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02-18-2016, 01:20 PM   #1
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K1 & Flash

Hi Folks! Its been a long time since I have been on here. I have patiently been awaiting the news of a full frame Pentax and I can't be any more excited about it. I really want to be a Pentax user! I really want the K1, but there is one thing that is holding me back from ordering. Its that pesky flash dilemma. Maybe one of you kind folks can point me in the right direction. I have a need for off camera flash daily along with working with strobes on a constant basis. How do the Pentax users implement this currently? For example, there are tons of ttl transceivers for the other two brands for off camera flash. Also to elaborate, I wanted to pick up Profoto B1's but there is no controller for Pentax. Is there solutions out there for Pentax users? Please let me know because I really really want to make this purchase.

02-18-2016, 01:36 PM   #2
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Everyone has their own preference when it comes to flash exposure. If you prefer to work in TTL, honestly, I'd shoot Nikon. Pentax's pTTL system is still about 10 years behind the game. Maybe that will change with the K-1, but I would be astonished, and there has been no mention of a major revision.

If you like/(don't mind) working with manual flash though, the Cactus V6 system, with or without the companion RF60 flash guns, is a very nice workaround for Pentax shooter. (It's nice for shooters of all brands, but it addresses the shortcoming of the Pentax system almost as if it were purpose-built for the task). Most notably, it adds 4 "zones" or "groups" so that lighting ratios can be controlled from the camera by the user. It also has a pseudo-HSS mode, remote shutter triggering, and it's brand agnostic. You can learn more than you ever wanted to know in this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...er-review.html
02-18-2016, 01:36 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fotoman Quote
Hi Folks! Its been a long time since I have been on here. I have patiently been awaiting the news of a full frame Pentax and I can't be any more excited about it. I really want to be a Pentax user! I really want the K1, but there is one thing that is holding me back from ordering. Its that pesky flash dilemma. Maybe one of you kind folks can point me in the right direction. I have a need for off camera flash daily along with working with strobes on a constant basis. How do the Pentax users implement this currently? For example, there are tons of ttl transceivers for the other two brands for off camera flash. Also to elaborate, I wanted to pick up Profoto B1's but there is no controller for Pentax. Is there solutions out there for Pentax users? Please let me know because I really really want to make this purchase.
There is at least one set of P-TTL radio triggers, though I can't recall their name. I can't speak for others, but as a pro, I don't use P-TTL on most occasions. Certainly not in the studio. I do use it on camera during weddings and such, but then I'm not using it off camera. Basically, if its off my camera, I'm using in manual mode anyway, so I don't have any use for P-TTL triggers.
02-18-2016, 01:38 PM   #4
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Can't comment on Profoto, but I've been using Bowens strobe lighting for a year now on a K3 and it works perfectly with their Gemini wireless transceiver, if that's of any help.

02-18-2016, 02:37 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote

If you like/(don't mind) working with manual flash though, the Cactus V6 system, with or without the companion RF60 flash guns, is a very nice workaround for Pentax shooter. (It's nice for shooters of all brands, but it addresses the shortcoming of the Pentax system almost as if it were purpose-built for the task). Most notably, it adds 4 "zones" or "groups" so that lighting ratios can be controlled from the camera by the user. It also has a pseudo-HSS mode, remote shutter triggering, and it's brand agnostic. You can learn more than you ever wanted to know in this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...er-review.html
+1 for the Cactus V6 + RF60 combo.
I actually used a D810 + this combo for an engagement photoshoot a couple weeks ago and couldn't be happier (it was a simple setup, just a single shoot thru umbrella). The V6 allows you to vary the flash power remotely from your hotshoe...so even though it is technically "manual", you just take a single test shot, chimp your histogram, and make your tweeks, on the V6. In my experience, this is much more repeatable than i-ttl, pttl, e-ttl etc. And since you can do it all on camera, you don't have to walk back and forth, tweeking the settings, so it makes everything real quick
02-18-2016, 02:40 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
P-TTL triggers, I can't recall their name
Acon Photo.

Last edited by rawr; 02-18-2016 at 02:51 PM.
02-18-2016, 03:04 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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I work commercially in the studio with top of the line elinchrom strobes, which I use with full manual control - this is a matter of preference. In my mind: in the studio TTL is utterly pointless, unless you are horrendously lazy.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-18-2016 at 09:24 PM.
02-18-2016, 03:13 PM   #8
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Just about any of the transceivers will work in their manual mode on Pentax with just about any manual strobe or flash, Fotoman.

