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Photography QnA: Choosing the Right Camera Flashes

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Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Choosing the Right Camera Flashes

Choosing the right camera flashes for you is important. Check out this Q&A to see what other people are saying on this topic.

Page 3 : 21 -30 of 30 questions

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Photography Question 
John Gill

member since: 6/12/2002
  21 .  Minolta 5600hs or Metz 54 series
Hi, I own a Minolta Maxxum 7 and I'm trying to decide between the Minolta 5600hs flash and the Metz 54 series flash. Also, If I do buy the Metz with the minolta module, is it possible to switch modules later on if I switch to a different camera?

6/21/2002 3:28:17 PM

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Photography Question 
Howard 

member since: 5/29/2002
  22 .  Flash attachments which fit the hotshoe top of cam
I know that the built in flash only takes in 10 to 20 feet. What is the quality of the Sunpak PZ500AF. It fits my minolta camera. Is this a good buy?

6/6/2002 7:15:42 PM

Howard 

member since: 5/29/2002
  I forgot to mention the price of the Sunpak PZ500AF. It is $149.95. To answer your question I am interested in Still life, Scenic photos because my wife, Benee, myself have traveled to many different countries. I also consider Fill in flash, and Portrait Photography, and nature Photography.There is also a 383 super Sunpak flash which is shown in Popular Photography, May Issue for $69.95. What do you think, Jeff or John? B&H Photo Video, Pro Audio section.

6/6/2002 7:30:32 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Howard,

Sunpak is a decent non-OEM flash maker. It ranks with Vivitar as a "second tier" maker of flash equipment for both non-professionals and professionals. By comparison, among the "first tier" are companies such as Metz, which cater more to purely professionals. For whatever reason, I seem to have accumulated quite a number of flash units over the years, including several dedicated OEM models for my camera system, plus a few Vivitar, Sunpak and Metz (shoe and handle mounted).

Three similar flash units fall into the Sunpak 383 class. The other two are the Vivitar 283 and Vivitar 285HV. All three are higher powered (GN approx. 120) shoe mounted "auto" flashes with bounce feature. None have an AF assist, nor do any have an "auto zoom" feature to zoom the flash head automatically when you change focal length on a zoom lens. IMO, the auto-zoom feature is more than compensated for by their sheer flash power for a shoe mounted unit and are among the most powerful (shoe mount). To get higher GN's requires a handle-mount flash that can handle more/larger batteries. These are all automatically controlled by a sensor on the flash itself, not by your camera's metering. In "auto" mode, you set the film speed on the flash and select from a number of lens apertures to use for that film speed. You must be able to manually set your camera to it's flash X-Sync shutter speed and manually set the lens aperture to the one selected on the flash. In general use, the auto sensors on the flash units work fine. There are a few situations in which TTL flash control by the camera works better, and yet a few more which can fool both systems. If you're considering the Sunpak 383, also consider the Vivitar 285HV. It has more aperture settings available for a given film speed than either the Sunpak 383 Super or the Vivitar 283. One of my Sunpak units is a 383 Super, and it's a reliable workhorse. I just wish it had more options with aperture settings in "Auto" mode. It would have made using it for fill outdoors easier. It's now a backup to a shoe mounted Metz with about the same GN rating.

An observation about the pricing of the Vivitar 283 and 285HV: By the time a couple of accessories are added to a 283 to give it some features built into the 285, the total cost 283 plus accessories is about the same as for a 285HV. Because of this, IMO again, the 285HV is the better buy between the two. It has also been one of the most popular flashes of all time for photojournalists! It's one of the reasons after being around for at least two decades, Vivitar still makes them.

I assume you mean the PZ5000AF (not PZ500AF). This one is comparatively slightly less powerful than the 383 Super, 283 or 285HV (if you add a zoom head to the first two). At the 35mm focal length at which the the 383, 283 and 285HV have their GN ratings, the PZ5000AF has a GN of about 105-110. It does allow TTL control which is fooled less often and has an auto-zoom that tracks with your camera (if your lens also supports communicating this to the body) which increases the effective GN at longer focal lengths. It also appears to have an AF assist lamp (which can help your AF in dark situations, but also consumes batteries faster). In short, it's more sophisticated than the 383 Super, but if one understands basic flash settings and works the 383 by manually setting the camera, either are just as capable. The additional features (rear curtain sync, etc.) are things most would rarely use, but they're still there nevertheless. The additional money is paying for the dedicated TTL control, power zoom and AF. The one downside: as a dedicated flash its TTL control and other special features which require flash communication with the camera body make it unusable with other camera systems. This means you wouldn't be able to use it on a Nikon, Canon or Pentax if you changed camera systems later. I own several different camera systems, so flexibility to use any one flash on any system is important to me (but that's not the norm either).

