Old external flash unit working with Fujifilm X10

Fujifilm X10 with old external flash unit

Fig.1- Fujifilm X10 with old external flash unit.

DISCLAIMER: If you test non original/not manufacturer approved, external flashes for a digital camera, YOU WILL DO IT ON YOUR OWN RISK. Differences in voltage for triggering the unit MAY DAMAGE YOUR FLASH UNIT OR/AND YOUR CAMERA!


For Fujifilm X10 (and i think all the X series) you have two original external flash units, the EF-20 and EF-42, but there are many people online who are wandering if other types of flashes can work with the X10, like Canon or Nikon flashes or compatible ones and especially if cheaper ones work with the camera.

I have a Nikon DSLR but i don’t have an external flash (original or compatible)…but…i remembered i have around my film cameras, one very old external flash used with some old Vilia and FED 5B cameras.


Fig.2 – The NORMA FIL-16 flash unit.



Fig.3 – The hot connector.



Fig.4 – Setup table based on ISO/ASA/DIN (different names for ISO).

It has the connectors required for the X10 to trigger the unit. I plugged it to the wall and waited for it to charge. For the charging part, the flash can be charged directly from 230V electric plugs or from a “mobile” unit working with 4 x R20 batteries, you hold on your shoulder. Yeah, this is how they do it 40 years ago.

Fully charged, i mount it on the X10, set the camera to external flash and BOOM! O.O

It worked!…buuuuuut…..why it is all white?! Why am i seeing all white….i blinked rapidly and after a few minutes i started to see the things around me. It was a supernova?! The sun exploaded?! I was just exiting Vault 101?!

I am jocking, it was nothing bad, just that you have to keep the distance because the flash will be triggered on full power. Also, the flash compensation settings in the camera will not work.

NOTE: The test results are based on the type of lighting available at the time of testing. Your environment may have different results.

If you are very close to the subject, your picture will be completely white, ALL white.

If you are around 1 meter (same zoom) to the subject you will see the maximum power and the picture will be a little too light, but still usable.

This was shot from around 2 meters with the lens zoomed to keep the exact framing in all test pictures. Very good light:

Fig.5 - Shot from around 2 meters.

Fig.5 – Shot from around 2 meters with the external flash unit.

This was shot from the same distance, same zoom, with the internal flash, very dark:

Fig.6 - Built in flash, same distance and zoom.

Fig.6 – Built in flash, same distance and zoom.

It was actually fun to shoot with the old beast and i think with a diffuser it will work perfectly.

Have fun and wear sunglasses! O.O


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