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Old Oct 6, 2004, 1:35 PM   #1
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This is mainly for those who have questions in regards if the lumix will be able to use a slave flash unit.

The short answer is "YES". Basically most cameras will be able to use an external flash as a slave flash unit, given that external flash has a slave controller.

I've recently bought a Nikon SU-4 (Nikon's Slave Controller) to attach to my Nikon SB-28DX flash.

http://homepages.ihug.com.au/~parsog/Guy/niksu4.html

This worked out fairly well. Mainly the a slave controller will initiate the flash signal based upon another flash blast. Simply put, one flash fires, causes other to fire as well.

One thing you have to keep in mind with digital cameras and any cameras with built in flash unit. They usually will give off what is called a "Pre-Flash". This basically assist the camera with determining the correct setting. Most of the time this "Pre-Flash" will send a false signal to the slave controller causing a mis-fire. In order for a slave controller to work properly, this MUST be disable.

On the Panasonic FZ10, the setting will work at shuttle speed 1/60 or 1/125 with appeture of 2.8 - 3.5.

What I am using now as my setup is two Nikon SB-28DX (you could find them cheap on ebay these days). Have a Nikon SU-4 controller attached to each of them. Each of them on their individual tripod. One on the left and one on the right of me.

The panasonic flash is my center flash with a diffuser on it to soften the flash. It worked perfectly and will give great result.

Of course there are other brand out there other than the Nikon SU-4 that is cheaper. I chose to buy it because all my non-digital camera equipment have been and still is Nikon. The Nikon SU-4 will work with most flash brand, such as Canon, Olympus, etc.

Some of the newer and more expensive flash unit these days have a built in slave unit already, such as the Nikon SB-80DX or the 8000 series.

Hope this will answer some of your questions. This is a very useful tool to have if you have an external flash or using an external flash. I call it a bare neccassity item.

:|

KN

PS: Other feel free to comments, as I am on a learning curve myself as well
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Old Oct 7, 2004, 12:46 PM   #2
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The information provided is in deed very helpful.

I only have one slave unit for the time being. I am planning to test it with the bracket. Is there anything that I should watch out for? For your information the flash unit I am using is the Vivitar 383 and Vivitar bracket.

Thanks!


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Old Oct 7, 2004, 5:58 PM   #3
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The Nikon SU-4 should work for that flash you have. It has an "Auto" and "Manual" function to it. Where the "Auto" function will use TTL with the Nikon camera and/or other Nikon flash to communicate with.

In either case, it will work fine. No adapter required.

Some would buy the SC-17 cord just for the sake they could extend the reach of the flash sensor to the flash unit to give you that extra distance.

For example: You could have the sensor mount to your camera or tripod, while having someone hold the flash even further away from your camera to give that extra distance in taking picture.

Or you could use it as a side mout to your camera on a bracket holder will work as well.
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Old Oct 10, 2004, 4:29 PM   #4
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Great information. Another consideration is the Vivitar DF 200 (same as Phoenix D 91). You can get the Vivitar for around $60, bottom line with shipping. These models have a delay that compensate for the preflash issue. The build quality isn't the greatest but it has four power modes, 5 click-stops - wide to telephoto settings, which widen or narrow the beam. Numerous click-stops for bounce flash, and it swivels 330 degrees on the horizontal axis. Comes with a mini-tripod and a camera mount. I was surprised to find that I seem to get good results with shutter speeds much faster than 1/125.

These flash solutions are "a must" for FZ-1, FZ-2, FZ-3, and FZ-15 owners, the Lumixes that don't have a hot-shoe. It's amazing to zoom out 12X in low indoor lighting, hand-held, and take a sharp as a tack, properly exposed pic. Adds a whole 'nother dimension/capability to the camera, and enables you to get the most out of that super big zoom lens.
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Old Oct 13, 2004, 4:17 PM   #5
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I am puzzle at the price of a panasonic flash when in terms of functional feature it lacks of Nikon / Canon, etc. But since the camera only has hotshoe and doesn't support TTL using a panasonic vs vivitar vs nikon is essentially the exact same thing.


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Old Oct 16, 2004, 3:55 PM   #6
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To Nicktrop. I was wondering if you had any examples of the DF 200 in action. I'm considering the FZ 15 now after having tried the FZ 20. I think I'll go that way since noise is a factor to me. And also if you have any sources for the flash and the L bracket you mentioned. Thanks.
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Old Oct 19, 2004, 5:37 PM   #7
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Hi Nooner,

Not the greatest pic, but a decent example for the DF200 range... Low-lit basement about 40 feet(?). ISO 100, 1/125, f 2.8. Sorry for the delay. This would be black with the internal flash. The vivitar is commonly available. Amazon wants 65, shipping included. I got mine on eBay for 60. The L bracket is easy to find, any photo store will have one for around 15. eBay, B&H. The Vivitar comes with a bracket and a mini-tripod.

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Old Oct 23, 2004, 5:59 PM   #8
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Here is an example of it using a Slave controller.

Using Nikon SU-4 slave controller on an Nikon SB-28DX flash bounce @ 45 angle facing back and a diffuser on the built-in flash. B+W Macro 5T.


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