Hello everyone, I'm looking for additional flashes to use off camera and came across my old Vivitar Zoom Thrystor 3500 from my 35 mm days. I know I cant use it on the hotshoe due to voltage issues but can it be used as a remote flash using flash triggers or pocketwizzards? Any reason why it shouldn't work? I also understand that it could only be used in Manual right??? Which I'm ok with......thanks for any help
thanks Jbloom for your help. I have thought of a Safe sync as well. I plan of using multiple flashes for portraits and was trying to get out of buying 1 less.... What is KEH? Around here (Ontario Canada) I cant find a SB-24 for $50.....or I would jump on it. even ebay wants close to $100 for them. Thanks for your feedback though.....
I have been using various older Vivitar flash units (3700, 2800, 2500) with my D5000.
If you plan to use your flash mainly on-camera then the SafeSync gives you extra protection against high voltage or a faulty flash unit. I fried a film body with a defective flash a couple of years ago. As you probably know those WEN puppies are rather expensive up here in Canada (about $70 locally). Seventy dollars would go a long way towards a nice, new SB-700.
But you said that you plan to do portraits, which means you are probably going to be using your flash off-camera. In that case a wireless flash trigger system would be the way to go. You get the voltage isolation of the SafeSync and the added functionality of the wireless trigger. I was able to picked-up a Cactus v4 kit (transmitter and receiver) locally for around $60 and additional receivers for $30 each to use with my Vivitars. I had to get one receiver replaced under warranty, but other than that they've worked well.
Regards, Fred A Vancouver Nikonian
---------------------------------------------------- "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is."
Thanks so much for your info Fred. Very helpful since one of the questions i had forgot to ask was "Does the remoter wireless transmitter fix the problem of possible different voltage? Which I think it does... Also good to know that you actually have used Vivitar flashes, makes me feel much better. I will probably use it more for portraits yes as off camera so the Cactus sounds like a good deal. More than likely will never use it on the hot shoe but will get a safe sync just in case im ever on a bind and need to use it. Thanks again and cheers.
Henry's seems to be a well-respected Canadian camera store.
Don't be too hesitant about sync voltages; I asked Nikon about the sync voltage for my D50, and they told me 250V, and the center contact needs to be the hot one. For my D90...I dunno yet.
I use some optical triggers or a set of Poverty Wizards to set off my older flashes. BUT! and this ia a biggie...you have to disable the pre-flash from your camera. I change the AE-L/AF-L button on the back to FL, which disables the pre flashes. My daughter-in-law has the fastest blink reflex on the planet, I think
Thank you Mkbee1, Henrys is a great store for new stuff. All their used equipment is sent to head office and it is put online at usually rip off prices.....and not that great of selection. Thanks for the tip on pre-flash....would have never thought of it. Cheers
Sat 02-Mar-13 11:03 AM | edited Sat 02-Mar-13 12:15 PM by Chris Platt
I'm a bit confused here. Are you talking about FV lock? FV Lock doesn't disable preflash, it fires the preflash early when you press it, so blinkers have time to recover before you release the shutter and trigger the main flash. Is that what you're doing?
If you're using optical triggers for older flashes, aren't you using manual flash? If your onboard flash is set to manual, there won't be any preflash.
Sat 02-Mar-13 11:16 PM | edited Sat 02-Mar-13 11:23 PM by mkbee1
** FV Lock doesn't disable preflash, it fires the preflash early when you press it, so blinkers have time to recover before you release the shutter and trigger the main flash. Is that what you're doing? **
Actually, I believe that's exactly what it does...eliminates the preflash, or more precisely, allows one manual "preflash", from one press of the FV lock, which allows your camera to read the exposure. If you don't press the FV Lock, the camera/flash operates in the usual manner, with those annoying preflashes.
Then, if you don't change distances, each subsequent flash will be correctly exposed, with no preflash. If you change distances, do it again, with the same results...no preflash blink from your subject! Leastways, that's how it works for me
Reference: This is for the D50, but works just fine with my D90. I really hesitate to do this, because Ken Rockwell is not a person given much respect on the forum; BUT...the man does have his uses!
" FLASH TIP FOR THE AE-L/AF-L Button:"
"To lock flash exposure, and stop the preflashes which make people and pets blink, set custom function 14 to FV Lock. Now tap the AE-L/AF-L button and the flash pops once to meter flash exposure,and uses that measurement instead of needing a preflash for each consecutive shot. Be sure to tap it again to turn it off when you change distance."
