Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Started 3 months ago | Discussions
bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Everyone, I am looking for a not-necessarily-a-TTL flash, which allows auto-modes if needed through an extra photo-sensor on flash body. It would also be great if the flash allows power compensation/adjustment settings (e.g., 1/8th of the power metered). I see that some bigger Nikon & Metz speedlights currently do support these options, but are there more lightweight/portable counterparts? E.g., something along the lines of a Metz 28 C-2 or slightly bigger?

Thanks very much for the help!

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BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,580
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
1

bharathmsk wrote:

Everyone, I am looking for a not-necessarily-a-TTL flash, which allows auto-modes if needed through an extra photo-sensor on flash body. It would also be great if the flash allows power compensation/adjustment settings (e.g., 1/8th of the power metered). I see that some bigger Nikon & Metz speedlights currently do support these options, but are there more lightweight/portable counterparts? E.g., something along the lines of a Metz 28 C-2 or slightly bigger?

Thanks very much for the help!

I think the Godox TT350 is the smallest, more conventional flash with all the functions. There is a Meike mk320 that some use as a pocket sized flash.

I've seen the Godox under the Flashpoint brand for $50 refurbished.

OP bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Thanks @BBbuilder467! I looked at those products, and I am unsure if they have the auto-mode functionality. By "auto-modes if needed through an extra photo-sensor on flash body", I didn't mean optical/radio slave like functionality, but something akin to the "TTL-like" function of Metz 28 C-2/ the Nikon SB800's Auto mode (this allows the flash to be used in auto mode with non-TTL cameras). My apologies if the original post was vague about this.

Do you think the Godox / Meike flashes you mentioned do carry this functionality?

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BBbuilder467 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,580
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

bharathmsk wrote:

Thanks @BBbuilder467! I looked at those products, and I am unsure if they have the auto-mode functionality. By "auto-modes if needed through an extra photo-sensor on flash body", I didn't mean optical/radio slave like functionality, but something akin to the "TTL-like" function of Metz 28 C-2/ the Nikon SB800's Auto mode (this allows the flash to be used in auto mode with non-TTL cameras). My apologies if the original post was vague about this.

Do you think the Godox / Meike flashes you mentioned do carry this functionality?

I don't know. I'm not familiar with that at all.

Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,837
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
2

Sounds like you are looking for a Vivitar 283 or 285.

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OP bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Hi @Ellis Vener, great advice once again. Yes, I was going after precisely of those Vivitar auto thyrister types. I was just hoping for a more modern take on the same system. I think I will decide between the modern bigger flashes or one of the classic Vivitar / Metz / Nikon models.

Thanks everyone!

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kli
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 3,625
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
1

bharathmsk wrote:

...Do you think the Godox / Meike flashes you mentioned do carry this functionality?

They don't have autothryistor ("auto") modes.

The Cactus KF36, which is a Vivitar 285HV clone has an autothyristor, but it doesn't swivel, have an LCD display, 1/8 power setting, zoom, or a standard sync connector, or...

The Canon 580EX II has an Ext.M mode, which is similar to Auto, just as the higher-end Nikon speedlights have "non-TTL Auto".  I think some of the older Olympus speedlights do as well.  But mostly this is a feature you only find on vintage speedlights, like, say, a Nikon SB-26 or SB-24.

The newer small flashes we're seeing for mirrorless typically do TTL instead of Auto.

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OP bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Thank you very much for sharing your insights @kli . I will checkout the cactus and the canon 580ex. Why more manufacturers have decided to get rid of such a great option is beyond me. It doesn’t appear like removing it has made the flashlights any cheaper for customers. Perhaps locking users with native TTL systems meant customers buying multiple units across systems and removing the option meant higher profit margin.

If Godox could consider implementing such a circuitry in to their already great wireless systems, that would be extremely interesting.

thanks!

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sshapiro Regular Member • Posts: 428
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Ellis Vener wrote:

Sounds like you are looking for a Vivitar 283 or 285.

I still have a Vivitar 283 that I bought over 30 years ago. I seem to recall that it produces a very high voltage at the hot shoe that would damage modern cameras. I have been trying to figure out why I still have it. 

OP bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
1

sshapiro wrote:

Ellis Vener wrote:

Sounds like you are looking for a Vivitar 283 or 285.

I still have a Vivitar 283 that I bought over 30 years ago. I seem to recall that it produces a very high voltage at the hot shoe that would damage modern cameras. I have been trying to figure out why I still have it.

@sshapiro, I gather one could try using "safe sync"  / triggers to alleviate those problems.

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Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,837
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
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sshapiro wrote:

Ellis Vener wrote:

Sounds like you are looking for a Vivitar 283 or 285.

I still have a Vivitar 283 that I bought over 30 years ago. I seem to recall that it produces a very high voltage at the hot shoe that would damage modern cameras.

