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12-25-2007, 04:40 PM   #1
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K10 and an old Flash?

I was really really surprised, but I've found a flash in my home... I was getting my good old Panas FZ-30 to sell it, and in the box I discovered a flash! In a mint condition! No idea where it came from... lol...
The flash is Unomat B24TAC. Looks like this http://www.fcenter.ru/img/article/PC-camera/2327.jpg

The question is - will it work with my GX-10? I've heard that old flashes have big voltage on their connectors to the camera, and they can burn it. At the other hand, I've checked the internet, and there are people that say it will be ok, K10 is properly protected...

Any ideas? Maybe there si someone who used THIS flash on K10D or K100D?

12-25-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

None of the listed Unomats on that page are listed as safe. Use a DC voltmeter to check your trigger
voltage at full charge.
12-25-2007, 05:48 PM   #3
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Old flash

I have a 190v Starblitz ive been using on my K10 for months including a night wedding. No problem what so ever and does a fantastic job. Cant use the PTTL though. I rang the Pentax technical department and was told that it was no problem at all. Like all the old lens you can use. Flash also. They said the way the flash was fired was no different from years ago. I think this worry about it comes from other brands that can only handle 30 or 40 volts. There problem. Cheers Keith
12-25-2007, 08:39 PM   #4
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That's not correct, Keith. Given that some older flash units can have trigger voltages exceeding 250-350 volts, trigger voltage is a serious consideration. According to Pentax, DSLR's such as the istD and istDS, can safely handle a maximum (middle positive) voltage of 30 volts. That specification was affirmed by Wim van Kleef, Pentax Digital Camera Support Team, Pentax USA. Pentax has recently said the K10D, which shares similar circuitry, was built to slightly higher voltage tolerances, but could not say how high since that spec has not been released by Pentax Japan. Therefore, absent a clear alternative viewpoint, 30 volts is still the recommended maximum.

I'm glad you're having success using your Starblitz with a trigger voltage of 190v. However, before recommending the same to others, search around this forum for those who've had to send cameras in for repairs after exceeding the recommended voltage. There have been several.

stewart

12-25-2007, 09:41 PM   #5
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I totally agree with Stewart. I did basically the same research with Pentax Canada and my local repair shop. In my case it was the Vivitar 283 which can hit 225v (that's what mine tested at). Both said sure it will work for a period of time but eventually (Pentax Canada guaranteed it will fail at some point) you'll burn out the contacts and circuit board(s) associated with the hot shoe. It wouldn't matter if mounted directly or by wire off camera. It would only be totally safe with a Pocket Wizard or similar wireless device.

The repair shop told me that for the potential cost of repair (depending on how badly the camera was damaged) vs a new body, I'd be throwing the camera out. 30volts is the max. Period!
12-26-2007, 01:30 AM   #6
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I have read this thread with interest. I have four flashes, the Sigma DG500 Super, Pentax 360FGZ and two older Pentax AF280Ts. Cameras are *istD and K10D. Does anyone know whether the AF280T flashes area a potential problem?

David
12-26-2007, 03:05 AM   #7
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No problem for the 280T. it's trigger voltage is within specs.
Pentax USA quoted me 30volts for the ist Dxx series and 25volts for the K series cameras.

To the OP, I would suggest that you are pushing your luck with the Starblitz. To be safe I'd use a Wein Safe sync with it.

Wein | Safe-Sync Hot Shoe to Hot Shoe (SSHSHS) | W990560 | B&H
12-26-2007, 05:37 AM   #8
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David, Roscot's correct. I had an AF280T and used it on both bodies (we have the the same cameras). Also I should have mentioned above that my local Pentax repair shop recommended that I keep any flash added to the K10D at or below 25v just to be safe.

12-26-2007, 07:53 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! I think i'd better not use it without anything between camera and flash.
Strange enough though, I used Unomat 20B with my Panasonic FZ-30 all the time, and all was ok... Maybe that was pure luck, I really don' know lol...
12-26-2007, 01:38 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snowcat Quote
Thanks everyone! I think i'd better not use it without anything between camera and flash.

When you mention "without anything "between" camera and flash, are you suggesting that mounting this flash on a bracket will protect the camera from the voltage produced by the flash?
12-26-2007, 01:44 PM   #11
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Sounds like he's referring to Safe-Sync or pocket wizards, etc to me.
12-26-2007, 01:52 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by AVANT Quote
Sounds like he's referring to Safe-Sync or pocket wizards, etc to me.
Yep, exactly... The question is should I buy a ~35$ thing for a flash that's worth like 35$ itself or even less...
12-26-2007, 02:05 PM   #13
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Well your other option is to get an older Pentax flash like the AF280T or a Vivitar 285 and learn to shoot with manual flash settings or get a new Pentax AF360/540 which will be a lot more. All depends on how much you will use it and what for.
12-26-2007, 02:16 PM   #14
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Of course AF360/540 is the best case. But I don't think I can afford it now and will not be able to get it for quite a long time, because flash goes after two not-so-cheap lenses in my wishlist.
So I was especially happy to discover this flash, kinda like free gift to use while I don't have a modern one
12-26-2007, 02:22 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snowcat Quote
Yep, exactly... The question is should I buy a ~35$ thing for a flash that's worth like 35$ itself or even less...
It's not the $35 flash you'd be protecting, but the $600+ body...
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