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05-08-2019, 11:49 AM   #1
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AF-540FGZ off-camera flash

I once needed an off-camera flash and I ended up with the AF-540FGZ II and cord - worked a treat as I got full P-TTL communication. Since then, I've only used the flash with cord and only occasionally. Now I'm planning to use this flash wirelessly using a K-1 for interiors/real estate.

So what are the current options for off-camera wireless triggering of the AF-540FGZ IIso I maintain full auto communication. An optical trigger on the hotshoe ? Does the small 201 act as a controller (not master) ?

I'll probably want to add secondary flashes, so a solution would have to add to my AF-540FGZ II.

Any thoughts, please, to get me going ?

Thanks

05-08-2019, 12:15 PM   #2
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The 201 is not a P-TTL controller or master.

You'll need another 540, a 360 II, or one of the third party flashes (Metz are my favorite and until very recently basically your only option in P-TTL).

Cactus also makes a P-TTL transmitter that you can use if you don't want a flash on camera. Cactus V6 II HSS Wireless Flash Transceiver| CACTUS

Note that with P-TTL you can set the on-camera flash to merely act as the controller and not contribute to the exposure. A used Metz or 540 would be cheaper than a pair of the Cactus transmitters.
05-08-2019, 01:52 PM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
I'll probably want to add secondary flashes, so a solution would have to add to my AF-540FGZ II
Although you can go down the optical trigger route that does mean one of your two flashes will have to be on the camera ( or you buy a third to act as master/Controller)

My set-up is Cactus V6II radio triggers. One on the camera and one for each of my two AF540 units. I also have two Cactus RF60X units so no need to buy V6II units for these.

The Cactus and Pentax flashes all work well together. You have P-TTL or manual and power and compensation settings all can be controlled from the transmitter on the camera hot-shoe.
05-09-2019, 12:07 AM   #4
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Thanks all for the answers and help. I'll look into the Cactus options as mentioned. Concurrent with this thread I separated a question about flash modifiers, which has received many helpful responses too.

Behind these two questions is me deciding whether I should stick with flash or switch to continuous - I didn't mention continuous as I didn't want to throw too many questions. I'll now add a continuous thread, armed with the answers of these two threads.

05-09-2019, 05:59 AM - 1 Like   #5
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You might want to take a look at the YN-585EX flash. It is a Pentax-compatible P-TTL flash, but doesn't do High Speed Sync if this is important to you. While the flash can't act as a Master/Controller to your AF-540FGZ II, you can use the AF540FGZ II as the on-camera Master/Controller for YN-585EX flashes in P-TTL mode. This is all done optically, so the Slave flashes must be able to see the flash coming from the Master/Controller. At $79 (here in the US), the YN-585EX is hard to beat (unless you plan on eventually switching to radio triggers).
05-10-2019, 05:08 AM   #6
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To confirm, please:

A 540 connected to the camera's hotshoe via a cable, will work as an off-camera master to both itself flash and also to control another P-TTL flash gun. So giving me two off-camera flashes - one connected via a cable to the camera's hotshoe the other stand-alone, will both have full automatic function provided they're in optical line-of-site ?

How reliable is the optical triggering ? I'm thinking about other competing lights, and the flashes gelled and/or modified. I'm guessing they'll be fine provided their sensors are not obscured?
05-10-2019, 06:07 AM   #7
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Yes, in answer to your question. You need a cable like this one -- Vello Off-Camera TTL Flash Cord for Pentax Cameras (3') OCS-P3 -- which has the same contacts as those in the hot shoe. The flash tethered to the camera acts as the Master/Controller and will trigger the second (or more) P-TTL flashes as long as the latter can see the flash coming from the tethered one. It's quite reliable indoors; outdoors should work as well, provided the distance is not that great (up to 4 meters according to the manual). You can always orient the body of the off-camera flash so that it's sensor is pointing toward the master/controller and the head aimed at the subject.

I've got the AF540FGZ II and YN-585EX and they work well together. You can aim the Master/Controller flash head at the off-camera slave if don't want it to contribute light to the subject. Gels shouldn't be a problem and the set-up will work with umbrellas because the slave is out in the open, but softboxes may be another matter.
05-17-2019, 02:14 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarryE Quote
... I'm planning to use this flash wirelessly using a K-1 for interiors/real estate.

