Minolta 3600HS (D) flash mode questions.

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by David Farber, Aug 14, 2005.

  1. David Farber

    David Farber Guest

    I just got a Minolta 3600HS (D) flash for my Maxxum 7 and I have a few
    questions for situations where the flash is providing virtually all of the

    1. When I set the camera to P mode, it almost always selects the largest
    aperture of whatever lens I'm using. Is that what it's supposed to do?

    2. If I choose aperture priority mode, does the flash then adjust its power
    output to match the f/stop and distance? Or do I have to manually calculate
    the f/stop by dividing the guide number by the distance? I'm asking this
    because I would like to have some control of the DOF.

    3. What is the point of using shutter priority mode with the flash? Isn't
    the flash duration so short in relationship to the shutter speed that there
    is not much difference from one shutter speed to the next?

    Thanks for your reply.
    David Farber, Aug 14, 2005
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  2. David Farber

    Alan Browne Guest

    May be film ISO dependant. If you load an ISO 100 or slower film, it
    will likely seek to get as much light as possible. The 3600 is not the
    most powerful beast either (nothing wrong with it, just not very

    In P mode you should be able to shift to whatever aperture you like.
    Better yet, use it in "A" mode and you always decide. Note that with
    increasing distance to the subject and slow films, f/11 and slower is
    not going to work very well. (I don't have the 3600HS, but I believe it
    has a distance range indication on the LCD display according to film
    speed and aperture).
    It's all automatic. As the aperture gets smaller, the flash time (not
    shutter speed) gets longer. (And you will hear it as it recycles). If
    you have a (D) lens it will give a fairly accurate exposure at focus
    distance via the focus distance coupling. With non (D) lenses, the
    refelctance of the subject will drive the flash exposure.

    So dark subjects will be overexposed, light subjects will be under
    exposed. Adjust flash comp accordingly. For close shots of "white"
    faces, I usually dial +1.5 stops of flash comp. If somebody is dressed
    in black, then I dial in -1.5 to -2 stops of flash comp.

    (Yes, it sounds backwards, but the flash meter expects everything to be
    a mid tone ... so it sees black and tries to push more light at it to
    make it grey. (washed out). Dial it back).
    Generally correct. However, you can set the flash at long shutter
    speeds (say 1 second to 4 seconds) to record background lights. The
    camera will do this in any case if you hold down the AEL button as you
    shoot (or lock it in AEL mode via custom settings and toggle AEL).
    Tripod is of course necessary.

    Alan Browne, Aug 14, 2005
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  3. David Farber

    David Farber Guest

    From what I can figure out from the Maxxum 7 instruction manual, you are not
    allowed to modify the aperture or shutter speed while using P mode with a
    flash. If you do, the flash will be disabled:

    <snip from Maxxum 7 manual>
    "Flash can not be used with the PA and PS modes.
    -Built-in and accessory flashes will not fire when the PA and PS modes are
    -PA and Ps modes can not be selected when the built-in flash is up or the
    accessory flash is on."
    <end snip>

    I think "A" mode makes the most sense.

    By the way, there is no LCD display on the 3600HS. There are just some led's
    to indicate, zoom level, high speed sync, power on/off, etc.
    Actually, that makes sense. It's the same type of exposure logic you would
    use when photographing bright snow or black cats without a flash. However,
    do I still have to worry about flash comp with a (D) lens?
    Thanks Alan,

    Your explanation is much better than what is provided in the instruction
    David Farber, Aug 14, 2005
  4. David Farber

    Alan Browne Guest

    Yep! (Sorry about what I wrote above, I never use P mode period, never
    mind with flash and assumed that shift would work in P as it does sans
    Well, then the GN formula for a given aperture (ISO 100) will at least
    give you the max range.
    Okay, glad you understand the principle, many do not.
    Less so. The weighting is heavy to the focus distance with some weight
    on the metering. I can't give you good guidance here as I have not
    really done much shooting with my sole D lens and my Maxxum 5600HS(D)
    flash. (I use studio monolights rather than the Maxxum flash for such).
    Despite my errors! You're very welcome.

    Alan Browne, Aug 16, 2005
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