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12-17-2010, 09:36 PM   #1
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K20d

Greetings,

I own a K20D and wrote to Pentax to obtain max or ballpark voltage for the pc sync when using studio strobes.

The answer I received was to purchse a wein sync. I wrote back and got no response.

I bought this model to use the pc sync and of course, this was a major desicion to go with the Pentax K20D for this feature.

I would like to contact someone else directly at Pentax and get a better response than to not use the camera as it was designed.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I do not mean to be negative on my first post - this is a matter of my having to rent Nikon to do portrait work gratis - instead of using the K20D.
I want to know who to contact at Pentax if someone could fill me in.

Many thanks.

12-17-2010, 10:00 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by oldlens Quote
Greetings,

I own a K20D and wrote to Pentax to obtain max or ballpark voltage for the pc sync when using studio strobes.

The answer I received was to purchse a wein sync. I wrote back and got no response.

I bought this model to use the pc sync and of course, this was a major desicion to go with the Pentax K20D for this feature.

I would like to contact someone else directly at Pentax and get a better response than to not use the camera as it was designed.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I do not mean to be negative on my first post - this is a matter of my having to rent Nikon to do portrait work gratis - instead of using the K20D.
I want to know who to contact at Pentax if someone could fill me in.

Many thanks.
I don't think any manufacturer has released the exact voltage the camera will take, but rumor has it that anything under 30v is safe.
12-17-2010, 10:33 PM   #3
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Yes and thanks for your response. 30 volts seems very low for the sync socket.

Forgot to mention I have read this forum and looked at links before I joined today, I know there is information here but there is nothing from Pentax.

My concern is getting info from Pentax on why then is there is a pc sync at all on the K20D. Maybe I missed something in the literature pre-sale why its is there - why is there a pc sync and what is its intended use. I see nothing that states it is not to be used with studio or locations strobes but maybe I missed it.

I can't risk rumor. Pentax will not give me any information other than to tell me to buy a hotshoe sync which leaves me without use of the shoe and then I cannot use a flash on camera to augment the strobes.

I need a contact at Pentax to help me out with technical questions. There has to have been testing and a max ballpark voltage so people do not ruin their camera by using the socket for what it is normally intended.

Thanks, maybe there is more info or a contact name I can call? I don't want to moan about this, just trying to be clear.
12-17-2010, 11:08 PM   #4
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And others are more conservative and say 10V.
Welcome to the forum.

12-18-2010, 08:22 AM   #5
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I know that the answer that you got from Pentax is not satisfying. But you can turn the question around and ask the manufacturer of your studio strobes if they are safe for digital or what the trigger voltage is.

PS
With nowadays computer electronics, 30V is nearly high voltage Just to make sure, don't take this serious
12-18-2010, 09:38 AM   #6
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I'd only use the PC Sync port if I wanted to fire multiple wireless flash triggers at the same time, or fire it w/ a hotshoe mounted flash.
Once you've tried wireless, you won't go back...seriously. And if you've ever done wireless manual remote power control, you won't either. Look at the Radiopopper JrX Studios paired w/ AB/WL strobes or their Cybercommander system...
12-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #7
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I use a radio trigger (cactus V4) connected to the pc sinc if I want to have a flash mounted on the hot-shoe, while still using off camera flash or studio lights, but mostly just pop the trigger on the hot-shoe .. never had any problems with this..
12-18-2010, 11:45 AM   #8
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Breakout your multimeter and measure the trigger voltage for the setup, while firing it manually. I have always limited the trigger voltage to 10 volts or less on digital cameras. They are controlled by an IC circuit instead of a mechanical switch and can't handle high voltage spikes. I love the PC connector on my K20D for use with manual flashes on a bracket. If the trigger voltage is to high, get one of those isolation PC adapters. It is much cheaper then the rent for equipment. Just my two cents.

Dave

12-18-2010, 12:00 PM   #9
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Look, I do not know the exact triggering voltage of my Multiblitz 3200 Joules studio generators, "...frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn...", but I do know that the K 20d has no problem triggering them via the PC plug.
I do not recall that Pentax wrote about voltage limitations in the user manual, correct me if I am wrong...
12-18-2010, 01:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by philippe Quote
I do not recall that Pentax wrote about voltage limitations in the user manual, correct me if I am wrong...
The K20D manuall simply states "the use of high-voltage or high-current external flashes may cause a camera breakdown".

Not too specific!

If you use multiple external flashes, is the trigger voltage addative? Reason for asking is what the manual says about using multiple flashes - "Combining two or more external flashes........." Doesn't mention an upper limit??? 5 flashes - 10 flashes - whatever?????
12-18-2010, 06:25 PM   #11
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Right - what is the amount of high voltage and what is high current. I want to fire one Super Bo-Lite and the second, third or fourth will fire from its slave. I have seen the voltage for this light in a link in one of the posts here.

The pc sync socket is why I bought this camera. None of my research showed anything that this bodys pc sync would not fire one monolight strobe.

If I add a hot shoe flash to the strobes ..... then what? I have to change my lighting I have used for decades? I don't think so.

My studio lighting requires 90 percent of the time the strobes only ( no extra light from a hot shoe mounted flash - even reduced output creates enormous lighting problems ). Of course I want to use the pc sync socket.

I have been using Pentax since 1975 in 35mm. Bronica in med format, own 4x5, 5x7 and have used 8x10. I used early Nikon digitals in medical photography work.

I purchased two lens after I bought the Pentax K20D for this body.

Pentax has sold me a camera I cannot use as expected.

I want Pentax to test it and tell us the voltage - I think they know. Perhaps these are defective, as something is very wrong when a company keeps this info under wraps.

Pentax should spring for the Wein sync units they recommend to use instead of the pc sync socket.

Thanks everyone for your responses and welcomes.
12-18-2010, 07:44 PM - 1 Like   #12
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For what it's worth, there's a safe sync model which can be used inline with the pc port:

Wein SSPC Safe-Sync 990-515 B&H Photo Video

And here's what claims to be a list of sync voltages for various pieces of lighting gear
Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages
12-19-2010, 10:21 AM   #13
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Good affordable solution for now - thank you cpopham, I spoke with B & H after seeing your post.
I am an active shooter, up and down. Any ideas on how I might secure this so it does not flop around, something not to sticky.
12-19-2010, 11:00 AM   #14
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I use the inexpensive Flashpoint wirless from Adorama. I can fire all of my 4 White Lightnings with ease. Highly suggest it.
12-19-2010, 03:12 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by oldlens Quote
Greetings,

I own a K20D and wrote to Pentax to obtain max or ballpark voltage for the pc sync when using studio strobes.

The answer I received was to purchse a wein sync. I wrote back and got no response.

I bought this model to use the pc sync and of course, this was a major desicion to go with the Pentax K20D for this feature.

I would like to contact someone else directly at Pentax and get a better response than to not use the camera as it was designed.

Has anyone else had this experience?

I do not mean to be negative on my first post - this is a matter of my having to rent Nikon to do portrait work gratis - instead of using the K20D.
I want to know who to contact at Pentax if someone could fill me in.

Many thanks.
It is a standard PC sync that works with all Pro Strobe Units. Plug it in and shoot. That is what it is for. I have used it with Balcar, Multiblitz, Profot, Elincrom...No problem.
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