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06-17-2019, 08:26 AM   #1
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Flashgun Selection Question

Hello,

So I was recently shrinking and updating my kit of cameras and accessories, and decided to update the flashguns to more modern ones. I picked up a Nikon SB-800, mainly for my FE2, and was immediately attracted by the fact that it is a modern (digital) flash that has full backward compatibility with older equipment, and I am looking for a Pentax equivalent. Basically I have the following questions:

- Is there a flash that has an adjustable head (i.e. bounce flash) that can support both digital and film TTL? I would like the TTL to work on all my three Pentax bodies: LX, PZ-1, and K-S2, and I prefer the flashgun to be no larger than the Nikon SB-800.
- Before I manage to purchase such a flash, can I use my Nikon SB-800 on my Pentax bodies if I put it in auto (thyristor) or manual modes? Do I need to use a Wein SafeSync to mask out the Nikon-specific contacts to avoid confusing either the camera or the flash?

Sincerely

06-17-2019, 09:11 AM   #2
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The 540FGZ version 1 could fit the bill. But check the specs to be sure...
06-17-2019, 09:17 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
- Is there a flash that has an adjustable head (i.e. bounce flash) that can support both digital and film TTL? I would like the TTL to work on all my three Pentax bodies: LX, PZ-1, and K-S2, and I prefer the flashgun to be no larger than the Nikon SB-800.
AF540FGZ and AF360FGZ (versions 1) support the full range of K-mount film and digital bodies:
  • Analog protocol TTL (LX and Super Program)*
  • Digital protocol TTL (PZ-1 and other TTL AF bodies, 645N/645NII, 67II)**
  • P-TTL (dSLRs and some film SLRs)**
  • Basic dedication + auto thyristor (all hotshoe capable Pentax bodies with dedication depending on body support)***
TTL support for each protocol type should be fairly transparent. See the flash manuals for details. The version II models lost the analog protocol support as well as auto-thyristor.


Steve

* Requires hot shoe with three contacts + ground or 4P cable
** Requires hot shoe with four contacts + ground or 5P cable
*** Can use plain hot shoe or basic Pentax dedication (two contacts + ground) or any of the two types above

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-17-2019 at 09:40 AM.
06-21-2019, 06:46 AM   #4
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Your SB-800 is safe to use without any adapter.

The Metz 58 AF-2 (and other Metz models) used to support both TTL and P-TTL, but I'd make sure that this is still the case (e.g., by writing to Metz) for the latest firmware version as Metz removed the TTL capability on some of their flash models with firmware updates.

06-21-2019, 08:02 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Your SB-800 is safe to use without any adapter.
But won't the Nikon and Pentax dedicated contacts interfere with each other and make either the camera or the flash confused?
06-21-2019, 09:48 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
But won't the Nikon and Pentax dedicated contacts interfere with each other and make either the camera or the flash confused?
The short answer is no, not usually. I use a Nikon-dedicated RF flash trigger on my K-3 and while the "wake-up" feature will work through the Nikon contacts, the rest is ignored. The camera seems unaware that a device is mounted; this is as it should be.


Steve
06-22-2019, 07:07 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
But won't the Nikon and Pentax dedicated contacts interfere with each other and make either the camera or the flash confused?
Pin/contact placement is actually a little different. But if you're really worried about this, just tape off the non-sync contacts (the ones that aren't the big one in the middle) on the hotshoe.
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