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PENTAX AF 360FGZ

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19 51,962 Mon February 27, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
89% of reviewers $193.21 8.21
PENTAX AF 360FGZ

PENTAX AF 360FGZ
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PENTAX AF 360FGZ

Description:
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
In Production: Buy the PENTAX AF 360FGZ
Price History:



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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 19
Pentaxian

Registered: November, 2007
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 4,097

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: February 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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 deal...it improves the quality of light on pictures.
   
New Member

Registered: February, 2017
Location: Blekinge
Posts: 11
Review Date: February 26, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: October, 2012
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,312
Review Date: September 5, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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: 377

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: June 24, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
   
Moderator
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2015
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 4,651
Review Date: April 12, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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: 193
Review Date: October 13, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Hong Kong / Irvine, CA
Posts: 564
Review Date: January 18, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2008
Location: Brampton, ON, Canada
Posts: 1,766

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 13, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
   
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 79

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 9, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $250.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Versatile P-TTL, A- and M-modes + backward compatible TTL
Cons: It could have had a swivel head for the price and size

So far no complaints about the battery door and connecting and locking the foot, in fact I like the the locking lever far more than the old locking ring mechanism. This connection is however no exception to the rule that there is some play between the foot and the socket so the lock has to be pretty tight to avoid movement and keep it aligned.

It fits my purpose, shooting indoors at fairly short distances rather well. Most of the times I have an Omnibounce fitted and it combines nicely. One main mishap is the head missing a swivel action. Looking at the construction of the thing, it could easily have been added for the same price and it adds a lot of versatility (as pointed out in another review when shooting vertical you cannot bounce off the ceiling now). But that can be handled by shooting wireless in slave mode 1, which is a breeze anyway. In slave mode 2 it fires/triggers on any external flash so it can easily be combined with other manual flashes. Another plus is the ability to tilt the head down 15 degrees which is very useful for close-ups, especially combined with the Omnibounce.

Some other minor odds, or better 'should haves', are not remembering the last state (e.g. operational mode, zoom position, power etc.) when switched off/on, crappy grip on the selection wheel, you really need to grab it hard with two fingers to rotate, and no dedicated APS-C mode next to 35mm and 67/645 formats; now it flips between 35mm and APS-C on the current dslr's. Since this seems firmware related, there is no way to update any of its functions. In this price range this is becoming a standard feature but since the model is almost 'ancient' we probably have to wait for a new generation of flashes. Also the grey lock button on the tilt mechanism is more cumbersome than useful because singlehanded it is almost impossible to actuate. At least it makes me believe I'm trying to break the flash off the camera instead of simply adjusting the angle.

Contrary to the specifications, next to the current P-TTL mode also the 'old' TTL mode is still available. You can use it easily as a replacement for e.g. the old AF280T flash and shoot in P-TTL which acts as TTL mode on compatible camera's like Super A and LX. This can be considered a bonus! I don't know if this also works on its big brother 540FGZ but I assume so.

Last but not least a remark on P-TTL: it is not straightforward to get predictable results in any camera program mode because (a.o.) it is not automatically linked to the flash sync speed. It is best used with the camera set to Manual, choose a proper speed (you can not exceed the flash sync speed) and aperture and then fire away.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2008
Location: California
Posts: 851
Review Date: September 24, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $230.00 | Rating: 3 

 
Pros: very small
Cons: Construction, reliability, repair cost

This is one of the cheapest pieces of camera gear I have ever seen. The plastic foot is difficult to get seated on the camera shoe properly, the battery door does not fit tight, the swivel is very sticky and the repairs on the above listed defects are insanely expensive. A very small bump caused the foot to break off. This happened to me with a pocket wizard TT5 I owned and Pocket wizard fixed it for free. It is a $10 part that is attached with 4 small screws and a simple low-voltage plug... but somehow CRIS camera repair charge over $100 for the repair and it took them over a month to do it.
Due to the cheap plastic shoe not fitting very well into the camera it is easy for it to come just a little out of alignment which will cause the camera/flash to behave erratically. If you tilt the flash head up at any angle besides 90 degrees you better be good at using manual controls because the TTL functionality is no longer reliable.
   
