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4 Days Ago   #1
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Best currently available ring flash for Pentax DFA 100/2.8 macro

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Hello all,

Long time no post, but for the first time since a while I'm considering some new gear.

Context: I'll be going to the Amazon later this year. Not the first time, but this time I'll be flying into the destination and luggage restrictions apply. I used to use one of my two Pentax AF 540FGZ for my macro photography in this type of destination, but I would like to have a more compact setup to fit in my carry on luggage next to my large DFA150-450 (which I didn't have on previous similar trips). I do also have a Lightpix Labs FlashQ Q20II for my GRiii, which is extremely compact and is easy to use off camera, which can be nice for macro if no other alternative is available.

However, I want to take the opportunity to look at a dedicated macro flash, i.e. a ring flash that works more or less automatically on my Pentax K-3 mark III, fits my DFA100/2.8, and that has the possibility to use full circle or half circle of the lights.

I haven't followed the market much lately, so I'm asking here hoping for some useful feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Wim


Last edited by Ishpuini; 4 Days Ago at 02:29 AM.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #2
pid
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unfortunately only used and not quite cheap, but perfect for the DFA 100/2.8: PENTAX AF 160FC Auto Macro Ring Flash reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ishpuini Quote
Hello all,

Long time no post, but for the first time since a while I'm considering some new gear.

Context: I'll be going to the Amazon later this year. Not the first time, but this time I'll be flying into the destination and luggage restrictions apply. I used to use one of my two Pentax AF 540FGZ for my macro photography in this type of destination, but I would like to have a more compact setup to fit in my carry on luggage next to my large DFA150-450 (which I didn't have on previous similar trips). I do also have a Lightpix Labs FlashQ Q20II for my GRiii, which is extremely compact and is easy to use off camera, which can be nice for macro if no other alternative is available.

However, I want to take the opportunity to look at a dedicated macro flash, i.e. a ring flash that works more or less automatically on my Pentax K-3 mark III, fits my DFA100/2.8, and that has the possibility to use full circle or half circle of the lights.

I haven't followed the market much lately, so I'm asking here hoping for some useful feedback.

Thanks in advance!

Wim
I don't think there is anything available new and dedicated to Pentax at this time, the Pentax AF160FC is available only used, but likely the best you can get for the DFA100/2.8 with its matching adapter. I did improvise and built a similar adapter for a 3rd party ring flash using a DFA50 macro hood (slightly wider, same bayonet), it's definitely not advisable to attach anything heavy to the filter thread.
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #4
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Also only available second hand, but the Sigma EM-140 DG PA-PTTL has worked well for me.

4 Days Ago   #5
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Best of the Best.

AF160FC macro ringflash - PentaxForums.com
4 Days Ago - 1 Like   #6
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For even more power and versatility, have a look at Godox's R200 head for their AD200 strobe:

https://www.lightandmatter.org/2022/equipment-reviews/godox-r200-ring-flash/

It's a solid option.
4 Days Ago   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
It's a solid option.
It is rather big though, starting to possibly get in the way in the field for macro use. While it does provide P-TTL capability together with a controller on the camera (required anyway), the overall setup is a lot bigger and heavier than the AF160FC. It may make sense for dedicated shoots in conjunction with other strobes, but for a simple travel setup in the field, which I understand is the intended use, it looks less suitable.

4 Days Ago   #8
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There are also ring lights that put out a continuous light. These are relatively inexpensive and lightweight. I have one made by Bolt.
4 Days Ago - 2 Likes   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
There are also ring lights that put out a continuous light. These are relatively inexpensive and lightweight. I have one made by Bolt.
Much of the value of using flash in handheld macro photography in general comes from eliminating camera movement blur at high magnification through extremely short exposures. Continuous light doesn't provide that, neither does SR sufficiently. Sensor pixel pitch is 4.86 µm on the K-1, so at 1:1 that amount of uncompensated lateral camera movement starts to reduce captured detail. Even in bright sunlight, my exposures at 1:1 and f/11 have less detail from motion blur or noise (choose your evil) than flash exposures.
4 Days Ago   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by JensE Quote
the overall setup is a lot bigger and heavier than the AF160FC. It may make sense for dedicated shoots in conjunction with other strobes, but for a simple travel setup in the field, which I understand is the intended use, it looks less suitable.
"In the field", agreed. If you're not going too far away from home, its power output and the fact that it doesn't mount on the lens itself can be beneficial.
4 Days Ago   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
For even more power and versatility, have a look at Godox's R200 head for their AD200 strobe:

