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04-22-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
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Basic Pentax K-x, hot-shoe, flash, flash bracket, wireless question

Although I'm book smart on flash specifications (thanks to excellent sites like Matt's) I'm sort of dummy when it comes to real application since I don't own a flash.

I have a Pentax K-x. I'm going to buy either a Metz 58 or Pentax AF-540 flash along with a flash bracket - probably either a Custom Bracket CB Folding-S or Flash Frame Flip H.O.T (as a corollary, any recommendations here?).

Here's my confusion.
1) All the product pics I see of the flash brackets show a cable connecting the camera to the flash. The K-x doesn't have a socket. Does this mean that I need to purchase both the Pentax Hot Shoe Adapter F and Off-Camera Shoe Adapter F? So when using a flash bracket it would be K-x --> hot shoe adapter --> off-camera shoe adapter --> flash?

2) What about the wireless functionality -- if I use my pop-up as the master then I can eliminate this sandwich of accessories, right? But then the pop-up must fire. What are the downsides to this? Will I have unintended light in my shot? Is this method reliable? Impact on speed?

What are other's thoughts and modus operandi in this domain?

Thanks in advance.

04-22-2010, 06:52 PM   #2
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wireless

I was in a similar spot a little while back. here's what i learned

for option a you will need adaptors to run a pc cable from the hotshoe mount to the flash foot, and this is pricey (only another 75-100 will get you a set of wireless flash triggers).

the other option you mention is the one i would use. you can turn the on camera flash (the pop up flash) to fire only to send the information to the af540gz pentax flash in wireless mode, and then the 540 will fire ONLY. this is pretty neat and the setting is found on custom menu 3 item 17 flash in wireless mode. turn it to 2 and the on-board flash will only fire to trigger the wireless flash!

Hope this helps
04-22-2010, 07:27 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
1) All the product pics I see of the flash brackets show a cable connecting the camera to the flash. The K-x doesn't have a socket. Does this mean that I need to purchase both the Pentax Hot Shoe Adapter F and Off-Camera Shoe Adapter F? So when using a flash bracket it would be K-x --> hot shoe adapter --> off-camera shoe adapter --> flash?
If you want to go wired remote flash, get this one or something similar.

When I was buying the cord for my setup, the multi-brand cord above didn't exist. So I bought this one, which works fine.

I also have the Pentax setup: Pentax Hot Shoe Adapter FG TTL flash adapter, Pentax F5P sync cord but for normal use, the cord above works fine.

QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
2) What about the wireless functionality -- if I use my pop-up as the master then I can eliminate this sandwich of accessories, right? But then the pop-up must fire. What are the downsides to this? Will I have unintended light in my shot? Is this method reliable? Impact on speed?
The nice thing about wireless, is, well, wireless. But there are cases in which wireless is not desirable or impossible. For example (1) when the ambient light is bright, the remote flash can miss the triggering strobe from the built-in flash (2) when you don't want any light however weak from the camera as when you are shooting aquarium.

Last edited by SOldBear; 04-22-2010 at 10:18 PM.
04-22-2010, 09:19 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies! My course of action will be to see how far I can go using wireless alone.

What a great forum.

04-27-2010, 10:45 PM   #5
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My AF-540FGZ arrived tonight and while playing around with it I discovered something unfortunate. On the K-x, camera image stabilization is disabled when using the flash in wireless mode. Not sure what the logic is here. Perhaps Pentax is making an assumption that wireless mode will only be employed when the camera's on a tripod (image stabilization is also disabled if the remote control is in use - again, assuming tripod).

Apparently this isn't be the case if I use the hotshoe adapter (not that I'm gonna go and buy that plastic lozenge for 30 bucks). I wonder if this same restriction exists on, say, the K7?

I prefer it when the photographer is given enough rope to hang themselves with, rather than imposing a technical limitation in the name of "best-practice" (if this is indeed the case)...
04-27-2010, 10:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrPetkus Quote
I wonder if this same restriction exists on, say, the K7?
All Pentax DSLRs with SR suffers from this limitation.

Also, when you use IR remote with 3 sec delay, you lose wireless flash capability.
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