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08-04-2015, 08:02 AM   #1
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Using an older flash

Hi
I bought a job lot of camera gear from a local auction. I didn't take much time looking at it when I viewed it as I was in a rush to go somewhere else. Anyway I left instructions with the auctioneer to go as far as 20.00. I won it for 8.50. When I picked it up and took it home I found one 2x teleconverter, and three lenses in mint condition all chinon but all mint. I got a 50mm prime f1/9 a 28mm prime f2/8 and a 75-200 f/4. I also got a dozen or so of cokin filters complete with holders etc. There was also Miranda carrying bag also as new. I found an old flash/speedlight which has one main flash and a smaller one on the front. It's a Miranda 930 TCD and yeh that right mint condition etc etc. I'm afraid of putting it on either my K20D or my K30 before I can find out if it will damage either of them. Has anyone got any advice on this flash?
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.

08-04-2015, 08:24 AM   #2
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The trigger voltage for that flash is listed as 6.5V here: Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

So you SHOULD be fine using it with either of those cameras. But personally I'd want to doublecheck the trigger voltage and polarity with my own meter first to make sure. And even then I'd use my safe sync. It's your call. . . personally I'd want the trigger voltage to be below 3V to go without a safe sync.

Last edited by Dartmoor Dave; 08-04-2015 at 08:36 AM.
08-04-2015, 08:48 AM   #3
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Nice haul!

That is a nice bunch of gear. The Chinon lenses were manufactured by Tomioka, and are among the best film era lenses available in K mount. Any one of the the two prime lenses sell for more than you paid for the entire kit.

As for the flash, I agree with Dartmoor Dave's advice. I use almost entirely old film era flash units. However, I bought a couple of those voltage protectors that you fit into the hot shoe. They have another hot shoe on top into which you fit the flash unit. Old flash units usually do not have TTL or PTL modes, so you will want to use them manually. My approach is to set my digital camera shutter speed at 1/160 or thereabouts and aperture at 8.0 with minimum ISO setting for the camera. Begin taking photos with flash power at one-half of maximum output and chimp up or down to get the exposure right. From then on, I just use the setup with no changes unless ambient light increases to the point that the aperture or shutter speed needs to be decreased in consideration of the increased light you are dealing with. I have used my K-20 this way, and it works like a charm.

Good luck and happy shooting!
08-04-2015, 08:48 AM   #4
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I have a Vivitar 285 HV that I bought new about 25 years ago. Great flash....powerful, reliable, used in everything from my Leica film rangefinder...to my Mamiya medium format film system ..to my Pentax film system.

But I didn't use it on digital stuff, for fear of frying my digital equipment. As the other guy said your call. If it was me, no, I wouldn't try it.

Instead, I bought a Pentax 360 flash for my digital Pentax equipment and a Canon 430 EX ll flash for my Canon digital camera. No problems with these modern digital flash guns and no worries.

You can probably pickup a used, modern Pentax flash for digital cameras...used...for little money.

08-04-2015, 10:30 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lesmore49 Quote
I have a Vivitar 285 HV that I bought new about 25 years ago. Great flash....powerful, reliable, used in everything from my Leica film rangefinder...to my Mamiya medium format film system ..to my Pentax film system.

But I didn't use it on digital stuff, for fear of frying my digital equipment. As the other guy said your call. If it was me, no, I wouldn't try it.

Instead, I bought a Pentax 360 flash for my digital Pentax equipment and a Canon 430 EX ll flash for my Canon digital camera. No problems with these modern digital flash guns and no worries.

You can probably pickup a used, modern Pentax flash for digital cameras...used...for little money.
Yeh I think maybe I'll cut my losses and dump this flash, I have a pentax AF540FGZ II that the wife got me form Christmas and a pentax af-200fg so I think that's what I'll do. But thanks guys this is the one place where you can actually get good honest advice for everything Pentax.

---------- Post added 08-04-15 at 10:33 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ivanvernon Quote
That is a nice bunch of gear. The Chinon lenses were manufactured by Tomioka, and are among the best film era lenses available in K mount. Any one of the the two prime lenses sell for more than you paid for the entire kit.

As for the flash, I agree with Dartmoor Dave's advice. I use almost entirely old film era flash units. However, I bought a couple of those voltage protectors that you fit into the hot shoe. They have another hot shoe on top into which you fit the flash unit. Old flash units usually do not have TTL or PTL modes, so you will want to use them manually. My approach is to set my digital camera shutter speed at 1/160 or thereabouts and aperture at 8.0 with minimum ISO setting for the camera. Begin taking photos with flash power at one-half of maximum output and chimp up or down to get the exposure right. From then on, I just use the setup with no changes unless ambient light increases to the point that the aperture or shutter speed needs to be decreased in consideration of the increased light you are dealing with. I have used my K-20 this way, and it works like a charm.

Good luck and happy shooting!
Hi mate thanks for the advice, this old flash has a switch for TTL and three switch position for canon nikon and Pentax but it's centuries old now lol.

Last edited by Evious; 08-04-2015 at 11:04 AM.
08-04-2015, 12:03 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Evious Quote
a 50mm prime f1/9 a 28mm prime f2/8 and a 75-200 f/4
That's a nice little starter kit right there - all the lenses some manual focus cameras ever needed (especially that constant-aperture zoom) plus filters to play with. And the price is a steal!!

I inherited a similar bunch of lenses, flash etc., and I chose to use the flash, but it's a Pentax original. Even if yours has a "Pentax mode" and even if the hotshoe trigger voltage turned out OK (as mine did after being tested by someone who knew what he was doing), I can understand your reluctance to chance it. So yes, sell it on if you're at all nervous and someone with a manual film body that isn't potentially so vulnerable is bound to make good use of it.
08-04-2015, 01:00 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Evious Quote
Hi mate thanks for the advice, this old flash has a switch for TTL and three switch position for canon nikon and Pentax but it's centuries old now lol.
It will probably do "true" TTL using the Pentax analog TTL protocol on supporting Pentax film cameras, but not the digital P-TTL on your dSLRs.


Steve
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