Need basic info on FS-1 : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread

After stealing my dad's Autoreflex T for a number of years, I am now stealing his FS-1. My father-in-law cleaned the battery connections and I put in almost new batteries. It still indicates low voltage. I know Dad had problems with this, and supposively it was fixed. Any ideas.

The flash that was 'stolen' along with it is a Thyristor Topman 230B. I know nothing about flash photography! Do I have to set the aperature manually according to the charts on the back of the flash? Does it know what shutter speed I'm using, or does it automatically use 1/100? What if I set the aperature to what the light meter reads? (Does the light meter know I'm using a flash?).

The first roll of film I tested resulted in a lot of pictures with the top 1/3 being almost or totally black. Most other pictures were over exposed, even though I had the shutter set for 1/250 or 1/500, but the aperature on EE. Any ideas? (Non flash pictures were decent though).

How can I use the flash as a 'fill in flash' like on my compact camera?

I've spent 4-1/2 years using the Autoreflex T without a flash and got pretty good at it. Now I feel like a beginner again!! I particularly want to use this camera for candid children portraits, and I don't want to have to drag the kids outside on cold winter days!


-- Anonymous, December 21, 1999


Re: Need basic info on FS-1

Tracy, Oy vey, so many questions!! Well, can't learn without asking. As far as the low voltage warning goes, I have 2 FS-1's and both have the same problem. Evidently, the alkalines recommended for the camera just don't have the "juice" required for the job of running it. The only "cure" I found was to use lithium AA's. They last a heckuva lot longer without the annoying blinking diodes. As far as being fixed, I don't believe this is basically fixable. Now, as to the flash, yes, you do have to set the aperture manually, to the f/stop indicated by the flash unit for the distances you think you will be shooting over. And, no, it does not know what shutter speed is being employed by the camera. On your T the synch speed is 1/125th sec. or slower. On the FS-1, with a non-dedicated flash such as yours the shutter speed should be set at 1/60th or slower. The dedicated Konica units like the X-24 set the shutter speed automatically to 1/100 sec. The reason your exposures were coming out with the top 1/3 being black was that the shutter speed was set too high, and didn't synch with the flash light. Using the flash as a fill light is a little more complicated to explain in this forum. If you would like, you can e-mail me for an explaination of the procedure. One warning I will give you about using the flash in the hot shoe: back when this model was introduced, there was evidence that using a non-dedicated flash in the newer cameras of the era could and did fry the cameras' CPUs. I fried one of my FS-1s in this manner. It didn't happen right away, but took about a week to finally bite the dust. Which, as you can imagine, really ticked me off, especially since I thought that mine was impervious to the phenomenon because I got away with it before. Hope I was of some help.

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

-- Anonymous, December 21, 1999

Using non-dedicated Flash in the Hot Shoe of FS-1

In a previous response to several questions about using the FS-1 you mentioned that using a flash unit in the hot shoe that is not dedicated for the FS-1 may fry the CPU. I recently purchased a non-dedicated Vivitar 283 flash and have used it in the hot shoe mode (maybe 20 pictures). If this is going to cause damage should I have seen it by now or will it have a tendancy to occur over a long period of use. And, if I shouldn't use a non-dedicated flash unit in the hot shoe what are my alternatives for using this flash unit with my camera.

-- Anonymous, January 29, 2000

Non-dedicated flash in FS-1 hotshoe

Jim, I would hesitate to say it, but I believe you are quite safe using the Vivitar 283. This unit seems to be okay with virtually any camera it is used with. Why? Dunno, except perhaps it's because it is very old-tech in nature and well-engineered and built. I think part of the problem with electronic cameras and non-dedicated flashes stems partly from residual voltage or perhaps too much triggering voltage passing from the flash to the hot shoe. The Vivitar seems to be impervious to such nonsense. It has been used by almost everybody at one time or another electronic camera or no, with no ill effects that I know of. Having said that, I must, however, caution you about the weight of the unit sitting on the top of the prism which, while sturdy enough for a small unit or even a mid-sized one like the X-24, is, after all, only fibre-impregnated resin. In other words, plastic. The 283's foot is notorious for breaking off and the weight is partly to blame as is it's high off-balance profile. So imagine what is happening to the prism housing. I don't use the hot shoe primarily because of the electronic problem already discussed, but also because I like using an old Sunpak 411 that handles better on a grip/bracket. My suggestion is to use a bracket instead of the hot shoe with the 283, as you will find it easier to use and safer from being snagged and dragged off the prism housing, possibly breaking both.

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

-- Anonymous, January 29, 2000

Non-dedicated flash units

Wanted to add my two cents to the "killer flash" debate. I have a 1978 vintage Vivitar 283 which I have owned since new. My Vivitar continues to function perfectly with the Konica T4 which I also purchased new in 1978. I recently bought a Konica FT-1 with an X24 flash, and would like to have the option of using the 283 with the FT-1 when I need the higher light output of the Vivitar (guide number 120 versus 80 for the X24 with 100 ASA). Reading the warnings about mixing older flashes with newer electronic cameras in this and other forums peaked my interest for two reasons:

1) I have, on a couple of occasions, received a large electric shock through the PC terminal on the side of my T4 when the hot shoe mounted Vivitar discharged. I try to remember to keep the plastic plug in this terminal now! 2) A number of years ago, I purchased a third party flash slave for the Vivitar, which worked only briefly (about five flashes) before giving up the ghost. My friendly photo store expert then sold me a "special" Vivitar SL2 slave, which continues to work fine with the 283.

I decided to get out my multimeter to measure the voltage across the hot shoe of my vintage 283 versus the voltage across the shoe of the X24 when the capacitor of each was fully charged and ready to flash. As I didn't know whether to expect an AC voltage or a DC voltage here (I'm not an electrical engineer!) I measured both AC and DC. Here is what I found:

Konica X24 flash

DC measurement - 8.5 volts AC measurement - 15 volts

1978 Vivitar 283 flash

DC measurement - 240 volts AC measurement - 540 volts!

While I don't know enough about cameras or electronics to say that old flashes will damage your newer camera, I think there is cause for concern. Or maybe my Vivitar is trying to kill me. Anyway, I have been told that newer flashes (including the Vivitar 283) have revised circuitry to lower the trigger voltage to "safe" levels for electronic cameras. Does anybody know any more on this? What about the Vivitar 285HV I've been thinking about?

-- Anonymous, February 03, 2000

Non-Dedicated Flash

Gerald, The 285HV should be no more of a problem than the 283. They are essentially the same flash with a few differences and refinements. They both have been around for ages, photographically speaking. I, too, have read that the voltages were toned down, but still have a hard time psychologically with sticking one in the hot shoe. Now, the PC connector would be a different matter. The circuit is the same as has been manufactured for decades, so ya can't go wrong there. I have had the same experience as you vis-a-vis getting "tickled" by the trigger voltage when I left the caps off the PC connectors on my T-3 and TC. I foolishly touched the connectors while in the process of taking flash photos through the hot shoe. Wow! What a rush!! Dropped the damn camera and all. Fortunately, I always use the camera strap as a wrist strap when taking flash shots, so it wasn't a complete fiasco. Lastly, I would be willing to bet that the slave you first used was a Wein type. I used them many, many years ago when they were de rigeur for aspiring pros. Fortunately, I never became a pro, therefore, I didn't feel the need or compulsion to keep on using them. They, for the most part, worked beautifully for a while, then gave up the ghost. I never bothered to figure out what happened, as I was not particularly sophisticated enough to wonder on such things, back then. Now, of course, I could name a dozen different reasons for their failure.

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

-- Anonymous, February 07, 2000

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