View Full Version : Flash guns

10-21-2011, 12:07 PM
I have a collection of flash guns. Two problems I remember from the days of film how some flash guns will be wrecked if you use re-chargeable batteries. Seem to remember it was common for the SCR to momentary short out the batteries when fired with zinc carbon the current would not be enough to damage the SCR but with re-chargeable it would.
The second is some flash guns used high voltages on the hot shoe which can wreck the modern camera.
Now I know my old Vivitar 3500 is OK I have instruction book for that one. But the rest not a clue.
Sunagor 160B
Hanimax TZ1
Mikona MV-328
Prinz Jupiter 177
I am a little loathed to put a meter across the hot shoe in case it blows up the meter. I remember blowing up an Avo Mk8 that way.
In the main the other flash the Prinz Jupiter 117 is used with a slave which fires it when another flash is used. The interesting one is the Hanimax TZ1 which like the Vivitar has a sensor but needs the battery case repairing, don't really want to spend time repairing if can't use it after.

Has anyone any info on these flash guns?

Second question is any idea why the Prinz Jupiter 117 will work OK as a slave with the Vivitar 3500 but with the Pentax K10D's built in flash although it fires it every thing ends up under exposed worse than with just the built in flash on it's own.

10-21-2011, 07:51 PM
A few years ago I had a similar issue with an old flash gun, and found Electronic flash, 35mm camera flash, 35mm light meter instruction manual, user manual, free PFD camera manuals (http://www.butkus.org/chinon/flashes_meters.htm)
They had the manual I was looking for and sent it to me. They have a wide variety of manuals for camera equipment on the site, but from your list I only saw a different model of the Hanimax listed. Check it out, maybe you can email the guy for more information.

10-22-2011, 05:22 AM
Thank you

10-25-2011, 08:42 AM
Second question is any idea why the Prinz Jupiter 117 will work OK as a slave with the Vivitar 3500 but with the Pentax K10D's built in flash although it fires it every thing ends up under exposed worse than with just the built in flash on it's own.

It may be that the Prinz flash is triggering off the K10D's PTTL pre-flash (so the Prinz is flashing before your shutter opens, hence it doesn't contribute to your exposure). The Vivitar probably doesn't pre-flash, so it doesn't cause the same problem.

10-25-2011, 09:29 PM
I am completely baffled as to why the second flash reduces the light? I have tried leading and trailing and I is not set for red eye reduction. But using built in flash the use of a second flash fired by the light from built in flash reduces exposure. Even using the -2 to +1 option for TTL built in flash it still fails.

Using the Vivitar 3500 on hot shoe and Prinz Jupiter 177 hung below the camera I have been able to take close-up without the huge shadows cast using single flash gun. However the settings are a bit hit and miss. Set to minimum focus and camera positioned so in focus and set manual ISO 100 and 1/180 second taking two sets of flowers one needed f22 the other f11.

I realise why it's all to do with the flash measuring the light reflected back so items well away from focus range are shutting down the flash at different points. Need to retest using motor drive setting (flash was from film days) I think this may produce more consistent results. On manual it is consistent but far too bright.

10-26-2011, 03:10 PM
Hard to tell what's going on from that description, eg what mode are you shooting in and what mode are the flashes set to? Im still inclined to think the PTTL pre flash is to blame. Can you post some examples with full exif data?

11-13-2011, 09:30 AM
OK more experiments. If I use a lens without any electric contacts internal flash fires slave A1 so there must be a pre-flash to set the focus. Tried turning off auto focus with electric lens on camera but still must activate pre-flash.

Fill in flash seems to be a problem in fully auto mode (green) it will not fire flash gun unless there is low light. I am told by others that with non dedicated flash guns it will not fire flash at all. Mine is part dedicated it has two contacts not the four used on modern ones but seems to work OK. It stops the spark sign flashing when charged and fires when required.

The camera speed does seem odd. The F stop will vary from f3.5 to f5.6 according to focal lenght. As one goes to wide angle which is f3.5 then the speed goes to 1/30 second. But as one zooms in the speed changes to 1/60 second. I will guess it's not to do with F stop but more to stop camera shake?

In the semi-auto mode (A) the speed is also odd it will let you reduce speed but not increase so your forced to use 1/30 second. Once in the Sv, Tv, Av or TAv modes it limits one to 1/180 second which is what I would expect as that's fastest speed where the shutter is fully open.

Because one needs to set the flash gun to the same aperture as camera for the sensor to work Av mode is of course the best option. although I have been using the manual and motor drive settings on the flash when using out doors as the sensor seems to give some odd results when there is no ceiling to reflect the light back onto the sensor.

Below is one of the results using out doors. Likely could have been improved by altering ISO but was in a hurry to catch bus.