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Old Aug 2, 2006, 6:20 PM   #1
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Hey guys,

Iv'e had my 5D now for several months and haven't yet purchased a good external flash. I had the opportunity to get Gary Friedmans e-book on the 5D and 7D. (BTW, thanks to those of you who recommended it, it's well worth the 20 bucks for a newbie or budding serious amateur). Anyway, his chapter on wireless flash is fantastic...he really makes some good points on the versatility of wireless. But, I don't want to pay out the #%$! for a 5600hs. So, I e-mailed him to ask him his opinion of the 3600hs and he said the only major difference is that the 3600hs doesn't have a swivel head.

With the crazy prices of the 5600hs, why hasn't the 3600hs been talked about much? I just found a demo on Adorama.com for $154. Honestly, a swivel head isn't worth another $400, but $154 and it's totally compatible with the 5D and wireless. Sure beats the ProMaster I returned!

All comments and opinions are encouraged.

P.S. Gary is currently writing a version of his book for the Sony A-100.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 6:34 PM   #2
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DrChris,

I can't answer your question on the 3600HS flash but I'm curious to find out why you returned the Promaster flash. The reason I'm interested is because I have a Promaster 7500dx that I use on my KM A200. The KM A200 is not a DSLR but I've found that with a little flash comp. tweak I get good results with the Promaster 7500dx. I'm considering upgrading to a DSLR (5d or 7d) if they're still around, partly becuase I already have the investment in the Promaster Flash which is supposed to be compatible with the 5D/7D. And, I only paid $139 for the flash last year. Now it's going for $229.

Could I ask which Promaster flash you had, and why did you return it? It may change my thinking on which DSLR I go for. Thanks.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 7:54 PM   #3
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The prices for the 3600HS are equally crazy. I got one of the last reasonably priced 5600HS from digital photo club for $288 + s&h, and if I could find a reasonably prices 3600, I would grab it too.
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 8:50 PM   #4
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if you could find a 3600hs for a sweet price (read retail price or below), why wouldn't you get one? i finally got to tinker around with mine the other weekend, and love it. yes, i got some blown out shots and some under-exposed shots but, i may have got a little carried away trying out all the different settings and stuff... there was a poster here a while back who strongly suggested you shoot auto white balance,A mode and shoot everything in f8. good advice - f8 and don't be late!

my only one little gripe is that it seems the flash fires before the shutter is opened, thus lots of my friends looked like they are either squinting, stoned, or drunk... the problem was not as prominent when the flash was bounced off the ceiling.

i like my flash... it's a bit heavy, and the battery cover seems like it will break off when you take the batteries out, but it's better than having no flash to play with!

~aloha~
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 8:54 PM   #5
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DrChris wrote:
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With the crazy prices of the 5600hs, why hasn't the 3600hs been talked about much? I just found a demo on Adorama.com for $154. Honestly, a swivel head isn't worth another $400, but $154 and it's totally compatible with the 5D and wireless.
The Sony branded model is not "another $400" ;-)

Swivel isn't the only difference, either. The 5600 is about 50% more powerful (one has a GN of 36 Meters at ISO 100, and the other has a GN of 56 Meters at ISO 100 -- at their max zoom head setting of 85mm).

To determine flash range, divide the GN by the aperture at ISO 100. Then, multiply the range by 1.4x each time you double the ISO speed.

If you need the extra range, the Minolta 5600HS and new Sony HVL-56AM are more powerful strobes compared to the 3600HS.

The street price is around $349 at reputable vendors, and you'd have swivel, too.

If you don't mind a weaker flash and don't need swivel, then the 3600HS demo model sounds like a good value (the new Sony HVL-36AM will run around $249 new, so you'd save $100 by buying a demo 3600HS).

The new Sony HVL-56AM should be fully compatible with the 5600HS on a KM DSLR from most accounts, if you want/need a more powerful dedicated flash with swivel, too.

Sony HVL-56AM for $349.95 at B&H

Adorama has been quoting the same price on the Sony HVL-56AM. But, it doesn't look like they've got any in yet.

http://www.adorama.com/ISOHVLF56.htm...&item_no=8

Personally, if I needed a nice strobe (and I don't, as I'm currently using a Sunpak 333 Auto I paid $25 for with my KM 5D), I'd probably buy a Metz 54MZ4.

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Old Aug 2, 2006, 9:27 PM   #6
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my only one little gripe is that it seems the flash fires before the shutter is opened, thus lots of my friends looked like they are either squinting, stoned, or drunk... the problem was not as prominent when the flash was bounced off the ceiling.


i have always had that problem with my 5D, even more prominent when i use the af illuminator:!:
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 9:36 PM   #7
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The ridiculous prices for the KM flashes will hopefully end considering the nearly identical/identical Sony flashes have hit the market. BHPhoto sells the 5600HS equivalent Sony for $350, compared to $100-150 more for the 5600HS on eBay. I believe the 3600HS equivalent is $300 at BHPhoto...
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 9:37 PM   #8
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dafiryde wrote:
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my only one little gripe is that it seems the flash fires before the shutter is opened, thus lots of my friends looked like they are either squinting, stoned, or drunk... the problem was not as prominent when the flash was bounced off the ceiling.
Are you sure that they weren't? ;-) I've seen preflash blamed on it when it was just normal blinking. Everyone blinks from time to time.

I've only had two people that reacted to a preflash so far.

One is my niece, and the other was a girl in a dark bar that I didn't even know.

My niece only does it in very dark conditions. In better (i.e,. typical room) lighting, it doesn't seem to make any difference with her. I don't know about the other girl.

As for the AF assist, that's the very first thing I disabled on my KM 5D. I don't like it.

In any event, I've seen my share of complaints about subjects blinking from owners of other camera brands, too (Nikon, Canon, etc.).I can remember a thread on another forum whereusers were commenting that the D200 seems to be much better in this area compared to the D70.

Most digital cameras use a preflash to help judge exposure. If you don't want one, you can use an Auto Thryistor type flash (like my Sunpak 333 Auto), letting the flash judge exposure by measuring reflected light. The downside is that you lose HSS and wireless, and need to use manual exposure on the camera.

Another option is the Metz 54MZ series strobes. They'e got an available Auto Mode that uses a sensor to measure reflected light during the exposure (no preflash needed in this mode), while still being aware of the camera settings if you're using the correct foot for KM DSLR models (no need to use manual exposure on the camera, as the Metz is aware of aperture and ISO speed and sets itself accordingly).

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Old Aug 2, 2006, 9:48 PM   #9
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believe me Jim C they wernt, i went out for dinner one night with a stunch church group, and only when i turned off the focus assist function, could i have gotten rid of those eye looks, but yet some still seemed to have that effect and often wondered on investing in an external flash like the 3600, to cure this problem

but then sometimes i find that using flash instead of natural lighting washes out the picture
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Old Aug 2, 2006, 9:54 PM   #10
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we were drinking a whole bunch of wine, so it could've contributed to the squinty-ness factor (as well as the red flesh tones i got). at least their eyes were not entirely closed so the pictures still could pass as cool snapshots for the wife's scrapbook.

no af assist helps? how so? gotta go home and fire up the camera to do some tinkering!
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