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01-03-2013, 07:20 AM   #1
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Is there a small, cheap bounce flash for the Q?

Anyone know of a small, cheap bounce flash that will work with the Q?

TTL is not important, but auto would be nice. As long as it's tiny, has a bounce head, safe trigger voltage, and puts out a decent amount of light for not a lot of money, it'll work. An old model with safe trigger voltage is fine. My Sunpak 422 is great, but it's kinda large for the Q.

Anything like that exist?

Cheers,
Bobbo :-)

01-03-2013, 09:26 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Hi GTM,

The smallest P-TTL flash I've found is the Metz 24 AF1. It's P-TTL only, uses 2 AA batteries, has a low trigger voltage (anything that works with P-TTL will use a low trigger voltage), the reflector tilts a full 90 for bouncing, and a GN of 24m, and usually sells for $89.99

Metz mecablitz 24AF-1 Digital Flash for Pentax Camera MZ 24317PS

Metz also makes an Auto Thyristor/Manual flash that's identical in size and weight, also with a tilting reflector -- the 20 C-2. It's even cheaper at $50. In manual mode, it only fires at full power.

Metz mecablitz 20 C-2 Auto Flash MZ 20220 B&H Photo Video

If you want the smallest possible flash that will work on a Q, then you might try the Sunpak PF 20 XD. GN 20m (ISO 100), does not tilt, 3 Auto Thyristor modes, Manual from 1 -1/32, slide up diffuser screen, uses 2 AAAs and can be used as an optically triggered slave and set to fire on either the first or second flash.

Sunpak PF20XD Auto/Manual Digital Slave Flash PF20XD B&H Photo

I have all of these, and all work fine within their parameters, but I have not tested them extensively for exposure accuracy under a lot of different conditions and settings.

For the two Auto thyristor/Manual flashes, you need to turn flash "off" in the flash menu or they won't fire.

Here's what the Metz guns look like on a Q:



The Sunpak is about the same dimensions without the portion that extends forward, essentially a rectangular box, it sits horizontally on the Q, and has a much smaller reflector.

BTW, these flashes work well on Pentax DSLRs if you have one -- super compact and light convenient to carry in the bag all the time. The Sunpak, as an optically fired slave, can be used to give more creative lighting with the pop up or another external flash.

Scott
01-03-2013, 10:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi GTM,

The smallest P-TTL flash I've found is the Metz 24 AF1. It's P-TTL only, uses 2 AA batteries, has a low trigger voltage (anything that works with P-TTL will use a low trigger voltage), the reflector tilts a full 90 for bouncing, and a GN of 24m, and usually sells for $89.99
I've been confused by this. It certainly looks (from the photo) like the head cannot rotate or tilt at all without a visible joint, but you say "the reflector tilts a full 90 for bouncing?" Does the little seam around the flash lens mean the lens, reflector and bulb can be rotated upward, or is there a pop-out reflector on the bottom or does it all rotate upward around the flash foot?
01-03-2013, 10:50 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Hi panoguy,

I was questioning this also, not having seen one in person. I finally found a pic of one with the reflector tilted, and bought a 24 AF 1. When I got it, I was a bit disappointed that it didn't have a manual mode, so ended up picking up a 20 C-2 in addition. They've become my default throw-a-flash-in-the-bag-in-case-I-might-need-one flashes.

Here's a quick snap of the reflector tilted 90°. There are detents at 45, 60, 75, and 90 degrees.

Scott

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01-03-2013, 11:27 AM   #5
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Thanks, Scott! An image is always worth 1,000 poorly-worded questions, or something like that...

How is the p-ttl exposure on the Q? (I suppose I could strap my Metz 48 to it and find out...)
01-03-2013, 11:52 AM   #6
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Hi panoguy,

I've found it to be pretty good, but haven't used it much except for some family events for snaps and garbage test shots for firing consistency. My main use for external flash with the Q will be for macros with adapted lenses, and a lot of the rules don't apply when you're that close to the subject. . . we'll see.

Scott
01-03-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Note that even if a flash doesn't have tilt/bounce built-in, you can get a small tripod ballhead that fits in a shoe mount, and still bounce the flash. I'm doing that with the SunPak PF20XD, which works via thyristor w/ the Q's popup flash.

Example:
1 4" Mini Hot Shoe Ball Head Flash Bracket Holder Mount Screw for Camera Tripod | eBay
01-03-2013, 03:26 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Thanks for the info, guys. The Metz 20 C2 looks like it might be the thing. I know a guy that has a Targus flash made like that. It was the first I had seen that had a tilting reflector rather than head.

01-03-2013, 05:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lecoupdejarnac Quote
Note that even if a flash doesn't have tilt/bounce built-in, you can get a small tripod ballhead that fits in a shoe mount, and still bounce the flash. I'm doing that with the SunPak PF20XD, which works via thyristor w/ the Q's popup flash.
This idea has some real merit!!

