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04-20-2021, 07:39 AM   #1
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Creative Ring Flash Use DFA 100

While Iíd love to find a Pentax AF160FC with its adapter for the 100 macro, they are incredibly hard to come by. I love shooting macro flash and have a 140, but that light hanging off the tiny barrel extended out at 1:1 makes me nervous. Anyone have a hack solution that theyíve made work? Maybe gluing onto a lens hood or something? Just trying to avoid having to move to a different macro lens for flash work, but itís obviously tricky with Pentax no longer really seeming to be interested in the macro flash game.

04-20-2021, 10:18 AM   #2
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Ring flash for DFA50/100

Hello. I have both the DFA 50 and 100 lenses and, while I appreciate their optical quality and light weight, their mostly plastic construction makes it inadvisable to hang something as heavy as a ring flash on the end of the extendable part of the lens. Pentax of course acknowledged this when they provided for the genuine Pentax flashes to be attached to the lens barrel the same as the lens hood. I have modified an old (but still available for cheap on eBay) Vivitar Macroflash 5000 to bayonet on to the front of the lens the same as the lens hood and I am quite happy with the results. I also modified the flash for complete manual control of the light output. In the way of a disclaimer I have to confess that I have a very well equipped shop at my disposal and this enables me to do things that would be difficult for some people. I machined (on my lathe) an adapter made of plastic (UHMW I think) that ,on one end, is glued to the back of the flash unit and the other end bayonets to the front of the lens where the hood would normally mount. It makes for a nice compact and light installation. Probably some clever thinking could come up with a way of doing this utilizing the existing lens hood without having to make a special part on the lathe. The necessary modifications to the flash unit are fairly trivial. Incidentally the trigger voltage on the flash unit is safe for the camera. If anyone is seriously interested in doing this I could probably post a more detailed (and somewhat long winded) set of instructions. Cheers, Ken
04-20-2021, 02:04 PM   #3
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I've never used either of those Pentax macros, but attaching the Sigma ring flash to my Tamron 90 has never caused me a concern. Should I have?
04-20-2021, 03:07 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
I've never used either of those Pentax macros, but attaching the Sigma ring flash to my Tamron 90 has never caused me a concern. Should I have?
I use Viking ring flash (with F 100 lens), and the part mounted on the lens seems to be relatively light - I have never worried about excessive load. Having said this, I have to admit that Vivitar Macroflash 5000 (mentioned earlier) has got large ring, which could potentially be too heavy for comfortable and safe use.

04-20-2021, 03:41 PM - 2 Likes   #5
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Thought I had posted this before, maybe not here: I built a very simple flash holder inspired by the AF160FC for the DFA100WR and DFA50/2.8 by using the hood from a DFA50/2.8 macro (same bayonet, slightly wider than the DFA100WR hood), glued in a 77mm->72mm step-down ring and mounted another, a 72->67mm ring, onto which I screwed the 67mm flash holder ring. This way, the load is on the barrel rather than the fragile inner tube. The 2x step-down combo provides the required room for the flash's 'teeth'.
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04-21-2021, 02:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by 11GTCS Quote
While Iíd love to find a Pentax AF160FC with its adapter for the 100 macro, they are incredibly hard to come by. I love shooting macro flash and have a 140, but that light hanging off the tiny barrel extended out at 1:1 makes me nervous. Anyone have a hack solution that theyíve made work? Maybe gluing onto a lens hood or something? Just trying to avoid having to move to a different macro lens for flash work, but itís obviously tricky with Pentax no longer really seeming to be interested in the macro flash game.
How about putting the ring light / macro flash on its own stand or maybe use a flash bracket?
04-21-2021, 11:51 AM   #7
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The suggestion by JensE is exactly what I was considering doing, and I think it might be worth a shot. As far as off camera flash, that would potentially compromise the idea of uniform dispersed light on axis with the lens. At that point I might as well use a regular speed light with a diffuser. A flash bracket could work if one could be fabricated or purchased to put the flash on axis with the lens, but part of the beautify of macro flash is that it keeps the setup light(ish) and tripod free, so thatíd partially defeat the purpose. Iíll tinker some and post back here

04-21-2021, 12:06 PM   #8
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The Viltrox was an absolute bargain, btw. The hood cost me about the same, and that wasn't even the list price. What I like about it are the round flash tubes, which only leave a small gap where the LEDs are. It's very useful for documentary work - I usually shoot at same magnification and f-stop for that, so I can usually use the very same settings. For more "photographic" work, I mainly use half of it, opposite to the main flash direction, as fill light.
04-22-2021, 02:02 AM   #9
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Just google "flexible arm flash bracket", maybe this solves your problem.
04-22-2021, 04:02 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
The Viltrox was an absolute bargain, btw. The hood cost me about the same, and that wasn't even the list price. What I like about it are the round flash tubes, which only leave a small gap where the LEDs are. It's very useful for documentary work - I usually shoot at same magnification and f-stop for that, so I can usually use the very same settings. For more "photographic" work, I mainly use half of it, opposite to the main flash direction, as fill light.

I did snag a Sigma 140 for a really good price... they seem to get rave reviews. Iím crossing my fingers that I can fabricate a setup thatíll lock onto the bayonet hood lugs. That seems like the easiest thing.
05-18-2021, 12:10 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 11GTCS Quote
I’d love to find a Pentax AF160FC with its adapter for the 100 macro
I have the old M series 100mm with a 49mm filter thread, which I see the later DFA 100mm macro has too. I use an old Cobra Macroflash (also called Centron MR20, Vivitar 5000, and Starblitz 1000-Auto Macro Lite) ring flash which cost me about £15 on Ebay and does the job. It attaches to the lens filter thread via an adaptor, which is a bit fiddly (not as easy as attaching a simple filter). I have no worries about the strength of the set-up; the working is slow, but that is not a problem for the type of macro pictures I take - mostly technical.

Last edited by Lord Lucan; 05-18-2021 at 12:16 PM. Reason: For some reason it added my wording twice. Deleted one set.
05-18-2021, 12:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
The Viltrox was an absolute bargain, btw.
The stiff high voltage cable turned out to be a problem, the insulation just broke. I'll need to find a replacement - which in turn may improve usability.
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