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Pentax Accessory Reviews » Flash Equipment » Flashes (Genuine Pentax)
PENTAX AF 360FGZ Review RSS Feed


Reviews Views Date of last review
26 80,135 Sat January 23, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
88% of reviewers $172.35 8.12


A powerful flash with a guide number of 36. The flash is compatible with all Pentax SLR and DSLR cameras (except the auto 110 series). The flash has a zooming flash head, a built-in wide-angle diffuser and a built-in catch-light panel.

Flash nameGuide Number (meters ISO 100)Flash controlFlash exposure comp.Flash range
PENTAX AF 360FGZ30 in 50mm zoom position,
36 in 85mm zoom position
P-TTL auto
TTL auto
Auto flash
Manual (6 power settings)
Yes, in P-TTL mode
(-3 to +1 EV)
0.7 - 21m
(50mm f/1.4 lens
and ISO 100)
Flash coverage (24x36)Flash coverage (APS-C)Rotating flash headFlash durationModeling light
24mm lens,
20mm with built-in
wide-angle panel
16mm lens,
13mm with built-in
wide-angle panel
Tilt only1/20,000s to 1/1,200No
Autofocus spotbeamConnectionsHot shoe pinsBatteriesDimensions (W x H x D)
YesHot shoe5 (incl. ground)4 x AA70 x 110 x 115mm
WeightIn production
270g (without batteries)No

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
Trailing curtain synchYes
Contrast control synchYes
High speed synchYes
Slave flashYes
Wireless controlYes
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Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2008
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 7,978

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: January 23, 2021 Recommended | Price: $142.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: P-TTL and TTL compatible cameras. Wireless control.
Cons: Head does not swival.

Pentax released the AF360FGZ in 2001 as the first P-TTL flash designed for the new MZ-S & MZ-6/ZX-L auto-focus film cameras. (It’s bigger brother the AF540FGZ came out four years later as part of the *ist Series).

Pentax introduced the P-TTL flash system as it was more accurate with the newer multi-segment metering AF film cameras available at that time, than the older TTL system.

I bought my AF360FGZ for use on my Pentax MZ-S & *ist film cameras and together these combos enables you to use all of the flash’s features in the P-TTL mode. (Along with a F, FA or FAJ Series lens) Note Pentax also indicates using A Series lenses with the P-TLL flash can result in incorrect exposure, so AF lenses are recommended.

The great thing about this flash is that it’s backwards compatible the older TTL flash 35mm/645/6x7 film cameras and will automatically switch to using that mode when mounted on a LX/645NII/67II or other TTL flash cameras. Note the older the film camera the less features are available on the flash. (Refer to the AF360FGZ flash manual for what functions are available for each camera “group”.

This is also the first Pentax flash to feature a wireless control option as well as the first to feature a “format” setting to switch between 35mm, 645 and 67 camera formats.

The AF360FGZ has a tilting head for bounce flash, but the head does not swivel. (The AF540FGZ does tilt/swivel) The flash also has a built-in catchlight & wide-angle panel.

The build of the AF360FGZ is OK and if treated carefully you should not have any issues with the battery door either. This is a smallish flash and it weighs 270 grams without the four AA batteries installed. Compared to its bigger brother, the AF540FGZ weighs 380 grams without the batteries installed.

Overall a good flash if you have a mixture of TTL and P-TTL cameras and if you are looking for a smaller camera bag friendly option. Though if you are looking for a really good high-powered P-TTL/TTL flash with all the bells & whistles, then the AF540FGZ is a better albeit more expensive choice.

I found my NOS AF360FGZ online, it cost $130.00EUR.
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Gwynedd, Wales
Posts: 89

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 18, 2020 Recommended | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small size, relatively simple controls, backwards compatibility
Cons: No swivl head, typical Pentax flimsy battery cover.e

Overall this is a pretty good flash, and it has let me get rid of the clumsy AF400T I used to use with my Z1p. (Having said which, for the price you can pick up an AF400T it is still a good flash for certain uses). It has more features than I am ever likely to use. Of course it also works well with my K10D.

I like its small size, and its relatively simple controls. The fact that it works with any Pentax all the way back to the K series is really nice. ( I have a coupe of M series cameras I use occasionally).

But oh dear, Asahi, why can't you design a robust battery cover? At least 50% of the items you have produced since 1984-ish have suffered from this.
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2014
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 1,999

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: May 22, 2020 Recommended | Price: $99.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Size, Features, PTTL really works
Cons: Battery door, does not swivel

I purchased this flash so I could have something a little more powerful, than my pop-up flash which I use extensively. The problem with the pop-up flash on the K5 II is the harsh direct light and it's also not powerful enough for certain situations. Mine also had the tendency not to fire. This happened mostly at random and without any warning.This flash fit the bill as far as power is concerned although I was disappointed that it did not swivel.

I guess a good off camera cord cord would solve that problem but who wants to carry one of those around every where you go. In any case, I got a good price for it on eBay. Less than $100. The flash comes with high-speed sync, PTTL, TTL, Auto, Manual and Spot Beam. It evens has a Distance Scale and Modeling Light which is a lot of features for such a small flash.

