Chinon Auto S-280
Electronic Flash Unit

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We thank you for purchasing the Chinon Electronic Flash Unit

Open the Battery Compartment Cover by pressing up on the cover latch as indicated by the arrow and insert 4 "AA" size batteries according to the diagram inside the battery compartment. (Webmaster: note the alternate battery position, from left the battery positive is up, next one is down, third one is up, last one is down)

Close the battery compartment cover.

Caution: Incorrect insertion of the batteries will prevent proper operation of the flash unit, and damage may occur.

1. Loosen the Locking Ring.  Insert the flash mounting foot of your flash unit into the cameras flash shoe.

Then tighten the flash unit by turning the Locking Ring.

Set the Aut0-manual control switch to the manual position marked "M".

2. Set the shutter speed of your camera to the proper shutter speed setting for electronic flash use, i.e. 1/100 of a second, or to 1/60 of a second. (Read your camera's owner manual for details on determining flash synchronization speed) (Webmaster: Chinon cameras are all 1/60 or use the X setting on the dial)

If your camera has a hot shoe contact, your flash unit will be automatically synchronized with the camera by means of electronic contacts in the camera's flash shoe.  Therefore the Synchro cord provided with the unit is not necessary.  (Webmaster: If you have a really old Chinon you will need to check if the metal flash shoe will set off the flash when you install it.  There are two contacts, one on the side and the bottom hot shoe.  A hotshoe will only make a contact with the side contact and bottom contact at the right time.  A metal flash shoe will just short the flash and never charge)

When used with a Chinon CE-4 or CA-4 camera you no longer have to alter the shutter speed from the automatic position, since the flash is "dedicated" and is electronically integrated with the CE-4 and CA-4 camera body.  When switched to the "ON" position and when fully charged, the flash unit will electronically. signal the camera to alter the shutter speed to 1/60 of a second.  After the flash picture has been taken the camera will automatically revert back to the automatic shutter speed setting appropriate for the lighting condition until the unit recharges.

If your camera does not have a hot shoe contact, use the Synchro Cord provided with your flash unit.

Turn the flash unit on and wait a few seconds for the flash unit to recycle. The flash unit is ready for picture taking when the ready lamp indicator illuminates.

Various flash camera to subject distances are listed on the exposure guide table on the back of your flash unit. Always refer to this handy guide to determine correct lens aperture to use depending on the distance of the subject from the camera. A handy formula to calculate the F stop is as follows: Guide #  divided by  distance = lens aperture (F stop), eg., when using ASA 100 film (guide 28) and standing 7m from the subject you should set the lens F stop to F/4 (28 divided by 7 = 4) The guide number for your flash unit is listed in the specifications on the last page of your instruction manual.

When set to automatic, your flash unit automatically controls the light output which in turn controls the exposure for the subject within the automatic range. Once you set the exposure (F stop) on the camera there is no need to change it again when taking pictures within the perimeters of the automatic range.

Your S-280 flash unit is equipped with a thyristor circuitry which conserves the amount of power required to recharge the flash unit and accordingly short distance pictures can be taken in relatively short intervals, i.e., 1 second apart.  Always check the ready light on the flash unit to determine when the unit has fully recharged and is ready to take the next flash picture.

The yellow and green numbers of the distance guide chart located on the back of the flash unit indicates the dual automatic range of the Chinon S-280 flash unit.  Once you select one of these ranges depending upon your distance requirements, set the aperture accordingly and then there is no need to change it again while taking pictures within the automatic range.

1. Set your camera's shutter speed dial to the proper shutter speed setting for electronic
    flash (Refer to your camera's owner manual ).

2. Set the Auto-Manual Control Switch on the back of your flash unit to the yellow position
    when taking flash pictures at distances up to 11 feet (3.5m) or to the green position
    when taking pictures up to 22 feet (7m)

3. Consult the exposure guide table on the back of your flash unit.  The lens aperture indicated
    in the yellow or green row of numbers should be set according to the ASA or DIN film
    speed corresponding to the film in your camera. (Ex, When using ASA 100 film, set your
    camera's F stop at F/8 for yellow row or F/4 for green row).

4. Slide the On-Off Switch to the "ON" position and focus your camera. Take the picture
    after the Ready Lamp illuminates.

5. The Chinon CE4 Memotron camera has a special viewfinder ready light system
    which is electronically coupled to the Auto S-280 Flash unit. When the flash has
    recycled the viewfinder 1/60 second shutter speed indicator (LED) will flash signaling
    the camera and flash are ready for flash picture operation.

Your Chinon S-280 flash unit has a bounce flash feature which is especially helpful when you desire to take "soft effect" photographs or to eliminate shadows on your subject.  When taking flash pictures indoors rotate the swivel reflector to the desired angle so as to bounce the light off the wall (holding camera sideways) or ceiling of the room.  The angle of the swivel reflector can be changed by turning the reflector at both sides of the flash unit with your fingers.  In the Manual mode to obtain the proper exposure when using the bounce flash feature you should open the lens 1 additional F stop when the swivel reflector is set at 25° or 45° and two additional F stops when set at 65° or 90°.  In either of the automatic modes no exposure change is necessary since your unit will automatically compensate for bounce flash.

When taking pictures, avoid shooting into highly reflective surfaces such as mirrors, glass, or glittering water.

In the event you have to shoot a flash picture with highly reflective surfaces in the background, you should shoot from an angle so that reflections do not go directly into the camera lens.

When not in use always turn the flash unit to the "OFF" position.  Take the batteries out when the flash unit is being stored or not being used for a long period of time.

Always keep your flash unit away from dust and moisture to prolong its life.  When the flash unit is being stored for a long period of time it is recommended to operate the test flash button of the unit once or twice a

Do not use Nickel Cadmium battery. (Webmaster: In many years I never had a problem with NC batteries.  The newer Alkaline batteries do not have the same small problem the NC had with certain electronic items)

Do not try to open or repair your flash unit since the internal electric circuit inside creates high voltages.  If your flash should require repair it should be returned to the original place of purchase.  Opening the flash unit will void the warranty.