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Old Sep 25, 2007, 1:13 AM   #1
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I had about decided on buying a Pentax AF240 flash until I realized I really need a swivel feature. So I started looking at the Sunpac 383 Super. However I havesome issues I can't find information on, and am needing help. Perhaps someone reading this can tell me the answers.

Question 1---Is the hot shoe voltage of concern?

Question 2---Does the camera activate the flash through the hot shoe, or only from activation by the camera's flash?

Question 3---Knowing that there is a pre-flash, and I don't mean the red eye flash, will the camer's pre-flash trigger the flash gun? Or is there a switch on the flash gun to restrict that action? Or does the camera have the capability to eliminate the camera's pre-flash?

Question 4---Does the flash gun mount on the hot shoe without an adapter? If not, what would I need?

Question 5---In your opinion is the fuss needed to set up the flash and camera for varying shots so much trouble that you have been disatisfied using a non-dedicated flash gun?
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 4:09 AM   #2
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OE,
Check out this site for strobe voltage info ... Jack.

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 8:59 AM   #3
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I use the 383 with the
k100d. The voltage is compatible. The hotshoe fires the flash. There is no preflash. No adapter reqd. I use mine in manual mode. With a little practise this is fast and easy to use. IMO the Sunpak does an excellent job and the price is right.
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Old Sep 25, 2007, 5:35 PM   #4
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Old Engineer wrote:
Quote:
I had about decided on buying a Pentax AF240 flash until I realized I really need a swivel feature. So I started looking at the Sunpac 383 Super. However I havesome issues I can't find information on, and am needing help. Perhaps someone reading this can tell me the answers.

Question 1---Is the hot shoe voltage of concern?

Question 2---Does the camera activate the flash through the hot shoe, or only from activation by the camera's flash?

Question 3---Knowing that there is a pre-flash, and I don't mean the red eye flash, will the camer's pre-flash trigger the flash gun? Or is there a switch on the flash gun to restrict that action? Or does the camera have the capability to eliminate the camera's pre-flash?

Question 4---Does the flash gun mount on the hot shoe without an adapter? If not, what would I need?

Question 5---In your opinion is the fuss needed to set up the flash and camera for varying shots so much trouble that you have been disatisfied using a non-dedicated flash gun?
Hi OE,

The answers have pretty much been given, but since the space here is free, and I tend to give wordy answers, I'll chime in.

1. The hotshoe triggering voltage can be a concern, but not really in the case of the Sunpak 383 Super. I measured one for a friend, and came up with 7.2V which should be safe on the Pentax DSLRs. There are many old flashes out there that have triggering voltages of 30-300V -- those are the ones that can be a problem, but there's always the Wein Safe-Synch. . .

2. The 383 has no optical slave sensor onboard, so as-is, can only be triggered when mounted on the hotshoe. You can, however buy a hot shoe optical slave trigger that will fit on the shoe of the flash gun that can be set off by your camera's flash. You have to be sure to get one that can be set to fire on the second flash as your camera's onboard flash is P-TTL, and preflashes. These are usually marketed as "digital" slave triggers.

3. will the camer's pre-flash trigger the flash gun? yes, unless it's a "digital" slave
is there a switch on the flash gun to restrict that action? usually no
does the camera have the capability to eliminate the camera's pre-flash? No, unless you're using a fully manual lens, in which case the camera's flash reverts to firing at full power.

4. A hot shoe is a hot shoe, except for Minolta/Sony who use a proprietary shoe. All the others use a standard hotshoe, but the contacts for dedicated functions are different for each camera mfg.

5. I frequently use even my AF540 and AF360 in "Auto" mode which is basically the same as the automation provided by the 383 where a sensor on the front of the flash gun meters the light and cuts off the flash when the right amount of light is received.
I do this because I run into a number of people who are blinkers caused by the pre-flash, and because "Auto" mode doesn't preflash, I have a better chance of getting shots of them where their eyes are open. I also find that P-TTL can be pretty easily fooled by reflective surfaces in the frame, so if I'm shooting in a situation where these hot spots might be unavoidable, I'll set up for "Auto" mode, and shoot that way.

