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Old May 24, 2006, 6:29 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 31

Hi CHaps,

I'm really hoping for an answer here. I'm based in the UK, and thanks to the recent change over with Sony, the PCT-100 Sync adapter is no longer available. Due to this, I'm thinking of getting a FS-1100 which gives me an ISO standard hotshoe, then buying a low cost Radio trigger for Studio lights.

My question is this, I have a 5600HS and it always double flashes, if I connect a radio trigger do you think I will have this problem or should I get some proper pics?

A bit simplistic, but I'm new to all this. A dual 5600HS setup (I currently have this) won't do Portrait work as the double flash causes 'lazy eye'. You can't get alien Bees in the UK so I think I'll go with Elinchroms starter kit. It's just whether or not a radio trigger will work or if I should use a Sein Safe Sync and go the PC sync cable approach.

please help!!!

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Old May 24, 2006, 8:19 AM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

If I were you, I'd get a third party adapter that gives your 5D an ISO standard hotshoe, as well as a PC Sync Port. That way, you'd have more flexibility for attaching triggers and strobes (since the hotshoe on the 5D is proprietary).

There is a verndor in Hong Kong that sells these. Search Ebay listings for FS-1100 (including the dash), and you'll see some of the listings.

Here is one (and this same vendor usually has multiple listings for them):


I've got the identical adapter for my 5D for use with some old Sunpaks I bought to use with it. I got mine from Nick (a.k.a, Digital_Initiatives) in Hong Kong. But, he's out of them right now. Here are some better photos of one:


Note that this adapter does not have built in voltage protection. So, you'd need to make sure any strobe you use with it is safe from a trigger voltage perspective (or use a Wein Safe Sync or equivalent product with one).

The Minolta FS-1100 has no voltage protection built in either.

Konica Minolta has never published the trigger voltage specs for the hotshoe on the 5D. So, it's probably best to assume that it's rated at around 6 volts.

The PCT-100 does have voltage protection built in (it's designed to work with strobes with trigger voltages up to 400 volts). That's probably why they charge so much for it versus the FS-1100.

With the third party adapter, you'd have an ISO standard hotshoe for using radio triggers (and most of these will have relatively low trigger voltages).

Or, you could use an inexpensive hotshoe mounted flash to firing optical triggers, without worrying about a preflash. You'd also have a PC Sync Port (just be careful about trigger voltages via the hotshoe or PC Sync Port).

You can find trigger voltages for some popular strobes here (but, make sure to measure it using a good high impedence volt meter for any strobe you attach).


Some of the radio trigger manufacturers (for example, Pocket Wizards) often show trigger voltages in their product specs. I've looked up a few of them in the past and most seem to be relatively low.

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Old May 25, 2006, 4:41 AM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 31

Thanks Jim,

Can all studio flash units be triggered via an onboard flash? i could use one of my 5600's in manual mode to give a single flash.

I take it I'd be OK using a Wein Safe Sync on to of the FS-1100, this way I'd have a PC port that has voltage protection circuitry. It's a bit more than your suggestions but I prefer to be safe. I'd go for the PCT-100, but here in the UK they are all gone.

Oh how I wish I'd had a crystal ball and bought a Canon. I really love my 5D, but getting a hold of accessories has become a joke. To get another 5600HS, I have to buy it with a camera second hand and now I have a dimage A2 to sell that i never wanted.

Hey ho. Thanks again.
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Old May 25, 2006, 8:22 AM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,378

Not all strobes have optical triggers built in. You'd need to check them on a case by case basis. You can buy triggers separately if you need them (for example, Wein makes some, and they also make digital aware triggers designed to ignore preflashes).

As for accessories, give it a few more weeks. Chances are, Sony will be shipping some of the same accessories.

As for the 5600s, there are other options, too. For example, the Metz 54MZ3 and 54MZ4 are popular strobes for the KM DSLR models.

You just need to make sure you've got the latest SCA3302M5 or SCA3302M6 foot for them to work correctly with the 5D or 7D (and Metz can update an older SCA3302).

Users that I'm aware of with both the 5600 and a Metz 54MZ4 prefer the Metz. These strobes also have an Auto Mode that doesn't require a preflash (since it uses the strobe's built in sensor to measure light during the exposure). They also support HSS and wireless (but, you can't use a Metz as a controller from what I've heard, and I'm not sure their Auto mode will function with Wireless or HSS).

I don't use a flash much. So, I went with a cheap solution.

I spent a total of $48 for a flash system to use with my 5D (and that included two strobes). I had to buy new "used" flash units, since the ones I've got have trigger voltages that are too high. LOL

* $16 for a third party adapter to give the 5D an ISO standard hotshoe and a PC Sync Port (identical to the one in the Ebay listing I posted above)

* a Sunpak 222 Auto with tilt and two aperture ranges for a smaller flash unit (GN of about 72 feet at ISO 100) for $7.00 from KEH.com (and they even threw in a nice, coiled PC Sync Cord with it).

* a Sunpak 333 Auto with tilt, swivel and zoom head (manual) with multiple auto aperture ranges, as well as better manual settings (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16).

GN runs from 86 feet to 120 feet at ISO 100, depending on the zoom head setting. I got this one for $25 (like new in box in 10 condition from the used department at B&H).

Total Flash System Investment: $48

Both strobes can be triggered via hotshoe or PC Sync cord, and both have nice scales for aperture needed for the selected auto range based on the ISO speed dialed in. Once you select an Auto Range, just stay within the distances shown on the scale and the flash does the rest (for example, one range may run 3 to 22 feet at ISO 200 and f/5.6).

I don't have HSS or Wireless, and I need to use Manual Exposure (setting the camera to match the strobe for the needed aperture for the ISO speed and auto range selected).

But, this is a very inexpensive solution that also eliminates the need for a preflash (since the flash controls it's own output by measuring reflected light during the exposure and terminates the flash burst when it sees enough light for the Auto Range selected). A number of similar Sunpak models work the same way, and you can often find them for around $10 on Ebay.

There are also some "middle ground" solutions available. For example, the Metz 40MZ3 using the latest SCA3302M5 or SCA3305M6 foot can "talk" to the KM DSLR models (so that they're aware of the camera settings like the more expensive 54MZ series are). That way, you can take advantage of their Auto mode without a preflash if desired, without worrying about the need to use manual exposure on the camera. But, only the more expensive 54MZ series strobes support HSS and Wireless.

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