Which Minolta HSS flash, 3600HS (D) or 5400HS?

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by James Cloud, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. James Cloud

    James Cloud Guest

    I am buying a HSS flash for my Maxxum 70. Currently the 3600HS (D)
    and the 5400HS are about the same in price. Since I don't own many D
    series lenses (one to be exact), I am wondering if the 5400HS is
    actually a better buy. What do you think? Does anyone actually find
    the new D functions on the flash very useful?

    James Cloud, Jul 13, 2004
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  2. No question - 5400HS. More power, more flexibility, bounce and swivel.

    I have a 7, and use the 5400HS flashes. I've never missed D.

    Mike Lipphardt, Jul 13, 2004
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  3. James Cloud

    Alan Browne Guest

    Since I don't have a (D) compatible body, not too sure. (I have
    both the 5400HS and the 5600HS (D)). Which D lens do you have
    and what do you use it for?

    Since your Maxxum 70 is "D" compatible, then with those lenses
    and a D flash, you will get the benefit of integrated focus
    distance and appropriate flash for that distance. Having said
    that, I don't think not having this has hurt any images.

    The swivel (5400HS) is very useful for ceiling bounce in portrait
    orientation as well as bouncing light off of a wall for side

    The 5400HS is more powerful. (GN of 54 metres v. GN of 36
    meters). This alone, for the same price, says: get the 5400HS.

    Drifting a bit...
    Compared to the updated 5600HS (D), I prefer the 5400HS (I use
    both regularly and the 5400HS is just less hassle).

    The 5400HS is even, in many respects, better than the _56_00HS (D).

    --zooms to 105mm (v. 85 for the 5600HS)
    --does not have an irritating swivel lock (PITA).
    --has sensible, logical menus (the 5600HS is misleading)
    --has as much power (at same zoom setting) as the 5600HS

    The 5600HS does have a few nice to haves such as a flip down
    difuser to go as wide as 17mm flash coverage, and a battery
    compartment door that remains captive when open.

    Alan Browne, Jul 13, 2004
  4. James Cloud

    Magnus W Guest

    (James Cloud) wrote in
    The 5400HS is the better flash, but the 3600HS is pretty much guaranteed to
    work with the upcoming Minolta DSLRs. That is the choice I would call the
    toughest, D or non D is of no interest to me as I don't own D lenses.
    Magnus W, Jul 13, 2004
  5. James Cloud

    Alan Browne Guest

    Hi Magnus,

    Have you seen any indication that non-D flashes may be
    problematic witht he DSLR?

    Alan Browne, Jul 13, 2004
  6. James Cloud

    Magnus W Guest

    As they don't work with the other Minolta digicams (except RD-175 and RD-
    3000), why should it work with the DSLR?
    Magnus W, Jul 13, 2004
  7. James Cloud

    Alan Browne Guest

    Why shouldn't it?

    The DSLR is based on the Maxxum/Dynax 7. 5400HS works fine there
    (with the exception of the D integration).

    The 5400HS can pre-flash (essential to DSLR flash operation as
    OTF (or OTS (off the sensor)) does not work on CMOS CCD sensors).

    So, no integration reason that I can see, although I'm not sure
    why, for instance, the 5400HS does not work with the 7Hi/A1/A2.

    Alan Browne, Jul 14, 2004
  8. James Cloud

    James Cloud Guest

    Thanks everyone for the replies. Very helpful!
    James Cloud, Jul 14, 2004
  9. James Cloud

    Magnus W Guest

    Because every DSLR made needs a new flash system due to the different
    reflectance from the sensor.

    You don't think that Minolta dropping compatibility from the Dimage 7 and
    forward on prosumer models is a pretty telling signal?
    It probably pre-flashes in the wrong way or something. Can't set a
    custom delay between pre-flash and full flash? Who knows.
    I don't know if there are technical reasons /only/ or rather a case of
    "let's drop compatibility at this convenient time where we can blame
    digital" but the fact is that the combination you mention does not work,
    and that every manufacturer have had problems with flash on their digicams.
    Magnus W, Jul 14, 2004
  10. -trap.com (Magnus W) wrote in
    I think, they still should work. Why? Because, most of the lenses don't
    have the Distance "Chip". Or we're ending up only flash photography
    with D-Lenses.

    Leonhard Pang, Jul 14, 2004
  11. James Cloud

    Alan Browne Guest

    Reflective OTF cannot be done with digital cameras. Preflash and
    metering by the exposure meter system or by the CCD/CMOS itself
    is required.
    Yes it is a signal. But it doesn't mean that this will follow on
    a Maxxum 7 derived body.
    I unhappily agree with you there, I'm just hoping my 5400HS
    caries through on the digital body when the time comes. I have
    the 5600HS as well so not totally up the creek ... hopefully it
    will still work wireless with the DSLR.

    Alan Browne, Jul 14, 2004
  12. James Cloud

    Alan Browne Guest

    Good point. As is Magnus' point about the current digitcams
    (A1/A2, etc.).
    Alan Browne, Jul 14, 2004
  13. James Cloud

    Bill Tuthill Guest

    Not necessarily. It would be possible to have accessory flash
    do a preflash to measure lighting, rather than do TTL-OTF, or
    actually OTCCD (off the CCD) you might say. Then without D lens
    the camera would use 14-segment metering, right?

    Back to the OP (original poster). The only case where D flash
    seems to be useful is where objects of "wrong" reflectance, such as
    mirrors, are in the picture, allowing the 4-segment flash meter to
    choose the proper segment based on focus distance.

    D flash has many disadvantages: can't use bounce flash, can't
    rotate or swivel the flash head, can't use softbox flash diffusers.
    These are huge drawbacks if you ask me.

    For a wedding last month I used a Sigma EF-500 Super with The Shell
    bounce reflector, and every picture came out perfectly exposed
    (judging by negative density, not prints). Admittedly there were
    no mirrors in the background, but it says D is seldom required.
    Couldn't use D with The Shell anyway. (I like this bounce reflector
    because it's low-cost and works well in vertical mode.)
    Bill Tuthill, Jul 14, 2004
  14. James Cloud

    Alan Browne Guest

    As I've mentioned from time to time, doing OTF (OTCCD/OTCMOS) is
    not a viable method. The flash light does not reflect off of the
    sensor in a way that OTF sensors can pick up (Or so I've read
    here and there). Pre-flash is the way to go. The 5400HS does do
    prefash and the camera meters this with the honeycomb (Minolta).
    So _should_ be integrateable with the DSLR.

    Alan Browne, Jul 14, 2004
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