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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:08 PM   #21
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Thanksagain, Jim. Regarding my Sigma flash, it is the latest version. The Rep from Sigma confirmed that it had the MA-ADI designation, which is the newest one, specifically upgraded to work with DSLR's. So, i don't know, I'll have them check it out.

Now, regarding the Sunpak flash. I thought I had to use it completely manually and calculate the proper exposure. Do the auto settings work with the Panasonic FZ30 as well? They should, right? Since the flash exposure is controlled strictly by the flash, independent of the camera. One just sets the recommended aperture on the camera to get the correct exposure.

It just always seemed to me that the sliders on the Sunpak are just that - sliders for calculation purposes. They don't seem to be attached to anything inside the flash that changes when you move thepositions orare they?
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:23 PM   #22
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Yes, they should work on the Panasonic, too. But, you may need to tweak the settings for best results (the camera may be more or less senstive to light than indicated by ISO speed and aperture settings).

Here's an Ebay listing photo from a 422D up for sale.

Sunpak 422D back photo from Ebay Listing

See the switch on the left side in the middle, where it's in a position that A is showing in the window?

That's one of the auto aperture ranges. Note that it's showing 3 to 25 feet as the distance? That's the range you need to shoot within for that Auto Aperture range, using f/5.6 if you are at ISO 200. The flash then controls it's own output, based on how much reflected light it sees. As long as you shoot within the distance range shown, you don't need to worry about calculating anything if you set the camera to match.

When you move the ISO scale slider (top of flash back), the aperture you need to shoot at will change.

If you move the switch on the left down to Manual, then a distance scale with apertures will show (so you'll need to change the aperture to match the distance to subject, too).

You avoid that using the Auto ranges. It's probably got 3 different auto ranges if it's like my Sunpak 333 Auto, showing different distances you can shoot between, using different apertures (which will vary, depending on the ISO speed, too).


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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:26 PM   #23
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Thanks. Yes, I understand that from my SLR days. I just had read in all the Panasonic forums to keep it set at manual. I will mess around with the auto settings and maybe just try it also on my KM5D. Does it also control bounce flash exposure in the auto setting?
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:31 PM   #24
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Theoretically, yes (since the flash is only looking for total reflected light for the aperture range selected, it shouldn't make any difference whether it's straight on or bounced).

But, in practice, I've found that my 333 Auto tends to lean towards slight underexposure bounced. But, I haven't tested it thoroughly yet. It probably has to do with the amount of light the sensor is seeing from the flash head, even though it's in a bounced position that's fooling it.

The head on my 333 Auto is larger than most strobes with the same GN though (it's a zoom head with what appears to be a diffuser built in). So, the 422D may not have this issue.

I can probably get around the issue by trying some diffusers and playing with the settings to make sure the sensor is always seeing the same amount of light from the head (versus reflected light), regardless of head position.

I just haven't got around to doing that yet with mine.

P.S.

It could even be user error on my part, as I may not have been taking ceiling height into consideration for the aperture range selected when I was testing it recently at a family gathering.

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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:37 PM   #25
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Where can I find the FS1100 adapter for a good price?
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Old Mar 9, 2006, 9:51 PM   #26
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Well, B&H wants $29.95 for a new one right now (I think they went up a couple of months back).

Minolta FS1100 at B&H

I just checked http://www.keh.com and I see one used one for $25.00 in excellent condition. If you select the "Camera Store" tab at the top, then select "Minolta Autofocus" under 35mm, then select "Flash Accessories" and go through the listings, you'll see one FS1100 in stock there.

But, unless you plan on buying something else at the same time, you'll probably end up spending less for the new one at B&H (since KEH tends to charge you a lot more for shipping, based on my experiences with both vendors). ;-)

I went with a 3rd party adapter that has a hotshoe and a PC Sync port. It was only $16 delivered. But, Nick (the vendor) is all sold out of them. You may be able to find one on ebay like it if you search. But, the FS1100 is a bit lower form factor (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on your perspective).


P.S.

