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wsaar Jul 13, 2004 1:24 PM

Do I need to do anything else other than to activate the hotshoe and force the flash? Is there any way to tell if the hotshoe or the flash is broken?

The flash is a Soligor DG-280 AZ auto flash. It will not fire when inserted into the hotshoe of the DSC-V1 or even when connected to the V1 via a PC-sync cable attached to an adapter in the V1s hotshoe (both options just use the center pin of the hotshoe). I have set the hotshoe to 'On' and I am forcing the flash from M mode.

The flash will fire if I take it off the camera and short-circuit the contacts on its 'foot' (the rail and center pin contacts) or the contacts of the sync cable, which leads me to suspect that it might be the hotshoe that is broken. I've measured the voltage between the flash contacts to approx 3.2V, anyone know what the V1 use?

KCan Jul 13, 2004 6:34 PM

To be absolutely sure that there is something wrong with the hotshoe, try to detect if there is a contact , you can use an analog ohmmeter , normally, the needle would move briefly ;try both polarity of the ohmmeter.
There is a possibility that the polarity of the flash and the hot shoe doesn't match because modern camera use semiconductor , not dry contact.

wsaar Jul 14, 2004 3:19 AM

Thanks, best lead yet. I will check the hotshoe with an analog multimeter when I get home and possibly butcher a PC-sync cable to reverse the polarity.

Sony just said they don't support 3rd party flashes and Soligor says the camera doesn't have the center contact needed for the flash (told them its been reported to work with the Sunpak 383 and Vivitar 283).

wsaar Jul 14, 2004 11:28 AM

Well, I tried butchering a sync cable to switch polarity but it didn't work. Soligor says the flash isn't compatible with the camera because Sony uses their own proprietary connections. I'm really wondering how people get the Sunpak 383 to work with it...

I couldn't find the old analog ohm-meter, and buying a new one just isn't worth it for this cheap flash.

I was hoping to use the flash at a wedding this weekend, but I will have to live with the on-camera flash. Pity, bought the camera because of the hotshoe, but I'm not willing to spend $300 for a Sony-only flash (the price of the HVL-F32X here).

KCan Jul 14, 2004 7:54 PM

wsaar wrote:

Soligor says the flash isn't compatible with the camera because Sony uses their own proprietary connections. I'm really wondering how people get the Sunpak 383 to work with it...
If a 383 work on it, any another flash should work as well.

Some more info:
The DSC-V1 is the first Sony digital camera to have a hot-shoe with full two way communication between the camera and flash unit. To take advantage of this Sony has also launched a new advanced external flash, the HVL-F32X (see below). The manual notes that Sony flash units HVL-F1000 (requires additional connection to ACC terminal) or HVL-F32X can be used in any exposure mode, third party flash units must be configured manually and used in exposure modes Manual or Aperture Priority.

Is it what you read from the manual?

If so, what I understand is there is no "discrimination" against third party flash (no ttl of course), so I wonder where is your problem.
If you have some electronic parts in your junk box, you can try to test the hot shoe with 2AA battery , a LED, and a resistance , all in series , to act as an ohmmeter . the LED is quick enough to show you the supposed brief contact. Or if your(digital) multimeter has an audible feature, it works as well.

Also, if your camera does not preflash, you can trigger your Soligor with an inexpensive slave cell.

wsaar Jul 15, 2004 4:18 AM

I think the devil might be in the details, the manual says (my emphasis):

You can mount a externally available flash that supports advanced accessory shoe
Maybe they don't call it "hotshoe" because it isn't one. The dealer that sold the flash suggests that the camera may not give the hotshoe signal because it can't communicate with the flash. Others posts claim that it will work with the Sunpak 383 and other flashes, but I just don't know how. Maybe they use slave triggers...

The Soligor has an advanced slave trigger that will handle up to two preflashes (think the Sony uses one), but I expect to use this camera in an environment where there will be other people with flashes (worst case possible would be if a slave flash would overexpose the pictures of the official wedding photographer).

I did use the camera in A and M modes, with the hotshoe on and with forced flash. I'll see if I can find a store that sells the HVL-F32X and try it on the camera, maybe I'll get it after all, but I will at least test the hotshoe.

Thanks for the advice on testing a quick signal, I'll try one of your tricks if I can't try the HVL-F32X, otherwise I'm sure they will come in handy in future situations too.

wsaar Jul 18, 2004 9:52 AM

For what it's worth, I now know the hotshoe on my camera works with standard flashes. I bought a Sunpak Softlight 2000A for analog cameras the day before the wedding after testing it successfully with the camera in the store. The incompatability has to be specific to the Soligor.

KCan Jul 19, 2004 7:58 AM

Thanks for the feedback, I am very curious about "The secret of the Soligor flash" :?, there are not much info I find on the net about this flash.
I hope that you are satisfied with the Sunpak flash.

wsaar Jul 20, 2004 7:17 PM

I'm curious about what could be different with the Soligor too, but sent it back for a refund. I'm quite satisfied with the Sunpak even if I haven't used it enough to get perfect exposures right out of the camera (at the wedding I used the histogram to try to ensure that I can dig the details out in postprocessing).

The Sunpak is smaller than the Soligor, but it lacks the slave and PC-sync triggers and the zoom head. It runs on two batteries rather than the Soligor's four, but it gave me a decent amount of flashes out of just two (100+ flashes). The recycle time seemed slower than the Soligor, and it also cost $25 more (though that's probably because I bought it off-line).

Thanks for your advice on this matter.

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