Old Sunpak flash with Canon gear

RichardRichard Mildly bemusedMadrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,373 moderator
edited November 26, 2009 in Accessories
Rummaging in my parents´ basement, I discovered a Sunpak 322 flash. It seems to work, and probably was used very little. What´s the best strategy to synch it with my 580EX and ST-E2? It has a PC connector, but I read on the net that the voltage is something like 220, so I don´t want to connect it to my 50D. Will any old optical trigger work? What about the E-TTL pre-flash--does that confuse things?

As you can see, I know very little about flash, so all suggestions are welcome.

Thx.

Comments

  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,214 moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    Richard,

    Yes, that flash could be dangerous mounted onto a modern digital SLR because of the trigger voltage. I have not had any failures yet using an optical slave to fire old flashes with high trigger voltage, but there is a potential for damage to the slave, so proceed at your own risk.

    Yes, a preflash can trigger an optical slave before the main flash pulse, so you need to use a slave which compensates, typically called a "digital slave".

    I use the Sunpak Digital Camera Flash Adapter Bracket with Built-in Slave for older hot-shoe flashes used with both manual flash pulses (a single flash) and to accommodate the pre-flash pulse from a Canon E-TTL flash. It has enough adjustability that it works with everything I have.

    The other alternative is to use a simple optical slave in conjunction with an external manual flash attached to the camera. Since a manual flash has only a single pulse, a simple optical slave is appropriate and works fine (with no automation, of course.)

    An "auto" flash attached to the camera, like a Vivitar 258HV or Sunpak 383 Super flash, can also be used as master for a simple optical slave. This allows fairly automated flash exposures and then you would use the slaved flash for flash reinforcement, key light or background illumination.

    Finally, you can use a radio slaved unit to trigger a remote hot-shoe flash and a number of solutions exist.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,214 moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    P.S. links to the Sunpak digital slave I mentioned before are:

    http://www.adorama.com/SUDCFA.html?searchinfo=sunpak+slave

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/396592-REG/Sunpak_DIGIADAPT_Digital_Camera_Flash_Adapter.html

    I should mention that it is a light-duty unit, cheap plastic construction, and not designed for very heavy flashes, but I use it a lot with the Vivitar 285HV and Sunpak 383 Super, as well as other smaller flashes, and it works without a problem.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
  • RichardRichard Mildly bemused Madrid, SpainAdministrators, Vanilla Admin Posts: 19,373 moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    Thanks, Ziggy. Is there a way to use that bracket on a light stand? I want to use the Sunpak as a slave but not on camera.

    I am seeing contradictory info on connecting it to a 50D. Canon says up to 250V is OK on the PC connect. I haven´t found anything official at all from Sunpak, but a couple of guys on Strobist.com gave measurements of 227 and 140 or so. Not sure that I trust that info.

    Anyone have any experience with Wein Peanut triggers? Looks simple and cheap, which fits my situation. ear.gif
  • ziggy53ziggy53 Still learnin'still lovin Super Moderators Posts: 22,214 moderator
    edited November 26, 2009
    Richard wrote:
    Thanks, Ziggy. Is there a way to use that bracket on a light stand? I want to use the Sunpak as a slave but not on camera.

    I am seeing contradictory info on connecting it to a 50D. Canon says up to 250V is OK on the PC connect. I haven´t found anything official at all from Sunpak, but a couple of guys on Strobist.com gave measurements of 227 and 140 or so. Not sure that I trust that info.

    Anyone have any experience with Wein Peanut triggers? Looks simple and cheap, which fits my situation. ear.gif

    To use the Sunpak digital slave that I mentioned on a tripod or light stand, you just have to thread a nut onto the thumb-screw that would normally attach the unit to the camera. The bottom of the thumb-screw has a 1/4 inch standard thread for attachment to the tripod or light bracket. If your light bracket does not have a stud with a 1/4 " screw on top, then you might want to pick up an umbrella bracket as well.

    http://www.adorama.com/SPSB.html?searchinfo=umbrella+bracket

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/298709-REG/Impact_3117_Umbrella_Bracket.html
    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/50067-REG/SP_Systems_SPBRACKS_Multi_Bracket.html

    I do not recommend using the older high-voltage regardless, unless you use something like the Wein SafeSync to protect the camera. I have one of these units and it works extremely well and does indeed protect the camera.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/245292-REG/Wein_W990560_Safe_Sync_Hot_Shoe_to.html

    http://www.adorama.com/WNSSHSHS.html?searchinfo=wein+safe+sync

    The Wein Peanut slaves are wonderful for PC connected flashes and they plug right into either a Vivitar 283/285/285HV flash for cord-free operation. for simple optical slave operation from a single pulse it works very well and I have around 6 of them.

    There is a "digital" version of the Peanut slave, but people don't think they work very well.
    ziggy53
    Moderator of the Cameras and Accessories forums
Sign In or Register to comment.