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Old Sep 13, 2007, 12:35 AM   #1
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I was playing around with an extra PVC lens the other day and decided to try to make the flash on our Canon S2 have longer range. This worked OK and I liked the extra range but my wife hated the way it looked.




I remembered a dead zoom tilt flash that I had bought on eBay and decided to try to mount the zoom lens attachment on the canon.

The flash was a JC penny that would not power on and the seller returned my money so I had nothing to loose.
The flash has a tilt so there was a pivot point in the top section so I removed the bolts and soon had just the zoom part in hand.

The zoom part of the flash has a fresnel lens in the front, that's the part you see, with a FL of about 3" behind that near the flash tube is a diffuser. I did not use the diffuser at first thinking it would be slightly brighter but I soon found out that at full zoom the flash attachment projected an almost perfect image of the flash tube, you can see it in the picture.



The Canon flash tube and reflector is smaller than the stock flash tube and reflector so the effect is tighter flash pattern than a standard 85mm throw flash. The zoom function still works fine.

I did some quick measurements of the throw of the flash pattern on a PJ screen. From 6' the flash pattern was 60" wide at wide angle and 30" wide at full zoom.
At 12' at full zoom (which would have been the 85mm setting) made about a 70" light pattern.

With the diffuser installed the light pattern is nice.I had it in backwards before and I think it made a better pattern because I set the canon flash at a slightly longer FL than the stock flash tube for longer throw.

I had to cut a hole in the bottom of the flash to allow the pop up flash to fit inside. I got lucky and the flash is exactly in the center of the Fresnel and it sat almost perfectly flat on top of the camera. I tried some Velcro at first but it allowed too much movement and my wife did not want sticky stuff on here camera. I went to a piece of elastic cording which works great. It has a slight rearward pull that wedges the flash down tight on the camera.

It has just enough play to make fine adjustmentsbut stays mounted vary firmly. I addedsome thin foam and some plastictape to the bottomso it would notscratch the Canon, it leaves no marks.
I have some pictures of the zoom flash in action mainly a humming bird and some night shots from 30 to 50 feet. If any one likes this idea I can shoot and post more pictures.
The flash is way brighter at 20 to 50 feet making some shots from the bleachers look better. Fill shots up into trees of birds works fairly well to.
The closeness of the flash to the lens still gives red eye in almost all the shots.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 9:03 AM   #2
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I tip my hat to you, Arizona Video-

That is a very inventive way to approach the problem. I found a solution on e-bay for $(US) 8.00 in the form of this Slave Flash with a focusing head. It gives me the S-2's built in flash which acts as a "trigger" to fire the slave flash. I can get out to 24 feet in flash range with ease, using this outfit.

Sarah Joyce

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Old Sep 13, 2007, 12:20 PM   #3
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To mtclimber;

I have a Phoenix flash and some others too.







This whole idea started when my wife was taking some shots of our 5 year old at a school play and none of the shots came out because they did not turn on the lights and she sat in the middle of the room.

There were 100 or so parents many with their own camerasand one in the backwith a SLR and a nice large flash.

If you had used the Phoenix flash it would have triggered many times on other peoples flashes.

A few things happen when this happens. It may flash too early for their camera and the TTL will adjust the setting so they get a nice black picture or it might over expose their shots. For most cameras it would give some much needed fill light and they might not even notice.

This is a fun way to meet new people:| when you flash keeps messing with their shots but my wife is not quite as outgoing as I am.

The zoom flash will let you take all of the middle of the room shots and not have make a lot of new friends explaining how a Phoenix flash works:shock: and it still TTL's most of the time so AUTO mode works fine. With the Phoenix you never really know how much light you will get. It is also quite small and light at 55G V 320 for the Phoenix.

I also found that the phoenix flash will "learn" from other cameras and not sink at the proper time if another camera triggers it.

Using the Phoenix flash for fill in day time worked poorly for me, it would not trigger 50% of the time.

I also plan on shooting indoor basket ball and I need the flash to trigger when I press the shutter button. The first test with the zoom flash was vary poor do to the almost non existent ambient light.

I would think a good use of the zoom flash might be night time little leage baseball game for the slide at third base, from the sidelines, you will get a good stop action flash. With the zoom flash you can pull a ISO200 and a 500 shuter at around 40 feet.

I plan to add an optical flash trigger inside the zoom flash to trigger a radio remote strobe so I can use external flashes without false triggering. All for less than$100.
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 4:55 PM   #4
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AZVideo-

I will be interested to hear how it works out. And yes, and I agree with you, I have had a few premature triggering instances with the Phoenix flash as well.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 13, 2007, 9:41 PM   #5
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I still think that an off camera flash would be best. I have read almost the whole Strobist website and it's hard to put too much work into an on camera flash setup but as long as most camera makers refuse to put on a hot shoe this might be of some help for a lot of cameras with a flip up flash.


http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/02...-strobist.html

what's sad is we bought the S2 to replace the Olympus C750 which has a hot shoe but needs a $250 flash. I have tried a few generic flashes with it but none have worked. I still see no difference in PQ from one to the other except the S2 is faster.

I will use this setup untill some larger sensor camera comes out for a good price with a hot shoe.


I took a few shots of a humming bird last weekend. The sun was behind the feeder so flash was needed. I was only about 8 feet from the feeder so I might have been able to get by without the zoom flash.








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Old Sep 25, 2007, 8:17 PM   #6
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I have taken lots of pictures to test how the zoom flash works but it will be later this year when Basketball starts before I will see if I can get any good shots. The few I tried last year didn't turnout well.


Here is a picture taken at about 40' at night at ISO 100 with a 1/500 second shutter speed. It is still a little under exposed but not too bad for ISO 100.








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Old Sep 1, 2008, 3:42 AM   #7
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Our S2 broke a little time ago and we replaced it with a D40. I'm still missing that long lens but it is way faster.

I still have the zoom flash adaptor for the S2. If you have a S2 and want it I will ship it to you free.

It really does work well out to about 40 feet. It will give you some fill even further.

Send me a PM if you want it.

Dave.
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