AE-1P Flash Compatibility : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

I recently picked up a pretty clean AE-1 Program to use as a backup body. Is it compatible with the older conventional strobes like the Vivitar 283/285, or do I also need to pick up a Canon strobe from that same series? It has 3 pins on the hot shoe, instead of the 5 on the T-90 with its TTL flash compatibility. The older strobes only need one, and I don't want to fry anything.


-- Mike Bechtold (, June 22, 2000


You can use a later 283/285, but not a really old one. The older ones had high voltage triggers and have been known to fry electronic cameras. You can check this by just using a normal voltmeter across the contacts of the charged flash. Over 6 volts or so can be a problem.

The extra two pins allow the camera and flash to "talk". With a dedicated flash (Canon or thrid party) when a charged flash is attached up get flash ready indications, the shutter speed set to 1/60, and in some cases the aperture set.

Any of the Canon A or T flashes will work on your camera. The 188A was the one "matched" to the AE-1P (if I remember correctly), but the 199A gives a little more capability. The 299T is the top of the T series and I am looking at getting one for my A-1. I currently have a 199A for it.

None of the A series (or T other than the T90) have TTL Flash control, so that is why only 2 extra pins. BTW you can use a T90/EOS off camera flash cord with the A series cameras. Two of the contacts line up with the extra pins, and the other two do no harm.

-- Terry Carraway (, June 23, 2000.

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