Junior Member

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Essex
Posts: 27
Review Date: September 23, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Flexible without being over large
Cons: Battery Door!!!

I got mine when a camera chain offered them at half price, despite not feeling I really needed another external flash -
The P-TTL being the main incentive over my older models.
On a cheap P-TTL cord (Arms reach from the subject) or directly mounted & bounced of a sheet of paper, it's proved very useful for macro work. Giving quick and easy lighting that is usually just right for the job. (I never use my ring flash now)

Advanced options such as second curtain operation have added to it's appeal. It now lives in my main camera bag and rarely fails to meet any sensible demands.

I did find the controls took a lot more effort to get familar with than those of my camera. However the one real problem is likely to be the battery compartment, I've not had mine break (yet) but it has sprung open on several occations - once managing to spread my batteries all around in the process!

I'm glad I got it, and agree it would have been worth the full price.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2010
Posts: 3

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 3, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $198.18 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, high speed sync, wireless p-ttl, focus assist
Cons: head is tilt only

Just bought it last week, used and in mint condition. After a bit of bargaining the seller let it go for €150.
Had a quick read through the manual. Controls are easy enough to use. The switch on the side with 2 dots turns on functions in yellow or white (yellow and white dots respectively).
LCD is illuminated when you press the LIGHT button.
The flash has 4 sync modes:
Leading shutter curtain sync (flash fires an the start of exposure, default mode),
Trailing shutter curtain sync (fires at the end of exposure, useful for creative effects),
Contrast control sync (used off camera in conjunction with cameras built in flash to evenly tight the subject with 2 flashes),
High speed sync (enables to shoot at faster shutter speeds than x-sync. emits multiple bursts of flash to properly expose the sensor as the curtain travels. the shutter curtain does not open fully at speeds higher than x-sync so one burst of flash would leave a portion of the frame unexposed)
There’s also the modelling flash, useful well for modelling

AF assist lamp is a nice feature. Can be used with or without flash. Helps focusing in total darkness.
Wireless P-TTL works well in daylight, very accurate. Other flashes (non pentax) cannot trigger the AF-360FGZ by accident. There’s 4 channels to choose from. You have to set the camera and flash to use the same channel (not radio channels, not sure how this works, apparently light pulses).
Zoom reflector can be used in auto or manual mode.
Catchlight panel (bounce card) useful feature for portraits as it leaves a reflection of the flash in the subject’s eyes.
Wide angle diffuser. Never used it, apparently great for wide angle group shots.
When used in bounce mode (head tilted up or down), the flash adjusts its strength automatically and a bounce icon lights up on the display. You have to press the gray button on the side of the head hinge to release it from the 0° position, very annoying.


Photo of my son, flash bounced off snow.
   
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2010
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 26,079
Review Date: September 30, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: reasonably powerful & compact, exposure consistent,
Cons: battery door flimsy

This would be a fine unit except for that battery door. The complex slide & hinge mechanism is already weakening and I fear may break and cripple the flash. Why don't they just use old-fashioned slide off doors that slip into a long groove? I have a 2-AA manual only Braun flash more than 40 years old with such a battery door, and it still work perfectly.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Lansing, MI
Posts: 509
Review Date: July 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $180.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Relatively compact
Cons: No swivel

This is a relatively compact, basic flash. It works well, but I do wish it had a swivel head.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Prague
Posts: 1,198
Review Date: May 7, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $200.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: feature set in small package
Cons: no swivel

An excellent mid range flash. It shares the controls layout with AF540 which gives user great direct access to features (only the dial is stiffer on AF360). I hate the 4 buttons on Metz 48. Also the build quality seems better than Metz48, which I use in Canon system.
I really like the small size of this unit, and the quick locking lever. Before this flash I used Metz 40MZ-3 : I found that I rarely used the swivel and I hated the size and weight of it.
If you need to turn the flash head or extremely high GN, save for AF540. For most of my photography this flash gives enough power. And it is not so heavy to hold when I trigger it remotely.
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