It looks like Adorama has the FS1100 at $26.95 (but make sure to compare shipping charges). ;-)

http://www.adorama.com/MNFS1100.html...&item_no=1


Here is the adapter I'm using. But, Nick is out of stock. I must have mentioned it to too many people on too many forums. LOL

http://www.pbase.com/digital_initiatives/image/25169818




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Old Mar 9, 2006, 11:16 PM   #27
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Thank you for all your help. I have since come home and tested out my Sunpak 433D (not 422D as I had thought) on the FZ30. The auto settings work very well and I am almost inclined to just scrap the whole TTL idea and just get the adapter and return the Sigma flash. I am going to get the adapter in any case, just so I can use the Sunpak with my Minolta. And I am going to give Sigma one shot to get it right.

Thanks again.
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 8:42 AM   #28
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The problem with those "solutions" is that you're still doing all the calculations the camera and flash are supposed to do. If I want to mess with aperture and ISO to meet my flash output, I can get a $5 flash at a garage sale. The point of buying one of these flashes is that it should be fully auto when that's what I want, and be fully manual if I want to do what I've always done. I can probably cobble something together, I just don't think I should have to.

But then....with the flash set at TTL last night, I shot till my Camera battery failed and only got 3 bad exposures out of about 70. ( 7d with 50mm 1.7 mounted) Though all were direct light from the flash, not bounce- it is better than the results I was getting with the 35-70 f4 mounted. I think I'm going to have to get a chart going on what seems to work and not. Also, my battery failed before I got to try the HSS TTL mode on the flash- the mode Sigma recommends. There is very little warning on this camera that you need to recharge, I'll have to pick up a spare before I do any "real" shooting.

I still believe it has more to do with flash timing vs aperture than actual flash power. If the flash was too powerful, doesn't that dial on the left give you flexibility to tone it down?
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Old Mar 10, 2006, 9:02 AM   #29
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Mercury694 wrote:
Quote:
The problem with those "solutions" is that you're still doing all the calculations the camera and flash are supposed to do. If I want to mess with aperture and ISO to meet my flash output, I can get a $5 flash at a garage sale.
Darn, I paid too much. :sad:

I spent $7 for the Sunpak 222 Auto I bought from http://www.keh.com. But, in fairness to KEH, they threw in a nice coiled PC Sync Cord with it, too (and the cord wasn't even in the item description). :-)

But, you're not "still doing all the calculations the camera and flash are supposed to do" with an Auto Thryistor solution.

Sure, you need to match the camera and flash for the aperture and ISO. But, after that, it's fully automatic. You don't need to change apertures or ISO speed to account for distance to subject, provided you shoot within the distance range shown for your auto range.

The flash does that by measuring reflected light during the exposure. When it sees enough for the aperture range selected, it terminates it's own output. If you're at a closer distance to your subject, it's going to use a shorter flash burst. If you're further way, it's going to use a longer flash burst.

It's a simple and inexpensive solution.

Does it have drawbacks over a dedicated unit like a Minolta 3600HS(D) or 5600HS(D)? Sure, it does. With the KM units, you can change your aperture all you want and the flash is aware of it. Ditto for ISO speed. You've also got the ability to use HSS with these units (for fill flash outdoors when you want to shoot at wider apertures where the maximum X-Sync speed may be excceded).

You've also got wireless, better control of how much ambient light versus flash is used via menu settings, and more.

But, most of the time, if I'm using a flash, I don't need all of that.

I can set the camera and flash to match using an aperture of around f/5.6, and shoot away, letting the flash control it's own output via measured reflected light, and it's a dirt cheap solution with no preflash.

If I were shooting for a living and really needed more features, I'd go with a Metz solution (54MZ3 or 4). That way, I'd have a solution that supports all of the "bells, whistles and buzzers" as well as one that gives me an Auto solution that doesn't require a preflash.

There are pros and cons to any solution. For my limited needs, an inexpensive solution works just fine.


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Old Mar 10, 2006, 9:22 AM   #30
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I hope I didn't offend you, I'm not dogging your solution as much as I am frustrated that this flash didn't seem to work automatically right out of the box. (Im' sure the synch cable was worth the $2 premium you paid though...)

This unit is advertised as fully compatible with the 5/7d, including TTL.

I have an old X-series Minolta and to use the flash on that all you needed was ISO and distance, you would then adjust the aperture and shutteraccordingly. That seems more simple than messing with menus and such. Didn't even have to take your eye out of the lens to make it right.

It is disappointing to me that in the 20 some years that I've been using that camera, using a fully automatic flash is harder to do than using the old 1 setting one.

I see plenty of people disappointed with the Minolta flashes also, it's not just Sigma.
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