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Old Oct 30, 2003, 3:51 AM   #1
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Default adding a flash to any simple Digi-cam

Hi there I and many others are wondering how is it possible to add a flash to a Digi-cam that has a very week one.
I have heard about slave flashes but will it mount to the side of my camera I do have a tripod mount on my camera (Kodak dx3600) and aside from the flash and small optical zoom (2x) itís the only camera I want to use

I was once at a wedding where the photographer had the whole room set up with slaves all over and all my pictures were over exposed so I tried it with no flash no dark I am looking for a small setup that I can add to a bar that goes into my tripod mount that I can control to get the just right setting of flash (getting technical I would really like to just trigger the slave with the minimum of flash output from my camera so to save on the batteries that are in my camera)

Thank you,
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Old Oct 30, 2003, 4:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: adding a flash to any simple Digi-cam

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatfixer
Hi there I and many others are wondering how is it possible to add a flash to a Digi-cam that has a very week one.
I have heard about slave flashes but will it mount to the side of my camera I do have a tripod mount on my camera (Kodak dx3600) and aside from the flash and small optical zoom (2x) itís the only camera I want to use
The use of a slave flash is always a possibility. If your camera has a hotshoe, a better choice is a shoe-mount flash compatible to your camera because you will likely yield better result due to the fact that the flash is controlled by the camera light measuring meter. On the other hand, slave flashes are cheaper. However, there is a catch. Some cameras use preflashes to determine how much flash power is needed prior to actually taking a shot. Unfortunately, some slave flashes may be triggered by this preflash, and, as a result, when the actual flash appears, these slave flashes will not be charged fully and will not fire properly. So, before buying a slave flash, whether it is a cheap or expensive ones, some tests are required. Please refer to the "Slave Firing Tests" of my Nikon Coolpix 4500 User Guide for some more details.

If your camera's flash and the slave flash you wish to buy are "compatible," one more obstacle must be overcome. Cheap slave flashes are normally triggered by the excessive infrared generated by the camera's flash. As long as a slave flash can pick up this infrared, it will be triggered to fire. So, one must make sure the possible locations that a slave flash cannot be triggered. Fortunately, most slave flashes are reasonably sensitive to infrared and can be triggered in a wide area. If that is the case, you could consider to add a flash bracket on which your camera and the slave flash are mounted. There are many flash brackets around and it is your choice to pick one. Some manufacturers may sell slave flash and bracket together.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreatfixer
I was once at a wedding where the photographer had the whole room set up with slaves all over and all my pictures were over exposed so I tried it with no flash no dark I am looking for a small setup that I can add to a bar that goes into my tripod mount that I can control to get the just right setting of flash (getting technical I would really like to just trigger the slave with the minimum of flash output from my camera so to save on the batteries that are in my camera)
Small slave flashes are normally used that way by putting them at locations where the main flashes cannot illuminate. If you try to put multiple slave flash on a bar and shoot in the same direction, it is likely that your will get overexposed images. It is because your camera does not communicate with any one of those slave flashes, and, consequently, each of the slave flashes you use will send out its maximum power. So some experiments must be done before you actually use the setup. In other words, the success of use small and non-TTL slave flashes is actually more challenging than using a set of TTL-controlled flashes.

CK
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam
Nikon Coolpix 950/990/995/2500/4500 User Guide
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Old Oct 30, 2003, 5:18 AM   #3
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Default Re: adding a flash to any simple Digi-cam

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Originally Posted by shene
a better choice is a shoe-mount flash compatible to your camera because you will likely yield better result due to the fact that the flash is controlled by the camera light measuring meter. On the other hand, slave flashes are cheaper. However, there is a catch. Some cameras use preflashes to determine how much flash power is needed prior to actually taking a shot. Unfortunately, some slave flashes may be triggered by this preflash, and, as a result, when the actual flash appears, these slave flashes will not be charged fully and will not fire properly.
A couple of things, first the flash has to be TTL compatible with the camera to be fully controlled by the camera in regards to the camera's light meter.

