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Photography Question 
Lynsey Lund
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2005
 

Old School Light Meter and Flash


 
  Flash 1
Flash 1
© Lynsey Lund
Nikon Coolpix 5200...
 
  Flash 2
Flash 2
© Lynsey Lund
Nikon Coolpix 5200...
 
  Meter 1
Meter 1
© Lynsey Lund
Nikon Coolpix 5200...
 
  Meter 2
Meter 2
© Lynsey Lund
Nikon Coolpix 5200...
 
  Meter 3
Meter 3
© Lynsey Lund
Nikon Coolpix 5200...
 
 
I was going through my grandpa's old photo equipment and found a great light meter and flash. I was wondering if anyone can direct me to some information on figuring out how I work this lightmeter? Also wondering if it's possible to sync an old flash like this with my dSLR? I am shooting with a Nikon D70. I'm not even sure where to begin on figuring out how to use these and figure out their settings, or where to go for more info? I took some photos and attached them hoping they might look familiar to someone. I used my new phone camera ... so they aren't great but enough for identification.
Thanks in advance!


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9/3/2010 11:33:38 AM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Lynsey,
The flash is a Vivitar 285. Vivitar is still in the photo business. The flash is still available. There are distance ranges in which it can work automatically. It should work well with your Nikon.

The meter is a version of the Luna-Pro. These were fine meters in their day, but the meter is your camera is far superior for measuring continuous light sources. For working with strobes the proof image and the histogram together are better than the strobe meters were. If you are working with film a meter still has some application. This meter used the PX-13 battery which is hard to get.
Thanks,


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9/4/2010 1:34:16 PM

 
Lynsey Lund
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/14/2005
  Thanks John. I found a manual online finally for a newer version of the flash...so hopefully that will help with figuring out the settings. My parents picked up some hotshoe attachments to get it off camera, but I'm wondering once its off camera what do I do with it? Do I need a frame thing to attach it to my camera? Is there I way I can set it up on my xtra tripod? (I saw that done once and it was great). I hope I can get a charger/power supply for it, it seems to have gotten lost over the years.

Thanks for the info on the light meter too, I will just add it to the collection because its fun and stick with my in-camera metering :)


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9/4/2010 3:31:01 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Lynsey,
There are difficulties in syncing this strobe to a camera that uses dedicated flash. The big problem is that with a standard slave the strobe will go off too soon because the dedicated strobe uses a pre-flash for exposure and focus. One type of unit will ignore the pre-flash, but is too expensive. Alternatively, you can use an inexpensive radio slave from eBay, but you will have to plug the sender into the pc socket (there is a cord for this) if you want to use it with a dedicated flash. If you want to use just this unit, the radio slave would be fine. Here is a link to an article on strobe sync: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine/zpdf/sync.pdf By the way, it normally uses just regular AA batteries.
Thanks,


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9/5/2010 9:11:37 PM

 
Kathy Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
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  Lyndsey - I was thrilled to discover that my Dad's old Vivitar from his Minolta worked on my Rebel XT. Luckily, while searching for an online manual, I discovered a number of warnings that you could ruin your dSLR by using the old flash units (has to do with the sync info that John writes about.) I was too scared to continue to try using it after reading all the warnings.


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9/14/2010 12:13:51 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Kathy,
You could use your Vivitar off camera with a radio slave, no worries about sync voltage there. There are cheap radio slaves at eBay.
Thanks, John Siskin


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9/14/2010 9:38:22 PM

 
Kathy Wesserling
BetterPhoto Member Since: 4/21/2005
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Kathy's Gallery
  Thanks, John. I missed the tech-info you posted above about the slave unit - not realizing it would prevent possible frying.

My sweet sister and her husband gave me a 580 EX II for Christmas. My 17-year niece then latched on to all of Dad's camera gear and dove into film photography.

I wish all my problems were so easily solved. However, I'm passing the info to my sister, who does not have a flash unit for her Rebel XTi.


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9/14/2010 9:50:27 PM

 
John H. Siskin
BetterPhoto Member
John-Siskin.com
John's Photo Courses:
4-Week Short Course: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting
4-Week Short Course: Getting Started in Commercial Photography
4-Week Short Course: Portrait Photography Lighting on Location and in the Studio
  Hi Kathy,
The 580 is an excellent item. This attachment can help: www.siskinphoto.com/magazine/zpdf/bootylight.pdf I have an article in the current issue of Photo Technique magazine that discusses how the power in the 580 and similar strobes compares to studio units. Thanks, John Siskin


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9/14/2010 10:26:52 PM

 
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