One weakness is the battery door. It is very flimsy and I fear I might bump it by mistake and all the batteries fall out. This is the same problem on the very old AF280T which I purchased used years ago. The flash in my opinion is also made with low grade plastic, very cheap feeling. Other than that its' pretty light even with 4 batteries and it fits in my bag no problem.

**UPDATE** After using this flash for a while now and having used it extensively in the past month or so, I will have to change my grade from a 8 to a 9 . This is really a wonderful little flash. I think that after reading a lot of reviews about the flimsy battery door and cheap plastic, I wasn't looking at it objectively enough. Actually this litte flash is a Master of Engineering as usual coming from Pentax. Because of it's relatively small size it fits perfect on, on my K5 II and in my pocket. I wouldn't want anything bigger. So far, I did not have any problems with the battery door. I just make sure when I close the door, there are no gaps that might cause problems with it opening later on. I really wish it did have a swivel function, but then again, if I needed to do this extensively, I would use a flash-bracket and/or extension cable.

Registered: January, 2015
Location: Huntsville, Al
Posts: 7,128
Review Date: February 9, 2020 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: excellent versatile tool with many features but one....
Cons: swivel head

what a awesome flash unit and my most often used flash on or off camera....have gotten a few them used over the course of the past couple years hence the lower price than new what a bargain! more often than not a flash is part of my kit when loading up and the af360fgz is chosen over the af540fgz mostly in regards to size....

the variety of settings are amazing...

p-ttl (which can be 'fine tuned' via ev adjustment if necessary) is quick and simple which offers slow, rear/2nd curtain sync, high speed sync in a cinch and fun off camera features with pop up (if available) or 2nd flash wirelessly without triggers/external device but of course all these features must be used with an 'A' contact lens...…

auto mode!!! love this feature so cool to use and quite reliable of course at sync speed or slower..
set fstop and iso….bam!
makes things quite simple when using manual glass or simple/dumb radio triggers
it breathes even more life into my aperture blocked K-50 and have done enough that I am looking forward/have confidence using auto mode with film bodies I have whether SLR, rangefinder, TLR..granted this mode was developed with film but don't hafta go through a roll to believe it

manual mode is great to have and is most used when doing macro no preflash to alert bugs to jump/fly away in particular a shiny green winged critter that always 'jumped' and I could never capture it well until I went manual vs p-ttl….of course manual mode can be adjusted and used with great results on my blocked k-50 or set up via simple triggers sync

catchlight panel and wide angle panel are quite nifty

the adjustment wheel is not the friendliest thing but using it often enough it becomes less of a thought

and of course no swivel head is a huge bummer but given the megapixels a crop becomes a portrait oriented but does make distance an issue at times

will also note the af360fgz works well with cactus v6 and v6ii transceivers when mounted properly (that could be said for on camera as well)

all these features (with a few more available) are fun exploring and handy to use in given situations

I recommend the af360fgz at a used price and own 5 of them (one has a broken foot) for not much more than the price of one new

flash is fun, fascinating and a very powerful tool to have incorporated into photography the af360fgz is an amazing tool to explore the many uses of flash
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2017
Posts: 458
Review Date: August 2, 2019 Not Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: less Bulky and lighter than the AF 48 from Metz I am using
Cons: Tends to underexpose in P-TTL mode

I was only aware how heavy the Metz flash is I was using till I fitted the Pentax to the camera.
Less weight is an advantage to me.

Using the AF-360FGZ did not convince me. Too many shots were underexposed.
Correction on the flash is not enough, it is maximum one stop.
When using flash, I would like to be lazy without having to think too much about corrections.

That is the mean reason why I prefer the heavier AF 48 from Metz.

Senior Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 144
Review Date: January 9, 2019 Recommended | Price: $255.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Easy to use
Cons: Can only tilt up, cannot rotate; overexposes in bounce

Easy to use, but limited when not pointed at the subject: since the head doesn't swivel, you can only bounce light off the ceiling when shooting in landscape orientation and you can only bounce light off a wall when shooting in landscape orientation. The flash often overexposes when bouncing off a ceiling with my K10D and my K-7 (a little less, though). It sometimes overexposes with my K-5, too.
Custom User Title

Registered: January, 2016
Location: Alberta
Posts: 6,626

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 20, 2018 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: HSS, tilt, power
Cons: not WR, can't swivel, crappy door design

It would be so nice if this flash had swivel!

I had to use a zip tie to hold the door shut!

The HSS is really nice to have in a flash.

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 12,041

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: February 27, 2017 Recommended | Price: $349.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: works with all my Pentax DSLR bodies, small size, good flash power
Cons: plastic foot, no swivel, poor battery door

I've bought it new in 2008, to use with my K10D.

I had/have a Vivitar 285 HV flash, which has been great with my film cameras...35mm and medium format, but I was concerned that the high voltage might fry my digital bodies' circuits. So I bought the 360 FGZ as it is designed for digital and I figured a Pentax flash would be best compatible, with my Pentax bodies.

