Jon McManus 12:12pm, 5 March 2008
Well, I guess the webpage really says it all, but this stemmed from a frustrating incident while I was recently on holiday trying to track to strobes to replace my dead (or dying) Nikon SB-25 (which flashed once when I put new batteries in it, at 1/64th! But not more).

I couldn't find anything like this in the group (though if it does end up existing I'll feel rather stupid that I didn't find it), just various different not-complete lists where people chimed in with their manually controllable strobes and then it disappeared into the back end of beyond.

So, I've tried to compile all the information that I could find and post it in a webpage.

The URL is currently rather ungainly, hanging off a website of mine (which I haven't really updated recently):

I've used sources from flickr threads (obviously in the Strobist group) to compile the basis of the list. I hope the information that's there is correct--if it's not, please feel free to leave a comment, drop me a flickr mail, or send me an email (my address is in that page, though slightly obfuscated to prevent against spam).

Obviously, I'd love people to give input about flashes I don't have on the list. It's zoom (if it has one), swivel, power control... If you've got a photo of it in your flickr stream, a link to that would be great.

I think that's it!
CSD_Images 11 years ago
It might be easier to use a table for this information. It would also make it easier to compare flash units...

Other than that great work!
markusgpl 11 years ago
You might want to add some details such as
-430ez has a sleep mode you can't disable
-500DG ST (Canon version at least) needs ttl pins to fire

and mention of slave cells on those that have one.
cabbiinc Posted 11 years ago. Edited by cabbiinc (member) 11 years ago
Of the Canon Flashes the ones with manual control according to are:

Spectacular idea
I've used one Jessops flash that was manually controllable too, couldn't tell you the model name though, it wasn't mine.

Great idea though, I've been wondering if there was something like this for a while!
goldbean128 11 years ago
Great idea, and thanks for doing it. I noticed one minor correction that's necessary: Nikon SB-20 does zoom.
alleged pencil [deleted] 11 years ago
This is an good idea!
Dennis Dietz Posted 11 years ago. Edited by Dennis Dietz (member) 11 years ago
* Sunpak 433D ( I believe these will replace the older Nikon SB's soon due to price and availibility) Also has full tilt and 300+ degree swivel. No zoom feature.

* Sunpak 30DX

*Not fully manual, Sunpak 4000AFEZ, has only full and 1/16 plus very slow recycle time. Does have zoom feature.

Vivitar 283, no manual but the Cheap-ish VP-1 module adds full manual down to 1/16 or 1/32 (I forget) and it is very easy to DIY your own Vari-Power control (many tutorials on flickr and else where for this)
cabbiinc 11 years ago
Sunpak PF20XD, Power ratio: 5 steps (Full, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32)
Sunpak PZ42X , Power ratio: (Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32, 1/64)
@Jon: Thanks for the work you've put into this. Consider it bookmarked :) If I have one little suggestion it would be to have a table format and perhaps have a column for things like sync socket etc.

If you want any help with html etc, as I don't mind chipping in, then please let me know.

trevorscottcarpenter 11 years ago
I love my Vivitar 285HV. Serves me very well, has zoom, and easy adjustable power levels.

I hope to get a few more with a Pocket Wizard for each.
wussery 11 years ago
Jon, you should probably add the Sunpak Auto 444d to your list of flashes. Here's a description:

A unique flash that accepts Sunpaks complete line of interchangeable dedicated shoe modules The flash features a detachable 3-position manual zoom that produces a guide number from 120-170 with ISO 100 film tilt and swivel control plus an attached fold-up reflector card for fill-flash capability The 3 f/stop auto range from 1.6-60ft and manual control as well as power ratio down to 1/16 power support creative effects Power is supplied from 4 AA batteries or from a variety of optional sources including the TR-PAKIIa NiCd power pack or an AC adapter Accepts EXT-10 Cord for off-camera TTL flash dedication.

Looks like the Sunpak 383 with interchangeable modules and ZOOM.
andrewstrauss 11 years ago
You are missing Canon's latest flash, the 580EX-II. It is a bit different than the original 580EX. The biggest difference for us strobists would be that it has a PC port.

You can find a picture of the new 580EX-II and some more info here:

There are also some pics of the original 580EX there. If you need more, try here:
Jon McManus 11 years ago
Thanks for the suggestions and additions, all! Tables is probably a much better option--I'm not sure why I didn't think of that to start with.

On second thoughts, I might just compile the data into a nice, easily-edited file format and then write a script to generate it into a table.

I'll try and get it update soon :)
FlashZebra 11 years ago
Important notes:

You should mention if the flash has a sync port, and the nature of the sync port.

The Nikon SB-24, 25, 26, 28, 28DX, 80DX, 800 all have a screwlock a PC port

You cannot disable the standby mode function on the Canon 420EZ and the 430EZ. This makes them very annoying for off camera use.

The Sunpak 555 is a handle mount flash with manual power to 1/64th and a HH connector.

There are more Vivitars, all have the proprietary Vivitar sync connector

285HV (older version)
285HV (new version)

Enjoy! Lon
b1gdaddy2007 11 years ago
Nissin 3200GT Full, 1/2 & 1/4 hammerhead flash, bounce & swivel, no zoom. submini sync.