Any one of the four I've discussed should have more than sufficient flash power for general photography around the home (non-pro). Longer distances (25 feet or so) at narrower apertures (f/8) with ISO 160 pro portrait films using a softbox or bounce card over the flash head, all of which are things pros typically want to do at wedding receptions in large halls, and their flash power is at the minimum end of what can be used. Their limit under those conditions is flash power and recovery time to recharge for the next shot.

Hope this helps a little . . .
-- John

6/10/2002 3:58:22 AM

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Photography Question 
Howard 

member since: 5/29/2002
  23 .  built in and off camera flash
I purchased a Minolta ST/SI Maxxum QD 35mm SLR camera. What would you suggest. Is it possible to live with my built in flash or do I need a flash that I can attach. I know that I cannot get much distance with the built in flash unless I have a very fast film. What do you suggest?

6/5/2002 7:13:38 PM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  Howard, for both you and Bonnie, it depends on what you want the flash to do. For an occasional shot of the dog doing something cute,the built-in flash will work.
When the flash is too close to the lens, eyes will come out red. The lens might, in some situations, get in the way of the flash and cause a shadow.
Both Minolta and Canon make excellent dedicated flashes, some with a bracket that offsets and raises the flash, thus preventing these problems. Be willing to part with a coupla hundred, though.

Or try the old pro standby, the Vivitar 283, which sells for less than $75 new. Connect it to your camera with a PC cord, and mount it on a bracket. Should you upgrade to a pro camera later, the Canon, Minolta, or Vivitar will be fine for any serious photography requiring flash, such as weddings.

6/6/2002 8:46:06 AM

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Photography Question 
Haley  Crites

member since: 3/23/2001
  24 .  Which flash to buy?
I would like to buy an on-camera flash for my Pentax camera. Someone sujested that I buy a dedicated shoe mount flash with a stroboframe bracket. Can you tell me what these things are and if they really are want I want. I do a lot of nature photography, but I would like to start shooting some portraits.
Thanks!

5/30/2002 8:33:21 AM

Tony Peckman

member since: 8/15/2001
  Haley,
Depends on what the purpose is of your general shooting. I do a little portrait work and ended up purchasing an umbrella , stand, clamp and Vivitar 283 off Ebay...all for about $100. Then I had to purchase a hot shoe adaptor and sync cord to fire the 283. It works great.
Now, for general family snap shots, I still wanted more than the on camera flash so I picked up a Pentax AF220T (for my Pentax zx-30) for about $50 at bhphotovideo.com.
I wouldn't worry about the stroboframe bracket at this point. "Dedicated shoe mount flash" just means that the flash is designed to 'work with' your camera to give you the correct amount of flash light exposure.
Send me your email and I'll send you some pictures of my simple flash set-up.
tonypeckman@yahoo.com

6/13/2002 10:41:50 AM

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Photography Question 
Peter 

member since: 4/29/2002
  25 .  Flash Recommendation for Rollei 35S
I have recently acquired a used Rollei 35S and am now looking for an inexpensive flash.

I have spotted a used Rollei 128BC flash for about 60 US$ but do not know if it's worth it. Also, I am wondering if there aren't any smaller, more compact solutions (ideally with off-camera possibility). What I am looking for is a relatively small flash unit that suits the size of my camera (and the awkward position of the hot shoe). I would mainly use it for fill-in or similar.

Can anybody give me any hints on what to look for. Or shall I buy the used 128BC? Thanks.

4/29/2002 11:30:15 AM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Peter,
I've owned a Rollei 35S for over 20 years (bought it new), and owned a 35T for some time (also bought it new) before selling it a couple years ago.

