I need advice on acquiring a brighter flash, or a flash with brightness that I can control.

I have been used to 35mm for years, shooting on 400 - 800ASA with apertures as large as 1.8. This has allowed me to optimise shooting for flash (I can stop down if needed).

With the Polaroid I am using 100ASA film and the largest apertures are 4.7 (on the standard lens) and 5.6 (on the wide angle).

I have a lightmeter to double check the settings but for my recent test shots I am stood as close to the subject as possible.

So. I need a flash that has a PC sync cable option and the ability to diffuse light if possible (I assume diffused light is not as bright as direct flash light).

I want to be able to stand further from the subject, shoot at smaller apertures with increased brightness.

One colleague said not to invest too much as he has fried a couple of his flashes.

If you need more information please let me know.

Thanks in advance. Luke

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, it sounds like you want a brighter flash. But what is the question? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Aug 17, 2014 at 12:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah I am asking for recommendations for brighter flashes. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Aug 17, 2014 at 14:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ How bright is your current flash? But given that, it seems like you know what you are looking for. We generally avoid "shop for me" questions here, as they tend to not get the most helpful results. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Aug 17, 2014 at 21:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I was hoping for some advice and solidarity as well as an answer to the question. I know that is not essentially how SE works. FWIW my flash is a Kako 702sd I cannot find out much about it online, but I took a meter reading at 1m distance and 1/30th and was getting an aperture of 4.0 which is lower than the largest aperture on the standard lens on my camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Aug 18, 2014 at 10:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lharby: Why don't you go in a shop where you can try a normal brand flash, then make a test shot with that, the same composition with same setting using your flash, and see how it works out? \$\endgroup\$
    – TFuto
    Aug 18, 2014 at 15:16

1 Answer 1


Looking at an eBay auction description, your Kako 720sd specs out with a guide number of 28-40m (I'm assuming that's across the zoom range of 28-85mm), so chances are that this is a pretty decently-powered speedlight (e.g., in the neighborhood of 30m when zoomed to 35mm), in the range of most of the hotshoe flashes you're going to find. Going to a new hotshoe flash is unlikely to net you more power in place of what you've got.

So, if you really want more power, you'd probably want to go either with a studio strobe (say, a Paul Buff Alienbee), or possibly one of the new Godox Wistro barebulb flashes; or you're going to have to use multiple hotshoe flashes synced together (e.g., with radio triggers).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks very much. I've just invested in a flash which has a guide no of 85 @ 100ASA. So I will see if that makes a difference, if not I will consider the studio option. I do have a studio rig, but I was considering portability. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Aug 19, 2014 at 9:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ You're welcome. BTW, in the USA, one of the most reputable dealer for the Godox lights is probably Cheetah. The lights are also branded by Neewer, and Flash Point (Adorama). \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Aug 20, 2014 at 22:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ So long time coming, but I have some new equipment so thought I would update here. I first invested in a Polaroid PL-144AZ (£99) flash as it boasted a Guide No of 85. However there is no sync cable socket and I could not get it to fire as a slave. So I purchased a Nissin Di866 (£120) which is producing f22 at 100ASA a phenomenal improvement. I've also ordered a little bag of tricks that sit on top of the flash and allow different techniques, so much happier about the whole affair. \$\endgroup\$
    – lharby
    Sep 5, 2014 at 10:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ Looks like I was wrong, then about the output from your previous flash. :) Happy to hear you've got what you needed! \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Sep 5, 2014 at 19:07

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