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01-07-2021, 10:54 AM   #1
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K-70, Metz 52 AF-1 and off camera flash

Sorry if this is beginner stuff but I had some questions about using a Metz 52 AF-1 off camera, specifically with P-TTL.
I’m new to flash photography and the K-70, I just picked up this flash. I saw the Gary Fong YouTube video regarding setup and really liked the idea of the wireless flash function of some Pentax cameras where the on camera flash didn’t contribute to the exposure. Naturally I was disappointed to know that this function that I never knew existed was not available on the K-70. How can I use P-TTL off camera other than a cord?
My understanding is that a few short years ago there were options like Acon, Aokatec wireless triggers but clicking on links and searching retailers, it seems like these might not be in production any longer. I think Godox might have a product but that it won’t work with my flash. Is buying another $300 dollar flash (I bought mine more than 50% off on recent sale) to use as a commander my only other option? My understanding is that the Metz 52 AF-1 has the ability to act as master or commander so that theoretically I could use a slightly lower end flash that has only slave function (not master) to act as the slave.

And just to make sure I have the terminology right:
Master - the flash on the camera directs the function of an off camera flash but also contributes to the exposure. In controlling the off camera flash this can be with p-TTL function or “dumb”/manual function.

Commander - the on camera flash sends signal to an off camera flash but doesn’t contribute to the exposure. This also can be p-ttl or manual functioning.

Slave - the off camera flash that is triggered to function from a signal from the master. Does slave necessarily mean that it’s p-TTL or otherwise controllable by the on camera flash (as opposed to servo where it simply fires based on seeing a flash)?

servo - perhaps this is a Metz term? The flash is “dumb” and makes no communication with the camera or on camera flash other than to fire at preset setting based on seeing a triggering light which might even be the flash of someone else’s camera in the room

I know people seem to like the Cactus V6-II but it’s my understanding that this doesn’t support p-ttl. If that’s the case then is there any benefit to this or any other non P-ttl radio trigger over some generic, off brand trigger (which I already have).

Thanks so much in advance.

01-07-2021, 12:05 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
How can I use P-TTL off camera other than a cord?
Probably the least expensive route is with a Yongnuo YN585EX flash. They run about $90 in the US.

This of course is conditional on the Metz flash being able to operate as a Master or Controller while on your camera's hot shoe. The Yongnuo flash can't be used as an on-camera Master or Controller, but it can be used off camera in PTTL mode with an on-camera flash acting as Master/Controller. Note that the Yongnuo does not have a High Speed Sync function either.

All of this is done optically, so the off-camera flash must be able to "see" the flash coming from the on-camera master/controller.

I don't have a Metz flash, but I've used the Pentax 540 II flash as Master/Controller for the YN585EX without problems.
01-07-2021, 01:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
How can I use P-TTL off camera other than a cord?
Wireless triggers, either optical or radio.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
Does slave necessarily mean that it’s p-TTL or otherwise controllable by the on camera flash (as opposed to servo where it simply fires based on seeing a flash)?
Depending on your set up it can do either.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
I know people seem to like the Cactus V6-II but it’s my understanding that this doesn’t support p-ttl
I use Cactus V6II triggers (four of them) and they all support P-TTL operation, although I rarely use it.
01-07-2021, 07:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the responses. Sounds like the Cactus triggers are a good option. I’ve also got a SB-28 that I could use in manual or auto mode and use the Metz in p-ttl if I want two off camera flashes.

---------- Post added 01-07-21 at 08:54 PM ----------

Well, looks like I’m out of luck. From Cactus’ website:
“Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Nikon, Sigma & Pentax
(Remote TTL only works with Pentax system flashes.
Cross-brand TTL is not supported: )”

01-08-2021, 06:11 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
Well, looks like I’m out of luck. From Cactus’ website:
“Canon, Fujifilm, Olympus, Nikon, Sigma & Pentax
(Remote TTL only works with Pentax system flashes.
Cross-brand TTL is not supported: )”
If your Metz is for Pentax, then it is a Pentax system flash
01-08-2021, 10:50 AM   #6
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I interpreted that statement by Cactus as saying Pentax brand flashes but not flashes for Pentax cameras made by other manufacturers such as Metz, Yongnuo, etc. Hope you are right.

