Old Promatic 5600 flash with A100

Discussion in 'Sony/Minolta' started by david_west|9, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Hello,
    Recently bought an A100 because of the variety of lenses my wife has for her
    Maxxum 7000i. She has a Promatic FTD 5600 flash that has all kinds of features
    to it. I have seen here that the older flashes do not work well, and I have
    also been told that the film flashes can burn out a DSLR hotshoe's circuit.

    The posts here seem to say that using a film flash will cause a loss of
    functions, but to my knowledge everything seems to be working on it when
    attached to the A100. The flash fires fine and it also works on 1/16 power,
    and in the TTL mode. The AF lamp on the flash also works when I am trying to
    focus on a subject at night.

    Here are my three questions.
    Will using this flash over time burn out the circuit?
    Even though the features seem to all work fine, are they just "lighting up" and
    not really communicating with the camera to create an exact burst based on the
    If the above listed functions are working, do I still need to buy the FS 1100
    adapter for the flash?

    I enjoy basic photography and the only nightshots I would be taking would be at
    family outings, Christmas, etc. I would just like to be able to use this flash
    to take advantage of a more powerful light source and the ability to swivel and
    tilt the flash.
    Sorry for the long post but thanks in advance for your help,
  2. You don't need the FS1100. It is just an mechanical adaptor for old ISO style shoe. As you are using the flash already, you already knew the Thyristor auto mode and manual mode work. You just won't get TTL flash. If I were in your shoe, I will continue to use it as it. You will have to pay a lot more for a high end Metz to get that dual light fill flash/bounce options. I don't think Sony offer a model like that. Many like me use manual flashes but only you can decide how much risk you willing to take. Minolta does has a shoe based PC sync terminal adapter with a voltage potection circuit PCT-100 for studio flash. BTW: It ain't cheap and hard to find. You will also have to find a place to mount your flash as it will take up your flash shoe.
  3. Thanks for the info!
    I would like to ask for a little clarification though. What is the difference in voltage, or why is it considered a potential problem to mount a film flash? Honestly I will only use it 20-30 times a year. Is it something that wears over time, or is it a risk that could fry everything with one full burst?
    Sorry if I am getting realy specific, but I am just trying to find out what the risks really are. Also, any OPINION you might give would be just that, I am trying get as much info as possible to make my own decision and ultimately be responsible for it. I am just thankful for good feedback.
    Thanks Again,
  4. Here are my understandings. Two things could harm your camera.

    1. What is the difference in voltage.

    Think of your camera as a switch. If this switch is used to turn on your room light, it will see 110V AC (in US). If it is a switch to turn on your flash light, it will see your battery voltage (3V for 2 cells). A camera flash uses low battery voltage and its electronic to step up the voltage to a much higher voltage required to fire the Xeon tube. Most flash put the sync fire switch on the battery side (low voltage). Some very small number of flash put that switch on the stepped up high voltage side. The latter is what could harm your camera. Most DSLR flash sync switch can handle up to 250V. Some small numbers, like Canon's old 10D can only handle 6V. Newer Canon don't have this issue. This is the reason why one need to put a DC meter accross the the flash to measure this voltage first before using.

    #2 Is it something that wears over time, or is it a risk that could fry everything with one full burst?

    Item #1 above, if it is much higher then your camera can handle (>>250V for some), it will fry your camera in one burst. There is also a 2nd parameter at play which has some thing to do with quantum physic, probability). When a switch turn on/off, it could produce over-shoot and under shoot signal (ringing) at the switch (your camera). These abnormal ringing signals, if not supressed could have a chance to fry the electronic inside the camera (ie. latch-up). How bad are the ringing (and its chance of frying the camera) depends on the flash, camera and the connection between the flash & camera (cable, bad contact and etc). Your camera are designed to suppress these abnormal switching condition that could harm it. If not, even their own brand flash will fry the camera. Your confort level is how many layer of this safety precauion you want to put on.

    For me, I measure the flash voltage to make sure is is not much more then 50V, leaving some room for ringing. For #2, I rely on the camera's built-in protection circuit (I am the type only use UV filter only when the codition calls for it). Everytime one cross the street, one risk getting run over by a truck.
  5. Excellent!!
    Thanks so much for your help. I will definitely check the meter.
    God Bless,

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