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08-28-2012, 03:48 AM   #1
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Budget speedlight with remote capability

Hi Guys,

I've decided that it's time for me to invest in a Speedlight flash, I've been to a few weddings recently and whilst I have enjoyed practicing my wedding photography I am lacking the light that I need and I really hate pop-up flashes.

Has anyone got any suggestions for an entry level speedlight? I am also getting into macro and feel it would be useful to have a flash which can be operated off-camera by a remote although I haven't been able to find one for a Pentax yet and I guess they are going to be very expensive?

Any suggestions would be helpful.

Cheers

Alex

08-28-2012, 04:43 AM   #2
Ari
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I would think about getting a pretty good flash and a set of radio triggers. There are quite a few flashes out there that can be operated as optical slaves (Metz mecablitz 50 AF-1 TTL Shoe Mount Flash for Pentax MZ, Pentax AF-360 FGZ P-TTL Shoe Mount Flash 30333 B&H Photo Video). These are both in the $230 range. There are not a lot of radio triggers out there for Pentax, but I've had good luck with the Cactus V5s (Cactus Wireless Flash Transceiver V5 Duo - Gadget Infinity). These are "dumb" triggers; you can't meter a remotely fired flash through the lens - you'll have to manually set the EV on your flash. But the nice part of this is you can pretty much buy any speedlite out there for any brand as long as it has a single pin firing trigger. Check the website for compatible brands.
08-28-2012, 04:56 AM   #3
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A few above average ideas from Ari. I would also go with any of those options, but...

For a wedding I would also not likely use "non dedicated" slave units; I would ensure that they are dedicated channel ones. With an old fashioned optical/lens slave the flash would be firing endless times at a wedding - based on other people taking pics.
08-28-2012, 04:59 AM   #4
Ari
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I was thinking more in the sense of macro shots. For weddings I would go with good dedicated strobes and have a good flash bracket on the camera itself. With a good bounce. That's my setup for weddings (though I avoid weddings as much as I can).

08-28-2012, 05:55 AM   #5
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YONGNUO Flash YN-560II

and get some cheap radio triggers of ebay $25. they work much better than optical slave mode
08-28-2012, 05:57 AM   #6
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Thanks, pretty keen at the YONGNUO at that price although never used a manual flash before, what are they like to use?
08-31-2012, 05:34 PM   #7
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For manual flash to work remotely, you need it to be able to set as a slave, or you need to add a remote trigger. Either rf transmitter, or optical slave.

This Metz 44 AF-1 is the cheapest with power zoom and full wireless support from the body. $200

Metz 44 AF-1 mecablitz Digital Flash for Pentax Camera MZ
09-01-2012, 06:43 AM   #8
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I just use my old film flashes with the cheap $25 ebay radio trigger, just follow the label on the flash for ISO and aperture and set them to auto. They work as well as they did for film on my Kr. Just watch the trigger voltage if you mount them on the camera hot shoe.

Hans


Last edited by hnikesch; 12-19-2012 at 09:41 PM.
09-05-2012, 10:27 AM   #9
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i use a sigma dg st 430
works amazing for only $100

as with wireless im using hahnel combi tf (for can)

great budget combo havent had any problems and awesome value
09-05-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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I have two flashes ... a Sigma DG610 Super with all the bells and whistles including wireless P-TTL. I also have an older autothyristor/TTL (but not P-TTL) Vivitar 550FD flash.

I added a Seagull SYK-5 optical slave to my 550FD. The SYK-5 has an adjustable trigger to ignore the multi-pre-flash commonly used to reduce red-eye. By setting the SYK-5 to the shortest time frame and switching my K-r's built-in flash to wireless P-TTL it will trigger the 550FD to remotely flash during the K-r's open shutter time. If you use the 550FD's autothristor function and set a matching aperture on your K-r, you will have accurately exposed images. Understand, that while exposure is accurate, this is NOT actually a P-TTL controlled exposure.

The Seagull SYK-5 sells on Amazon for under US$20. A used (or new) flash with autothyristor control should be pretty inexpensive.

You can also directly mount most recent autothyristor equipped flashes directly on the K-r's flash shoe and operate them as manual or semi-automatic exposure flashes.

That's the budget approach, but at some point you'll be wanting more. In which case, the word "budget" means a comparison against income and not a synonym for "inexpensive".

By the way, I have successfully used any two or all three of my mentioned light sources (two external and one built-in flash) in multiple configurations and achieved automated accurate flash exposure. I have a thread over in 'Pentax flashes and lighting techniques' discussing this and why it works.
09-25-2012, 06:24 AM   #11
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I bought a Nikon SB-28 and I use elinchrome radio triggers and that combo works great for me. The SB-28 works great on the camera as well and it's power output is highly adjustable. I got mine for less than $100. Oh it's got bounce and swivel and a built in diffuser as well. and the auto mode is really accurate too. :-) I hope this helps!
12-18-2012, 08:48 AM   #12
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Well I finally bought a flash, after reading lots of reviews I went for the Bell & Howell Z680AF (Bell & Howell Z680AF Zoom Flash (for Pentax/Samsung)). I just received it today and it looks pretty awesome, going to try it out later.

Does anyone else have this flash? if so do you know if it supports off-camera wireless? I'm unsure whether it only supports wireless slave mode, if that's the case will it trigger if my pop-up flash fires? or do I need to get some radio triggers or something?

Cheers

Alex
12-18-2012, 10:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sharepointalex Quote
Bell & Howell Z680AF... do you know if it supports off-camera wireless?
This is a pretty complete listing of Pentax compatible flashes: The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

Bell & Howell is typically a rebadged Tumax, so look in that section and see if you have a match for your flash.
12-19-2012, 01:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
This is a pretty complete listing of Pentax compatible flashes: The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

Bell & Howell is typically a rebadged Tumax, so look in that section and see if you have a match for your flash.
Thanks - I think I've found my flash on there and pretty sure it only supports wireless slave functionality.

I tested it last night and it fired when my pop-up flash fired but I guess that was because it detected the light source from the pop-up flash.

Is it worth investing in some radio triggers? and if so which ones?

Cheers

Alex
12-20-2012, 09:14 AM   #15
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If you are already have P-TTL flash than wireless P-TTL radio triggers (Pentax compatible) is the way to go.
The CowboyStudio NPT-04 4 Channel Wireless Hot Shoe Flash Trigger Receiver I am using in conjunction with TT560 Flash. It's cheap and working 100%. But it does not have P-TTL capabilities.
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