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Question on SP and flash
Old 01-13-2007   #1
Charles D. Orze
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Question on SP and flash

Hi all,

Are there any secrets to using the SP with a modern electronic flash?

Thanks,

Charlie Orzech
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Old 01-13-2007   #2
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Depends on the flash. If you have some TTL miracle - it might not even fire! (I had a Sigma EF500 DG and it wouldn't fire through X-sync unless it was mounted on EOS body!)

OTOH there are some nice Nikon flashes with normal auto (i.e. sensor, not-TTL).

I myself use an old Canon Speedlite 277T with all my cameras - especially with Canonet QL17. Great flash with very precise sensor and automatic operation at apertures f/2 to f/22.

Try and see. Just keep the shutter speed below or at the X-sync speed
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Old 01-13-2007   #3
Trius
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I've been looking for the Olympus PS100 flash (seems to be very rare) to complement my SPs, or the PS200 which is much more common. The PS-100 has a horizontal form factor (i.e., the mounting shoe is on the side of the flash body, not the bottom), and that appeals to me. Even though the PS-200 is much more common it is still rare in North America, it seems to have been a UK import for the most part.

I digress ... most modern flashes that can be operated in manual (or straight "auto" mode) should work ... I should try my Olympus T20 flash with an SP and see how that works.

The SP has GN (guide number) operation on the aperture ring, so that should make using a manual flash pretty straightforward.
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Old 01-13-2007   #4
ruben
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Hi Charlie,
What are you going to do with a flash on your SP?

SPYDERMAN: Do you mean that with that flash you can mount it on any manual camera and obtain an accurate AUTO at f/2 ? At which ISO setting ?

Cheers,
Ruben
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Occasional Family snaps
Old 01-13-2007   #5
Charles D. Orze
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Occasional Family snaps

Hi Ruben,

Every now and then I wish I had a working flash to take family pictures indoors, etc. Of course I usually have another camera with me, but it would be nice to try flash with the SP!

Charlie

PS: I've just scanned some new shots and will be uploading these to the gallery tomorrow.
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Old 01-13-2007   #6
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Charles: Any working auto (thyristor) flash with a guide number appropriate to the film(s) you use should be fine. A Vivitar 283 is a bit large for the SP, but has a bounce head that can get the light off direct axis.
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Old 01-13-2007   #7
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My favorite flash is a non-dedicated Sunpak 383 Auto ($79.95 from B&H photo). It's a bit large but is extremely versatile. It has tilt and swivel, plus three auto-exposure modes -- f/16, f/8 and f/4 when using 400 ISO film. It also has manual modes of 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16 power. And it has a PC cord to attach to the Nikon SP PC socket (remember the days when PC had nothing to do with personal computers?) However, over time, this PC cord can become unreliable, so I always carry a spare hot-shoe-to-PC adapter just to be safe.

For family shots indoors, I pretty much set it on f/4, bouce off a ceiling or wall, open the lens to f/2.8 or 3.5 if that's the maximum aperture, and then shoot away. A shutter speed of 1/8 to 1/30 provides nice ambient fill.

Flash on a rangefinder is a joy to use ... Unlike SLRs and their mirror blackout, you never wonder if the strobe fired.

Attaching some recent examples with Nikon SPs and S3s . The candlelight shot was with a 50mm/1.4 lens wide open at 1/8 with the flash shot at 1/16th power manual and bounced off a far wall. The picture has some camera shake, but the flash froze and sharpened my daughter's face. The birthday picture was shot with a VC 25mm/4 shows daylight fill flash. The tree decoratiing was in a very dim room lit mainly by the tree lights. It was shot with a Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 wide open.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg birthday2_jan2006.jpg (81.3 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg christmas-eve--candle=EML.jpg (66.3 KB, 14 views)
File Type: jpg xmas tree9SQ dec06.jpg (79.2 KB, 13 views)
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Last edited by VinceC : 01-13-2007 at 20:29.
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Old 01-14-2007   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles D. Orze
Hi Ruben,

Every now and then I wish I had a working flash to take family pictures indoors, etc. Of course I usually have another camera with me, but it would be nice to try flash with the SP!

Charlie

PS: I've just scanned some new shots and will be uploading these to the gallery tomorrow.

Hi Charlie,

I do second Vince advice, but with a commentary. The most important is that in order to get the remarkable results Vince shows here, you would have to get some practice or tests. It is not as easy as it seems to achieve. Yet the variables of a single home are rather limited, therefore rather quickly you will produce fine images.

Now, the ergonomics of an SP with a biggie and heavy Sunpak flash will not be award winning, but according to my trials, I have found no better alternative.

On the other hand, the Olympus 35SP used at constant aperture, leaving the light metering to the flash, becomes an extremely powerful and QUICK camera.

Cheers,
Ruben

Last edited by ruben : 01-14-2007 at 04:12.
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Old 01-14-2007   #9
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That's all true, Ruben.

However, with flash, the SP can do something other cameras can't (except other Nikon RFs plus Contaxes and Kievs). I keep my Sunpak flash on the end of 4-foot extension cord for the PC cord. So I seldom mount it on the camera. I adjust the shutter speed and correct f/stop, then hold the camera with my right hand and hold the flash at arm's lenth with my left hand. Then I shoot the camera one-handed and use the focus wheel to adjust focus. It's a very flexible setup and produces very professional looking results.
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