flashconv

New: HSS support added, see "compatibility" and "features" for details!

About this project

Provide an adapter to use older flashes (5400XI/HS, 5200i, 3500xi, maybe others) with newer digital SLR cameras from Konica-Minolta / Sony (Dimage Ax, Dynax 7D/5D, Sony A100)

How?

Using an Atmel ATtiny13 microcontroller it is possible to listen to the communication between camera and flash. The controller decodes the information and translates commands not understood by the older flashes (fire preflash, time main flash according to exposure value told by cam). In addition, it takes care of the new wireless protocol.

Features?

The adapter only touches commands not known to older flashes. So already working features (AF illuminator, zoom reflector, distance display on flash) work even after modification.
So you´ll get a fully working program flash with both wired and wireless support.

For the 5400HS, there is also a new version which adds HSS support when used on camera. In addition, this verision is model-independent and can be used with newer Sony models (A200, A300, A700 etc.) as well. It is currently in beta stage, but user feedback so far is good.

Compatibility

The adapter is now compatible with Dynax 5D, 7D, Dimage A1/A2 and Sony A100 (5400HS/XI only, no 5200i).Supported flashes are 5400HS, 5400XI, 5200i, 3500XI.

Newer Sony Alpha cameras (A700, A200, A350 etc.) are supported on the 5400HS. The main difference is the kind of preflash used in the new version. As this version has HSS support, the preflash is no longer a single flash which needs accurate timing but an HSS burst of flashes. As HSS is needed for that, there is no chance this verison will ever work on 5400xi, 3500xi or 5200i flashes, they do not have the capability for HSS flash bursts.

The HSS version is no longer limited to a special cam verison but works with all models at the same time.

Unfortunately, the adapter does not maintain compatibility with analog cameras. When used with 7xi, the flash fires but way to weak for proper exposure. With a 700si the camera is completely blocking until you remove the flash. Don´t know if nor when this will be resolved. I got some reports the flash will work with Dynax 7 in ADI and preflash-TTL-mode. Does the 7 even support TTL-OTF?

IMPORTANT The new wireless mode is controlled by the adapter, so you MUST NOT switch the flash to wireless anymore. Follow these instructions:
  • mount flash on cam (only neccessary with new adapter or after changeing wireless channel)
  • set camera to "wireless"
  • remove flash, it should show "W.L.-1" now
  • switch flash to normal mode (i.e., disable wireless!)
  • pop up cam flash, press "AEL" for wireless test. cam should respond

Now you can use the wireless mode as usual. There´s no need for any mode switching, the adapter recognizes any command through the hot shoe and will switch modes automatically. Automatic power down after 4 min is disabled when using wireless mode. The red light will NOT blink - this is the drawback ;-) Power down is re-enabled once the flash is used on hot shoe.