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M8 and flash trigger voltages... what's safe?
Old 01-22-2010   #1
robklurfield
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M8 and flash trigger voltages... what's safe?

I rediscovered a 20+ year old Achiever 260T flash from the mid-1980's in a closet. I can't find an instruction or spec sheet anywhere.

I've done some research that suggests it puts out about 220 to 250 volts. Is this enough to fry anything if used on an M8? I suspect it is. Anyone have knowledge on this? Thanks!
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Old 01-22-2010   #2
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That would fry bacon. Modern cameras are 6 volts or so. Wein makes a hot shoe device that isolates the flash. About $50.

Wein Safe Sync.
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Old 01-23-2010   #3
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I also would´nt go over 6V.

Some years old, but quite interesting and most of you well known is this website
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Dont worry, be happy
Old 01-23-2010   #4
Olsen
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Dont worry, be happy

It is absolutely safe to use on a M8! the M8, along with all modern cameras of today, have a built in restrictor that prevents any high voltages to reach the electronics of the camera. I regularly use my M8 with two 30 years old Vivitar 285, and several cheaper and smaller flashes of the same age. It works fine.

(Has anyone heard of a M8 - or any other modern camera, being 'fried' be an old flash?)
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Old 01-23-2010   #5
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Nice modern used flashes are available for US$ 50 as well. They come with a great level of peace of mind and some automatic apertures, take the Nikon SB27 for example. My advice is to get one of those. The potential benefit of using your old one if US$ 50, the potential loss could be much more.

One other thing you could try is getting a confirmation from Leica. I doubt strongly they'll do it, though.

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Old 01-23-2010   #6
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Ivo,

They are totally uneccessary. Olsen is right. don't worry, be happy. Use any old flash directly on Leica M8 (MP, M7, M6 etc etc.)
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Old 01-23-2010   #7
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this is far from unanimous. thanks everyone for the opinions. it seems this is far from a settled issue.

is anyone currently using a high voltage flash on an M8 or M9 and, if so, can you post some images?

phototektour, thanks for the link. that's one of the places I visiting to research the trigger voltage on this flash.
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Old 01-23-2010   #8
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You know what this means? Someone has to go the first step! Let us know, how your M8 thinks about it :-)

PS
ICE, you have the number from CS Solms?
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Old 01-23-2010   #9
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any volunteers from our studio audience???
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototektour View Post
You know what this means? Someone has to go the first step! Let us know, how your M8 thinks about it :-)

PS
ICE, you have the number from CS Solms?
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Old 02-11-2010   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robklurfield View Post
any volunteers from our studio audience???
No volunteers till today???

So, if you are still interested, read this #22 + #23. Maybe its helpful.
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Old 02-14-2010   #11
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I don't have a Vivitar to fry the guts of my camera, but I just tested my Nikon SB-26 (greatest flash ever made IMO) and not only will it automatically set the camera for flash in A mode, but at speeds slower than 1/250 it will set the 2nd curtain automatically if I've selected it in-camera. That's usually a function that I set on the flash itself though, so it's not a big deal.
The big deal is that it works in my flash's A mode and so Guide Number operation is in effect.

I still have to use the flash on-camera or use a Nikon TTL extension cord (which I'm going to glue a cold shoe to the top of) to get GN set.

I normally don't use flash at all, but knowing that the SB-26 works better on the M8 than on a new Nikon digital is kind of pleasing.

Phil Forrest
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Old 02-15-2010   #12
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thanks for that link. interesting reading. my achiever kicks out 250V, so I'm still a little wary.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phototektour View Post
No volunteers till today???

So, if you are still interested, read this #22 + #23. Maybe its helpful.
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Old 12-12-2010   #13
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http://www.paramountcords.com/faq.asp
(N. 13)
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Old 12-12-2010   #14
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Thanks folks, for all the Voltage info. I have two flashes, both Vivitars that are "no go." Fortunately, I also have a little Pentax that should be fine.

A Vivitar 283 I have actually burnt a circuit in my Yashica Electro GSN. I can't afford to take the chance with my more expensive modern digital cameras and they're nowhere near as expensive as an M8.
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Old 12-12-2010   #15
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Bellow 300 Volt it is safe.
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Old 12-13-2010   #16
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According to Leica (official) the camera is safe to 600 Volts. The is about the M9, but the M8 should be identical.

Quote:
The M9 is capable of triggering flash devices using high voltage.
It is possible to use flash devices with a voltage up to 600 Volts.

But it is important that the positive terminal is on the middle contact of the hot shoe and the ground terminal is on the mounting bar.

Mit freundlichen Gruessen / kind regards

Stefan Staudt

Leica Camera AG
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Gewerbepark 8 / D-35606 Solms / Germany
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Last edited by jaapv : 12-13-2010 at 06:05.
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