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05-12-2011, 10:37 PM   #1
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flash smell

Is it normal after using a flash to have a kind of burned smell if you take a whiff by the strobe?

05-12-2011, 11:55 PM   #2
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Absolutely abnormal.
05-13-2011, 12:41 AM   #3
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Voltage shorts, electronics inside electrocuting themselves.
05-13-2011, 09:27 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrumPilot Quote
Is it normal after using a flash to have a kind of burned smell if you take a whiff by the strobe?
No it is not.

It may seem slightly off-topic -
I had two Canon compacts that suffered from this - the PowerShot S70 and S80 -
basically what seemed to have happened there was that the flash tube was "burning"/singeing the insides of the flash,
it got so bad that I thought I saw a puff of smoke sometimes.

When I contacted Canon their first advice was to stop using the flash.
.... please think about it -
if it is the on-board flash how close it is to the face/eyes
and how potentially dangerous it could be.

Canon PowerShot S80


Canon PowerShot S70



Last edited by UnknownVT; 05-13-2011 at 09:58 AM.
05-13-2011, 10:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by FrumPilot Quote
Is it normal after using a flash to have a kind of burned smell if you take a whiff by the strobe?
This is indicative of a weak smoke seal (electronic devices run on smoke). Some of the smoke is leaking past the seal.
At some point, the seal will break entirely and will let all the smoke leak out in a rush.
When that happens, the flash will no longer work.
05-13-2011, 10:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
This is indicative of a weak smoke seal (electronic devices run on smoke). Some of the smoke is leaking past the seal.
At some point, the seal will break entirely and will let all the smoke leak out in a rush.
When that happens, the flash will no longer work.
Oh...should we start smoking something (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) so we can blow some smoke back into it?
05-13-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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Thanks for your replies.
I only noticed this smell when trying to test the slave part of the flash. I used the onboard flash to trigger the vivitar's slave. Each time the k-x's flash went off to try to get a auto focus (it was dark), the vivitar's flash went off consecutively. After, I noticed this smell when handling the flash. Also the built in diffuser was over the flash head.
I tried again this morning with a full flash (w/o the diffuser) and you have to put your nose directly over the flash head to smell anything odd.

Nonetheless I called Vivitar customer service and they said I should send it back. They said it would take about 3 to 4 business weeks to send me a new one.
This is unacceptable to me !
They must have been form a foreign country as their English was hard to understand. I thought that they said that would send me a new one first, and I should then send the other back. But I presume that they would want this one first.

I am going to wait this one out as I've read that others have the same type of thing with their flashes, and in this case, you don't notice it at all in regular shooting, unless you take a whiff of flash head after the shot! Also the smell is more of an "electronical plasticy" burning type of smell but only a faint smell. It could jsut be that it comes from heating of their cheap plastic.
Thanks again!
Jake

Last edited by FrumPilot; 05-13-2011 at 12:17 PM.
05-13-2011, 03:58 PM   #8
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I've got a Canon Powershot G3 that smells if I shoot a lot of flash shots in quick succession.
But now that I know it does it I shoot a few then let it cool. I only use it for Ebay pictures and stuff like that so it's no problem.

But no flash should smell of burning.

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