The 128BC is a good flash unit, even though it's nearly the size of the camera. If you buy it, I don't recommend using it on any newer electronic cameras without first finding out whether its flash trigger is low voltage. Older flash units with high trigger voltages won't hurt the Rollei 35 though.

I use two flash units with the Rollei 35S and mount them in the hot shoe:
Rollei E19BC: Much like the 128BC (except older ??). Has high trigger voltage so I use it only with several older cameras including the 35S. Works well and is a fairly powerful flash. From the photos I've seen of the 128BC, the two look quite alike.
Sunpak Auto 140: Also an older flash with high trigger voltage. Not nearly as powerful as the Rollei E19BC flash but more compact.

I also have a very old flash bracket specifically for the Rollei 35 with a mount on the side for a "Honeywell" flash handle. It works, but is *big* compared to the rest of the camera, even when used with a relatively small Honeywell handle that has a hot shoe on the top. The basic problem for "off camera" flash is the lack of a PC socket. This flash bracket includes a special low profile "hot shoe to PC" adapter that slides into the Rollei 35's hot shoe and allows the bracket to mount over it on the bottom of the camera. I don't use this bracket that often, but mount the flash in the hot shoe instead. I've gotten used to holding the camera updside down with a flash in the hot shoe.

Some current, relatively small and inexpensive shoe flash units to consider:
Sunpak 1600A: GN 52 auto flash that allows selecting one of two f-stops in "auto" mode. Has a bounce head and uses two "AA" cells. Approx. $30 new.
Sunpak Auto 144PC: GN 66 auto flash that also allows selecting one of two f-stops in "auto" mode. Slightly bigger and heavier; also has bounce head and uses four "AA" cells. Has a sub-mini phone jack on the side that can be used with a cord for off camera flash triggering; hot shoe contacts are disabled when cord is plugged in. Approx. $40 new.

These are two alternatives to the 128BC, although neither are as powerful.

-- John

5/1/2002 8:56:31 AM

Roger 

member since: 12/30/2002
  reference the question "what flash to use on the rollei 35s" I use the rollei 121bc. It is compact:smaller than the camera and performs very well. roger

12/30/2002 8:56:00 PM

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Photography Question 
Diane H. Inskeep

member since: 3/13/2002
  26 .  Flash lighting for on location group shots
How can I have better light, on location at a local dance studio, for all of the group photos for the yearly recital at a cost that I can afford? I have a film 35mm and a digital Canon D30. I am hoping to take mostly digital this year, to keep my expenses down. I have a Canon 550 EX speedlight flash. I want to have better quality lighting this year, yet I do not know where to start. When people start talking lighting, they seem to be in the $1000 + range, and I only do one or two of these events per year. One of my thought was to buy the canon Speedlite Transmitter, for my camera, perhaps get another Speedlight flash, and have the 2 flashes be my only lights. This option means I only buy another $500 worth of toys. These flashes are suppose to be wireless, which would help in a small room full of children...... Any ideas would be appreciated. I am also looking for suggestions for books on the subject...

4/3/2002 11:35:37 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Another flash wouldn't hurt. But if you want to keep it cheap for now I would suggest looking into umbrellas to spread and soften the light. It will help to more evenly light your groups. You can get an umbrella for $15-20. You will also need a lightstand or another tripod to hold the light and a Photoflex MultiClamp to attach the flash, umbrella, and stand(tripod) together.

4/4/2002 12:32:04 PM

Mark English
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/7/2001
  Diane, I know you posted this request over a month ago, and you may infact already have done this job, but here's my two cents worth.
Lighting large groups with a small on camera flash, even with two of these is going to be difficult. Diffusing, or otherwise enlarging the light source, will eat up so much power, that it just isn't feasible with small 4AA flashes for other than say, headshots. You're going to have to be satisfied with the harsh specular light of these units... certainly less than optimal, and likely less that will be expected out of you.
I've done this type of work before using about 2400ws worth of lighting, including a variety of light modifiers. I was darn glad I had that much power.
Why not rent say two 500-600ws monolights with stands, and couple of "50 or so" inch umbrellas? This should set you back maybe $US 60-75 per day. Using two lights as main + fill isn't all that difficult, particularly if you're comfortable with basic lighting concepts... just don't forget to rent a flash meter as well. To be safe, set the mainlight about 1 to 1 1/3 stops brighter that the fill, and don't (for starters atleast) let the mainlight get too far out from the fill-camera axis. Rent for a day and run some tests before the big day. Shooting colour negative film will get you past any minor exposure errors.

