How to use old Pentax TTL flash successfully with Nikon Coolpix 8800

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Bj=F8rn_Tore_Hoem?=, May 7, 2005.

  1. I recently found my old Pentax AF280T TTL flash - it must be 15-20 years
    old soon. However - it works just fine.

    But can I make it work with predictability with my new Nikon Coolpix 8800?

    The flash has full manual modes + automodes + TTL.

    I belive I can forget the TTL mode, but the automodes (high/low output)
    can be used.

    But how do I set the camera in order to get predictable flash quality in
    terms of ISO, shutter and f-stops?

    Any advice will be appreciated,

    Bjorn Tore Hoem
    Oslo, Norway
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Bj=F8rn_Tore_Hoem?=, May 7, 2005
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  2. Hej, Bjørn,

    It is a perfectly useable flash you have here. I have the same - bought it
    many years ago when I was working with a Pentax film SLR camera. The camera
    has been sold quite some time ago and I have not used any film for years but
    I still work with that Pentax flash fairly regularly in conjunction with a
    modern digital camera.

    You are correct in your assumption: Forget everything specific to Pentax
    cameras but for the rest follow the instructions in your manual and use the
    unit with your digital Nikon.

    1) With the flash set to any of its two "auto" modes you set the camera to
    "aperture priority" and choose the aperture shown on the flash unit's
    calculator scale after having set this to your ISO speed.

    2) When the flash is set to any of the two "manual" modes you can run the
    camera either in "aperture priority" or in "manual", in both cases setting
    the aperture as prescribed by the scale on the flash.

    3) Everything else is totally up to you. You can use the flash as your only
    light source for a scene, you could have it as one of several sources and
    vary the relation between the sources by adjusting the aperture and/or
    shutter speed settings on the camera, you could of course also use a flash
    meter for setting the lighting for a particular scene, and if you have a
    slave firing unit available this would still further your possibilites.

    On any accounts don't trash that Pentax flash - it is a great piece of
    engineering, and you can still buy some accessories for it, like tele and
    wide-angle attachments.

    Kind regards,

    Vienna, Austria
    Johannes Czernin, May 7, 2005
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  3. =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Bj=F8rn_Tore_Hoem?=

    Roy Guest


    Before you use as advised above, do check the Trigger Voltage of the Flash
    against the maximum allowed for your Camera. Old flashes have much higher
    trigger voltages,( up to 300 volts), than the modern ones, and modern
    electronic cameras can be ruined by a high Flash Voltage.

    Roy G
    Roy, May 7, 2005
  4. Sorry my familiarity with my setup made me forget about that! Of course I
    had checked this long ago, and I can give back your peace of mind to you as
    the Pentax flash does not emit more than 6 volts at the hotshoe contacts!


    Johannes Czernin, May 9, 2005
  5. Roy G-

    I just measured my AF280T flash with a fresh set of Alkaline batteries.
    Using a Fluke meter, the voltage between the center pin and the frame
    terminal, was 7.6 volts.

    Fred McKenzie, May 9, 2005
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