Speedlights for Canon 20D

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by vpost, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. vpost

    vpost TPF Noob!

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    I have a Canon 20D and just inherited two older speedlight units: a Canon Speedlite 199A and a Nikon SB-26. I'm new to photography, so haven't used any sort of external flash before. The Canon is a 1980's era flash for a Canon A-1 film body and has a manual exposure dial on the back. The Nikon is an electronic flash from a 1990's era Nikon film body.

    I had read that the trigger voltage for older flash units was different and could potentially damage the 20D's electronics, so I haven't tried mounting the Canon yet. I'm also not sure the Nikon's electronics were designed to work with anything manufactured by Canon.

    So, the bottom line is, are these flash units at all useful for my 20D? Can they be mounted directly on the 20D's hot shoe or perhaps be used as external slave units?

    Thanks in advance for any input you may have.
     
  2. lostprophet

    lostprophet No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I wouldn't risk either of those.

    Get a Canon speedlite that ends with EX as they are fully dedicated.
     
  3. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    20D is safe up to 250v. The Nikon might work, but it'll only work in manual mode. You could always use them to get into the strobist thing.

    www.strobist.com
     
  4. vpost

    vpost TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the feedback, and especially to the pointer to strobist!

    After doing a little more research, I've found out that the trigger voltages are indeed safe to allow use of the SB-26 on the 20D. I also found out that the SB-26 has an optical trigger that should allow me to trigger it with the 20D's pop-up flash. However, I haven't been able to get it to work.

    I currently have both the camera and flash in manual.

    The 20D is set up at F4.5, 1/60 sec, pop-up flash at -2 stops just to trigger. I have turned off the pre-flashes used for autofocus assistance (C.Fn-05 to 1) and set the camera's flash to fire at 1st curtain sync (C.Fn-15 to 0).

    On the SB-26, I have the flash sync mode set to normal, wireless trigger set to delay. I've been told that the 20D uses a pre-flash to evaluate the exposure prior to opening the shutter, and that this may be firing the SB-26. However, shouldn't the delay mode on the SB-26 prevent this?

    When I fire the pop-up flash, I do see the SB-26 fire as well. However, the SB-26 never seems to fire when the shutter is open as the subjects I'm illuminating with it are never lit. I've tried playing around with various settings (slower shutter speeds, 1st and 2nd curtain sync, S vs D mode on the SB-26), all to no avail.

    I'm probably missing something obvious here, so any help would be appreciated.
     
  5. vpost

    vpost TPF Noob!

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