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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon EOS Digital Cameras 
Thread started 18 Oct 2003 (Saturday) 10:39
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Sunpack Flash & 10D Problem?

 
jparsley
Hatchling
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Joined Oct 2003
     
Oct 18, 2003 10:39 |  #1

Anyone have any experiance with using a sunpack flash with the 10d. I have a 4000AF new, works on my cannon A1 just fine. Bought a 10D and the camera will send all of the information to the flash head but will not fire in any mode. I know about the TTL problem and should be using it in auto mode. But the sunpack does not have a quote auto mode, just TTL and manual. But I would think it should fire in manual. Any one have a suggestion or comment about probem or what should I be using: cannon flashes only I would suppose.




  
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robertwgross
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Oct 18, 2003 11:59 |  #2

First question: What is the trigger voltage of the flash unit?

(Holding the flash by itself, turn it on. Then with a voltmeter set to DC volts, measure it at the contacts where it would attach to the camera.)

For a modern Canon flash, you will see a voltage like 5, and that is good. For an older flash, you will see a voltage like 170, and that is what will kill or can kill the camera.

---Bob Gross---




  
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PrimoFelis
Member
41 posts
Joined Oct 2003
     
Oct 26, 2003 06:34 |  #3

Hello Jparsley,

I don't have a 10D, but several weeks ago I had a chance to play with a Canon PowerShot G3 in combination with my Sunpak PZ4000AF. (Like 10D, G3 uses E-TTL.)

My initial expectations and experience were identical to yours -- no firing of flash at all, even when the flash was set in the manual mode.

[For those not familiar with the Sunpak PowerZoom 4000AF Canon version, it is dedicated to EOS TTL/A-TTL (not E-TTL), though it also features manual modes -- full power and 1/16 power; no flash-based auto mode, however.]

This lead to much research into workings of E-TTL and role of each of the four TTL contacts, etc. (There are many useful webpages on these topics, though none was specifically on Sunpak 4000AF.)

My conclusion is that, for whatever reasons, this particular flash just does not fire at all as long as the "extra" TTL contacts between the flash and the (E-TTL) camera body are maintained. (i.e., this is the normal behavior of this particular Sunpak flash -- though probably unintended.)

Specifically, one of the four TTL contacts on the hot shoe is having this effect of keeping the flash from firing when connected to an E-TTL camera body, even when the flash is set to manual. It is the little "dot" on the left side and closest to the central main "dot" (as you look down on top of the camera, with the camera in your hands in the ready-to-shoot position) that is inhibiting the flash from firing.

I was able to verify this by putting a little piece of tape over this particular TTL contact dot to interrupt the connection, and the flash worked as expected with this temporary modification. (Of course, for regular uses it would probably make more sense to interupt all four TTL contacts, perhaps via an after-market accessory shoe.)

Note that this flash-inhibition effect of the TTL contacts may be particular to Sunpak PZ4000AF (only?). I also have a Sunpak Auto 555 (a.k.a. G4500DX) with an interchangeable EOS TTL dedication module, and G3 worked fine (in manual and flash-based auto mode) with the TTL connections intact.

In any case, these flashes weren't designed to work with E-TTL camera bodies to start with, so I guess we can't complain about any "misbehaviors" when they are forced/allowed to talk to each other via the TTL contacts. I guess they get confused. :)

For what it's worth, I should have a Digital Rebel to play with by next weekend. I will see if above experience with G3 holds true with DRebel, but something tells me it will.

As for alternatives, aside from the Canon's own EX-series flashes (safe choice), there is at least one Sigma flash that is supposed to support E-TTL.

Also, I understand that Sunpak is supposed to have just introduced or will introduce shortly (at least in the Japanese market) a new flash called PowerZoom 40X, and it will (supposedly) fully support E-TTL flash as well.

http://www.sunpak.jp/p​roducts/index.html (external link) (This website is in Japanese.)

As always, your mileage may vary.

PS. 4000AF's trigger voltage was 4.95V as I measured it. So it should be safe to use with 10D, as far as that goes.




  
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bluebomberx
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Oct 26, 2003 11:50 |  #4

Strange, my Sunpak PZ5000AF works fine in manual and auto modes on my 10D.


flickr (external link)

  
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jcsorensen
Member
110 posts
Joined Jul 2003
     
Oct 26, 2003 16:28 |  #5

I have a Quantaray QTB 7500-A (probably actually made by Sunpack or Vivitar) that gets fickle sometimes. Sometimes it won't fire for anything. Yesterday I thought I had it narrowed down to weak batteries, but I think I ruled that out. I then thought I had dirty contacts, but still not sure. I've also slightly adjusted the flash's position on the hot shoe and have had mixed results.

Thanks to the input in this thread I now have another possible solution.




  
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PrimoFelis
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41 posts
Joined Oct 2003
     
Oct 29, 2003 01:30 |  #6

Just a followup to my previous post, in case anyone was interested.

I got a chance to test Sunpak PZ4000AF with Digital Rebel (EOS 300D). As predicted, the flash seemed to behave the same as with G3 -- as far as I could tell.

That is, the flash won't fire at all if you just mount the flash on the camera's hot shoe and try to use it, even if you set the flash to manual. But it fires fine if you block the TTL contacts -- in particular the single contact that I explained in the above post. Makes sense. I expect the same with 10D.

Hope this helps.




  
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jors1je
Hatchling
1 post
Joined Nov 2003
     
Nov 19, 2003 12:46 |  #7

Have you learned any more about the misfiring of your flash. Yesterday I purchased teh same Flash for my Canon D30 and had good flashes at first. Tehn after a while it did not respond. It has not responded since and I am pulling my hairs trying to figure out why.

Any help would be awesome.

Juan

jcsorensen wrote:

I have a Quantaray QTB 7500-A (probably actually made by Sunpack or Vivitar) that gets fickle sometimes. Sometimes it won't fire for anything. Yesterday I thought I had it narrowed down to weak batteries, but I think I ruled that out. I then thought I had dirty contacts, but still not sure. I've also slightly adjusted the flash's position on the hot shoe and have had mixed results.

Thanks to the input in this thread I now have another possible solution.




  
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jcsorensen
Member
110 posts
Joined Jul 2003
     
Nov 19, 2003 12:51 |  #8

Still mixed results--can't pin point to any one cause. Still trying various tests and have ordered a Sigma EF-500 Super DG (Canon 550EX clone) to try additional tests. It should be here this week. I'll let you know what results I get.




  
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jcsorensen
Member
110 posts
Joined Jul 2003
     
Nov 24, 2003 00:37 |  #9

Got a Sigma EF-500 Super DG from Delta International (outstanding customer support by the way) and it works great with my camera. No Err 99s since I started using it and it fires every time (as long as I let it recharche between flashes). Looks like my Quantaray flash was the source of many of my problems. I've only had the flash a couple of days, so I might still have some problems--but things are looking brighter (no pun intended).




  
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Sunpack Flash & 10D Problem?
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