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08-09-2013, 08:50 AM   #1
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Small Flashes for the Q/Q10/Q7

I'm interested in the external flashes that folks have paired with the Q series cameras. Because the Q's are so small I am most interested in small flashes that will complement the camera without overwhelming it.

I just got a Vivitar flash with attachment bracket in the mail yesterday that is the smallest flash I've tried yet. It's bracket is also a plus because it adjusts several ways both at the main attachment to the tripod socket and at the bracket on the other end for the flash itself.

The Vivitar SF3000 can be used for both direct hot shoe photography (when switched to ""Normal Mode"") and remote flash photography (when switched to ""Slave On""). This flash also features four slave modes that allow it to work with cameras that fire their built in flash instantaneously or cameras that have a single or multiple flash red eye reduction system. It's very small at 5.00"x8.50"x1.50" and weighs in at 0.34lbs without its 2 AA batteries. Guide Number 110' @ ISO 100.

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08-09-2013, 12:47 PM   #2
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Let us know how well the slave mode works. From my experience, the red eye flicker is not predictable enough to allow one of the general purpose slave settings to trigger consistently (if at all). On the cheaper slave units, even straight pre-flash is very insistent because of variable reflectivity issues. Only with my Metz (a Canon dedicated unit) on servo mode do I get consistent results with straight pre-flash only - but that works very well.

I find the Opteka EF-750 to be pretty good for a small, but bounceable flash that works on the Q (but a bit large for shoe mount). It is best used for bounce or diffused (overexposes if you don't use the majority of the flash output). I feel the best set up with the Q is to use a full pTTL hot shoe mounted cord (hefty Vivitar unit from B-H is a good deal - under $15). This allows the flash to be raised well above the lens for bouncing or diffusion. The flash works decently on the K-01 (and nice proportionally), as well.
08-09-2013, 02:20 PM   #3
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I picked the Bolt vs-260p as it seems perfectly sized and priced for the Q. Dead simple with one real add-on feature....tilt for bounce. Real happy with it so far.
08-09-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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Hi Doc,

I have a Metz 24 AF-1, which looks to be the same flash as the Bolt mentioned above (but at a higher price). The same flash seems to also be offered by Vivtar as the DF 183 (at an even lower price than the Bolt). It's P-TTL only, the reflector tilts to 90, but does not swivel, GN is 78.74' (ISO 100, 35mm). I don't know if there are any internal differences between these brands.

Vivitar DF183PEN Digital TTL Auto-Focus Flash, Pentaxl DF183PEN

Metz mecablitz 24AF-1 Digital Flash for Olympus /MZ 24312OPL B&H

I also have a Metz 20 C-2 which is the essentially the same flash with the same features except GN is rated at 66' at the same settings, and it is manual at full power only, or Auto Thyristor with 2 auto levels.

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

I also have 2 of the Sunpak PF 20 XD. This is the smallest of the hotshoe flashes that I've found. GN is 66' (ISO 100, 24mm), it does not tilt or swivel, is manual with 5 levels (1, 1/4, 1/8 1/16,1/32), Auto Thyristor with 3 levels, includes a retracting diffuser, and can be used as a slave which can be set to fire on the first or second flash, so it can trigger from the preflash from the Q's popup. Despite being the smallest (about 1/8' taller than the Q body's height, and about 1" less wide than the Q body, not including the foot ), It's got a lot of features, and takes 2 AAAs which makes it lighter in use than either of the Metz.

Sunpak PF20XD Auto/Manual Digital Slave FlashPF20XD B&H Photo

I like the Metz 24 because it's essentially brainless and so much smaller than any of the Pentax flashes that I own that I don't feel encumbered carrying it all the time. It's about twice as powerful as the popup on my K-5 and 3x as the Q's popup, so if additional light is needed or bounce is desirable, then I have it in the bag. The main downside is blinkies from selected people.

The Metz 20 is good if I want to eliminate the blinkies, and packing both of the Metz units takes about the same space in the bag as my AF 540 FGZ. I usually don't need the power of my bigger Pentax flashes, and Auto Thyristor is easier than fully manual, so the two smaller flashes usually can do the job. The 540 does still get used if I want to use one of my many flash modifiers to get better quality light from a camera mounted flash though.

The Sunpaks are very cool, and slip in a pocket easily. I originally bought the pair to use as dual slaves for macro shooting, but they fit into the Q kit very nicely, and they can be very useful in their slave configuration to provide very compact mutidirectional lighting with miniscule bulk or weight.

I have used all of these flashes with my Pentax DSLRs as well as the Q.