Sunpak Autozoom 3400 Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 & 1/64 hammerhead flash, no zoom, bounce or swivel. HH & submini sync.

Sunpak Autozoom 3600 Full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16, 1/32 & 1/64 hammerhead flash, bounce & swivel, zoom with TL-3 attachment. Submini sync.
wiredfool 11 years ago
Sunpack auto 411 - 1->1/32 full stops, swivel, no zoom, male pc + hotshoe. High voltage. GN ~100

Sunpack auto 611 1->1/128, takes c cells, has a sunpak female household connector. No zoom. Gn ~ 160
Bill_CCHKK 11 years ago
Hey Jon,

Have you thought about making this a community editable Wiki page? We could set up a site on pretty easily.

For those not familiar with the Wiki concept, you set up a web page that is editable by a group (or completely open for editing) and it grows organically as people add information to it. Wikipedia on a smaller scale (actually, Wikipedia grew out of the Wiki concept).

- Bill
Jon McManus 11 years ago
Bill: It's not a bad idea, and I had thought of it, but I decided it wasn't really the way to go, at least at the minute. Of course, if somebody else wants to start one, that's fine by me.

My main disagreements are that MediaWiki is way too immense--we only need one page, not an entire collection of data; and that Wikia seems to have the same problem with Wikipedia of vandalism. I'd rather be updating content manually in HTML and uploading it than spending all my time reverting vandalism every five minutes.

Like I said, I'm pretty happy with it how it is at the minute. Anyone else can feel free to start a Strobist Wikia if they so desire :-)

Thanks everyone else for their additions, I'll try and have an updated copy up by either tonight, or first thing Saturday morning.
JASPhoto 11 years ago
Jon - Somehow I missed this thread and created a spreadsheet - also a WIP - I'd love some help with it. I think I will ad a "current price (ebay)"

here is the thread I responded to

and my spreadsheet -
pink advice [deleted] 10 years ago
I've been looking for something like this. Thanks!!
afterhoursproduction 10 years ago
pls add Sunpak 422 to the list
TwomasC 10 years ago
I've started this in the 'real' wiki...
FlashZebra Posted 10 years ago. Edited by FlashZebra (member) 10 years ago
Thomas TC Christensen,

I still think that heading for "PC Connection" needs to be changed to "Sync Connection".

Then if the flash has any sort of sync connection the type can be cited in the listing for the flash in the "Sync Connection" column.

If a flash has no sync connection the listing for that flash could just be "no".

What is important to know is if the flash has a sync connection, and the nature of that connection, not if it has a PC connection or not.

The Nikon SB-24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 28DX, 80DX, 800, 900 and the Canon 580EX II should all indicate "screwlock PC" in the sync connection column.

The Vivitar 273, 283, 285, and 285HV would all indicate "Vivitar connector" in the sync connection column.

The Nikon SB-600, Canon 430EX, 430EX II, 580EX, and Metz 58 would indicate "no" in the sync connection column.




So much more information could be transmitted via this minor but greatly improved formatting rigor.

Enjoy! Lon
Dan Bachmann 9 years ago
I've got the Pentax FTZ-500 and it works great in manual mode. It has tilt/swivel, goes down to 1/32 power, zoom from 24-85mm optical trigger ability.
rebel memory [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by rebel memory (member) 9 years ago
Here was my spreadsheet as of last month from
I've just put my Strobist Friendly (manual levels) Flash List spreadsheet into Google Docs for those interested. Some $$ few months old.

Spreadsheet is based on the original user data from above links with add'l fields I use to help rank usefulness and decision making. YMMV.

Comments welcome.

Link to View --

edit1: current (as far as it goes) as of Sept 1, 2009.
Added Metz 76MZ5 and a couple others,
updated easy-to-find current retail prices (Amaz-BH-Ado),
Changed int'l # to Age Rel Yr.
as always small bug fixes.
edit2: Oct 8, added Metz 54MZ-4
updated PC connection as FlashZebra noted for those few.
YN-465 added. POS quality, but it has wonderful idiot lights!
TwomasC Posted 9 years ago. Edited by TwomasC (member) 9 years ago
FlashZebra Sorry, I didn't see that (flickr forums = FAIL)

But, please people go use the Wiki page and add your own favorite flash to the list. That's the point of the Wikipedia - you don't even have to create an account. It's not that hard... just use the preview function until you get it right...

And best of all, nobody has to take on the responsibility of keeping a list up to date. 9 years ago

Rather than keep this really useful data in a group thread in, wha da ya think about creating a page. Then we could link it to all of the other photo/flash related pages so that readers around the world would be more likely to find what they need.

An idea....
slippery earth [deleted] Posted 9 years ago. Edited by slippery earth (member) 9 years ago
Nissin 360TW, with full, half and quarter power, tilt/swivel and proprietary Nissin PC port. No zoom but you can add wide-angle and telephoto filters (often come with the flash on eBay listings). Guide number 36. It has a secondary fill-in flash on the front.

Other info:
badandy962003 9 years ago
The Sigma ST series of flashes cannot be triggered remotely by a radio trigger.
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