Non-dedicated flash : LUSENET : Konica 35mm SLRs : One Thread

I recently purchased a FS-1 and several lenses. I also purchased a x24 dedicated flash. So far, I am thrilled with the system. My only complaint is that I don't like the loss of control associated with the dedicated flash. I REALLY want to set shutter speed myself. I have a vivitar 2600 flash and was thinking about trying to use it on my system. However, I have seen comments suggesting that non-dedicated flashes can cause problems for the FS-1. The vivitar seems like it would fit into the hot shoe. Any advice as to whether or not this flash would be problematic and, if so, what might be a good non-dedicated flash to consider? Thanks! Steve S.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000


Non-Dedicated Flash

Recently, Popular Photography ran a story on this subject. The bottom line is that older electronic flash units may have a voltage potential of 100 volts or more at the conatcts. This may be too much for certain modern electronic cameras.

There are many newer units with lower voltages in the 12v range.

While Konicas were not mentioned specifically, There has been enough written here, and elsewhere, about the somewhat delicate nature of their electronics, that I use only Konica dedicated flashes. That's only because I don't have a modern non-dedicated one. I am planning to buy a high-powered unit in the future, and will probably get a Sunpak unit that can work either way...


-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Re: Non-dedicated flash

Just wanted to add an update to my previous posting in which I reported that my 1978 vintage Vivitar 283 had an extremely high trigger voltage (measured 240 VDC; 540 VAC at the hot shoe contacts) creating compatibility concerns with my FT-1. I too was looking for a more powerful flash unit than the X24 and the ability to use more than one shutter speed when using the flash.

I can report that I recently purchased a new Vivitar 285HV. Before purchase, I measured the voltage across the hot shoe (to the puzzlement of the sales clerk), and found it to be about 12 volts - much safer! So far, it is working beautifully with the FT-1. While I'm not familar with the Vivitar 2600, if it is relatively new it should have a low voltage trigger circuit like the newer 283/285 models. Just to be sure, it's worth making a quick check with a voltage meter before using the flash. I seen some posts suggesting that the old high trigger voltage flashes are ok as long as you don't put the flash in the hot shoe (i.e. use the PC cord); I don't believe you should risk using these flashes with an electronic camera - period.

BTW - I've learned a lot from the posts in this forum, and one of the most useful pieces of info has been the maximum sync speed on the electronic Konica's (FS1,FC1,FT1). I have read in various posts that these cameras will sync with flash up to 1/125 second - in spite of the fact that the camera manual and shutter speed dial recommends 1/60 for non-dedicated flash units. I have tested this and 1/125 works! If you plan doing action shots or using the flash for outdoor fill flash, having the option of 1/125 is a great asset ...

-- Anonymous, March 10, 2000

Re: Non-dedicated flash

Steve, James, Gerald, All good questions and answers, guys. I thank Gerald for his tedious tests for the rest of us lazy-bones regarding trigger voltages at the point of hot-shoe contact. Although I was very aware of the problem since the FS-1 was introduced, it took a fried body to get the point across. Take his word that the voltages are way too high for electronic cameras. The after-market suppliers have taken the hint (finally) and are supplying more camera-friendly flashes, but it would be impossible to tell a newer unit from an older one unless you test like Gerald did. My advice would be to use the PC cord like James said. It will not affect anything but the convenience factor. One other point to be aware of is the size of the unit used in the hot shoes of the (late) F's. Although rather robust enough, having the prism tear off because the flash was too large and heavy is not the most inspiring event. Of course, none of this is to be worried about with the old T's and A's. They are bloody tanks and can take unbelievable stresses and virtually required the high trigger voltages through the hot-shoe. If a flash unit is really to be recommended, I give the Vivitar 283/285HV and most Sunpak units the nod. Although they tend to make the use of a flash bracket almost mandatory, this is not necessarily a bad thing. For most people shots the flash needs to be away from the lens and off to an angle, anyway to avoid the dreaded red-eye malady and to reduce the chance of reflective material in the shot from bouncing the light right back into the lens and causing bright hot spots and/or flare.

Jon from Deepinaharta, Georgia

-- Anonymous, March 11, 2000

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