Scott

BTW, one tip for using optical sensor slave flashes -- you can fashion reflectors from aluminum foil and tape them on the flash body to direct more of the triggering flash's light to the sensor if you are positioning the slave where it's sensor is not in direct line of sight to the subject or the flash on the camera.

Also there are clip on IR pass filters that you can attach to the popup flash to block it from effecting the exposure. I have one that came with my Metz MS-1 Macro Slave flash.


Last edited by snostorm; 08-09-2013 at 05:26 PM.
08-10-2013, 06:23 AM   #5
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That Bolt looks like a winner with the rounded edges giving you a little wriggle room to get at the shutter button.

The Opteka is larger with four batteries (faster recycling) and a bit more power, but the Bolt looks to have a better build and sized properly for the Q.
08-10-2013, 06:52 AM   #6
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There is also a Chinese CY-20 flash from Changyin that has a 90 degree tilt head for bouncing, uses 2 AAs, and is <$15.
Changyin CY-20 Flash reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database
08-13-2013, 01:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
Hi Doc,

I have a Metz 24 AF-1, which looks to be the same flash as the Bolt mentioned above (but at a higher price). The same flash seems to also be offered by Vivtar as the DF 183 (at an even lower price than the Bolt). It's P-TTL only, the reflector tilts to 90, but does not swivel, GN is 78.74' (ISO 100, 35mm). I don't know if there are any internal differences between these brands.

Scott, thanks for the links and info.

I'm looking at the Vivitar DF183 (or the Bolt).
But does it have power control as claimed on the Adorama site for the DF183?
I looked at the pdf manual and it does not mention this.

Thanks
08-13-2013, 05:34 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I use a Pentax AF160SA. It looks great on the Q! I get a lot of stares when I use the setup. It's cheap and you really could consider one.

08-13-2013, 07:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
Scott, thanks for the links and info.

I'm looking at the Vivitar DF183 (or the Bolt).
But does it have power control as claimed on the Adorama site for the DF183?
I looked at the pdf manual and it does not mention this.

Thanks
Hi phc,

On the Metz, and in pics from the other models for Canon, and such, there is only an on/off switch.. and it's P-TTL only, so the user has really no control over the flash directly, other than the shutter speed, ISO, and aperture on the camera.

Scott
08-13-2013, 07:42 AM   #10
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For tilt head that is basic and cheap ($14) there is theChangyin CY-20. Changyin CY-20 Flash reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database


Two modes: On and Off.
What looks like light sensor on the front is purely decorative.
2.5mm sync port
Takes two AAs
Tilt head, all the way up to vertical, 90 with 15 increments.
Guide Number (GN) for direct flash is 20 (meters).
08-13-2013, 09:54 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
For tilt head that is basic and cheap ($14) there is theChangyin CY-20. Changyin CY-20 Flash reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database


Two modes: On and Off.
What looks like light sensor on the front is purely decorative.
2.5mm sync port
Takes two AAs
Tilt head, all the way up to vertical, 90 with 15 increments.
Guide Number (GN) for direct flash is 20 (meters).
I'm guessing that this is probably the actual manufacturer of all of the Metz, Bolt, Vivitar, and other similar looking variants. Nice find !!!

Scott
08-13-2013, 10:24 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by snostorm Quote
I'm guessing that this is probably the actual manufacturer of all of the Metz, Bolt, Vivitar, and other similar looking variants. Nice find !!!

Scott
I think so too. Its a nice little dumb flash for $14 but the head is actually solid and clicks firmly at each mark. I've played with it a good bit and the bounce flash really adds to the Q's ability in variable lighting situations.
08-13-2013, 11:31 AM   #13
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The Pentax AF-200T is a good pairing too. It is fairly small and "fully" featured. It has 2 Auto modes (although for the Q the Red one will be appropriate at the wide end with F2.8 at 125 ISO) and full manual control at 1/1, 1/2, 1/4 and 1/8 power. You can probably find it for $20 or so.

Of course the AF-200FG is more or less the same size (different shape though) and it is fully automated with P-TTL. The curved bottom shape allows better reach to the shutter button and the ON/OFF switch.
08-16-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Docrwm Quote
For tilt head that is basic and cheap ($14) there is theChangyin CY-20. Changyin CY-20 Flash reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database


Two modes: On and Off.
What looks like light sensor on the front is purely decorative.
2.5mm sync port
Takes two AAs
Tilt head, all the way up to vertical, 90 with 15 increments.
Guide Number (GN) for direct flash is 20 (meters).
CY it will be then.
Thanks for sourcing all this info.
01-06-2014, 07:43 PM   #15
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Finally found where this was hiding. No P-ttl mode. Has an A setting for approx. f4. Q triggers it fine. Need to shot more flash to get something worth posting.
thanks
barondla

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