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Old Jan 1, 2006, 6:27 AM   #1
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I am the proud owner of the FZ20, after a quick dash to Jessops for the sales (£199)very pleased! I also own a Konica Minolta A2 which I have had for some time so I am not a complete Virgin in Digital matters BUT I am in Flash Guns! some time ago I on impulse brought for next to nothing from a hospice shop in "mint condition" a Vivitar 365 Gun with battery pack, bracket, sensor, and all leads,and instruction manual the whole lot really is in mint condition and after loading up with batteries,charged and fired ok! (very powerful flash), Ok next thing I put the sensor on the FZ20 hot shoe
changed in menu "preset flash" and all worked ok!! with some really nice exposed photo's and after about 10 flashes
my brain kicked into gear and I thought "Trigger voltage"!
The question I want to ask is as this is an "off" camera Flash has the handle and bracket (like the old press photographers used to use) and the only thing attached to the hot shoe is the "Flash sensor" would this Negate the trigger voltage? or would it be exactly the same? (if you get my drift) I know that an adaptor can be brought for around about £45 (in uk) called a "Wein Safesync" that reduces trigger voltage to around the 6 volts (FZ20 Max24 volts) should I get one of these anyway or is the attached sensor safe to use? hope to get your views on this.
No mention in manual on trigger voltage for this gun.

many thank's
Peter
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 8:23 AM   #2
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While I am not sure how the sensor works... but it seems the 365 is 46 volts.

Maybe you can find the answer somewhere or Email Vivitar they seem to be helpful.
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 9:40 AM   #3
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Thank's for your prompt reply Genece much appreciated, the reason why my FZ20 is still working I expect if the voltage is around 46volts I have been lucky!, I will e-mail vivitar and ask, will come back and let you know result (hopefully) have not as yet found anything on Net via searches except spares parts, oh and the sensor works as a "poor mans" version of the modern day TTL Flash! the nearest I can put it! adjust the "old" ASA/DIN value it has adjustment dial for altering angle of tele flash unit itself and a fully auto mode (as in a type of TTL but "off" camera) if that makes sense! Just input ISO value what F-stop stick it on Auto and "seems" to work very well but until I find a way to use it in a safe way I can not test it further.

Thank's
Peter
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 5:33 PM   #4
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Heres a pic on how to check trigger voltage on a conventional flash. I turned the flash on, let it fully charge, and set my voltage test meter to DC volts, and then took a measurement. Good thing I didn`t use this flash on my FZ20! I hope this helps!

By the way, from your description, the sensor which you refer to with your flash set up is probably similar to to the thyristor on newer model Vivitar units.
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 12:13 PM   #5
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Hi John. I have been wondering if I could safely use my old Vivitar 285HV Zoom Thyristor flash unit with my new FZ30. The camera manual states that the flash should be designed for digital cameras with a trigger voltage based on ISO 10330 (less than 24 Volts). I contacted Vivitar by e-mail and all that they would say is that the flash was not suitable for digital cameras. I checked the trigger voltage according to your illustration and measured less than 8 volts DC. I am hoping that I can use it because it has given me many years of good service with my Leica M3 and I don't want to have to buy another if I don't have to.

Can you or anybody else out there confirm the <8V reading I got or offer any other advice as I don't want to risk damaging the camera.
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 4:36 PM   #6
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I also have a Vivitar 285HV that I use all the time with my FZ20. The FZ20 also has a trigger voltage limitof 24 volts. I measured the trigger voltage on the 285HVat it came in at just under 12volts. I`ve taken several hundred pics with the `20/285 combo with no problems. Just be sure to read the section in the owners manual that deals with flash photos thoroughly!

Have fun, JH :G
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 5:59 PM   #7
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Thanks for the good news John. I took your advice and read the manual thoroughly. It suggested using the external flash in PRESET instead of MANUAL and that the aperture would be automatically set at f4 and the ISO sensitivity at100. It said to set the flash to the same settings. I presume your FZ20 manual told you the same.

I set the ISO at 100 on the flash but could only stop the aperture ring down to f5.6. At these settings the outer ring indicated 1/16. Do I set the Varipower ring on the front of the flash at 1/16 also? I have misplaced the flash manual and cannot locate it. I always used a different setting on my film camera.

Also, at what focal lengths should I changethe WIDE, NORM, TELE settings on the telescopic flash head? One of these days I hope to find the flash manual but hopefully you can get me started. By the way, up to what distance can you take flash shots with the 285 on your FZ20.

Thanks for whatever help you can give me.
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Old Jan 2, 2006, 7:54 PM   #8
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Yo Geejay, I do have the 285HV manual on my laptop. I did also lose the original ownersmanual, but was able to download itawhile ago, for free,from the Vivitar website. If ya can`t find itthere, lemme know, and I`ll e-mail it to ya.

I suspect that the flash control settings might be different between the `20 and the `30, but I need to double check, I`ve been wrong before. I do"experiment" with flash settings from time to time. I`ll get back to ya later.

S`later, JH :G
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