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PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash

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8 20,266 Fri January 10, 2020
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
88% of reviewers $446.12 8.00
PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash

PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash
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PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash
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Description:
A ring flash primarily for macro photography but it can also be used at longer distances, e.g. for portraits.

The ring flash can be set to only emit light from one side thus providing for some shadow and depth.

The flash is compatible with all PENTAX SLR/D-SLR cameras with a hot shoe. For cameras with no TTL or P-TTL flash automation, the flash can be used in its manual mode.


Flash nameGuide Number (meters ISO 100)Flash controlFlash exposure comp.Flash light angle
PENTAX AF 160FC16P-TTL auto,
TTL auto,
Manual (full, 1/4, 1/16)
Yes, in P-TTL mode
(+0.5/-0.5/-1 EV)
60 degrees
Modeling lightConnectionsHot shoe pinsBatteriesDimensions (W x H x D)
YesHot shoe5 (incl. ground)4 x AAController:
68 x 83 x 115mm
Ring flash:
113 x 29.5mm
WeightAccessories includedIn production
405g (without batteries)Adaptor rings 49mm, 52mm
58mm, 67mm
Yes



Dedicated camera functionsActual availability depends on the camera, exposure mode and flash settings
Set synch speed when flash is chargedYes
Flash ready signal in view finderYes
Flash confirmation in viewfinderYes
Set aperture (Programmed flash)Yes
The flash can be used with all PENTAX SLR/D-SLR cameras with a hot shoe.
Complete range of dedicated functions is not known due to lack of documentation.
In Production: Buy the PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash
Price History:



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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-8 of 8
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2017
Location: Medellín
Posts: 1,284
Review Date: January 10, 2020 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, compatibility, lamp switch, LED's.
Cons: Cumbersome at times, thick, narrow, no wide angle macro adapter.

I have used mine mainly with 50 and 100 mm lenses in manual and AF modes. It's a shame it's not wider than 58mm (it has a 67 mm reductor ring included, though). It takes 58 mm filters, e.g. polarizer, but attaches on the back, thus it can't be used for wide angle macro. But perhaps I can get a custom WA adapter made.
The battery door is the same as other flashes from the era, so if you need a new one, get one of those for cheap as a donor.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2009
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 6,477
Review Date: December 23, 2019 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $350.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: A true ring light made for Pentax
Cons: Hard to find and pricey

This seems to be the best available ring flash for Pentax. It is very hard to find and expensive when it is available. But it does the job. It is nice to be able to use only one half of the flash to illuminate one side or the other of the subject. It takes some practice to get used to using it. I am still working at it but it is clear that most of the issues are with me and not the flash.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 46,240

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 27, 2014 I can recommend this item: No | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: well designed, right/left balance
Cons: poor battery case cover; will not work with SMCA lenses

I am returning this flash for a refund because the PTTL auto mode does not function with my manual focus SMCA macro lenses which are used extensively for field macro work. The unit fires at full all the time with one of these lenses attached, but does function properly with a lens such as the DA 70mm f2.4. During the few days I've had the flash and been testing it, I felt that the battery door latches were very flimsy and would almost certainly fail within a very short time of regular use. The battery door is held on and closed by tiny plastic tabs, an exceptionally weak design, even worse than the battery door on the original 360 flash.
   
Moderator

Registered: August, 2009
Location: The British Isles
Posts: 2,400

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: June 11, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: modelling light, ratios
Cons: cost

I've tried all sorts of arrangements to get a decent extreme macro setup including reversed enlarger lenses and custom diffusers, but after just 1 day playing with it I cal already tell that this af160fc on a lens with a Raynox is actually amazingly going to beat them all. It's an expensive item but I found a good deal in Korea and in the end it cost me new all in with postage £300 rather than the usual £500 that UK camera shops sell it at.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 1,972

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: April 9, 2013 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $469.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: robust, superb light coverage, full control over exposure, easy to work with, great for macro or portrait
Cons: quite heavy, overexposure with K-01

I bought it to assist my macro mainly, but also I did use it occasionally to have some portrait shots. This is superior built piece of kit. All the adapters included dare made with machined aluminum and black oxidized. Battery unit sits firmly on top of the camera and adds good counter-weight to the lens with flash attached - it's matter of realities that unit itself is quite heavy - but that's a little price to pay for such a versatility. Works perfectly with my Z1p on film as well as K10D and I would definitely buy this flash again if I had to - fortunately for me I've never tried those cheap and cheerful flashes claiming how superb they are - so saved myself this disappointed and money - as some have sadly done, before realizing that only Pentax flash can actually live up to expectations.
Definitely one of best pieces in my equipment collection I've ever bought and it will live on with every new Pentax camera I might ever get.

I had problems with this flash and K-01. On K10D it worked great, same as on my film bodies. After getting the K-1 I can confirm the flash works great.

So the problems I had were most likely down to the firmware/ fault in my K-01. Sadly these were never resolved...
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2008
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 1,262

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: April 22, 2012 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $449.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Storage case, modelling light
Cons: Stiff cable

As a ring flash, it works perfectly and does everything you expect. Given its price, I was first considering the Metz and then the Sigma alternatives. But, upon learning that those aren't true ring flashes (they just have two oppositely placed LEDs), I looked back onto the Pentax. As above mentioned, it's not a true ring flash as well since it's two half circles but that's close enough!

For those who care about the way it reflects in peoples eyes, here's the most extreme examples:

The modelling light helped to produce this photo as well - it was dark in the room (night time, desk lamp to only help) and I had to trust the camera to do the focusing for me. The modelling light is enough to allow AF to do its job!

It's almost a circle... but not quite. It is enough, however, to produce even lighting for casting a single shadow. Reviews I found of the Metz showed it giving objects two distinct shadows - the thing that put me off them.

Apart from all that, the only con I can think of is the cable. It's a bit stiff and makes me easily concerned that I'm twisting it or something when I'm not. Not really a big deal but worth enough a point to deduct.

Oh, it would be awesome if they made this thing WR though to compliment the 100mm WR Macro!
   
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2011
Location: The Canadian WetCoast
Posts: 377

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 15, 2011 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $500.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Power, LED modeling light
Cons: Clumsy power cord, detached battery cover, half-moon flash tubes

As I am used to the previous AF 080C, I find the permanently connected powerhead/flashring arrangement plus the straight power cord very clumsy in use and hard to stow. The adapter rings are also not labeled, so you need to eye ball it first and then try on!

It is the higher output and LED modeling light that really make this unit shine. Now I can shot full length portrait or dim indoor closeup with ease. However, I do expereince the same inaccurate Auto exposure problem (under 0.5m distance) as reported by many other users.

Also beware that the flash head in this unit is actually consist of 2 half moon tubes, so it is not the traditional circular catchlight that will reflects back from the shiny part (eyes, glass surface...) of you subject. This can be either "cool" or "devastating"!

   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 509

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: July 18, 2010 I can recommend this item: Yes | Price: $450.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Many adapters, easy to use
Cons: expensive

I spent quite a bit of $$ trying out cheaper solutions, but none of them met my needs. I finally spent the money for this flash and am very glad I did. It's a great flash! It comes with all the adapters I need, including a bayonet adapter for DFA macro lenses. Also includes a large padded case. Money well spent, though I do wish it were less expensive....
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