So what are the current options for off-camera wireless triggering of the AF-540FGZ IIso I maintain full auto communication. ...
Another possibility is the Godox system. They haven't fully fleshed out Pentax P-TTL support with their older models, but all the newer models of gear are coming out in Pentax flavors. The big drawback is you can't use the AF-540FGZ ii in TTL in this scheme, and at the moment, there are no full-sized speedlights for Pentax (the V1-P is probably going to be the first one) that can do P-TTL on-camera. The only on-camera flash you can use at the moment in P-TTL is the TT350-P mini speedlight.

But here's the good news.

The XPro-P radio transmitter is $70, and an upcoming X2T-P will probably be $60.

And you could also use a V1-P or TT350-P as an on-camera transmitter unit. All the speedlights in the Godox system have a built-in radio transceiver.

You can use this on-camera to get TTL/HSS/remote power control from the TT350-P minispeedlight, a V860II speedlight, AD200 bare bulb flash, and AD400 Pro, AD600, and AD600 Pro monolights. You'll get HSS/remote control over the TT600 and V850II speedlights, and the AD600M and QTII monolights. And remote power control over the SKII, DPII, GSII, DSII series plug-in monolights. You also get modelling light control over the monolights. The AD lights are battery-powered, the other monolights are AC-powered.

And the cheapest unit, the Godox TT600 manual speedlight, is US$65, new. Which is less than a Cactus V6II transceiver.

Unlike the Cactus system, there are no P-TTL receivers in the Godox system. And if there were, they and the 350 mini speedlights do not do cross-brand TTL support.

But the Godox system does have TTL on-camera speedlights in it, as well as larger lights. The Cactus RF60x speedlights are single-pin, so cannot do TTL on-camera; and Cactus doesn't make any bigger lights. And the built-in transceivers in the V860II (and the V1) speedlights and the built-in receivers in the bigger AD lights do cross-brand TTL switching that includes P-TTL.

If you need off-camera P-TTL right now, or you have you to use the AF-540FGZ II off-camera, then the Cactus V6II system is probably your best choice. If you can wait, need the expansion option of bigger lights, or you're okay with just having power control and HSS, then Godox may be a decent path.

05-18-2019, 01:38 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by inkista Quote
Another possibility is the Godox system. They haven't fully fleshed out Pentax P-TTL support with their older models, but all the newer models of gear are coming out in Pentax flavors. The big drawback is you can't use the AF-540FGZ ii in TTL in this scheme, and at the moment, there are no full-sized speedlights for Pentax (the V1-P is probably going to be the first one) that can do P-TTL on-camera. The only on-camera flash you can use at the moment in P-TTL is the TT350-P mini speedlight.

But here's the good news.

The XPro-P radio transmitter is $70, and an upcoming X2T-P will probably be $60.

And you could also use a V1-P or TT350-P as an on-camera transmitter unit. All the speedlights in the Godox system have a built-in radio transceiver.

You can use this on-camera to get TTL/HSS/remote power control from the TT350-P minispeedlight, a V860II speedlight, AD200 bare bulb flash, and AD400 Pro, AD600, and AD600 Pro monolights. You'll get HSS/remote control over the TT600 and V850II speedlights, and the AD600M and QTII monolights. And remote power control over the SKII, DPII, GSII, DSII series plug-in monolights. You also get modelling light control over the monolights. The AD lights are battery-powered, the other monolights are AC-powered.

And the cheapest unit, the Godox TT600 manual speedlight, is US$65, new. Which is less than a Cactus V6II transceiver.

Unlike the Cactus system, there are no P-TTL receivers in the Godox system. And if there were, they and the 350 mini speedlights do not do cross-brand TTL support.

But the Godox system does have TTL on-camera speedlights in it, as well as larger lights. The Cactus RF60x speedlights are single-pin, so cannot do TTL on-camera; and Cactus doesn't make any bigger lights. And the built-in transceivers in the V860II (and the V1) speedlights and the built-in receivers in the bigger AD lights do cross-brand TTL switching that includes P-TTL.

If you need off-camera P-TTL right now, or you have you to use the AF-540FGZ II off-camera, then the Cactus V6II system is probably your best choice. If you can wait, need the expansion option of bigger lights, or you're okay with just having power control and HSS, then Godox may be a decent path.
Many thanks, Inkista, for your very comprehensive and helpful explanation of the options. It's detail and the willingness to assist like this that makes Pentax Forums such a useful resource.
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