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Old Oct 1, 2002, 5:37 PM   #1
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Default Sunpack 5000 AF as a slave

Hi all,

I am about to buy a flash to help my coolpix 995 in taking better indoor pictures. I am pretty much decided about the Sunpak 5000 AF. It is powerfull, uses AA batteries and has a slave function. Since the 995 doesn't have a hot-shoe, I will be using it as a slave until I get another camera. Sure I could buy a bracket and a cord, but I'm afraid I would find the setup too clumsy and would not use it as much. So I've decided to go for a flash that is slave capable for the moment, but I also want to be able to use it on a future camera hot-shoe.

Any of you have experience with the Sunpak 5000?

What modes are available when using the 5000 as a slave? Is there a sort of automatic setting that will quench the flash as soon as the master flash stops firing (or any other kind of wireless coordination), or do I have to work in full manual?

Does the on-camera flash has to be set to full power to trigger the slave? On the coolpix 995, I can set the on-camera flash power from -2 to +2. I was thinking to set it at -2 if it would still trigger the slave. That way, the subject would be less illumated by the on-camera flash.

Finally, if I wanted to use it with a sync cord with my 995, what cord would I need? What features would I gain?

Thanks.

AirBete.
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Old Oct 2, 2002, 9:36 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally posted by AirBete
Is there a sort of automatic setting that will quench the flash as soon as the master flash stops firing (or any other kind of wireless coordination), or do I have to work in full manual?
Interesting question but unfortunately the only flash that does that is Ikelite's digital underwater flashsystem. It mimicks the output of a digicam including the pre-flash so it gives TTL control without a physical conection to the camera. Your idea is a good one and I've suggested it might be a good idea for dry land photography.

You'll get good results using the thyristor control of an ordinary flash as long as your camera is set to manual and to a matching aperture. Since that is the case no reason to spend money on a dedicated flash. Get a cheaper non-dedicated and a peanut slave.
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Old Oct 2, 2002, 11:23 AM   #3
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I am not sure the slave feature on the Sunpack flash will work digital camera, I know for sure it works with non digital camera. If it does work, I think the only mode it will work is the full manual mode, and in this case you may need a flash meter to help you to determine the correct exposure. Since this camera does not have the TTL flash mode, the flash can not see the way the lens see the subject and on the slave side, the remote flash can not communicate with the CPU of the camera, so therefore you may not get correct exposure if you decide to use the automatic flash mode also. You best bet to use multi-flash is to buy non brand name flash heads with pc socket to hook them up with a slave device, then use flash meter to determine the correct exposure, then set the camera a manual mode and shoot. You need to find down what is the syncho speed of the camera for flash operation, any shutter speed for manual flash mode should be this X speed or slower. Cheers...
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Old Oct 2, 2002, 9:26 PM   #4
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I think also that the "best solution" is a non dedicated flash that offer auto-mode , and a peanut slave cell ( or even an ordinary cheap slave cell if the 995 does not preflash, my 950 do not).

You set speed according to background you want to get, setting aperture according to the flash auto-setting, set your 995's flash to minimum ( -2) , then fine tune , that's it!

Since you don't know yet what will be your next camera, better don't put to much money in this flash for now.


Quote:
That way, the subject would be less illumated by the on-camera flash.
you can always deviate the on board flash , or completely optically "seal" the flash and the salve cell coupling ( of course, the "elegance touch" of the whole thing may suffer a bit )





[Edited on 10-3-2002 by KCan]
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Old Nov 28, 2002, 8:44 PM   #5
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Sunpak has a digital auto flash that has a built-in slave. The flash comes with a base, so you can use it off-camera. It's very inexpensive. It's even silver colored so it matches the color of most digital cameras. It's compact and doesn't look oversized when used on a bracket. I used it when I had a Nikon CoolPix 800 with no hot-shoe or x-sync outlet.
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Old Nov 29, 2002, 1:56 PM   #6
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If you want a more powerful strobe (GN >100 ft), consider looking over the Metz line. One example is the 32Z-2, which can accept new modules and grow with you as you as you buy new cameras. Metz announced a new slave module in August (#3083), that can work with cameras using pre-flash or not.

When you eventually buy a camera for which you want TTL control over your flash in a shoe mount configuration, buy the appropriate module.

Metz has also announced some new flash units, but for flexibility in this form factor, the 32-series looks pretty tough to beat. I have one with non-dedicated adapter (for now) and it's working quite well with my camera.

Good luck in your search.

Damien*
Epson 3100Z, Metz 32Z-2
www.pbase.com/damien
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