I had a fair amount of trouble getting it to work consistently well in the first couple of years, but since then seem to have it working fine with my K10D, Km and K-5. I just got a K-1 and haven't tried it with this body yet, but I assume it will work well.

The battery door is a poor design. I check it regularly to determine that the door isn't loose. It has happened a number of times.

I wish it had a swivel and the foot seems cheaply made and I've been very gentle with it. I have a Canon 430EX ll flash (equivalent price, etc.) and I find the Canon seems more robust in design and build quality. No problems with the battery door, metal foot or anything. My old Vivitar 285 HV is also, IMO, a more robust design than the 360.

I gave the 360 FGZ a 9...although I felt an 8.5 would be more accurate, but there is no provision in the rating system to assign a 'half' number.

A few years ago I picked up a flash accessory called a Rogue Flashbender. It's a cloth reflector that attaches to the flash body and I can shape it to modify the flash I want. Excellent accessory and it has improved the results of the 360 greatly.

I also use the Rogue on my Canon 430...same improves the quality of light on pictures.
New Member

Registered: February, 2017
Location: Blekinge
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 26, 2017 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Wireless, informative LCD, easy to control
Cons: No turning to side, battery door, control dial is hard to move.

It's nice flash, but it has some drawbacks.
Battery door is weak. Some sides are very easy to break and then it starts to open easily.
It can not by turned to side.
Controls are very nice and easy to reach, but power dial is very hard to move.
All modes woks very nicely. It is really easy to use it of camera, no struggling with wireless setup.
Veteran Member

Registered: October, 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,437
Review Date: September 5, 2016 Recommended | Price: $15.54 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Built-in diffuser and deflector, powerful, lots of functions and features, durable
Cons: Looks dated.

I picked one of these up the other day and I'm impressed. Min came with a K100 and, at some point, the flash had been knocked off the camera because the flash foot and the camera had just a big, open hole where the hot shoe had been. The flash's foot was, at some point, glued back on with Gorilla Glue. And you know what, everything about it still works, including the shoe lock. I'm impressed.

And it's a great flash in all regards, too, with all the pro-grade functions and features you'd expect. Fast charge rate, bright flash, exceptional user control.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2007
Location: North West UK
Posts: 390

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 24, 2016 Recommended | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Performance size compared to the 540, Wireless, ability.
Cons: No swivel head, mk2 is weather sealed.

I have both the 540 and 360 mk1 models but of course this is about the 360.
As a secondary flash to the 540 it is perfect. with plenty of power and control.
Downside? No swivel head and the battery door does appear a tad flimsy, but just take care.

Now the bonus.

The K-1 does not have a built in flash for various reasons, however if you find one of these, it is the perfect substitute. Put the camera in Av, the flash in HS and off you go. 1/1000 sec fill in flash on one of my shots with the K-1 is easy and not in anyway harsh.

I only paid £99 for it a few years back (Curry's had a superb offer on them at the time) so I took the plunge. I am glad I did. Now it will go with my K-1 always as the flash for it.

Maybe one day I will get the mk2, but in the meantime, it is still a superb strobe.
Closed Account

Registered: March, 2015
Posts: 8,694
Review Date: April 12, 2016 Recommended | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: User friendly, wireless
Cons: Non-swivel head, battery door

This is a good flash unit, but not great. The lack of a swivel head makes its on camera uses limited. I use it on camera as a daylight fill flash only as no bouncing of light is required.
As an off camera flash is when this unit becomes its best IMO. The battery door is flimsy, but if treated gently, no issues should occur.
Senior Member

Registered: March, 2011
Location: Prince Edward Island
Posts: 194
Review Date: October 13, 2013 Recommended | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Genuine Pentax accessory, Works well with K10, Wireless option
Cons: Battery door, Non swivel head

Great for use with my K10D. Works wonderfully wireless. Price was pretty good and the value is there used.
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Hong Kong / Irvine, CA
Posts: 636
Review Date: January 18, 2013 Recommended | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: good LCD providing all information
Cons: too expensive

Very expensive.
no swirl head
bad battery door
plastic hot shoe mount

I have to use it when I got my K30 because third party does not work very good.
Site Supporter

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada
Posts: 2,440

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 13, 2012 Recommended | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: HSS, wireless, bag, "Modelling" sustained burst
Cons: Attachment point, battery cover

This flash does some things well.
Off camera wireless with HSS is really useful for a "two" light set up out in the sunlight, specifically when photographing birds, or insects with a slow zoom. It also complements the built in unit on my camera well.

The wide angle is reasonably wide, in terms of FOV coverage.

The key challenges are keeping the flash mounted on the camera in a way that the electronics talk (I find the lock fine, but have difficulty keeping all the connector pins aligned with the hotshoe), and keeping the batteries in their place when walking around. Additionally, I use my K-7 without a grip, and do find the rig to be unbalanced when using a limited prime, and the flash. Using a zoom fixes this, but also fixes your hands/arms after a while.

Like others, I have had the odd bit of trouble with over-exposure in the P-TTL mode. However, as others have mentioned, switching to the "A" setting, and fixing the ISO have worked well. In the case of the K-7, a setting of around ISO 200 seems pretty flexible.
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