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07-15-2019, 09:41 AM   #1
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Smallest, cheapest flash that allows wireless triggering of AF540FGZ flash in P-ttl?

Ack, the K-1 doesn't have a built in flash to wirelessly trigger my off camera AF540FGZ flash. I used this fairly often with the K10/20D, K-7, and K-01. What's the smallest, cheapest route to do wireless P-ttl now? Hate to drag a 360 and 540 along. Unless going specifically out for macro shooting.
Thanks,
barondla

07-15-2019, 10:17 AM   #2
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I love my Cactus V6ii ... you'd need two of them, one on camera, one on flash.

Supports HSS and P-TTL...

That's what I use.
07-15-2019, 11:12 AM   #3
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Consider radio instead of "smart" optical. Radio transmitters tend to be much smaller than speedlights, and have better range/reliability and don't require line of sight.

About the same cost as a Cactus V6II solution, you could go with a Godox setup but it means swapping out the speedlight (all the Godox speedlights have built-in radio transceivers in their system so you don't need a separate receiver unit for the foot of the flash) and (at this time) not having on-camera TTL/HSS capability. The Godox XPro-P is about $70, a Godox TT685-C is $110. Godox hasn't yet released a TT685-P, alas. You wouldn't be able to use the TT685-C on-camera as a TTL/HSS speedlight, since it's got a Canon foot, but if you firmware upgrade it to the latest version (v3.4), it will be a P-TTL, HSS, remote power control radio slave to the Xpro-P. There is also a $50 X2T-P announced, but not yet released, but it's UI isn't as good as the Pro trigger, and it doesn't look like it does TTL locking. But over the Pro, it has a hotshoe up top; Bluetooth capability so you can control your lights from your phone with the Godox app; and it has the new "scan" function to automatically set the radio channel to the least-crowded one.

If you want a longer battery life on the speedlight, you could opt for the more expensive ($180) V860II (again, no "for pentax" version, but all flavors, not just the Canon, are upgradeable to be P-TTL slaves) which has a li-on battery, or wait on the release of the $260 V1-P. At this time, though, the only on-camera speedlight Godox makes for Pentax is the TT350-P mini speedlight ($85); it's designed more for mirrorless users, but if you wanted tiny and cheap, it's both. But vs. the TT685, it's about 2-3 stops less powerful (2xAA vs. 4xAA), it only does 270 swivel, and lacks a recycle beep, sync port, and external battery pack port.

The advantage in going with Godox gear, though, is that if you ever want to move up to bigger lights, Godox has a number of strobes both battery-powered and AC-powered that are in the same triggering system. The disadvantage is this is a Chinese 3rd-party manufacturer, so customer support and warranty replacement support are basically up to the retailer. In the US, most of us buy from Adorama or B&H because they'll cover the warranty period and do in-house support.
07-15-2019, 11:38 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
What's the smallest, cheapest route to do wireless P-ttl now?
I would humbly suggest rather than looking for cheapest or smallest , you look for most reliable

The Cactus V6II are an excellent choice.

07-15-2019, 11:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
Ack, the K-1 doesn't have a built in flash to wirelessly trigger my off camera AF540FGZ flash.
What's the smallest, cheapest route to do wireless P-ttl now? Hate to drag a 360 and 540 along.
Smallest isn't the cheapest, so here are your options:

Smallest: Metz Mecablitz 26 AF1 (or AF2): $140. 115 grams without (2) AAA batteries.
Metz mecablitz 26 AF-2 Flash for Pentax Cameras MZ 26337PEN B&H

Cheapest: Polaroid PL108-AF PE: $49. 127 grams without (2) AA batteries.
Polaroid PL-108AF Flash for Pentax Cameras PL-108AF-PE B&H Photo
...or very similar...
Bolt VS-260P: $50. 130 grams without (2) AA batteries.
Bolt VS-260P Compact On-Camera Flash for Pentax & VS-260P

Not the smallest, lightest, or cheapest, but a solid option: Metz Mecablitz 24 AF-1: $90. 182 grams without (2) AA batteries.
Metz mecablitz 24 AF-1 digital Flash for Pentax Cameras MZ
07-15-2019, 01:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by barondla Quote
What's the smallest, cheapest route to do wireless P-ttl now?
The number of smallish low-priced units capable of acting as P-TTL master/controller that will also work consistently with your AF540FGZ is extremely limited.* My suggestion is the Godox TT350P Mini Thinklite TTL (or Flashpoint equivalent). It supports on-camera P-TTL and can also be used as RF wireless master/slave or optical (non-P-TTL) master/slave. No, it cannot act as an optical P-TTL master/controller, but you may find it just as easy to use your AF540FGZ as a dumb optical slave than to try and work with a non-Pentax flash as P-TTL master/controller.

