Flash hotshoe question

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hartono Nugroho, Dec 19, 2003.

  1. Hi all,

    I am a bit confuse with flash hotshoe. Can we use different brand of
    flash with the camera? Say using Nikon Speedlight on Olympus digicam
    manually?

    TIA for your answer?
     
    Hartono Nugroho, Dec 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. Hartono Nugroho <> writes:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I am a bit confuse with flash hotshoe. Can we use different brand of
    > flash with the camera? Say using Nikon Speedlight on Olympus digicam
    > manually?
    >
    > TIA for your answer?


    There is an ISO standard for flash hot-shoes that most manufacturers follow for
    dumb flashes where the only communication between the camera and flash is a
    single pulse to fire. Minolta is the only manufacturer that I'm aware of that
    doesn't use the standard hot-shoe (but there may be others).

    If a camera maker supports additional features, such as x-TTL support (TTL ==
    through the lens) where the camera and flash have an extended dialog, it uses
    additional pins. Obviously you could have a situation where say Canon has a
    pin that means something and Olympus put a pin in the exact location for
    something else, but generally the extra pins are at different locations for
    different manufacturers.

    Most smart flashes will become generic if the additional pins aren't provided,
    so as long as the pins between two different manufacturers are in different
    spots, you can use the flash as a dumb flash. However, not all smart flashes
    do this, so you need to check on a case by case basis.

    To use a generic flash that has a auto-thrystor (a simple light meter) you need
    to use your camera in manual mode, setting the ISO speed and f/stop to match
    the flash, and setting the shutter speed appropriately (faster shutter speed
    means more of the light will come from the flash itself and not the background,
    but some cameras like SLRs have a maximum speed that they will sync with a
    flash). If you have a dumb flash that doesn't have an auto-thrystor you need
    to divide the distance to the subject by the guide number to get the f/stop.

    Another fly in the ointment is flash voltage. Older flashes, especially those
    designed for range finder SLR film cameras would shoot hundreds of volts
    through the flash terminal, which can fry modern automatic focus cameras and
    digital cameras. The standard place that talks about flash voltage is:

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

    There are two manufacturers (Metz available worldwide, and Promaster available
    in some USA independent camera stores) that I'm aware of that make some of
    their smart flashes in two parts, the flash head, and model specific adaptor.
    If you have one of these flashes, you just need to get a different adaptor for
    the other camera.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Dec 19, 2003
    #2
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  3. Hartono Nugroho

    nospam Guest

    In article <-meissners.org>, Michael Meissner
    <> wrote:

    > There are two manufacturers (Metz available worldwide, and Promaster available
    > in some USA independent camera stores) that I'm aware of that make some of
    > their smart flashes in two parts, the flash head, and model specific adaptor.
    > If you have one of these flashes, you just need to get a different adaptor for
    > the other camera.


    sunpak also makes modular flashes.
     
    nospam, Dec 19, 2003
    #3
  4. Thanks, I check the website and my SB26 is rated below 2V so it should be
    save to use in any camera brand. BTW, how do you measure the voltage of
    your flash? I just want to make sure and test mine myself.

    Many thanks again.



    On Thu, 18 Dec 2003 21:40:57 -0500, Michael Meissner wrote:

    > Hartono Nugroho <> writes:
    >
    >> Hi all,
    >>
    >> I am a bit confuse with flash hotshoe. Can we use different brand of
    >> flash with the camera? Say using Nikon Speedlight on Olympus digicam
    >> manually?
    >>
    >> TIA for your answer?

    >
    > There is an ISO standard for flash hot-shoes that most manufacturers follow for
    > dumb flashes where the only communication between the camera and flash is a
    > single pulse to fire. Minolta is the only manufacturer that I'm aware of that
    > doesn't use the standard hot-shoe (but there may be others).
    >
    > If a camera maker supports additional features, such as x-TTL support (TTL ==
    > through the lens) where the camera and flash have an extended dialog, it uses
    > additional pins. Obviously you could have a situation where say Canon has a
    > pin that means something and Olympus put a pin in the exact location for
    > something else, but generally the extra pins are at different locations for
    > different manufacturers.
    >
    > Most smart flashes will become generic if the additional pins aren't provided,
    > so as long as the pins between two different manufacturers are in different
    > spots, you can use the flash as a dumb flash. However, not all smart flashes
    > do this, so you need to check on a case by case basis.
    >
    > To use a generic flash that has a auto-thrystor (a simple light meter) you need
    > to use your camera in manual mode, setting the ISO speed and f/stop to match
    > the flash, and setting the shutter speed appropriately (faster shutter speed
    > means more of the light will come from the flash itself and not the background,
    > but some cameras like SLRs have a maximum speed that they will sync with a
    > flash). If you have a dumb flash that doesn't have an auto-thrystor you need
    > to divide the distance to the subject by the guide number to get the f/stop.
    >
    > Another fly in the ointment is flash voltage. Older flashes, especially those
    > designed for range finder SLR film cameras would shoot hundreds of volts
    > through the flash terminal, which can fry modern automatic focus cameras and
    > digital cameras. The standard place that talks about flash voltage is:
    >
    > http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html
    >
    > There are two manufacturers (Metz available worldwide, and Promaster available
    > in some USA independent camera stores) that I'm aware of that make some of
    > their smart flashes in two parts, the flash head, and model specific adaptor.
    > If you have one of these flashes, you just need to get a different adaptor for
    > the other camera.
     
