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Canon flash voltages
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:43 am    Post subject: Canon flash voltages Reply with quote

From Tech Tips by Chuck Westfall (Canons director of media and consumer relations)
(Question posed) " I recently posted a question regarding the safe maximum sync voltage for an EOS 30D on http://www.openphotographyforums.com/. A reply led me to an article called Tech Tips answering a number of Canon-related FAQ. You addressed the safe sync voltage for a number of models, including the 20D, but I was wondering where I might be able to find published data on the safe sync voltages for the entire range of Canon cameras (or maybe just the 30D, as that's the body I'm using now). "
(Answer from CW) " It's likely you'll never see an official list of all Canon SLRs according to this specification, because Canon Inc. (our parent company in Japan) simply doesn't do things like that. I've been with Canon USA since 1982, so I'm in a pretty good position to know Canon Inc.'s habits. However, I'll be happy to provide you with my unofficial list:
Canon Digital SLRs safe for TCV up to 250 volts:
EOS-1D Mark II N, EOS-1D Mark II, EOS-1Ds Mark II, EOS-1D, EOS-1Ds
EOS 30D, 20D, 5D
EOS Digital Rebel XTi, XT (400D/350D)
EOS D6000/D2000, Kodak DCS560/DCS520 (circa 1998)
EOS-DCS series (circa 1995)

Canon Digital SLRs safe for TCV up to 6 volts:
EOS 10D, D60, D30
EOS Digital Rebel (300D)

Canon 35mm SLRs safe for TCV up to 250 volts:
EOS-1V, EOS-1N, EOS-1, EOS 3

Canon 35mm and IX240 SLRs safe for TCV up to 6 volts:
EOS 650, 620, 630, RT
EOS 850, 750, 700
EOS Rebel Series
EOS Elan Series
EOS 10s, A2E, A2

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't trust that. If you fry your DSLR just because you used a cheapo flash, that'll be a costly experience. I use a WEIN optocoupler (adaptor) ($49) and be on the safe side whatever DSLR or older flash I use.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Life is a risk. Live dangerously.

PostPosted: Sat Mar 21, 2009 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh well, let's rephrase that a bit: the creator gave man a brain and he did not forbid to use it - sometimes.

PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a reasonable list of strobe trigger voltages held here:

Although I don't think that that list is actively maintained anymore?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen a Metz 45 fry a Nikon D70 which is supposed to be safe to 250 volts.

Good job the guy had a Nikon or it could ruined a good camera. Laughing

PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
I've seen a Metz 45 fry a Nikon D70 which is supposed to be safe to 250 volts.

Good job the guy had a Nikon or it could ruined a good camera. Laughing

Of course, there's always an element of uncertainty. Aged electronics might let go with a zap of many times the voltage they're supposed to. A simple short circuit might have disastrous consequences for some kit and so on.

PostPosted: Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A short circuit "only" draws high currents, the major issue is the high voltage though and esp. sharp spikes (sorry for being an el. engineer Wink ).

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:39 pm    Post subject: Alternativ small Metz 402 Flash-Studio Reply with quote

Dont know if this is the right place for my following post?
If not i ask one of the moderators to bring this post on the right place.

This is an example for a little home flashligt - studio build with small money, realized with some old METZ 402 Flashlights. Depending on your luck in evilbay auctions, it would be possible to realize such a small studio with less than 250 Euro, i have paid for. A Canon EX 580 Flashligt would be more expensiv than this solution.
You can use this set for table top, Portraits and a lot more...

First of all, the Metz 402 Unit, i did use 30 Years ago as a PRO in a press agency...

You can connect two flashes on one generator. The guide number = 56 on ISO 100. Each flash can flash independent from the other and also
regulate with small slide switches for ISO and f-stopp, or can be used in
max. Mode.

You can have some different filters in red, green, blue and neutral.
A diffraction screen is also available for this unit. So the flash can also use for Medium Format.

Here is my complete set of 5 Flashes and 3 Generators..
(and an additional Metz 45 CT1 for some other situations)

One further important feature, the mechanical interface between the flash and the camera, the rail, has some screw threads, which you can use for extend more than the normal way of using that. Here is a pic, that says more than thousand words...

On one Tripod you can realize different positions for the flashes.. as this

You can also reverse the flash direction etc..
What i want to say, this units are very flexible..

To control the 2 of the 3 Generators i decided to buy 2 cheap
16 - channnel taiwanese radio transmitter and make my own realisation of connecting the transmitter to the flash. I did buy 2 of them and converted the normal x-contact jacks to chinch. This gives the ability to connect more than one flash to one receiver.

Here is a picture of the solution.

I also splitted the power chords and converted them to XLR jacks to make them longer with 3-wire microfon - cables..

Hope you can imagine, how i realized this mini studio..

So, how does it works?

Ok lets have a look.. first of all, there was no model in the house, so i have to manage all by myself.. Very Happy

My flat has a ceilling heigth of about 4 meters.. so it was necessary to use two flashes for indirect "bouncing" light. LZ 112 against the ceiiling...

I also did use a simple white umbrella as a refector in this way..

My small Leica travel and desk - tripod did a good job for holding the flash... Smile

For finding the correct light balance between the bounce and the reflecting part i did use my my ceilling light stand.. with an old hat from the summer days, to find out, how the shadow to light ratio must be..

Isnt it a lovely model Very Happy Very Happy

After some shots i marked the position and replace the beuatiful lamp with myself.. ugly Crying or Very sad

This solution is a small but nice and easy to transport set for small jobs in the family, neighborhood and can also help in much situations to make things easier in daylight situations. It costs less then one System Flash from Canon and is much more flexible.


Last edited by hinnerker on Wed Nov 04, 2009 7:21 pm; edited 1 time in total

PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In addition to the initial post i have to say, that the trigger voltage of the Metz 402 Units are about 217 Volts..

Here my experiences with different Canon cams:

EOS 350D... no problems up to 250 Volts, if you can make sure, that the
X-Contact of the flash not comes in contact with the 4 small contacts which manage the interaction between cam and Canon System Flashes. This contacts are the "Achilles heel"..

so i did use the X Shoe only with isolating films over the 4 contacts and with a screwable hotshoe... it works fine all the time.

Canon 400D.... the same..

Canon 5D.. the same, in addition to that, the EOS 5D did have a cable contact which is also able to handle the old trigger Voltages. Its a X-contact on the left side of the cam, they named it PC-contact.. it mean to remember. So the 5D is uncritically for the old flashes.