In addition to being able to tilt and swivel, this setup can be used for ultra high speed sync applications.

By using the popup flash to fire a "digital" optical slave, we can essentially override the Q's built-in limitation for hotshoe-fired external flash sync speed (1/250) and use the full range of sync speeds up to 1/2000 with leaf shutter lenses, and 1/1000 with adapted lenses and the Pentax Adapter. The mentioned little Sunpak can be set to do this. There are also a few optical slave triggers that can do this for any larger flash units, and a few more powerful flashes with digital slave capability built in. I've tried this with the Sunpak PF20XD, and it seems to work.

I've not been too interested in high speed sync before, but there must be some way I can use this to get shots that are not otherwise possible. . . I've got some ideas that are a bit out there, but I'll have until I can get the right subjects to try them out.

Scott
01-04-2013, 06:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
By using the popup flash to fire a "digital" optical slave, we can essentially override the Q's built-in limitation for hotshoe-fired external flash sync speed (1/250) and use the full range of sync speeds up to 1/2000 with leaf shutter lenses, and 1/1000 with adapted lenses and the Pentax Adapter.
Intriguing... So, does using the popup flash to fire off the slave affect the exposure or otherwise have an effect on the image? In other words, if I were to buy the Sunpak & bounce it with a swivel adapter, would I also get the direct light from the on-camera flash? Or is it a mode that delays the firing of the shutter until the second flash fires?

Looking at the GN of 20, I dunno if it would be powerful enough to bounce, though. :-/
01-04-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
Intriguing... So, does using the popup flash to fire off the slave affect the exposure or otherwise have an effect on the image? In other words, if I were to buy the Sunpak & bounce it with a swivel adapter, would I also get the direct light from the on-camera flash? Or is it a mode that delays the firing of the shutter until the second flash fires?

Looking at the GN of 20, I dunno if it would be powerful enough to bounce, though. :-/
Hi GibbyTheMole,

Yes, the popup will effect the exposure, but you can block the visual light with an IR pass filter -- there are commercial ones available

Nikon SG-3IR IR Panel for Camera Built-In Flashes 4905 B&H Photo

which you'd have to modify (you could make a bracket that fit on the flash shoe ball head for example, or tape or rubber band just the flat panel on the popup) . . . or you can find the leader from a developed roll of film (exposed and developed color negative, or unexposed and developed color slide -- either way the black part) which will block the visible light and let IR through -- which is all you need to trigger the slave. You also could mount an acrylic mirror in front, and at a 45° angle to the popup, and direct the light from the popup up. This would add to the amount of light bounced. You have to get a bit creative

GN is in meters, so the effective distance for the flash is 66 feet at ISO 100. It's easily enough for home use, but might fall a bit short if you're in a very large room with high ceilings. . . you did say you wanted small and cheap. . . In any case, this flash (as well as the Metz flashes in this thread, which have GNs of 20 and 24 respectively) are essentially about 3 times more powerful than the popup -- and then you can use higher ISO to extend the effective range.

If you need more power, there are "digital" slave triggers that you can use with larger flash guns, and larger flash guns that have digital slave sensors built in that could be used in the same way. . .but they're all a lot bigger. If you want something more powerful, or just an optical slave trigger, make sure that you are getting one that can be set to ignore the preflash -- you need to use the popup to get the benefit of ultra high speed sync, and this will only work with leaf shutter lenses, the Pentax Adapter, and P-TTL through the popup.

Scott

Last edited by snostorm; 01-04-2013 at 10:02 AM.
01-04-2013, 08:57 PM   #12
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I'm also in the market for a small flash, similar to what you're looking for, I was considering an old Sunpak 144. They all seem to be digital safe, GN 20, 2 auto ranges and of course bounce. Not sure how the size compares to the Metz 20 C-2 though. Best of all, they go for peanuts on eBay.
01-17-2013, 04:25 PM   #13
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I just wish that Pentax would get their act together and make something like the Nikon SB-400. It would be so simple, yet they would sell boat loads of them...
01-17-2013, 06:13 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Saxplayer1004 Quote
I just wish that Pentax would get their act together and make something like the Nikon SB-400. It would be so simple, yet they would sell boat loads of them...
I can't agree more -- a pocketable bounce-able compact P-TTL flash. Casual flash users don't need the power that film cameras needed because of the high ISO we can call on.

If anything, they should take the compact Nikon and Canon flashes another step and allow wireless TTL remote triggered by the popup flash on the camera. If they fixed the P-TTL flash protocols to make them essentially brainless for the majority of flash users, they could sell these to a majority of DSLR, K01, and Q system users and whet their appetites for the bigger, even more advanced new series Pentax flashes to come.

Scott
02-07-2013, 11:48 AM   #15
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Looking at this: Polaroid PL-108AF Shoe Mount Flash for Pentax at $49.
Polaroid PL-108AF Shoe Mount Flash for Pentax PL-108AF-PE B&H
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