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Flash confusing
I've had my D40 for a month or so and love it. Not good with it yet, but getting better. I recently picked up a Sunpac QF30 flash and tried using it today. I began getting many shots where the flash seemed to fire too early and very weak giving me a useless shot. It would shoot just fine after that(seconds later) but when timing is crucial, I don't like these wasted shots. This did not seem to matter by mode.

I began to read the Nikon manual but got very lost, very quickly. This was indoors, where decent lite was already present so the flash was just filling a bit. Batteries are fine. Am I clueless?..

Comments (6)

I don't think that Sunpac flash is compatible with the D40..

Pick up a Nikon SB600 flash. Or if you want something cheaper, an SB400, or Sigma EF-500 DG ST or EF-530 DG ST flashess...

Comment #1

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #2

It works sporadically, and when it does, it works well. Not sure what determines compatibility but it is obviously confusing the camera. AS for posting pics, well they are just black. The camera is expecting the flash and adjusts the shutter accordingly and all it gets is a premature blink(not the red llight help light) not a real flash. I can hit the test button and wham I get a full flash so I know the until works. I can adjust it as well(boost or reduce) and it also does what it is asked, only sometimes.

I think I'll take it back tomorrow and check out the SB400. A few bucks more won't kill me...

Comment #3

Morgispop wrote:.

It works sporadically, and when it does, it works well. Not surewhat determines compatibility but it is obviously confusing thecamera. AS for posting pics, well they are just black. The camerais expecting the flash and adjusts the shutter accordingly and all itgets is a premature blink(not the red llight help light) not a realflash. I can hit the test button and wham I get a full flash so Iknow the until works. I can adjust it as well(boost or reduce) andit also does what it is asked, only sometimes..

Compatiblity is a lot more than what it used to be in the old days - it's not just a matter of firing off the flash after the shutter has opened. The Nikon TTL flash system is very complex and sophisticated, and the flash unit has to be capable of working with the camera and accepting commands from the camera - multiple commands during an exposure, not just "fire!"..

You say "the camera is expecting the flash and adjust the shutter accordingly" - yes, the camera is probaly aware that the flash is mounted, and therefore it sets the appropriate shutter speed (1/60 usually) - but after that - the camera also expects that the flash will fire exactly when it was told to but more importantly, that the flash will turn OFF when the camera tells it to, not just when it feels like it. Automatic flash exposure is largely determined by the duration of the flash and the camera controls this - if the unit is compatible..

You should be able to determine whether the unit is supposed to be compatible with the D40, by checking out the Sunpak site, or the manual, or some other source (I doubt that the Nikon site has a list of compatible 3rd party flash units!)..

Or a source like Thom Hogan, perhaps..

Strange. I think I'lltake it back tomorrow and check out the SB400. A few bucks morewon't kill me..

If the guy in the store didn't ask what sort of camera you had, or if he did ask and then sold you a "wrong" unit anyway, then he certainly should take it back!..

Comment #4

Morgispop wrote:.

It works sporadically, and when it does, it works well. Not surewhat determines compatibility but it is obviously confusing thecamera. AS for posting pics, well they are just black. The camerais expecting the flash and adjusts the shutter accordingly and all itgets is a premature blink(not the red llight help light) not a realflash. I can hit the test button and wham I get a full flash so Iknow the until works. I can adjust it as well(boost or reduce) andit also does what it is asked, only sometimes.

I think I'lltake it back tomorrow and check out the SB400. A few bucks morewon't kill me..

Assuming that the model you bought is compatable with your camera, I just returned a supac made flash (QF40x) that was compatable with my 400D for the very same reason - when it worked it worked well but the first few shots right after turning it on and intermittitenly after that it would not fire at all..

Then there was the thing where I'd change the focal lenght and press the shutter button 1/2 way and the flash would not register the change..

Wrongly I thought that tossing ~$180 at something as simple as a flash would be enough. I replaced the Sunpak with a ~$300 Canon 430EX..

Technologist @ Large- Mark0..

Comment #5

Morgispop wrote:.

I've had my D40 for a month or so and love it. Not good with it yet,but getting better. I recently picked up a Sunpac QF30 flash andtried using it today. I began getting many shots where the flashseemed to fire too early and very weak giving me a useless shot. Itwould shoot just fine after that(seconds later) but when timing iscrucial, I don't like these wasted shots. This did not seem tomatter by mode.

I began to read the Nikon manual but got very lost, veryquickly. This was indoors, where decent lite was already present sothe flash was just filling a bit. Batteries are fine. Am I clueless?.

Try this linkhttp://dpanswers.com/nikon_flash.html..

Comment #6

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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