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Photography Question 
Brenda D. Herring
 

My light won't fire


I have a Photogenic 1250 Power Light that I've used for several years with a 20DCanon and a 10DCanon. All of a sudden, my light won't fire. I have a hot shoe on my camera and a sync cord connected to the umbrella light. I ordered a brand new sync cord and a new hot shoe and tried those - still doesn't work. I'm frustrated!! Any suggestions?


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3/17/2008 7:40:20 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  You mean hot shoe adapter for a pc outlet?
If there isn't a test button on the flash, you can make it fire by touching something metal to the little pin on the end of the sync cord that attaches to the camera.(paper clip)
All flash tubes need to be replaced at some point. So, if you can eliminate other causes to the problem, a worn out flash tube may be the culprit.
As opposed to something inside the light.


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3/17/2008 11:09:12 PM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Nothing last for ever, likely the unit is malfunctioning and needs professional repair. Photogenic is now located at 1268 Humbracht Circle, Bartlett, IL 60103-1631, (630)830-2500, fax (630)830-2525. 1-800-682-7668.

Luck to you,

Alan Marcus


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3/17/2008 11:12:06 PM

 
Brenda D. Herring   I do have a test button on the side and when it does fire when I push it. So, the light will work, but it's just not flashing when I take a picture. Does this mean the camera could be the problem? If so, is this some thing that can be repaired?


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3/18/2008 5:31:36 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Brenda,
There is a small square button on the back of your 1250, it is a reset button.
With the power off,press it in and then turn on the power.
This may take a few tries, but you should know if it's the issue,because you will get a quick flash if it pops again,or it will simply work.
Please give that a try,I hope this helps,
Debby Tabb


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3/18/2008 7:46:02 AM

 
Alan N. Marcus   Likely if the test button works the problem is not too serious meaning the repair will not be too expensive. I know you want to rule out the camera so: As Gregory advised you can use a metal object to fire the flash; this simulates the firing circuit of the camera. If the flash fires this way, you have ruled out the flash unit. Itís easy; just use a metal object to short out the center pin of the small end of sync cord. The idea is bridge the center pin to the outer shell of the connector with a metal conductor of electricity. I advise using a ball point pen. Touch the metal point to the center conductor allowing the metal to also touch the outer shell. Donít worry about getting a shock, the plastic barrel of the pen will insulate you. Anyway you are unlikely to get a shock even if you use a paper clip or the like.

By the way, the best test to rule out the camera is direct substitution. Borrow a camera with a sync connector and try the flash that way. If all fails call customer service and ask the manufacturer for advice.

Alan Marcus


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3/18/2008 7:51:32 AM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  No offence, but I work with this everyday,consulting with 30 some odd studios all with photographers who forget to try that, Myself included,lol.
We tend to hit panic first,lol.
But if the test button works,you shouldn't need to worry about repair at all.
If it keeps happening over weeks or mouths depending on how much you shoot,then you should consider maintance.
All lighting as well as your camera and laptops,computers should be on a reliable Power Strip with surge Protection.
This can help with triping the test.
I am sorry I can't give you any recommendations, but maybe Alan or some else may have some for you.
Best of luck with this,


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3/18/2008 8:13:23 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Since the test button works, you may just need to make the pin in the cord make better contact with female end of the pc outlet.
You can try squeezing together the metal flanges that surround the little pin on the end of the cord that goes to the camera.
Or you can slightly bend the little pin in the sync cord so that it touches more firmly the inside of the pc outlet.
Pair of pliers or vise grips to squeeze the flanges. Or I use the pointed end of the old style can/bottle opener to bend the pin.
There's a tool made for that, but no need to go to a camera store when you can get something that works at a grocery store. Plus, it's cheaper.


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3/18/2008 11:45:42 AM

 
Brenda D. Herring   Thanks for all your advice, everyone. I tried all the suggestions (reset the light, used a metal object to trip the flash, etc.). However, my flash still won't fire when I click the shutter speed. I tried two different cameras. I'm thinking it must be something to do with the camera. I've tried 2 different sync cords, 3 different hot shoes, and 2 different cameras. It is very puzzling why both cameras would do this at the same time. Since my light will fire fine on it's own, I guess I'm off to the repair shop with my cameras. ? ? ?


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3/18/2008 6:29:11 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Brenda,
Please tell me the settings you are using on the 20D.

Thank you


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3/18/2008 6:47:26 PM

 
Brenda D. Herring   I have my camera set to Manual, 60 at F8.


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3/18/2008 6:51:00 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Brenda,
just for kicks,can we try a standard setting of M/200/F22
are you synced to the camera?


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3/18/2008 6:52:54 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Both cameras going bad with the same problem at the same time? Don't think so.
You can still just use a regular hot shoe flash to check the camera if you wanted.
But I think something is wrong with the light somewhere in the line of connection of the sync cord socket and the flash tube.


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3/18/2008 7:07:54 PM

 
Brenda D. Herring   I tried those settings - no luck. I did find this website:

http://www.white-lightning.com/faq.html#flash

Scroll down to question 6. What do you think about this info?


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3/18/2008 7:08:35 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Well,I have Corprate Manuals, so I need some time to go through trouble shooting.
I wll do that but I may not be able to get back to you until tomorrow, so keep reading & tring.
But, just a min. I know you probubly have ,but please humor me before I go through these huge manuals.
Please turn off & unplug the light, then with a piece of matieral(never touch bulbs with bare hands as skin leaves damaging oils on bulbs)
and remove both bulbs(flash and modleing).
Ok, with matierial wipe the silver conections and blow on thier ports (to blow off any dust that may be there)
plug the modleing bulb in twist,then the flash tube, plug in and turn on.
and please give me your light settings as well.
let me know what happens- in the middle of making dinner,but will check in.
thank you,


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3/18/2008 7:17:52 PM

 
Debby A. Tabb
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/4/2004
  Forget the settings / that would be a issue on old model.
you have the DR's.?


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3/18/2008 7:29:09 PM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/11/2003
gregorylagrange.org
  Answer to question 6 sounds like a possibility, but with it I would expect you to have the problem when you first started using your camera with the lights.
Know of anyone with a radio slave, or a different kind of camera?


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3/18/2008 8:58:02 PM

 
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