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12-13-2007, 01:04 PM   #1
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Do I really need a flash/battery grip?

I very recently got a K10D, and have been going crazy looking at lenses and anything Pentax (just got a 50mm f1/4-sick!). Photography is quickly becoming a serious hobby...

People are my favorite subjects. I like taking pictures at parties, events, etc. I also enjoy animals, cities, and landscapes.

My questions: Has anyone ever bought a flash, thinking they would need it, but found out they hardly ever used it? Same for the battery grip. I'm not dying, though it would be nice, to have these accessories, but the current rebates are nice...

I'm going crazy reading about all this stuff!

12-13-2007, 01:33 PM   #2
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Not that it's a necessity, but once you get a batter grip and find you like it, it will never leave the camera except to charge the battery in the camera. That's a fact. The camera just won't feel the same. Not as true with a flash. I've thought about getting one, but I honestly try not to use any flash at all.
12-13-2007, 01:38 PM   #3
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We bought a flash for our camera because my wife likes to do portraits and it has been nice. Not just when the lighting is bad, but when outside using it as a fill flash. She uses it all the time, I am Jodokast96, I try never to use flash, but when you need to it is 100 times better than using the built in flash. We also have a diffuser for it and usually try to bounce it when inside. My wife uses it all the time and is definitely glad we got it, I think you could live without it, unless you find yourself using the flash a lot, because like I said it is much better than the built in flash. I have never used the built in flash since we got our 540.

ETA: I don't have the K10D so I haven't even considered the battery grip, so I don't even know what it does, so I can't offer anything about that one.

Last edited by travis_cooper; 12-13-2007 at 01:39 PM. Reason: Added
12-13-2007, 01:51 PM   #4
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Thank you for the responses.

To travis_cooper, what flash do you and your wife have? I ask because of the differences in flashes, mainly the ability to swivel left and right as opposed to just up and down. One of the big cons of some of the flashes is that they have no left-right, movement.

12-13-2007, 02:22 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolojackson Quote
Thank you for the responses.

To travis_cooper, what flash do you and your wife have? I ask because of the differences in flashes, mainly the ability to swivel left and right as opposed to just up and down. One of the big cons of some of the flashes is that they have no left-right, movement.
Like I said above I have the 540. AF 540-GZ or something like that. We looked into third party flashes, but decided we didn't want to risk the fact that they might not be able to communicate exactly as the Pentax flashes can, because of course Pentax knows more than a third party ever can. Then, like you said, we liked the swivel abilities and such, so we decided not to get the 320, or whatever that number is. We love our 540, I think we paid more for it than we did for our camera, but it has been great so far.

Last edited by travis_cooper; 12-13-2007 at 02:22 PM. Reason: Wording
12-13-2007, 02:37 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolojackson Quote
My questions: Has anyone ever bought a flash, thinking they would need it, but found out they hardly ever used it? Same for the battery grip. I'm not dying, though it would be nice, to have these accessories, but the current rebates are nice...

Yes! That's why my main flash is still an old Vivitar 283. On my LX, I used a pentaprism that didn't even have a hot shoe. That's not to say I never used flash. It's just that I mostly used it for macro stuff and in those instances I used a very small flash on a synch cord. I think it's a matter of personal taste and the types of pics you shoot. The things I shoot just don't call for flash that often.
12-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #7
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I found the battery grip to be a great addition but only if your shooting within a confined location like a parties or weddings and such...for landscapes and city scenes i feel its better left at home. Walking around town with the added bulk certainly detracts from a stealthy excursion...its kinda hard to miss the guy with the big black box aimed at your vicinity. Last thing you want is people staring at you or feeling self conscious when your trying to capture them and the surrounding environment in a natural state.
12-13-2007, 06:47 PM   #8
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The grip like the other mention will be on the camera all the time if you get it. I got it and it is well worth it. If you use the storage compartment for the remote and extra card that is a little blessing. So far twice that storage card saved me when I left the card I normally use in the reader at home . Flash I say yes get one you will find you would not know what you did without it.

