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Old Aug 15, 2005, 8:55 AM   #1
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My DX7630 has a baby flash that works pretty well as a fill flash on a sunny day, but has an optimistically stated maximum range of 13 feet / 4 meters in areas like darkish rooms or photos taken at night. The real range is more like 6 feet.

Solution? Add a slave flash, right? Except that the DX7630 does not have either a hot shoe for mounting a realstrobe unit, nor does it havean external flash connector.

For some, including the DX7630,you can rig a slave flash with a slave trigger, an inexpensive bit of passive electronics that fires the slave flash when it "sees" the camera's flash.

[Cameras that have more sophisticated on-board flash, the type that flash multiple times, require a more expensive slave trigger specifically for digital cameras. Otherwise, the slave trigger fires the slave flash on the initial camera pulse, and that's usually before the shutter opens. The result is that your slave light falls on deaf eyes, so to speak. But the DX7630 puts out a single flash, except on the 2-pulse "red eye" setting... that doesn't solve red eye very well.]

Somewhere in my basement I have two, count 'em two, Vivitar slave triggers. If you saw my basement, you'd understand why I bought a third unit on ebay for under $20 -- mine's made by Sonia, a manufacturer in India and comes with a slave hot shoe that mounts on a standard tripod.

Of course, the red eye phenomenon still applies -- the on-camera flash is too close to the lens axis, so people get those demon eyes as the strobe reflects off their retinas.A second downside is that with both slave and on-camera flash, you are likely to get TOO MUCH light.

Solvingboth involvesa bit of irony, since it requires leaning onOld Technology-- you tape unexposed, developed (black) Kodak E-6 slide film over the camera's on-board flash.

Exposed black E-6 cuts visible light but passes IR energy -- or maybe UV, I dunno -- and that triggers the slave unit, which sees IR/UV light as easily as it sees visible light.

You do have to ensure that the slave trigger / flash can "see" the camera.

This setup is allowing me to use my old, very old, very very old,Vivitar 283 flash unit, one of the best ever made. Mine is the old type with a trigger voltage over 300volts, so I could not have used it onmy digital camera, even if it had a hot shoe or an external flash socket. (Digital cam external flash circuits require solid-state levels, 5 V or so).

When I get a chance, I'll add to this with pix of the setup and some night shot tests.

Dave

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Old Aug 15, 2005, 9:12 AM   #2
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Good info about putting the slide film over the on-board flash.

If anyone who has a DX6490/7590/Z7590 is wondering about the safety of using older flashguns with a pc cord. There is no problem at all, Kodak took the refreshing approach of giving those cameras a 500v trigger limit.
That means you can hook them up to proper stuidio lighting if you felt like it.....
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 9:26 AM   #3
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Cold Snail wrote:
Quote:
Kodak took the refreshing approach of giving those cameras a 500v trigger limit.
That means you can hook them up to proper stuidio lighting if you felt like it.....
Not just refreshing -- incredibly thoughtful.

How'd you learn about thevoltage limit?

Dave
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 10:46 AM   #4
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Vivitar made a flash for those digicams with out a sync cord or for folks that don't want to use one. Go here for the user's manual that will explain all about it's use. PDF Format...............http://vivitar.com/CustService/downl...DF200ManlE.pdf

Or here for their product page! http://vivitar.com/Products/Flashes/flash.html#DF200


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Old Aug 15, 2005, 11:59 AM   #5
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DGehman wrote:
Quote:
Cold Snail wrote:
Quote:
Kodak took the refreshing approach of giving those cameras a 500v trigger limit.
That means you can hook them up to proper stuidio lighting if you felt like it.....
Not just refreshing -- incredibly thoughtful.

How'd you learn about thevoltage limit?

Dave
It's in the book.
I had use an ink cartridge to print this out (in the UK the book is on a disc), so I got my money's worth and read it.

It's on the website too.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 1:09 PM   #6
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Cold Snail wrote:
Quote:
If anyone who has a DX6490/7590/Z7590 is wondering about the safety of using older flashguns with a pc cord. There is no problem at all, Kodak took the refreshing approach of giving those cameras a 500v trigger limit.
That means you can hook them up to proper stuidio lighting if you felt like it.....
I hooked mine up to my toaster, but it took too long for the darn thing to pop. :rolland I kept getting butter on the lens.groan)

Tom, on Point Pelee, Canada
http://tomoverton.myphotoalbum.com
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 1:13 PM   #7
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Cold Snail wrote:
Quote:
It's in the book.

It's on the website too.
Serendipity at work - not only was there an EE who was capable of engineering a miniature solid-state circuit for the real world, but there was a manual writer who knew the detail was important enough to include it...

Impressive.
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Old Aug 15, 2005, 8:18 PM   #8
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Thanks Dave, interesting info...Look forward to your pics and test

Dan


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