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Measuring Flash Trigger Voltage
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:09 am    Post subject: Measuring Flash Trigger Voltage Reply with quote

The 105/2.5 Vivitar macro I bought a few months ago came with a Yuzo ring flash. It was originally part of a dental kit that included a Nikon N60. I don't have any Nikon that will use the flash's dedicated module, but I'd still like to be able to use it in manual mode on my EOS DSLR.

I'm concerned about flash trigger voltage, though. And I'm not sure how it's measured. When I hold my multimeter's test leads to the flash's contacts, as the flash's capacitor charges up, the voltage increases and levels off at 4.3 volts. And then when I trip the flash, the voltage dips, then goes back up to 4.3 volts.

For some reason, I was thinking that I'd see the trigger voltage when I tripped the flash, but that doesn't appear to be the case? So is the trigger voltage the steady voltage my meter's reading before I trip the flash?

I'm a little confused because I also have a Vivitar 2600D, and according to the Strobe Trigger Voltage site, the 2600 is measured at 148v, but mine measures 5.7v. Is the 2600D that different form the 2600? Here's the link to the site:

http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

I also own an old Canon 420EZ, and the above site has it measured at 4v, and I measured 4.3v with it also. So at least that's close. Still, I'd like to make sure I'm reading this right before I operate my Yuzo flash with my Canon XS.

Can somebody confirm this for me?


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, if anybody here happens to have one of these flashes -- or knows where one is -- and if it happens to have the Canon dedicated module, I would be interested in swapping my Yuzo's Nikon dedicated module for it. Or buying the Canon module outright.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Michael,
That site is getting a bit dated...Many times there are different readings measured for the same flash from different users, so there must be some voltage variation within the same line. As long as you are getting a safe reading for your camera's electronics, you will be fine. My older Lester Dine ring light (Sunpak made) tested fine for my camera (under 6 volts) & I have used it for several years now....Can't help you with the dedicated foot though...


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback, Scott, but my main question was, Am I doing the test right? I take it since you didn't correct the way I described it, I am?


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 12:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One probe on the side of the foot & the other on the center pin is the way it's done & the reading you get is the trigger voltage. You don't have to trip the flash for a reading.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 1:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, cool, that's exactly what I was doing.

Playing around with the Yuzo at last. Man for close-up stuff, I gotta put it at 1/16 power and even increase the aperture by 1 f-stop over the readout's recommended setting for correct exposure. It's got adequate oomph! that's for sure.

Two of the Nikon dedicated contacts on the Yuzo coincide with two of the Canon's contacts, and I was wondering if this might have an effect. It appears it does. The camera wouldn't AF properly. So I taped over all four contacts on the flash, and cut a hole for the center one only. Back to normal.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:09 am    Post subject: Re: Measuring Flash Trigger Voltage Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
I'm a little confused because I also have a Vivitar 2600D, and according to the Strobe Trigger Voltage site, the 2600 is measured at 148v, but mine measures 5.7v. Is the 2600D that different form the 2600?

I have the 2800D ("D" for dedicated, low voltage) and it is indeed different from the 2800. the -D version is safe for DSLR, the older without -D is not.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know. Thanks, Jieffe.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends what you mean by safe for DSLRs. Some can handle 250 volts and some only 6 volts.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
Depends what you mean by safe for DSLRs. Some can handle 250 volts and some only 6 volts.

Yes, I'm thinking as a Pentaxian Laughing ... safe for Pentax DSLR then (I wouldn't use a flashgun with more than 12 volts on my K200D).


PostPosted: Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, Canon claims 6 volts as the limit, I believe, but it's been mentioned somewhere they'll handle up to 25 v or so? I don't want to take chances, so I'll stick to using flashes with 6v or lower trigger voltage.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For my Nikons and Olympus' I took the safe route and used a WEIN safe trigger unit for my old flashes. Some had 190Volts or thereabouts!!


PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Yeah? All of them? In that case, I reckon I oughta pull out and dust off my old Metz 60-CT1. Put it back to use.


PostPosted: Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Yeah? All of them? In that case, I reckon I oughta pull out and dust off my old Metz 60-CT1. Put it back to use.

Which model do you have and what's the trigger voltage on the Metz? I've put 145v through my 40D with no problems.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 12:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
cooltouch wrote:
martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Yeah? All of them? In that case, I reckon I oughta pull out and dust off my old Metz 60-CT1. Put it back to use.

Which model do you have and what's the trigger voltage on the Metz? I've put 145v through my 40D with no problems.