https://www.lightandmatter.org/2022/equipment-reviews/godox-r200-ring-flash/

It's a solid option.
Looks great indeed. Not something that will solve the carry-on luggage issue, nor do I see myself trudging through the Amazon rain forest with that setup.

QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
There are also ring lights that put out a continuous light. These are relatively inexpensive and lightweight. I have one made by Bolt.
As stated above, I indeed need a solution that will freeze the image, since most daylight will be blocked by the dense Amazon rain forest canopy. Also there will be some dusk and night photography since that's when many insects come out.

Both good suggestions in a more general context though, tx!

I'm starting to think I might alternatively get some sort of bracket to mount the Lightpix Labs FlashQ Q20II onto, so it sits right above the lens. For instance, I have a 3LeggedThing L-bracket that some sort of flexible arm might attach to...

Wim

---------- Post added 17-03-23 at 15:18 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by termy Quote
Tx, I'll keep that in mind.

Last edited by Ishpuini; 4 Days Ago at 07:14 AM.
4 Days Ago   #12
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I like this sunpak unit. Relatively easy to find and modules for Pentax automation (thyrister not p-ttl) are available:

Sunpak Auto DX 8R Thyristor Ring Light Flash for SLR, KOD, K7, K100D -For Camera | eBay

The automation allows setting flash synch and auto aperture range but I prefer using in manual mode.

The one I linked doesn’t actually specify which modeule is included but claims compatibility. Even the Nikon module should work in manual.

Sunpak PT-1D Pentax Dedicated Module/Hot Shoe for Sunpak 30DX/120J Flashguns | eBay

? on Sunpak PT-1D and PT-2D module - PentaxForums.com
4 Days Ago   #13
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Also only available second hand, you could find a Metz 15 MS-1. It is not a genuine ring flash, having no tube.
4 Days Ago   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I like this sunpak unit. Relatively easy to find and modules for Pentax automation (thyrister not p-ttl) are available:

Sunpak Auto DX 8R Thyristor Ring Light Flash for SLR, KOD, K7, K100D -For Camera | eBay

The automation allows setting flash synch and auto aperture range but I prefer using in manual mode.

The one I linked doesn’t actually specify which modeule is included but claims compatibility. Even the Nikon module should work in manual.
Like many, that seller has a lot of legal waffle but fails to say what the dedication module is, nor shows a photo of the rear so we could identify it. Says it is for a K7 or K100D, but then says it is Nikon compatible. I would not like to mix a Nikon module with a Pentax camera because the functions of the Ready and TTL auxiliary contacts are reversed. I don't think that seller ships to Europe anyway. FWIW, I paid Ł10 for one of those, mint : Sunpak DX-8R reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database .

I'd recommend it except that the throat size (52mm) is rather small for modern lenses. The Sunpak DX-12R Sunpak Auto DX 12R Ring Light reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database has a larger throat (62mm) but being more modern it lacks any Auto mode. The TTL modes on these flashes are useless for modern cameras of course, but chimping works.
4 Days Ago   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
For even more power and versatility, have a look at Godox's R200 head for their AD200 strobe:

https://www.lightandmatter.org/2022/equipment-reviews/godox-r200-ring-flash/

It's a solid option.
There is more on Macro Lights-GODOX Photo Equipment Co.,Ltd.
150 is p-ttl and 76 is manual.... both possible on pentax.

Not sure if small fits with ring flash (which always is bigger >> lens)...
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