National PE-387S flash - use with D7000?

Started Jan 17, 2011 | Discussions thread
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Steve9
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National PE-387S flash - use with D7000?
Jan 17, 2011

{Disclaimer: Noob D7000 user, but very willing and eager to learn photography.}

My brother in law gave me an old National PE-387S flash that he got when he was in Europe (flash is approx 15-20 years old). Naturally, I can't turn down a free flash to try out. This appears to be a pretty good flash for its time. It adjusts 90 deg side to side and zooms for focal lengths from 28 - 85 mm. ISO adjusts from 25 - 800 on a dedicated button. The other adjustment button is for aperture (f/1.4 - f/16). There is a scale at the top of the LCD display that (I think) helps the user determine the distance to the subject. I think it's distance to subject because the values are " m". There is a slider lever that goes from Auto to M.Full down to 1/16. I'm assuming this is a manual power output adjustment, but haven't figured it all out.

Here's my dilemma: this flash does not communicate at all with the D7000, with the exception that the D7K is able to trigger the flash to fire. So the flash gets a basic "GO" signal, but no other information being relayed to/from the flash. It's like the D7K doesn't even realize it has a flash gun in the hot shoe. This has led to some really over-exposed shots on automatic modes. I have played a little bit in the different Manual modes to get acceptable results, especially when bouncing off the ceiling or walls. I'm not nearly good enough to set all the variables of the camera and flash separately in a hurried situation. I had to resort to the pop-up flash the other night at my daughter's birthday party.

So do you have any suggestions on how to use this flash when it doesn't "communicate" any exposure / metering parameters with the camera?

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