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06-17-2007, 07:52 PM   #1
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Flash Fried K10d? how do i know i'm safe?

i have an old vivitar 2000 flash. how can i tell if it is safe to use with my k10d?

06-26-2007, 06:25 PM   #2
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Not familiar with Vivitar 2000 flash. Think it was/is very inexpensive. There are a couple of issues to check when using a non Pentax flash.
1. Flash dedication. All "hotshoe" electronic flashes will have a single contact in the center of the camera hotshoe. If there are no other visible contacts (they will be smaller) the flash is non dedicated. If there are extra small contacts the flash is dedicated. If using dedicated flash on dedicated camera (all dslr) they must "match". Can't put a Nikon dedicated flash on dedicated Pentax camera. Nikon didn't check with Pentax when they designed their flash system. Nor did Canon, Olympus, or Sony/Konica/Minolta. You can short out flash, camera, or both mixing dedicated systems.
If flash is dedicated to Pentax you can use at least some of the flash functions as long as flash passes #2 below. TTL won't work unless you have D,DS,DS2 bodies. Auto eye on front of flash will work.

2. Even if flash isn't dedicated you have to check the trigger voltage. Especially older flashes. High trigger voltage can fry a digital camera. This wasn't a problem in film camera days. To measure trigger voltage take a digital multimeter (or older vom) set to DC voltage and turn on the flash. Do not have flash on camera. Put + tip on the center contact of the electronic flash. The minus tip goes to the metal rails inside the left or right edge of the flash foot. Look close you will see them. Most digital manufacturers recommend 24v or less. DSLRs probably can handle a little more, but is it worth the risk? New non dedicated flashes are cheap. If you don't know how to check the flash or don't own a meter ask a friend or go to a real camera shop. They will be able to check it for you.
Hope this helps. Flash can be a little complicated. So many systems, so many changes. A good flash is very important to have.
06-26-2007, 06:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by sketchin13 Quote
i have an old vivitar 2000 flash. how can i tell if it is safe to use with my k10d?
Try it?!?!?!

Play it safe; use a hotshoe condom.

The phrase you're looking for is "Flash trigger voltage"; and google is your friend!

A 'good' answer is on this page.

The short answer is "NO".
06-27-2007, 02:28 AM   #4
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ABSOLUTELY NOT. Stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200.
This flash has a very high trigger voltage. 3 tests vary from 54.4v to 202v You will most probably fry your camera.

According to Pentax USA, you are safe with a trigger voltage of less than 25v. Personally, I wouldn't mount anything with more than 7-9v.

Check this list out. Should be a big help when looking for a 3rd party flash.
Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages


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