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Old Jan 30, 2006, 2:25 AM   #1
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Irecently purchaseda Pansonic FZ-30 and love it. It is great not have to haul around lens. It has a built in fill in flash but wanted something more powerful. Anyway, I am curious about the external flash operation. It has the hot shoe with the single pin so I picked up a used flash. It is the Bell and Howell model 350 with thyristor circuity. It appears to work fine but how do I adjust it? It has a dial at the back which I assume to set to the same ISO but there is switch on the front with 3 positions - a red, a green and a white. Is this flash intensity? If anyone Knows where I can get info on this flash, I'd be very appreciative. again it is the B and H model 350.

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Old Jan 30, 2006, 8:28 PM   #2
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rocky, check out the dial on the back. I'll bet that there are some colored wedges that correspond to the the colors of the switch on the front. The f/ value that each of those colored wedges covers is the f/stop (aperture setting) that you should use when the switch on the front is set on that color.

So, what you do is to set your camera to manual, set the shutter speed to the flash synch speed and set the aperture according to the color code on the flash. There are three colors, so you will have three different f/settings to choose from which will largely depend on the distance range within which you want to shoot. There should be a distance scale covered by the same colored wedges. You will likely have to experiment a little to see whether the f/stops suggested by the flash give you good exposures. You can always adjust your aperture at each range to suit your taste.

Now, I know nothing about your particular flash, but what I just related is common function on many, many flashes with the features you have described.

Grant
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Old Jan 31, 2006, 8:57 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info Grant, you are absolutely correct about the dial and the switch. I will give it a try and let you know.
Thanks for your help.
Dwight
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Old Feb 1, 2006, 7:17 AM   #4
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Sounds like a Hanimex flash to me with the red green and white. Before you use it repeatedly, get it checked out.
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Old Feb 1, 2006, 10:06 AM   #5
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I'd make sure to measure it's trigger voltage. You don't want to fry your camera. ;-)

Panasonic conforms to the ISO 10330 spec (trigger voltage should be 24 volts or less).

How to measure:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/g1strobe.html


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Old Feb 2, 2006, 11:52 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tip on the Flash voltage. I will check it out tonight and let you know. I have used the flash about 20 times already with no consequences but I suppose through prolonged usage it might affect the camera.
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Old Feb 2, 2006, 1:43 PM   #7
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rockyroadtunes wrote:
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Thanks for the tip on the Flash voltage. I will check it out tonight and let you know. I have used the flash about 20 times already with no consequences but I suppose through prolonged usage it might affect the camera.
That's what I've been told (the damage is cumulative if you use higher trigger voltages than the camera is designed for).


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Old Feb 4, 2006, 10:44 PM   #8
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I've checked the trigger voltage of the Bell and Howell Model 350 and it is 43 volts. That is higher than what Panasonic reccommend.

Thanks to all that responded and offered good advise.

Dwight
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Old Feb 6, 2006, 8:23 PM   #9
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Worst case scenario, go out and buy a Sunpak 383 flash for about $60 US dollars.

It has a fully swivelling head, and both manual and automatic settings.

-- Terry
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Old Feb 7, 2006, 10:55 AM   #10
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Check the used market, too. I got an adapter to give my KM 5D an ISO standard hotshoe, along with a PC Sync Port. But, I had to buyer "newer" used flashes, because my older flashes had trigger voltages too high to use on my new KM 5D (older Vivitars have trigger voltages that can run upwards of 200 volts).

So, I got an adapter to give it an ISO standard hotshoe and a PC Sync Port. Then, I got a Sunpak 222 Auto with 2 Auto Aperture Ranges for $7.00 from KEH.com (and that even included a nice, coiled PC Sync Cord}

I also got a Sunpak 333 Auto with 3 Auto Aperture Ranges (with more manual settings, too -- full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8/, 1/16) for $25.00 from B&H (10 Condition, like new in box).

The 333 Auto has Tilt, Swivel and a Manual Zoom head, too. GN is around 100 feet at ISO 100 (slightly more with the zoom head fully extended) So, it's not the most powerful flash around (divide the GN by the aperture to estimate max range at ISO 100 -- and each time you double the ISO speed, your max ranges increases by 1.4x). It's fine for most of my limited needs.

I splurged for the like new in box Sunpak 333 Auto from the used Department at B&H, spending a whopping $25.00. It does not appear to have ever been used at all.

It still had the factory plastic around the flash, with the flash inserted into a cardboard holder (just like it would have come from Sunpak) with everything inside of the original box. The manual looked untouched, too.

If you're a careful shopper, you sometimes see them on Ebay for around $10.00

But, as Terry mentioned, the Sunpak 383 Super is a popular choice in a new flash.

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