at the distance that lines up with f/11 (a relative easy and quick number to multiply in your head). Multiply the two, and that is your theoretical GN. For instance, if 10 feet lines up with f/11, your GN is 110.
1/16 cuts four stops manually.
The other two are auto modes. Each one covers a different range of distances.
Q.G.'s final three sentences should be read and taken as gold. Auto flashes, especially of this type, are as miserable as in-camera reflected meters. Good, perhaps, to quickly save your ass when you have no time, but for little else. The same situations that give less-than-ideal results with in-camera reflected meters will do the same with auto flash. High contrast compositions resulting from light falloff in "deep" compositions are the number one offender. The flatter and more grey the environment, and the less deep the composition, the more accurate auto flash will be. So, go shoot grey cards, and you will be spot on perfect all the time. Shoot anything else in the real world, and you will probably be right on 10% of the time, and have varying levels of "right on-ness" for the other 90%..ranging from "almost right on" to "right off".
Last edited by 2F/2F; 01-02-2010 at 03:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
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Yes, that is the flash I have. The head can only be tilted up and down, so if I compose the picture in landscape mode, it can bounce off the ceiling, and in portrait mode, off the wall.
I think it might be a useful flash if the sensor still works.
Can I use it with any camera, or do I have to match certain flashes to certain cameras? I have read somewhere that the voltage (?) of certain flashes is to strong for certain cameras. Just want to make sure.