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12-06-2010, 07:37 AM   #1
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Studio shooting with the K-5

Hi there, I'm looking to buy a K-5 but not quite sure how it will do with studio type shooting; you know using flashes etc. Anyone use or know of someone who uses their K-5 in this manner. I've been hearing all these horror stories regarding Pentax and their flash "incapabilities" and wondered if there's any validity to it.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

12-06-2010, 08:24 AM   #2
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I used the K-5 briefly in my school studio, worked excellent with the Elinchrom flashes we have. X-sync socket is nice and tight, not like on the Canon 50D and 5D, on those it just keeps falling off and doesn't sync properly. On my K-5 i didn't have any problems whatsoever. The only slight downside is that you can't use shutter speeds above 1/180. The flashes won't even go off above 1/180. But on the canon 60D, you can't use above 1/60, because the camera senses it's in a low light situation and caps the sync speed to 1/60. 60D doesn't have a X-Sync socket either, which makes no sense. Though i didn't have the opportunity to fiddle with the 60D, but that was the conclusion others came to about shutter speeds. I chuckled.

My K-5 is in the service atm, so i can't test anything else for a few weeks.

So, i wouldn't be worried about using a Pentax K-5 (also have used a K-m there) in a studio with Elinchrom flashes. Can't say anything about Bowens, Dörr, etc. Because, i haven't tried them.
12-06-2010, 09:33 AM   #3
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what are you concerned about exactly? typically studio shooting is done with manually controlled flashes, you just need the camera to trigger them, which the k-5 will certainly do.

if you want auto ttl crap, you're probably thinking of some other kind of studio shooting which i don't understand. the only system i know of, which allows some benefit over the others for studio might be nikon, with it's ability to control several flashes directly from the camera (but personally i wouldn't go nikon for that alone). other than that, the k-5 has currently excellent image quality and handling, lenses available are some of the best. so i see no problem. for the record, just for studio you might be quite fine with a k20d, k-7, or even k-x/k-r.
12-06-2010, 11:47 AM   #4
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perfect in studio!

12-06-2010, 12:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by candyspan6 Quote
I've been hearing all these horror stories regarding Pentax and their flash "incapabilities" and wondered if there's any validity to it.
Horror stories? I had no problems whatsoever:

Where Professional Models Meet Model Photographers - ModelMayhem

Some taken with Speedotron power pack and flash heads, some with Pentax AF360FGZ optically triggered as I described here:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/519219-post1.html

All taken with K10D. There should be no difference with K20D, K-7 or K-5.
12-06-2010, 12:47 PM   #6
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Ditto Ivan. I've had no problems w/ the K10D and K20D working in studio (except for the shadow chroma noise of the K20D sensor when doing low key photos, but the K5 won't have this issue at all)...
12-06-2010, 06:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by candyspan6 Quote
Hi there, I'm looking to buy a K-5 but not quite sure how it will do with studio type shooting; you know using flashes etc. Anyone use or know of someone who uses their K-5 in this manner. I've been hearing all these horror stories regarding Pentax and their flash "incapabilities" and wondered if there's any validity to it.

Any help is greatly appreciated!
I've only done one studio shoot with the K5 so far, but it didn't miss a beat in several hundred exposures.
I use real studio lights triggered by Pocket Wizards, so I can't speak to how any other equipment would behave.
12-06-2010, 10:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nanok Quote
what are you concerned about exactly? typically studio shooting is done with manually controlled flashes, you just need the camera to trigger them, which the k-5 will certainly do.

if you want auto ttl crap, you're probably thinking of some other kind of studio shooting which i don't understand. the only system i know of, which allows some benefit over the others for studio might be nikon, with it's ability to control several flashes directly from the camera (but personally i wouldn't go nikon for that alone). other than that, the k-5 has currently excellent image quality and handling, lenses available are some of the best. so i see no problem. for the record, just for studio you might be quite fine with a k20d, k-7, or even k-x/k-r.
I have just been reading stories of the flash not firing at all, that was my only concern. I'd use them in manual mode in the first place, but I'd at least want it to fire .

Thanks everyone, you've settled my dilemma and I'm going to go with the K-5 - especially with all of the nice weather sealed lenses available. I'm brand new to Pentax, so this will be my "buy in" to the system. I hope it treats me well!

12-07-2010, 09:29 AM   #9
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All of the complaints about Pentax flash is with P-TTL. Shouldn't be a problem in studio, and the expanded DR of the K5 may be a real asset.
12-07-2010, 09:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by candyspan6 Quote
I have just been reading stories of the flash not firing at all, that was my only concern. I'd use them in manual mode in the first place, but I'd at least want it to fire .

Thanks everyone, you've settled my dilemma and I'm going to go with the K-5 - especially with all of the nice weather sealed lenses available. I'm brand new to Pentax, so this will be my "buy in" to the system. I hope it treats me well!
The flash not firing thing seems to be the camera missing a beat after firing the flash a couple of dozen times at 7fps.
In other words, the equipment is being forced to fail, which is somewhat different from a horror story.
12-07-2010, 09:56 AM   #11
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Both the K7 and K5 are excellent in the studio. I use monolights with the Elinchrom Skyport system. Ringlights, too. At events, I use the AF-540GZ on a flash bracket. Everything works great!
12-08-2010, 03:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
All of the complaints about Pentax flash is with P-TTL. Shouldn't be a problem in studio, and the expanded DR of the K5 may be a real asset.
I had no problems even with P-TTL. From what I have seen complaints are mostly related to not understanding how flash photography in general works, uncontrolled aperture in auto modes, out of range flash-to-subject distance, and using no flash compensation.

By simply switching to X or M mode, and checking the covered distance range scale on the flash itself and how it changes with varying aperture and ISO would have eliminated majority of reported problems.
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