Love my Sunpak 333, but need help with operation. Help please?!

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by bekovan, Jun 25, 2007.

  1. bekovan

    bekovan TPF Noob!

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    I have this great (older) flash, a Sunpak 333, that I used on my old Canon SLR film camera. There are ports for connection to the camera and something called "auto thyristor" on the flash itself. It swivels almost 360 degrees around and can tilt 90 degrees from forward to straight up. It's wonderful for bounce lighting.

    Anyway, I moved into digital photography a few years ago with the ultra compact Pentax S4; nice camera, great for travel due to it's small size. Recently though, I've started leaning back towards full SLR and in April, I bought a Pentax (really like this company) K100D digital SLR. Wonderful features like in-camera image stabilization and the ability to use any (almost) Pentax-compatible lens ever made. However, the flash on the camera casts harsh, direct light and it doesn't meter accurately when there are objects in the foreground.

    I would like to use my old Sunpak 333, which will need to be set on "manual". Here's my problem: I don't have the instruction manual that came with the flash and I'm having a horrid time trying to figure out all the settings. I cannot find the instructions online!

    Does anyone have an old instruction manual that they'd be willing to scan for me? I just need to know how to set the manual settings and adjust for distances. Thanks in advance.

    Donovan
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    The flash should work the same on your digital SLR as it did on your film SLR because (I'm assuming) the only thing the camera communicates to the flash is when to fire.

    The 'Auto Thyristor' flashes that I have used...work like this. There is usually a Manual/Auto switch. When in manual mode, it fires at full power...so you would adjust the flash exposure by changing the aperture of the lens or the distance from the flash to the subject. There should be a distance scale on the flash, which should tell you what aperture would be needed for the distance you are working with...or you could use the GN (guide number) to work it out.

    When in auto mode, there should be something to indicate the F stop. Some flashes have one or two to choose from, some are more flexible. In this case, you would match the F number setting on the flash and the aperture of the lens. There may also be an ISO setting, which should be matched up. Then when you shoot, the flash will read it's own reflected light and shut off when there is enough light to expose for the settings. For example, you might set it to F8 @ ISO 100. You set the camera to the same settings and you should get good exposure within the range of the flash. You could then adjust the aperture or ISO to adjust how much exposure you are getting from the flash.

    Also, I found this: http://www.photobooksonline.com/books/userbk19.html
     
  3. bekovan

    bekovan TPF Noob!

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    Big Mike

    Thank you for the answer. In the past, I used this flash for almost all my shooting. But it's been in storage for the last 5-6 years because of my affair with the S4. Little by little, my knowledge of how to use it is coming back; in fact, your answer jogged my memory a bit and I'm ready to start using it again (with confidence).

    I did see that website that you suggested, but I was looking for the cheap (read free) way to get the information. *Sigh* i may need to bite the bullet and purchase a copy if I cannot remember everything. Again, thanks for the reply.

    Donovan
     

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