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07-31-2008, 03:27 PM   #1
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need comments on Pentax AF500 FTZ flash

Hi guys,

I'm going to add a budget flash on my K10D. I found a AF500 FTZ in adorama used equipments department but can't find the specifications. Would you have any comment for me? Is AF500 FTZ compatible with K10D? what's the difference between AF500FTZ and AF540FGZ?

thanks!

baoning

07-31-2008, 05:26 PM   #2
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The AF500FTZ was the top of the line "film" camera flash as opposed to the 540 which is the top of the line "digital" flash.

I have 500 and use it with my K20D. It doesn't do P-TTL but it does work ok in the "X" mode that the camera has.

It has auto zoom, the power is manually adjustable and you can swivel it up down as well as 180 degrees around.

It also can act in slave mode and is triggered by another flash, including your pop up flash (not wireless).

If you have found one cheap enough then it would probably be worth it.
08-01-2008, 05:37 AM   #3
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troywhite: Does the flash work in any auto mode or you have to use it in manual mode?
08-01-2008, 09:49 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by drabina Quote
troywhite: Does the flash work in any auto mode or you have to use it in manual mode?
The K10D will not work automatically on the AF500FTZ. The flash does not have any standard auto modes. The only way to use the flash with the K10 is to use the guide numbers and manually adjust the aperture to suit the distance and flash zoom settings. I wish it were otherwise - I have the AF500FTZ and K10 myself.

08-01-2008, 09:51 AM   #5
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Thanks Canada_Rockies.

I do have simple thyristor flash that I use in manual mode but was hoping that maybe this flash can be used in at least some sort of semi-automatic mode. Oh, well, back to adjusting the aperture :-)
12-12-2008, 03:40 PM   #6
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I bought an AF 500 FTZ used off of KEH last week for $76. It's the best $76 I've ever spent on photography. I couldn't care less about TTL, so it's perfect for me.

This is my first "real" photo using it:

Alfie & Christmas Lights on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

And I have also attached an image I took testing the wireless range when triggered by the on-board flash on my K10D. I was shocked. It easily triggered the slave flash from 50 feet away. I was over 90 feet away in the attached test shot.
Attached Images
 
12-12-2008, 06:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by baoning Quote
Hi guys,

I'm going to add a budget flash on my K10D. I found a AF500 FTZ in adorama used equipments department but can't find the specifications. Would you have any comment for me? Is AF500 FTZ compatible with K10D? what's the difference between AF500FTZ and AF540FGZ?
If you want P-TTL that's not a good flash, but for some strobist assignements I'm myself considering it. It's powerful enough. The only downside is that it does not have an auto-mode (thyristor).

For a bit more, you can have the good old Vivitar 285HV (has an auto-mode), the Sunpak 383 (tilt and swivel) or old Nikon SB-24,26, or 28.

For P-TTL compatible flash the best resource is here:
Pentax P-TTL Hot Shoe Flash Comparison - a knol by Matthew Miller
02-02-2009, 05:05 AM   #8
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AF500 FTZ with ISTD overexposing

Has anyone had any experience using the AF500 FTZ flash on the ISTD camera - We are finding that we need to underexpose by 2 when using the flash.

02-02-2009, 07:37 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by snarby97 Quote
Has anyone had any experience using the AF500 FTZ flash on the ISTD camera - We are finding that we need to underexpose by 2 when using the flash.
I would think you have a different issue, if you are over exposing.

I have used the AF500FTZ for years on my *istD and exposure is always perfect.

This is both with new lenses such as the Sigma APO 70-200F2.8 ex, with the kit lens from the *istD (PENTAX FA-J 18-35 F4-5.6) and also with numerous K mount and M42 lenses.

edit note, upon reflection, you may have an issue, depending on how you set things up. WHen I use flash on the *istD, it is for nature, and I dleiberately set the camera up in manual to under expose by many stops , and flash to light only the subject, so that background fades to black.

If you are using it for "fill flash" you need to set it to under expose because the camera in auto modes will set exposure to meet the needs, then the flash will add to the already sufficient light.

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 02-02-2009 at 07:48 AM.
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