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Old May 13, 2009, 7:53 AM   #1
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Default Final Dimage 7Hi/Hanimex Flash question

Hi All
I have at last received my ex-eBay Hanimex TZ36. The top head was damaged in transit and the battery comparment corroded but all is now repaired and it works well on my 7Hi (I had to also buy a sync cable and solder it directly to the flash unit as it had strange sockets and no cable) It has a measured trigger voltage of just over 4 volts so it shouldn't hurt the camera.

I now need some "re-training" on using this flash as it's been a while since I used an "auto thyristor" based unit. The auto range works OK and I understand it but I just need some expert advice about the "autocheck" light and the flash power settings!!!
I tried it around the house and used it on 1/16th power and the auto-check light came on after each exposure and the image looked pretty good!!
Am I right or wrong in assuming that the "autocheck" will tell me if there was enough light for the particular ambient conditions??? eg: if I shoot a group of people in a huge hall at 1/16th power from 20' away (with the correct aperture and auto range) the autocheck light should NOT come on because the conditions needed more than 1/16th power?????

If this is the case, can I simply do a test flash to see what power is needed or is it a bit more complex than that????

I would really appreciate some advice on what guidelines to use when deciding what flash power to use. This unit has 1/16, 1/4 and full.

Chris
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Old May 13, 2009, 9:08 AM   #2
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It's probably *ignoring* the switch setting for manual power, unless you have the flash set to manual power mode. That's the 4th (right hand position) of the color coded switch in the back that lets you select one of 3 auto modes or manual power from what I can see from the photo you posted of it here:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/965449-post13.html

In one of the 3 Auto modes, it measures reflected light during the flash exposure, terminating it when it sees enough light for the aperture and ISO speed selected. If you're very close, that may be the equivalent of a 1/16 power flash (very short flash duration). If you're further away, that may be the equivalent of a full power flash (longer flash duration). That's the "Auto" part. ;-) The check function is probably telling you that it sees enough returned light to work OK.

As for trigger voltage, it doesn't make any difference if you're using the PC Sync port connection on your camera (it's rated for trigger voltages up to 400 volts). The hotshoe electronics is where you can have a problem trying to use some flashes without adequate voltage protection. If it's trigger voltage is only 4 volts, that means you could use it in a hotshoe with a Minolta FS-1100 or third party equivalent adapter.
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Old May 13, 2009, 6:59 PM   #3
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Hi Jim
Thanks again!! I didn't realise that the power switch only kicks in if you are in manual!!! These flash units don't have a hotshoe and I also had to rig the proprietrary flash sync socket and solder in a standard cable so I might as well make use of PC port anyway.

Update: I actually have done some tests and it seems that this flash (TZ36) uses the power setting on auto!! I did a shot about 15' away on 1/16th power on the first auto range and the check light didn't illuminate and the shot was a lot underexposed!!. I switched to 1/4th power and the check light worked plus the pic was correctly exposed!!Does anyone have a TZ36??? The auto range distance scale runs from 3.5' thru to 59' (1.1 to 18m) and the 1st auto range is indicated at 11', the 2nd at 21' and the 3rd at 43' .... Does this mean that range 1 is from 3.5' to 11' and the 2nd from 11' to 21' etc etc. I went outside and was around 8' or 9' from my car (in the dark) and used auto-range 1 and even the nearer bits of the image was a little underexposed. Unless someone here actually has one of these beasts I'll will have to go with trial and error!

Great advice as always!!

Chris

Last edited by Softweigh; May 14, 2009 at 7:49 AM. Reason: flash test update
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Old May 14, 2009, 10:38 AM   #4
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It's probably designed to let you use the power ranges in Auto if you want to let the camera use additional light sources (ambient, etc.) so that the flash is providing less light than normal. If you leave it on Full, it should work properly within the distances shown on the scale for Auto if your camera is set to match the flash for ISO speed and aperture.

As for the auto ranges, watch the sliding scales. Chances are, it's just changing the aperture and ISO speed you need to use for proper exposure when you change switch positions (which will impact the distances you can use the flash with)

For Auto to work correctly, you need to set the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture (I'd suggest sticking with manual exposure for that purpose). Then, the flash is doing the work for insuring proper exposure by terminating the flash burst when it sees enough reflected light for the aperture and ISO speed selected.

Sometimes you will need to tweak things with some cameras (use a wider or narrower aperture than the flash thinks is needed in some conditions; or use a different ISO speed). For example, if you find that exposure is one stop too bright when the scale says to use f/4, use f/5.6 instead.

But, you'll probably find that it's relatively accurate if you set both the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and aperture with most cameras if the flash is working correctly.

You can then vary shutter speed as needed to let in more or less ambient light (shutter speed probably won't matter for the amount of flash produced light seen by the camera, as long as it's 1/1000 second or slower, which is likely the length of a full power flash burst with most similar flash models). Indoors, I'd probably start out using something like ISO 100, f/4 and 1/100 second and see what you get (setting the camera and flash to match for ISO speed and Aperture using one of the Auto ranges, leaving the power setting at full). In most indoor conditions, that would let the flash provide most of the light (as the photo would be underexposed with those settings without the flash). Then, tweak shutter speed from there as desired to let in more or less ambient light.
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Old May 14, 2009, 8:55 PM   #5
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Hi Jim

Many thanks!! Prefect advice as always !!

By using it on full power where there is no ambient light (or very little) it exposes correctly now, provided I select the correct auto range!!

Many thanks for your extreme patience and help

Chris
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