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PENTAX AF 16 Review RSS Feed


Reviews Views Date of last review
2 7,619 Sat February 7, 2015
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
50% of reviewers $10.00 6.00


This compact flash was designed for use with the compact ME and MX cameras, but can be used on any camera with either a hotshoe or (using a PC flash cord) an X-sync terminal. The flash has two Auto settings where a sensor in the flash meassures the exposure and turns the flash off when the subject has received the right amount of light. You manually set the aperture corresonding to the selected auto setting as per the table printed on the back of the flash.

The flash also has a manual setting where it just fires at full power.

Flash nameGuide Number (meters ISO 100)Flash controlFlash rangeFlash coverage (24x36)
PENTAX AF 1616Auto (two settings),
Manual (full power)
0.5m to 6m28mm lens
Flash coverage (APS-C)Rotating flash headFlash durationSensor angleConnections
19mm lensNo1/40,000s to 1/4,000s20 degreesHot shoe,
PC flash synch cord
Hot shoe pinsBatteriesRecycle timeDimensions (W x H x D)Weight
2 (incl. ground)2 x AA6s (Alkaline)65mm x 78mm x 41mm102g without batteries
Accessories includedIn production
Flash cordNo

Dedicated camera functions
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 5,873
Review Date: February 7, 2015 I can recommend this item: No | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Small, light and inexpensive.
Cons: Under powered and on the flimsy side.

Pentax in the 1970’s had a great lineup of cameras and lenses, however when it came to flashes things were not so good. Until the very late 70’s Pentax had a total of ONE flash available, if you lived in the USA during the Honeywell period then the total was zero!

The AF-16 was released in 1977 and it replaced the Autorobo as the only flash in the Pentax line-up. The MFSP in January 1978 was $49.95.

Pentax obviously went for small & economical when it released the AF-16, keeping with the “M Series” miniature trend. The AF-16 was half the size, one third the weight, half the cost and used two instead of four AA batteries compared to the Autorobo flash it replaced.

Unfortunately the AF-16 is pretty weak in flash power (GN 16) and you are going to have to either sacrifice DOF or use a higher ISO to compensate. Remembering that when this flash was released most folks shot 64 or 100 ASA film. Shooting at a subject with a typical distance of 10 feet or 3 meters, you would have to set your lens to f/4 with 64 ISO or f/5.6 with 100 ISO film. That limits your DOF with most lenses and the older Autorobo was one stop better (GN 24).

The AF-16 was typical of flashes of that period with two Auto settings and a manual. The AF-16 is not capable of communicating with any camera and does not swivel.

I found my AF-16 at a local camera swap meet and it looks like it was used only a few times and came with its original soft case. I was hoping it would be a smaller alternative to the heavier Autorobo flash that I had been using on my “K Series” film bodies. But after trying it out and checking its specifications, the AF-16 is just too under powered to be your main flash. The only situation I would ever use it for might be a head shot with a portrait lens using 400 ISO b&w film. That way I can get decent DOF and distance.

Otherwise I’ll keep using the older Autorobo as the main flash on my “K Series” film bodies.
Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 11,464
Review Date: March 15, 2012 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small
Cons: very limited functionality and weak

I got the AF16 in a box of lenses and other equipment I bought as a sort of grab-bag of Pentax equipment so it effectively cost me nothing.

First the good:
  • It works on the K-x and K-5 and reports are that the voltage is not a problem with these cameras
  • Sync speed is 1/60th
  • It has 3 settings - manual - red - blue
  • it sits higher than the built in flashes and therefore is slightly less likely to result in red eye but more importantly it can shoot over larger diameter lenses without a shadow
  • its slightly more powerful than the K-x flash
  • it takes 2 AA batteries
  • its small so it doesn't take much space in the bag
Now the less than good:
  • It's weak at 16
  • It's not going to interact with the camera like modern flashes
For free its not a bad flash to have to set off slaves or to shoot over a larger diameter lens.

10/19/18: It's been a few years and the flash has seen occasional use primarily on my Q's. It works, keeps working, and it's more powerful than the built-in for the Q. It can also shoot over the 10-24 and other ultra-wide lenses hoods as needed for fill light. Given it is now 40+ years old - it's a reliable, basic, flash.
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