5/9/2002 5:05:33 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Not to be contentious with Mark but when I was first starting out all I used was a pair of Vivitar 283 flashes. I shot weddings and other groups with them mounted on lightstands and fired through translucent umbrellas. So I know it is very do-able. Granted, it is easier with studio strobes but you can get very nice results with small flash units.

5/9/2002 5:20:46 PM

Diane H. Inskeep

member since: 3/13/2002
  This job is in 3 weeks. After getting burned buying used lighting equipment on Ebay,returning it and loosing $400, I went ahead and bought the Canon Transmitter and another 550 flash, 2 light stands and brackets. I looked into renting, but it means going out of town to get equipment, and this job requires photographing different kids every day for about 8 days. so renting was expensive..... I went to the dance studio just yesterday, and played with my new toys. (I used the Canon D30, 2 550 speedlites on light stands) I now need to know stuff like, how high should the lights be? How far left and right of the camera? How far from the background should the kids be? What book do I need to read (in the next week) The room is rather small and has overhead florescent lighting. It seems like all of the photos I took yesterday could be useable. I could see the difference between where the shadows fell, but no one else noticed. If I use umbrellas, do the shadows go away? Any help appreciated...this learning while I go is way too slow! And if I can make sure the light is consistant, I get a better price at the lab..... Thanks again. Diane

5/9/2002 5:56:46 PM

Mark English
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 12/7/2001
  Ouch! Sorry to hear about your Ebay (mis)adventures.
Your ST-E2 and two 550EXs will let you forget about exposure and light ratio issues... so relax.
The only issue I can see is that you MUST go out and by up EVERY AA battery you can find... Lithiums if you can afford them.
What are you using for a background? Typically I place the subject 6 to 8 feet in front of the background, sometimes more if I have the luxury of that much room.
Light placement: Just don't get too extreme. Fill should be close to the camera/lens axis, and somewhat above.
The main should at oh, 30-45 degrees above and to one side. Allowing it to get too far out with this probably isn't a good idea, but if you keep the lighting ratio low, any mistakes you make here won't be disastrous. The goal is to get the main far enough out and up to provide a pleasing modelling of the subjects features. You're too far out and up when the eye sockets drop into shadow, or when the shadow of bridge of the nose falls in to the shadow side eye. Both situations are professional no-nos with this type of shoot, the parents just want a good, well lit likeness of their kids.
Will you be shooting this assignment entirely on digital?
My experience is limited to film, and I'd be careful about those overhead flourescents. With film I'd just be sure to set a high enough synch speed so that the flourescents don't register... green tints don't enhance most faces. I'm not even sure if the concept of synch speed has any meaning in digital. If you've tested this and it doesn't seem like a problem, then there's obviously no need to worry.
As for books, I wouldn't get yourself to tied up in second guessing what you have already tested. If it works, then don't sweat it too much.
Vic Orenstein's "Creative Techniques for Photographing Children" comes to mind. Simple, no nonsense advice, clearly written.

5/9/2002 6:29:54 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  You have the advantage of using digital so you can basically see if your light set up is a good one. It's like having a polaroid without the wait. Umbrellas will definitely help reduce shadows and make for more pleasing even lighting. For groups I wouldn't worry too much about fill light. Just trying to keep the light even is usually enough. But as I said, you have the advantage of digital preview so do some experimenting in the next few weeks and see what works.

5/10/2002 1:39:44 AM

Diane H. Inskeep

member since: 3/13/2002
  What is there to know about size of umbrellas? Should I have something with both white and black with the black removeable? I still have time to order umbrellas, and I think I have a friend with one large umbrella.
The largest groups have about 14 teenagers. According to the instructions, one flash is not wide enough for the entire group, so I was planning on a flash on either side of the camera. If the lights overlap in the center, does that make it too much light in one area and not enough on the sides? and what about photos of the littlest kids. should the lights be lower? Or, if I use umbrellas, should they be higher than the people? I apprecitate the comments from everyone. Thanks again.

