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12-26-2012, 06:46 PM   #1
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flash for k5

Tomorrow I will be a K5 owner - I would like to add an external flash as this is one capability that I lacked on my K-x
and often felt that I would benefit from.

What would be a good choice of flash? I was thinking between the Metz 50, Sigma EF610-dg-st and the Pentax AF-360. I really want to keep it sub $250-ish.

Can someone please point me in the right direction?

Obviously, I am neither a pro, nor an experienced photographer so be kind!

12-26-2012, 07:32 PM   #2
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Tumax makes a capable and inexpensive flash.
Bell & Howell (TUMAX) Z680AF-P reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
12-26-2012, 07:55 PM   #3
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Use your K-5 for intended projects before you decide on how much flash power you want. K-5 may surprise you how far you can push it with available light (including indoor games with DA*50-135 or other similarly great glass). Little fill from AF360-FGZ was all I ever needed. Pentax (360&540) vs Metz (50&58) is smaller&lighter (no swivel on 360), but a bit more fragile as well.
12-26-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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Hi can I use Olympus E flashes or Nikon on the K5II? or can it short circuit something..thanks

12-27-2012, 08:10 PM   #5
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I use the Mecablitz 50 AF-1 flash with a K5-II and no complaints. I purchased it from B&H for $230
12-28-2012, 12:17 AM   #6
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I would go for the Metz 50. Or maybe even Metx 44 if you want a simple to use flash.

I was in your situation and was going to buy the Metz 44 when i got a really good deal on a PENTAX AF 540FGZ.
The problem is that the AF 540 GFZ is far too advanced for me. There are too many buttons and settings so i end up using it on Auto setting all the time, and even then i get different results from time to time. Most of the time the pictures get overexposed.

So if you just are going to use the flash indoor for family pictures and such, go for a simple but powerful one. Because the learning process is pretty big for an advanced flash.

This is my experience and i am also not a pro nor a very experienced photographer.
12-28-2012, 09:07 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Shanti Quote
Hi can I use Olympus E flashes or Nikon on the K5II? or can it short circuit something..thanks
I cannot speak for Olympus, but I use film-era Nikon SBs (ala strobist) flashes on my Pentax bodies in auto mode with no problems. While the older Nikon SBs are plentiful, the strobist site has made them so popular that they have become stupidly expensive.

Most do not worry about the extra pins that do not align properly, but I removed the foot and de-soldered the extra pins, leaving only the center pin.

I find that, in many cases, auto works better than P-TTL, but HSS and some other P-TTL features will not work, and they can be useful at times.

I think that you should be able to make almost any strobe with an auto/manual mode work on your Pentax body.

Ray
12-28-2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray Pulley Quote
I cannot speak for Olympus, but I use film-era Nikon SBs (ala strobist) flashes on my Pentax bodies in auto mode with no problems. While the older Nikon SBs are plentiful, the strobist site has made them so popular that they have become stupidly expensive.

Most do not worry about the extra pins that do not align properly, but I removed the foot and de-soldered the extra pins, leaving only the center pin.

I find that, in many cases, auto works better than P-TTL, but HSS and some other P-TTL features will not work, and they can be useful at times.

I think that you should be able to make almost any strobe with an auto/manual mode work on your Pentax body.

Ray
Ray,

Those older flashes don't have dangerous voltage issues when used on modern dSLRs?

12-28-2012, 10:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Ray,

Those older flashes don't have dangerous voltage issues when used on modern dSLRs?
Good point, and this should be checked before slipping one into the shoe. With the flash powered up and ready to fire, just use a DC voltmeter between the center pin and the ground connections (usually metal tabs on the sides of the flash shoe). I seem to recall a statement from Pentax that up to 30 volts DC is ok. Most newer auto flashes are less than that, but not all, as some flashes switch the actual strobe tube high voltage directly. The Nikon SB-25s I have measure 4.55V DC.

You can use a safe sync if you have a flash that measures high voltage, but why bother? One good and fairly cheap alternative is the Pentax AF280T if you want a simple auto flash with bounce/swivel. It also has the benefit of also having what has come to be known as "smart auto", where the camera will communicate some things like flash ready, and f stop. Lots of threads here on that flash.

Ray
12-28-2012, 10:44 AM   #10
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You want a flash with its own auto exposure mode. It's a great workaround for the lousy P-TTL in newer cams. And subjects won't have their eyes half closed from the pre-flashes.
12-31-2012, 09:56 PM   #11
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I have a Metz 58AF-2 that's working out fine. i haven't tried P-TTL yet, but I shouldn't have a problem since i won't/don't do much bounce and if I do, it'll be in "A" mode so I won't have anything to bitch about.
01-01-2013, 07:56 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ray Pulley Quote
I cannot speak for Olympus, but I use film-era Nikon SBs (ala strobist) flashes on my Pentax bodies in auto mode with no problems. While the older Nikon SBs are plentiful, the strobist site has made them so popular that they have become stupidly expensive.

Most do not worry about the extra pins that do not align properly, but I removed the foot and de-soldered the extra pins, leaving only the center pin.

I find that, in many cases, auto works better than P-TTL, but HSS and some other P-TTL features will not work, and they can be useful at times.

I think that you should be able to make almost any strobe with an auto/manual mode work on your Pentax body.

Ray
I use Nikon SB-25s on my K-7 both on camera in auto mode and off camera. I use a hot shoe adapter to ensure only center pin contact when using on camera. I think auto mode is far superior to p-ttl as it is more consistent and there are no pre-flashes.

In manual mode, the SB-25 has 7 power levels, from 1/1 down to 1/64, which for my purposes makes it superior to any Pentax flash (new or used) on the market that I am aware of, dollar for dollar. (I know the Pentax AF540 has 7 power levels, but it's expensive and I don't like p-ttl.)

The Nikon SB-25 is available used generally for $90US or less including shipping.
01-01-2013, 07:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
Ray,

Those older flashes don't have dangerous voltage issues when used on modern dSLRs?
I own a Nikon SB-20, Nikon SB-24, and two Nikon SB-25s. All have trigger voltages of 6V or less.
01-01-2013, 12:21 PM   #14
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I use a Vivitar 285, had it a long time and has earned me money on K100d, K20d and now the K5. works superbly is so easy for dummies like me. So easy to use for fill flash work. Have a look at this link.
01-06-2013, 11:39 PM   #15
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Well, I have to cast my vote for the Metz 48, which I rather bluntly promote in a review on this site. If you can memorize what the different symbols mean in the menu system, then the flash is great in every other respect. On the K20D I had to set the flash usually +1/3-2/3 stops brighter whereas on the K-5 I usually have to set the flash to -2/3 EV, the sensor is just that sensitive to light, and that's with the built-in diffuser down! So yeah, more than plenty of power in a decent-sized package.
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