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Old Jan 12, 2006, 10:48 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I'm looking to get a flash system as I would like to try some serious portrait work soon. I can't tell from reading specs if I can use two 2500 models together or if they will only work as a primary on the camera. I don't think I can float the bill for a pair of 3600HS flashes and probably don't need that kind of power. What would be the most reasonable choice for this setup? I've heard you can only use the 3 Minolta flashes with this camera for them to work right, but will any third party ones work OK for slaves? Gipper
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 4:02 PM   #2
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I have a 2500 and it will not fire remotely, only on the camera.

What I have is a couple of relatively inexpensive Britek PS200H strobes (www.briteklight.com) or ebay. They work fine with my A200, triggered by the camera's flash. With my 5d I ran into a sync problem though. It seems that strobes fire too soon even at slow shutter speeds (preflash?). Tried rear sync also, no help. I finally got a PCT adapter and wired directly to one strobe. That triggers the other units. It also takes the camera's flash out of the mix which I like better anyway. Not the most desirable solution (tethered to a cord) but it works.
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Old Jan 12, 2006, 5:15 PM   #3
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With my 5d I ran into a sync problem though. It seems that strobes fire too soon even at slow shutter speeds (preflash?)
Yes, it's the preflash. If you go with slave triggers, buy the ones designed for Digital if you want to trigger an external unit with the camera's flash.

Wein makes some this way. Here is one example:

Wein Peanut Slave for Digital Cameras

Or, just don't use the camera's built in flash, and use a third party flash instead (one that doesn't need a preflash). Old Auto Thyristor flashes are dirt cheap, and some have multiple auto aperture ranges, as well as manual power settings.

You can buy something like a Minolta FS1100 adapter so that you can use a flash with an ISO standard hotshoe with the 5D. You'd lose HSS. But, you don't get that with a Minolta 2500 (D) anyway. If you're going to use multiple flashes with manual exposure anyway, I'd go with a less expensive solution. ;-)

I'd make sure you don't use older strobes with higher trigger voltages via this adapter, or you might just fry the camera. ;-) To be safe, you should probably stick to around 6 or 7 volts until KM publishes trigger voltage specs for the hotshoe. Personally, I'd risk anything with a trigger voltage under 10 volts. But, that's your call, as it's probably rated at around 6 volts. ;-)

With a Minolta PCT100 (gives you a PC Sync Port), you don't have to worry about the trigger voltage for a PC cord attached flash (it's got voltage protection built in for strobes with trigger voltages up to 400 volts).

P.S.

I just got a third party adapter that has both an ISO standard hot shoe, as well as a PC Sync port for $16 delivered. There's no voltage protection built in, so make sure to check the trigger voltages on any flash you use with it:

http://www.pbase.com/digital_initiat...25169818/small

Nick (the vendor) doesn't have any of these left with voltage protection. Here is a page that shows trigger voltages for a lot of strobes (and I'd check older strobes with a volt meter to make sure they're not too high).

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

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Old Jan 12, 2006, 11:25 PM   #4
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Those Briteklights look nice. May keep those in mind for down the road. Right now I'd really like an on camera flash though.

JimC - so with that adapter, you can add just about any ISO standard flash is that correct? Would it still have any TTL features or would it be a totally manual setup? I've seennew but cheap Quantaray flashes that say they offer TTL so wouldthese work? Would it just basically allow me to use any older and cheaper flash and give me a PC sync port to fire a slave strobe setup ofmy choice? Sorry if my questions seem ignorant, but I know practically zero about flash photography andwhat a lot of this stuff does.
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Old Jan 13, 2006, 7:15 AM   #5
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gipper51 wrote:
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Those Briteklights look nice. May keep those in mind for down the road. Right now I'd really like an on camera flash though.

JimC - so with that adapter, you can add just about any ISO standard flash is that correct?
You need to make sure the trigger voltage is not too high, or you could fry your camera. ;-)

AFAIK, Konica Minolta has not published any trigger voltage ratings for the hotshoe. It's probaby designed for lower trigger voltages (i.e. around 6 volts). Personally, I'd probably risk a flash that's 8 or 9 volts, since I've seen other report using strobes with trigger voltages this high (but, I wouldn't go with a unit that has a trigger voltage any higher than that, and you may be taking a risk at anything over about 6 volts).