Godox TT350P Mini Thinklite TTL at B&H for $84.95 USD

FWIW, An on-camera TT350P is capable of acting as radio wireless P-TTL master for one to three TT350P flash acting as P-TTL slaves. The TT350P is also compatible with the XProP P-TTL radio trigger for more complex setups.

Disclosure...I don't own any Godox products, but would seriously consider this tiny flash for multi-flash macro, table top or whatever application where low-power is acceptable, small-size is desirable and P-TTL is needed. If I were doing a setup today, I would buy two.


Steve

* Many 3rd-party P-TTL flash are only able to act as P-TTL master/controller with same-brand/model flash. Likewise, ability to act as P-TTL optical slave may also be similarly hobbled.

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-15-2019 at 01:51 PM.
07-16-2019, 03:25 AM   #7
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The Bolt VS-26OP is described as 100% compatible with Pentax TTL, about $50 with discount currently @ B&H. Metz 26-AF2 is described as fully compatible with Pentax pTTL. I have one, it is tiny, but it is a lot more expensive @ $140 from B&H. Whether either of these can serve as a "controller" is unclear to me, as the descriptions do not explicit state that they can.

WARNING: These two little strobes cannot act as masters. See post by wstruth that follows.

Last edited by WPRESTO; 07-16-2019 at 04:40 AM.
07-16-2019, 04:09 AM   #8
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You will be looking at the Pentax AF360FGZ II or the Mezt 52 AF-1 or perhaps the Bolt VS-570 (all current options on the B&H website) . None of the smaller flashes (Metz 26 AF-1 or 2, Pentax AF201FG, or the smaller Bolt) have the ability to be a master.

07-16-2019, 04:39 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by wstruth Quote
You will be looking at the Pentax AF360FGZ II or the Mezt 52 AF-1 or perhaps the Bolt VS-570 (all current options on the B&H website) . None of the smaller flashes (Metz 26 AF-1 or 2, Pentax AF201FG, or the smaller Bolt) have the ability to be a master.

Thanks for adding that warning. I suspect the tiny Bolt & Metz could not function as masters, but that isn't explicitly stated in available information.
07-16-2019, 05:50 AM   #10
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While it isn't small or light in weight, the YN585EX together with your AF540FGZ will do Master/Controller off camera P-TTL. That is, with the AF540FGZ on camera and the YN585EX off. It will not work the other way around as the YN585EX can't be the master/controller. It's about $83. The YN585EX can't do HSS.
07-16-2019, 09:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
The Bolt VS-26OP is described as 100% compatible with Pentax TTL
QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
WARNING: These two little strobes cannot act as masters. See post by wstruth that follows.
Hence the known matter of 100% meaning something different than the conventional meaning when applied to third-party flash. The usual points of departure are full feature set (wireless P-TTL, HSS, contrast control, and/or trailing curtain sync are most commonly MIA) and the ability to play well with others for optical wireless, if support is claimed.


Steve

(...thankful my Sigma EF-610 DG Super tests compliant so far...perhaps I should contribute a review...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-16-2019 at 09:27 AM. Reason: completeness
07-16-2019, 09:47 AM   #12
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Can Metz M400 act as P-TTL controller? It seems kinda small-ish.
07-16-2019, 09:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Hence the known matter of 100% meaning something different than the conventional meaning when applied to third-party flash. The usual points of departure are full feature set (wireless P-TTL, HSS, contrast control, and/or trailing curtain sync are most commonly MIA) and the ability to play well with others for optical wireless, if support is claimed.


Steve

(...thankful my Sigma EF-610 DG Super tests compliant so far...perhaps I should contribute a review...)
It's akin to the extra insurance we carry on our computers to cover a potential crach. "You are fully covered." But only for accidents (lighning, spilling coffee into them, the cat knocks one down) NOT as I discovered to my chagrin, if the machine simply fails (=mechanical breakdown), that is not covered. It's the old truth, insurance companies only cover what won't happen. Life insurance: the company bets you will live, you bet you will die. If you live, you lose; if you die, you win.
07-16-2019, 11:35 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BarneyL Quote
Can Metz M400 act as P-TTL controller? It seems kinda small-ish.
B&H has a copy of the Pentax version manual. If it can control, the manual will have detailed instructions for both master and controller roles; it is important to not confuse simple optical master/slave with optical remote P-TTL.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/lit_files/314145.pdf?

Edit: According to the manual, both P-TTL master and controller are supported. How well each works with non-Metz flash is hard to say, though at the $220 price point with a name brand, compatibility is much more likely than in the sub-$100 range.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-16-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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