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01-20-2012, 10:19 AM   #1
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Using a Vivitar flash 3500 on a K5

Can it be done or will it fry the camera? The manual says (K5) "flashes with reversed polarity on the hot shoe cannot be used" How do I determine if the polarity is + or - on the flash unit? Don't have the manual.

01-20-2012, 10:50 AM   #2
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I believe this flash will work. I have a 5600 that works great and was made about the same time. To test, you will need a digital multimeter. Set the meter to volts dc, then, with the flash charged, put the positive cable on the center terminal and the negative on the side of the shoe. If the reading is negative, it is reverse polarity! A reading around +6V or less should be perfectly safe; a higher reading may be a problem, or maybe not. I'd feel safe with anything under 12V on mine as modern electronics can typically operate at 12V safely, but older flashes might be over 50 or 100 volts and this would clearly be a problem. Lastly, I'm no expert, so maybe you shouldn't listen....
01-20-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
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The 3500 is a great little flash. I used to have one and used it with my K10D and K7.

This thread is about the 5600, a big brother of the 3500, made in the same era.
01-21-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
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This website shows the measured trigger voltages for many old flashes. The 3500 appears to max out at 9 volts.

Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

This website shows you how to measure the trigger voltage and lists some of the maximum voltages recommended by the camera manufacturers. It seems that the K series DSLR from Pentax are good up to 25 volts.

DPanswers: Checking trigger voltage

Normal disclaimer: This information is web based and therefore; as reliable as any other web based information.

Tim

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