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Thread: Question

  1. #1
    wildman hollywoodlooker's Avatar
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    Question

    I have a manual slr and I can't get pics to come out indoors.I have played with stops and the flash and still nothing.What am I doing wrong?Any help is welcome!

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    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hollywoodlooker
    I have a manual slr and I can't get pics to come out indoors.I have played with stops and the flash and still nothing.What am I doing wrong?Any help is welcome!

    Off the top of my head, I'd say you're not using the correct flash sync speed.

    Most manual camera's have one speed at which the shutter and the flash will sync up. Look for a mark (probably an X) on the shutter speed dial. That is your flash sync speed. If you don't see a mark, try using 1/60 second, as that is the normal flash sync speed for most camera's.

    Hope this cures your problem.
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  3. #3
    wildman hollywoodlooker's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Speed
    Off the top of my head, I'd say you're not using the correct flash sync speed.

    Most manual camera's have one speed at which the shutter and the flash will sync up. Look for a mark (probably an X) on the shutter speed dial. That is your flash sync speed. If you don't see a mark, try using 1/60 second, as that is the normal flash sync speed for most camera's.

    Hope this cures your problem.
    Thanks! I will have to try that out!

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    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    That's the first thing to check. The flash sync speed is the fastest shutter speed that can sync with a flash, so you can use a slower one too. Some cameras sync faster, but most manual cameras are 1/60 so try that one for starters. Flash exposure is determined by the aperture (and also film speed), and f5.6 is pretty normal for camera mounted flashes when you're trying to light something say 6-10' from the camera. Try f5.6 at 1/60 and it should work assuming that the flash has some sort of an auto mode on it. You can tell this (what flash is it?) by looking at the back of it - some of them have a distance range (or ranges shown in different colors) based on the aperture and film speed you're using, and a switch on it somewhere with the corresponding color (blue range, red range, etc).

  5. #5
    wildman hollywoodlooker's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Thanks for the suggestion! The flash that I am using is a vivitar 2600. This is a stupid question but I bought this set up at a garage sale and have no instrucions on what the blue and the red colors mean.But I do see the feet from the camara on the back of it.Thank you again for the advise.Anymore you can tell me would help me alot.

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    Hardcore...Nikon Speed's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hollywoodlooker
    Thanks for the suggestion! The flash that I am using is a vivitar 2600. This is a stupid question but I bought this set up at a garage sale and have no instrucions on what the blue and the red colors mean.But I do see the feet from the camara on the back of it.Thank you again for the advise.Anymore you can tell me would help me alot.

    Contact Vivitar and you can either order a manual from them, or they may have it as a PDF file you can download. It's worth a few bucks to know how it works. Same goes for the camera. Contact the company and see if you can get a manual from them.

    http://www.vivitar.com
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    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    That's exactly what I was thinking of. On the front of the flash there is probably a switch for "Red", "M" or "Blue". The "M" is manual, and don't worry about using that mode at this point. Red and Blue will have a chart on the back of the flash where you look at the column for the film's ISO speed, pick the aperture, and it will tell you what distance you can use. If you know you need 10' and can't get there in Red, then maybe you can in Blue or vice versa.

    If you can post a picture of the back of the flash, I can tell you more about it.

  8. #8
    wildman hollywoodlooker's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Thanks for the help.I'm going to try it out tonight.the help is very appreciated.I'll take the film in tommorow and tell you if it fixed the problem.I don't have a digital so I can't get a picture of the flash till' I get the film developed.Thanks again for the help!

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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    That's exactly what I was thinking of. On the front of the flash there is probably a switch for "Red", "M" or "Blue". The "M" is manual, and don't worry about using that mode at this point. Red and Blue will have a chart on the back of the flash where you look at the column for the film's ISO speed, pick the aperture, and it will tell you what distance you can use. If you know you need 10' and can't get there in Red, then maybe you can in Blue or vice versa.

    If you can post a picture of the back of the flash, I can tell you more about it.
    Hi all... AV, I'm posting my Vivitar Auto Thyristor 2800...it sounds similar to Hollywoods, 2600. I am having similar probs understanding this flash. It's a very long story how I came by it, but I've had it about 12 years or more and it's barely been used. I think I'm getting it from what has been said before...so, per my pics...I'm set at iso 200, in the red range I can shoot from about 7ft to about 40ft. Is that correct...and the blue range would be the area bracketed in blue which is up to about 20ft??? (I understand the metric difference).
    Next...the fstop at the photo'd setting I would want to shoot an f4 at about 30ft with the switch set to red??? or an f11 at 10ft with the switch set to blue??? Is that correct???
    Finally...what are the DIN numbers???
    Thanks for all the help...
    Ken
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    Re: Question

    doesn't the red and blue ultimately equate to red=higher/hotter flash and blue=lower/colder flash? It would seem thats the case.

