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Old May 2, 2006, 2:52 AM   #1
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I need some clarification on this volts subject between dSLR's and studio lights.

I just have to say, I'm a photographer not an electrician. Which means I need layman terms.

I own 2 Sunpack Platinum 300 Compact Monolights and would like to hookone up to my D200 and use the other as a slave. Nikon says

Warning: Negative voltages or voltages over 250 V applied to the camera's sync terminal could not only prevent normal operation, but may damage the sync circuit of the camera or flash. Check with the strobe manufacturer for voltage specifications.
I've been looking for the voltage from the ToCad who owns Sunpak and cannot find it. How can I find the out the voltage. Is there an accesory from Nikon that will reduce the voltage. I've read about a few accesories here and there but just cannot wrap my little mind around it. I know I could just use my external flash but would like to skip that all together.

Much appreciation in advance if anyone can help.

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Old May 13, 2006, 6:18 PM   #2
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Very few information is given by the camera manufacturers about external flash hook up I believe it is a matter of marketing.

I would never connect my cameras directly to an external strobe or studio flash. I use an opto couplerwith a separate low voltage batery that isolates even the ground wire. It isimportant that the device applies a very low voltage and current to the camera triggering circuit (typical figures are 6 volt, 3 miliamp).I built my opto isolators using opto coupler CIs but I believethe assembled deviceis available in the market. Radio control also protects the camera and I am sure they are ease to find. Old style strobes use to submit the camera to more than 200 V and a very high current peak.

Be carefull and good luck.

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Old May 14, 2006, 5:13 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply. I'm usually a wildlife/sports photographer so I think I'll stick with using a strobe.

Thanks again,

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Old May 20, 2006, 9:24 AM   #4
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I know its a more expensive option, but Nikon speedlights (the Sb600 and Sb800) are designed to work wirelessly with TTL function using the D200 pop up flash as a commander. This system is very easy to use and takes away alot of guess work and the need to work completely in manual mode. Plus no cables!!. 3 Sb600's will set you back a little over $500.
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Old May 27, 2006, 7:35 AM   #5
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I've had this issue with my Minolta 5D and the advice I get is to either use a Wein safe Sync that should reduce the voltage to the hotshoe, or use an optical or IR trigger (gives more freedom from wires too).

I believe that most lights can have the receiver for a radio or optical trigger fitted to them. I don't know where you are, but in the UK I've tried www.warehouseexpress.co.uk as a good reference as to what's out there.
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Old May 29, 2006, 12:35 PM   #6
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I did a quick google search and found a forum post where someone said they measured the trigger voltage at 7.9 volts for the Sunpak Platinum 300 monolights:


Measure it yourself if you're concerned. You can find instructions on measuring trigger voltage here:


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Old Jun 5, 2006, 8:41 AM   #7
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Just get a WEIN SAFE SYNC , They are sold bt B&H and many reputable stores. It is a great item and a lot of piece of mind for $50,00.

Remember this, The Flash sync on your camera would probably burn out 1/2 way through a very important project. MURPHY'S LAW say's "YEP it Will".

The safe sync is a good investment.

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