5/10/2002 2:20:03 AM

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Photography Question 
Naomi 

member since: 3/13/2002
  27 .  Dedicated Flashes
What is a dedicated flash and what is the best one to purchase for a Rebel G Canon camera?

3/13/2002 2:07:30 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Naomi,
There are three basic types of "on camera" electronic flash strobes. "On camera" means it mounts to the camera, almost always in the "hot shoe."

(1) Manual:
You will likely not encounter this type much because of their age and I only mention it because they're still occasionally found used. These have a completely fixed light output, much like flash bulbs. Light reaching the film is controlled by adjusting the lens aperture based on flash power, film speed and subject distance using a "Guide Number."

(2) Auto:
These are a refinement of a manual flash with a sensor built into the _flash_ unit to "quench" its light output when enough light from it has reflected back into the sensor. These are non-dedicated and can be used with any camera with a hot shoe. Typically the lens is set to a specific aperture based on film speed. On more sophisticated models a switch or button on the back of the flash that allows selecting two or more lens apertures. This is selected first, and then the lens aperture is set to match this. If you look at the shoe on the flash, it will have a single center contact. This is the one used to "trigger" the flash. There may be a light on the back of the strobe that lights up or blinks for a short time after the flash is triggered to indicate its sensor received enough light for a "proper" exposure. With these flashes, you won't get any information about flash status in the camera viewfinder (on, ready, exposure OK, etc.), only on the flash itself.

Among non-dedicated flash units you can use are the Sunpak 383, Vivitar 283 and Vivitar 285. I rate the Sunpak 383 and Vivitar 285 about the same in features, build quality and durability. The Vivitar 283 is the "little brother" of the Vivitar 285 with fewer features. I also rate the Vivitar 285 a "best buy" among non-dedicated flash units. It has the most features at the lowest cost in a decent quality flash unit. It's one of the reasons the 285 remains the first choice by professionals (especially photojournalists) for a "generic" on-camera, non-dedicated flash. None of these will assist your cameras AF system though and you may have to manually focus it in low light.

(3) TTL or TTL/OTF Auto:
These are the "dedicated" flash units you asked about. Instead of using a sensor in the flash, it uses the metering built into your camera to control how much light the flash emits by quenching it. The metering and light measurement is done "through the lens" on your camera (TTL; OTF = off the film, which is a specific type of TTL metering). To do this, the shoe has more than just the one center contact, usually between three and five depending on camera system and flash. These additional contacts are used by the camera and flash to communicate with each other. They are called "dedicated" because each camera system is different in the number of hot shoe contacts, their exact position in the hot shoe (except for the common, large center one) and how they are used. To use a dedicated flash on your Rebel, it must be made specifically for use with it.

"Best" dedicated flash is difficult to define. There are different power levels and other features. Higher power and more features means higher cost. Among the Canon flash units you can use are the 220E Speedlite and 380EX Speedlite.

There are other companies that make dedicated flash units you can use with the Canon EOS Rebel G. Among them are Metz which makes professional grade flash units. To make them compatible with different camera systems, a special module with the hot shoe foot slides onto the bottom of the flash. Metz makes a module for very nearly *every* camera system. For your use, I would recommend looking at the Metz 32MZ-3 (the "-3" supports TTL control and AF; the "-2" does not support AF; the "-1" is a non-dedicated version). The proper module is the SCA 3102 or its predecessor the SCA 3101.

Although more expensive, there is also the Metz 34AF-3C and much more expensive Metz 40AF-4C. These do not need the module; they are specifically made dedicated for the Canon EOS system (the "C" at the end of the model number indicates its for the Canon EOS).

I presume you are looking for a "dedicated" flash. Take a look at the two Canon Speedlites I mentioned, and compare flash power, features and cost with the three Metz flash units.

-- John

3/14/2002 10:35:12 PM

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Photography Question 
Abie  Thomas

member since: 11/19/2001
  28 .  Which Flash Would Be The Best for A Nikon N80?
I am an amateur photographer and I find the built-in flash on the N80 is insufficient to get clear pictures at night of a family gathering, b'day party, etc. I have no idea what flash would be ideal for me to buy. Should I buy out of the Nikon range or something else? I would be grateful for some suggestions or any Web sites which offer such advice.

