Minolta Maxxum Flash

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by Im29onemoretime, Nov 19, 2003.

  1. I have a Minolta Maxxum 5 camera. I just finished a Basic Photography class
    and am interested in purchasing an accessory flash. I am not looking to be
    come professional -- just want to improve my photographs. Instructor
    recommended getting a flash made by same manufacturer as camera. I am
    interested in two different Maxxum flashes -- 3600HS(D) and 5600(HS)D. The
    3600 has quite a few of the features of the 5600. The 5600 is slightly larger
    and heavier. The 5600 will swivel, as well as bounce; the 3600 only has
    bounce. The 5600 has "vari-power," which (from what I understand) allows you
    to set the power manually. The 3600 does not have this feature. The 5600 also
    has a greater range. The 3600 has a price of $189.95 and the 5600 is $369.95
    -- both at B&H. That is the best prices I have found. B&H is where I bought
    this camera AND also my digital.

    Any recommendations? Do you think the 3600 is sufficient for my needs? Or do
    I splurge on the 5600? Any input is greatly appreciated.

    Im29onemoretime, Nov 19, 2003
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  2. Im29onemoretime

    biesior Guest

    buy 5600 - good thing for not the worst price. Of course if you have enough
    biesior, Nov 19, 2003
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  3. Im29onemoretime

    Alan Browne Guest

    Thanks for doing your homework before posting. (so rare these days...)

    The value in the 5600 is not only its higher power, but in the swivel
    head and ability to control manually (which is useful if you also have
    an incident flash meter). If you can afford the 5600, go for it.

    If you will be using high speed film (400) then the 3600 has more than
    enough oomph for most situations. It is limited to tilt, but that's
    okay. If you will be using ISO 100 film a lot, then the 5600 would be
    a better choice.

    If there are any 5400HS' available, consider that too. Same power as
    the 5600, zooms tighter, and there is no irritating swivel/tilt lock
    switch. (However the "D" features of your lenses will not work with the
    5400HS. If you don't intend on buying "D" lenses, it does not matter).

    I reccomend also that you get the StoFen difuser that fits the head that
    you buy.

    Alan Browne, Nov 19, 2003
  4. Im29onemoretime

    Adam F Guest

    otoh if you decide you just want to dabble, a sigma ef-430 can be had for
    sfa (got mine for $20)
    there is also an older minolta 5400xi which has many of the fancy features
    and generally can be had for <$100, but as Alan points out won't be
    compatible with ADI

    adam f
    Adam F, Nov 20, 2003
  5. Im29onemoretime

    Magnus W Guest

    A note regarding this -- the 5400HS is a truly great flash (I have two) but
    is not compatible with Minolta digital cameras (with the exception of the
    RD-175 and RD-3000). That makes it a rather bad investment, methinks. Now
    of course one may argue that with the uncertainty of a future Minolta DSLR,
    the brand itself is a rather bad investment, but let's not go there... this
    time... ;-)
    I second this. A cheap and convenient way to get better flash pictures.
    Magnus W, Nov 20, 2003
  6. Im29onemoretime

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    If you decide on the 3600, mine is for sale. It's in excellent condition,
    used only a few times.

    The reason it's for sale is that I bought a Sigma EF500 Super for the
    rotating head, so I could put a flash diffuser called The Shell on it.
    This lightweight but hard-to-carry $25 scoop works well in both vertical
    and horizontal mode. A rotating flash bracket would probably work better
    but costs a lot more.

    The 5600 has rotating head. I would not recommend the Sigma EF500
    because many features just don't work, and the interface is confusing.
    Bill Tuthill, Nov 20, 2003
  7. A note regarding this -- the 5400HS is a truly great flash (I have two) but
    I don't have a Minolta digital camera, so to me this is not a problem.

    Thanks for the diffuser info.

    Im29onemoretime, Nov 20, 2003
  8. Im29onemoretime

    Paul Coen Guest

    The big downside to the 5400HS with a Maxxum 5 is that if he has any of the
    new "D" lenses (he didn't say), he can use the new flash metering system
    with the 5600HSD, but not the 5400HS. I've found that my 5400HS, which I
    use on my 600si with flash comp. set to -1 tends to be a bit much when I
    use it with my Maxxum 5 at certain distances. The 5 lacks the flash comp.
    feature. I suspect with a 5600HSD and a D lens the flash results might be
    better on the 5 than my 5400HS and my series of rather old Maxxum lenses.

    Obviously, lacking the equipment I haven't tested it, but adding subject
    distance to the flash calculation would probably help some of what I've seen.
    Paul Coen, Nov 21, 2003
  9. Im29onemoretime

    Lewis Lang Guest

    Subject: Re: Minolta Maxxum Flash
    Can't you set the exposure on the Maxxum 5 to manual exposure to lock in the
    ambient/non-flash exposure and then "dial in flash" compensation the "pseudo
    way" by setting the ambient exposure compensation at minus one or whatever (or
    by setting the ISO speed settting to twice the normal number for minus one stop
    flash compensation equivalent) so it affects only the flash's output not the
    ambient light (because the ambient exposure has already been locked in).* A
    kludge, to be sure, but it should work w/ most cameras. I also own the 600si
    but I don't own the 5.

    PS - *Once one is finished w/ this kludge one must remeber to set either the
    ISO or exposure compensation back to their normal values so that future ambient
    light exposure meter readings will be correct.


    Lewis Lang, Nov 28, 2003
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