I personally use the Metz 34-CS2 Digital slave flash, it has a switch on it to select to fire either on the first flash or the second flash. It's a more expensive flash ($155), and it runs on non-rechargeable CR2 Lithium batteries, but it's a great flash that works perfectly with preflash and it has a lot of power for its small size.
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Old Oct 30, 2003, 10:26 PM   #4
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http://www.vivitar.com/CustService/d...DF200ManlE.pdf

This looks as though it might be what you're looking for. About $80.
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Old Oct 31, 2003, 5:26 AM   #5
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Default thank you

Yes thank you Damien this does look like what i am looking for

my camera Kodak dx3600 is very basic but truly a great camera /w video 20fps w/sound unlimited time nothing else does that

my camera does not have a white balance setting at all so i need to check if it will work with my camera

anyone have this flash looking for feedback from users

thank you
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Old Oct 31, 2003, 10:42 PM   #6
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I used to have a Kodak DX3600 -- great camera.

However, it does have a pre-flash, so whatever slave setup you get (either a flash with a built-in slave trigger or a separate slave trigger with a hotshoe to add any external flash), you'll need to make sure the trigger is pre-flash compatible.

As for how to attach it to the camera, the Sima SVB1 bracket is about the cheapest and best solution I've found. It's actually marketed as a bracket for holding a video light on a video camera, but it works better as a flash bracket. It has two cold flash shoes on it -- one on the top and one on the side. The original purpose for two is to use one for a video light and one for a microphone, but when using it on a still camera, it works well for keeping the flash over the camera whether you've positioned the camera in portrait or landscape mode.



You can get these at Ritz camera for about $10 or less.
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Old Nov 1, 2003, 10:23 AM   #7
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The great thing about the Vivitar I mentioned above is that:

a. it has a mode switch to address pre-flash issues
b. it ships with a bracket
c. it has a tilt & swivel head to allow bounce in both portrait and landscape mode

While I am happy with my Metz 32 Z-2, I would have considered this Vivitar had it been available when I decided I just "had to have" an external strobe. Hmmm, of course, now that I have the wide angle lens adapter, the slave foot on my metz is not the right tool: for that I change to the standard foot and turn off the internal flash.

But you won't need the Metz strobe for that Kodak. I have an Epson 3100Z for which this strobe is well-suited.
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Old Nov 3, 2003, 2:01 AM   #8
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Also Interfit (try B&H or Porters about $35.00 US) makes an infrared slave trigger that can be mounted on your flash bracket & it will trigger any slave flash you want to use. Also, Wein makes many slave connectors for regular flash units that will fire with only the infrared trigger. I use one all the time on my D30 to fire Vivitar 285 HV's.
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Old Nov 3, 2003, 8:05 AM   #9
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hi there what about this one http://store.yahoo.com/efunctional/018st.html

i dont think my camera preflashes i have taken over 3000 pictures with it and i have never seen it preflash (it does not have white balance control Kodak dx 3600)

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Old Nov 3, 2003, 10:25 AM   #10
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I think you would be very disappointed with that little Sunpak. Your Kodak's built-in flash is probably good to 10ft; I'd bet this Sunpak might barely double that. It seems the Sunpak is meant to enhance what you have by placing it remotely (to one side or the other of your shooting position). Go to your local camera shop and snap a few pix with your camera. If it works for you, great! If not, try something else.

Regarding preflashes, you would have difficulty actually seeing the pre-flash. It occurs immediately prior to the main flash and is used by the camera sensor to establish proper exposure. I can tell you this: If you use an ordinary slave with a camera that has a pre-flash, your picture will come out very dark.

Buying a slave-strobe with a switchable setting or an adjustable slave module (as with the Metz 3083) can extend your investment. In time, you'll buy another camera and may replace it with something that functions differently from your Kodak.
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