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03-12-2011, 09:25 PM   #1
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good value flash for the K-r

looking for an inexpensive alternative to the AF360FGZ

considering the Digital Concepts 918AF

DEDICATED AUTO PTTL FLASH FOR PENTAX AF360FGZ AF200FG - eBay (item 330536373688 end time Mar-29-11 20:00:34 PDT)

thoughts, or anyone w/ experience w/ this flash? thnx

Last edited by rrwilliams64; 03-12-2011 at 10:30 PM. Reason: error
03-13-2011, 12:41 AM   #2
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The question is... what are you going to use it for?
In the end, I find I set all my flashes manually. I don't use TTL. To that end, I have a Viv 285HV, and a YN560 which both work quite well. The Viv also has an auto mode, but it's non-TTL. Still very usable, if you don't feel like chimping the exposure.

That said, there is a bit of "get what you pay for". These cheap flashes typically output considerably under their rated power, and they often have weird little design issues that will slowly drive you mad.

Only review I can find is this one -

Doesn't look terrible, but it certainly has limitations. No manual mode means if you do decide to do off-camera lighting (and this is the reason to have speedlight, IMHO) you're very limited.I'd go for a cheap manual flash (YN460, 462, etc) and a cheap radio trigger (PT-04, either from ebay or Cowboy Studios...).
03-13-2011, 01:22 AM   #3
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I tried the Sigma 530 DG Super, cheap and good, comes with TTL as well.
03-13-2011, 02:45 AM   #4
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The YN560 would seem like a decent piece of kit for something so cheap (~US$65 if memory serves). All manual, but tilt&swivel + extensive power adjustments. The next best cheapish thing to p-ttl I have come across has been Pentax AF280T, the built-in sensor works nicely enough, tilt&swivel, compact, decent output, also the K-5 at least seems to play along with it in P-mode. The AF280T is not that useful as a manual flash as there are only two output levels, and of course, it is not available new.

03-13-2011, 02:47 AM   #5
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Take a look at Metz!

If you just need something stronger than the onboard-flash that can also tilt upwards, take a look at the brand new Metz 24 AF-1. Metz is a quality flash maker and the 24 AF-1 (I have one) is a really small travel companion that fits into any camera bag. Should be approx. USD 60.- .
03-13-2011, 06:37 AM   #6
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I picked up the Metz 48 AF-1 a few months back and don't regret it one bit. It worked quite well on my K200D and just as well on the Kr.

It has more power than the 360 and more features such as a swivel and bounce plus it was a lot cheaper. I also like that it can be firmware upgraded.

I haven't had any problems with it on either of my cameras. P TTL works well and it supports HSS.
03-13-2011, 07:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rrwilliams64 Quote
looking for an inexpensive alternative to the AF360FGZ
considering the Digital Concepts 918AF
thoughts, or anyone w/ experience w/ this flash? thnx
I don't own or have experience with that unit you cite, however on reading its specs I noted the absence of a Slave Mode (reqd for wireless use), and would suggest you seriously consider that in any external flash because it can be a useful additional feature to have for K-x/r (neither have a port for wired flash).

Also Slave is available std. in some brands~models for a similar cost; eg. You could get 2 of these [below] for less than the USD88.98 outlay for the 918AF you cite, and in my experience manual only operation is not a great burden in a cheap external flash. On the contary, it can be a bonus because TTL is less than useless, and sub-std PTTL of the cheapies doesn't really work well (if at all) on Pentax platform.

Honestly, this is TANSTAAFL territory. So either be prepared to pay for only the best top models, or accept the higher learning curve of manual-settings operation and generally less light output (per unit) of the inexpensive route.
Both can potentially achieve the same end results so little to worry about there.

.R. -- 'Semi-automation' is like 'getting half pregnant'.

Last edited by Hypocorism; 03-13-2011 at 08:41 AM.

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