To use this mode, you have to choose one of the (IIRC for the 383) 3 distance ranges on the back of the flash. Set your camera to manual mode, and the shutter speed to less than 1/180. Choose the ISO speed that you want to use, and the table on the flash will tell you what aperture to set. You then are ready to shoot just about anything within the distances specified on the back of the flash. It takes only seconds to set up. You can, however fudge these a bit (a wider aperture or higher ISO for more distant shots, etc), but some experience with it will show you when you have to cut things back or open things up.

Before dedicated through the lens metered flash, This was the only automated flash mode available, and wedding shooters and events photogs relied on this system for years. The other advantage is that they'll work on any camera made as long as there's a hot shoe and manual mode.

Scott


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Old Sep 25, 2007, 5:43 PM   #5
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I basically use my macro ringflash in the same way.



A little trial and error goes a long way!



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Old Sep 26, 2007, 4:45 PM   #6
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I want to get my 2 cents in.

I use a Sunpak 433 Auto in Manual and like they said, with a couple test shots you can adjust everything just right. I mostly use it bounced and everything works out with some testers, I've even used it for weddings.

When you say does the camera flash need to trigger it... are looking for an off camera slave?
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Old Sep 27, 2007, 7:46 PM   #7
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Thanks my friends.

my questions are now resolved. Yes, I do want slave capability for my flash gun. It appears that I will need to buy an optical slave trigger to be able to use the Sunpac Super 383 as an off-camera or on-camera slave, but the slave trigger will need to be able to eliminate sensing any preflashes. Any suggestions as to the specific trigger device?

I believe I will also need a stand for holding the slave trigger device and flash gun. Any suggestions on that? In many cases I will be shooting with the camera set up for automatic functioning and on-camera flash acting as fill and flashgun trigger, and the flash gun being used to get better distance lighting of the subject.

After a lot of research I believe I am getting close. The camera stores in the Kansas City area have been unable to answer any of my technical questions. I guess the store clerks, with some exceptions, simply cannot be expected to do much more than demonstrate their wares and write out orders. Given the current education processes in our schools, maybe its a wonder they can even do that much. Of course, if we all still bought our stuff at the camera stores, they could hire better people, so, in feflection, it really our own darn fault.

That is thevalue of having Steve's Forum and knowledgeable members. Dumb me couldn't learn nearly so quickly without such help.

Again, thanks.

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Old Sep 27, 2007, 8:49 PM   #8
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Hi OE,

Yes, I do want slave capability for my flash gun. It appears that I will need to buy an optical slave trigger to be able to use the Sunpac Super 383 as an off-camera or on-camera slave, but the slave trigger will need to be able to eliminate sensing any preflashes. Any suggestions as to the specific trigger device?

Here's one that Crashman found on ebay. Don't know about current availablity tho

Here's the Wein model, pricier-- but a known quality mfg. I think it might come down to how much you really plan to use it

Most hotshoe slave units have a 1/4-20 threaded hole in the base (check out the specs of the one you plan to get), so you can use your tripod, or maybe get a cheap minipod or somesuch to mount it on.

Another neat tip is that exposed negative color film (the black ends on a developed roll) pass IR light, so if you dont want the onboard flash to contribute to the exposure, you can fashion a visible light filter to cover the onboard flash, and have the slave(s) be the only light sources.

Scott

Edit: Uh sorry for not including the links. . .good thing I read it again

Crashman post:
http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...790777#p790777

Wein:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...hoe_Slave.html



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Old Sep 28, 2007, 12:55 AM   #9
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. . . and one more thing -- since the 383 Super has a PC socket, you can use this Digital Peanut slave:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ut_Slave_.html

or any of the others that plug into a PC socket. -- You'd have to get a "cold shoe" adapter or use velcro or rubber bands (ball bungees work too) to attach the flash to something, but the peanut is cheaper and, I think, more reliable.

Scott
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Old Sep 28, 2007, 2:26 AM   #10
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Thanks Scott, you have been very helpful.

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