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Old Aug 26, 2010, 5:16 PM   #1
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Default flash help

Ive heard mixed reviews about the Vivitar Autho thrystor 3600 flash being compatible with DSLRs

I actually had been using this flash for months without any trouble and read that the flash could damage camera.

I read that I could use some sort of hotshoe adapter to be able to use the flash safely but my question is, is that even true?

I shot probably over 2000 shots using the flash on my K20D and knock on wood, it still works fine, but ever since I read the warnings I have yet to touch it.

I really wanted a pentax flash but the one I want is over 500.00!

Now im kinda stuck with an all or nothing mentality, to save for the flash or to not use one at all.

does anyone else have any more info to shed on this? How come I was able to use it so long without problems??
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 6:22 PM   #2
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cant help really but the sigma flashes are pretty good and nice and cheap (compared to the pentax ones anyway)
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Old Aug 26, 2010, 7:47 PM   #3
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Yes, the hotshoe adapters work and are safe.
I'm not sure about the Vivitar 3600 but, you can be sure if you check it with a volt meter. With fresh batteries, with the flash off camera.Turn on the flash, place the positive probe on the center pin of the flash and the neg probe on a ground pin and read the meter. If you have less than 30volts you should be OK. I have read conflicting max voltages reported on different forums but most agree on 30V.
Not sure which Pentax flash you are looking at but, the 540 is currently listed at $385 AT B&H Photo and Adorama. I got mine a couple years ago from B&H for $319, not sure why they have gone up so much.

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Old Aug 26, 2010, 8:10 PM   #4
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You can check out your brands flash on the website below:


I still would do as GW suggests and measure your own trigger voltage to be sure. I have been using an old Sunpack AT flash on both my K100D and K-7 with no ill effects.

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Old Aug 26, 2010, 8:26 PM   #5
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I also agree about checking the trigger voltage, but suggest an upper limit closer to 24V . Different offices at Pentax, Japan, Europe, and US have given different answers at different times (from 6V to 24V), but I don't think any have gone above 24V as an upper limit.

Just FYI, a higher trigger voltage flash can apparently be used without apparent damage to the camera for a while, but eventually it does damage the circuitry, so testimonials of users are of little value. Also the same model flash has sometimes given highly differing trigger voltages for different units, so the only safe thing to do is to measure the voltage yourself.

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Old Aug 26, 2010, 8:28 PM   #6
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ahah, thanks for the info. I sold my volt meter after I stopped wiring houses but Im going to say over 2000 shots and no faults means its probably safe (I got lucky on my part as I had no idea of dangers, I just popped on and started using) I will see if I can borrow a volt meter to make sure.

this will save me lots of cash if it does work, as It was a very nice flash to work with, full swivel, metering, and lots of flash options that I havent even fully figured out, as well as a flash power slide adjustment.

thanks again
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