using old flash units with a CP8700?
I have a couple of flashes that I used many years ago for TTL flash photography with my N8008 SLR - a Nikon SB-19 (now that's OLD!) and a off-brand zoomhead (Phoenix). Granted, neither of these is a new or high-end flash unit but I'm wondering if they will function in TTL with my new Coolpix 8700?
I know that they don't have all the features and functions - but heck, Nikon didn't exactly create functionality between the CP8700 and their NEW speedlights either!!
I just want to be able to reach out a bit further using TTL flash metering. Seems silly to buy another basic speedlight if one of my old units will work. Both worked fine with the N8008 body.
Thanks for any/all comments.
#1. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 0
Thu 12-Aug-04 04:18 AM
Hi Keith and welcome to Nikonians.
I'm not familiar with the Phoenix but SB-19 is a non-TTL flash unit and thus won't function as such on your 8700. Are you sure you used it as a TTL flash?
The SB-19 is an Auto flash and exposure is controlled by a sensor on the front of the flash unit (not TTL off the film). The older cameras would communicate to the flash the film speed and working aperture. Whether or not the 8700 will communicate those signals to the SB-19 I'm not sure. Contact Nikon as they should be able to tell you if it's compatible or not. My guess is not.
Happy Shooting :)
#2. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 1
Thu 12-Aug-04 01:36 PM
Thanks for the reply. Hmmmm....I must not have used the old SB-19 in TTL. As I pulled it out again I noticed that I have it mounted on a remote slave sensor....makes me question my memory!!
But I know the Phoenix (again, WAY off-brand) was used TTL - the main strobe I used. I was a poor college kid happy to have mostly Nikon stuff...the $300 for a Nikon strobe wasn't around. My fear is simply that if I try this, I could fry the 8700's brain...not something I'd want to do.
I suppose better safe than sorry. But gee, I'd rather put that $ towards an underwater housing rather than another strobe...
Any other thoughts? If it didn't fry the 8008, does that mean it won't fry the 8700? - Yeah, like anyone is going to answer that one definitively! ) ;o)
#3. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 2
Fri 13-Aug-04 12:13 AM
Well Keith...no definitive answers here.
It's easy enough to determine if the flash is TTL as there should be 4 contacts on the hot shoe. If you can use older Nikon speedlights on the 8700 and the Pheonix works OK on the 8008 then...?
If you try it let us know how the story ends.
Happy Shooting :)
#4. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 3
Fri 13-Aug-04 11:57 PM
Regarding the SB-19...I just checked the unit and it is a TTL flash BUT it is an SB-15 - not a 19. My bad on the original post. It has 4 contacts (3 small, 1 large). Has a TTL setting for the mode switch. So...with this info - do you think the **SB-15** will function with the 8700 without a meltdown of the electronics?
#5. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 4
Sat 14-Aug-04 05:01 AM
Yes the SB15 is a TTL flash and Nikon's first TTL unit if I'm not mistaken. Personally I believe it will work. I have never read anywhere about harmful compatibility problems between Nikon speedlights and Nikon camera bodies. I have read about issues between third party flash units and Nikon bodies, but never with a Nikon TTL speedlight. I have used an SB18 (which is about the same vintage as the SB15) on my F80 and it works perfectly. I have also used my SB80DX on a FG with no problems. Compatibility issues are generally related to auto zoom heads not zooming, AF assist lights not working, etc. The F80 manual lists the SB15 as a compatible speedlight and thus my reason for saying the SB15 is compatible with the 8700.
The 8700 manual also indicate you can use speedlights from the SB800 to the SB22s which is an older unit introduced several years back. This would indicate that, unlike the D100, a DX speedlight (for preflash) is not needed for flash exposure calculation. It also indicates older flash units are usable.
Since you are using a Nikon speedlight on a Nikon camera, contact Nikon and ask them if there are any issues between the 8700 and SB15. I believe there are none that would harm your camera, but check with Nikon to be sure. I'm not always on line but I would appreciated it you could send me a PM when you find out.
