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09-01-2013, 06:21 PM   #1
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K-5ii Flash recommendations

First, and this may be a painfully noobish question - I know there are some proprietary hot shoe mounts, but can I mount, say, a Metz 58 AF-1 for Nikon on my K-5ii? I ask because on Amazon, it is fully $120 more for a Metz Pentaz as it is for a Metz Nikon.

The more general question is - for my first flash, do you recommend going with a cheapo Yongnuo YN560II - type flash, or stepping up to a Metz / Pentax 540 / etc (or something in-between)?

As far as what I shoot, the short answer is anything and everything. I'm a second year medical student, so doing mostly photo therapy , which is heavy on urban, especially subway shots. I also have a 14-day old daughter, and I may or may not be shooting an embarrassingly high amount of pictures of her and my wife.

Lenses currently using - DA 18-135 WR, SMC Pentax 50mm 1.4, Sears 135mm 2.8, Vivitar 28mm 2.8 RL.

Thanks for the help

09-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kjbds1 Quote
but can I mount, say, a Metz 58 AF-1 for Nikon on my K-5ii?
The short answer is 'yes' it will mount. However, it will only operate in full manual. So you can fire it at full power or you can manually set things on the flash and then fire it from the camera. If you are experienced with manual flash it is no big deal, if you are looking for a more automatic solution then this is not for you.

Each camera company uses a different communication protocol, for Pentax this is P-TTL and you need a flash that reads that in order to use it in anything but manual.
QuoteOriginally posted by kjbds1 Quote
cheapo Yongnuo YN560II - type flash, or stepping up to a Metz / Pentax 540
Yongnuo and any other non-P-TTL flashes will only operate as manual flash. So again, you need to decide if you want automatic exposure communication with the camera. If you can work with manual flash you have many inexpensive options. If you want P-TTL your options are limited.
09-02-2013, 12:59 AM   #3
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I think Metz 52 AF-1 would be a cheaper alternative.
09-02-2013, 02:31 AM   #4
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The various manufacturer versions of Metz flashguns are all the same (inflated) price here in the UK, Amazon is not what it was, they often just refer you to a 3rd party seller, which could explain the price difference.

TTL flash can be fully automatic for exposure, but it tends to be just 'fill in' flash. With Manual flash it's Manual all the way, even Manual Mode on your camera, exposure is on a 'suck it and see' empirical basis, but you can have any lighting you want. A flash meter is recommended.

For the cost of a TTL flash you can buy a couple of cheap Yongnuo manual flash, a couple of light stands, the radio triggers (I still prefer the older Yongnuo RF-602 units, good build quality, 100Mts range and 100% reliable) and may be even some soft-boxes, though a DIY approach works well for light modifiers. Lighting is a huge subject, there is a large learning curve, with Manual Flash off camera all lighting set ups are possible, and it's cheaper.

Flash photography gets really interesting and creative when you take the flash off the camera. See this site which will give you chapter and verse in off camera flash.

Strobist: Lighting 101

Edit: Sorry I missed the part about your new daughter, congratulations.

Chris


Last edited by ChrisJ; 09-02-2013 at 02:37 AM.
09-02-2013, 03:08 PM   #5
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New question

Rather than make a new thread, I'll ask my non-sequitur here - recommendations for a holster style bag? I have a Lowepro Messenger bag, which is great for carrying everything, but I'd like a small holster bag for my K-5ii with grip attached and a short lens (at most my 18-135). Thanks
09-07-2013, 09:28 AM   #6
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This subject can have you reading various sites for weeks and still come out scratching your head. I know I did . This is what I ended up doing but this is just ME! You make your own decisions. I bought a used Metz 54MZ-3 with a SCA 3002 module and it works great using A mode (automatic) and using it in manual mode when I have time to set up my shots. It does have a TTL mode not PTTL that works ok, I just prefer A or M mode. I also have a couple of Yongnuo YN560II that I've used in on location shoots. While it's true that you can get more features on newer Pentax and Metz flashes I chose this route to save me some money and to make myself learn more about flash photography using manual mode. I've learned a lot. Currently B&H sells the Pentax AF-540 FGZ P-TTL and the Metz mecablitz 58 AF-2 for $399. I saved enough to even get some umbrellas and some cheap light stands and I have a mini portable studio. Chris J gave some wonderful advice to read up the Strobist 101 blog. It helped me immensely and I'm sure it will help you. Good luck and get out there and shoot!
09-10-2013, 04:23 AM   #7
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To add to this discussion: Even with a fully automatic P-TTL equipped dedicated flash (with the cost premium), Pentax is not the best at flash exposure. I have a Metz 44 AF1 flash but still set the camera to manual to control the exposure. If I were to start again, I would probably get a couple of cheap manual flashes with a wireless / radio trigger or else flashes that have A mode.

In answer to your 2nd question, (holster bag), the best is to go into a photo shop with your camera and try it (yes, I know the internet rules, but the best is still holding it in your hands). I have a Lowepro Adventura "top loader" for my K5 plus 18-135. I bought it because it was cheap, on special and it has orange detailing! Oh and my camera could fit inside it.
09-10-2013, 05:29 PM   #8
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I appreciate the suggestions, fellow Pentaxians. I went w/ the Yongnuo YN560III and am having a blast with it. Also went with the Toploader Pro 65, which is excellent. Timd, I had done your suggestion about 2 days before you posted it. Walked around the camera store for about an hour, playing with different bags (and no, I'm not one of those people who tries on in the store and then buys online. They burn in karmic hell).

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