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02-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #1
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Wireless flash - is it IR or RF?

I've got FBA (Flash Buying Addiction)......

Since buying the k200d, I've been wanting to use my old flashes and found out that I can't use it on camera unless in "a" mode. So I patiently waited to get an updated flash that will work wirelessly - and was rewarded with an awesome deal for an AF360 (another post ......)

My ? regarding wireless:
1. Is it IR or RF control?
2. Can I use the 360 off camera set in manual
3. Does it depend on the onboard flash to fire a flash for the off-camera flash to fire?,
4. can I not have the on-board flash fire?

I'm somewhat used to using flash off-camera. I've got a flash meter and such so I can set power accordingly but would be great to use the 360 w/o having to use my flash meter

02-21-2009, 01:18 PM   #2
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1. It is neither IR or RF.
It is optical. A series of preflashes send the information..

2. Yes, though I am not sure if it can be used with p-ttl preflashes in this way.

3. Yes, however you can have it only preflash and not contribute to the over all exposure.

4. See above.

NB: I am not certain that your K200D can be used in commander mode for wireless..
02-23-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by anomaly Quote
1. It is neither IR or RF.
It is optical. A series of preflashes send the information..

2. Yes, though I am not sure if it can be used with p-ttl preflashes in this way.

3. Yes, however you can have it only preflash and not contribute to the over all exposure.

4. See above.

NB: I am not certain that your K200D can be used in commander mode for wireless..
IR IS optical. The sensor in the flash is IR-sensitive. It is an IR-based system. In most implementations it takes into account the fact that a camera flash has an IR component to it, so the flash performs as a high power IR source (easier than using a separate dedicated IR source).

If it weren't IR-based, then RadioPoppers (which don't officially support Pentax, but have unofficially been tested to work) wouldn't work with the P-TTL wireless system, since RPs feed the camera flash with an IR signal. Similarly, if you put an IR-pass/visible-blocking filter on the controlling flash, the system will still work.

Edit: Also, the control-only flash can in certain situations affect the end exposure. The final pulse from the control flash is an extremely shortened (which in flash terms means extremely low energy/exposure) exposure pulse. It's very low energy, but it IS there and can be seen if there are reflective surfaces present. Most obvious example is: Aim camera into a mirror, set in "control only" mode, and use an off-camera wireless slave for main illumination. When you take the picture, you will see that the on-camera flash is lit during the exposure, but not significantly enough to cause the typical "flash into a mirror" blooming on the exposure. I've got an example somewhere I'll try to dig up.
02-23-2009, 01:29 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentHassyKon Quote
I've got FBA (Flash Buying Addiction)......

Since buying the k200d, I've been wanting to use my old flashes and found out that I can't use it on camera unless in "a" mode. So I patiently waited to get an updated flash that will work wirelessly - and was rewarded with an awesome deal for an AF360 (another post ......)
I don't understand how frustration over having to use "a" mode when your flashes are on-camera relates to wanting a flash that will work wirelessly off-camera. Pretty much any of your old flashes will work off-camera (with PC cord, optical triggers, or radio triggers) and can be used on or off the camera in manual mode. The only thing you would be missing in either case is P-TTL.

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