Using Vivitar auto/thyristor 292 with Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ30

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by ajkessel, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. ajkessel

    ajkessel Guest

    I recently purchased a Lumix DMC-FZ30. One feature that attracted me to
    the camera is the hot shoe.

    I have an old Vivitar Auto/Thyristor 292 flash and I'm wondering if I
    can use it with the Lumix.

    The Lumix manual suggests using only a Panasonic/Lumix flash, or short
    of that, using only a "flash made for a digital camera." It also warns
    about using a flash that works at the wrong voltage.

    I haven't been able to find specs for voltage for the Vivitar 292
    anywhere, including in the manual which I still have.

    Does anyone know if I can safely use the Vivitar 292 with the DMC-FZ30?

    Also, if so, any tips for getting it to expose properly? I took a few
    shots before I read that part of the manual warning against using the
    wrong kind of flash, and they were totally washed out. Is it just a
    matter of manually setting aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, until I
    find something that works generally, or is there a smarter way to do it?
    ajkessel, Dec 26, 2005
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  2. ajkessel

    SteveB Guest

    You Vivitar isn't on the list at but it's always best to
    measure it yourself anyway using a digital voltmeter ideally although an
    analogue one would do. Just switch the flash on and measure the voltage
    between the side and middle contacts but be careful what you touch just in
    case it's a few hundred volts.
    SteveB, Dec 26, 2005
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  3. Keep in mind that at least with Canon hot-shoe-capable cameras, the
    flash metering for these digitals when used in a manner slaved by the
    camera is completely different than with the film cameras. I.e., the
    Canon (and compatible) camera-slaved flashes that are made for the film
    cameras are NOT compatible with the digital Canons when used in a mode
    slaved by the camera, i.e., if you are using the camera to control the
    davidjchurchill, Dec 26, 2005
  4. ajkessel

    ajkessel Guest

    So I'm wondering if it's even worth tracking down a voltmeter if the
    metering is never going to work anyway. The Lumix manual says to only
    use a flash made for a digital camera, so is it a pointless exercise to
    try to figure out if the Vivitar can safely be used?
    ajkessel, Dec 26, 2005
  5. ajkessel

    Bruce Graham Guest

    I think the Pana is made for the Vivitar type of flash. Check that it
    has a single flash trigger contact (like the pana FZ). Now check your
    Vivitar has a little window in the front over a photocell which quenchs
    the flash when it has put enough light on to the subject. You will have
    to set the ISO and f number on the flash to match your camera setting.

    As a previous poster pointed out, the only issue is the voltage across
    the trigger contacts. You really need to measure this, but the following
    link *suggests* it should be OK.

    You can always spend money and buy a safe-sync, but that costs more than
    the flash is worth. See link below. Wein Safe-sync
    Bruce Graham, Dec 26, 2005
  6. ajkessel

    gr Guest

    I have been using an old simple hotshoe auto flash on my Lumix for more
    than a year. Results have been pretty good.
    gr, Dec 28, 2005
  7. ajkessel

    Keith Holley Guest

    A gentleman in another newsgroup used a Sunpack Auto 383 on a FZ-20 if
    that is any help.


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    Keith Holley, Dec 29, 2005
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