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07-01-2018, 11:47 AM   #1
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Flash advice needed.

Hi all,
Need some advice on flash. Was thinking about buying something for quite some time now but never really needed it (doing mostly street and landscape photos) and couldn't justify buying one. Two days ago though my best friend asked me if I could do some photos on his wedding (not pro and paid job, just courtesy and as wedding gift). I'm happy to do that but think it's time to finally buy something. It's not going to be used much really - so mostly a buy for this one off wedding. Therefore I don't need it to be fancy and expensive stuff. Just something that works good. It will be handy if it was 'flexible head's though as it's always easier to work with.

Going to use it with
K10, K3, ME and P50.

Any advice appreciated! Thanks!

07-01-2018, 01:44 PM   #2
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Given that you want to use it on DSLRs and SLRs, then the obvious choice is the original model Pentax AF-540FGZ, which you'll have to get second hand now probably.


This is me assuming (without knowing!) that those film cameras use the TTL flash system. The AF-540FGZ offers both the newer P-TTL flash mode (for Digital SLRs) plus the older TTL (for the more modern film SLRs). It also has Auto (Thyristor) mode, useful for manual aperture lenses.


I think I would probably be rather nervous about shooting flash on film at someones wedding, without a lot of experience at it ..... it will be impossible to tell if the exposures are any good at the time. With the DSLRs you have the chance to assess things and adjust if needed as you go.
07-01-2018, 01:51 PM - 1 Like   #3
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I say run from the job. Especially if you haven't tried wedding photography before or flash photography. You are going to to. Use their one moment for your learning curve. Thats not cool.
07-01-2018, 02:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
I say run from the job.
That's one option.

The other is to prepare very well. If you have sufficient time to get up to speed with flash photography and develop good techniques then you may be able to take good pictures. It would require dedication, though, as flash photography done badly looks much worse than regular photography, in my view.

07-01-2018, 02:51 PM   #5
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Wedding is around May next year so there's some time to catch up. Also they still going to have photographer - from what they've said I'm going to be more of 'friend of the family's photographer doing additional photos with this 'personal touch's. Don't want to ruin one of the most important days in their life...��

---------- Post added 07-01-18 at 02:54 PM ----------

I've told them I'm not experienced wedding photographer by any means and it also doesn't look like they want to cut on their expenses by involving me in this instead of paying to pro photographer. It's my best friend I know since forever.
Need to think about it...
07-01-2018, 04:54 PM   #6
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I’ve been very pleased with my Cactus V6II flash. I find it easier to use than the Pentax AF 540FGZ flash, which I also own. I would think really, really hard about whether you want to do the wedding, however. There be dragons...
07-01-2018, 05:52 PM - 1 Like   #7
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I am going to give my 2 cents here for what it's worth. Since you say it's a favor to the couple and just doing it as a gift AND you say they actually hired a photographer, I say go for it! Use it as a learning experience. And you have a good chunk of time to prepare. All you really need to do is get that one photo that totally WOWS your friend..... wedding gift is taken care of. But, I love doing weddings, so that's just my opinion.

I use a Metz Flash on camera, I'm not super thrilled with it however, so if I book another wedding this year (I usually do just a couple a year and I've already one 2) ( I also have a cheaper manual flash I use on a light stand and fire it wirelessly during some receptions) I think I am going to look for something different to use as my on camera flash. So I will be following this thread closely.
07-01-2018, 06:26 PM - 1 Like   #8
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Regarding weddings, you really have to love to try them. If you have a knack for photojournalism (aka "the unpredictable"), really care about your subjects, both photographically and as people and have backups for your hardware (and files, once the wedding is over), you should be fine. Now practice, practice and (did my memory fail?), practice beforehand.

07-01-2018, 09:00 PM   #9
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The Yongnuo 585 EX is nice flash. It has P-TTL, which means if you use it with a Pentax camera and turn the P-TTL on, it will evaluate the subject/scene and automatically use the proper amount of light.

Below is a path to the Yongnuo 585 EX for Pentax.

