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02-19-2010, 03:47 AM   #1
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Flash

I need a flash for my K7, and my wife's kx. We randomly use them for kids pictures and although we're happy with the pop up flashes, I would lke to have a 'throw-on' flash. Eventually I would like to buy the 540 or 360, but for now I'd be happy with a third party decent quality interi.

I picked up a couple 'prinz' flashes at a garage sale. Very basic. I think they were used on a k1000. I read somewhere that the voltages are not compatible with new dslr's. Is this true? I haven't put them on our cameras, I wanted to check with the experts here first. Does anybody know if old film flashes are ok, and if not, what do you guys (and girls) reccommend for a cheap starter flash, or should I just use the pop up until I can get a 360?

Thanks

02-19-2010, 04:15 AM   #2
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Hello there. I use this table for reference:

Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

so if it's a "Prinz Jupiter 677TCB," its 260V of trigger voltage will likely kill your K-7 or your wife's K-x.
02-19-2010, 04:44 AM   #3
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Don't rely on tables. Over production time, manufacturers may have changed specs or, if it is a simple sales brand it may even come from different suplliwers.

Measusing the trigger voltage is easy enough! Switch on the flash, Take a multimeter and hold the +(positive/red) tip of the multimeter cords to the flash central contact in the hot shoe mount. The (negative/black) tip to the sliding contacts in the sides of the hot shoe mount. The multimeter should obviously be set to DC Voltage (set it to the 1000V range for the initial reading)

If you get a reading of a couple hundreds volts, forget the flash (but you could use it triggered via a remote slave cell). If the reading is in the lower tens of volts, switch the multimeter to a narrower range (like 100V) and take another reading. If it is below 24V the flash is safe. I personally, though, only use flash guns with a trigger voltage of max. 12V, because I prefer a double safety margin... Also, as far as I know, Pentax does not release trigger voltage limits for all of their cameras and the 24V are safe for the K20/K10 modells.

Ben
02-19-2010, 01:10 PM   #4
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Thanks guys.

Ben, I can do the voltage check. Just to be clear though, the voltage will read at the terminals while the flash is on, or charged, right?

Old flashes have hudreds of volts at the terminals?

I'm thinking of a new 'practical joke' on my son's...

Thanks again...

02-20-2010, 04:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Snydly Quote
Thanks guys.

Ben, I can do the voltage check. Just to be clear though, the voltage will read at the terminals while the flash is on, or charged, right?

Old flashes have hudreds of volts at the terminals?

I'm thinking of a new 'practical joke' on my son's...

Thanks again...
Yes, the voltage will be present, when the flash is switched on. If you fire the flash, the votlage will drop to zero and when the flash then recycles it goes back to its trigger voltage value.

Some older flash guns can have a couple of hundred volts. I haver never had one of these flashes, but I have read reports by users who measured for instance certain Vivitar 283 modells at 600V! My own one is slghtly below 6 V, though and completely useable with a DSLR.

Ben
02-23-2010, 06:01 AM   #6
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I own a Vivitar 283 Made In Japan, which is infamous for its very high trigger voltage.

I have used it in my Canon 400D before, fired a couple of shots, maybe around 30 or more. It didn't fry my 400D though. Maybe I'm just lucky. I didn't know about Vivitar 283's back then.
02-23-2010, 06:05 AM   #7
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any concrete budget?
02-25-2010, 09:32 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by LinXitoW Quote
any concrete budget?
LinXitoW, I'd like to stay under about $120.00 for now...

Thanks

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