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TP: Flash on the cheap -- Tumax, Cullmann, Doerr .

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afidalgo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote afidalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: TP: Flash on the cheap -- Tumax, Cullmann, Doerr .
    Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:11
I have been looking for a "cheap" flash for my A100.

I found on the net severall brands that offer two axes rotation (and swivel), ADI support and integrated diffusor...namely Tumax, Cullmann, Doerr and Sunpak. All sell for 150EUR or less...guide number is not very relevant for me, but always above 25...

What i don't seem to be able to find is actual experience reports from a user with any of these(i found ONE user that is happy with a Cullmann flash)...

I tried once asking for info on Cullmann flashes without luck...i am now broadening my search for information.

If you wonder why don't i buy a Sony/Minolta (or Sigma Super) flash, the answer is simple...100EUR difference is a lot of money for me (and particullary for my wife, who should approve the purchase) and the ones i am mentioning all seem to be a very interesting all-in-one solution (full bounce and diffusion solution, eventually without HSS and wireless support...but that is fine by me).

Any info (even without actual knowledge of the brands above) would be helpfull...

Edited by brettania - 30 July 2008 at 05:39
 



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Bob J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Bob J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:14
Is there no useful info in the flashes review page on Dyxum?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote afidalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:18
Nope...only about an OLD Sunpak flash...nothing on the other brands. Please note that i have visited all the brands websites...believing on the info there...their flashs are almost as good as Sony/Minolta/Sigma, but much cheaper...about half price !!!

Edited by afidalgo - 03 July 2007 at 16:20
Sony A100, Sony 18-70 (kit), Minolta 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 Minolta 70-210 f/4 (in repair?), Minolta 50 f/1.7, 2Gb CF 133x, Lowepro Bag
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Post Options Post Options   Quote nigelbrooks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:29
Andre

The Cullmann website has been offline for quite some time, I don't know if they are still manufacturing. Amazon used to carry a lot of Cullmann 'bits and pieces' particularly their aluminium cases. Amazon now only have a few bits and all of these are from intermediaires with limited stock.

Tumax and Doerr don't appear to have official UK/EU agents. Like you, I took a look at the Tumax website. Doesn't say a lot really.

The link to their 'top of the range' flash instruction manual is here and it claims compatibility (of sorts).

It's not looking good for me helping, but I'll keep looking for information for you (it's a quiet afternoon).

EDIT I have found only one stockist of Cullmann flashguns in the UK and both models they have are dedicated for either Nikon or Canon.



Edited by brettania - 30 July 2008 at 05:49
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brettania Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:35

A note of caution....

Many flashes may work well with film Minoltas, but the flash implementation in the dSLRs is very, very, fussy. I have only seen one 3rd party used with some success and that is the Promaster -- even then not all functions work fully AFAIR.

--

Edited by brettania - 03 July 2007 at 17:22
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afidalgo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote afidalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:38
All mentioned flashes were launched AFTER the A100 and claim FULL A100 compatibility...but again, i don't know any actual buyer (except for the mentioned Cullmann flash which actually works). :(

Edited by brettania - 30 July 2008 at 05:49
 



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afidalgo View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote afidalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 16:40
Originally posted by nigelbrooks nigelbrooks wrote:

Andre

The Cullmann website has been offline for quite some time, I don't know if they are still manufacturing. Tumax and Doerr don't appear to have official UK/EU agents.

It's not looking good for me helping, but I'll keep looking for information for you (it's a quiet afternoon).


Tumax is sold on a dutch website and doerr on pixxass (i think)...cullman had a nice website but i haven't visited it for a couple weeks. (they sell on digiwowo also).

LINKS:
Cullmann site (Sony flash)
Tumax site (best sony flash)
Latest Sunpak Flash
Doerr Flash on pixxass

The doerr site doesn't have (or i can't find it) info on the Sony model...

Edited by brettania - 30 July 2008 at 05:50
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ikephoto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 22:22
There's some info by Raimios about the Doerr flash on this thread.

Seems like the flash works ok (specially with ADI lenses), though there's no Wireless TTL. I'm very interested on this unit, so any more info would be appreciated.