60-CT1 is the model number. It's one of the big potato-masher units, takes a separate dry-fit battery in an external battery pack, but the dry fit is dead, so I won't be able to test it until I replace the battery. Dry fits for that puppy are about $80 apiece, but there's nothing special about the battery, voltage or amperage wise. I bought one at a local electronics house for about $8 that has the same voltage, almost the same amperage, and is almost the same size. Haven't rigged up an adapter for it yet, but that's the plan.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Test the voltage it may be usable (it may well be quite low). The 60 is a pretty powerful flash.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. I've used my 60 CT-1 and an old Braun F900 as studio strobes, bouncing them into umbrellas or through diffusion panels. With a guide number (in feet @ ISO 100) of about 200, they both have quite a bit of pop to them.

According to that list, whose link I posted in my first message in this thread, the 60 CT-1 tests at about 21v. According to what I've most recently been reading this should be safe.

Did a bit of googling. Appears you were right about the 250v thing. Apparently the confusions stems from some EOS cameras and the T90 requiring a max of 6v, this coming from Chuck Westfall, a long-time Canon employee.

Here's a link to March 2007 comments by Mr. Westfall regarding which cameras are safe and which aren't as of that date:

http://www.digitaljournalist.org/issue0703/tech-tips.html

I also ran across a thread in which a T2i owner asked Canon about this and the Canon reply was that it was safe to 250v. So it would appear that all the recent Canon DSLRs, including my lowly XS, are safe for the higher trigger voltages.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Careful, we must not mix the hot shoe with the studio flash connector.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Careful, we must not mix the hot shoe with the studio flash connector.


Yes, but do the amateur-grade modern EOS cameras even have a studio flash connector? My XS (1000D) doesn't. And I doubt that the T1i or T2i do either. Nonetheless, since my XS doesn't have a PC connector, which is required to use my Metz 60 CT1 or my Braun F900, I think I'll get one of those Wein off-camera safe voltage thingies just to be on the safe side.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

5D1 has studio flash connector...


PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LucisPictor wrote:
martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Careful, we must not mix the hot shoe with the studio flash connector.

Same circuit.


PostPosted: Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
LucisPictor wrote:
martinsmith99 wrote:
The modern Canons will take 250 volts. Even my old 400D would handle 250. The 300D was only 6v though.


Careful, we must not mix the hot shoe with the studio flash connector.


Yes, but do the amateur-grade modern EOS cameras even have a studio flash connector? My XS (1000D) doesn't. And I doubt that the T1i or T2i do either. Nonetheless, since my XS doesn't have a PC connector, which is required to use my Metz 60 CT1 or my Braun F900, I think I'll get one of those Wein off-camera safe voltage thingies just to be on the safe side.

My old 400D didn't have a PC socket so I was forced to use a hotshoe to sync cable.

I think you'll find that it's the same circuit; if it's ok on one it'll be ok on the other. Like I said, I've used much more than 6v on the hotshoe of my 40D.

Or, ring Canon and ask them what the max voltage is for your hotshoe. Being a modern Canon I would stake my life on it being 250V.

Edit: have a read of this thread, but this discussion comes up all the time.
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=686339


PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:47 pm    Post subject: Safe flash trigger voltage for Sony Alpha A6000? Reply with quote

I have a Vivitar 285HV flashgun with a flash trigger voltage of 5.8V. Is this safe to use on a Sony Alpha A6000 camera?


PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked at my list of flashes, and I have checked the trigger voltages and noted them on the list, and the the highest voltage flash I've got is an old Prinz Jupiter 677TCB with 260 volts and the Vivitar 283 with 244 volts. And having a Sony A6000 I was interested in finding out what voltage is safe, not that I would ever use these two flash on my A6000. So I Googled and found this -

http://www.shutterbug.com/content/using-older-electronic-flash-digital-cameras-what-works%E2%80%94what-doesn%E2%80%99t#DGGMv3z1mJfV8lwr.97

which states - "There is an ISO (International Standards Organization) standard that states that the trigger voltage for flash unit ignition circuits should be 24v or less." - so I would think a 5.8 volt flash would be safe

This is NEX related, but I think it's probably reasonable to think the information is OK.

http://photo.stackexchange.com/questions/33544/what-external-flash-trigger-voltage-is-safe-for-the-sony-nex

And here's a guy on Dyxum who says he spoke to Sony, and 24 volts is OK.

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/sony-alpha100-flash-trigger-voltage_topic17288.html