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01-21-2014, 05:53 AM   #1
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Flash for my K-50

Hi Guy's and Gal's

My new K-50 is on the way and I do have a question. Will my Canon 380EX flash work on my camera without damaging my camera?
I read a couple of articles regarding this here RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: Pathetic Canon's External Auto Saves the Pathetic TTL of Pentax!

I only need it for bounce flash nothing special. Thanks in advance for all your help and good shooting.

01-21-2014, 06:17 AM   #2
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I'm not seeing any manual controls or the old auto mode like RiceHigh is talking about, so it will likely only fire at full power.
01-21-2014, 06:26 AM   #3
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Thanks Elliott

If it will fire at full power would be OK for bounce? I will only need to bounce of ceilings and walls for fill light. I am really concerned about the flash damaging my camera.
Anyone here using this flash on a newer Pentax DSLR?

Thanks to everyone in advance. I really love these fourms, many willing to help
01-21-2014, 06:48 AM   #4
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The flash voltage will be fine, it is intended for a modern camera, it won't damage anything. At worst the flash just won't fire if it truly needs the TTL signals to work.

If it does fire, it will be usable to a point, but not very flexible. Your aperture and ISO are going to be dependent on the distance the flash is from the subject. Recycle times are going to be long as well. I don't see manual zoom controls either, so I assume whatever the flash was left at when mounted on the Canon is where the zoom head is going to stay.

01-23-2014, 04:32 AM   #5
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It is fine to use it on your k-30 and won't spoil your camera. Only old flashes may short-circuit the camera but do take note that you lost P-TTL and everything has to be in manual.
01-24-2014, 04:50 AM   #6
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using PENTAX AF280T, bounce, swivel head. GN 28... I have 3 of them
auto mode, automatic synchronization with camera,
using Tv mode and changing ISO setting - shooting at "real Av mode"
possible to shoot from f/4 to f/22 and lower. deepens of Iso setting.
02-15-2014, 03:14 PM   #7
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I second the AF280T...bought one last fall to use on my Kx and it works well. Though not p-ttl, it does function as a semi-automatic flash on all current Pentax DSLRs - setting aperture and shutter speed. I've been very happy with my unit so far. It is bounce/swivel capable and also has optional tele/wide diffusers available (if you are lucky enough to track them down!). It'll hold me until I can afford a 500-series p-ttl flash.

Good-to-above average condition units run 30-40$ (or less depending on where you look).
02-15-2014, 03:45 PM   #8
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I highly recommend a Vivitar 285HV flash. They're safe on modern cameras, if you get the HV version. Super powerful (GN120, I believe), durable, and great for bouncing. With a few notes, the Auto modes work GREAT bounced. For the 58mm lens I used with mine a lot, I needed 1.5 stops further open on the Aperture than was reading on the scale on the camera. It has a few modes so you can get the DOF and background balance you want. Full manual controls if you want them, too!

For me, P-TTL or full manual and practice give the best results. The auto modes are nice, but learning flash exposure is easy, and once you understand it, it's pretty simple.

02-18-2014, 11:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by fretlessdavis Quote
I highly recommend a Vivitar 285HV flash. They're safe on modern cameras, if you get the HV version. Super powerful (GN120, I believe), durable, and great for bouncing. With a few notes, the Auto modes work GREAT bounced. For the 58mm lens I used with mine a lot, I needed 1.5 stops further open on the Aperture than was reading on the scale on the camera. It has a few modes so you can get the DOF and background balance you want. Full manual controls if you want them, too!

For me, P-TTL or full manual and practice give the best results. The auto modes are nice, but learning flash exposure is easy, and once you understand it, it's pretty simple.
Thanks everyone,

I bought the Pentax AF280T and I think it should be good on my K-50. Did a lot of reading and concluded it was a good one.
02-19-2014, 07:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bonavista Quote
Thanks everyone,

I bought the Pentax AF280T and I think it should be good on my K-50. Did a lot of reading and concluded it was a good one.
Yes, it will work as a safe auto-thyristor bounce flash. Use one of two "auto" modes available with the flash (red or green). Shoot in M (shutter speed below X-sync) or X mode and manually set the aperture based on the scale on the back of the flash. The flash duration will be controlled by the sensor on the flash body.

Edit: Many thanks to pentajazzz for doing an additional post of his video. One can indeed set the camera to M or X mode as I suggested above, but the flash also supports what Pentax termed "Programmed Auto Flash" where the flash duration is controlled using the sensor on the front of the flash, but the flash provides the body sufficient information to allow it to automatically set the appropriate aperture. This was originally intended to work in Sv and P modes on certain film cameras and according to pentajazzz, also works in Tv mode on current Pentax dSLRs. Cool

Translation: In Tv mode the camera will automatically choose an appropriate f/stop for the chose flash mode (red/green) and ISO set on the body.

