What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

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.
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Stan Disbrow
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What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Stan Disbrow » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:03 pm

Hi,

As is usual with Canon and Nikon stuff, there are too many choices. :P

The EOS-1N used on the Kodak 560 is fairly old, so there's even more confusion to be found online as to which flash unit works out to be the best one with respect to an older body.

I've been using a Nikon SB28DX with it. That'd be a horror story if told elsewhere. Here, we're all users so the idea of mixing and matching brands isn't a foreign idea. Heck, I think most of us have used other brand lenses on these bodies with adapters. :P

Anyway, a change is in the wind. I'm taking a new engineering position with RIM, the folks that make Blackberries, down in Texas. No, I'm not moving entirely. We're keeping the farm and all that. My wife will be running our businesses here and I'll be working there and living in a studio apartment. We'll alternate travel between us, at least once a month.

However, I am splitting up my photo equipment. I will leave the more extensive Nikon-based kit here, and take the Canon kit with me. I have a few Canon lenses, so I won't be stuck with fully manual shooting, but I lack a Canon on-board flash unit.

I could get another Nikon flash, as I know that works, although it requires a manual set-up. I'd rather pick up a proper Canon flash that can set itself via commands from the body.

So, that begs the question: which one of the myriad of Canon flash units worked the best with an EOS-1N based Kodak DCS 560c??

Later!

Stan
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Stan Disbrow
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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Stan Disbrow » Mon Nov 29, 2010 3:12 pm

Hi,

I will add that I know that the 540EZ was what went with the EOS-1N at the time. I know that the 540EZ does not do E-TTL and that the 1N does not either.

It's not so much the body compatibility I'm interested in, since a 540EZ or anything newer would function wiht the 1N. What I'm wondering is if there is a particular flash unit that works better with the CCD (as opposed to film) on the 560 than the 540EZ.....

I also realize that this is mostly a Nikon crowd, but then I also realize that many of us are not Nikon-only users! ;)

Later!

Stan
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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by nikonnl » Tue Nov 30, 2010 6:36 am

Hi Stan, I am not familiar with Canon flashes but I do know that Metz has/had several flashes that work(ed) on the older Canon digi-SLR's. So have a look or ask at www.metz.de for the best flash gun. You probably need an adapter on the hot shoe, but why not give it a try.
Regards,
Nico

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

Stan Disbrow
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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Stan Disbrow » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:42 pm

Hi,

Ah, yes. I had momentarily forgotten about Metz. That's odd, actually, as I have had a couple Metz units in the past. Silly me. ;)

IIRC, the on-camera models from Metz have an interchangeable hot shoe attachment, so one model of flash can be fit to just about any camera. So, they are, indeed, worth a look. :)

What I'm after at this point is to re-equip my Canon side to take with me as a small kit with a couple lenses and a flash unit. My Nikon kit is much larger, of course. ;)

But, I while don't see where I'll be using a camera much given the situation, I'm sure that if I take *no* camera along I'll want one 2.3 seconds after arriving.

That's probably true, actually. The first thing I want to do is shoot everything in the empty apartment so that they can't pull a fast one when the time eventually comes to move on out. :P

Thanks for kicking my old brain cells for me!

later!

Stan
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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:32 pm

I used to have the DCS 560 manual, and if I recall correctly it endorsed the fairly basic 380EX. It mentioned that older EZ film-era flashes would work, but not very well because the CCD had different reflective properties to 35mm film. I tried an old 300TL, which in theory should have worked in TTL mode, but frustratingly I can't remember the results. I think it vastly underexposed and I ended up using it in manual mode.

I'm fairly certain the manual endorsed the 380EX, and also the ultra-basic 220EX. I remember thinking it was odd that the manual didn't mention any of Canon's more advanced flashes, but on reflect the 420EX - which has a tilt / swivel head, rather than the 380EX's plain tilt head - wasn't out yet, and the 550EX had only just been released.

