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Old Apr 5, 2006, 2:24 AM   #1
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I recently bought a D70s and a SunPak PZ40X for Nikon. It appears that when I use the flash, all the pictures come out a stop low, and are all dark. Even when I use the camera with out the ext flash, I have trouble getting the flash to force flash for day time use. I have really been spoiled by the 5700 where I could set the force flash and get great no nose shadow shots at 12 noon. What is the trick to get the D70s camera to give me a force flash and full exposure when I need it? I have a Sigma 28-200 D lens. Also, the macro on the lens is useless with the D70s. I've read the book, but would like to hear some real solutions. Worst case probably would be to have to get a Nikon 800 flash and a standard Nikon lens?

Will be glad to compare notes on other matters likethe batteries and chargers and battery handles. I came out great on those parts.





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Old Apr 5, 2006, 3:11 AM   #2
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I Don't have the D70s but I have the D70 and to get the flash to fire you press the button at the side to pop it up. If you are using the camera in auto mode this won't work. You have to use the camera in P (which is basically the same as auto but with more control) S, A or M. You can use the same button at the side of the flash to apply flash compensation. Also in the CSM menu you can select TTL which is the default and easiest flash mode to use or manual with a variety of power settings.

Why is the macro on the 28-200 useless on the D70s. It should work OK. You are only going to get the full macro magnification at the 200mm end and then at F5.6 the lens is at the limit of the F stop range for auto focus but it should work.



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Old Apr 5, 2006, 9:23 AM   #3
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Thank you for the reply. As mentioned, I have triedthe tactics using P and other settings. I still have under exposed frames. Especially when I use the SunPak Flash.The PZ40X is supposed to be fully TTL compatiable. Most of my work is portrait and stage shots for the winners at Chili and BBQ contests, with the full range from daylight to dark. I would be interested if someone is having better luck with the actual Nikon B800 flash.

As far as the macro, the Sigma lens has a lock on the macro. If the lock is not on, the camera will not take a picture. Trying to use the macro dissables the camera, and the autofocus, and will not work even in manual mode. You have to lock the macro, then zoom to the distance, use manual, and then usemanual fine tune to focus the picture. It takes a lot of experimenting with the other settings to get any decient depth of field. I take macro photos of my cactus blooms.

I hate to say it, but I get better pictures out of my 990 and my 5700 so far. Sad that each camera has some minor flaw, such as the 5700 not being TTL compatable, and the D70s not working with the macro or cooperating with the flash.I have even tried the SunPak 5000 flash (that works on the 5700) on the D70s, and with some tinkering, it takes better stage shots than the PZ40X, but is not fully TTL.

When I went into the forums, so far, I have only found most people still using the D70. There must be something real different with the D70s.

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Old Apr 5, 2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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I don't think there's that much difference between the D70 and the D70s. I have only used the internal flash and manual external flash on the D70 and that's fine. Your flashgun doesn't appear to be I-TTL compatible which is what the D70, D50 and D200 use. It has D-TTL for the D100 and TTL for film.

The D70 works well with other macro lenses, sounds like that Sigma lens isn't too good for the D70s.


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Old Apr 5, 2006, 12:19 PM   #5
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Actually, I believe the flash in question comes in both D-TTL and I-TTL versions. AFAIK, if the flash were not compatible in TTL mode, it wouldn't fire at all in TTL mode, so I suspect the problem is a different one.
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Old Apr 5, 2006, 1:01 PM   #6
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Thebac I've just searched again and there is a SunPak PZ40X II that is I-TTL compatible. I didn't see that when I searched before.
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Old Apr 5, 2006, 4:00 PM   #7
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To avoid any more speculation, the unit I have is a SunPak Power Zoom PZ40X II Nikon i-TTL Compatable Flash. The box specifically says for D70s, D70, D2X, D2Hs D2H D100.

Post note:05-16-06 I finally gave up and purchased a NIKON SB-800 SpeedLight.

After doing some research, I found that you have little or no control over the intensity of the flashin the i-TTL mode on the D70s camera with the PZ40X II You can go through the camera while it is set on P and hold down the compensation exposure button on the right top of the camera while rotating left orright with the rear main control knob, while the PZ40X is in i-TTL mode. By rotating left, you increase the flash, and right, you decrease the flash output.

When you use the SB-800Speedlight, you can also control the flash output on the flash by rocking the center select button up or down. If you are going to take a lot of portraits that you know will be the same distance from the subject, a few test shots to adjust the flash intensity will put you dead on. The SB-800 has a lot of nice control features and is worth the research to learn more and do a little price searching. It will stay with you for the life of the camera.

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Old May 17, 2006, 1:31 AM   #8
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Post Note: 05-17-06

After using the Sigma 28-200 Zoom lens for a while with the D70s, I found that the sharpness of most pictures were not the best. Especially with trying to use the zoom as a closeup substitute for macro. As I mentioned, the Macro feature on the lens is useless with a D70s camera. It locks the camera from working unless the macro ring is put into the lock position. You have to focus way out and use the manual ring.

Having had the opportunity to use an 18 to 70 Nikon lens, and doing a lot of research on another Nikon zoom lens, I will probably invest in a Nikon 18 to 70 and a Nikon 18 to 200, then sell off the Sigma 28-200. By doing some more shopping, I found that there are ecconomical complete lens filter kits and even a closeup lens kit.Note that the Sigma has a 62mm filter and the Nikon has a 67mm filter, just in case you wondered.

Sometimes it just does not pay to try to go cheap the first time. Use the forums and do a lot of window shopping and look at the reviews on the lenses before you make a decision.

One last note, one review reminded that the New D50 has a 18 to 55 standard lens, the recommended lens for a D70s is a 18 to 70mm lens.

Tejas Medicineman
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Old May 17, 2006, 6:43 AM   #9
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If macro is your area of interest, your probably better off with a dedicated macro lens. They are the sharpest lenses available and have non of the distortion issues that all zoom lenses have (barrell at wide end, pincushion at tele) and will be very evident in macro photography. Nikon has the 60mm that can be found used for around $300, which is only slightly more than the 18-70. Sigma and Tamron also have versions available for much less (under $200 used). I just think you'll find the 18-70 redundant if you have the 18-200, and you're money could be better spent on a macro lens.
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Old May 18, 2006, 7:00 PM   #10
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RJ....

I will agree with you on all points, but I am going to have to sell off a few things to get the 18 to 200. After shopping for several days I found out that the USA does not have an 18-200 in stock. The price is rock solid at $750 and you ought to see the outrageous prices at the internet "U-sellum" site. Well over a grand! Unfortunately, I think that I am going to settle for an 18 to 70mm right now. If I want my macro for now, I can still use the Coolpix 5700. ( http://www.chili-usa.com/SW%20Cacti%20Pics/ ) I have a large cacti collection that I document.

When in the field, I use the cameras to take the winner photos at CASI chili contests. I had a lot of trouble over the past few years getting the flashes to match up with the cameras. Nikon 5700 will work with a 5000 SunPak, but barely. I managed to get my shots at Terlingua this last 2005 year's contest. But, I wanted to go with a new SLR and fought for several months getting a D70s. Like the lens, the camera was backordered for several months. Going cheap on the lens however was a big mistake. Going cheap with the flash was also a mistake. I was still a bit leary about Nikon flashes because of the flash that was supposed to go with the 5700 and did not TTL . They also had a questionable battery system. Boy, that new SB-800 with the 5th out board AAbattery seems to work forever. The D70s and the SB 800 are a good matchfor "winner" shots and portraitsfor now.

I plan to start a new thread to share some battery experiences that I am very happy with. Tejasmed


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