Yongnuo YN585EX Speedlite for Pentax Cameras YN585EX/PENTAX B&H
07-01-2018, 09:48 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
I think I would probably be rather nervous about shooting flash on film at someones wedding, without a lot of experience at it
I second this statement. Having shoot weddings on film using flash, the DSLR has many advantages over film. Having shoot weddings with a K10 I can honestly say forget it for photography at a wedding since you have a K3. It is to challenged at anything above ISO 200. You want to bounce the flash and to make it really pop I shoot at 640 to 2000 ISO on my K-3. If you don't, you will not preserve any of the ambiance and the light fall off will make the photos look like flash photography. Good light greatly decreases the noise effect of high ISO. As for hardware, I switched from Pentax branded flashes to the Yongnuo YN585EX. The reason for the switch is the similar output of the Pentax 540 with much faster flash compensation adjustments on the gun itself. I don't even think about adjusting flash compensation in camera anymore. I recently shoot a wedding in a 2000 square foot ballroom with 20 foot high ceilings and was able to cover the wide end of my 10-24 lens (with the diffusion panel out on the flash). Like others have said, practice, practice and then some more practice. The first image was shot at f4.5 1/50 ISO640 the second image was shot at f5 1/30 ISO 640
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07-06-2018, 02:59 PM   #11
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Hey people, thanks for so many advices. Still up to do more research but that is to your comments it starts to fall in place piece by piece. There's a lot to learn and a bit to purchase but it may actually be a good adventure and who knows what can happen

Later I'll drop a list of lenses I currently have (not going to be amazing list of perfect lenses) so you can tell me (if you'd be so kind of course) if anything could be useful for this one wedding or shall I look for a new lens too... (I forgot to mention that it will be just Civil Partnership ceremony and party, not actual shoot in the church - they're both atheists - so it may be tad easier).

Last edited by MrTiburon; 07-06-2018 at 03:51 PM.
07-16-2018, 06:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by C_Jones Quote
The Yongnuo 585 EX is nice flash. It has P-TTL, which means if you use it with a Pentax camera and turn the P-TTL on, it will evaluate the subject/scene and automatically use the proper amount of light.

Below is a path to the Yongnuo 585 EX for Pentax.

Yongnuo YN585EX Speedlite for Pentax Cameras YN585EX/PENTAX B&H

what's the AF assist beam like?

looks and effeciency
07-16-2018, 11:34 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CNunez Quote
what's the AF assist beam like?

looks and effeciency
Red crosses if I remember correctly. I used one of my 2 585EXs for off camera fill in daylight and it worked better than I had expected as I am a newby with flash images also. Too well in some cases, but that was all about where I positioned it.
07-17-2018, 09:19 AM - 2 Likes   #14
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The best you can do is (no matter what you end using, but you should be fine with k3 and and a yongnuo 585 (to have ttl, if you just want manual flash yongnuo 560 III or IV or any other flash above that):

1) know your equipment and its limitations
2) read the manual... if you are unfamiliar with some words or functions, search more about that, articles, tutorials, etc
3) practice, practice, practice
4) learn how to control manual flash (distance from subject, aperture, flash power...
5) learn how to control ttl (flash power compensation, exposure compensation)
6) pratice, practice and keep practicing
7) go deep with flash: first and second curtain, hss, off camera flash, diffusers, flash zoom, etc
8) Understand how Av, Tv, P, and manual works and when to use those modes
9) refer to 3 and 6 in different situations of light (indoors, outdoors, dark ceilings, tungsten light, etc)
10) go step by step (and go back often), you have plenty of time...
11) read, practice repeat... and keep practicing
12) and after the wedding... don't stop!
07-17-2018, 12:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SSGGeezer Quote
Red crosses if I remember correctly. I used one of my 2 585EXs for off camera fill in daylight and it worked better than I had expected as I am a newby with flash images also. Too well in some cases, but that was all about where I positioned it.
oh sweet! I'm gonna be shooting venues with pretty dark areas and I need to be able to solidly lock focus, so the assist light has to be effective, while not be like the green led of doom that sits on the K1. Aka not disturbing
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