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I am using a flash for my Praktika Super TL 1000 film camera. The flash is working when I press the test button on the flash, however it does not fire when I take a photo. I am wondering how to make the flash fire as I take the photo?. I am currently just using a hot shoe connection, as the camera does not have a cable connection, but in some photos of the flash online it has a mount.

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    What ist "the flash"? Which brand and model do you use? Maybe they are just incompatible? Canon, Nikon, Sony all have different hot shoes and while most are compatible in manual mode, using TTL they are quite different in their flash interface. Next thing is the settings: Especially some of the older cams can be a bit picky with their flash support. You may have a small flash icon on your shutter speed dial (usually 1/125 or 1/60) do you use this setting? Please feed us some more info to work with. You wouldn't phone a garage with "my car does not work, what is wrong with it?" – Kai Mattern Apr 21 at 9:01
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    Have you checked that the flash works when triggered from its shoe mount? A simple jumper wire from the center contact to the shoe contact (often on top of one side of the shoe flange) should trigger the flash. This will narrow whether it's a flash problem or a camera problem. – Zeiss Ikon Apr 21 at 12:32
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Your camera indeed does not have the PC connector; if I remember correctly in the Practica lineup only VLC models had one.

It should not matter, any flash with a central connector should be compatible (in the era before TTL metering the flash connection was very simple).

Just be sure to set your camera to flash synchro (the little lightning bolt symbol on the shutter wheel - have a look at the linked page). If it does not work your camera is likely faulty (the last of your model was made in 1984; it has been a while) and needs a checkup.

Have a look at http://www.praktica-collector.de/207_Praktica_Super_TL1000.htm - it is the best Praktica resource I know of.

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You can check whether the problem is in the camera (bad connection to the shoe or bad sync contacts in the shutter) or the flash (broken wire or corroded contact in the shoe mount) by using a piece of wire (even a bent paper clip) to jump from the center contact on the flash shoe flange to the side contact (usually on top of one side of the shoe flange).

If the flash works this way, the flash is okay.

There might still be nothing wrong with the camera's shutter or wiring, though. Oxidation of the plating on the underside of the shoe rail where the flash makes contact could prevent enough current from flowing to trigger the flash. This is made worse by modern flashes using low voltage on the trigger circuit, to avoid damage to electronic camera sync circuits (older cameras, like yours, usually had metallic contacts in a simple mechanical switch that could tolerate momentary contact with the several hundred volts of a high voltage trigger).

A piece of printer paper padded to thickness with cardboard (say, the backing from a writing pad, or two thicknesses of such), rubbed on the underside of the shoe rail, will remove some oxidation without damaging the plating, and may restore function. Otherwise, you're looking at some electronics to test that the camera's flash sync actually makes contact (easiest to check with shutter set to B, it should fire when it opens).

It's possible that your camera and your flash aren't quite compatible, too. If the camera's shoe is plastic with a contact for the flash (not common in the 1980s, but I've seen a couple), the contact may not be in the correct position to meet with the contact on the flash's flange. One fix for this is to buy a shoe-to-PC adapter. This will mount on the shoe, and provide a PC connector for the flash cable.

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