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10-04-2016, 03:06 PM   #1
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Wireless details

When the K-5 is in wireless mode, is it actually transmitting via radio? Or is it basically working optically and that's why the flash has to pop up?

If it's radio, does the Cactus work as a slave?

10-04-2016, 03:16 PM   #2
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It acts as an optical trigger - there is no radio trigger built-in.
10-04-2016, 03:25 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
It acts as an optical trigger - there is no radio trigger built-in.
Thanks MigMackCam! So when you use the Custom Menu 21 feature that prevents the popup flash from affecting exposure, does the camera simply turn the power of the flash way down and create settings that will ensure the popup doesn't affect exposure?!
10-04-2016, 03:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattieyp3 Quote
Thanks MigMackCam! So when you use the Custom Menu 21 feature that prevents the popup flash from affecting exposure, does the camera simply turn the power of the flash way down and create settings that will ensure the popup doesn't affect exposure?!
I think it's just timed so that it doesn't illuminate the scene.


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10-04-2016, 03:34 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattieyp3 Quote
Thanks MigMackCam! So when you use the Custom Menu 21 feature that prevents the popup flash from affecting exposure, does the camera simply turn the power of the flash way down and create settings that will ensure the popup doesn't affect exposure?!
Yes, it's firing at a low level to minimise (but not necessarily completely avoid) any impact on the shot. If you want to completely avoid the possibility of any impact on the subject, you'd have to use some sort of snoot or reflector to guide the on-camera flash light away from the subject but visible to the off-camera unit. In most cases, though, that shouldn't be necessary.
10-04-2016, 03:45 PM   #6
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Thanks guys!
10-04-2016, 07:34 PM   #7
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Thinking back to when I got my K-50 as my first DSLR, I knew (or thought I did) that I would want to do off-camera flash, and I was convinced by the 'wireless flash' feature on the sales pages that this would mean 'radio'. I was quite disappointed with the optical system, not least because you really can't ever get rid of the direct flash effect completely, and you do need to have a line of sight between the flashes. So, if you've been reading the strobist blog and think that the Pentax wireless will much of what he describes, you are out of luck.
That said, I've recently tried continuous lighting and, what with cheaper and better LED lighting available now, I think flashes will soon be a thing of the past, for me at least.
10-04-2016, 07:49 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Thinking back to when I got my K-50 as my first DSLR, I knew (or thought I did) that I would want to do off-camera flash, and I was convinced by the 'wireless flash' feature on the sales pages that this would mean 'radio'. I was quite disappointed with the optical system, not least because you really can't ever get rid of the direct flash effect completely, and you do need to have a line of sight between the flashes. .
That's the standard way ... Canon, Nikon, etc, too. 'Wireless' literally means you're not using one of those black cables running out of your hotshoe.

Everyone just uses cheap radio now.

QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
That said, I've recently tried continuous lighting and, what with cheaper and better LED lighting available now, I think flashes will soon be a thing of the past, for me at least.
All the LED stuff I've ever owned or seen was very, very weak powered. Lots of 1/125s, f8, ISO 1600 or 3200 settings, unfortunately, even from up close to the subject, just out of camera shot.


Last edited by clackers; 10-04-2016 at 09:10 PM.
10-04-2016, 08:33 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Thinking back to when I got my K-50 as my first DSLR, I knew (or thought I did) that I would want to do off-camera flash, and I was convinced by the 'wireless flash' feature on the sales pages that this would mean 'radio'. I was quite disappointed with the optical system, not least because you really can't ever get rid of the direct flash effect completely, and you do need to have a line of sight between the flashes. .
Same here! Though these days you can get a pretty cheap pair of reliable triggers, which are awesome.
10-07-2016, 11:39 AM   #10
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Thanks again everyone! This has helped me understand Pentax's implementation of it all! I will ask, does the K-3ii wireless mode use radio (since it has no pop-up flash)?
10-07-2016, 02:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattieyp3 Quote
Thanks again everyone! This has helped me understand Pentax's implementation of it all! I will ask, does the K-3ii wireless mode use radio (since it has no pop-up flash)?
The K3 II has no flash, so you have to buy one to act as an optical controller. Or simply go radio trigger.

10-07-2016, 03:19 PM   #12
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I bought some super-cheap eBay chinese specials and actually they work very well considering I could have 100 pairs for the price of one set of pocket wizards. At least as a cheap way to experiment with nothing to lose, it's a good place to start.
10-07-2016, 03:33 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
I bought some super-cheap eBay chinese specials and actually they work very well considering I could have 100 pairs for the price of one set of pocket wizards. At least as a cheap way to experiment with nothing to lose, it's a good place to start.
Same here. They're great. 4 channel selectable, decent range, work happily at my K-3's max sync shutter speed, very easy to use... and cheap!
10-16-2016, 08:55 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigMackCam Quote
Same here. They're great. 4 channel selectable, decent range, work happily at my K-3's max sync shutter speed, very easy to use... and cheap!
Would you be so kind as to share a link to the seller'S page?
Thanks!
10-16-2016, 09:18 AM   #15
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There are loads of sellers on ebay. They were called 'Wensen 4 channel wireless flash triggers' but they go by various other names too, Andoer for example, but they're all the same units.
If you just search for 'wireless 4 channel flash trigger' you should find several options.
The ones marked 'for Canon' work (obviously manual flash only) on Pentax.

Edit: Actually the 16 channel version is cheaper now, probably more available. The same thing, just with more switches.
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