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Old Mar 9, 2006, 10:32 PM   #1
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I want to buy a slave flash to add a bit of background/side/fill lighting when I'm trying to get fancy. It would be for use with my Canon Rebel XT and triggered by my 420EX flash. I'm on a tight budget and the Vivitar DF120 and Sunpak digital flash are in my price range. I have had very little luck finding detailed information/reviews about these flashes on-line and my local camera stores don't carry them. The Vivitar costs a few bucks more but has a smaller guide number (although faster recycle time). The Vivitar also seems to have a "smarter" slave firing mechanism.
Has anyone used either of these flashes and what would you recommend or warn me about them?
Is the 200 millisecond delay of the Sunpak compatible with my Canon equipment?


According to B&H, the Sunpak has a manual mode, but they don't say anything about the Vivitar modes. Is the Vivitar auto thyristor only?
Thanks for your help.

(Please don't tell me to buy a Canon 580EX, if I could, I would!)
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 11:07 AM   #2
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Edward-

So we can compare apples with apples, please let us know what model Sunpak slave flash you are referring to in your post. Sunpak makes several models of slave flashes, beginning with the DS-20 at around $ (US) 25.00 to 28.00, and upward from there.

MT
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 11:14 AM   #3
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I'm pretty sure it's the DS-20, the B&H listing doesn't give a model number, but the price fits:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation



This link is for the Vivitar:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...goryNavigation

thanks!
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 5:27 PM   #4
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Edward-

You are indeed correct. The slave flash shown in the B&H link is indeed a Sunpak DS-20. I have had the least sucess with the DS-20, of the three slave flashes that I own. When compared to the Vivitar DF-200, the DS-20 is LESS powerful than either the DF-200, which I also own, as well as the Bower SFDA which I also own. My biggest objection to the Sunpak DS-20 is that it is only useful when mounted next to the camera with the triggering flash. My DS-20 will not work well when mounted in a position remote from the tiggering camera.

In contrast, the DF-200 and Bower SFDS can easily be used in a position remote from the triggering camera, are more powerful in output, and IMHO are easily to use. The only negative is that the DF-200 and the Bower SFDS cost more.

I have attached two photos. The first shows a photo taken with my Olympus C-8080 and the Bower SFDS slave flash. You will notice the eveness of the exposure and the fact that the second dancer who is much more distant from the camera is equally illuminated, which is what I think that you want to do. The second photo shows the entire documention that comes with Sunpak DS-20. It is nothing more than the back of the blister pack on which the DS-20 is shipped.

If the choice were mine, I would choose either the Vivitar DF-200 or the Bower SFDS.

MT




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Old Mar 10, 2006, 8:19 PM   #5
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Thanks a lot for your feedback! I think I'll keep on saving for the Vivitar DF200.
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Old Mar 11, 2006, 8:07 AM   #6
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mtclimber
Would you be able to post a printable version of the DS20 instructions as I have an older version one but no instructions at all.

Thank you

StanStan



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Old Mar 11, 2006, 9:23 AM   #7
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StanStan-

That photo of the Sunpak DS-20 instructions is already at the MAX size allowed on the forum. Screen capture it, take it into your photo editing program and it is very readable when enlarged. I just did it, so that I was satisfied that it can be done.

MT
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 6:48 PM   #8
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duplicate post
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Old Mar 12, 2006, 6:48 PM   #9
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I am doing something wrong. I copied the picture and pasted it into Photoshop Elements 2 and am totally unable to read it. Tried everything I know but tono avail.

Thanks for trying.

StanStan
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