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07-30-2011, 11:57 AM   #1
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Need hotshoe flash advice

I have an old Minolta Auto 200X flash. It works great and has the clip on diffuser for the flash lens. My question is that I have absolutely no idea what the settings on the back mean and how to use them. Can anyone give me a hand. I was not able to find a manual or anything like that. (Sorry, picture was with my Blackberry)

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07-30-2011, 12:09 PM   #2
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This flash has two manual settings (probably full and 1/2), and a couple of auto settings depicted by the red and yellow indicators. If you're certain this flash is voltage safe for hotshoe use on your dSLR (check its trigger voltage rating), then you can use the flash in either mode.

As pictured, the red auto mode would permit a good exposure for an aperture of f/5.6 using ISO 400, the yellow, f/11. But there is a fair amount of background knowledge required to appreciate what this means, so I'd suggest starting off with some reading:

What is a manual flash? -
Using External Flashes in the Manual (M) Mode
How to use Manual Flash by ~Tiberius47 on deviantART
07-30-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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With the flash on and charged ready to fire, check (or have checked) the DC voltage between the center contact on the bottom of the shoe and the little metal contact on the side (just directly above the shoe). Reported safe voltages are up to something like 16 volts (I don't have a hard fast fact for that number) but I tend to stay away from shoe mounting units that go into double digits on the voltage.

As Ash has mentioned, Set your camera to the Auto readings you see, taking distance into account, and fire away. Note that that is Total distance. So if you are using a flash that you are Bouncing the light off of the ceiling, for instance, be sure to guestimate the total distance the light must travel from the flash to your subject. Also note that those numbers are typically for a 50mm lens, the Normal lens on a 35mm SLR so you may have to adjust if using something different.

Beyond that, the camera will not control the flash at all, with any lens. It will only trigger the flash (unless it is a TTL flash and you have a camera capable of using it).

Good luck.
07-30-2011, 04:08 PM   #4
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Yellow and Red settings

The blue and black dial is for Manual mode of the flash at Lo (w) or Hi(gh) power. Ash already explained them.
Now the auto settings:
Basically, the two colours are the settings for auto-power of the flash
The current combinations are for film with speed of 400 ASA or ISO
Yellow: For the aperture of 11, the flash will give you good pics from 0.7 meter to 3 meters.
Red: aperture 5.6, from 1 meter to 7 meters.
If you rotate the dials, they’ll give you different combinations
Those flashes were made for film cameras, but if the trigger voltage is safe for your digital SLR, you still can use them, but in manual mode only, with the shutter speed of your camera to the flash sync speed or 60.

07-31-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for all the information guys. Ill pull out the multimeter and check the voltage. I really dont ever use the flash but I have been taking a lot of macro lately and I think this one, in the yellow setting with the diffuser on it might work a little better than the flip up flash on my ist ds. I also use my P30T and ZX30 quite a bit so itll be for both film and digital.
07-31-2011, 08:26 PM   #6
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The flash is OK from this:
Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages
Scroll down to find your flash.
08-01-2011, 02:52 PM   #7
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Awesome. Thanks for this. So, what settings should I have it on for macro?

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