    JS

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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by another view
    That's the first thing to check. The flash sync speed is the fastest shutter speed that can sync with a flash, so you can use a slower one too. Some cameras sync faster, but most manual cameras are 1/60 so try that one for starters. Flash exposure is determined by the aperture (and also film speed), and f5.6 is pretty normal for camera mounted flashes when you're trying to light something say 6-10' from the camera. Try f5.6 at 1/60 and it should work assuming that the flash has some sort of an auto mode on it. You can tell this (what flash is it?) by looking at the back of it - some of them have a distance range (or ranges shown in different colors) based on the aperture and film speed you're using, and a switch on it somewhere with the corresponding color (blue range, red range, etc).
    yeah, but even if you try the higher speeds, you will still get a band that did work, either horizontal or vertical, depending on the shutter. If he gets no bands at all, then I would say that the sync is off. Recalibrating the sync could cost quite a bit, sometimes more than getting a new camera

  12. #12
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by ken1953
    I'm set at iso 200, in the red range I can shoot from about 7ft to about 40ft. Is that correct...and the blue range would be the area bracketed in blue which is up to about 20ft??? (I understand the metric difference).
    Ken, thanks for posting this - I don't have a flash like this and a picture is worth 1000 words... Anyway, you're right up to this point. From here, you'd use f5.6 for the blue range and f2.8 for the red range. See the dot at the long distance end of the scale? Look straight up from there and that's the aperture you'll use.

    A long time ago, film used to use ASA speeds instead of ISO speeds. ASA is American Standards (something...) and ISO is International Standards Organization. The numbers were the same; Tri-X was ASA400 and now ISO400. DIN was the European standard and the number scale was a lot different; ASA or ISO 400 = DIN 27. DIN isn't used anymore, so now we have ISO. A little photo trivia for you - so I'm guessing the flash is probably at least 15-20 years old. Nothing wrong with that, just that's about the time that ASA and DIN numbers started to disappear.

    The switch is on the front right above the sensor which is the little circle area. Make sure it's set to red or blue, the corresponding aperture is used, and also the subject distance is correct for that range. IOW, if your subject is 30' away, set the flash to red mode, aperture to f2.8 and the light sensor in the flash will handle it from there.

    Right now the switch is set to manual mode. To use this mode, you'll have to use an equation with the guide number of the flash and the subject distance. Can't remember it off the top of my head, and I've never used it in "real" life. The auto modes are surprisingly accurate.

  13. #13
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by JSPhoto
    doesn't the red and blue ultimately equate to red=higher/hotter flash and blue=lower/colder flash? It would seem thats the case.

    JS
    Not sure what you mean. Technically, I think that the flash lights for a longer duration the higher the output needs to be. The sensor is right below the switch, and it determines how much output the flash needs to give. The color temperature of the flash (if that's what you mean) should be almost the same regardless. I always thought the fact that they used red and blue was more of a coincidence, but that could be the case.

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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by 92135011
    yeah, but even if you try the higher speeds, you will still get a band that did work, either horizontal or vertical, depending on the shutter. If he gets no bands at all, then I would say that the sync is off. Recalibrating the sync could cost quite a bit, sometimes more than getting a new camera
    Yes, but this is why you wouldn't want to use a shutter speed faster than the sync speed. Here's why it happens: if the shutter speed is set faster than the sync speed for the camera (we'll assume yours is 1/60, so if your shutter speed is 1/125 or faster) then the flash only lights part of the negative because the shutter opens and starts to close before the flash has a chance to fire. You'll see this best if you're inside a dark room, for example taking pictures of people. You'll have part of the negative unexposed, and part of it properly exposed. There won't be any bands to it - part (may or may not be half) will be right and the rest will be wrong.

    I suppose this is a good way to find out what the sync speed of the camera is if there is no manual, but use 1/60 for now. Unless the camera is really old, 1/60 should be the sync speed or below it (some cameras are 1/125, 1/250 or 1/500). Using the sync speed means using the fastest sync speed the camera can handle. Slower shutter speeds are also fine; just not faster for the reasons given above. I use slower shutter speeds quite often with flash, but that's a different post... I've never heard of a camera needing this fixed but I agree that it sounds quite expensive.

