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05-28-2010, 06:48 PM   #1
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Fallingwater's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Trieste, Italy
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X-sync and old flash

I'm trying to run an old Nikon flash on my K20D.

Question the first: I know the hotshoe shouldn't be used with high-voltage flashes (mine is 120V), but what about the X-sync socket? I read rumors that it's protected, but nobody seems to know for sure. Has anyone ever killed a camera by using old flashes on the X-sync port?

Question the second: I decided to try anyway, but the flash won't fire. I know the cable is good, because bridging the contact on the camera side with a small screwdriver fires the flash. However, it won't fire when attached to the camera. I tried both in manual and X mode; nothing happens. Where am I going wrong?

05-28-2010, 08:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Bay Village, Ohio USA
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I have a K10D, which doesn't even have the PC socket, just the hotshoe. So, I can't give you a definitive answer.

I remember, when the K20D was announced, that someone from Pentax said that the PC socket was protected from high-voltage flashes. Since then, however, I've never seen any definitive answer to that question.

Perhaps you should send a question to Pentax support and ask them if the PC socket is protected. Don't tell them that you want to use a Nikon flash. They won't answer a question involving non-Pentax equipment. They still may not answer, because I've heard that all Pentax flashes, even the old ones, have low trigger voltages. Since they won't answer about non-Pentax flashes and all Pentax flashes are safe, they may consider it a moot point. But, I'd ask them anyway.

OTOH, while I've heard all the warnings about using high-voltage flashes on modern dslrs, I've never heard a first-hand report of someone actually frying their camera's flash synch circuits. Even so, I won't put my Vivitar 283 on my K10D.
05-29-2010, 03:11 AM   #3
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It might be a polarity issue; mechanical switches don't care but electronic switches do. Cut your PC cable in 2 and swap the wires; you can use an extension PC cord if you don't want to damage the original.

I don't take any responsibility if you fry your camera or flash

PS You can do some research for a Wein Safesync to play it safe.
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