Quote:
Would it still have any TTL features or would it be a totally manual setup?
You would have no TTL type features using an ISO standard hot shoe attached flash. Ditto for High Speed Sync. It wouldn't necessarily have to be a "totally manual setup", depending on how you look at it.

You could use an Auto Thyristor flash with multiple aperture ranges. You'd still use manual exposure on the camera, and you'd need to find the "best match" on the flash settings to give accurate results for the selected aperture/ISO speed on your camera. After that, an Auto Thyristor flash is designed to measure reflected light during the exposure, terminating the main flash burst when it sees enough light. IOW, the flash is controlling exposure via it's own built in sensor in this type of setup.

It's not as flexible as a dedicated solution (you'd need to set the flash to match the camera each time you changed aperture or ISO speed, and it could take a bit of initial "tweaking' to get it just right, as well as limiting your choices for aperture/ISO speed, depending on your range to subject). But, I wouldn't need to change aperture/ISO speed very often in the conditions I'd use a flash in anyway.

You'd also lose some features available with KM models like the 3600HS (D) and 5600HS (D). For example: High Speed Sync, that lets you use a flash at shutter speeds faster than the camera's sync speed (for example, fill flash in bright light outdoors, when you want to use larger apertures).

Quote:
I've seennew but cheap Quantaray flashes that say they offer TTL so wouldthese work?
I would not trust the exposure accuracy of any dedicated, non-KM system that doesn't use it's own built in sensor for measuring reflected light during the exposure. If a dedicated system that understands the camera settings used is mandatory, then I'd look at a Metz 54MZ3 or 54MZ4 using the latest SCA3302M5 adapter.

This is the only dedicated solution that I'd personally consider right now (since it also has an Auto mode using it's own built in sensor, with the latest dedicated SCA3302M5 foot for Minolta refined for compatibility with KM DSLR models). But, you may be able to get partial compability (losing featurs like HSS) with some of the other Metz units.

Now, there may be some third party systems that actually work OK, but I'm not going to try one. Even KM had to drop support for most of it's older dedicated flashes with Digital, leaving only 3 choices: 2500(D), 3600HS(D), and 5600HS(D); and even some of those units sometimes require "calibration" for best results with a KM DSLR.

Look, it's a matter of opinion what type of system is best. Personally, I've seen too many exposure complaints over the years from users of DSLR flash systems, to trust any of the so called "TTL" solutions that use a preflash for my use. To be frank, I have not been thrilled with the exposure accuracy of the built in flash either (even if there were no preflash issue). Preflash is not a big deal to me. Exposure accuracy is.

I'd rather trade the convience and features of a dedicated system, for the exposure behavior of an older Auto Thyristor type system. I've already bought an adapter, and I'm going to order a flash system (or two) over the next few days (my existing units have trigger voltages that are too high).

Not everyone is going to share my preferences. There are pros and cons to either approach. Using an older type flash system is no big deal to me, as I've one with film models for years, and some of the non-DSLR Digital Cameras I've used also had a similar setup for measuring reflected light during the exposure (for example, my Konica KD-510z has it's own built in sensor, and doesn't require a preflash).

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Old Jan 13, 2006, 7:39 AM   #6
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JimC wrote:
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Look, it's a matter of opinion what type of system is best. Personally, I've seen too many exposure complaints over the years from users of DSLR flash systems, to trust any of the so called "TTL" solutions that use a preflash for my use. To be frank, I have not been thrilled with the exposure accuracy of the built in flash either (even if there were no preflash issue). Preflash is not a big deal to me. Exposure accuracy is.
P.S. -- In fairness to KM, the lenses I use indoors are not ADI compatible (the D designation you see on many newer KM lenses). So, that's probably impacting flash exposure consistency to some degree.

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Old Jan 14, 2006, 9:10 AM   #7
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Thanks for the replies everyone. Not sure what I want to do now The peanut slaves are cool and very reasonable ($54 for a 3 pack). I'm thinking I may save my pennies and go for a 3600 Minolta flash and have peace of mind knowing it should work properly. And get a Peanut slave unit or 3 along with it. Anyone know if those Peanuts can be used as three slaves at once? Their website doesn't get too detailed.

Gipper
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