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    wildman hollywoodlooker's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Question

    First I want to thank everyone for their input! The flash that I have is almost the exact same one except that on mine the ASA numbers go to 1000 and the ft/m numbers only go to 40/12. So if I had the ASA set at 100 and the person I am photagraphing is at 30ft. I would use the red and would have it at 2 stops. This is correct isn't? I have tried this in the living room tonight. I will see if this works when I get the film tommorow. I am overwelmed at the help I am getting on this matter! You all have been great. I hope this works. I was getting real frustrated when I would take some real good pictures and they wouldn't come out at all. wish me luck, Thanks again for all the help!!

  16. #16
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by hollywoodlooker
    So if I had the ASA set at 100 and the person I am photagraphing is at 30ft. I would use the red and would have it at 2 stops. This is correct isn't?
    Do you mean f2? This is the aperture ring that you set on the lens (f2, f2.8, f4, f5.6, etc). I'm guessing that f2 might be right because this is such a small flash. A bigger one like a Vivitar 283 would probably do 30' at more like f5.6 in whatever mode (a guess). Your flash might be able to handle something 30' away but you'll get better results at more like 10'.

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    Do Not Use With Digitals

    Well, just got off the vivitar site and looks like this flash will stay unused unless I decide to break out the Pentax. In fact, they only have one flash that they make to be used with digitals, but I'm sorry, I can't remember which one it was, but you can check there site if interested. It has something to do with a difference in power usage. The 2600 of Chucks probably can't be used on a digital either. Guess I'll have to invest in an SB 600/800. haha...
    but I have learned something from this thread!!!! Great "Question" Chuck.....and great support everyone else!!!!
    Ken
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  18. #18
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    Re: Question

    Ken, I don't own any flash unit specifically designed for digital (lenses either, for that matter). They can work just fine. The only thing you have to watch out for is the sync voltage, which is the voltage that the flash triggers at. Some big old flashes use a high voltage like 250v or more, and some cameras can only handle 6v. According to Nikon, their SLR's handle 250v but I don't know about the Coolpix line. I've used my SB28 with my Coolpix 5000 and had no problems.

    Even if you've got a high-voltage flash and a camera that only can handle 6v, there are still options. You don't want to directly connect the flash to the camera or you'll fry it, but you can use a small flash (or an internal flash) to fire an optical slave that's connected to the big flash (done this with my Coolpix and a monolight). That way there are no wires connecting the two together. You can also use Pocket Wizard radio slaves, but this gets expensive. Yet another option is the Wein Safe Sync which is a buffer that goes between the flash and camera on the hot shoe, but they're very unreliable. I bought one and it was defective. Got it replaced with another brand new defective one too - so I wouldn't recommend their products.

  19. #19
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    I would just like to add one more thing about sync speed. Another big thing that effects sync speed is what type of shutter the camera has. My Nikon has a focal plane shutter and syncs at 1/60th and my other camera has a leaf shutter which syncs at 1/500th speed. There are also other types that will change what the flash sync speed will be. Just thought I would add this to the discusion for additional information.

    I would like to ask a question also.

    If I use the flash sync connector on my camera it shouldn't matter what flash I use but if I use the hot shoe to connect with would that make a difference. Seems to me that the voltage sent out by the camera would only travel in one direction, toward the flash to activate it. Why would it matter what flash you use? Why would a flash send electicity toward the camera unless it was made to go with that particular camera? I think I might be missing something in this discusion.

    Edit
    I looked and my new Kodak P880 said it would take up to 500 volts

    Still don't understand why the flash would send voltage to the camera. Somebody please explain or giive me a site that will exsplain what is going on!!
    Last edited by Grandpaw; 01-01-2006 at 01:08 PM.
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  20. #20
    Spamminator Grandpaw's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Hey Ken, try looking at this page below.

    http://homepage.mac.com/mattdenton/p...vitar_2800.pdf
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  21. #21
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Grandpaw
    Why would it matter what flash you use? Why would a flash send electicity toward the camera unless it was made to go with that particular camera?
    It's not so much the type of flash - it's really only the sync voltage that matters. Typically it's larger and older flashes that have high sync voltages which is why I mentioned it that way. I've never tried to measure the sync voltage on a flash but I guess it can be done with a multi-meter. Disclaimer, we're talking about the potential of 250v or more so proceed at your own risk...

    I'm not an electronics engineer, but my understanding is that the camera does see that voltage merely because it is switching that voltage. The signal that is sent by the camera to the flash somehow works at whatever that voltage is. I have a friend who (temporarily, fortunately!) fried a DSLR because of this. He used a fairly new Quantum flash (really powerful portable flash, a lot of wedding photogs use them) connecting it directly to his Fuji S2 and it shut the camera down after the first shot. After sitting without batteries in it for awhile it was fine, but he won't try that again!

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