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Old Dec 24, 2005, 12:55 AM   #1
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I have a 5D which I love. Most of my photos are taken indoors of people. I use a 50mm f1.7 but I just ordered the Minolta AF 24mm 2.8 for christmas. I have been using primes as I like to reduce the bulk and obtrusiveness of the camera.

I bought the 5D as I like the AS for low light photos and a secondary benefit of the primes is they are generally faster than the kind of zooms I can afford.

Once in a while I have need for a little more flash power than I have currently. The 36HS (d) seems to be the cheapest option at about $160.

Is there any other options? I would prefer something smaller and chaeper even if I had to give up some functionality.

TIA,

Jim
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Old Dec 24, 2005, 7:36 AM   #2
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jim:

The only Minolta flashes that are going to work correctly are the 2500(D), 3600HS(D), and 5600HS (D).

The 2500 is the smallest, lightest, and least expensive. But, you will lose High Speed Sync and Wireless with it. On a plus note, most users of this flash seem pleased with it for exposure accuracy.

Some of the older flashes designed for Maxxum cameras will fire. But, the one's that do always fire at full power (so, you'd need to adjust your aperture and/or ISO speed to compensate, based on distance to subject and lighting).

IOW, you really need to stick to the three officially compatible flashes (2500, 3600 or 5600) in the KM flash lineup.

In non-KM flashes, the Metz 54MZ4 seems to be the best solution. But, it's not smaller, lighter or less expensive compared to what you're looking at. ;-)

You could go with an Auto Thrystor type flash. But, the ones you'll find are going to require you to get an adapter for the hotshoe to make them work. You'd also need to adjust the flash to match the camera each time you change aperture or ISO speed.

I'm considering the last solution for my needs. Right this minute, I'm leaning towards a Sunpak 544 (but, I'd need an adapter for the hotshoe to give the 5D a Sync port). I've already got an old Vivitar that might work OK on it (but, again, I'd need an adapter, and it might be a bit top heavy on a small camera like the 5D, not to mention that it's trigger voltage could present a problem).

I came close to either buying a Metz 54MZ4, or getting an adapter for the 5D hot shoe a few weeks back when relative was getting married. But, we decided not to attend (other problems prevented it). So, I still haven't gotten around to getting an external flash for my 5D.

There are a number of Auto Thyristor flashes available that you could use on it, with the appropriate hot shoe adapter (and the used market is full of these types of flashes at bargain prices). You'd lose HSS and Wireless with this type of solution, and would need to set the flash to match the camera when changing aperture or ISO speed.

Bottom Line, the easiest and least expensive solution for a little more powerful flash that's smaller than the 3600HS(D) would be to go with the 2500(D). You'd lose HSS and wireless. But, the flash would still be aware of the camera settings being used since it's dedicated.
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Old Dec 24, 2005, 8:05 AM   #3
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There is a cheaper and smaller alternative:

Sunpak PZ40x. There is a Minolta dedicated model. Cost is about $110US at B&H Photo. It is small, takes only 2AA batteries (slowerrecycle times). ADI-ttl compatible, bounce, manual settings, auto zoom.

And there are cheaper but not smalleralternatives to the 3600HS:

Promaster 7500DX. It is not smallerbut cost is about $150US at new2.onecall.com. This one takes 4 AA's, is ADI-ttl compatible, does bounce and swivel, auto zoom, manual settings for zoom, flash power. Also functions with the minolta camera flash functions for front or rear curtain sync. It has a secondary fill flash below the main flash head so you can bounce the main flash and still get fill flash, which is a nice feature forindoor low light portraits. It has a multi-flash mode where you can set the number of flashes and the frequency which they will fire at. Lastly it is wireless ttl compatible with minolta digital cameras that have wireless capability. I bought one for my Dimage A200 and it works well in all modes. Unfortunately my A200 does not have wireless capability so I have not been able to use it as a slave. i think the 5D has wireless capability. If you go to www.promaster.com you will see their line up of flashes including the 7500DX. They are made to be ttl dedicated to either Canon, Minolta, or Nikon. They also make other flash models that require the use of a dedicated module (hot shoe foot) which would save you money if you decided in the future to go to a Canon or Nikon camera.

