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02-20-2013, 10:41 PM   #1
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Pentax K-5 IIs Upgrade - Manual Flash Questions

The time has come to upgrade my Olympus E510 and given the current state of the Oly DSLR line I am serious considering hopping on board Pentax wagon. I do a lot of macro photography and photomicroscopy. shooting rigs and setups often require the use of microscope objectives, enlarger lens and old manual focus macro lens. With my Olympus I was able to fire external flashes via the hot shoe on the second (rear) curtain of the shutter sequence. I have been searching the internet and this forum to ascertain if this is possible with the K-5 II or IIs but can't find a definitive answer. Does anyone know if these cameras support a manual flash mode, i.e. send a trigger to the hot shoe, when using manual lens and do they have a rear curtain option?

Thank you.

02-21-2013, 12:49 AM   #2
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For your first questions it's a yes. You can throw a canon or nikon flash on a pentax and it will work on manual or auto setting.
I'm not sure what kind of hotshoe olympus use but if it's a standard one, it will work aswell in those modes.

Now rear curtain, that's on option that's P-TTL driven it seems so that won't work, only with P-TTL flashes.
But i don't see why you need rear curatin for macro though.
02-21-2013, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thank you for the reply Anvh. Yes, Olympus has standard hotshoe. Typical setup includes three Nikon SB flashes (24, 26, and 27) in a triangular pattern around macro stage. SB24 is attached to the hot shoe via a Wein HSHSB PC socket and I piggy back a Nikon AS-15 on top of the Wein and PC cable the SB27. The SB 26 fires as an optic slave.

Shooting in macro (up to 5:1) with Yachica 100mm doesn't require rear curtain flash. However, I have found that rear curtain flash with photomicroscopy beneficial. When one fires flash on the front curtain, vibration from the shutter opening can blur or ghost the subject matter. One way to combat this is to shoot the subject in very low lit room with a long shutter speed, i.e. 2 or 3 seconds. Typical sequence goes like this shutter opens, extension tube (bellows don't exhibit this as badly) and RMS adapter have minute shudder (typically starts appearing on my rig at 20x or so) within 2 seconds or so vibrations settle, and flashes fire as shutter closes.

Digesting what you have told me it sounds like I am going to have to buy a P-TTL flash and another Nikon SB26. P-TTL will fire off hot shoe and optically trigger the Nikon SB26s. Not real sure how much effective light I am going to get from a flash mounted on the camera. Question, does the pop up flash trigger off rear curtain and work with manual (non Kaf) mounts. If it does I can just get two more SB26's and run them as optical slaves off the pop up flash.

Do you know if there is a PK to CY mount without glass? Not worried about FFD as I never need infinite focus with the Yashica macro lens.

Thanks again for your input. If I get this flash question figured out perhaps we can go over HDMI live view output to a monitor and running PKtether to control shooting, i.e. can one do both at the same time?
02-22-2013, 11:51 AM   #4
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That's great and you don't need to use wein with Nikon flashes on Pentax.

I need to test it at home but i think rear curtain is only enabled with P-TTL so you can not use the flash on manual so your idea won't work.
Try to use 2 second delay, it will use mirror lock up automatically reducing the shutter vibration and avoid number around 1/80 there the shutter vibration is the most so use faster or slower speeds.

I don't have maual lenses so can not comment on that.

02-22-2013, 06:35 PM   #5
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I use manual, off-brand, non-PTTL flashes exclusively with my Pentax macro rigs on K5, K20, K10 and all work perfectly (better in fact) with manual lenses. I have often used cheap optical slaves triggered by the popup flash and that works well except in bright sunlight so i tend to use a wired connection or Cactus V5 wireless triggers instead. You won't be unhappy with a K5 for macro.
02-23-2013, 08:15 AM   #6
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Hornet - Thanks for the input. Looking over the K-5(ii) specs and viewing images online, I have no doubt it's a superb macro camera. My concern manifests in the ability to properly light subject matters in photomicroscopy, extreme macro (20x) if you will, is firing flashes on the rear (2nd) curtain shutter. There is another thread - - found after I posted, that notes the K-5 only fires on rear curtain if a PTTL flash and a Pentax lens with information contacts, i.e. K(af), is employed. Have you tried initiating rear curtain sync with your non PTTL setup and a non Pentax Lens?

Thanks again for your time and input.
02-24-2013, 02:42 AM   #7
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If you use 2 seconds you could manually fire the flash, Thats the only option i can come up with.

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