View Full Version : External Flash For FZ20

04-25-2005, 11:08 AM
I am a new user of the FZ20 and have much to learn. I have been reading postings about the use of the external flash. There are several recommendations for using the Sunpack 383 flash.

Most of my flash shots will be in church settings and concert settings and in home seetings. Church and concert settings will typically be at distances on the average of 20 feet. Any one have experience with the Sunpack 383 in these conditions?

I have an old flash unit I use with a Cannon AE1. Anyone have any thoughts on using this with the Wein hotshoe adapter to reduce the trigger voltage? I will have to check the model of this flash but I know it has a range up to 30 feet depending on the ISO setting. It is also a bounce flash.

04-25-2005, 11:32 AM
The Wein sync thing is almost the price of a 383 and yes it is good for much over 50 ft.

Its rated at 60ft on auto.


04-25-2005, 12:30 PM
Thanks genece,

I assume from the other posts that I do not need to be concerned with trigger voltages with the Sunpak 383.

04-25-2005, 12:40 PM
Yes, you are correct, you will not need the Wein Adapter with the Sunpak. I also bought the Sunpak 383 and after having it for about a week I am VERY impressed. I really enjoy the fact that I can control the flash output power and distance.. not to mention the swivel head! You will not be dissapointed with the Sunpak 383! I bought mine from Adorama though, B&H is just as good!

04-25-2005, 08:11 PM
Its funny.. i have an old Crown (Kalimar) TW-3600, and it works really well. Dont be afraid to buy used sometimes.. you never know what you can find.. ;)

04-26-2005, 06:15 AM
Just be sure to check the trigger voltage.. that Kalimar is quite safe at 6 volts.
A lot of older flashes are not safe to use on newer cameras.

04-26-2005, 10:51 AM
Hey Pastor,

I know that many people here are fond of, with good reason, the Sunpak 383 but I would also like to recomend the DigiSlave from SR Electronics in Texas.

It's about as powerful as the 383 (guide number 110) and tilts (but not swivel) and has the added advantage of being used off camera a slave flash. It syncs perfectly with both my Frank (FZ20) and my LC33.

For large areas such as a church, having the ability to use the flash off camera and to place it at a different angle can be very useful. For instance you can use the main flash for general illumination and the digislave as fill lighting. It is also a very powerful on camera flash as well.

It's a bit more expensive, $130U.S., but for me has been well worth it. I no longer get any dark areas behind my subject and I have used it to cancel shadows. It also makes for a very powerful flash booster when used along with and in the same direction as the main flash.

The folks at SRElectronics are very cool and very helpful.

If I were going to use only an on camera flash, I would probably go for the 383; but I much prefer to have two sources of light and to that end the digislave is perfect. I bought it a few months ago and haven't looked back; it's been fabulous.

Good luck with your new camera and your pics.


04-26-2005, 09:23 PM
I have read that a lot of the flashes aren't capable of flashing quickly one after the other such as when using the burst mode of pictures. Can anyone comment on the capabilities of the flashes in burst mode? I understand that the Sunpak 383 will take 3 quick flashes with the burst mode but the quantray 383 (sp?) will not?

04-26-2005, 10:20 PM
I cant comment on other flashes but from personal experience I can tell you the Sunpak 383 Super does take 3 burst shots and the 3rd flash is just as powerful as the first one!

04-28-2005, 02:55 AM
It is a bit difficult to specify the repeat frequency of a flash as it depends on how you use it. For example if you are taking close-ups with no bounce and fairly light surroundings then the flash may keep up with the camera. However if you are taking a shot at some distance in dark coiloured surroundings and at the same time you want some bounce effect then you may only get a single flash and have to wait for the full recharge cycle.

Battery type and condition also has a significant effect.


04-28-2005, 02:24 PM
I just spoke with Panasonic tech support. I was told the FZ20 external Flash hot shoe conforms to ISO 10330 which specs the trigger volatge to be 24V or less.

Thought others might be interested in this.