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Old Apr 30, 2009, 6:13 AM   #11
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,370

Here's a thread where I explained how to use a Sunpak 383 Super to someone that didn't have a manual for it. Most Auto Thyristor flashes are going to have similar scales and features.


Here's a quote from it:

You'd want to use manual exposure on the camera, unless you're comfortable understanding how to use Av Mode and make sure you've got enough separation between ambient light (using a -EV Setting with Exposure Compensation) to make up for the amont of light being provided by the flash, selecting an aperture to match what the flash is contributing.

The easiest way to use a Flash like the Sunpak 383 Super to start out with is by using manual exposure, setting the aperture on the camera to match the aperture the flash tells you to use for the Auto Range you pick.

You'll have 3 different Auto Ranges to choose from.

For example, the middle range on my Sunpak 333 Auto shows 4 1/2 to 30 feet with the zoom head extended (my 333 Auto is a similar flash to a Sunpak 383 Super, only my 333 Auto has 3 position manual zoom head on it).

The flash will show you the aperture to set the camera to for the selected Auto range on the flash (you'll have 3 different auto settings with different distances shown from short to long), based on what ISO speed you want to use (it will have a sliding iso speed scale, and the aperture you need to set will vary by ISO speed).

For example, with my Sunpak set on the middle range using ISO 100, I can shoot at f/4 at anything from 4 1/2 to 30 feet with the zoom head extended. It changes with my zoom head position, but wouldn't with a 383 Super.

If I move the ISO speed slider to ISO 200, it will show f/5.6 as the aperture to set on the camera for that selected range. If I move it to ISO 400, and can shoot at f/8 within the same distances shown for the range I selected, etc.

In addition to 3 different Auto Ranges with different distance ranges and aperture settings, the flash will have manual power settings. I've got full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 1/16 on my Sunpak 333 Auto.

The Sunpak models like the 383 Super have a built in sensor that measures reflected light during the exposure. When it sees enough reflected light for the selected Auto Range, it terminates the flash output. So, the flash is controlling the exposure.

You just need to set the flash and camera to match for iso speed and aperture. Then, use a shutter speed that's appropriate for the amount of ambient light you want to let into the image (shutter speed has no bearing on the amount of light from the flash the camera sees, since the flash burst is very short).
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Old Apr 30, 2009, 6:14 AM   #12
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,370

Here's another thread where I explained how to use a flash I'd never seen before, based on what I saw from photos of it. Again, the concept is going to be the same with this type of flash, you just see different control layouts on some versus others.

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Old Apr 30, 2009, 6:51 AM   #13
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Thanks a million Jim

That all makes sense to me.

I've included a pic of the back of the unit and everything you mention is there!!


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