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Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-18-2004, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Has anyone here ever used a Sunpak Power Zoom 4000 AF on a Canon EOS (film) camera? I bought one about 5 years ago, and was using it on a 10s. The 10s was a real "workhorse" little camera and I used it for 9 years for candid wedding shots. When I put the Sunpak on it and was using for "fill" flash; the camera just locked up...never to work right again. Recently I put it on my A2...using it outdoors, again same results. Sunpak says that there is nothing wrong with the unit. Even though it is 5 years old, it has had very little use. Any help would be appreciated.

Murray [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img]
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-18-2004, 03:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had to get my first PZ5000af replaced...but no probs sence then
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-18-2004, 04:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hey Jason,
Thanks for the response; but what was the problem with it, that caused you to have to replace it? Was it similar to what I described? [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]

Thanks a bunch,
Murray
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-18-2004, 05:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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i just got a lemon..bad wires or something it worked ok at first...then just nothing....
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-18-2004, 06:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had my Sunpak PZ5000AF lock up my EOS 5 on many occasions in TTL mode. I never, not even once, had an issue with it on my Elan 7e. In auto-thyristor mode with my 10D, the flash will sometimes kick itself back into TTL and since the DSLRs lack the circuitry for TTL flash metering it will fire at full-power. These days I mainly use these off-camera, in manual mode and externally powered, with Pocket Wizards. A pair make a decent mobile kit.

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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-19-2004, 09:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have no idea if this is what caused the problem, but many older flashes have high-voltage trigger levels. This can wreak major havoc upon newer cameras that aren't robust enough to deal with it. You can buy special adapters and PC cords that have voltage filters in them.

If this was the problem, SunPak would be right: the flash is performing to spec, it's just that the camera can't deal with that spec. If you ask them, they can probably tell you what the voltage is and then the camera manufacturer can tell you if that is acceptable.

M
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-20-2004, 01:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey Richie,
Did the flash seem to cause any permanent damage to the EOS 5, when it locked it up? Thanks for your input!
[img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-20-2004, 01:35 AM   #8 (permalink)
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No, after I cycled both the flash and camera on and off it would work fine for at least five more shots. I haven't tried it with AAs though. I've only run it with AAs and the TR-Pak IIa NiCd battery. Is the 4000 compatable with external power? The only permanent damage my EOS 5 ever sustained was a command dial failure - still haven't fixed it [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] It's odd how it works flawlessly with a newer Elan 7e but locks up with an older EOS body. I wonder if Sunpak could offer any information regarding that? Haven't had one hiccup shooting them off-camera in manual mode with Pocket Wizards. My Sigma flash doesn't function with them [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

-Richie

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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-20-2004, 08:43 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks again, Richie. I'll probably not use the Sunpak again on my A2. I've only had the camera a little over a year (bought it new), and I just can't take a chance on screwing up the camera. I will say that the Sunpak folks haven't been very supportive and I doubt that I will ever buy any more of their products.
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Re: Sunpak Flash....& Canon EOS
Old 05-21-2004, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I wouldn't blame you, especially if their customer service isn't up to snuff. FWIW, you could call Canon and explain to them that you are having issues with TTL flash on your A2. If they suggest that you use a Canon flash that supports A-TTL, insist that you prefer regular TTL flash metering. It would be interesting if you had access to a 420EX or 550EX to see if it locks up the camera as well. They should default to TTL metering if used on a type-B EOS body (i.e. A2, A2e, EOS 5).

None of the third parties, with the exception of Metz I think, license Canon's code for their flash metering/communication. The systems are reverse engineered and prone to error. Did you try to remove the batteries from the camera for a few minutes to see if that helped? I'm using a Sigma 500 DG Super for on-camera flash these days. However, since it has no external power options and will not work with Pocket Wizards, it will always stay on-camera. It recycles pretty decent with a set of 2050 mAh NiMH Duracells. Never had a chance to use it on a film body though.
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