I also found another little quirk in this combo - I can’t get the camera to allow use of the flash’s AF assist light. Not a big deal but if there’s a feature available, it’d be nice if I worked. Have the camera set to AF-S with the single, central AF point. The flash has AF assist turned on, yet when I focus in low light, only the camera’s green assist light comes on. The flash’s spotbeam feature seems to not work either on my K-70. This thread is the only one I could find on the matter and while some folks said it should work, the posts near the end suggested maybe not.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/193-pentax-k-70/356024-pls-bring-back-af...ns-k-70-a.html
01-09-2021, 11:39 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
I interpreted that statement by Cactus as saying Pentax brand flashes but not flashes for Pentax cameras made by other manufacturers such as Metz, Yongnuo, etc. Hope you are right.
Certainly Cactus's own flash (RF60X) works just fine as an off-camera flash in P-TTL mode. An added advantage is it has a built in radio receiver. It won't do P-TTL if mounted directly on the hotshoe however.

QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
I also found another little quirk in this combo - I can’t get the camera to allow use of the flash’s AF assist light
I know that with the K1, the older version of the Pentax flash AF540FGZ will not use the AF assist beam. With the later version AF540FGZ II it will. Perhaps the same compatibility issue is affecting your Metz. A nice feature of the Cactus V6II radio triggers is that they have their own AF assist beam built in. That would be one workaround for you if you went down the Cactus route.

You need to be aware though that Cactus are no longer making photography products. A shame, as I really like their offerings.

01-09-2021, 11:45 PM   #8
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Thanks for the reply. I had heard that about Cactus. Unfortunate to have fewer options.
01-19-2021, 03:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lhorn Quote
.. I think Godox might have a product but that it won’t work with my flash...
Yup, you cannot incorporate a legacy P-TTL flash into the Godox radio system and still get TTL, but you can use a Godox speedlight and get P-TTL. If you want on-camera P-TTL as well as off-camera, however, you are limited to the TT350-P ($85) and the V1-P ($260). But if you only want off-camera, the Godox TT685-C ($110) for Canon, or any of the V860II ($180) models, if firmware upgraded to the latest version, can do P-TTL as off-camera radio slaves to a Godox XPro-P, X2T-P or Flashpoint R2 Pro II-P transmitter ($60-$70).

If you don't care about off-camera P-TTL and just need remote group/power control and HSS, the $60 TT600 will work as an off-camera radio slaves as well to the same transmitters. It is a single-pin flash, however, and is manual-only on a camera/trigger hotshoe.

Just saying, while you could get an optical master unit that works with your existing flashes, It's only $180 for a Godox transmitter + TT685-C combo to get off-camera P-TTL/HSS, etc. over radio (so, no line-of-sight requirements) with Godox gear, and you'll have the convenience of built-in radio triggering.

In your terminology-checking:

master and commander are actually the same thing; most on-camera units can be set so they don't contribute light while still giving out the commands from the camera hotshoe. Radio triggers, of course, don't emit any light at all, and the on-camera transmitter unit is also called the master or commander unit.

Slave does not mean TTL control is included, just that it's a remote unit fired off-camera. Slave also doesn't distinguish if it's being used over an optical (light signals) or radio triggering system.

Metz's "servo" mode is more "dumb" optical vs. "smart" optical. Most 3rd-party manufacturers call this S1/S2 modes, though I think Sigma uses Sf and Sd (eyeroll). "Dumb" optical systems use a simple sensor on the flash. Once another flash burst is sensed, the flash fires. S1 fires on the first burst sensed, S2 on the second burst sensed. S2/Sd exists so that if you're using a pop-up flash in TTL, the metering pre-burst can be skipped, and the remote flash will fire during the main burst / exposure. Otherwise, it fires too early. This form of optical slaving, though, is manual only and cannot communicate flash settings: only the fire (sync) signal. But they work across all camera brands.

"Smart" optical slave modes are proprietary. A series of light signals are sent from the on-camera master unit/pop-up flash to communicate settings and information for TTL/HSS, etc. before the metering pre-burst and main burst during exposure occur. As such, they completely mess up the timing required for S1/S2 "dumb" modes, so the two types of systems are incompatible. But the big advantage, of course, is that your camera and flash can communicate to each other for features like remote TTL.

Godox's flashes for Pentax can only do "dumb" S1/S2, not "smart" optical communication. Godox uses radio signalling instead. Radio triggering is often preferred over optical systems, because the light signalling can be overpowered by very bright ambient conditions (i.e., outdoors daylight), and do not require "line of sight" (the remote flash's sensor has to be able to "see" the light signals of the master; so you can't hide the flash behind something solid). And again, used outdoors in bright sunlight, without any bounce surfaces around, the line of sight restrictions can become more stringent with optical systems.
01-19-2021, 09:30 PM   #10
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Thank you for that explanation. Having already spent money on Metz, I’ll likely look for radio trigger instead of switching to Godox.
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