Using a Contax TLA-200 flash on a Canon EOS 5D - will my camera blow up?

Discussion in 'Canon' started by jw, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. jw

    jw Guest

    Hello, I have a G2 rangefinder kit and have today acquired the
    beautiful EOS 5D w/ 24-105 lens. I will be buying a 430EX flash in the
    next few weeks, but would really like something more compact for the
    times when I don't want to carry a big hammerhead flash around with me.

    Would my Contax TLA-200 flash work ok with the 5D or do I risk blowing
    up the camera and/or flash. Presumably I would not achieve any TTL
    flash metering with this setup, but is the metering system on the 5D
    sophisticated enough to work with this flash?

    Any insight would be appreciated.

    jw, Mar 11, 2006
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  2. I tried a "foreign" flash on one of my recent cameras (can't remember which,
    sorry - it might have been my 5D) and all I got was an error signal as the
    camera failed to find the correct signalling protocol. I think there's some
    form of hand-shaking involved nowadays.
    Malcolm Stewart, Mar 11, 2006
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  3. I also have a new EOS 5D and I have now used it with my Mecablitz 54 MZ-4
    Flash with the correct SCA adaptor.

    Wow! what a lump.. It weighs a total of 2.12kg!

    It's such a heavy combination, what with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM fitted,
    I was also wondering about a smaller, pocketable flash like the Contax
    TLA-200 which I also have.

    Can anybody make any suggestions ?

    Milk floats, stainless steel sinks
    Thread Stopper, Mar 11, 2006
  4. I had a look at your Gallery James and agree that the Contax G2 with Ziess
    lenses can create that 'blown away' impression.

    Sadly all of my Contax G2 gear will soon be up for sale to finance the
    recent purchase of my Canon 5D

    Did you build your website using some off the shelf software?

    Thread Stopper, Mar 11, 2006
  5. The standardised flash-triggering voltage is 24 volts.

    Canon, in its infinite wisdom, lowered the maximum allowable flash
    trigger voltage in some of its digital cameras (my G2, for example) to 6
    (IIRC) volts. A flash with a 24 volt trigger could "fry" those cameras.

    So, check your 5D specifications as well as the TLA-200 specifications
    (or use a voltmeter to measure it directly) to avoid damage.
    Chris Loffredo, Mar 11, 2006
  6. jw

    jw Guest

    Because I am impatient, last night I tried the TLA-200 on my 5D in
    manual mode (on both the camera and flash). The flash fired without
    any problems, but obviously I had to set the apeture on the camera
    relative to the distance reading shown on the top of the flash.

    What you said about those voltages has worried me though! I will see
    if I can find out some info from the specifications, but if I were to
    do a voltage test would I just have to place the test sensors on the
    hotshoe contacts and fire the shutter? How would I test the voltage of
    the flash?

    It is really frustrating that there is not a e-ttl flash on the market
    that is compact and does not add to the bulk of the camera.

    Steve - with regards to my site, it was built using Dreamwever - I have
    just been getting my head around advanced dreamweaver and CSS using
    some outstanding video tutorials from

    I would have one day considered selling my G2 kit to fund an upgrade,
    but the kit cost me £1300 three years ago and I would be lucky to get
    £600 for it now, so I plan to keep it until it becomes 'collectable'.
    Anyway I still use the G2 for street photography work, as frankly a
    bulky SLR is not an option in that kind of situation.

    Best regards,

    jw, Mar 11, 2006
  7. jw

    Alan Browne Guest

    It's in the manual. For the 20D it's about ±250 V for the sync terminal
    and I doubt it will be worse for the 5D. Verify that this applies to
    the "hot shoe" leads as well, though it should.

    IIRC, some later film Canon's such as the Elan 7 did not tolerate high
    voltage flash sync circuits.

    For a variety of flashes sync voltages

    Alan Browne, Mar 11, 2006
  8. jw

    Jon B Guest

    What about the Metz 28 AF-3? A bit taller than the Contax but offers
    full E-TTL etc. Looks about the same size and weight as a pack of cigs.
    Jon B, Mar 16, 2006
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