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Author Topic: Tips for using Speedlite 199A  (Read 4737 times)

Narcolepsy

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Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« on: December 25, 2011, 04:47:01 PM »
Got a 5D2 with the 24-105 L for Xmas  :)
Any tips for getting it to work with the Speedlite 199A?

In the few shots I have taken so far, it seems easy to overexpose with the flash (so far just mounted on the camera)
Even with the supplied diffuser, flash set to "red", bounced off the ceiling - I am struggling to find settings that work
The best I have found so far is manual 1/60 f7.1 ish - however, it is a bit hit and miss and I have missed a couple of shots of Christmas present unwrapping....

Obviously the best solution is to buy a new flash... but until the coffers are replenished, any tips on making this fairly ancient flash play nicely with the wonderful 5D2?

Thanks
« Last Edit: December 25, 2011, 04:51:27 PM by Narcolepsy »

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Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« on: December 25, 2011, 04:47:01 PM »

DJL329

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Re: Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2011, 07:41:34 PM »
The first article details Speedlite compatibility with the 5D Mark II.  (Note:  the article pre-dates the 270EX, which is why that and newer ones aren't listed.)  The 199A didn't even make the list.   The second article states that the 199A was designed for Canon's "A-Series" Cameras (hence the "A" after the number in the Speedlite's name), not the EOS line (the EOS compatible Speedlites have an "E" in the name).  So, in conclusion:  Happy Speedlite Shopping.  For shooting indoors or low light, I also recommend a fast prime lens, like the 50mm f/1.4.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/E5D2/E5D2FLASH.HTM

http://www.mir.com.my/rb/photography/companies/canon/fdresources/shared/speedlites/199Aflash/index.htm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III | EF 14mm f/2.8L | EF 28mm f/1.8 | EF 50mm f/1.4 | EF 85mm f/1.8 | EF 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro | EF 300mm f/4L IS

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2011, 08:41:01 PM »
Use the flash and camera in manual mode.  There is a guide number for the flash and a dial on the rear of the flash that will help you determine the right exposure for any given flash setting.  You may like manual exposure so much that you decide to keep it that way.

We used manual exposures and guide numbers first for flash bulbs, and then for electronic flashes for many years, its not all that difficult, but you do need to know the distance to the subject.  Its pretty easy to get the exposure with a couple of test shots using the histogram.

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Re: Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2011, 09:29:22 PM »
Knowing how the 199A works should help you get it to play nice w/5D (or most other cameras).  199A is from analog era.  Setting the red/green/yellow/white switch on it sent an analog voltage to the camera to indicate what aperture to set the lens to on the camera.  For automatic operation, the sensor on the flash controlled when to cut-off the flash burst, the camera had no control over flash duration.  The camera just had to get the right lens opening, trigger the flash, and let the flash control the amount of light. 

Two ways to go and have semi-automatic function:  1) Buy (if you can find one) a "Syncro Cord A" which allows connection of 199A to the PC socket on camera.  Mount flash off camera. Set camera and flash to the same ISO.  Set R/G/Y/W switch to desired f-stop using the flash dial as indicator (easier to understand if you have the 199A in front of you).  Set camera on manual at shutter speed within its flash sync. range (1/60th as default) and set aperture to same as indicated by 199A R/G/Y/W switch setting.  Flash will now determine length of burst and shut itself off when sufficient light provided.

2)  Second method is similar to above, except assumes no "Syncro Cord A" is available and requires minimal understanding of electrical connections -- use at your own risk.  Tape off the two contacts on 199A that are side-by-side leaving only the central contact exposed.  (This blocks the aperture setting analog voltage connection to camera.)  Mount flash on camera hot shoe.  Follow steps above starting at "Set camera and flash to the same ISO"...

The 199A is still a very capable flash and should provide correct automatic exposure in most instances.  It's confused with highly reflective subjects or when the true subject is well off center (its sensor can only 'see' a fairly narrow angle).

These methods have worked well for me.  Anyone with a better approach please let me know as well.


Lots of Canon stuff -- FD, EF, EF-L, EF-S.  Olympus stuff too

Narcolepsy

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Re: Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2011, 11:03:49 AM »
Thank you very much for all the advice - will try all of these and report back.

I am only just back in the Canon fold - when last using Canon cameras, I bought the 199A new....
(I did borrow a Powershot G6 for a few weeks in 2007 when my then camera was in for repair, but hated it)

Thanks again

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2011, 01:17:44 PM »
Knowing how the 199A works should help you get it to play nice w/5D (or most other cameras).  199A is from analog era.  Setting the red/green/yellow/white switch on it sent an analog voltage to the camera to indicate what aperture to set the lens to on the camera.  For automatic operation, the sensor on the flash controlled when to cut-off the flash burst, the camera had no control over flash duration.  The camera just had to get the right lens opening, trigger the flash, and let the flash control the amount of light. 

Two ways to go and have semi-automatic function:  1) Buy (if you can find one) a "Syncro Cord A" which allows connection of 199A to the PC socket on camera.  Mount flash off camera. Set camera and flash to the same ISO.  Set R/G/Y/W switch to desired f-stop using the flash dial as indicator (easier to understand if you have the 199A in front of you).  Set camera on manual at shutter speed within its flash sync. range (1/60th as default) and set aperture to same as indicated by 199A R/G/Y/W switch setting.  Flash will now determine length of burst and shut itself off when sufficient light provided.

2)  Second method is similar to above, except assumes no "Syncro Cord A" is available and requires minimal understanding of electrical connections -- use at your own risk.  Tape off the two contacts on 199A that are side-by-side leaving only the central contact exposed.  (This blocks the aperture setting analog voltage connection to camera.)  Mount flash on camera hot shoe.  Follow steps above starting at "Set camera and flash to the same ISO"...

The 199A is still a very capable flash and should provide correct automatic exposure in most instances.  It's confused with highly reflective subjects or when the true subject is well off center (its sensor can only 'see' a fairly narrow angle).

These methods have worked well for me.  Anyone with a better approach please let me know as well.

Thats good information, I've made a copy for my files.  I come accross a older Canon flash occastionlly, so i'll try it.  I'll try it with some of the old Canon compatible TTL flashes as well. 

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Re: Tips for using Speedlite 199A
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2011, 01:17:44 PM »