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Old Mar 2, 2006, 4:30 PM   #1
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Does this flash work well with the KM 5D, i see quite a lot of these in auctions, and even a few that also have a 50 mm bright prime, so two birds with one stone. not sure how well it compares with the 5400 though.
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Old Mar 2, 2006, 4:39 PM   #2
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No. Do not buy a 2800AF or a 5400HS.

These are NOT compatible flashes.

I've got a Minolta 1800AF I'd love to use that I got with a camera package (thanks to it's great ergonomics and small size for close quarters use). But, I'll save it for use with film models.

If you go with a Minolta flash, you'll want a 2800(D), 3600HS (D) or 5600HS (D) for full compatibility with this model.

Some of the older flashes will work. But, they'll only fire at full power (overexposing your subjects unless you spend time trying to get the aperture just right for subject distance).

They are not worth buying as flashes for a KM DSLR.

Personally, I went with a cheap solution....

I spent a total of $48 for a flash system to use with my 5D (and that included two flash units).

* $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

* 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 is about 100 feet at it's mid zoom head position at ISO 100. I got this one for $25 (like new in box in 10 condition from the used department at B&H).

Both 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.

Since these are non-dedicated auto flashes, they have their own built in sensor to measure reflected light during the exposure, terminating their flash when they see enough light for the aperture range selected.

With a dedicated flash firing a full power, it's a lot more difficult to control exposure as your distance to subject changes. ;-) Auto is the way to go for the least amount of hassle (and non-dedicated auto thyristor flashes are dirt cheap).

Make sure to use a flash with reasonable trigger voltages. AFAIK, KM has never published the specs to the 5D hotshoe. So, it could be rated as low as 6 volts.

Measure any flash you consider to make sure (I've got an old Vivitar that is reported to have trigger voltages in excess of 200 volts, and it could damage the camera).

Here is a list of trigger voltages reported for some strobes:


If you don't want to mess around with Manual Exposure, I'd stick to a Minolta flash (one of the three units that are compatible), or consider a solution like the Metz 54MZ4 using the latest SCA3302M5 or M6 foot for Minolta. MOst other units are not fully compatible.

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