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Old Jan 20, 2009, 7:03 AM   #1
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I have an old sunpak 333 auto zoom thyristor flash unit that I used on my old me super. I was wondering if it is safe to use on my k20. I would like to get a new flash someday but the funds are not available at this time. I would like to use it if possible but do not want to damage my camera.

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Stevie
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Old Jan 20, 2009, 7:58 AM   #2
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I've got a Sunpak 333 Auto I use with my Konica Minolta 5D and Sony A700 without any voltage protection via an adapter (and these camera models require a flash with a lower trigger voltage to prevent damage if you use an unprotected hotshoe).

You'll find instructions on how to measure your trigger voltage on this page:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/g1strobe.html

Chances are, it's around 7 or 8 volts (mine was in that range if memory serves). A quick google search seems to imply that this should be fine on Pentax dSLR models (although I haven't found a specific reference for the K20D yet, I did see some responses users said they received about other Pentax models when skimmming a few google search results). If you find out what Pentax says about it, let us know.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q...mp;btnG=Search

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Old Jan 20, 2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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IOW, if it were my K20D, I wouldn't be worried about using my Sunpak 333 Auto on it without voltage protection (Wein Safesync, etc.).

I've also got a smaller Sunpak 222 Auto that works fine on my KM 5D and Sony A700 via an adapter with no voltage protection. I just use manual exposure, setting the flash and camera to match for ISO speed and aperture (keeping shutter speed within the cameras' x-sync limits), with the White Balance set to around 5500K or 5600K and adjust exposure if needed for specific conditions.

My smaller Sunpak 222 Auto has tilt (but , no swivel) and two auto aperture ranges, with a GN of about 72 feet at ISO 100. I got it for $7 from KEH.com (and they even threw in a nice, coiled PC Sync Cord with it).

The larger Sunpak 333 Auto has both tilt and swivel, and it also has a manual zoom head/diffuser on it (which is optional for some of the other Sunpaks), The 333 Auto has 3 Auto Aperture ranges, as well as manual settings (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16). GN runs from 86 feet to 120 feet at ISO 100, depending on the zoom head setting. I got my 333 Auto for $25 (as new in box in 10 condition from the used department at B&H). If you don't mind using manual exposure and shooting within your camera's sync speed limits, these older flashes are bargains on the used market.

If you see a response from Pentax mentioning allowed trigger voltage via the K20D hotshoe, please post it to this "sticky" thread:

Trigger Voltage Limits with Modern Digital Cameras

On the surface, it appears that Pentax probably designed the hotshoe on their dSLR models to the ISO standard (max 24 volts trigger voltage) from responses I saw about their older dSLR models from a quick google search. If your 333 Auto tests the same as mine (just under 8 volts if memory serves), it should be just fine on a camera that has a hotshoe designed to handle up to 24 volts.

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Old Jan 24, 2009, 10:42 AM   #4
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Thanks for the reply. I did a voltage test and it came out to 5.9V. I did not get an answer from Pentax. (still waiting). IMHO if any older flash of any make would have cooked a dslr of any make, The message boards would be loaded with horror stories. I just can't find much information of this happening. I know a new flash unit would be the way to go. It's not in the cards for me right now. So I guess you got to ask yourself " Do you feel lucky"

Once again thank you very much for your reply it has been very helpful.

Stevie
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