Happy Shooting :)
#6. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 5
Mon 16-Aug-04 02:50 PM
Here are the answers from Nikon and Phoenix:
From Phoenix regarding the ZIF 92N:
"The Phoenix ZIF 92N will not work with a Nikon Coolpix camera. Separate from the voltage, the synch and trigger speeds are completely different. It will quite possibly make your pictures worse. The voltage is also too high for the Nkon."
From Nikon support regarding the SB-15:
Nikon says that the SB-15 will NOT work with the CP8700. They say that it is not on the compatibility chart as it is NOT compatible.
The same person also replied that "No Coolpix can do TTL at all with a hotshoe mounted speedlight." SO....this seems strange to me. I thought the Nikon speedlights would TTL with a hot shoe mounted flash - otherwise what is the point!? So is this true - the CP cameras will NOT TTL with ANY hot shoe mounted speedlight? Their own compatibility chart would seem to suggest this is wrong. Wouldn't it?
#8. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 7
Mon 16-Aug-04 03:28 PM
according to the 8700's manual:
..."Set the speedlight flash mode to TTL before shooting. At this setting the optional speedlight will be controlled by the camera in response to flash mode and settings. When the flash fires, the amount of light produced by the optional speedlight is measured by the camera's photocell and the length of the flash adjusted to ensure optimal exposure."...
Now, I accept that this isn't TRUE through-the-lens - since the sensor is not located within the optics. But I guess this is what I mean when I ask about TTL - "Will the CP8700 control the output of the SB-15 to give proper exposure for conditions?"
#9. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 8
Mon 16-Aug-04 06:48 PM
It is a rather strange situation isn't it? Before you buy the camera Nikon says it's TTL and after Nikon says it isn't!!
I agree with you 100 per cent that it's not true TTL metering and I think that's where this tech support guy/gal is confusing the question. Whether or not the flash sensor is inside the camera or outside is splitting hairs. The flash duration is still being controlled by the camera. If it wasn't then setting the speedlight to TTL as per page 98 would be redundant.
I still believe that's since there is so much forward and backward compatibility with other Nikon bodies and speedlights that using the SB-15 on the 8700 will cause no harm. The hot shoe is a standard TTL type connection and if there was a problem using other Nikon flash units you would think they would designed the 8700 with a unique hotshoe along with a unique speedlight. It's interesting that the Nikon tech guy didn't say you couldn't use it due to electrical design problems but only addressed the TTL issue. No it's not true TTL but the camera is still controlling flash exposure. It's only when the speedlight is in A or AA mode that the speedligt is controlling its exposure. Ask him if using the SB15 will cause harm to your 8700.
Happy Shooting :)
#10. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 9
no57 Nikonian since 26th Feb 2004Sat 21-Aug-04 11:28 PM
As I responded in the Coolpix users forum to the same subject, I have been using a Nikon SB-15, a Sunpak Auto 335 AF and a Sunpak Auto 26DX on my Coolpix 995 in TTL mode with no ill effect.
I believe if a product claims to be Nikon TTL compatible, it should conform to the same voltage standards as Nikon brand, otherwise it will fry any Nikon TTL camera electronics - and will not be on the market very long
As for TTL mode on Coolpix cameras, yes, they do not read "through the lens", but the camera still controls the flash output.
I will not cross-post, the rest of my resaoning is in the Coolpix User'S forum, same topic.
#11. "RE: using old flash units with a CP8700?" | In response to Reply # 10
Sun 22-Aug-04 12:58 AM
Phoenix says not to use the ZIF 92N with the Coolpix - but they confirmed the flash trigger voltage as "no higher than 3.8 vdc". So...I'm likely to give it a shot.
The SB-15 should work fine - although again, Nikon doesn't recommend using an old flash on the CP line.
Thanks for everyone's input and advice. I'll post back only if I toast my new camera... )