R8 and Studio Flash

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Hello to All,

For the first time, I will be using my R8 with a studio flash system. Since I purchased my R8 used I do not have the instruction manual and would like to know what technique(s) you might recommend.

For example:

1. Can I use a standard sync cord in the X contact without worry of damage to the camera electronics?

2. If I can use a sync cord, what modes/settings should I operate the camera?

3. Will the R8 sync at either shutter curtain settings?

4. Any other questions I forgot to ask.

The studio equipment I will be using is an Elinchrome Studio Strobe set wihh approximately 2000-watt/sec power.

Many thanks!

-- Scott G (PFD261@hotmail.com), April 15, 2002


You'd not be bad off using on of the Wein or Paramount cords that have low voltage conversion circuits. Even for mechanical contact shutters, why put 300-400 volts (and arcing) on the contacts?

-- Charles (cbarcellona@telocity.com), April 15, 2002.

Don't feel badly you didn't get an owner's manual (it's not very helpful for your questions) but Leica NJ will gladly send you one for the asking.

Yes you can use a standard sync cord and not to worry about frying the electronics as long as you use the PC socket. Voltage problems with old shoe-mount flashes can even be circumvented by using a PC cord instead of the hot shoe.

Use whatever mode you want for shooting. The "f" mode turns the R8 into a TTL flashmeter, but you can't shoot in "f" mode. Set the camera to "f" and press the DOF preview tab while pointing the central finder circle at whatever you want metered. The flash will fire and on the rear panel LCD you will see a readout in + or - however many stops off the reading was. Then change exposure settings by that many stops to arrive at the correct exposure, switch to a shooting mode and take the shot.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), April 15, 2002.

@Jay Are you sure you can't shoot in "f" mode? I do it.

-- Markus Tschan (tschan@web.de), April 16, 2002.

I never thought to try. I suppose it's just like manual mode, it probably fires at whatever shutter speed is set. I normally use A mode with non-TTL flash so that the camera sets slow speeds according to the ambient light...something impossible with an SCA TTL flash in A mode on the R8, which defaults to 1/250. One place where Canon and Nikon bodies are more flexible.

-- Jay (infinitydt@aol.com), April 16, 2002.

According to the owner's manual, some versions of the R-8 were sensitive to flash triggering voltage. I believe the limitation was about 24 Volts. I was concerned about this limitation on using some older flash units so I contacted Leica directly via e-mail. After providing the serial numbers from my R-8s, I was informed that the R- 8s which I owned had been upgraded to withstand 500 volts DC of triggering voltage. I'd recommend that you measure the triggering voltage of your studio flashes as well as contact Leica to be safe. Triggering voltage wasn't such an issue in pre-microprocessor cameras. In fact, some older Vivitar and Sunpaks had triggering voltages in excess of 500 volts DC. Even though the amperage was very small. Good luck.

-- Barbano (joseph.barbano@symmetron.com), April 17, 2002.

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