Can a Nikon flash be used on a Canon camera?

Started Jul 18, 2017 | Questions
Greek photographer New Member • Posts: 1
Can a Nikon flash be used on a Canon camera?

Is there any way to make a Nikon flash work on a Canon camera?

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PenPix Veteran Member • Posts: 3,261
Re: Can a Nikon flash be used on a Canon camera?

Greek photographer wrote:

Is there any way to make a Nikon flash work on a Canon camera?

Set both devices to manual control

Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 22,574
Re: Can a Nikon flash be used on a Canon camera?

PenPix wrote:

Greek photographer wrote:

Is there any way to make a Nikon flash work on a Canon camera?

Set both devices to manual control

But you won't be able to use the flash in auto "TTL" mode.  Unless you know what you are doing and are happy to shoot in manual flash mode only, get a Canon compatible flash.

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Chris R

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Bill Donnell Senior Member • Posts: 1,037
Re: Can a Nikon flash be used on a Canon camera?
1

I use my Nikon flash on m Fuji X30. I think it will work on most cameras but only in manual mode. I keep camera set to aperture. Figuring out f/stop will take some experimenting regard distance to flash.  Bounce flash is much easier giving greater latitude for exposure.  After trial and error I have arrived at four f/stops for estimated distance to subjects. This generally works out well for me.

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TacticDesigns
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
If it has auto-thyristor mode . . .

Greek photographer wrote:

Is there any way to make a Nikon flash work on a Canon camera?

If the Nikon flash has an auto-thyristor mode you can use it, and still have a sort of auto mode.

That is the auto mode that existed before TTL auto flash mode.

I don't think my Nikon SB-600 has it, but I think my Nikon SB-800 has it.

If you dialed in the aperture setting you were using on the camera on the flash unit (or vice versa), the flash would fire, and then turn itself off when enough light had been emitted for that aperture setting. It was able to do this with a built-in light sensor on the flash unit itself.

My Pentax AF540fgz has this mode, and I used to use my Pentax flash on my Nikon cameras this way quite a bit until I finally got dedicated Nikon flash units.

Set up goes something like this.

Pick and ISO setting on camera.

Dial that into your flash unit. Dial in an aperture setting. The Pentax AF540fgz would then show the range the flash would be good for.

Once an aperture was picked, dial that into the camera and fire.

NOTE: Not sure if this is necessary, but I made sure only the hot center pin would make contact with the contacts on the body. I wasn't sure about what would happen if voltage got through the TTL pins to the body. Luckily none of the TTL pins on the Pentax AF540fgz matched the Nikon body.

The other good thing with auto-thyristor mode is that if you had someone that blinks with the pre-flash of the TTL auto flash mode, switching to the auto-thyristor mode reduces the chance that you will catch that person blinking in the picture . . . because there is only one flash emitted.

If no auto-thyristor mode, then, yes, as people mention . . . you can still use manual mode.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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kli
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 4,445
Re: Can a Nikon flash be used on a Canon camera?

Greek photographer wrote:

Is there any way to make a Nikon flash work on a Canon camera?

Depends on your definition of work.

Both brands adhere to the ISO standard for hotshoes and flash feet. They're the same basic size. The rails are ground, the big contact/pin in the middle is the sync ("fire") signal, and it's a simple short from source to ground to set it off.

So, as long as it's a sync-voltage safe (digital-era) flash, you can just put it in the Canon hotshoe, and it will fire in sync with the shutter release.

But that's all it will do. It will probably fire at full power, as it cannot do TTL/HSS/2nd curtain/camera menu communication with the camera. All the non-sync pins on the foot of the flash won't meet any of the Canon contacts on the shoe (placement is different) and if the placement were correct, the signalling protocol is completely different. IIRC, the "quench" signal is high-to-low on one and low-to-high on the other.

You could automate the power if it's a higher-end Nikon flash with the Auto (autothyristor) sensor mode. And you can set the power manually if the flash has M mode. But if it's something like an SB-400, with no physical controls on it to set the power level in M mode, but an iTTL-only flash, there's no way to control the power.

I've used an SB-26 on a Canon hotshoe in A mode without any issues. But it wasn't nearly the same as putting a 580EXII on the hotshoe.

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TacticDesigns
TacticDesigns Veteran Member • Posts: 8,395
Cactus V6 II ?

Greek photographer wrote:

Is there any way to make a Nikon flash work on a Canon camera?

I'm not sure how the Cactus V6 II wireless flash triggers work into this puzzle.

It is promoted as a cross brand solution for manual control with zoom and HSS capability.

So, you could put the trigger on a Canon camera to use a Nikon flash.

But . . . in manual. But . . . hopefully, all from the camera. 'not having to run over to the flash unit each time you want to change the power setting.

Take care & Happy Shooting!

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