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Thread: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

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    My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    This may need to go in lighting, but since I 've seen a few questions raised about on-camera flash solutions for the DF, including one by myself, I thought I'd post here.

    I was looking for an on-camera flash solution for the DF for some time. I also posted here regarding this, and there was not much info available. I played with manual mode on my 580EXII, but that did not cut it in terms of power or consistency.

    The two likely solutions were the Quantum and Metz flashes. Both seemed to have some quirky issues with TTL on the Mamiya/Phase bodies.

    I also emailed Quantum for info on their TTL adapters and got nothing back in over a week.

    I figured TTL was a bust so started looking at other options as well. My main criteria were a) quick & dirty on camera; b) as much power as I could get; c) weight.

    I was pretty much set on the Quantum T5dR when I bumped in to the Elinchrom Quadra. Now, these are not meant to be on-camera, but rather a VERY portable 2 light system with battery. The heads weigh about 250grams (2/3 lbs) and the battery about 2.5Kg (5.5lbs), so comparable to the quantum X5dR. The Quadras also come with built in wireless triggering and a wireless transmitter for the camera.

    Three major points for me with the Quadras were weight (especially the heads), power (400ws ratio-ed 2:1), and the ability to use off-camera as a solid two light setup. The Quadras also integrated very nicely with my existing 600RX and wireless kit I already use.

    My only issue now was getting this on the camera and building some kind of usable diffusion. I solved the first issue with a Kirk Action grip, and the second by buying an extra reflector, cutting out the bayonet mount and fixing a Gary Fong Tupperware container to it. Having bayonet mount on means I can pop it off quickly and go to more invoved 2 light, off-camera setup quite quickly.

    The setup again, is quick & dirty, but the lighting is quite even, better projected than my 580II, and very consistent.

    I know, not pretty, but it works for me, and if it helps any of you looking for an on-camera flash solution with some power , even better.

    Couple of pics of the setup below, and in keeping with the spirit of "quick & dirty", a quick snap of my son.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    ....The two likely solutions were the Quantum and Metz flashes. Both seemed to have some quirky issues with TTL on the Mamiya/Phase bodies.

    I also emailed Quantum for info on their TTL adapters and got nothing back in over a week.

    .....
    From way back when---the Quantum ttl adapter for the Mamiya 645AF/AFD is the QF25. I used these with a Q-flash Model T2---with film! I still use my Q-flashes on occasion as a quick down and dirty flash system, but use them with pocket wizards only. No idea about current use of the QF25 ttl module and use with a MFDB. At the very least it's a fancy flash sync cord.

    I still have one or two QF25 modules around if you're interested.

    ken

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    Is the DF different than the older Mamiya 645AFD cameras? I've never had any problem with the Metz...although I normally shoot it in A mode (not TTL). I'd be surprised if it didn't work equally well on the DF.

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    The configuration of the hotshoe pins on the DF is the same as with the earlier generation bodies AF/AFD----and matches up with the Quantum QF25 module. I just tried the module out of curiosity on the 645DF with IQ180 and Qflash T2. It does work, but appears best with the T2 in auto mode as with a mfdb there really is no "film plane" to adjust exposure in TTL mode on the T2. Never liked ttl anyway.

    In short, you could use the Quantum Qflash as an "on-camera" flash system using a Custom Bracket. (I can't believe I used to haul that rig around for weddings!). It's heavy and will keep your massage therapist or chiropractor in business. It's very adaptable with Pocket Wizards, allowing use of the Qflash completely off-camera and with a good assortment of modifiers as well. For on-camera flash with a bracket, I'd rather use my Canon 1Ds Mark III. I just don't use on-camera flash with the DF. I think the Metz 54Mz is probably a nice small(er) solution here than using a Q with Turbo battery.

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    I used Nikon, YN , Olympus flashes on AFDII/III without a single problem Then again - i do use them in M mode...

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    SB800's in A mode are remarkably good

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    I have good daylight fill with 580EXII in auto dialed back 1stop.

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    I have good daylight fill with 580EXII in auto dialed back 1stop.
    Joe, when you say Auto mode, do you mean ETTL mode? I ask because on SB800 there is a separate Auto mode whereas Canon does not seem to have that. I have both systems and would prefer using the Canon as it has a screwed down hot shoe so on the 645DF it stays in place.

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    Henry, not ETTL, there is an auto mode on the Metz. With the Canon I tried ETTL, and did not get consistent results. I did get better results using full manual mode, but at that point I figured I may as well get more powerful lights. The nice thing about the Quardra is that the head only weighs about 250g, so even lighter than the 580EXII.

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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    Quote Originally Posted by jagsiva View Post
    Henry, not ETTL, there is an auto mode on the Metz. With the Canon I tried ETTL, and did not get consistent results. I did get better results using full manual mode, but at that point I figured I may as well get more powerful lights. The nice thing about the Quardra is that the head only weighs about 250g, so even lighter than the 580EXII.
    I agree with you that Canon ETTL on 645DF is not workable but A mode on SB800 is good. I have too many lights already so plunging money into a Quadra or even Hensel Potty is out of my radar. Was just curious to read about auto mode on 580EXII, so I asked. Thanks.

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    Senior Member malmac's Avatar
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    Re: My on-camera flash hack for the DF

    Guys, not sure if I am off topic with this comment - but for what it is worth.

    I have been using the 580EX2 on the Phase One but always on manual.
    While I have been experimenting I have found I can set my Pocket Wizard TT5 to trigger only mode, (mount to camera hot shoe) put the 580EX2 on top as a soft fill flash (dialed right back - just light in the eyes) and then trigger one or more pocket wizard activated 580's or our portable 600w light.

    While it is still all manual, I have found that just getting the main light/s source/s away from the camera has improved my results.

    Like I said not sure if this is off topic - but it took me a long to to find out how to make the TT5 activate the on camera flash and control the off camera lights.


    Regards.


    Mal

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