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Kit Review – Sunpak 3600 Hammerhead flash guns

By 1st April 2015gear

A new (old) kit addition. A big set of Sunpak 3600 Hammerhead flash guns and accessories.

I bought these a while back just after my father passed away and they have been in storage since. An absolute bargain of an ebay find, costing £18 inc postage for the whole set.

I adore old flash kit and most of my location work is shot with older Sunpak 30dx units. As the pack a punch, have steppable output and fast recycle times, a 5v trigger voltage so they are safe to use on camera, plus they are built like tanks and i’ve dropped them on concrete, in mud, used them in rain and snow and they still keep going. Plus with the cost of them normally coming in at about £5 they are quite affordable to replace if anything does go wrong. Out of the 8 30dx’s i have, only one has ever failed on me and that was because it fell 15ft off a wall onto concrete below!

The sunpak Auto zoom 3600’s have a GN of 36 at 100 ISO and ridiculously fast recycle time, almost as fast as my mains units and they will do a full recycle on full power in around 3 seconds, not surprising as they take 6x 2450mah AA batteries each! They stop down from full to 1/64 power and at the lowest setting you can get a burst of around 10 flashes before it starts to recycle.

I’ve tested them out with both optical slaves and wireless triggers and work well with both. Something to note to anyone considering these hammerheads, do NOT connect directly to your camera hotshoe as they will fry your camera, the average safe voltage of a hotshoe sync is between 6-12v. These kick out upwards of 180v! So optical slaves or wireless triggers are the safest option.

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The great thing about them is on the base of each handle there is a standard screw mount so perfect for sticking on a light stand or tripod if needed. Downside is they are too big to use on my standard softboxes and there is no umbrella mounts so I’m working on a way to adapt them for that kind of use.

Yet to test them out on location with an actual model, but I’ll keep you all posted when I do and of course the results will be up on here!.

They did come with mains adaptors which I’ve yet to try, as well as front diffusers with space for modifiers and gels and the kit did include a full pack of coloured gels too so I’ll give them a try too as it could make for some fun lighting setups!

 

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