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02-14-2010, 11:54 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
I think my next step is to get an external flash. Any suggestions on which external flash is a good choice? To be honest I dont understand how it would be much different from the normal flash. As I said I have a Pentax k-x so anything compatible please
Metz 58. because it's easier to use and has a higher or stronger output. built-in flash is only useful when shot or used up-close. distance is it's weakness. there is also a macro flash which is used for special purposes. it has a lower output due to it's intended use.

02-14-2010, 01:00 PM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrossStealth Quote
That one seems to be 400-500 bucks Hmm What advantages does it have over something like this?
PENTAX AF400FTZ ELECTRONIC TTL FLASH UNIT FOR PENTAX AF - eBay (item 370265316981 end time Feb-21-10 20:28:03 PST)
The AF400FTI is an impressive looking unit, but in my personal experience pretty unreliable. The manual zoom head is poorly designed and the contacts wear out quite fast, leading to somewhat unexpected performance. It's got powr and a good tilt/swivel head, but it is simply not robustly enough for heavy use.

This is one name under which this kind of flash is sold. It seems to work with P-TTL. But be careful, while reading the description. This type of flash does not support anything but P-TTL mounted on the hot shoe of the camera. No wireless P-TTL (only a basic wireless slave mode, which you can add to any flash gun - even the last one in your list – for peanuts via a slave cell), no nothing.

This last one is the most basic one. It probably does flash. That's about all it can do. It is fully manual, not even Auto-mode. Good, if you want to learn all the basics about flash photography, guide numbers etc. But I sure wouldn't recommend a basic flash like that for a beginner at all and also not as a sole flash unit.

Believe me, there is a reason, why good flash guns come at a price. They are worth it, as flash guns are not only complex products if they support all the many possibilities of P-TTL and Pentax wireless, flash guns also need to be manufactured to great precision and with high quality materials, if they shall work for a longer period of time.

Therefor, I think either the original Pentax 540 or 360 flash guns or one of the Metz flash guns should always be the first choices. If you really want (or need) to safe money, go for a pure Auto-mode flash gun of better quality, like the older pre-P-TTL Metz flash guns etc. or the ubiquos Vivitar 283 or 285 modells. Just ensure, that these older modells have a low enough trigger voltage (below 24V, better below 12V), to work with modern DSLRs without killing the flash circuits over time.

Ben


EDIT for all currently available P-TTL flash guns, please look here: http://pttl.mattdm.org/
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