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Old Jul 9, 2003, 11:22 PM   #1
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Default sharing a flash between CP4500 and Canon 10D

I had been considering a Canon 550EX to mate with my Canon 10D. I realize that I could get something like a Metz or Sunpak, humor me here.

Now Iím considering a Nikon CP4500 for my girlfriend to use and to do some digiscoping with. But this got me thinking about that flash unit. If I got that flash, could I use it with the CP?

The 4500 does not have a hot shoe, it only has an ďexternal sync connectorĒ. I donít know if there are any ways that could be used (I assume there are no useful standard wireless protocol, so is that completely out? Any external shoes that would translate so some modes would work?)

The only thing I can think of is that I could trigger the 550 as a slave off the built in flash. But I assume Iíd have to do this in a fully manual mode, since the camera canít talk to the flash. Once I learn more about flash usage, that might be possibleÖ but Iím so ignorant about.. well, about almost everything surrounding flashes. Iím not sure Iím up to manually setting the power (and duration?) of a flash, and picking a defuser or bounce or whatever!

I had heard about a metering mode that meters while the picture is being taken. Then it stops the picture (and I presume the flash) when it gets enough light. Maybe I donít have the description right. Maybe it only stops the flash as necessary, and follows the settings on shutter speed. I donít know. But it sounded like a setting that would allow any brand flash to work as a slave with any camera. Sounded neat. Anyone heard of this? Know what itís called? Does it exist?

Or should I look for something that has compatible ďmodulesĒ so I could change a setting, add a special shoe, wave a magic wand and then the non-oem part flash would work with either camera without loss (or a little loss on the 4500.)

It just seems silly to spend the $$ on something as expensive as the 550ex and have it not work well (or at all) with the future camera.

Eric
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Old Jul 9, 2003, 11:32 PM   #2
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Did we touched on this subject before? The Sigma 500 Super DG works on all three camera makes I believed... (Canon, Nikon, and Minolta)
http://www.stevesforums.com/phpBB2/v...ighlight=sigma

... including the wireless TTL mode on both the Canon's and Minolta's!
http://www.sigma-photo.co.jp/english...la_sup_af.html

I don't know how they do it yet since the Minolta dedicated shoe is mechanically different! 8) 8) 8)
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 5:55 AM   #3
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Default Re: sharing a flash between CP4500 and Canon 10D

Eric,

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
I had been considering a Canon 550EX to mate with my Canon 10D. I realize that I could get something like a Metz or Sunpak, humor me here.
Now Iím considering a Nikon CP4500 for my girlfriend to use and to do some digiscoping with. But this got me thinking about that flash unit. If I got that flash, could I use it with the CP?
The 4500 does not have a hot shoe, it only has an ďexternal sync connectorĒ. I donít know if there are any ways that could be used (I assume there are no useful standard wireless protocol, so is that completely out? Any external shoes that would translate so some modes would work?)
Since the TTL protocols between Nikon and Canon are different, it is unlikely that the Canon 550EX will work with the CP4500 in the TTL mode. However, since every flash has an ISO manual mode, you can definitely use Canon 550EX under the manual and perhaps the Auto mode. This means the CP4500 will only trigger the flash and leave the flash alone. If the flash is in the Auto mode, it will cut its power off when the scene illumination is sufficient (determined by the flash sensor on the flash). If the flash is in the Manual mode, it always fires in full power. Thus, one can set aperture on the CP4500 to match the aperture being used on the flash. For most cases, you will have a well-exposed image. If over- or under- exposure occurs, one can reduce the flash output with the light ratio setting on the flash or the variable power option on the CP4500. To use a non-Nikon flash and force it to be ISO compatible, you can either use Nikon's ISO shoe or cover the extra contacts of your Canon flash. I believe the latter is better. The "External Flash" section of my 4500 user guide has the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
The only thing I can think of is that I could trigger the 550 as a slave off the built in flash. But I assume Iíd have to do this in a fully manual mode, since the camera canít talk to the flash. Once I learn more about flash usage, that might be possibleÖ but Iím so ignorant about.. well, about almost everything surrounding flashes. Iím not sure Iím up to manually setting the power (and duration?) of a flash, and picking a defuser or bounce or whatever!
If the Canon 550 has a slave mode (I am sorry, I have not been using an Canon gear for nearly 15 years), you do not use it in the manual mode. Most flashes that have a slave mode will permit you to set an aperture value. For example, if you intend to use F8 on your camera, then you set your flash to slave mode with aperture F8. The on-camera flash fires whose infrared triggers the slave flash. However, the flash itself must determine when to stop. The aperture setting just tells the slave the amount of light needed and shut itself off when the scene illumination is sufficient. A Canon camera may be able to send a full set of TTL signals to your 550; however, CP4500 cannot because it uses a different set of timing and signals. Since the CP4500 does not use pre-flash, setting the 550 to slave aperture mode will likely be successful.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
I had heard about a metering mode that meters while the picture is being taken. Then it stops the picture (and I presume the flash) when it gets enough light. Maybe I donít have the description right. Maybe it only stops the flash as necessary, and follows the settings on shutter speed. I donít know. But it sounded like a setting that would allow any brand flash to work as a slave with any camera. Sounded neat. Anyone heard of this? Know what itís called? Does it exist?
This is the TTL mode or Automatic mode, depending on who takes the responsibility of shutting off the flash. If the camera instructs the flash to shut off the power, it is the TTL mode. On the other hand, if the flash itself shuts off the flash, it is the Automatic mode. This is irrelevant to the connection between the camera and the flash (i.e., wired or wireless-slave). Unfortunately, none of the Coolpix cameras can shut off a slave flash, which means Coolpix does not support slave TTL mode. So, even though your 550 has a slave TTL mode with your Canon, it will not synchronize with CP4500 in the slave TTL mode. In this case, the best for you to do is to use the slave Automatic mode on your 550.


Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
Or should I look for something that has compatible ďmodulesĒ so I could change a setting, add a special shoe, wave a magic wand and then the non-oem part flash would work with either camera without loss (or a little loss on the 4500.)
I believe Sunpak and Metz both have modularized flashes. One can purchase a light head and multiple modules to support different cameras. I don't know about the Metz system; however, Sunpak system is not very popular these days. Their best selling products are mostly dedicated flashes. However, the Sunpak PZ5000AF has a very good slave capability for a very reasonable price ($150 @ B&H).


Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
It just seems silly to spend the $$ on something as expensive as the 550ex and have it not work well (or at all) with the future camera.
Then, give Sunpak a try.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 user guide
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 10:41 AM   #4
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shene

Thanks for all the info! I understand most of it, but I'll get the rest with a little research. I'll definitely read it over a few times... and save a copy to my "flash info" file.

I should download the 4500's manual and read the external flash section as well.

NHL

That thread said some useful stuff, but it didn't fully answer my question because the 4500 doesn't have a shoe adapter (which prevents wireless as well?) If I can't connect it there, then my only choice is the "external sync connector", but I don't really know how that's used. Do these shoe based flashes also have a connector that would take this? Or would a wireless adapter connect there? The canon's wouldn't take the nikon plug, but that is expected. I have no problem with getting a 500DG, or Metz 54 Z if it does what the 550EX does, and is compatable/reasonably controllable by the 4500.

I've got some time before I need to really make a decision (going on vacation next week, and I would probably get the stuff before my vacation next month.) So I'm just starting my research.

Eric
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Old Jul 10, 2003, 2:06 PM   #5
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Oops, sorry for not being clear.
Quote:
That thread said some useful stuff, but it didn't fully answer my question because the 4500 doesn't have a shoe adapter
On the Coolpixes like my CP990, you'll have to buy a cable that will connect the camera's sync terminal to the hot-shoe of the Speedlight with all it's electrical contacts... This is a common set-up because it also involves a bracket since you don't want to be holding the flash in one hand and the camera in another! 8)
http://www.steves-digicams.com/2001_...racketboy.html

... and here's the complete Nikon line, on how the sync/wireless all interconnect:
http://www.nikon-image.com/eng/speed...ttl_system.pdf
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Old Jul 11, 2003, 12:10 AM   #6
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NHL

I get it now (at least that part.) That first picture in that nikon pdf was all I needed (but I'll read more) about how the sync cable works. I didn't consider that they'd have small hot shoes that the cable pluged into. Makes sense, now that I think about it.

Eric
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Old Jul 12, 2003, 5:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric s
I get it now (at least that part.) That first picture in that nikon pdf was all I needed (but I'll read more) about how the sync cable works. I didn't consider that they'd have small hot shoes that the cable pluged into. Makes sense, now that I think about it.
The "External Flashes" section of my 4500 user guide provides you with a complete picture of what accessories you will need in order to use an external flash with the 4500, including the way of connecting the sync cord. If you have a non-Nikon flash, you might want to cover the extra contacts. All ISO flashes have only one contact at the center.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 user guide
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Old Aug 31, 2004, 6:11 PM   #8
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I have a Canon Digital Rebel and started off with the Canon 420EX flash. I then borrowed my friends Canon 550EX flash, not much better. Then everyone told me to get the Sigma 500 DG Super.... etc. etc.

After shooting literally thousands of pictures with both the 420EX and the 550EX I have come to the conclusion I don't like either. The harsh shadows caused by direct light offend me now.

I have lerned the hard way (the expensive way) my first option is faster lenses and natual light. I love my Canon 50 1.8 and fast primes in general L series primes are even better.

When I do need extra light I use my Alien Bee B800 with a cheap wireless trigger I found on Ebay. Much cheaper than a 550EX $371 with stand and umbrella. I set my strobe close to where the action is and use my wireless transmitter to take great shots even from fas away. This has even worked well with my Canon 70-200 F4L at >50ft. I only use on-camera flash when I absolutely have to like when I can't find a close power plug for my bees. But soon I will have a portable power source and will say good bye to on camera flash and rechargable batteries.
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 8:44 AM   #9
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minutephotos.com wrote:
Quote:
After shooting literally thousands of pictures with both the 420EX and the 550EX I have come to the conclusion I don't like either. The harsh shadows caused by direct light offend me now.
There's more than 1 way to skin a cat: http://www.lumiquest.com/

... You may have a portable strobe, but your subjects still have to "move" to it. What if you have to follow where the action is (or you have to re-locate the stand/umbrella where it doesn't fit)?

Check out a dual-head Metz sometime, combined with the above diffusers may be you'll be a convert too :-):-):-)
http://www.photographyreview.com/psc...2_3121crx.aspx
Theses are real bargain on the "used" market! :idea:
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Old Sep 1, 2004, 10:20 AM   #10
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minutephotos.com wrote:
Quote:
After shooting literally thousands of pictures with both the 420EX and the 550EX I have come to the conclusion I don't like either. The harsh shadows caused by direct light offend me now.
Even the NotOutYet 1000EXX will deceive you if you use it directly , those lumiquest will give you safisfaction I am pretty sure.

Better , get a dual head flash and use the main head with a difuser. BTW, you can try to difuse your actual flash with simple 45 degree reflector made with whitepiece of (what they use to keep the meat in supermarket??) you will be surprised, garranty


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