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Old Vivitar 2600 flash

katchel01
Apprentice
Merry Christmas. Santa brought me a T3i!! Can I use an old film camera flash with this? Thank you.
4 REPLIES 4

TCampbell
Elite
It will work but only in manual mode -- no automatic flash metering. The center contact and also the rails of the hot-shoe on the camera create the positive and ground for basic manual flash and most cameras with those two pins can use any manual flash (sometime the trigger voltage can be a problem if it's more than the camera can handle.) The remaining pins behind the center pin are responsible for the modern digital communication between the camera and flash (if you were using an E-TTL flash or other accessory that mounts in the flash hot-shoe.)

There are products that go between the camera and flash and limit the flash trigger voltage -- these safety devices prevent damage to the camera when using a flash with a higher trigger voltage than the camera could otherwise handle.

You may eventually want to invest in an E-TTL compatible flash so that you can exploit all the advancements of modern flash technology. A Canon Speedlite 430EX II is probably my favorite for cameras such as yours.
Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Thank you, TCampbell. I appreciate the info. I will look into some classes as well to get the most out of this camera. Thanks again.

"There are products that go between the camera and flash and limit the flash trigger voltage -- these safety devices prevent damage to the camera when using a flash with a higher trigger voltage than the camera could otherwise handle."

 

To expand on this a bit....

 

Be careful!

 

Some modern cameras cannot tolerate the high trigger voltages of some older flashes. Too high a trigger voltage can destroy the electronic circuitry of the camera. 

 

I do not know that the T3i's flash trigger voltage tolerance is... I do know Canon increased it in more recent models, but at one point their cameras weren't safe with any more than 6V. Try to find out what's safe for your camera.

 

But the Vivitar 2600 has a fairly high trigger voltage. It's been tested to 148V according to this website. The Vivitar 2600D isn't listed there, but reportedly has much lower trigger voltage, under 5V.

 

Before using a 2600 on a T3i I would want to know that camera's voltage tolerance. I wouldn't be very concerned if it were a 2600D.

 

If you have a Volt Meter, you can check the trigger voltage of your particular flash (there can be some variation, some older versions of Vivitar 283 measured as high as 600V). And even if the flash's trigger voltage is too high, or just to be safe, Tim is correct... there are devices that can be used, that go in between the flash and the camera, that limit the trigger voltage to protect the camera. One such device is the Wein Safe-Sync, that costs about $50.

 

I agree with Tim, that modern flash are so full featured and improved, it's almost not worth making do with old ones. All current Canon flash and all the discontinued "EX" models would be very useful on your camera. There are also som third party flashes that are reportedly pretty good (I haven't used them personally... I have several Canon 550EX and 580EX II that work great with all my EOS cameras.)

 

***********
Alan Myers

San Jose, Calif., USA
"Walk softly and carry a big lens."
GEAR: 5DII, 7D(x2), 50D(x3), some other cameras, various lenses & accessories
FLICKR & PRINTROOM 

 





Thank you Alan. I'll probably end up buying a Canon flash.
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