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Sunpak Auto zoom 3000 thyristor

I have one of the above flashes that I would liket to use with my Nikon D200.
I am afraid that the trigger voltage produced might be too great for the DSLR circuits.
Can you explain what my best options are to use this flash unit safely?
I am aware that I would have to operate strictly manually.

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  • Calhoun77 Jun 25, 2008

    Thanks DarkScribe,

    Since I posted this problem, I have found out that your soloution is the way to go. I also have a bracket that I can use.

    I know there is a product called a Wein Peanut Slave that can be used. AFAIK there are also no-name brands of slaves that are cheaper still.

    The added bonus is that the flash can be fired at a distance, if you want to set it up that way.

    Thanks again.

  • Calhoun77 Aug 05, 2008

    Hi Cuchulain,

    Be careful!! One of the reasons why I was looking for a remote slave is because I have been told that the trigger voltage produced by the old Sunpaks can be dangerous for the internal electronics of most digital cameras.

    Apparently, the Sunpak 3000 produces almost borderline trigger voltage for what the D200 can accept. Around 240v I think.

    Anyway, that's why I didn't want to take a chance plugging it directly into the camera.

    I hope everything is okay for you on your camera.


  • Calhoun77 Oct 26, 2008

    Just to let everyone know what I ended up doing to use the Sunpak 3000 with a Nikon D200

    I bought a used Wein Safe Sync (voltage regulator) The Safe Sync reduces the trigger voltage of the Sunpak from 240V dc to 6V dc. The Safe Sycn connects to the hotshoe on the camera and the Sunpak connects to the Safe sync. This works fine, but is a bit unbalanced and flimsy as far as I'm concerned. So, I use one of my old L brackets with a hand grip to mount the Sunpak. Then I connect the Sunpak by way of the pc cord to the Wein Safe Sync. The only problem for me was that the pc connection did not work on the Wein Safe Sync that I bought used. So, I added a Nikon AS 15 adapter to the top of the Safe Sync and connected through that. It all sounds complicated, but it really isn't. The Nikon adaptor cost me $15.00 and the Wein Safe Sync cost me $25.00. I will also be getting a remote slave to trigger the flash at further distance than the bracket handle. Xygot is correct when he expains about the use of the Sunpak in Auto mode. The flash works beautifully in the camera manual mode. Estimate your distance to subject and set your fstop accordingly. The colour coding and settings on the Sunpak work fine too. Another great thing about the old Sunpak is that you can use NIMH recharging batteries that I don' remember being available at the time I bought mine.


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R-sensor to plug in accessory remote sensor for use instead of the fixed one on the front. This allows flash to mount to the side with the remote sensor on the hotshoe. The other socket that has the interlock with the power switch is for a high voltage input (500V input!) from a special mains powered adapter for continuous power and faster refresh instead of using the batteries.

Posted on Oct 26, 2008

  • xygot Oct 26, 2008

    Sunpak Autozoom 3000 - WILL - operate in auto mode...but not TTL. It uses the sensor on the front to measure reflected light. Set dial to chosen ISO. Choose an f-stop to set lens at and note the color code for it on the dial. Then using that color code set front sensor to the same color code that matched same color on dial.

    Haven't used my 3000 for nearly 20 years so my memory is being pushed, but I still have it...somewhere.

  • xygot Jan 11, 2009

    For Daggie666 re not able to see flash through camera.

    Normaly the flash is triggered just as the shutter is fully open.You probably have your camera set to "2nd curtain synch" meaning that the flash is supposed to trigger just as the shutter is about to CLOSE. This gives a flash photo with movement blurr trail BEHIND and makes the subject look like it's going forward not backward!

    If the flash trigger was slightly slow maybe it's MISSING the open shutter all together! Although I can't think why it should be slow...


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You can use the Sunpak on a bracket with a "slave trigger" and fire the slave with the Nikon's pop-up flash. I do the same with a SunPak 3600 Auto Zoom. Just remember not to have the red-eye feature operating. Those little slave triggers are only a couple of dollars and I already had few brackets.

Posted on Jun 25, 2008

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Hi Calhoun77,

All the suggestions are correct, for playing safe and using a voltage regulator of about 6V on the hot shoe of a modern DSLR. I just measured the trigger voltage on the bottom hot shoe connections of my Sunpak Auto Zoom 3000, and it was 32V while charging up. Once the orange ready light was on, it measured 24V. This is ok to connect to the pc socket of a modern DSLR, as some are rated at max. 250V, as in the Canon 40D User's Manual. The Sunpak would be a bit doubtful on the hot shoe of a DSLR, as I've heard the maximum there is about 30V, and my Sunpak 3000 got to 32V while charging up.

I use a Metz 45CL-4 plugged directly into the pc socket on the side of my Canon 40D with no problems. I've tried the Metz directly on the hot shoe and it worked ok. I measured its trigger voltage at about 9V.



Posted on Feb 28, 2009

  • Neil Aug 22, 2009

    I measured the trigger voltage on another Sunpak AutoZoom 3000 I have, and it was 42V. The previous advice you were given was correct then, a voltage reducer and an adaptor to the hot shoe. The 3000 works ok on the pc socket of my Canon 40D, but needs the above adaptor and voltage reducer for a DSLR hot shoe.


  • Neil Dec 20, 2015

    There must be different varieties of the Sunpak Auto Zoom 3000. Mine only has the hot shoe contact, the attached pc cord on the left, and a 4 pin unmarked socket on the lower left. I don't have a manual, but have a ciruit diagram if I can find it, which should tell me what all the connections are.


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Hi Cuchulain,
The rear femail connection at the rear, is for the remote sensor to be mounted atop of the camera (shoe); model "R.S. CA-5". The one to the lest of that is for a power supply / AC Adaptor AD-26S.

My problem is, that even when using the slave trigger mentioned by DarkScribe, the flash flashes, but the light is not included in the picture. Cannot see it, even it I flash it straight into the camera lens. Visually I see it flashing with my eye, so I don't understand why it is not visible on the picture. I put the SunPak on manual mode, so flash is on full power. Anyone has got an idea?

Daggie in Norway

Posted on Jan 09, 2009

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Hi folks,

I've just bought one of these flash units from a second hand store - it came with just a cord connected to the 'Sync' at the right hand side of unit. It seemed to work ok just connected to the PC/X connector on the D200, although I'm not sure it opperated at full power.

Can anyone tell me more about the female connection at the rear? - the one marked r-sensor and the connector to the left of that. Unfortunately no manual.

Many thanks

Posted on Aug 05, 2008

  • Cuchulain Aug 05, 2008

    After some more Googling I find the manual for it here


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