That's true. But at least one company made a voltage regulating cold shoe fo 283 and 285s. A double blade sync cable plugged into it. Maybe they are still made and sold by  Paramount ?
I
f If it still works, and if use a radio triggering system you can use it as an as an off camera flash without problems. ,

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sshapiro Regular Member • Posts: 428
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
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Ellis Vener wrote:

sshapiro wrote:

Ellis Vener wrote:

Sounds like you are looking for a Vivitar 283 or 285.

I still have a Vivitar 283 that I bought over 30 years ago. I seem to recall that it produces a very high voltage at the hot shoe that would damage modern cameras.

That's true. But at least one company made a voltage regulating cold shoe fo 283 and 285s. A double blade sync cable plugged into it. Maybe they are still made and sold by Paramount ?If If it still works, and if use a radio triggering system you can use it as an as an off camera flash without problems. ,

It's good to know the flash is still usable. I don't think I will do anything with it, so maybe I should make it available on ebay. It would be better to put it in service than put it in a landfill.

Ellis Vener
Ellis Vener Forum Pro • Posts: 13,837
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
1

sshapiro wrote:

It's good to know the flash is still usable. I don't think I will do anything with it, so maybe I should make it available on ebay. It would be better to put it in service than put it in a landfill.

Agreed. Or find an electronics recycling facility near you.

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mdmarqphoto Contributing Member • Posts: 829
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
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Currently not available, but I think this fits.  Not very powerful, but it has 2 "auto" settings like like my old thyristor flashes from years ago.

https://amzn.to/3gainyf

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kli
kli Veteran Member • Posts: 3,625
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.
1

bharathmsk wrote:

Thank you very much for sharing your insights @kli . I will checkout the cactus and the canon 580ex.

580EX doesn't have it. 580EX II does. Also the 600EX-RT and 600EX II-RT.

Similarly with Nikon it's only the high-end model: SB-800, SB-900, SB-5000, etc. that have it.

Why more manufacturers have decided to get rid of such a great option is beyond me.

Because TTL doesn't require you to set the iso and aperture on the flash, and gives you more control with flash exposure compensation. It's newer technology that replaced the older stuff, in the way of things.

While I like having autothyristors, I'm fine with TTL gear.

It doesn’t appear like removing it has made the flashlights any cheaper for customers.

Generally speaking, I think manufacturers like to increase the prices on their units, not reduce them.

Perhaps locking users with native TTL systems meant customers buying multiple units across systems and removing the option meant higher profit margin.

It did. Until Godox came along and made us all happy with cross-brand TTL support. Ditto Cactus's V6 II system, Nissin's Air system, and Jinbei's TR-Q7 system.

As I said, I'm fine with TTL gear. I use the same TT685-C in TTL/HSS over radio with my Canon, Panasonic, and Fuji gear. With remote power and zoom control. Really don't miss walking over to my SB-26 in A mode to change the ISO/aperture whenever I made a change on the camera.

If Godox could consider implementing such a circuitry in to their already great wireless systems, that would be extremely interesting.

Sure. But that would probably make it more expensive and it's old tech, not new, and not nearly as convenient as what they now have.

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OP bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Thanks @kli for all your helpful insights!

I am experimenting across my Minolta  X570, Olympus OM-D and FF Canons. I carry two types at any time. Having a portable flash with the non-TTL-auto would mean I don't have to carry multiple types. Hence the original question. I came across the neat non-TTL-auto tech, only after buying myself an old Minolta 280PX, which does support Minolta TTL but not the non-TTL-auto that I am intrigued by.

At this point, I am thinking I will figure a way to manually trigger it and the 430 EX III RT (which, incidentally, I purchased after communicating with you here. So thank you!   )

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OP bharathmsk Regular Member • Posts: 162
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Thanks @mdmarqphoto! I will check that model out!

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Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,105
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Look into Sunpak 383. Its5very versatile. It tilts and swivels unlike the Vivitars and it's got the manual power ratio control down to 1/16 power. It's surprisingly small and light weight for the power it packs.

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DanRN Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

BBbuilder467 wrote:

think the Godox TT350 is the smallest, more conventional flash with all the functions. There is a Meike mk320 that some use as a pocket sized flash.

I've seen the Godox under the Flashpoint brand for $50 refurbished.

I have the Godox it’s pretty small, 7 oz. and usable as macro flash. I don’t think it’s as small as the Meike. I bought the Godox because I have two others, as well as the radio trigger. Mine will work as the optical system with Nikon, but I use the radios due to use in softboxes.  It tilts, swivels, has fractional power down to 1/128.

nbklaw
nbklaw Regular Member • Posts: 359
Re: Lightweight non-TTL automatic Flashes.

Ellis Vener wrote:

Sounds like you are looking for a Vivitar 283 or 285.

This reminds me I have a Vivitar 285 in a zip lock bag around here somewhere that must be 35 years old.  I wonder why the OP wants to return to 1970s technology? For shooting film with a vintage camera? You can buy a functional modern flash for $99.00; probably less.

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