Another alternative is the Sigma EF500 DG ST which is in the same price range but more powerful. It does not have all the manual, strobe, and wireless ttl capabilities of the Promaster. There is a Sigma model a step up (EF500 DG Super) that has all those advanced capabilities but cost is over $200US.

I'm not pushing any of these, but there are cheaper alternatives to the Minolta flashes, and if you live in the US the Metz flashes are more expensive. Good luck.
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Old Dec 24, 2005, 8:09 AM   #4
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JimC, what do you think about Sigma EF-500 DG Super since it's not fully compatible...
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Old Dec 24, 2005, 8:37 AM   #5
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I personally would not consider a 3rd party dedicated flash that was not an Auto Thyristor type design (for example, the Metz 54MZ4 using the latest SCA3002M5 foot).

See my comments on the Sigma in this thread.

http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...mp;forum_id=84

Now, you may find another 3rd party dedicated solution that works fine. But, I'm not going to risk it (I've seen too many threads discussing flash exposure issues with the 5D and 7D trying other solutions).
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Old Dec 24, 2005, 9:21 PM   #6
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JimC, you talk about Metz 54MZ-4, why not the 54AF-1 for Minolta.
What are the différences ? What's the better one ? The most KM compatible ?
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Old Dec 25, 2005, 9:17 AM   #7
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The 54AF1 does not have a built in sensor to measure reflected light during the exposure (as the 54MZ4 can using it's Auto Mode), and I personally would not rely on the flash exposure accuracy of a third party flash with a KM DSLR, unless it's an Auto Thyristor design.

An added bonus with the 54MZ4, is that it's Auto Mode doesn't need a preflash (the 54AF1 does need to use a preflash to help gauge exposure).

The 54AF1 is also missing High Speed Sync (as are other Auto Thrystor Flashes with the exception of the Metz 54MZ4 using the latest SCA3302M5 foot).

Since there is no HSS, you couldn't use it at shutter speeds faster than the camera's sync speed (and you may want to for fill flash outdoors in brighter conditions and wider apertures). Note that the Metz 54MZ4 Auto Mode won't work with HSS (but HSS with the 54MZ4 works at it would on a KM flash if you're not using it's Auto Mode).

There are tradeoffs with any solution.

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Old Dec 25, 2005, 11:16 AM   #8
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Tnx JimC, this is VERY interesting for me.
What about 54-MZ4's little brother : 44-MZ2 ?
Same KM's compatibility ?
54's series is probably to expensive for me, and i do not need all those advanced functionnalities.

I don't know much about flashes, I mean I don't know the essential difference between 54-AF1 and 54-MZ4 (and what Auto Thyristor is).
When i see metz website, i think 44-AF4 is better than 44-MZ2 and, if i understand well, you seems to say the opposite.

Thanks for the lesson ;-)

PS/ And what about 54MZ-3 ? I could have a good price for this one.
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Old Dec 25, 2005, 6:31 PM   #9
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The 54MZ3 will also work with the SCA3302M5 adapter. But, only the 54MZ series flashes using the latest M5 version of the SCA3302 can give you an Auto Mode with no preflash (because of their built in sensor), while understanding the camera's settings via the adapter, and still give you an HSS feature that works like the one in the Konica Minolta models (which still has preflash). You'd lose HSS with the 44MZ2.

Metz has a compatibility chart here (you can select the camera and flash and it shows the correct adapter and what features work):

http://www.metz.de/en/photo_electron...apter.143.html

Select Digital as the Camera Type, Minolta as the Manufacturer, and Dynax 5D or 7D as the model.
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Old Dec 25, 2005, 7:04 PM   #10
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[align=left]As A newbie I've enjoyed the discussion. Looks like I'll be getting the 2500(d) and just letting it go at that.

Thanks everybody
[/align]
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