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Old Apr 19, 2005, 3:22 PM   #1
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I'm thinking of getting an FZ5 and a slave flash to go with it for the times I'm in real low light situations. Could someone please explain what "zoom" is on a flash?:?How can you tell by the flash's specifications how far the light will go? How do I know if it will work when totally zoomed in? I was looking at a Phoenix D91-BZS 4-Stop Digital Slave. The specs I'm questioning read as follows:

zoom range (5 positions) 25, 35, 50, 85, & 105 mm
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 4:40 PM   #2
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Meg, I have the Vivitar DF 200 flash. The Phoenix D91 "I think" is the exact same flash as the Vivitar DF 200. There are "click positions" - five of them, that extend the zoom head of the flash outwards. It narrows the flash beam. The positions are Wide 1 (widest), W2, Mid, T1, and T2.

Think of it like a garden hose. W1 shoots the water widest, but not very far. T1 is like squeezing the handle of the garden hose - the (water/light) beam is narrower but shoots farther. Use W1 this for close in, indoor shots - perhaps with the flash throttled down, which you can also set manually, you'll have to experiment.

The DF 200 is an exellent flash for the Lumix cameras. I heartily recommend it. It has features found usually on much more expensive professional flash units, and has decent power. The beauty of these cameras is that they can synch the flash at all shutter speeds. Most consumer film cameras synch up to 1/125.

I use the DF 200 with the FZ-1v2, which has a weaker flash than the FZ-5. I wouldn't consider leaving home without it to shoot any indoor event.

I would also recommend picking up a better L-bracket than what comes with the flash. Any photo store should have one for about $15. I would also suggest getting a diffuser for the flash unit.

Big, big improvement in indoor shots. It's all about the light.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 8:00 PM   #3
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Yo Nick, thanks for the review. I do have the DF200/PhoenixD91 on my shopping list for my`20. Doesn`t the DF200 put out a pre-flash to adjust the white balance? If it does pre-flash, does the pre-flash also act as kind of a red eye reduction flash? If the pre-flash doesn`t act as a red eye reducer, is there asetting on the flash for red eye reduction? I know where to get an L-bracket & diffuser. Will I need any kind of additional hardware, like a hot shoe adapter and wire, to use the flash with the L-bracket? Also, didn`t you find a nifty little LED light beam unit for focus assist that screws into the tripod mount?

Do I ask to many questions?

Oh yeah, congrats on the new "diaper loader", and cool B&W "Eye in the shadow" pic!
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 8:52 PM   #4
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Okay..., I just answered a couple of my own questions. I went to the Phoenix website and they had the specs for the flash there. It`s a slave unit and red eye reduction is built in. I don`t recall the website mentioning pre-flash for white balance. Hmmm.
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Old Apr 19, 2005, 9:01 PM   #5
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Question. If you have an FZ20 why would you use a slave flash? Redeye would minimal with an external flash. Plus the camera has an AF focus assist already.:O
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 7:34 AM   #6
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Hi nooner, The built infocus assist is good for only about5 feet or so, as per page 74 in the owners manual. I do have a Vivitar 285 externalflash and I have indeed gotten red eye when using it with my 35mm gear. I know bouncing the flash does greatly help to reduce red eye. However I have done a lot of night shots while outdoors, so I can`t always bounce the light. :G
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Old Apr 20, 2005, 12:20 PM   #7
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I dummy down the built-in flash for fill and use the slave flash. Using the hotshoe made it a bit harder to handle for me with the flash on the camera. I like the steadiness of using the L-bracket instead.

Basically, a quirky personal preference and since I have the FZ1v2 for that purpose I do the same with my FZ10 and FZ20.


I did get the Digislave 3000 which functions as both a hotshoe flash and slave.

It works on all my cameras including my Pentax *ist Ds.


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