compatibility of older, flashes with D3

Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,033
Location
New York State
It should do, if the contacts in the flash's hot foot are the right ones for a Nikon.
Canon contacts are in reversed polarity positions.
But you will need to use the flash within the regular shutter-speed range unless the Flash is a Nikon Speedlight with CLS.
Nikon Flash Primer | DPanswers
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,880
Location
UK
AFAIK Nikon and Canon adhere to European standards where the centre trigger terminal is positive, the side rail terminal is ground.

Therefore most (if not all) third party flash units should work without issue, but of course will have to be used in manual mode. And you will need to check trigger voltage to make sure voltage will not exceed recommendations
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,033
Location
New York State
Yong Nuo make two different versions of their flashes — with different models for Canon and Nikon because of the issue of the reversed polarity of the hot shoes.

I have an old Olympus flash which only fires on a Nikon if I mount it back to front in the hot shoe.
 
Joined
Sep 15, 2008
Messages
1,413
Location
Sacramento
I used an older Vivitar 285 HV with both my D200 and D3 with no problems before I started investing in SB-800s. The 285's thyrister sensor did a very good job of substituting for TTL metering. As mentioned by the others, the trigger voltage in some older independent vendor flashes can be too high for the modern DSLR, but most flashes manufactured in the last 10 - 15 years use low trigger voltages for DSR compatibility. Note that most Nikon DSLRs can handle up to 250 volts at the hotshoe. The D3 Users Manual page 205 states that Negative voltages or voltages over 250V applied to the accessory shoe could damage the camera. A cheap digital multimeter can be used to test suspect flashes.
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2010
Messages
3,880
Location
UK
Yong Nuo make two different versions of their flashes — with different models for Canon and Nikon because of the issue of the reversed polarity of the hot shoes.

I have an old Olympus flash which only fires on a Nikon if I mount it back to front in the hot shoe.
I now see where your misunderstanding comes from.

This is not a case of reverse polarity Nikon to Canon to Olympus. Flash is very simple stripped to the basics. You have a trigger (centre contact) and a ground (outer shoe contact), when the two connected the flash will fire. This scheme follows for all current flash that I am aware of. What does change between mnfctr. is the pin layout of the rest of the system to enable TTL etc, a diagram showing the differences attached.

All modern cameras expects the centre pin of the flash to be positive and the edge contact to be negative More detail. If unsure check polarity with a multi meter

You can generally attach any flash from any manufacturer to any camera i.e. Nikon flash on Canon camera and vice versa and they will fire correctly. With the caveat that you will loose any camera specific control e.g. TTL AF assist which means the flash becomes manual only. You may want to consider taping over the redundant contacts leaving the trigger and ground exposed. And most importantly as mentioned in this thread make sure that the trigger voltage does not exceed the manufacturers rating for the camera

Your Olympus flash only firing backwards is probably a symptom of the trigger and ground pins not precisely lining up in one direction, or it could be that one of the other pins is making contact where it shouldnt and the camera is not seeing a flash attached. If you so wished you could try taping all pins on the flash other than trigger and ground and as long as they both contact in the same place you will have a manual only flash.

I use my Nikon Speedlight with my Pentax 645z without issue and I have not bothered to tape contacts - you will see from the diagram a similar layout but note the distance of the pins (other than trigger and ground) does not coincide

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Feb 18, 2015
Messages
1,033
Location
New York State
Thank you for such a clear explanation.

I only use Nikon SBs on (or connected to) the hot shoes on my Nikons.

I once tested that old Olympus unit (just to see if it was operable) and remember that it only worked when mounted backwards!

I knew that the third-party companies like Yong Nuo (I use their radio triggers but don't have any of their flash heads) make different models for Canon and Nikon so that is for TTL and other camera-controlled compatibility and functionality.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Nikon Cafe is a fan site and not associated with Nikon Corporation.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2005-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom