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01-27-2021, 05:49 PM   #1
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Flash that will work for Large Format and Pentax k50

Hi guys,

I'm new to the flash world, having concerned myself mainly with landscape shooting in the past.

However, I now have a new indoor portrait idea that I would like to shoot on my Sinar Norma large format 5x7. I would like to use my Pentax k50 to provide test shots so that I get an idea about whether the lighting is correct for film.

And this is where my problem lies. I want to get a flash that is suitable for both. I need 600ws and above for the large format, (possibly ideally 800ws or above), and I don't have much money, so I am looking at the second hand market.

What is confusing me is the suitability of the older flashes with my pentax digital.

First of all, I don't know how to even connect my Pentax to these external flashes, I've looked at the instructions, and they are confusing me. Lets say I want to just hook everything up with cables. Is this possible? Or do I have to use wireless of some sort? I really am at a loss here. I know I need to avoid high trigger voltage in my hot shoe.

The other thing I may have a problem with: I do not want my on-board camera flash popping up and firing a pre-flash in a master slave scenario. In the picture that I want to take, it it essential that no light is fired from the direction of the camera. So is this possible on the k50 with an external strobe flash?

Hope you can help.

01-27-2021, 06:07 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
First of all, I don't know how to even connect my Pentax to these external flashes, I've looked at the instructions, and they are confusing me. Lets say I want to just hook everything up with cables. Is this possible? Or do I have to use wireless of some sort? I really am at a loss here. I know I need to avoid high trigger voltage in my hot shoe.
A good option for sync might be a simple radio trigger such as the Yongnuo RF-603N II. These are safe for the K-50, sell in sets of two (the Nikon flavor works best with your K-50), and should be able to trigger your strobes with a PC cable or hot shoe on the RX similar to how you sync from your Sinar.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 01-27-2021 at 06:19 PM.
01-27-2021, 09:17 PM   #3
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Find a 600 WS flash and get these to make it go off. Your K50 pop up is irrelevant. Tape it down if its a worry!

amazon.com : Neewer 16 Channel Wireless Remote Flash Trigger and 2.5mm PC Receiver for Compatible with Canon 580EX II 580EX 550EX 540EZ Nikon SB900 SB800 SB600 SB28 Neewer TT860 TT850 TT560 Olympus Pentax Sigma : Camera And Camcorder Remote Controls ?tag=pentaxforums-20&

If your large format camera has a hot shoe or x-sync or a signal from the lens, these are the simplest, cheapest and lowest common denominator way to make to trigger the strobe. All you want to do is make the light go off. Setting power is done manually, on the strobe. These lights are cheap and rugged:600 WS Paul C. Buff White Lightning Ultra 1200 Monolight (600WS) at KEH Camera
01-27-2021, 10:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
The other thing I may have a problem with: I do not want my on-board camera flash popping up and firing a pre-flash in a master slave scenario.
Don't pop the flash up and it will not fire.* Ideally, you will be using your K-50 in a manner strictly analogous to the sync off your view camera shutter. All you need to do is to set the shutter speed at or below 1/180s in M mode and harvest the sync from the hot shoe center contact. You can do that as a wired solution with a dumb adapter similar to the Vello item linked below...

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/765453-REG/Vello_HSA_PCU_Universal_Ho...981&

...or with a radio wireless solution similar to that suggested in my earlier comment. In both cases, sync is ultimately delivered via PC cable the same as on the Sinar's shutter. (Is it safe to assume that your shutter provides X sync through a PC fitting?)


Steve

* The flash on the K-50 should never pop up on its own, even with the camera in "auto" mode.


Last edited by stevebrot; 01-27-2021 at 10:18 PM.
01-27-2021, 10:33 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
Hi guys,

... First of all, I don't know how to even connect my Pentax to these external flashes, I've looked at the instructions, and they are confusing me. Lets say I want to just hook everything up with cables. Is this possible? Or do I have to use wireless of some sort? I really am at a loss here. I know I need to avoid high trigger voltage in my hot shoe.
Anything that's designed to be used with digital cameras is going to have a safe sync voltage of <10V, and probably <5V. And dSLR bodies can tolerate anything below 250V. Someone here said they found a stated voltage limit with Pentax is 0-380V.

You can hook everything with cables, but if your camera doesn't have a PC sync port, you'll probably have to get a hotshoe-to-sync adapter, so you can cable it to the studio strobe. All studio strobes have sync ports for attaching a cable. The trick will be finding a cable with the right connectors to match your hotshoe adapter and the strobe. 3.5mm phone connections are common, where you could just use mono audio cables.

But. You can also use radio triggers. And that's a lot more convenient than trying to find a big long sync cable. You just need a transmitter to go on the camera hotshoe, and a receiver to cable to the studio strobe's sync port. Again, finding the appropriate cable is mostly just matching connectors to ports. If, for example, you get a pair of Flashpoint R2 SPT transceivers, they use a 3.5mm sync port. Say, you then want to get a Paul Buff Einstein. It also has a 3.5mm sync port, so you could just get a small 3.5mm-to-3.5mm cable to connect the Einstein to the SPT. Similarly, you could also get a PC-to-3.5mm cable for your large format camera (I assume it has a PC sync port for flash).


But. You could also get a Godox DP600 III. The Flashpoint R2 system is a rebranded version of Godox's X system. And the SPT triggers would work to give you remote firing, and group on/off control. A Godox XPro-P would also give you remote M power, and modeling light control. And you wouldn't need to add-on a receiver, since the DP III series has a Godox radio receiver built-in.

QuoteQuote:
The other thing I may have a problem with: I do not want my on-board camera flash popping up and firing a pre-flash in a master slave scenario. In the picture that I want to take, it it essential that no light is fired from the direction of the camera. So is this possible on the k50 with an external strobe flash?
Radio triggers don't fire any flash bursts, so that scenario is doable. I also think that if you were doing "dumb" optical triggering with your pop-up and a built-in optical slave, the pop-up flash light contribution to the scene can be managed to be negligible, either by flagging it off and bouncing to the strobe sensor or adjusting power, and working at a distance from the subject so it simply isn't as powerful as the main strobe.

Last edited by inkista; 01-27-2021 at 10:40 PM.
01-28-2021, 03:44 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by inkista Quote
You can hook everything with cables, but if your camera doesn't have a PC sync port, you'll probably have to get a hotshoe-to-sync adapter, so you can cable it to the studio strobe. All studio strobes have sync ports for attaching a cable. The trick will be finding a cable with the right connectors to match your hotshoe adapter and the strobe. 3.5mm phone connections are common, where you could just use mono audio cables.
This is the easiest and cheapest way that guarantee that will work with any monolight.
01-28-2021, 06:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by inkista Quote
Someone here said they found a stated voltage limit with Pentax is 0-380V.
That same post also quoted Pentax as saying:

"However, the flash may not fire due to noise or reverse polarity. Please be aware that high voltage can damage your camera. If you are using a non Pentax flash, you might want to consider a Wein safe cell (safe sync hotshoe voltage regulator) to avoid damaging the camera."

As an electron wrangler of about 60 years experience I would never subject my K-70 to that high a voltage.
01-28-2021, 10:45 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the responses here.

Looks like radio triggers are the way to go. I need to find out more about the shutter on my Schneider 180 5.6. It is a Synchro-Compur. Not sure whether this will work okay - I'll ask on the largeformat forums.

01-28-2021, 06:56 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by inkista Quote
And dSLR bodies can tolerate anything below 250V. Someone here said they found a stated voltage limit with Pentax is 0-380V.
I will let you test this on your camera... Be sure and share your results.

The thread you linked to spans five years and is worth reading in full. The subject comes up with some regularity and past user experiences on this site have included protective shutdown* as well as fried electronics that disabled the camera. I don't know where the Pentax CSR got the 380V figure, but I do know that up through the M-series bodies (as well as the LX), the camera manuals did not include the "possible damage to the electronics" warning found with the manuals for the A-series and newer bodies. I also know that high voltage units were ubiquitous on the market up through the early 1980s. I own three such flashes. The phase out of high voltage flash appears to have been in the mid-1980s.

My advice is that people use a Wein Safe Sync or similar if they are uncertain if there is a risk due to voltage or of an over-current condition from sync sharing on wired connections between multiple flash.


Steve

* I fall into that camp and was properly chastened when using a Vivitar Auto 2600 (~150V) on my K10D resulted in sudden death that was remedied only by turning the camera off and removing the battery for an hour or so. Lesson learned.
01-28-2021, 07:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by MilamBardo Quote
Thanks for all the responses here.

Looks like radio triggers are the way to go. I need to find out more about the shutter on my Schneider 180 5.6. It is a Synchro-Compur. Not sure whether this will work okay - I'll ask on the largeformat forums.
Your Synchro-Compur is a flash version with a PC (Prontor-Compur - Wikipedia) port. You're good to go with anything you can connect to that. Which is a lot


amazon.com : Neewer 16 Channel Wireless Remote Flash Trigger and 2.5mm PC Receiver for Compatible with Canon 580EX II 580EX 550EX 540EZ Nikon SB900 SB800 SB600 SB28 Neewer TT860 TT850 TT560 Olympus Pentax Sigma : Camera And Camcorder Remote Controls ?tag=pentaxforums-20&

You will need a cable to the strobe Paul C. Buff | 15' Sync Cord (?? to PC)

You are good to go
01-29-2021, 09:26 AM   #11
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All the advice regarding equipment is well and good, but you will also need a 5-6 stop ND filter for your K50 to allow depth of field matching between the two formats, presuming that is important to you.
Also, I shot with a 4x5 camera using an 800WS box and cable set and found it to be inadequate. It was OK with the 6x7 though. We used 2000WS units in the studio that were OK with the 4x5.
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