Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camera blow up?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jw@urban-exposure.com, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Guest

    Hello, I have a G2 rangefinder kit and have today acquired the
    beautiful EOS 5D w/ 24-105 lens. I will be buying a 430EX flash in the
    next few weeks, but would really like something more compact for the
    times when I don't want to carry a big hammerhead flash around with me.


    Would my Contax TLA-200 flash work ok with the 5D or do I risk blowing
    up the camera and/or flash. Presumably I would not achieve any TTL
    flash metering with this setup, but is the metering system on the 5D
    sophisticated enough to work with this flash?

    Any insight would be appreciated.


    James

    www.urban-exposure.com
     
    , Mar 11, 2006
    #1
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  2. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >
    > Would my Contax TLA-200 flash work ok with the 5D or do I risk blowing
    > up the camera and/or flash. Presumably I would not achieve any TTL
    > flash metering with this setup, but is the metering system on the 5D
    > sophisticated enough to work with this flash?


    I tried a "foreign" flash on one of my recent cameras (can't remember which,
    sorry - it might have been my 5D) and all I got was an error signal as the
    camera failed to find the correct signalling protocol. I think there's some
    form of hand-shaking involved nowadays.
    --
    M Stewart
    Milton Keynes, UK
    http://www.megalith.freeserve.co.uk/oddimage.htm
     
    Malcolm Stewart, Mar 11, 2006
    #2
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  3. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello, I have a G2 rangefinder kit and have today acquired the
    > beautiful EOS 5D w/ 24-105 lens. I will be buying a 430EX flash in the
    > next few weeks, but would really like something more compact for the
    > times when I don't want to carry a big hammerhead flash around with me.
    >
    >
    > Would my Contax TLA-200 flash work ok with the 5D or do I risk blowing
    > up the camera and/or flash. Presumably I would not achieve any TTL
    > flash metering with this setup, but is the metering system on the 5D
    > sophisticated enough to work with this flash?
    >
    > Any insight would be appreciated.


    I also have a new EOS 5D and I have now used it with my Mecablitz 54 MZ-4
    Flash with the correct SCA adaptor.

    Wow! what a lump.. It weighs a total of 2.12kg!

    It's such a heavy combination, what with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM fitted,
    I was also wondering about a smaller, pocketable flash like the Contax
    TLA-200 which I also have.

    Can anybody make any suggestions ?

    Steve
    Milk floats, stainless steel sinks
    --
     
    Thread Stopper, Mar 11, 2006
    #3
  4. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello, I have a G2 rangefinder kit and have today acquired the
    > beautiful EOS 5D w/ 24-105 lens. I will be buying a 430EX flash in the
    > next few weeks, but would really like something more compact for the
    > times when I don't want to carry a big hammerhead flash around with me.
    >
    >
    > Would my Contax TLA-200 flash work ok with the 5D or do I risk blowing
    > up the camera and/or flash. Presumably I would not achieve any TTL
    > flash metering with this setup, but is the metering system on the 5D
    > sophisticated enough to work with this flash?
    >
    > Any insight would be appreciated.
    >
    >
    > James
    >
    > www.urban-exposure.com


    I had a look at your Gallery James and agree that the Contax G2 with Ziess
    lenses can create that 'blown away' impression.

    Sadly all of my Contax G2 gear will soon be up for sale to finance the
    recent purchase of my Canon 5D

    Did you build your website using some off the shelf software?

    Steve
    --
    Milk floats, stainless steel sinks...
     
    Thread Stopper, Mar 11, 2006
    #4
  5. Re: Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camerablow up?

    wrote:
    > Hello, I have a G2 rangefinder kit and have today acquired the
    > beautiful EOS 5D w/ 24-105 lens. I will be buying a 430EX flash in the
    > next few weeks, but would really like something more compact for the
    > times when I don't want to carry a big hammerhead flash around with me.
    >
    >
    > Would my Contax TLA-200 flash work ok with the 5D or do I risk blowing
    > up the camera and/or flash. Presumably I would not achieve any TTL
    > flash metering with this setup, but is the metering system on the 5D
    > sophisticated enough to work with this flash?
    >
    > Any insight would be appreciated.
    >


    The standardised flash-triggering voltage is 24 volts.

