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Old Mar 25, 2006, 2:56 PM   #1
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Who makes dedicated flash units for the 5D? I have a 5D coming and discovered that my Maxxum 5400HS will only work in manual mode.
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Old Mar 25, 2006, 8:28 PM   #2
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Thats a tough call. The Minolta brand ones (2500, 3600, and 5600 HS [D] ) work, if you can get your hands on one. They are getting fairly scarce.

I have the Sigma ef 500 dg, and honestly am not in love with it. I think I've managed to get it working right most of the time, but others here have what is argueably as good a solution at around 1/3 the cost I paid. It involves an adapter and an auto flash, I haven't looked into that solution yet, so perhaps one of them will post a how to below.
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Old Mar 27, 2006, 8:04 PM   #3
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I have used a Vivitar 285 HV with the Minolta adapter that makes an ISO compatible hot shoe out of the proprietary mount. There is also an adapter that allows you to hook up a sync chord from a unit like the Vivitar through the Minolta hot shoe. The Vivitar 285 is relatively cheap and powerful. It has its own light sensor that reads reflected light and turns off the flash when the exposure is correct. It gives 4 possible f-stop settings for each ISO value. But, it is not automatic. You must use it in manual mode, setting the shutter speed to 1/125 or less and the appropriate f-stop. Having done that, I found exposures to be very accurate. You can always increase or decrease the f-stop setting to compensate for under/over exposure.

Having said that, I bought a 3600 HS D and it works perfectly and automatically.
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Old Mar 28, 2006, 11:01 AM   #4
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I have the Sigma EF500DG Super, sometimes I get wild and inconsistent results but other times it works perfect. It seems to work better in wireless mode off camera, which is how I prefer to use it anyway. When its too dark/light I use flash compensation in the camera, and that takes care of it. Just need a test shot first to see what its going to do.
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Old Mar 28, 2006, 3:44 PM   #5
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I have an old Vivitar 283 I would like to be able to use on my 5D. My dedicated Sunpak bit the dust. Can you tell me where you got your adaptorand what model number it is. I assume it's a Minolta part.


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Old Mar 28, 2006, 3:58 PM   #6
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The trigger voltage is likely too high to use a Vivitar 283 via the Minolta FS1100 (an adapter to give the 5D an ISO standard hotshoe that you can get for under $30).

You'd risk frying yoru camera.without voltage protection (and the FS1100 does not have voltage protection).

You could probably use a Wein Safe Sync (around $49) and get it to trigger via an FS1100.

Or, you could use a Konica Minolta PCT-100 (with voltage protection built in for PC Sync Cord attached strobes with trigger voltages up to 400 volts).

The FS1100 does not have voltage protection built in.

Here is a page discussing trigger voltages from common strobes, with links to pages on how to measure trigger voltage:

AFAIK, KM has never published the specs for max trigger voltage for the hotshoe in the 5D or 7D. So, you really don't want to go much over 6 volts. I'm personally comfortable with antying under about 9 volts (and the ISO spec is supposed to be 24 volts).

But, use any flash at your own risk, as some manufacturers state a 6 volt limit for their hotshoes (and KM hasn't said from what I can find out).

You can use a strobe with an ISO standard hotshoe via the Minolta FS1100. But, this adapter has no voltage protection built in.

For PC Sync Cord attached strobes, you can use the Minolta PCT-100.

Unlike the FS1100 (which is only a mechanical adapter), the PCT-100 has voltage protection built in for PC Sync cord attached strobes with trigger voltages up to 400 volts.
The PC Sync port in a 7D also has voltage protection built in.

I've got an old Vivitar with trigger voltages that would be too high for use via an FS1100.
Get yourself a Minolta FS1100 and you can find cheap flashes with relatively low trigger voltages for triggering strobes.

I've got a 3rd party adapter that does the same thing (only mine also includes a PC Sync Port but no voltage protection).

I spent a total of $48 for a flash system to use with my 5D (and that included two flash units). I had to buy new "used" flash units, since the ones I've got have trigger voltages that are too high. LOL

* $16 for a third party adapter to give the 5D an ISO standard hotshoe. If you can't find a third party adapter, the Minolta FS1100 will work at slightly more (but, less than $30 from most vendors).

* a Sunpak 222 Auto with tilt and two aperture ranges for a smaller flash unit (GN of about 72 feet at ISO 100) for $7.00 from KEH.com (and they even threw in a nice, coiled PC Sync Cord with it).

* a Sunpak 333 Auto with tilt, swivel and zoom head with multiple auto aperture ranges, as well as better 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 this one for $25 (like new in box in 10 condition from the used department at B&H).

Total Flash System Investment: $48

Both strobes have nice scales for aperture needed for the selected auto range based on the ISO speed selected (aperture choice needed varies with ISO speed), going from ISO 25 through ISO 1000.

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Old Mar 28, 2006, 4:45 PM   #7
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Two other 3rd party flashes not mentioned are the Sunpak PZ40x. Check it out at;


buy at:


Claims to be compatible with 5d/7d.

Also Promaster 7500DX. I have one for my Dimage A200. Works fine.


I'm not sure if it will work on the 5d/7d but it should if it works on Ax series cameras. You can askif it's compatible at:


Buy at:


Wow, their price went up, I bought last fall for $145US

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Old Mar 28, 2006, 5:38 PM   #8
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Thanks Jim

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I sure don't want to fry my 5D. I'll pick up something else. My Sunpack 4000AF I used with my Maxxum RZ430 died before I could even try it on the 5D. Although it would have probally only worked in manual mode anyway.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"I haven't used the 283 since my XD11, but it was an excellent flash.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Dave
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Old Mar 31, 2006, 5:17 PM   #9
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Check out this discussion. Stay away from the Sigma is all I can say:




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