Saturday, June 10, 2006

Don't Fry Your Camera

You get a few thousand photogs hanging out in the same place, and occasionally someone is gonna come up with a cool tidbit.

Such is the case here. I'd like to give credit for this one, but it was posted by "Anonymous," deep in the site's comments section. (Folks, please leave a name and fill in the website field, so we can see who ya are, K?)

Anyway, he (or she) posted a link to a cool website that lists the synch voltages of many, many strobes.

Why is this important? Well, as we talked about before, recently designed cameras handle the synching functions through the main circuit board. They used to do this with a mechanical contact point, which did not care about the synching voltage of the flash.

But they care now. Long and short of it is, some old flashes have synching voltages that will fry your new camera if hooked up directly, either on the hot-shoe or with a PC cord. They were simply made before anyone knew synch voltages would be an issue.

If you are using any kind of wireless setup, like the eBay thingies or Pocket Wizards, you are already safe.

The site gives good general info about camera synch voltages, and names names. Many modern cameras are similarly designed. So even if yours is not listed, this info should give you a pretty good ball-park estimate on whether or not your proposed flash/camera combo is safe.

The not-so-good news is that the site is apparently up and down occasionally. If it is on a bandwidth-limited free server, I am sure you guys will exceed the limit by a few orders of magnitude. So it may be tough to log on to it.

So, in case it is not up, I can tell you that the older flashes I have recommended here (Nikon SB-24, -25, -26, -28, -28dx, -50, 80, 800, etc.,) are well within the safe range.

But if you are using something else, be sure to check your flash to see if it is one of the naughty ones.

Thanks for the great tip, whoever you are!


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8 Comments:

Anonymous Jim said...

I was the guy who posted the original question about the Vivitar 283 and the safe sync. I wasn't the anonamous who posted the website listing the voltages, though. Very helpful info. Thanks, and thanks for a great site generally.

June 10, 2006 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Bill Gates said...

It was me. I just like to fly under the radar sometimes...


(hee hee)

June 10, 2006 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Tams said...

Cool, I saw this site once a while ago when I was trying to figure out whether my Vivtar 285HV was safe for my Canon 20D and A2(I ended up using it with a safe sync of course.)

It's a great ref :3

June 10, 2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Captoe said...

Excellent reference!

"How do I know if..." has been on my list of question for a few weeks.

June 11, 2006 1:12 AM  
Anonymous moe said...

In case it goes down here is the coral cache

June 11, 2006 5:01 PM  
Anonymous kirk wheeler said...

Sorry, David, (blush)

I wasn't trying to fly under the radar :) The voltage post was my first on your site, and I wasn't interested in signing up for a blogger account. Somehow, I missed the "other" way to post... (middle radio buttion)

I'm a Canon shooter and I ran across the flash voltage link a while back on another forum/resouce I've been frequenting. http://photography-on-the.net/forum/

I stubled across you site a few weeks back while doing a goole search for "snoot" and I've been enjoying it every since. This site is a gold mine of information and am pretty sure I've read every thing on here at least twice. ...probably three times. Your writing/teaching style is great and the info you provide here is absolutely fantastic. I give you props wherever and whenever I can.

I finshed filling out my my light kit this weekend. It took four online purchases! This experience has unearthed the only negative side-effect of this site. It seems you have single-handedly driven up nikon sb-* prices on ebay and all but emptied most store shelves of westcott collapsible umbrellas, 3373 light stands and universal swivel holders. ;) I'm sure the Walmart folks are scratching their heads too, as the red ball bungies have suddenly started leaping off the shelves!!

Thanks for all the great info. Please keep it coming!

Quick thought: I know you schedule is probably pretty packed, but you ought to think about doing a podcast as well.

June 11, 2006 9:55 PM  
Blogger bjorke said...

I'm the owner of botzilla.com and it beats me why you've had connectivity problems. Sometimes there are spamstorms, however. My estimation is that mail.botzilla.com gets something like 2 spams per second.

While I haven't updated the list a lot recently, I actually have a very large backlog of additional strobe data. And newer cameras, like my 5D, don't seem to be any more tolerant of high voltages than previous ones.

November 06, 2006 4:22 PM  
Anonymous boris said...

wow, those look nice!
seems like i can finally use my metz mb 58 + pw's now! : )

May 08, 2009 3:00 PM  

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