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Old Mar 30, 2006, 3:55 PM   #1
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I've been thinking about getting a slave flash for my DMC-FZ5 and have spent a few hours surfing around on the internet researching. As I still feel I know pretty much nothing about flashes I thought I'd ask here.

What's the main difference between these two Vivitar flashes? Which one is a better buy?

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Old Mar 30, 2006, 8:26 PM   #2
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I think you didn't bother to read your welcome to the forums email.......we don't do SPAM or links to commercial sites.
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Old Mar 31, 2006, 3:18 AM   #3
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Kalypso wrote:
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I think you didn't bother to read your welcome to the forums email.......we don't do SPAM or links to commercial sites.
How on earth were the two links in my email spam? And how the **** am I supposed to ask for opinions on products if I can't post links to them, even if they happen to be on commercial sites? Talk about trigger happy moderating.

To return to my original question, what's the main difference between the Vivitar DF-200 and the Vivitar sold on eBay, item number 7605216512? I can't find any model number for the one sold on eBay and don't know enough about flashed yet to be able to compare the specs critically.

Thanks for any help
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Old Mar 31, 2006, 7:09 AM   #4
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makarjal wrote:
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To return to my original question, what's the main difference between the Vivitar DF-200 and the Vivitar sold on eBay, item number 7605216512?
makarjal,
The main difference is :
- The Vivitar DF200 is a "standalone" digital slave flash (it "ignores" preflash by itself) and do not require any "special" grip, other than for physical holding purpose.
- The item shown is a "normal" generic flash (it does not have the ability to ignore preflash) combined with a "digital grip" which also act as a trigger (the grip counts the camera's flash burst, and triggers the attached flash at the right moment via it's hotshoe)
(other makes as Sunpak and others offers this kind of grip as well, which can be used with any generic flash)

If you search this forum with "slave flash" or "DF200", or "phoenix" etc … you will find many old threads about slave flashes.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=53

I don't have recommendation for any makes (because I don't have any of these grips), but IMO, the "slave grip + generic flash" arrangement (or combination) seems to me a good setup since you can then use any generic flash with that same grip .


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Old Mar 31, 2006, 3:49 PM   #5
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Thanks, Kcan! I hadn't realized the slave unit was actually in the L-handle and not in the flash itself in the eBay-Vivitar. I think the grip + regular flash looks like a good combination, only drawback I can see so far is that it takes 8 batteries while the DF-200 only takes 4. Also, the flash unit on the eBay-Vivitar has the guide number mentioned in ISO200 while the other one has ISO100, is that a significant difference?
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Old Apr 3, 2006, 7:53 AM   #6
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makarjal wrote:
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Also, the flash unit on the eBay-Vivitar has the guide number mentioned in ISO200 while the other one has ISO100, is that a significant difference?
http://www.naturephotographers.net/a.../jm0703-1.html

Hi again makarjal,
Yes, there is a difference. You will see the explanation in the above link (just a link I found, there are many other information sites of course)

When a flash maker gives a GN at ISO 200, it means that at ISO 100 (the "standard" GN usually specified) the GN will be lower. So, giving the GN at ISO 200 makes it higher (the GN) and the flash appears more "attractive" to sell.

The makeX specify:
Guide # (ISO 200): 112ft / 34m
Since ISO 100 is one stop less sensitive than ISO 200, the aperture should be opened one stop (lower F number) , or divided by square of 2 (1.414)

GN at ISO 100= GN at ISO 200 /square[2] = 80ft / 24m


Another explanation with a formula for any ISO here:
http://www.cs.mtu.edu/~shene/DigiCam...Functions.html


The DF200 specify:
Guide Number 92 (ISO 100/ft) at mid--zoom setting

So, you are comparing at 80 versus 92 at the same ISO 100
But, be careful, another trick to boost the specified GN of the flash is to specify it at full tele zoom (the light is zoomed, reach further , but the coverage angle is narrowed)

The DF200 specified "at mid zoom", how about the other one?




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Old Apr 5, 2006, 2:29 PM   #7
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Thanks very much for your help, KCan.

I, too, noticed that the DF200 guide number was given in the mid-zoom setting. For the eBay one I didn't find any similar spec. Also, the eBay one takes 8 batteries and doesn't seem to swivel, so I've pretty much ruled it out. The grip looks very handy, though...

Now I just hope I can find somewhere in the EU to buy the DF200. I was about to order the DF200 from an online store in France, but they were all out.

But before I buy, can you give me an idea of how manual the whole process of using a slave flash is, if you know? As the camera can't know I have an extra flash I'm assuming I will have to adjust aperture and shutter speed for every shot. Will I be shooting in manual all the time, or is there a "generic" setting that works well for most situations, like a certain flash power at a certain aperture at a certain ISO or something similar? Is there any way at all to shoot in P-mode with an external slave flash?
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Old Apr 6, 2006, 7:25 AM   #8
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makarjal wrote:
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As the camera can't know I have an extra flash I'm assuming I will have to adjust aperture and shutter speed for every shot.
This is the academically right answer , also taking into account the power of the camera flash , and bla bla bla.
You have also the flash power adjustment to change the flash GN, or use the auto-mode (if the slave flash has it) to match the camera aperture.
The things to remember is that the combination speed and aperture of the camera will set the ambient exposure (background) , and the flash will fill the subject lighting (it will be simple if the slave is in auto mode then)
The speed is not relevant for the subject illuminated by the flash (since the flash burst is very short) but a too low speed can blur the background (movement blur)


makarjal wrote:
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Will I be shooting in manual all the time, or is there a "generic" setting that works well for most situations, like a certain flash power at a certain aperture at a certain ISO or something similar? Is there any way at all to shoot in P-mode with an external slave flash?
I think that most of the time, people will content using P mode for convenience and speed. When you use the slave flash, the camera itself is already in "flash mode" , meaning it is already set at a relatively high speed (typical 1/60 or higher), when subject is a bit far, the slave flash will complement the internal flash , working in either manual power setting or auto-setting (preset aperture). Whith a little practice and experience, you will quick realize the "best average" setting of the slave flash for typical situation.


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Old Apr 9, 2006, 3:58 AM   #9
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Thanks, KCan. I've now ordered a Vivitar DF200 and a StoFen Omnibounce from B&H Photo... Can't wait to start experimenting with it..
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