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04-22-2015, 01:35 PM   #1
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Pentax AF500FTZ as a slave flash?

Hello all,

I just found an opportunity to purchase 3 Pentax AF500FTZ flash units for under $100.00.

Because I only plan to use them as slave flash units *and* they have a built in optical slave... meaning no need for radio control triggers. Are these suitable for my modest studio flash requirements (I know... all relative). I have used optical slave triggering in the past and I've always found it to work flawlessly.

Thoughts?

Thank you

---------- Post added 04-22-2015 at 01:40 PM ----------

Keeping in mind that I am on a budget... I am comparing buying 3-4 AF500FTZ flash units instead of a flash unit like the Neewer TT850, Neewer TT660, or Yongnuo YN-560 IV.

When considering my basic slave flash requirements (I am quite comfortable with full manual control of flash lighting), do the Chinese flash units offer any significant value over the Pentax AF500FTZ?

Thanks for your advice.

04-22-2015, 01:43 PM   #2
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Do you know if the optical slave function will ignore the Preflash part of the P-TTL flash units?
04-22-2015, 04:26 PM   #3
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No, it won't but I would be very disappointed if the preflash cannot be disabled on my AF360FGZ.

Excellent point thought.

However, if it is a problem, I can always add a radio trigger.

Basically, I just want to know if these flashes are worth while?
04-22-2015, 06:52 PM   #4
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Three AF500FTZ units for $100? Sounds like a great deal. I don't have the AF500FTZ, but I do have a bunch of others like, um, the AF400FTZ, AF330FTZ, as well as two "modern" AF360FGZ, and the AF560FGZ-II. Plus a bunch of others. Anyhow, the AF500FTZ tilts and swivels, offers 6(!) manual settings, plus Auto(!) and TTL, what's not to like there? None of my flashes support all of those at the same time.

Since it supports all those manual levels plus a "legacy" TTL pin, you can remotely control their power settings with a set of Cactus V6 triggers, with just turn of the dial on the master trigger. I know you said this is in a studio environment, so I agree that optical triggering will work fine, but do yourself a little favor and at least take a look at the V6 trigger review shown in the Reviews section. I just got one along with a Cactus RF60 flash, and if this product existed earlier, I would not have so many optical triggers and wireless P-TTL flashes in my collection.

04-22-2015, 08:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
Three AF500FTZ units for $100? Sounds like a great deal. I don't have the AF500FTZ, but I do have a bunch of others like, um, the AF400FTZ, AF330FTZ, as well as two "modern" AF360FGZ, and the AF560FGZ-II. Plus a bunch of others. Anyhow, the AF500FTZ tilts and swivels, offers 6(!) manual settings, plus Auto(!) and TTL, what's not to like there? None of my flashes support all of those at the same time.

Since it supports all those manual levels plus a "legacy" TTL pin, you can remotely control their power settings with a set of Cactus V6 triggers, with just turn of the dial on the master trigger. I know you said this is in a studio environment, so I agree that optical triggering will work fine, but do yourself a little favor and at least take a look at the V6 trigger review shown in the Reviews section. I just got one along with a Cactus RF60 flash, and if this product existed earlier, I would not have so many optical triggers and wireless P-TTL flashes in my collection.

Agreed, if radio triggers are an option then the cactus v6 plus those is a great option.
04-23-2015, 05:34 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
I just found an opportunity to purchase 3 Pentax AF500FTZ flash units for under $100.00.
That's an excellent price.

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
Do you know if the optical slave function will ignore the Preflash part of the P-TTL flash units?
With recent bodies, like the K-3, you can set the flash power of the camera manually, and there will be no preflash.

To answer the original question, at that price it's an excellent idea. I used two 500FTZ in my studio for quite a while. The perks are:

-great build quality
-clean interface, fast and easy to control (better than, say, a 540FGZ which has too many features and too few buttons)
-good power, plenty of power adjustments
-optical slave is reliable
-good recharge time

The limitations are:

-auto off cannot be disabled if you use the flash in M mode, with a radio trigger (not a problem in optical slave)
-battery door can be lost if you're not careful, it comes off entirely
-that's about it...

I changed my setup for Godox v850 flashes because I wanted to control settings such as power remotely, and was drawn to the extremely long battery life of the Li-Ion batteries.
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