Using 199A with Other Cameras : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

Folks, I recently picked up a 199A strobe for use with my AE1-P; it was a good price, and it works well, but I have a question. Can I use this strobe with other non-A-series bodies, like my F1 original or Canonet? The hot shoes on these cameras will short out the extra pins that provide signalling to the A-series bodies; will this damage the strobe? Are there other issues I should be aware of?

Thanks in advance!

-- Michael Bechtold (, April 01, 2001


I would put a piece of tape over either the contacts or the hot show where the contacts touch. Other than that, it should work similar to a Vivitar 283/285.

BTW putting a 199A on a Canonet is going to look VERY strange.

-- Terry Carraway (, April 01, 2001.

According to the T90 repair manual, one pin sends a small voltage/current to the camera to tell it what aperture to use - about 1.2 V. The other is a resistor to ground to tell the camera the flash is ready & set sync speed. I'm pretty sure that the designers would not have designed anything that could be damaged easily. I can't comment on the design of the other two cameras. I'd suspect they're quite tough though as I don't believe they have any sensitive electronics inside (unlike a T90 say).

I have lent a vivitar flash to a friend for use on his old minolta. The flash had the extra pins and body did not. Even though they were shorted to ground there was no damage. Now, I would not say this was an endorsment of the method but in this limited case I got away with it.

I agree with Terry. Putting some tape on the the two extra contacts should prevent any problems. I might suggest putting the tape sticky side to the camera because you don't want the adhesive to get on and alongside the pins on the flash. A thin plastic sheet without adhesive might be better - like the stuff from shirt packaging. Just cut it to shape and slide it into the hot shoe first.



-- Duane K (, April 02, 2001.

Michael, your question aroused my curiosity. I measured a 199A with my DMM just now. The left contact as you look at the rear of the flash seems to be the aperture signaling pin. Its voltage ranges from 0.41V (f/32 at ISO 800) to 0.78V (f/4 at ISO 25). The right hand contact showed a constant 0.11V when the power switch was on. The sync contact reads 4.25V. All three pins are positive with respect to the spring contact in the foot. I'd guess that Terry and Duane are right, probably no damage, but their insulating suggestions are good ones.

-- Alan Swartz (, April 02, 2001.

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