Flash trigger voltages with Kodak DCS bodies

Discuss older Nikon-based Kodak digital SLRs, including DCS 100, DCS 200, NC2000, DCS 400/600/700-series, etc. Ask questions, post general comments, anecdotes, reviews and user tips.
Post Reply
Ashley_Pomeroy
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:04 pm
antispam: No
Location: England
Contact:

Flash trigger voltages with Kodak DCS bodies

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:28 am

I know very little about flash automation with the older DCS cameras. One thing I'm particularly curious to know is the general tolerance for high trigger voltages. Modern digital cameras have trouble with older flash units because the trigger voltage is too high for the camera, but the Kodak DCS cameras were all based on generally unmodified film bodies (albeit with bits taken off). Tough film bodies.

Eamon Hickey's article about the Kodak NC2000e mentions vintage newspaperpeople using old Vivtar 285 flash units, which are generally verboten for modern digital SLRs (with the exception of the recent 285HV); I assume that it's perfectly okay to use such a flash on a Kodak DCS 200, 400 and perhaps even the later 500, 600, and 700 bodies, but there doesn't seem to be any documentation about this on the internet. There's an NC2000e on eBay, but I'm not minded to import it from the US just to experiment on the poor thing.

Webmaster
Site Admin
Posts: 1005
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 4:12 pm
antispam: No
Location: Norway
Contact:

Re: Flash trigger voltages with Kodak DCS bodies

Post by Webmaster » Tue Jul 14, 2009 12:00 pm

Why not keep it safe and simple and just get a cheap Nikon SB-25 (or a similar model)?

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/ha ... /index.htm

Personally, I wouldn't hesitate to mount any pre-digital era flash (including the Vivitar 285) on any of the Kodak DCS cameras. Remember, these are all based on contemporary Nikon film bodies, which would easily handle practically every available flash unit you could buy back then.

Jarle

nikonnl
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun May 07, 2006 2:51 pm
antispam: No
Location: South-Holland
Contact:

Re: Flash trigger voltages with Kodak DCS bodies

Post by nikonnl » Wed Jul 15, 2009 8:25 am

I agree with our webmaster to try to find a Nikon SB flash. Many third brand flashes do have a high ignition voltage, so if you use more than one you'll have a problem. From Nikon SB-24 onwards you may use up to 5 flashes without problems. All Nikon based Kodak DCS bodies have the electrical circuit of the original Nikon body. If you don't trust the flash you may measure the ignition voltage with a voltagemeter.
To avoid problems with more flashes use a slave unit (SU-4).
Regards,
Nico

www.nicovandijk.net
D1/D1X/D1H/D2H/D2X etc.

Ashley_Pomeroy
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:04 pm
antispam: No
Location: England
Contact:

Re: Flash trigger voltages with Kodak DCS bodies

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:37 pm

Thanks for that. The problem with buying an old SB flash is that the Strobist community has latched onto them, and sent prices through the roof:
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/04/st ... sb-24.html
http://strobist.blogspot.com/2006/05/fo ... sb-26.html

For exactly the reasons you suggest - full manual control, low trigger voltage, relatively cheap, bounce and swivel heads, NIKON logo (rather than CHEAPO). Unfortunately in the UK they are hard to come by.

The only cheap SB unit I could find on eBay.co.uk was the F3-era SB-16b, which is interesting - it has a secondary fill flash built into the body, so that you can bounce flash off the ceiling and add a bit of fill flash simultaneously - but seems to lack manual controls. My further worry is that based on the information in the NC2000 article, proper TTL flash doesn't work well with the early DCS series, I assume because the sensor does not have the same reflective properties as 35mm film. My guess is that Kodak assumed either that users would not have use for the flash, or would be hooking their complex scientific cameras up to a controlled lighting setup. I am still genuinely puzzled as to whether Kodak were aiming their efforts at NASA and JPL and the USAF, and the whole photojournalism thing happened accidentally as an added bonus, or whether the company was throwing out prototypes without really expecting them to stick, and when they did, they developed a kind of self-perpetuating inertia.

Anssi Krooks
Posts: 54
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 2:45 pm
Location: Espoo, Finland
Contact:

Re: Flash trigger voltages with Kodak DCS bodies

Post by Anssi Krooks » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:52 am

You can use this comprehensive list as guide: http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

IIRC the F5 had it's synch terminal rated to max. 250 V and hot shoe to 12 V, while some say that also hot shoe would stand 250 volts.
D1X, DCS PRO SLR/n, DCS 760, DCS 420c & Canon Pro70

Post Reply