End edit

I think you will be pleased with its general performance and will probably get more consistent results than if you were using P-TTL with a current model flash.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-21-2014 at 09:01 PM.
02-19-2014, 08:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yes, it will work as a safe auto-thyristor bounce flash. Use one of two "auto" modes available with the flash (red or green). Shoot in M (shutter speed below X-sync) or X mode and manually set the aperture based on the scale on the back of the flash. The flash duration will be controlled by the sensor on the flash body.

I think you will be pleased with its general performance and will probably get more consistent results than if you were using P-TTL with a current model flash.


Steve
Thanks Steve
02-20-2014, 12:36 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yes, it will work as a safe auto-thyristor bounce flash. Use one of two "auto" modes available with the flash (red or green). Shoot in M (shutter speed below X-sync) or X mode and manually set the aperture based on the scale on the back of the flash. The flash duration will be controlled by the sensor on the flash body.

I think you will be pleased with its general performance and will probably get more consistent results than if you were using P-TTL with a current model flash.


Steve
not only in MANUAL, but: - lust set the Tv mode, and flash will synchronized with camera automatically.
see my video, and read description on you-tube.
than the camera in Tv mode, the aperture is automatically set by flash to the programmed f-stop at the end of charging cycle.

changing the ISO setting will change aperture.
exposure compensation also work from the body as it must to be.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/249097-flash-my-k-50-a.html#post2661053
aperture will be controlled by FLASH (!), depends of ISO. only in red or green AUTO mode.

сhanging ISO will change F-number.
shutter speed will be limited at 1/180 or longer.
probably, flash in auto mode + camera in Tv mode will work "same as Av" mode, if You changing the iso.

it must work with ALL Pentax AUTO flashes and ALL Pentax DSLR (tested by myself at K100, K7, K30 and K-r.)

Last edited by pentajazzz; 02-20-2014 at 04:39 PM.
02-21-2014, 08:48 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentajazzz Quote
aperture will be controlled by FLASH (!), depends of ISO. only in red or green AUTO mode.
Right you are! This information is missing from the AF 280 T manual and although I own a Pentax Super Program (camera for which the flash was originally designed), I guess I never noticed the "Programmed Auto Flash"* feature in the camera manual. In my mind's eye, this is information is VERY cool. Thanks for this information.

One question. This feature was originally supported for both programmed AE (P) and shutter-priority AE (Tv) modes on the target film cameras. Have you tried this in P mode on your K-30?

I will edit my previous comment.


Steve

* flash signals green or red "auto" mode allowing the camera to calculate and set the appropriate aperture

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-21-2014 at 09:06 PM.
02-22-2014, 03:34 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This information is missing from the AF 280 T manual
I found at internet 2 different manuals for AF280T, earlier without this explanation, and latest with explanation.
this one without explanation (see page 12)
http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/pentax_af_280t.pdf
and this one WITH explanation
http://c758710.r10.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/support/manual/107_1314744915-1351576557_manual.pdf
see page 12

at DSLR this mode works good at Tv mode only. I was test it at K100, K-r, K-30, and it MUST work with ALL pentax DSLR.

Last edited by pentajazzz; 02-22-2014 at 03:40 AM.
02-22-2014, 10:58 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentajazzz Quote
I found at internet 2 different manuals for AF280T, earlier without this explanation, and latest with explanation.
this one without explanation (see page 12)
http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/pentax_af_280t.pdf
and this one WITH explanation
http://c758710.r10.cf2.rackcdn.com/files/support/manual/107_1314744915-1351576557_manual.pdf
see page 12

at DSLR this mode works good at Tv mode only. I was test it at K100, K-r, K-30, and it MUST work with ALL pentax DSLR.
Yep, I was referencing the first manual (from the Butkus site and also pentax-manuals.com). It has an interesting paragraph referring the user to the camera manual for a full list of supported features The date for that manual is 1982. The second version (from Ricoh/Pentax support) is from 1988.

Hopefully the two sets of documentation do not represent a difference in features. This is pretty incredible, that a recent model camera would support the analogue protocol features* from a flash that went out of production more that 20 years ago. On the other hand, the current non-WR Pentax flashes include support for the analogue (three-pin) protocols**, so I guess it should not surprise me.

I agree that it is very likely that all current model Pentax dSLRs will behave similarly.


Steve

* The AF 280 T lacks the digital data pin.
** This is an important point of distinction between the Pentax product and certain third-party (Sigma, are you listening?) flashes. Those flashes only support digital TTL/P-TTL protocol cameras.

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-22-2014 at 11:09 AM.
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