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10-13-2017, 06:43 PM   #1
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Faster Flash

I have the AF540 II flash. It is fine for most situations but I find it is slower that the canon flash I had in my 5D days for shooting a wedding (I'm not a pro- do weddings only for extended family). This last weekend I missed some shots due to this.

This probably has been discussed before. Does Metz or someone else offer a flash compatible with Pentax that would offer some improvement that doesn't use a external battery pack? I'm using a K1 and 645Z.

Thanks

10-13-2017, 06:50 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by PhilRich Quote
I have the AF540 II flash. It is fine for most situations but I find it is slower that the canon flash I had in my 5D days for shooting a wedding (I'm not a pro- do weddings only for extended family). This last weekend I missed some shots due to this.

This probably has been discussed before. Does Metz or someone else offer a flash compatible with Pentax that would offer some improvement that doesn't use a external battery pack? I'm using a K1 and 645Z.

Thanks
External battery pack's the way to go to improve recycling time no matter what the brand, Phil, rather than the AAs they all come with.

I did pick up cheaply the pack for the 540, but I'm not in love with the non-rechargeable C cell specs.

Last edited by clackers; 10-13-2017 at 07:13 PM.
10-13-2017, 07:05 PM   #3
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Overall I believe faster flash depends a lot on battery technology. My Eneloops for example are way faster driving any flash than alkalines or lithium non-rechargables.

Flash settings (eg manual vs P-TTL) also can make a very substantial difference to flash re-cycling times.

FWIW, my Metz 52-AF1 is pretty fast on K-1, but has also been known to take too long to re-charge during a shooting burst.

According to the Metz manuals, re-cycling time for 52-AF1 is 3.5 seconds for NiMh on M mode. With much the same settings and batteries the Metz 64-AF1 promises 1.8 seconds and the new Metz M400 promises only 1.5 seconds.

The Shanny SN600FGZ P-TTL HSS flash specs also suggest (2-3 seconds re-cycle) that it could be quite fast.

Last edited by rawr; 10-13-2017 at 07:12 PM.
10-13-2017, 09:15 PM   #4
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Godox or Flashpoint Li-on speedlight manual power setting only and no HSS but very fast and powerful.

10-14-2017, 12:37 AM - 1 Like   #5
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With the K1 and 645z, perhaps you could bump up your IS0 a stop or two, with little price to pay quality wise? This should help the AF-540FGZII get ready between shots more quickly.
10-14-2017, 01:05 PM   #6
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The first thing that will help recycle times is using rechargeable NimH batteries. Higher amps means faster recycling time. They won't last as long, so you'll want at least one spare set or more. I have found they cut the recycle times in half.

The current model Pentax AF540FGZ II has guide number of 177, so the Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 (GN 171) or Metz mecablitz 64 AF-1 (GN 210) would be the equivalent in power. But for recycling times, the optimal range for Pentax tests at 3-5 seconds, whereas the Metz 52 AF-1 is .1-3.5 seconds and the Metz 64 AF-1 is .1-4.4 seconds.

So the Metz 52 AF-1 seems to be the answer with about the same amount of power and $150 less than the Pentax. The main thing you're giving up is weather-sealing, but if you're not shooting outdoor weddings in the rain or snow or dust storm....
10-15-2017, 07:33 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alex645 Quote
The first thing that will help recycle times is using rechargeable NimH batteries. Higher amps means faster recycling time. They won't last as long, so you'll want at least one spare set or more. I have found they cut the recycle times in half.

The current model Pentax AF540FGZ II has guide number of 177, so the Metz mecablitz 52 AF-1 (GN 171) or Metz mecablitz 64 AF-1 (GN 210) would be the equivalent in power. But for recycling times, the optimal range for Pentax tests at 3-5 seconds, whereas the Metz 52 AF-1 is .1-3.5 seconds and the Metz 64 AF-1 is .1-4.4 seconds.

So the Metz 52 AF-1 seems to be the answer with about the same amount of power and $150 less than the Pentax. The main thing you're giving up is weather-sealing, but if you're not shooting outdoor weddings in the rain or snow or dust storm....
Thanks, this is what I was looking for.
10-16-2017, 02:08 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
I did pick up cheaply the pack for the 540, but I'm not in love with the non-rechargeable C cell specs.
I modified the battery compartment a bit to accept 7 Ni-MH AA cells. Works great.

But the current version (II) of the Pentax AF-540FGZ does not have provision for high voltage input. This and the elimination of A mode is a huge step backward.

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