why won't my manual external flash (not Speedlite) fire with 6D?

Started Dec 19, 2013 | Questions thread
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scottserata New Member • Posts: 2
why won't my manual external flash (not Speedlite) fire with 6D?

Hope there's someone out there who enjoys a technical challenge! My brand new 6D refuses to fire my primitive external manual flash! I don't have a Speedlite, it's just some old Sunpak 433D that I've been using forever but it gets the job done. I don't use or need E-TTL or any automation for the flash. I have my subject hold a flash meter and I meter the flash. Then I set the power on the flash manually. 6D is in manual exp mode. I usually do not have the flash unit on the camera. Because the 6D doesn't have a PC sync jack, I am using a universal hotshoe adaptor. The sync cable from my external flash plugs into the hotshoe adaptor. Since I don't need E-TTL I only need the 6D to tell the flash to fire. The adaptor only has the big central contact, it doesn't have the other contacts because there is no other communication with the flash. Can't get more primitive than that, right?

This is driving me crazy! I've been to 2 local stores, Looking Glass and Samy's. I called Canon tech support today. They could not figure it out.

So I think I've eliminated all the obvious possibilities:

Bad hotshoe adaptor? I've tried several and none of 'em work on the 6D and they work on my old Nikons.

Flash broken? The flash will fire with any other camera. Exact same setup, same adaptor, same sync cable

Bad sync cable? Again, the same setup works on any other camera

I read the detailed manual (the PDF on the CD) and searched for "external flash" etc. The only thing that looked like it could be a problem is the "Silent LV shoot" must be disabled. Yep, it's disabled.

Shutter speed too fast (above max sync speed 1/180th)? Nope my shutter speed is 1/30th

Options under "External Speedlite Control" on the 6D menus, "flash firing" is enabled. Probably irrelevant what other settings are set to because they are for a Speedlite.

Hotshoe on camera broken? I took it to a local store and put a Speedlite on it and it fires!

6D is in manual exp mode.

Is this just Canon's way of forcing me to buy a Canon Speedlite? I can't believe this is impossible!

There must be other people with similar setups.

Thanks for any advice


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Canon EOS 6D
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