has anyone used the SC-29 cable with non-Nikon flashes?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dwayne_kuan, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. i just bought the SC-29 cable (for use with the D300s) but when i plug it into a Sunpak PZ42XN (nikon iTTL compatible), TTL functions work but the AF assist illuminator on the cable doesn't light up. has anyone used this cable successfully with non-Nikon flashes or does this cable only work with Nikon flashes?
     
  2. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    On the SB-600, SB-800, and SB-900, there are two additional electronic connections on the front side of the hot-shoe mount to make the AF-assist LED work on the SC-29. If you are using a 3rd-party flash without those connections, you will lose the AF assist capability on the SC-29.
    I am not familiar with the Sunpak and don't know whether it has those contacts or not.
     
  3. How many contacts does the Sunpak has? If it's just plain ISO hotshoe connectivity it should work.
     
  4. I think (Shun will correct me if I'm wrong) that the AF-assist LED gets its power from the TTL flash. I wouldn't expect it to work with any flash that doesn't accommodate that.
     
  5. i think the sc-29 will only function as an sc-28 on a 3rd party flash like the sunpak, nissin and metz due to "proprietory" circuitry :)
    luke might be right.
     
  6. It works... sorta, minus the AF lamp. I just tried it with my Nikon SB-10 flash. No TTL, the only "dedication" is the flash-ready lamp, otherwise it's an ordinary auto-thyristor type flash like gazillions of Vivitars, Sunpaks and others.
    Just put the SC-29 on my D2H, set the SB-10 to auto mode (f/5.6 at ISO 200), set the D2H to 1/60th and f/5.6, popped a shot and the exposure was fine. The red AF assist lamp on the SC-29 did not light up, tho'. Apparently it needs a dedicated flash attached for that function.
    I'll run a few more experiments with my various Vivitar, Canon, Olympus and other brand flashes. I've used all of those directly on the hotshoe of my D2H so I know they're compatible. But this was the first time I tried the SC-29 cord with anything other than the SB-800.
     
  7. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The problem is in the extra connections on the SC-29, SB-600, 800 and 900 as I mentioned earlier. If I have time tonight, I'll take pictures of those flashes. The issue should be very apparent to everybody once you see the picture.
     
  8. What I suggested is still only a 'plausible' explanation at this time. I cannot find a reference that indicates clearly where the AF-assist gets its power from. Obviously, it needs some signal from the body to know when to activate. But as for where it gets its power, I'm not sure.
     
  9. Interesting question, never occurred to me to wonder where the AF assist lamp on the SC-29 draws its power.
     
  10. what shun mentioned are the two BRASS FLAT METAL contact points in front of the "foot" of the flash.
    they are not connected to the metal foot itself but imbeded into the base of the flash.
     
  11. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    The top image here shows the SC-28 and SC-29 side by side. Notice that the SC-29 has two additional electronic contacts for the AF-assist LED?
    Now the SB-600, SB-800 and SB-900 have two corresponding electronic contacts in front of their hot shoe to work with the extra contacts on the SC-29. That is why its AF-assist LED can function with those flashes. However, the older SB-80 DX on the bottom left has no such contacts. If your flash is like the SB-80 DX, you are out of luck with that LED functionality.

    [​IMG]
    00WKtG-239581684.jpg
     
  12. you guys are so awesome! so many responses in such a short time!
    anyway i took a hard look at the sc-29 and sc-28 and Shun, Luke & Ramon were right, there are 2 distinct brass metal points that are OUTSIDE the hotshoe which a 3rd party flash does not seem to have. since i don't have a Nikon flash myself, i assume Nikon flashes have this external 2 brass metal points to hook up to the SC-29 and provide power. iTTL functions are intact however.
    and Ramon is right that the SC-28 functions perfectly with 3rd party Nikon iTTL-compatible flashes because it has all the regular hotshoe contacts.
    thanks again, you guys are AWESOME!!!
     
  13. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Here is more a "bottom view" of the SB-900, SB-800, and SB-600 side by side. Those two electronic contacts in front of the hot shoe should be very clear.
    On the hot shoe module of the SC-29, there is a little switch. When you switch it on, it will raise the two contacts to make connection to the flash, and the flash will indeed power the AF-assist LED on the SC-29. When you switch it off, the contacts on the SC-29 will retract and the flash will turn on the AF-assist LED on the flash instead of the one on the SC-29.
    00WKuc-239597584.jpg
     
  14. ohmygawd, Shun! you da man! thanx for the very detailed pics! i wonder why do 3rd party flash manufacturers not bother putting that nify lil contacts in front.
     
  15. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Years ago, when I bought my first SB-800, I was wondering what those extra contacts were for. I finally got the answer when I bought the SC-29. For those who have the SC-29, check out that switch and see how it raises the two contacts to make connection with the flash.
    Didn't I give a short answer to the original question in the very first response in this thread? But as people say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." How true?
     
  16. Didn't I give a short answer to the original question in the very first response in this thread? But as people say, "A picture is worth a thousand words." How true?​
    Very true. I didn't realize until I re-examined my own SB-800 and SC-29 that I'd figured out what those extra contacts were for, along with the retractable pins on the SC-29... back in 2005. And promptly forgot.
    This thread prompted me to review my D2H manual and the original dpreview review for the D2H... which reminded me of several features I'd forgotten because I seldom used 'em.
     

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