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12-11-2013, 08:49 PM   #1
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AF360FGZII Flash

Got the smaller of Pentax's new water-sealed flash guns today. I'm pretty impressed so far. Built well. Battery door is solid. Swivel head. And the few shots I took looked well controlled. And I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it can be an off-camera slave without needing to mount anything in the K3 hot-shoe. That's cool! I have yet to test it's TTL abilities when off camera. I guess I'm assuming it is TTL in slave mode--seems like info would need to be transmitted incredibly fast between flash and body for that to work.

But in any case, I'm troubled by the fact that in order to use the AF360FGZII as a slave, the little flash on the K3 body must be up and act as a master.

Why would Pentax do that? If the body can drive a slave, then it presumably takes extra work to limit that ability to times when the body's flash is on. And it creates a problem. If I'm shooting macro, or something, and I have my off camera flash in a good spot, the on camera flash could well cause a bad and unnecessary shadow.

Am I missing something? Can I turn the on-camera flash off and use the off camera flash as a wireless master, or a slave to the body itself?

12-11-2013, 09:02 PM   #2
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There is an option in the flash menu to not have the onboard flash contribute to the exposure.
It does flash though so at macro distances it could still be a problem.
Nikon sells a light blocker that only allows the IR to pass through.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/410445-REG/Nikon_4905_SG_3IR_IR_Panel_for.html
12-11-2013, 09:38 PM   #3
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it can run as controller as well as master. Still flashes, but much, much dimmer.
12-11-2013, 10:09 PM   #4
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So it seems that the on-board flash is firing to trigger the others. The fact that this causes a problem suggests that another form of communication would be better.

How well does TTL work with a slave unit? Is there a solution that allows TTL to work on slaves without requiring visible light to be emitted from the body? My limited experience says pure IR would work.

12-12-2013, 12:37 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BretW Quote
Is there a solution that allows TTL to work on slaves without requiring visible light to be emitted from the body? My limited experience says pure IR would work.
A nice long cable

And this one: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/236326-aokate...-triggers.html
Does however not seem to fit on every camera body.
12-12-2013, 01:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
And this one: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/236326-aokate...-triggers.html
Does however not seem to fit on every camera body.
This is cool, but given that it is possible, why is it not being used by camera manufacturers?
12-12-2013, 07:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by BretW Quote
This is cool, but given that it is possible, why is it not being used by camera manufacturers?
Camera manufacturers have been getting away with just supporting optical triggering. It works in general, but starts to get problematic in bright sunlight and you always need line of sight which can be a great limitation.

A number of third-party flashes have been released/announced that have built-in radio triggers. With the latest generation of triggers (e.g., from Yongnuo or Cactus) you will be able to remote control the power settings and of course trigger the flashes.

For other brands similar systems have been available for a while (e.g., the Phottix Odin) and those even support i-TTL / E-TTL, but they needed extra receivers for the flashes and weren't exactly cheap.

Many "strobists" don't want P-TTL but swear by manual flash control. I'm in that camp as well. I've been OK with walking up to my flashes and change the power as needed, but now cannot wait to see the release of triggers that allow remote control of the power settings.
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