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The ISO 10330:2002 Standard specifies the electrical requirements of a camera synchroniser, the ignition circuit in the photoflash unit, and the cable used to connect them, as well as the test techniques used to ensure the positive firing of the photoflash unit. Depending on the combination, when a camera is used in conjunction with a photoflash unit, the photoflash unit may fail to ignite. Possible causes include a camera or photoflash unit failure, inadequate electrical contact at the connection between the two, or an incorrect signal sent to the photoflash unit for fire.
Understand the jargon.
- Synchronisers: This is a mechanism built into a camera or shutter unit that fires the photoflash unit in sync with the operation of the camera shutter and consists of synchroniser terminals, a synchronisation switch, and a circuit that links them.
- Synchroniser terminals: This component of the synchroniser connects the camera or shutter unit to the photoflash unit; this does the same as the accessory shoe with electrical contacts.
- Ignition circuit terminals: Portions of the photoflash unit connected to the synchroniser terminals to marry the camera or shutter unit with the photoflash unit and allow firing action.
- Synchronisation switch: A switch is provided for activating the photoflash unit.
- Synchroniser leakage current: When the specified voltage is placed across the synchroniser terminals with the synchronisation switch off, this current flows through the synchroniser.
- Dynamic characteristics of synchronisers: When the camera synchroniser is turned on, the voltage showing across the synchroniser terminals varies with time.
- Ignition circuit: The portion of the photoflash unit designed to receive the synchroniser’s signal and fire the electronic flash tube or flashbulb.
What are the electrical specifications?
The polarities of terminals, the voltage across and current through terminals, operation of the ignition circuit, dynamic characteristics and leakage current of the synchroniser, and resistance, capacitance, and insulation resistance of cables are all requirements for synchronisers and ignition circuits. The methods of testing concerning the operation of the ignition circuit, the dynamic properties of the synchroniser, and the leakage current of the synchroniser.
Did you know that there are multiple standards for certain elements in photography?
ISO 516:2019 is designed for shutters and timing in cameras. The purpose of this International Standard is to offer a consistent basis for establishing the timing and marking of exposure durations for all types of shutters utilised in still cameras. It defines the features of all shutters mounted in still cameras that affect exposure control, motion-stopping ability, and synchronisation with a photoflash light source. It also specifies the shutters’ exposure-time indications and tolerances. Tolerances are the objective values for shutter performance that can be expected to produce good results.
ISO 518:2006 is designed for camera accessory shoes either with or without electrical contacts, as well as photoflash bulbs and electronic photoflash units. The proportions offered are the most basic for a solid shoe. They can be changed if the shoe has springs or other means of tightly holding the accessory foot or maintaining good electrical contact, as long as interchangeability and functionality are not impaired.
ISO 519:1992 is intended for use with hand-held cameras — flash-connector dimensions. The main modification in the Standard is that the length of the flash-connector plug-pin, the depth of the matching socket cavity, and the maximum limit of the axial separation force have all been raised.
ISO 8581:1994 is designed for electronic flash equipment — synchro-cord connectors. The goal of this International Standard is to reduce the number of connector types used for electrical flash equipment as well as the number of improper plug connections made by amateur photographers. This International Standard defines the electrical connectors (plugs and sockets) that must be used with electronic photoflash equipment. It specifies a restricted number of connectors as well as the dimensions to be utilised for connecting the flash unit to the flash synchro-cords. It does not apply to connectors used to connect a power supply to flash equipment.
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