12-14-2007, 12:00 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by paolojackson Quote
I very recently got a K10D, and have been going crazy looking at lenses and anything Pentax (just got a 50mm f1/4-sick!). Photography is quickly becoming a serious hobby...

People are my favorite subjects. I like taking pictures at parties, events, etc. I also enjoy animals, cities, and landscapes.

My questions: Has anyone ever bought a flash, thinking they would need it, but found out they hardly ever used it? Same for the battery grip. I'm not dying, though it would be nice, to have these accessories, but the current rebates are nice...

I'm going crazy reading about all this stuff!
Are you dissatisfied with the flash on the camera at parties?
Yes - don't buy a flash yet.
No - buy a flash

The K10d grip is the best thing I ordered. It came in a kit with a 12-24 DA lens. It came off yesterday to recharge both batteries. I left the power on and put it in my backpack and both batteries were deader than the proverbial door nail. Something must have held down the button, or maybe I left the LCD on.

Where it really is handy is for vertical shots. There is an additional shutter button so that you hold the camera almost the same for verticals as for horizontals. I use it all the time. After you have used it, if you find your LCD previews keep turning off on you, it's because you left the grip power switch on and your little finger is doing the "half press to turn preview off". Ask me how I know this. Ask me how many times more I will do this and swear at the camera, and then swear at myself and turn it off. Ask me. I won't answer, but ask anyway.

The remote and card holders, plus another on line battery are not trivial additions, either.
12-15-2007, 12:11 PM   #10
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Does anyone have any experience with the ~$100 battery grip for the K100d? I'd be interested to see if it really provides that much better battery life. I know I would appreciate the portrate shutter button.
12-15-2007, 05:23 PM   #11
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Can't say anything about flashes, but my Battery Grip lives on my K10D, except for changing the in-body battery, which doesn't happen much anyway.

After getting used to the extra bulk, I now find that the grip makes the camera feel so much better than without the grip. Also, the extra shutter release does come in handy for portrait orientation shots.

If you can, see if you can borrow someone's battery grip first, and see if you like it.
12-15-2007, 07:33 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
My questions: Has anyone ever bought a flash, thinking they would need it, but found out they hardly ever used it?

I'm going crazy reading about all this stuff!
I have a AF540 sitting in the bottom of my bag for that time I will really, really need it. I've actually used it 2 times, once with moderate success, once not so good. After the not so good, I tested it home at what I think were all the same settings and it was fine.. Shrugs...

I have nothing to put a BG on, and unlikely I would if I did :-)
12-15-2007, 11:53 PM   #13
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Photography is an art of capturing light. If you want to play around with lighting, a flash is a good investment.
12-16-2007, 05:43 AM   #14
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It depends on what you are going to do with the camera. I shoot a lot of indoor portraits in poor light environments for a yearbook. A flash is a necessity.

As for the battery grip. If you have big paws like I do, you will appreciate the extra real estate. Not to mention the longer periods you can go without having to see the battery charger if you use two batteries.
12-16-2007, 06:36 AM   #15
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I'd agree with the others on the grip. If you want to shoot portrait, it's a must have. If you want to use long glass, again a must have. The features are well laid out and the extra storage is a great bonus. Having the spare card in the grip has saved me a couple of times. I own a few heavy long lenses and without the grip to balance the setup (I've tried) it's not nearly as easy or nice to shoot hand held with these heavy lenses. As for candid street shooting the better solution is a grip and a good 300mm or longer lens. You can be so far away that the subject can't see what you're up to.

Flashes are very different. I think I'm starting a flash museum here and have many. I shoot weddings and other paid stuff from time to time and a good flash is required. For macro and some birding/wildlife, it's a must have add on as well. They are expensive but worth having. Practice with a flash is important. Don't stick one on and expect miracles. They take some understanding. Alternative units are the Sigma 500 super or the new 530 models. Cheaper and by all reports equal if not better than the Pentax 360 or 540 in quality and features.
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