As Photonotes point out, the basic EOS-1N didn't support E-TTL flash, but somehow Kodak seem to have squeezed it into the DCS 520 / 560, although as before I didn't have a 380EX to hand in order to test it. They're available very cheaply because the 420EX is generally better, and the 430EX is better still, with manual controls.

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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Ashley_Pomeroy » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:37 pm

In fact, Kodak still have the manual:
http://www.kodak.com/global/en/service/ ... path=14010

"EX-series Speedlites, such as the 380EX and 220EX, share several common features such as E-TTL, FE Lock, and FP Flash modes. These modes provide the best overall performance and flexibility for automatic flash exposure control with the DCS 500 Series camera.

EZ-series Speedlites, such as the 540EZ, provide A-TTL, TTL, and variable-power manual flash exposure control. They are compatible with the DCS 500 Series camera, but are not as consistently accurate for automatic flash exposure control with this camera as the EX-series Speedlites."

And then there's some stuff about E-TTL, and then:

"The A-TTL and TTL flash systems were originally designed for film cameras. They rely on the ability to monitor reflections from the film surface during exposure. This is a practical system for a conventional camera, because film has a relatively matte surface with reliably consistent reflection characteristics. However, digital cameras like the DCS 500 Series camera replace film with a CCD and glass cover plate which is much shinier than film. The reflection characteristics of the CCD and glass plate are inconsistent relative to film, with the result that flash exposures controlled by A-TTL and TTL tend to be erratic and are often inaccurate. Although the DCS 500 Series camera is set up to be compatible with Speedlites that feature A-TTL and TTL, we do not recommend the use of these modes with this camera because of the limitations outlined above.

If you plan on using A-TTL or TTL with the DCS 500 Series camera, you may find it necessary to use Flash Exposure Compensation for best results. The degree of compensation may vary from shot to shot, especially with direct flash. We suggest verifying the accuracy of each exposure on the built-in color LCD monitor."

I remember reading that the old Fuji S2 could use older Nikon flash units, which had the same basic off-the-film technology, presumably because Fuji had done something to the sensor surround to compensate for the reflectivity of their sensor, or something.

I assume the earlier DCS 1, 3, 5 models were unmodified. I wonder if somewhere in Canon HQ there's a modified EOS-1N that has E-TTL support, as a mock-up proof of concept. Probably wouldn't be worth much nowadays, but still.

Stan Disbrow
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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:06 pm

Hi,

Yes, that all makes perfect sense. I had a lot of Canon stuff, including a 550EX, but those were 1D and 1Ds units I used it with. I never did use a Canon flash with the 560, as I've mostly used the 560 in a studio setting with monobloc strobes.

Now, I have used a Nikon SB-28DX with the 560 mainly because I happen to have one. As far as exposure is concerned, I've always used the 28 in the old-fashioned Auto mode where the sensor on the flash is figuring the amount of strobe light - not the camera.

I use this mode with the 760, and the 660 before it, for the very reason that TTL can be rather for off the mark due to the reflectivity difference between film and a sensor. Of course, the Nikon flash works in this mode just fine on the Canon variant since it's essentially the same Kodak sensor in there. :P

What I was thinking, though, is that it would be nice to acquire a Canon flash to put onto the 560 so it would pick up the zoom setting of the 28-105mm Canon lens I've hung onto the 560. The Nikon flash, of course, needs to be manually set on the Canon body.

What's happened is that I've taken a new engineering job that requires me to live away from home most of the time so I decided to bring the 760 with me and leave the 560 at home. This way I don't have to cart a camera back and forth. But, then the 560 has no on-board flash capability and it is nice to have such sometimes. ;)

I'll start watching eBay for Canon flashes and come up with one eventually now that I have had a refesher course in what to look for. :)

Later!

Stan
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Re: What is the best flash unit to use with a 560?

Post by Webmaster » Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:53 pm

Hi Stan,

Haven't read the entire thread yet and probably won't be able to help with the flash. Just wanted to congratulate you with your new job!

Let me know if you want me to beta test anything :-)

Best regards,
Jarle

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