    Hartono Nugroho, Dec 19, 2003
    #4
  5. Hartono Nugroho

    Ilari Guest

    Michael Meissner <> wrote in message news:<-meissners.org>...
    >
    > Another fly in the ointment is flash voltage. Older flashes, especially those
    > designed for range finder SLR film cameras would shoot hundreds of volts
    > through the flash terminal, which can fry modern automatic focus cameras and
    > digital cameras. The standard place that talks about flash voltage is:
    >
    > http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html


    So old flash can damage new camera. What about the other way around?
    Is there any risk that new flash (like Canon speedlite 420EX) could be
    damaged if put in an old camera or in a new camera that has different
    hotshoe?

    br,
    Ilari
     
    Ilari, Dec 19, 2003
    #5
  6. Hartono Nugroho

    Lionel Guest

    Kibo informs me that (Ilari) stated that:

    >So old flash can damage new camera. What about the other way around?
    >Is there any risk that new flash (like Canon speedlite 420EX) could be
    >damaged if put in an old camera or in a new camera that has different
    >hotshoe?


    The damage to cameras from old flashguns is from the high trigger
    voltage in the flash. I've never heard of a camera (old or new) that has
    high voltages on the flash shoe. About the only way I can imagine
    someone damaging the flash in your scenario would be if the units were a
    little mechanically incompatible, & you forced them into place.

    --
    W
    . | ,. w , "Some people are alive only because
    \|/ \|/ it is illegal to kill them." Perna condita delenda est
    ---^----^---------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Lionel, Dec 19, 2003
    #6
  7. Hartono Nugroho

    Argon3 Guest

    I tested two of my flashes that I've been using with the e10...a vivitar 285
    and a vivitar series 1 600 mpo (minolta-pentax-olympus dedicated....real switch
    hitter...use it on the pentax 645).
    I thought that touching the probes of a voltmeter to the contacts on the hot
    shoe fittings might fire the flashes but it didn't. Both measure within .5
    volts of 6 volts, so I feel rather safe...especially because the 285 is REALLY
    old and I figured the older the flash, the higher the trigger voltage.
    I have had 35mm cameras that I have bought used which have had the sync
    contacts fried by some previous owner's experiments with high voltage so I've
    used them just for existing light stuff,,,obviously that's not an option for
    digital equipment.
    Pick up one of those cheap digital voltmeters at Radio Schack and touch the
    probes to the flash contacts...it seems that the negative (black) goes to the
    contact under the platform and the positive (red) goes to the little nubby on
    the top of the platform.

    argon
     
    Argon3, Dec 19, 2003
    #7
  8. Hartono Nugroho

    Patrick L. Guest

    "Hartono Nugroho" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hi all,
    >
    > I am a bit confuse with flash hotshoe. Can we use different brand of
    > flash with the camera? Say using Nikon Speedlight on Olympus digicam
    > manually?
    >
    > TIA for your answer?



    I used a Nikon flash unit (don't know what it was, but the owner of it uses
    it on his D1x) on my Olympus E-10, but TTL did not function. I had to
    shoot in manual mode.
    But that wasn't hard, just took a few shots, checked the histogram, and made
    adjustments accordingly. So the moral of this story is that it helps to
    have a histogram viewable on your camera. You can get in the ballpark,
    exposure-wise, with just the monitor, but this might require adjustments in
    PhotoShop.

    I don't know what the sync voltage of the flash unit was, but it was
    apparantly a proper one for the DIX, so I assumed it was compatible with
    Olympus. It did not hurt my Olympus, that much I can tell you.

    Patrick
     
    Patrick L., Dec 20, 2003
    #8
  9. nospam <> writes:

    > In article <-meissners.org>, Michael Meissner
    > <> wrote:
    >
    > > There are two manufacturers (Metz available worldwide, and Promaster
    > > available in some USA independent camera stores) that I'm aware of that
    > > make some of their smart flashes in two parts, the flash head, and model
    > > specific adaptor. If you have one of these flashes, you just need to get a
    > > different adaptor for the other camera.

    >
    > sunpak also makes modular flashes.


    Yep, I was unaware they did, since they don't make modules for Olympus digital
    cameras.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Dec 20, 2003
    #9
  10. Hartono Nugroho

    nospam Guest


    > > sunpak also makes modular flashes.

    >
    > Yep, I was unaware they did, since they don't make modules for Olympus digital
    > cameras.


    there is an olympus hotshoe module. while not all olympus digicams have
    hotshoes, won't this work on the ones that do?
     
    nospam, Dec 21, 2003
    #10
  11. nospam <> writes:

    > > > sunpak also makes modular flashes.

    > >
    > > Yep, I was unaware they did, since they don't make modules for Olympus
    > > digital cameras.

    >
    > there is an olympus hotshoe module. while not all olympus digicams have
    > hotshoes, won't this work on the ones that do?


    I believe it is for the older Olympus film cameras, which uses a different
    hotshoe.

    --
    Michael Meissner
    email:
    http://www.the-meissners.org
     
    Michael Meissner, Dec 21, 2003
    #11
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