    Canon, in its infinite wisdom, lowered the maximum allowable flash
    trigger voltage in some of its digital cameras (my G2, for example) to 6
    (IIRC) volts. A flash with a 24 volt trigger could "fry" those cameras.

    So, check your 5D specifications as well as the TLA-200 specifications
    (or use a voltmeter to measure it directly) to avoid damage.
     
    Chris Loffredo, Mar 11, 2006
    #5
  6. Guest


    > The standardised flash-triggering voltage is 24 volts.
    >
    > Canon, in its infinite wisdom, lowered the maximum allowable flash
    > trigger voltage in some of its digital cameras (my G2, for example) to 6
    > (IIRC) volts. A flash with a 24 volt trigger could "fry" those cameras.
    >
    > So, check your 5D specifications as well as the TLA-200 specifications
    > (or use a voltmeter to measure it directly) to avoid damage.


    Because I am impatient, last night I tried the TLA-200 on my 5D in
    manual mode (on both the camera and flash). The flash fired without
    any problems, but obviously I had to set the apeture on the camera
    relative to the distance reading shown on the top of the flash.

    What you said about those voltages has worried me though! I will see
    if I can find out some info from the specifications, but if I were to
    do a voltage test would I just have to place the test sensors on the
    hotshoe contacts and fire the shutter? How would I test the voltage of
    the flash?

    It is really frustrating that there is not a e-ttl flash on the market
    that is compact and does not add to the bulk of the camera.

    Steve - with regards to my site, it was built using Dreamwever - I have
    just been getting my head around advanced dreamweaver and CSS using
    some outstanding video tutorials from Lynda.com

    I would have one day considered selling my G2 kit to fund an upgrade,
    but the kit cost me £1300 three years ago and I would be lucky to get
    £600 for it now, so I plan to keep it until it becomes 'collectable'.
    Anyway I still use the G2 for street photography work, as frankly a
    bulky SLR is not an option in that kind of situation.

    Best regards,


    James

    www.urban-exposure.com
     
    , Mar 11, 2006
    #6
  7. Alan Browne Guest

    Re: Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camerablow up?

    wrote:

    >>The standardised flash-triggering voltage is 24 volts.
    >>
    >>Canon, in its infinite wisdom, lowered the maximum allowable flash
    >>trigger voltage in some of its digital cameras (my G2, for example) to 6
    >>(IIRC) volts. A flash with a 24 volt trigger could "fry" those cameras.
    >>
    >>So, check your 5D specifications as well as the TLA-200 specifications
    >>(or use a voltmeter to measure it directly) to avoid damage.

    >
    >
    > Because I am impatient, last night I tried the TLA-200 on my 5D in
    > manual mode (on both the camera and flash). The flash fired without
    > any problems, but obviously I had to set the apeture on the camera
    > relative to the distance reading shown on the top of the flash.
    >
    > What you said about those voltages has worried me though! I will see


    It's in the manual. For the 20D it's about ±250 V for the sync terminal
    and I doubt it will be worse for the 5D. Verify that this applies to
    the "hot shoe" leads as well, though it should.

    IIRC, some later film Canon's such as the Elan 7 did not tolerate high
    voltage flash sync circuits.

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

    For a variety of flashes sync voltages

    Cheers,
    Alan
    --
    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
    -- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 11, 2006
    #7
  8. Guest

    According to that page the TLA-200 comes in at 4.1v, so presumably it
    would be perfectly safe with an EOS 5D if it has a tolerance of ±250v?

    Apologies for the ignorance, but this whole trigger voltage thing is
    new to me and I have a degree in photography!


    James

    www.urban-exposure.com
     
    , Mar 11, 2006
    #8
  9. <> wrote in message
    news:...
    >According to that page the TLA-200 comes in at 4.1v, so presumably it
    >would be perfectly safe with an EOS 5D if it has a tolerance of ±250v?
    >

    If you check your 5D manual, you'll find that the 250v refers to the PC
    socket.

    --
    M Stewart
    Milton Keynes, UK
     
    Malcolm Stewart, Mar 11, 2006
    #9
  10. Alan Browne Guest

    Re: Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camerablow up?

