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Film camera: Yashica electro 35cc (35mm) Flash: modern Nikon speedlight

Is it possible to shoot at f1.8 with a speedlight on a film camera?

Sensibly and according to sources, my film camera is supposed to default to 1/30s shutter speed when a flash is connected via PC-PC cable. However, no such behavior change is occuring when each f-stop is used. The camera adjusts shutter according to f-stop vis-a-vis ambient light.

For example, with flash already firing, here are the shutter speeds at each f stop:

f16: 4secs f8: 2secs f2.8: 1 sec f1.8: 1/30s

My question is, is it possible to use f1.8 with a flash on? When f1.8 is the only stop where the camera will shoot the fastest shutter under dim conditions.

  • Re-tried the flash. It works now, it shoots at a quicker shutter speed. However, if for some reason the flash will not fire, the camera will shoot assuming there's no flash. – wearashirt Dec 5 '20 at 16:23
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According to the User Manual, your camera should automatically default to 1/30 shutter speed whenever any flash is connected to the PC port. Your camera must be defective if it does not.

Yes, you can shoot with a flash at f/1.8 but you don’t need to have 1/30 as any slower shutter speed will also work with flash. The problem is that your camera will always expose for ambient lighting and will probably overexpose if any flash is added.

Even if your camera did default to 1/30, how did you plan to control the flash power output with a modern Nikon flash?

If I were in your position, I would load 100 ISO film but set the camera for ISO 400. This would automatically underexpose each photo by 2 stops. I would then use a film era Auto Thyristor flash set up for ISO 100 and the corresponding aperture. The flash sensor on the front of the flash would automatically adjust the flash power for a correct exposure.

Here is an example of a film era Auto Thyristor flash that would be ideal for your situation. eBay Vivitar 283 Auto Thyristor Flash

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  • The Nikon flash also has a PC port and also has a few onboard controls in itself. – wearashirt Nov 6 '20 at 16:49

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