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Old Feb 18, 2006, 7:36 PM   #1
Ham
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[align=left]A month ao so ago I posted questions about not being able to use my slave flash with my Nikon CoolPix 2200. Some kind gent answered that the pre flash was setting off the slave and I wasn't getting the right sync. I wasn't using the red eye feature and couldn't quite figure this out. After much watching my camera's flash go off, I finally saw a definate pre flash when the camera was set to just plain flash. The camera's manual doesn't say a thing about this, and of course, since it's a point and shoot, it doesn't say anything about using slave flashes. I want to get a better camera. But, I want to stay in the small sizes to carry it in a shirt pocket. It has to have at least a 3X optical zoom and over 5 megapixels like a Sony DSC W7. How can I know if a new camera does the same double flash that my Nikon does? The camera sales people I've talked todon't seem to know anything about this. Do I have to just buy one, try it, and return it if it doesn't work with the slave? I hate doing this, but if the makers and sellers can't give me the info I want they deserve having to mess with returns. This is a giant pain when buying mail order.[/align]
[align=left]Any help would be greatly appreciated.[/align]
[align=left]Ham[/align]
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Old Feb 18, 2006, 7:43 PM   #2
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The vast majority of digital cameras are going to use a preflash for metering purposes, and I'm reasonably confident that the newer Sony subcompact models use one, too.

The problem is that the sensors used in them are too reflective to meter from during the flash exposure like you could do with off the film flash metering.

So, a short preflash (or series of preflashes in some cases) is used to help judge the length of the main flash burst needed.

You'll probably find that it's much easier to find a slave that ignores the preflashes, versus trying to find a digital camera that doesn't use one. A number of slaves are designed to be "digital compatible" now (ignoring the preflashes). You can also get products like the Wein Digital Peanut Slave Trigger designed to ignore preflashes for PC Sync cord attached flash units you want to trigger.

My Konica Revio KD-510z (a.k.a, Minolta DiMAGE G500) doesn't use a preflash. It's got a separate sensor to measure reflected light during the exposure, terminating the flash when it sees enough light.


But, it's an exception.

The older swivel bodied Nikon Models like the Coolpix 950 and 990 also had a separate sensor and didn't need a preflash.

But, most newer models will use one.

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Old Feb 18, 2006, 8:16 PM   #3
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Thanks for your great reply, Jim-

I agree that slave flashes, even the inexpensive ones, have become smart and can easily ignore those pre-flashes with ease. In addition, with slave flashes beginning at around $28, they are an easy way to add flash power to your camera, avoiding those dull, dark photos that happen with the average camera when the camera to subject distance exceeds 12 feet or more.

Slave flashes are easy to use and are a very useful addition to your camera kit.

MT
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Old Mar 3, 2006, 10:15 AM   #4
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This is a great question, I bought a used slave flash to use w/ my Canon 20D and have been trying to outsmart this problem unsuccessfully. Good to know the newer ones can overcome this problem. One instance where buying used costs more in the long run!

BTW, Ham are you in IndyNoPlace aka Naptownas well?

-UA
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Old Mar 5, 2006, 8:41 PM   #5
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urbanaries

You can force the initial pre-flash by pressing the FEL(AE lock) button...

-> Point the D20 away when you do this, if you hold the FEL button down while releasing the shutter after you recompose, the real flash the 2nd time around will trigger any 'dumb' slave correctly!
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 10:02 AM   #6
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I picked up a slave flash that has a dial on the back to mark how many pre-flashes there is before the big pop. I gave $45 dollars for it. I asked alot of people about a slave flash that will ignore or in my case adjust for the pre-flashes. The flash came with a mount to hold it next to my camera and a foot for me to set it on any flat serface or mount it on a tripod. If anyone is interested when I get home (I am at work) I can give the make of the flash. I picked it up at Huron Photo in Jackson Michigan. ( my home town). It also came with a slave cable for other cameras.



I have a Canon S2 IS
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 7:19 PM   #7
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muttbiker-

We really cannot do much untile we really know what brand of slave flash you are using. The Vivitar DF-200, for example, even has a learning mode where it counts the pre-flashes. Others are some what different.

MT
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Old Mar 29, 2006, 9:04 PM   #8
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I was writing from work so I couldnt find out yet. the flash is a Cobra D220 and there is a dial on the back to set for the amount of preflashes



sorry about the delay
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Old Mar 30, 2006, 11:11 AM   #9
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muttbiker-

'Sorry, I have three slave flashes myself, and that is not one I am familiar with, perhaps somebody else can help.

MT
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Old May 6, 2006, 12:39 AM   #10
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[align=left]I am having the same preflash problem with my 20D, even when using the manual mode. I wanted to use an old brownline flash and don't want to connect it to the camera. I don't understand why canon uses the preflash in the manuam mode. Has anyone had a similar result?
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