    Malcolm Stewart wrote:

    > <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >
    >>According to that page the TLA-200 comes in at 4.1v, so presumably it
    >>would be perfectly safe with an EOS 5D if it has a tolerance of ±250v?
    >>

    >
    > If you check your 5D manual, you'll find that the 250v refers to the PC
    > socket.


    So what voltage will the 5D shot shoe sync closure take?



    --
    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
    -- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 14, 2006
    #10
  11. Re: Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camerablow up?

    Alan Browne <> writes:
    > So what voltage will the 5D shot shoe sync closure take?


    Nobody outside Canon knows (and Canon is not talking).

    This is what we know:

    - I have not seen a report on a flash of /any/ voltage frying the
    circuits of a Canon digital camera. Don't take this comment to mean
    that high voltages are safe. This is a costly experiment to
    conduct, so maybe people just refrain from doing this.

    - The ISO 10330 spec. says that cameras should be able to accept
    trigger voltages up to 24 V. I would be very surprised if Canon did
    not follow this spec. - but please do not draw any conclusions based
    upon my ability to become surprised.

    - Canon's own EX-series flashes is just below 6 volts (I measured my
    550EX to 5.98 V).

    Based on the above, I would say that this means that the electronics
    inside the 5D and ther Canon DSLRs must be designed to handle at least
    6 volts, and probably up to 24 volts.

    Don't look to Canon for clarification. Canons want their customer
    base to buy overpriced Canon EX speedlites, so it is Canon's interest
    to keep the FUD-factor high on the subject of flash trigger voltages.

    As this page shows, you can usually get a better deal by choosing a
    non-EX flash for your EOS body:
    http://hannemyr.com/photo/flash.html
    --
    - gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SD10, Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Gisle Hannemyr, Mar 14, 2006
    #11
  12. Alan Browne Guest

    Re: Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camerablow up?

    Gisle Hannemyr wrote:

    > Based on the above, I would say that this means that the electronics
    > inside the 5D and ther Canon DSLRs must be designed to handle at least
    > 6 volts, and probably up to 24 volts.


    I still would not be surprised that that circuit is the same as the PC
    sync circuit, so in the case of the 20D at least, ±250V . Up to
    everyone to test their own!


    --
    -- r.p.e.35mm user resource: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpe35mmur.htm
    -- r.p.d.slr-systems: http://www.aliasimages.com/rpdslrsysur.htm
    -- [SI] gallery & rulz: http://www.pbase.com/shootin
    -- e-meil: Remove FreeLunch.
     
    Alan Browne, Mar 15, 2006
    #12
  13. Re: Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camerablow up?

    Alan Browne <> writes:
    > Gisle Hannemyr wrote:


    >> Based on the above, I would say that this means that the
    >> electronics inside the 5D and ther Canon DSLRs must be designed to
    >> handle at least 6 volts, and probably up to 24 volts.


    > I still would not be surprised that that circuit is the same as the
    > PC sync circuit, so in the case of the 20D at least, ±250V . Up to
    > everyone to test their own!


    The trigger circuit probably is. But what about the four "extra"
    E-TTL controlling sockets your ±250 volt center pin will pass over
    when you slide your "old school" flash into the 5D hot shoe?

    I am not sure the delicate computer circuits below those sockets will
    be happy when exposed to ±250 volts.

    As I've said - I've never met anyone that has managed to fry the
    internals of a 5D by putting an old flash gun in its hot-shoe -
    but then I've also never met anyone that has admitted to testing
    this limit.
    --
    - gisle hannemyr [ gisle{at}hannemyr.no - http://folk.uio.no/gisle/ ]
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    SD10, Kodak DCS460, Canon Powershot G5, Olympus 2020Z
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
     
    Gisle Hannemyr, Mar 15, 2006
    #13
  14. Jon B Guest

    <> wrote:

    >
    > It is really frustrating that there is not a e-ttl flash on the market
    > that is compact and does not add to the bulk of the camera.
    >


    What about the Metz 28 AF-3? A bit taller than the Contax but offers
    full E-TTL etc. Looks about the same size and weight as a pack of cigs.
    --
    Jon B
    Above email address IS valid.
    <http://www.bramley-computers.co.uk/> Apple Laptop Repairs.
     
    Jon B, Mar 16, 2006
    #14
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