Hope it helps!

*In the thread, there's a link to an Austrian shop selling it where you can download a PDF with some more info..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote afidalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2007 at 23:35
After looking closely at the pics and some ebay listings...i just discovered that the Cullmann, Tumax and Doerr flashes are all equal (apart form the brand printed on the flash)!!! And there is one by Digital Concepts that is equal also...the sunpak one is different...

The Digital Concepts sell for less than 120USD on the states...i am beggining to feel tempted to buy one next time i go there...however, the absence of customer feedback is odd...

Edited by brettania - 30 July 2008 at 05:51
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Post Options Post Options   Quote polyglot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 July 2007 at 09:33
EUR150 is USD205... which is nearly enough to buy a Sigma 500 DG Super (USD215 from sigma4less). If you're looking at bounce flash (you definitely should), guide number starts to matter due to the light loss from ceilings, particularly if they're high.

Or you could cheap out with the non-Super (USD140, no HSS or wireless) and have all that power still with bounce & swivel. Swivel is critical since it means you can do bounce flash in portrait orientation.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote afidalgo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 July 2007 at 21:58
Prices in the US and UE cannot be compared.

The "Cheap" flashes cost 130-150 EUR in UE and 120 USD$ in the EUA.

Sigma and Sony flashes suffer the same effect...and in this context both are reasonably MORE expensive. If they are worth it, that is another question...but buying a Cullman (for instance) would cost me half the price of the 36FM. (And the cullman has full rotation and built-in diffuser).

I am not saying it is worth it...i am asking if it is (and got an answer on another post), but nevertheless the Sigma Super is not the same price (I wish it was).
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tcaudill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2007 at 01:01
Okay guys, I took the cheapo plunge and actually purchased one of the "Digital Concepts" version of this (Cullmann, Tumax, Doerr) flash for $115 US and this is my impression;
(Note: Tested with a 7D, Alpha, an 36AM)

The good points:

First, the flash fully interfaces with both the 7D and Sony Alpha and works exactly as it's supposed to with all functions.
It fully supports either TTL or ADI mode. It adjusts ISO, aperture and zoom settings in unison with the camera.
The exposures are consistent with the quality obtained from the Sony 36AM I had for comparison. This means I saw no more under or over exposed shots with one verses the other with the majority being good to excellent. The color was also consistent with that of the Sony.
The AF illuminator does extend the useful range of low light focus some (maybe 20 or 25ft).
The illuminated lcd read-out is a nice touch (and something the 36AM doesn't have), especially at this price.
Full tilt and swivel head.
Built in diffuser.
Slave mode works as it should and has five manual power levels to choose from.

Now the caveats:

This thing is not of the same build quality as the Sony (i.e. nowhere near as robust or solid) though the fit and finish are equal.
It does not compensate well when using bounce flash if the ceiling is more than 5ft above the flash head. You will have to dial in a minimum of (+1) flash compensation to get a good shot. The Sony seemed to do okay with head to ceiling distances up to 7ft.
The GN is no where near what the stated amount is. With a 2.8 lens and an ISO of 400 the flash said I could shoot to >60ft. I think 40ft would have been close to the limit.
Battery life has been good for around 50 bursts with 2500maH NiMH batteries (I expected more).
The battery door does not look like it could take very much abuse.
Manual power level stops at 1/16th.
F-stop range from 2 to 11 in whole steps only and the flash will round-up to the next highest f stop (i.e. a 6.7 on the camera yields a 8 on the flash).
(Note: Even though it does round up, the exposure did not seem to suffer.)
The release latch does not always reset when you remove the flash from the camera.
The reflector plate and diffuser will probably last 10 uses before one or both break.


So what’s my final impression? I think this flash would be ideal for occasional use by anyone wanting something more than the popup without spending a large amount. It serves its purpose and deliverers an equal quality picture for substantially less money than the Sony.

Hope this helps.

Tim Caudill


Edited by brettania - 30 July 2008 at 05:52
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chych Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2007 at 06:45
tcaudill, does it support wireless TTL flash?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote tcaudill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2007 at 12:37
Yes it does, I verified it with the 7D.

Thanks.

Tim
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