If you hire a studio and its setup, just walk right in and put their controller on your hotshoe.


Last edited by clackers; 02-18-2016 at 04:31 PM.
02-18-2016, 03:53 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
Everyone has their own preference when it comes to flash exposure. If you prefer to work in TTL, honestly, I'd shoot Nikon. Pentax's pTTL system is still about 10 years behind the game. Maybe that will change with the K-1, but I would be astonished, and there has been no mention of a major revision.

If you like/(don't mind) working with manual flash though, the Cactus V6 system, with or without the companion RF60 flash guns, is a very nice workaround for Pentax shooter. (It's nice for shooters of all brands, but it addresses the shortcoming of the Pentax system almost as if it were purpose-built for the task). Most notably, it adds 4 "zones" or "groups" so that lighting ratios can be controlled from the camera by the user. It also has a pseudo-HSS mode, remote shutter triggering, and it's brand agnostic. You can learn more than you ever wanted to know in this thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...er-review.html
Spot on point, Maxfield!

I would "like" it except your link goes to a 15-page discussion and not the actual review. Some might find the thread overwhelming!
02-19-2016, 04:57 AM   #10
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Thanks everyone. Much appreciated. I usually do a mix of manual flash, and ttl and its nice to see all the options available. As for the strobe work in studio of course I go all manual, but with the newer technologies of HSS etc, TTL incorporated (for location work) , I suppose you would need the dedicated controller to take advantage of that capability. It would be really great with the release of the K1 for Pentax to upgrade the flash system to go along with the release and/or third party flash manufacturing to implement Pentax into that. I hope so!
04-23-2016, 05:56 AM   #11
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I'm just about to get a K-1 next week (never been a fan of "early adopters" but this time it's out of necessity...) and I kind of have an urgent question.
So far, with the K-5, I used to use the wireless mode from the on-board flash to control my 540fgz & 360fgz when I was out and about and needed some extra light on the spot. Now, the K-1's ditching the pop-up flash and I'm not entirely sure it can still wirelessly trigger external flashes somehow (it was mentioned in the leaked manual, but didn't fully understand how?)... so what's the best, least cumbersome solution to trigger flashguns remotely? Radio triggers? Cord can be an option too if it's long enough, though I'm not sure which one I'm supposed to get.
04-23-2016, 09:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hooverfocus Quote
so what's the best, least cumbersome solution to trigger flashguns remotely? Radio triggers? .
Yes.



04-23-2016, 04:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by hooverfocus Quote
so what's the best, least cumbersome solution to trigger flashguns remotely? Radio triggers?
Yes indeed. The Cactus v6 radio trigger will work nicely, as others have indicated, if you like manual flash control.

If you prefer P-TTL and also need fancy features like HSS, there is the Priolite PTTL/HSS radio flash system:

The Acon radio triggers are a more affordable PTTL/HSS option than the Priolite system:


---------- Post added 2016-04-24 at 09:25 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by hooverfocus Quote
Cord can be an option too if it's long enough, though I'm not sure which one I'm supposed to get.
Just get a P-TTL off-camera flash cord or similar PTTL Chinese cords off eBay/Amazon etc. They come in various lengths.

Last edited by rawr; 04-23-2016 at 04:27 PM.
04-23-2016, 04:52 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
Just get a P-TTL off-camera flash cord or similar PTTL Chinese cords off eBay/Amazon etc. They come in various lengths.
I've only ever found the short 3-foot coiled cords for Pentax. There is enough sales volume in other brands to justify manufacturing various lengths of cable, but for Pentax it's just the short one. I managed to make my own long cord though by splicing RJ45 plugs onto a short cable and then running a CAT5 ethernet cable between them. I join the whole thing with two small female to female junctions. Looks a little cheesy, but it works when I really need off camera pTTL.
05-01-2016, 01:48 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by fotoman Quote
As for the strobe work in studio of course I go all manual, but with the newer technologies of HSS etc, TTL incorporated (for location work) , I suppose you would need the dedicated controller to take advantage of that capability.
The current V6 only supports manual flash control for shutter speeds that do not exceed the sync-speed, but Cactus have announced a V6 MK II version which will support HSS.

Still no TTL (automatic exposure), just pure manual (but remote) power control, yet HSS without any of the currently required workarounds.
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