11/19/2001 9:50:27 PM

Don Kelly

member since: 11/19/2001
  I have the Nikon SB-28 and love it. It's got plenty of power for any situation. It works extremely well with the N80's auto modes, but also works well under manual control.

I know you can find cheaper units but I don't think you'll find one you'd be happier with.

11/19/2001 10:08:32 PM

Abie  Thomas

member since: 11/19/2001
  Thanks a million Don. Really appreciate your help.

11/19/2001 10:12:23 PM

Hermann  Graf

member since: 2/28/2001
  The SB-28 is the "Rolls Royce" under the possible flash units. If you have budget concerns, think of third party flashes, e.g. Sunpak or Metz. They offer a dedicated adapter in order to ensure the support of all capabilities of your camera. Moreover, they offer a lot more of accessories for the flash than Nikon does, not to mention that the flashes often exceed Nikon's as for versatility.

11/20/2001 5:32:17 AM

Abie  Thomas

member since: 11/19/2001
  Thanks a million Hermann. Yes, I do have budget concerns. And my line of thought is: I have a N80 (or a F80 as it is here in Australia) and I can't really, probably, use all the features the SB-28 has to offer; so is it worth getting it? Also I am a serious amateur and will remain only that for the next 10 years or so, so should I buy something so expensive? I would really appreciate it if you could suggest some Sunpak or Metz model numbers, which in your experience have good features and offer good value for money. My only major concern with buying other brands is that, I am not really good at all the technical stuff so I want something which will do, at least initially, most of the major work by itself. I mean from day one, I should not have to adjust settings on the flash for every photo. Are different company flashes made to synchronise with Nikon?
Once again, I really appreciate you taking the time to reply Hermann.

11/20/2001 3:53:02 PM

Hermann  Graf

member since: 2/28/2001
  Abie, have a look at this flash unit page.

If you don't need 3D flash matrix metering and no manual operation capability, the Metz 34AF-3N for Nikon would be the cheapest alternative ($121); a higher guide number has the Metz 40AF-4N ($141). More capabilities (manual/auto/TTL/Af flash, motor zoom, etc.) has the Metz 32 MZ-3 (with SCA 3401/M4 adapter for Nikon: $194). Metz's flagship is the Metz 40 M-1i ($250 with SCA 3401/M5), which offers rear curtain sync. I think Sunpak is similar.

11/21/2001 3:45:11 AM

Abie  Thomas

member since: 11/19/2001
  Hermann, I had a look at the page and it helped me a lot. I am now understanding a lot about what is involved in choosing the right flash for what you want to do. Accidently I came across this page which explained a lot of the technical details to an amateur like me. It was really excellent. Thanks once again.

11/21/2001 5:49:39 AM

Abie  Thomas

member since: 11/19/2001
  I have almost decided on the Metz 40MZ-1i Flash Kit for Nikon. Supplied with Nikon Module SCA 3401/M5 but I am fully confused by the SCA 3401/M5.
What is that? Thanks,
Abie.

11/22/2001 4:05:50 AM

Hermann  Graf

member since: 2/28/2001
  Abie,
SCA stands for "special camera adapter", and the SCA 3401/M5 is the type for Nikon AF cameras (for MF cameras, there is the SCA 300 series). Metz, like Sunpak, has the adapter system. The same flash can be used with cameras of different brands by using different adapters. The adapter is more or less the hotshoe unit with specific additional contacts, some switches and electronics, ensuring data exchange between camera and flash. It is fixed to the bottom of the flash by some kind of socket and can easily be exchanged against another adapter.

BTW, the website you mentioned has nothing to do with photography, but with quantum chemistry.

11/22/2001 4:25:02 AM

Abie  Thomas

member since: 11/19/2001
  Hermann,you have been so helpful. You have cleared every doubt of mine and I am going in for the Metz. I didn't know about the quantum physics page !! :-) I just looked at that one page and it seemed to explain a lot. I must admit, I just skipped over the parts that I didn't understand and thought it was professional photography lingo! Sorry about that. Well another page which I have found helpful, (for those of you who may have similar problems later to buy a flash for a Nikon N80) is and this one is definitely on photography! It even has the flash photos! Thanks once again.

