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01-08-2011, 11:17 AM   #1
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The best flash for the K-5

Flash metering issues asside, what is the overall best flash for the K-5?
Not most powerful, but the most functional. I would think would be more important than raw power.

I know very little about flashes, and flash photography, I just want to buy the best one to start with. I figure that its probably between these:

Pentax AF 540 FGZ (Pentax AF540FGZ - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison)

Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2 Digital (Sigma EF-610 DG Super - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison)

Sigma EF-610 DG Super (Sigma EF-610 DG Super - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison)

01-08-2011, 11:21 AM   #2
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according to this table:

Feature Tables - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

The Metz looks to be the most fully featured.

But I ask this question in the K-5 forum because I dont know if the K-5 has any new flash related technology and or works any differently than other Pentax cameras and so decided to put it here instead of in the flash section.

Last edited by WerTicus; 01-08-2011 at 11:30 AM.
01-08-2011, 11:30 AM   #3
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I have a Metz 48 AF-1 and love it. Haven't used any of the others.
01-08-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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I have the Pentax AF 540 FGZ and love it

Cheers

Neil

01-08-2011, 05:33 PM   #5
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A Metz 58 AF1, but update the firmware for it first.
01-08-2011, 05:51 PM   #6
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The Metz go down to 1/128 power which I find useful for lighting control. The Pentax have better interface for faster working.
01-09-2011, 07:23 AM   #7
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i have sigma 500super metz 48 and 2x pentax 540 i had pentax 360 as well (the moste frequently used by me) i fully agree with
QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
The Pentax have better interface for faster working
360 was good enough small lightweigh along with bracket it was very good setup but wasent so durable... the worse one i had its sigma: plastic fantastik with very fragile electronic (3 times at the service within warrenty period - after warrenty expired i didnt bother to pay for repair as i expected itll fail again, still lies in the drawer with broken transverter) metz is very reliable 58 has the same versality as original pentax flashes, however its not so powerfull, maybe 58af2 is....
01-11-2011, 11:05 AM   #8
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I have the 540 FGZ. One of the features that I find to be essential is the wireless flash.
It is very easy to set up and use on the 540.

01-11-2011, 02:12 PM   #9
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Both the 540 and the 58 work very well with the K5 (I do have both). The Metz is more feature loaded however and does offer more control over output. The Metz is completely menu driven while the 540 is more button oriented. Below is a short table showing differences between the two (from a review that I'm writing).

Attached Images
 
01-11-2011, 03:09 PM   #10
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Not sure about how it interacts with the K5, but the Metz 58 is quite nice. The biggest negative that I see is that it is sometimes hard to use it as a slave -- it doesn't "see" trigger flashes very well.
01-11-2011, 03:30 PM   #11
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It may be worthwhile to ask yourself what you need the flash for.

Many regular flash users only shoot indoors, using fixed setups. In that case a manual flash is just fine and you can pick up a used METZ 45 on Ebay for peanuts. A photo umbrella for a tenner, a cheap umbrella tripod for a tenner, and you have a great fixed indoor setup. You don't need auto exposure (auto mode on a flash doesn't work well with an umbrella anyway) and TTL metering is not necessary. I paid 50 for a METZ 45 - CL1 I think (avoiding the old high voltage trigger version!).

Also a lot of flash photography (especially outdoors) is done as a fill-in flash, and some experimentation is usually needed then.

I have the K5 and would like the 540 flash but actually I would never use any of the extra features. But then I shoot flash only indoors.

My son does a lot of outdoor flash (action sports) photography and that is different again. You need multiple flashguns, preferably radio triggered, but the cheap ones are basically crap. The cheap Ebay-level slave flashguns are unreliable, flimsy and the slave function is very variable. You need to spend more money there.
01-13-2011, 03:00 AM   #12
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I bought a Metz 58 af-1... got a very good price... the af-2 didnt seem to add much and was another $150.
01-13-2011, 07:06 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
Not sure about how it interacts with the K5, but the Metz 58 is quite nice. The biggest negative that I see is that it is sometimes hard to use it as a slave -- it doesn't "see" trigger flashes very well.
I believe the Metz 58 AF2 version has an improved slave sensor and should "see" trigger flashes better than the AD1 version did. Before I spend money on a new flash has any one have both versions and have used them in p-ttl slave mode to know if this is so?
01-13-2011, 09:23 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by DaveBlack Quote
I believe the Metz 58 AF2 version has an improved slave sensor and should "see" trigger flashes better than the AD1 version did. Before I spend money on a new flash has any one have both versions and have used them in p-ttl slave mode to know if this is so?
I tested this out last night for a review I'm doing on the AF-1. I compared the 58 AF-1 to the Pentax AF540. Both work quite well in wireless mode being triggered by the built in flash on the K5. I made test setups including different room, shrouding the flash so there was no direct line of sight (LOS), and using each as an on camera trigger. The results are basically this. Both flashes must See the control flash in some way. Be it reflected off of something or direct LOS. The Pentax does have a very slight edge over the Metz but in say a studio situation or in a room (I could only test up to 25 feet, with walls blocking direct LOS), there isn't a bit of difference between them. The only time Either flash failed to fire wireless was if the camera was pointed in the opposite direction of the flashes (the control signal is too weak to bounce back and activate the slave flashes). For that situation, I would recommend Radio triggers.

12-27-2011, 09:19 PM   #15
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K-5 and off-camera flash UNDERexposure

Season's Greetings!
I have a new Metz 50 AF-1, and I am getting some unexpected underexposure using the following set-up:
On the Pentax K-5:
Lens: Pentax DA 16-45 at 19mm (Approx. 10 ft. from group)
Flash in Wireless Mode: Off
Camera in Manual Mode: 1/125 sec at f/9 ISO 200
Built-in Flash Mode: ON at -0.7 in Control Mode
Quality: RAW + JPEG Fine

Umbrella Flashes:
Metz Mecablitz 50 AF-1 at Full Power Servo Mode (Power = 1/1) into a 44” white umbrella approx. 5 ft. from subject at camera right (Main light)
Sunpak Auto 323 Super at ISO 200 Manual Full Power into a 40” white umbrella approx. 6 ft. from subject at camera left (Fill)

The resulting image looked at least a half stop under-exposed (both on K-5's LCD and my computer display in Photoshop prior to correction) However, I did not want to either open the aperture (sacrificing some needed DOF) or increase the ISO, and I could not really move the umbrellas any closer, or they would have intruded into the image. (I suppose a vertical composition was possible, but that obviously would not have affected the exposure.)
Any thoughts on how I could have improved the image would be greatly appreciated! I'm thinking I may not have the K-5 settings for camera/flash sync configured correctly. Thank you.

Last edited by stevelink; 12-27-2011 at 09:20 PM. Reason: typo
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