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Old May 2, 2011, 12:28 PM   #1
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Default Hot shoe adapters for different brand flash

Is there such a thing as a hot shoe adapter to allow camera X to work with flash Y. I know the contact configuration on the hot shoe of various cameras is different.

Specifically, I need a hot shoe adpater for the Fujifilm HS20 to operate a Pentax flash unit.

I understand that I may not be able to utilize the TLL function, but I could use the auto function.
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Old May 2, 2011, 8:58 PM   #2
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All you need is the larger center contact for most flash to trigger (no adapter required)
-> Just tape off the other offset contacts, except for the center pin, and you're all set

You only need pin #2, tape off all other pins (flash will trigger when pin #2 is shorted to the hot shoe mount #1) by the Fujifilm HS20:

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Old May 2, 2011, 8:59 PM   #3
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I'd be surprised if there were such an adapter as the pin outs are only half the story. The flash and camera also "talk" to each other in a proprietary code. When I use my Nikon SB-800 as flash commander on my Nikon D300 the settings sent to all remotes are recorded in the EXIF data of the image.
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Old May 2, 2011, 9:39 PM   #4
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FYI - This is how I use Scotch tape to isolate the pins on my Metz Flash SCA adapter (for a Kodak dSLR) to work on my Canon and Nikon dSLRs in Auto mode:
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Old May 2, 2011, 11:42 PM   #5
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Thanks for the comments, photo, and drawing.

Another person suggested that I use the slave function on the Pentax flash and trigger it with the HS20 flash. Saves the taping if I want to interchange the flash on both cameras.

Do you think a slave flash has any advantages over a single, top of camera mounted flash? Does its use become more complex and problematic in terms of settings, or will the "auto" mode still result in decent, predictable exposures?
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Old May 3, 2011, 7:21 AM   #6
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That may not work (trying to trigger an external Pentax Flash using the HS20's built in flash), for more than one reason....

What flash model do you have?

The built in flash from most cameras use a metering preflash now. Basically, it's a short flash (or sometimes more than one flash) burst, that gets fired *before* the main exposure. Based on how much reflected light is seen from the metering preflash, the camera determines the length of the main flash burst needed (the one that actually contributes to the expoure).

So, when using a "dumb" optical slave, it will often fire with the metering preflash, and won't contribute anything to the actual exposure. An optical slave that is specifically designed to ignore a metering preflash is usually needed, unless a camera has a way to set manual flash power so that the flash is not using metering preflashes.

The other issue is that the wireless mode on your Pentax external flash may be designed to use a wireless protocol that's specific to Pentax (where signaling is performed between the camera's flash and external flash using the camera's flash, in order to command the external flash to fire a metering preflash and communicate the length of the main flash burst needed).

So, you'd need two things to happen before you could use that type of setup:

1. You'd need a way to eliminate the metering preflash from firing using the camera's onboard flash.

2. You'd need an external flash that acts as a "dumb" slave (so that it fires on the first flash).

Or, if you can't get rid of the metering preflash from the camera's onboard flash, you'd need an external flash that's designed to ignore the metering preflash (or peflashes in some cases). For example, Wein makes optical triggers specifically designed for digital that can ignore a preflash.
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Old May 3, 2011, 10:55 AM   #7
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Pentax AF 540. Looks like some experimentation is in order.
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Old May 3, 2011, 11:10 AM   #8
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It looks like that flash can be set to work as a slave if you set it to Slave 2 mode. See page 52 of this manual:

http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/m...540FGZ_Eng.pdf

Then, use it's non TTL Auto mode to control exposure (or use manual flash power settings instead).

But, I don't know if you can set the built in flash on the HS20 so that it's not using a preflash (most modern digital cameras will use a metering preflash, and that would trigger the Pentax flash before you're actually taking the photo, meaning the external flash wouldn't contribute anything to the exposure, since it would fire with the metering preflash while the shutter is closed before the flash for the actual exposure).

I'd dig through the HS20 manuals to see if the built in flash can act with manual power only settings (if so, that should eliminate the metering preflash). If not (no way to get rid of the metering preflash), you may need to use a "dumb" flash in the HS20 hotshoe to act as a trigger. If there is no way to get rid of the metering preflash from the HS20, it may be easier just to buy cheap wireless trigger setup instead (Cactus V4, etc.).
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Old May 3, 2011, 2:37 PM   #9
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Thanks. Got the Slave 2 mode. Did a few test shots with my Pentax DSLR. The Flash's manual says the pre-flash on the camera needs to be turned off. According to the HS20 manual, the red-eye pre-flash can be turned off. And setting the focus to "manual" ought to eliminate any attempt of the camera to fire pre-flash focus lights. However, that *may not* be necessary. We'll see.

Page 83 of the HS20 manual states with regard to non-Fuji flashes: "If the built in flash is raised when ON is selected (for non-Fuji) external flash, the built in flash will fire once to provide a signal for the optional flash unit to fire." It continues "External flash units can be used in P, S, A, M or EXIR modes."

Amazon tracking says my HS20 will arrive today Can't wait to begin testing.

Last edited by gfmucci; May 3, 2011 at 2:40 PM.
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Old May 3, 2011, 3:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfmucci View Post
Thanks. Got the Slave 2 mode. Did a few test shots with my Pentax DSLR. The Flash's manual says the pre-flash on the camera needs to be turned off. According to the HS20 manual, the red-eye pre-flash can be turned off. And setting the focus to "manual" ought to eliminate any attempt of the camera to fire pre-flash focus lights. However, that *may not* be necessary. We'll see.
Not the same thing. The metering preflash used by modern digital cameras has nothing to do with a redeye reduction preflash or focus assist flashes.

Many digital cameras will not let you disable the metering preflash (which usually occurs about 1/10 second before the main flash). But, with some cameras, you can set the internal flash to a manual power setting and eliminate the metering preflash. I don't know how the HS20 works in that area.
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