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View Full Version : Can someone tell me what I have (Norman 200b)


sadyrose
1st of November 2006 (Wed), 19:40
I have inherited a Norman 200b set up, but I haven't the slightest idea what to do with it. I don't know if it's complete, if it can be used with my XT or if I should just toss it. I have pluged what I assume is the charger into the battery pack to charge it, but the batter doesn't seem to charge. It looks corroded inside so I guess that is in need of replacement. Everything else looks fairly good, but again I don't know anything. I'm a recent graduate to DSLR's and all the many many addons that come with the this new world. I have included a picture of everything in hopes someone can tell me what I have.

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b367/Sadyrose/norman200bedit.jpg


Thank you for any and all help!

FlashZebra
1st of November 2006 (Wed), 22:58
This is a relatively powerful, battery powered, and moderately portable, flash unit.

It has:


A power pack
A battery pack that fits inside the power pack
A charger
A flash head

If the unit is old, it is very likely the battery pack is bad. I would be careful with the battery pack if it is very old, some of these were lead acid packs, and if it is old and corroded you might get caustic debris that may be dangerous.

It might work fine with a new battery.

If you do get it going be careful if you hook it up to your XT DSLR. It is likely to have a high sync Voltage that may damage your camera. There are inexpensive devices that go on the sync cord that can make the Voltage fine for your camera.

Even if you do not want it, I would not just toss it out (tossing the battery might be a very good idea). It may provide utility to some other human.

For the right price I might even be interested.

Enjoy! Lon

sadyrose
2nd of November 2006 (Thu), 07:23
Thanks Lon! I have another question, which shows how ignorant I am. Does this mount on the camera (such as a hot shoe flash) or how exactly is this flash used? I don't have the instruction manual for it , and a search of the forum turned up only a few results for this flash unit, none of which explained how exactly this is used.

FlashZebra
2nd of November 2006 (Thu), 10:13
Thanks Lon! I have another question, which shows how ignorant I am. Does this mount on the camera (such as a hot shoe flash) or how exactly is this flash used? I don't have the instruction manual for it , and a search of the forum turned up only a few results for this flash unit, none of which explained how exactly this is used.
I only have vague information about the flash from looking at pictures on the web and from my reasonably good general knowledge about studio flash units. Im have never actually used this particular unit.

I will give you my best guess.

This unit also has a place for a shoulder strap for the power pack, so I suspect that the power pack unit was intended to often be carried with the flash head mounted near the camera. The coiled power cable from the power pack to the flash head tends to buttress this opinion.

Possibly this is an older flash unit used for weddings and such.

It looks pretty unwieldy by today’s standards, and I have no idea how you physically mounted the flash unit near the camera, possibly some sort of special bracket. The sync connection was likely made with a cord (unlike a hot shoe which is both a physical mount, and a electrical connection).

If I had a better images of the actual flash unit and the top of the power pack I might be able to help in a more definitive manner, or possibly others on the forum may have used this exact unit.

Enjoy! Lon

Ed Kanney
2nd of November 2006 (Thu), 20:38
Congratulations - you have an antique. If the interior case shows any signs of battery leakage pitch the battery and clean the interior lightly w/a dry abrasive. If all looks good, it might be worth doing a google for replacement battery - about $80.00 last I saw (hopefuly your charger still works!!!). The Norman 200 B (I had 2 for a very short time about 18 yrs. ago..... + mine were old then) is a fully manual 200 Watt Second strobe. The head attaches to the bracket by 1/4 20 screw. At 100 ISO on full power @ 10 feet effective apereture is f16 (should really be f20 - but w/film gear no biggie). 1/2 power @ 10' f 11. 1/4 power @ 10' f8. One problem here - this monster will probably fry the circuitry in a less expensive (non 1D series) digital platform. Need to find out the trigger voltage and check your camera's specs. This has a Ni-Cad battery w/great recyle times but builds up 'memory' easily and gives absolutely NO notice when it will be totally discharged. Works great on a light stand/w umbrella for off camera light (trigger by either optical or radio slave). Google Norman - (they are still in business) to find out more (might have been bought out by now - still see their adds in Pro mags. Working used units are all over e-bay for $125-$225.00. IMHO I would RUN.... not walk away from this monster!!!

FlashZebra
3rd of November 2006 (Fri), 00:53
Congratulations - you have an antique. If the interior case shows any signs of battery leakage pitch the battery and clean the interior lightly w/a dry abrasive. If all looks good, it might be worth doing a google for replacement battery - about $80.00 last I saw (hopefuly your charger still works!!!). The Norman 200 B (I had 2 for a very short time about 18 yrs. ago..... + mine were old then) is a fully manual 200 Watt Second strobe. The head attaches to the bracket by 1/4 20 screw. At 100 ISO on full power @ 10 feet effective apereture is f16 (should really be f20 - but w/film gear no biggie). 1/2 power @ 10' f 11. 1/4 power @ 10' f8. One problem here - this monster will probably fry the circuitry in a less expensive (non 1D series) digital platform. Need to find out the trigger voltage and check your camera's specs. This has a Ni-Cad battery w/great recyle times but builds up 'memory' easily and gives absolutely NO notice when it will be totally discharged. Works great on a light stand/w umbrella for off camera light (trigger by either optical or radio slave). Google Norman - (they are still in business) to find out more (might have been bought out by now - still see their adds in Pro mags. Working used units are all over e-bay for $125-$225.00. IMHO I would RUN.... not walk away from this monster!!!
Hey for never actually using or even seeing one of these units (I did see a few pics), I did pretty well.

Enjoy! Lon

sadyrose
3rd of November 2006 (Fri), 11:08
thanks to both of you. I gathered it was something I'd have to mount to a flash bracket if I wanted to use it on camera. I really don't think thats something I'd like to do, but I am interested in using it on a stand when taking pictures of my own children. Things like christmas card photos.

It figured it would be something fun to just play around with since it was free (came with my house actually). For now I'll just put it back in a box and learn a little more about lighting.

FlashZebra
3rd of November 2006 (Fri), 11:17
thanks to both of you. I gathered it was something I'd have to mount to a flash bracket if I wanted to use it on camera. I really don't think thats something I'd like to do, but I am interested in using it on a stand when taking pictures of my own children. Things like christmas card photos.

It figured it would be something fun to just play around with since it was free (came with my house actually). For now I'll just put it back in a box and learn a little more about lighting.
Toss the battery pack and clean out any corrosion or debris in the power before you store it, as a bad battery may damage the power pack. If you do not want to toss the battery, at least store it in a plastic bag outside of the power pack.

If you decide to toss the battery pack, cut the electrical cord connection on the battery pack off and save it. Allow the cord that you cut off the battery pack to be as long as possible. Be sure the battery is discharged before you cut the cord.

This cut cord connection might come in handy if you have to adapt some other battery for use in the power pack.

Enjoy! Lon

conrog1969
2nd of April 2008 (Wed), 07:43
I have used these units for years. I use them whenever I do remote shoots where AC power is unavailable. I also use them for wedding photography. I have used this pack with the Quantum QFlash but I find myself going back to the LH2 head and shooting manual for more consistent light control.
The NiCad batteries are expensive and still have memory issues. I manufacturer and use the Lead Acid batteries. They work exceptional. I can get about 200 full power pops from one battery. I charge them with the grey cube charger on trickle. Charging them on full power charge may damage the cells.
If anyone is interested in purchasing batteries for their Norman 200, Please drop me a line and I can send the details.