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10-08-2013, 05:58 PM   #1
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Vivitar 365 Flash on K-5?

Hi,

I can get my hands on a Vivitar 365 flash for~$10. As far as I could find out, it has 46V trigger voltage (Edit: other source says 55V).
Would I risk my K-5 at that voltage?

I could put a wireless trigger in between or use it with my film cameras...


regards
Jan

10-08-2013, 06:14 PM   #2
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Wireless trigger would be your best bet, the highest voltage I feel comfortable with is 24V, but some don't like anything above 12V. It would be best to test it though, they may have made a different version with a lower voltage.

Also, a film camera like your Super A has an electronic flash circuit as well, since it has TTL. The ME Super should be fine though.
10-08-2013, 06:26 PM   #3
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There are differing anecdotal, first hand reports right here on PF, about DSLRs either getting fried, or working fine for thousands of pictures. I'm not going to tell you what to do because that will just start another argument between one guy who says "it still working fine for me", vs. another guy who said "mine died". Given the evidence, you have to make your own decision.

The official Pentax response (per the US website) is that all Pentax DSLRs are safe to use with Pentax-branded flashes. As far as I know, all Pentax branded flashes are under 6 volts (or something like that, i.e., not "high"). So their statement isn't too helpful.
10-08-2013, 06:32 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I'll test it on the ME Super and see how it goes from there.

10-09-2013, 04:49 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Boris_Akunin Quote
I'll test it on the ME Super and see how it goes from there.
I would strongly advise against using that flash with the K-5 or any Pentax DSLR.

Testing it on a film camera won't tell you if it's safe or not for a DSLR. It'll only tell you if the flash is working ok. Film cameras typically have a much higher "safe" trigger voltage threshold than DSLRs. If your flash has a 46v trigger voltage, that's waaaaaay above the safety zone for a Pentax DSLR. At 46v, it might even be too high for most wireless radio triggers. You safely could use it with an optical trigger though.

The maximum trigger voltage for Pentax DSLRs is 24 volts, but I personally wouldn't go above 12v.

If you really want to use it on your DSLR, you need one of these to avoid frying your camera. $50 is a small price to pay to avoid frying your K-5.

Otherwise, there are a lot of good, cheap, used flash units that are safe to use on your DSLR. One is the Sunpak 422D. It has a trigger voltage of 6v, and you can pick them up for under $30. (I've bought them for as little as $6. ) The other models in that series (433D, 444D) are also ok. The Vivitar 285HV is DSLR friendly, too. Some of the old Vivitar 285's are too, but some aren't... Unless you want to check it with a multitester, I'd stick with the newer "HV" version if you go with Vivitar.

Here's a pretty comprehensive list of flash trigger voltages.

Some might use high trigger voltage flash on their DSLR for awhile, but at the very least it can shorten the life of the main board in the camera, which is an expensive fix. Besides, everything works... until it doesn't.

Cheers & good luck.
Bob :-)

Last edited by GibbyTheMole; 10-09-2013 at 04:59 AM.
10-09-2013, 05:57 AM   #6
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I am not going to use old flashes on the dslrs any more
Recently I caused an Olympus E_PL1 camera to fail, using an old Pentax AF16 which has a trigger voltage of 5 volt
It was either when I pulled the flash off the hotshoe with the flash switched on, or when I pressed the test button doing so.

The flash voltage measured with a multimeter is not the full story, there are transient overvoltages when the flash fires, or when the contact is opened during removal from hotshoe.
I measured a transient but my old oscilloscope is too slow, i need to borrow a storage scope to check the flashes here.
In the meantime I will just use the AF360.
10-09-2013, 07:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
I am not going to use old flashes on the dslrs any more
Recently I caused an Olympus E_PL1 camera to fail, using an old Pentax AF16 which has a trigger voltage of 5 volt
It was either when I pulled the flash off the hotshoe with the flash switched on, or when I pressed the test button doing so.
Interesting... Wouldn't that also be possible with a newer flash?

10-09-2013, 07:38 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Testing it on a film camera won't tell you if it's safe or not for a DSLR. It'll only tell you if the flash is working ok. Film cameras typically have a much higher "safe" trigger voltage threshold than DSLRs. If your flash has a 46v trigger voltage, that's waaaaaay above the safety zone for a Pentax DSLR. At 46v, it might even be too high for most wireless radio triggers.
I only want to test it on the ME Super to see if everything works and if I like the handling. At most I'll riska cheep wireless trigger, not my K-5

regards
Jan
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