From "How to use the Nikon D50" KenRockwell.com 2006
It will probably work for all subsequent Nikon models, once you find the correct menu items.
"Actually, I believe that's exactly what it does...eliminates the preflash, or more precisely, allows one manual "preflash", from one press of the FV lock, which allows your camera to read the exposure. If you don't press the FV Lock, the camera/flash operates in the usual manner, with those annoying preflashes."
Agree, that's exactly what it does. I use it frequently, but it is for TTL flash metering. I assumed if you are using optical slaves with older flashes you aren't using TTL, so manually triggering a preflash with FV lock isn't necessary to avoid additional preflashes. You can just set your internal flash to manual. That also eliminates preflash and avoids the annoyance of having a preflash, even if there is only one, trigger your optical slaves.
Thanks JBloom, Sometimes I wonder since our money is basically worth the same why we have such crappy deals on same products in Canada compared to the US? That is a good deal for sure. Will still look to see if they sell to Canada..........cheers
Your Vivitar 3500 should have a triggering voltage of less than 10V per the list that Jon provided a link to. As stated above, Test it yourself to verify the actual triggering voltage of your particular flash. That said, 10v should be safe for any RF trigger. If you will be shooting where you will be the only one using flash, Optical Triggers are another option. I know that Wein Peanut optical slaves work with Vivitar 283, 285, and 285HV flash units. I am not sure if they will work with the 3500. If you decide to use optical slaves, you must set the built- in or On Camera Speedlight to Manual flash control so the Monitor pre flashes don't trigger the remotes before the shutter opens. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
Mon 04-Mar-13 01:55 AM | edited Mon 04-Mar-13 02:10 AM by mkbee1
O.K., school me, please. There is something I maybe don't quite understand.
With the flash set at TTL, using the FV Lock for exposure measuring, and optical or radio triggers controlling the additional flashes, will the preflash not trigger all flashes, resulting in a correct measurement of exposure for subsequent photos? Or, doesn't the camera give off radio signals with FV Lock?
No. The Camera Does Not use RF signals with FV Lock. FV Lock allows you to fire the monitor pre flash sequence well before you release the shutter and maintain the same settings until you unlock FV Lock. This also eliminates the pre flash sequence imediately before releasing the shutter.
TTL flash control does not play well with Manual flash control.
Remember that TTL flash control will set the power level of the built in Speedlight or On Camera (in hotshoe) Speedlight high enough to provide a correct exposure for the ISO and Aperture you have set in the camera. When using FV Lock with Manual flashes with optical slaves or RF triggers the images will be over exposed if the Manual flash units fire when the shutter opens if the on camera Speedlight has enough power to provide a correct exposure.
Keep in mind that TTL Speedlights fire at very low power for the monitor pre flash sequence. Manual flash units firing in sync with a monitor pre flash will either either overpower the system or not be detected. Either way TTL flash control does not play well with Manual Flash.
When using FV Lock with Manual Flash Units triggered by Optical Slaves the monitor pre flash will trigger the Manual flash units on the optical slaves which may or may not be detected by the cameras flash meter. 1. If and it is a BIG IF, the manual flashes are detected during the monitor pre flash and included in the exposure calculation the TTL Speedlight will more than likely fire at minimal power. When the Manual flash units fire, the exposure might be under exposed or over exposed depending on the power level you have set. 2. If the Manual flashes are not detected by the cameras metering system during the monitor pre flash the TTL speedlight will fire at a power level high enough to provide a correct exposure given your ISO and Aperture settings without the Manual Flash units. When the Manual flash units fire when the shutter opens they will fire and over expose the image.
The bottom line is it is very unlikely you will get consistant results mixing TTL and Manual flash control. Manual flash works best when you use Manual exposure mode.
Of Course if All of the remote Speedlights are i-TTL compatible you can take full advantage of wireless i-TTL flash control to nail the exposure. Good Luck and Enjoy your Nikons!
The SB-26 units have a built-in optical slave, which you can use if you set the flash value manually. Otherwise it will fire at full power. For a few more dollars, you can get a Nikon SU-4 optical slave (bought on ebay for $65US). If you put that under a SB-26, the flash will then turn on and off based on the flash time of the nearby triggering flash. This is an improvement over manual settings if you don't have a light meter (I don't), but not as good as all-TTL. This solution is cheaper than getting SB-910s. I use one SB-910 and two SB-26s, sometimes using the SU-4 on one and find the results are good to excellent when I have time to set everything up properly. If you're shooting events, I's say just spring for 900s or 910s and life will be a lot easier.