Will using the Rollei 128BC flash ruin my camera?

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by HyperSniper, Oct 7, 2007.

  1. HyperSniper

    HyperSniper TPF Noob!

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    I recently came into the possession of an old flash, a Rollei 128BC flash unit. So, I slid it into the hotshoe of my Rebel XT and took a few shots, and it worked just fine. However, when I put in the name of the flash into google, I came up with a few forum posts of people talking about this old flash might fry the electronics on the newer electronic cameras. They were talking about the camera having to have a low trigger voltage or something like that.

    Do I have anything to worry about? I took like 20 pictures with this flash and nothing seemed wrong at the time.

    here's a picture of the thing:
    http://www.pacificrimcamera.com/images/99408.jpg
     
  2. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Do you have a multimetre? If so measure the centre pin's voltage vs the shoe ground (the metal part on a metal shoe, or the side terminals in the bit that clip onto the camera). If it's more than 6V don't use it again.

    That said if it worked for the first 20 shots it'll probably keep working. Older flashes (old is a matter of opinion since 1970s Nikon units already used low voltage triggers while some other 1980s flashes still used the full voltage) didn't use optocouplers. The camera would literally discharge the capacitor (200V +) through the tube. New cameras use optocouplers so the camera only sees a few voltages regardless of how large the capacitor is.
     
  3. HyperSniper

    HyperSniper TPF Noob!

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    Yeah, I've got a multimeter. I'll get right on that.
    EDIT:

    Ok, I really don't know exactly what I'm doing, but I measured the amount of voltage on the circuit of the flash, and got like 179 volts. The camera's voltage was no where close to that of course, so now I'm thinking that using this flash could be rather bad for the camera.
     
  4. Mike_E

    Mike_E No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You're right. You can get a product from Wein (I think) that will reduce the voltage but would probably cost as much as the flash is worth.

    Consider selling the flash (might bring a good price with the name Rollie on it) and put that towards one built for your camera.

    Or just get a Nikon and don't worry about it. ;)
     
  5. Helen B

    Helen B TPF Noob!

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    That's a good idea. I have two Wein Safe-Syncs, and neither of them are reliable.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    179V damn. You are lucky that your camera survived that. It is needless to say way beyond the camera rating. Running things at this voltage it literally becomes a matter of time. Fire off 2 flashes quickly and the heat would probably fry the triggering circuit.
     
  7. HyperSniper

    HyperSniper TPF Noob!

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    Whew.

    Glad I dodged the bullet there.

    Well, it'll still work fine on my old Canon AE-1 film camera, but who shoots film anymore? Heh.


    I'll see if I can sell it, although I find it doubtful that I'll find anyone will want to buy it.
     

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