[Editor: When I looked at the Web page you suggested above, it seemed to be very much about photography and flashes rather than quantum chemistry. Maybe a quirk of the Web sent Hermann to another site altogether :) ]

11/22/2001 5:35:00 AM

Melinda B. Amaral

member since: 12/14/2003
 
 
  Jekyll And Hyde
Jekyll And Hyde
 
 
Does anyone know about the SB-27 flash, that is what I got for my N80 and I'm having a little trouble figuring it out. if I put the camera in program mode it just stays at the same apt and shutter of 60 f/5.6. am I not suppose to put it at that? if I put it at the 125 sync..does it pick the apature for me?? I though w/ ttl it measures the distance you are from the subject so you can shoot in program mode? any help would be great thanks

1/15/2004 12:57:07 PM

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Photography Question 
Jonathan H. Ortloff

member since: 9/4/2001
  29 .  Best Set-Up for High School Hockey Games
As the photography editor for one of the best high school newspapers in the country (Phillips Exeter Academy's EXONIAN), I'm looking for ways to make my photographers' jobs easier, especially me. One of our main photo assignments is sports, and in the winter, that means indoor, and so lighting is a problem. Basketball, and wrestling are okay to use with a flash, but hockey, swimming, and indoor track are played in such large venues, that I think it's time we got some off-board lighting there. I saw one of the school's professional photographers shooting a hockey game with two strobes at one end of the ice, probably about 20 feet high, and the pictures he shot came out pretty well. I'm looking for one or two strobes, or monolights, or whatever, but don't know what to get. Also, a radio slave is in order because of the distance from the lights. Is it possible to get a radio slave that will send TTL information to the strobe, or does it just fire it off, and if so, how do you execute metering? I'm on a pretty tight budget, so used items are okay, but I still don't know exactly what I should get. A little help?

9/4/2001 10:54:46 AM

Hermann  Graf

member since: 2/28/2001
  Jonathan,

There are low-cost slave units available on the market which fire the second flash mounted on them when hit by the flashlight of the master flash (normally mounted on the camera); by this, long cables are avoided. The only limitation is the maximal distance for being activated (depending on the guide number of the master flash). It is recommended to fire the slave flash not directly in the direction of the camera in order not to hamper the metering of the camera.

Best regards

9/4/2001 12:04:53 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy

member since: 3/4/2002
  Radio slaves will be your best bet. I wouldn't worry about TTL since the lights will be at the same distance from the action the whole time. All you need to do is check the exposure at various locations within the arena you plan to shoot before the action starts and simply adjust your exposure accordingly. To meter you need a flash meter.

9/4/2001 3:06:34 PM

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John 

member since: 3/23/2001
  30 .  Triggering Remote Flash
I am interested in knowing if there is any other device or way of triggering an off-camera flash without having to use a sync cord. I have a slave module for my remote flash, and was wondering if their is any kind of triggering device that I could plug into my hotshoe to fire the remote flash without having to use an on camera flash unit. I am trying to get away from being tied down with the sync cord as well as using "direct" flash on the subject.

8/17/2001 7:18:51 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Look for radio slaves. They use very low power radio signals to trigger the remotes. Wedding photographers sometimes use these to prevent other flash units triggering their strobes.

-- John

8/18/2001 1:33:29 PM

Joe 

member since: 12/6/2001
  I know this is an old question but I thought I would give my two cents worth. I sometimes use a radio slave to fire my off camera flash. The only problem I have when using it is when I am in a gym or other people are using flash photography as well. Everytime there camera fires it will also fire my flash. Also Gym lights seem to flicker a bit which also causes my flash to fire. I'm only concerned about by battery going dead before I get through taking all the photo's I need to. Also when outside in bright sun light, the slave doesn't seem to work.
Good luch
Joe

2/18/2002 3:52:10 PM

John A. Lind
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 9/27/2001
  Some additional information about slaves:

Metz makes an infrared slave system compatible with several selected models of their flash heads. Drawback is, AFIK, it's not universally compatible with other flash units (requires a special SCA 3000 series "shoe" on the slave units). It's workable if you happen to already have at at least one or more of the Metz Mecablitz flash heads that can use it (i.e. simply expand your Metz system).

Wein makes several infrared systems. It's universally compatible (or very nearly so) including usage with monolights. Its drawback is cost. Unlike their "dumb" optical slaves, this system is not inexpensive!

-- John

2/21/2002 9:32:31 PM

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