old external flash, new camera = fried?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by elementguy13, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. elementguy13

    elementguy13 TPF Noob!

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    Okay so I own a nikon d60 and I have an external flash that my dad gave to me. It looks pretty old. Its a Promaster powerwide FTD 5400 and ive used it on my d60 probably 100 flashes already but now I just read online that it can actually be bad for the camera and the high voltage difference can actually KILL your camera?? Does anyone know if promasters are like this or any other information? thanks!
     
  2. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do a google search for trigger voltages to be safe. You are in luck in that your Nikon is good to 250Vs though so chances are that you are good.

    Do check as a new camera is a lot more expensive than a new flash.
     
  3. jlykins

    jlykins TPF Noob!

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  4. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. DavidElliot

    DavidElliot TPF Noob!

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    i had this same situation not too long ago. i decided to play it safe and invest in a sb-600 to be on the safe side
     
  6. Kevinch

    Kevinch TPF Noob!

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    You can check the trigger voltage of the flash. I had the same question (received a D60 for Christmas, it is my first DSLR) as I have a Vivitar 285HV purchased about 7~8 years ago & wondered if it was safe to use.

    I found a web site that detailed how to check it. I'm at work now & don't have the link - you should be able to Goggle it. It's pretty simple if you have a voltage meter - either digital or needle. Set the meter for DC voltage. If the meter doesn't auto-range (meaning it doesn't set the correct DC voltage range automatically), set it for the highest range. Turn the flash on until it has charged. Take the (+) lead from the meter & hold it against the little post in the center of the base of the flash - the one that will contact the center of the hotshoe on the camera. Now, within the slots on either side of the flash that slide onto the camera hotshoe, there will be a metal contact. Hold the (-) lead on either one of those.

    That's all there is to it. If you have an auto-ranging meter, you should be able to read the voltage. I fired mine with the red button a few times & took multiple readings - it was 7.8 volts. If you had to set the range on your meter & didn't get a reading or the needle barely moved, set the meter to 1 range lower & repeat. Keep adjusting until you arrive at the appropriate setting to read the voltage.

    One more thing. If you have the (+) & (-) leads set up as described & the digital meter shows a (-) voltage (or the needle doesn't sweep across the gauge unless you reverse the leads), it indicates the polarity of the flash is opposite the camera. Don't use it! It could cause serious damage to the circutry of your camera.

    Hope this helps.
     
  7. Coldow91

    Coldow91 TPF Noob!

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    I use a Canon 199A on my D40 and it is fine, I checked the voltage for both and it is fine. so I bet it is fine, but best to double check
     

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