Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
01-16-2013, 06:29 PM   #1
Senior Member

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 109
Desperate for flash help

After finding out I may need a flash, I started browsing and came to the conclusion, I have no idea what I'm doing. I've read the reviews, I've checked out compatibility charts, I've seen the math (can't say I have it all down yet though) and none of it has really helped me find a good flash. To be honest, I barely understand some of the modes. I've read about the differences between TTL and P-TTL and it makes sense but, I'm not really sure what either do for you or how they differ from an "auto mode". Which is better? Auto or TTL/P-TTL? Also, manual hard is it for a total amature to learn? I'm a little uncomfortable with the concept of shooting with a flash to begin with. Is shooting in manual going to throw me too far off? I may be having to shoot quickly in the near future, is manual mode going to slow me down too much? As for guide numbers, I know the math behind it and understand how it works but I have no idea what I will need. The main reason for getting the flash will be for shooting in a gym. Most of the flashes I've seen have a guide number of roughly 45 to 52. Is this enough? I asked a salesperson in a local shop (which has absolutely no Pentax gear by the way and when asked about it, the guy all but mocked me for even owning a Pentax) and he said I should get the highest guide number possible and mentioned numbers higher than I've seen in even the most expensive flashes. I had a feeling the guy was trying to get me to spend as much as possible. So how high is high enough? Really what I need is advice. I've been looking at the Metz 52 AF-1 but, it's firmware isn't doesn't seem to work too well with the K-30 which I have. The Vivitar 383 looks nice as well and is a little less expensive but has no P-TTL. Pentax flashes are out of my price range at his point. I've looked at Bell & Howells, Sunpacks and Yongnuos but am still no closer to knowing which flash will be best for me. I'd like one that I'll use for a good amount of time which may mean master/slave abilities possibly. I'd say $250 is probably my upper limit in terms of cost and I'd prefer to buy new. Anyone have any suggestions?

01-16-2013, 06:48 PM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
Ari's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Freehold, NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 824
All you need to know about a flash is this: no matter what mode you shoot in, no matter what you shoot, no matter what your vision of an image is before you open that shutter, the further away your light source is from your shutter, the better your results will be. Buy a flash you will grow into; get one with P-TTL and HSS. Look at the better Pentax and Metz models (I shoot with two Metz 58 AF-1s). Don't worry so much about all of the technical stuff. You will eventually experiment with different lighting techniques, maybe buy a cord to hold the flash even higher than your hot shoe. Maybe you'll buy a light meter. Maybe you'll screw around with using your flash as a slave. You have a lot of room to grow with your k30. But for now, even if you shoot exclusively in auto mode, nothing will improve your images more than a better light source.
01-16-2013, 07:31 PM   #3
Veteran Member
Steinback's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: GTA, ON, Canada
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,673
I tend to suggest cheap auto thyristor flashes with a tilt/swivel head and a couple of manual power settings as a good starting point. The older Pentax AF 280T is one decent option. The family of Sunpak flashes discussed in this thread is another option that gives a few extra settings in the same under $50 used range:
01-16-2013, 08:31 PM   #4

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Alameda, CA
Posts: 3,205
I think this worth a read; linky

Another thread worth reading: linky.

And another: linky.

Last edited by SOldBear; 01-16-2013 at 08:59 PM.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
flash, flashes, guide, guy, idea, lighting, math, p-ttl, pentax, photo studio, strobist
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help... need fast recycle flash for K-7 pamruschell Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 4 01-18-2012 07:24 AM
Desperate: K-Mount 50mm to Canon Adapter loose. wilorc Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 7 12-23-2011 08:48 AM
More newb flash help, specifically for Sunpak 422D jjhenders Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 8 12-10-2011 08:20 AM
Desperate for help! I'm backpacking through Europe! dbldown46 Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 15 06-06-2011 08:51 PM
Flash help (for K-x) JANT Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 6 03-22-2011 02:10 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:16 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]