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PICList Thread
'[EE] slave flash for digital cam'
2008\05\12@205147 by Dr Skip

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Anybody on the list do any digital photography? Has anyone put together
interesting equipment for it? I'm interested in slave flashes right now, but
also looking for neat, simple add-ons.

One of my digital cams is a Fuji s6000 which puts out great images and has a
lot of really nice features, but it's only drawback is that it's got a pop-up
flash instead of a shoe. It's handy, and some others offer both, but I'd like
to use my external flashes.

On digitals, they often shoot a series of fast, almost invisible (to the eye)
pre-flashes to meter before the real thing. Some solutions use a 200mS timer to
delay the slave flash, others count and you set whatever count your cam does
(play with the settings till it works). Typical external flashes come in low
voltage trigger (10v I think) and high voltage (200v on one I measured, and it
runs on 4 AA's). Triggering is by shorting the terminals.

I believe I can fashion a hood over the popup flash and drop the output. That's
important, since I put a burn mark on a piece of paper when covering it and
letting the cam set the power. It was amazing! A test with lens cover on and
manual aperture or shutter and it stayed cool (low output).

It still puts out some light, but does anyone have any really simple trigger
circuits already worked out? Maybe a phototransistor is all? Maybe a 555 timer
on it or use a CdS cell and cap to delay it? FET or bipolar? Is there a design
for both voltage ranges? I figure I'll make the hood, wire it to a shoe with
this circuit, and use my flashes old-school style.

I don't want to trigger from the popup flash, since it changes the lighting. I
have tried it with slaves with built in triggers, bouncing the popup flash to
them and blocking it from the subject, but it still gives out of control
reflections.

Of course, if anyone has hacked the Fuji s6000fd and put a hot shoe on, that's
best, but my searches aren't coming up with anyone or anything...

TIA for any suggestions.

-Skip



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