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Thread: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

  1. #1

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    Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    I found an old Vivitar 283 in my dads old camera bag. Still works! I remember reading that you need to check voltages to make sure you won't damage modern dSLRs. So I did a quick internet search and there are some reports of it being in excess of 300 volta. I realize this is too much for a dSLR - so a couple of questions. Is the voltage limit only for the PC connection, or does it apply to the hotshoe too? If so -- what are my options for using this flash?

    I like the idea of having two flashes (The other being my 580EX-II) it would give me some additional control which would be fun.

    Thanks,
    Kent

    Edit: These things are so cheap on amazon (used of course) that if they can be made to work I could build myself a flash-tower like that Mcnaly dude in the video Colin posted, lol
    Last edited by KentDub; 9th October 2009 at 12:55 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I found an old Vivitar 283 in my dads old camera bag. Still works! I remember reading that you need to check voltages to make sure you won't damage modern dSLRs. So I did a quick internet search and there are some reports of it being in excess of 300 volta. I realize this is too much for a dSLR - so a couple of questions. Is the voltage limit only for the PC connection, or does it apply to the hotshoe too? If so -- what are my options for using this flash?

    I like the idea of having two flashes (The other being my 580EX-II) it would give me some additional control which would be fun.

    Thanks,
    Kent

    Edit: These things are so cheap on amazon (used of course) that if they can be made to work I could build myself a flash-tower like that Mcnaly dude in the video Colin posted, lol
    My understanding is that they run pretty close to the upper limit (which applies to both PC and hotshoe connections as far as I know). If it were me, I'd play it safe and grab something like a Wein Safe Sync.

    PS: Just a word of caution on the "McNally Tower" - I suspect that the reason he needed so many was because they were operating in high-speed-sync mode (so that Joe could have a shutterspeed higher than 1/250th to freeze the action) (considering he probably had a 50/50 mix of flash & ambient you can't rely on flash alone to freeze motion); you wouldn't get HSS doing it the way your thinking about.

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    PS: Just a word of caution on the "McNally Tower" - I suspect that the reason he needed so many was because they were operating in high-speed-sync mode (so that Joe could have a shutterspeed higher than 1/250th to freeze the action) (considering he probably had a 50/50 mix of flash & ambient you can't rely on flash alone to freeze motion); you wouldn't get HSS doing it the way your thinking about.
    aww I'd still get some nice portraits though

  4. #4

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    The "Wein Safe Sync" is $50.... worth it (or should I save for the 70-200 2.8f)

    (They have several models, but I think this is one that would work: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Shoe_to.html)

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    The "Wein Safe Sync" is $50.... worth it (or should I save for the 70-200 2.8f)

    (They have several models, but I think this is one that would work: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...t_Shoe_to.html)
    Looks good to me. Can't answer the other question though! (although $50 won't go very far towards any 70-200!)

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Yeah problem is theres too much on my wishlist right now! (Approx $6k worth of "accessories")... I'm still keeping myself to hold a quality tripod on the top of the list (I don't have one now! only a monopod, and we all know it isn't the same thing), when it comes around to purchasing time I'll probebly throw up a post to make sure I'm not about to buy something stupid

    Now that I think about it I bet theres few people who visit these forums who don't have a $5k+ wishlist.

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    I'm still keeping myself to hold a quality tripod on the top of the list
    We had a discussion about this some time back.

    Gitzo RULES!

  8. #8

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    I was considering a Gitzo - bot legs and head.

    Legs: http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...Id=MARKET:MKT2

    Head: http://www.gitzo.com/Jahia/site/gitz...Id=MARKET:MKT2

    Keep in mind I have several video cameras - and have a strong preference for pan/tilt.... So I'm hoping a setup like that would be great to use for both video and still. What do you think?

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Gitzo are the market leaders for quality, so you really can't go too wrong in that department. Unfortunately I can't help with the head - I use a Reall Right Stuff BH55.

  10. #10

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    Now that I think about it I bet theres few people who visit these forums who don't have a $5k+ wishlist.
    I said to SWMBO in January, "I'll just pick up a decent camera and a couple of lenses, I'd like to dabble in photography for old times sake".

    If I had the money I could now knock a big hole in $30+K without any trouble at all.

  11. #11

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    Re: Flash voltage - PC vs Hotshoe

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill44 View Post

    If I had the money I could now knock a big hole in $30+K without any trouble at all.
    And after lunch ... !

    I know what you mean. Today alone I ordered 1x Pocket Wizard MiniTT1 and 4x Flex TT5's

    Last week about 4 new books.

    Week before that PP PC upgrade
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 9th October 2009 at 10:34 AM.

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