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02-19-2019, 07:14 AM   #1
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Help choosing a flash for point and shoot and maybe a little more

Hi all so my new venture into DSLR has brought me to another learning curve and another quest for advice. I have a 14 month old grandson and when he comes around I love just picking up my K 70 and taking pics of him playing around and having fun also some quick portraits nothing posed or set up. So I have used the on board flash and don't ever seem to get the same result however his skin tone is usually really pale and overexposed. I tend to use it with the 18-50mm kit lens which came with the camera and also have the 40mm 2.8 xs and 55-300 plm however indoor its the first 2 I tend to use.


So my question is. Is it worth investing into a flash which sits on the hotshoe and which one do you recommend.
Ideally 1. A flash which doesn't upset the balance of the K-70 so will not fall over if I put it down
2. One where I do not have to rely on jumping through loads of menus to get a good shot
3. will actually perform better than the on board one and is not too big
4. Knows which lens I have in and adjusts accordingly


I have seen a 2nd hand Metz 48 AF- at around £70 but is there anything smaller out there which you reckon meets my needs and has a little potential for me to experiment with for fill in flash outdoors and indoors too later on.#

I know the ISO performance is brilliant on the K-70 but would rather use a 200-400 ISO call me old school. I have an old Vivitar and smallish bounce flash but don't like the balance of the camera and the hotshoe connection aint brilliant any thoughts appreciated.

02-19-2019, 07:31 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by luckylu Quote
Hi all so my new venture into DSLR has brought me to another learning curve and another quest for advice. I have a 14 month old grandson and when he comes around I love just picking up my K 70 and taking pics of him playing around and having fun also some quick portraits nothing posed or set up. So I have used the on board flash and don't ever seem to get the same result however his skin tone is usually really pale and overexposed. I tend to use it with the 18-50mm kit lens which came with the camera and also have the 40mm 2.8 xs and 55-300 plm however indoor its the first 2 I tend to use.


So my question is. Is it worth investing into a flash which sits on the hotshoe and which one do you recommend.
Ideally 1. A flash which doesn't upset the balance of the K-70 so will not fall over if I put it down
2. One where I do not have to rely on jumping through loads of menus to get a good shot
3. will actually perform better than the on board one and is not too big
4. Knows which lens I have in and adjusts accordingly


I have seen a 2nd hand Metz 48 AF- at around £70 but is there anything smaller out there which you reckon meets my needs and has a little potential for me to experiment with for fill in flash outdoors and indoors too later on.#

I know the ISO performance is brilliant on the K-70 but would rather use a 200-400 ISO call me old school. I have an old Vivitar and smallish bounce flash but don't like the balance of the camera and the hotshoe connection aint brilliant any thoughts appreciated.
This link may help with your search Lucky lu

Flashes, Lighting, and Studio - PentaxForums.com
02-19-2019, 07:50 AM   #3
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A pale, over-exposed subject in a flash shot is usually a problem with the subject being too close to the camera (and flash) relative to a dimly-lit background. No camera-mounted flash (other than a bounce flash) can simultaneously light a distant background or entire room without blowing-out a nearby subject.

Using bounce flash or arranging the subject to be near or against the background will help. Upping the ISO will also help because then the ambient lighting can take care of the room whilst the flash helps fill-in the subject.
02-19-2019, 07:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by SharkyCA Quote
This link may help with your search Lucky lu

Flashes, Lighting, and Studio - PentaxForums.com
Hi Sharky thanks
yeah there is so much there and so much more than I'm really needing plus my brain hurts with all the jargon and detail. I think maybe I'm looking for something really basic and simplistic nor remote or slave shooting just point and shoot I'd probably rather not have one if I could get simple point and shoot with the on-board one.

02-19-2019, 08:08 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by luckylu Quote
Hi all so my new venture into DSLR has brought me to another learning curve and another quest for advice. I have a 14 month old grandson and when he comes around I love just picking up my K 70 and taking pics of him playing around and having fun also some quick portraits nothing posed or set up. So I have used the on board flash and don't ever seem to get the same result however his skin tone is usually really pale and overexposed. I tend to use it with the 18-50mm kit lens which came with the camera and also have the 40mm 2.8 xs and 55-300 plm however indoor its the first 2 I tend to use.


So my question is. Is it worth investing into a flash which sits on the hotshoe and which one do you recommend.
Ideally 1. A flash which doesn't upset the balance of the K-70 so will not fall over if I put it down
2. One where I do not have to rely on jumping through loads of menus to get a good shot
3. will actually perform better than the on board one and is not too big
4. Knows which lens I have in and adjusts accordingly


I have seen a 2nd hand Metz 48 AF- at around £70 but is there anything smaller out there which you reckon meets my needs and has a little potential for me to experiment with for fill in flash outdoors and indoors too later on.#

I know the ISO performance is brilliant on the K-70 but would rather use a 200-400 ISO call me old school. I have an old Vivitar and smallish bounce flash but don't like the balance of the camera and the hotshoe connection aint brilliant any thoughts appreciated.
I'd recommend the Godox TT350-P. It's small form factor so it won't upset your camera (though I honestly don't think even the bigger flashes will), it's inexpensive and works in PTTL mode.

I'm still a bit new to flash myself but, you can shoot in shutter priority mode and use slower shutter speeds. The slower speed will allow the ambient light to brighten the room and when you focus on (and meter on) your subject, the TTL function will light it appropriately.

The reason your pictures look bad at this point is two fold. One was already mentioned in that the room behind is not being lit well. This can be a good or bad thing depending on your desired outcome. Sometimes it's good to isolate the subject but I don't think that's what you are going for. The second reason is that direct light from a flash is harsh. It's a lot of light coming from a very small source. It's unflattering. There are some really easy ways to overcome this. The way I do it is by using a diffusing cap (which came with my TT350-P) and tilting it almost vertical so the light is both diffused by the cap and is also bouncing off the ceiling. The (mildly) softer and indirect (bounced off ceiling) makes for a more pleasing light source. That coupled with the slower shutter speed allowing the ambient light to fill the room makes for nicer pictures I find.

Some of the best advice is found in the flash subsection of this forum. Nearly everything I know about flash, I learned there.

Good luck and enjoy. Flash adds a whole new layer to photography.
02-19-2019, 08:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by luckylu Quote
yeah there is so much there and so much more than I'm really needing plus my brain hurts with all the jargon and detail. I think maybe I'm looking for something really basic and simplistic nor remote or slave shooting just point and shoot I'd probably rather not have one if I could get simple point and shoot with the on-board one.
Here's an example of @mcgregni of a simpler setup with results a billion times better than the direct on-camera deer in headlights flash: Indoor Exposure Mixing - PentaxForums.com

ps. I'm making this post in part to call Nigel (mcgregni) in and also point out that he has many great examples of photographing his kids in the flash section. The big-flash used in that thread might be larger than you're after.
02-19-2019, 08:48 AM   #7
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KEH has three Pentax 540 flashes for sale for under $200. Aim it at the ceiling or walls and fire away. Another option is aim it straight up and use a Stofen bounce (or less expensive alternative). It will “upset” the balance of your K-70 a little, but you’ll soon get used to it and you will enjoy the pictures of your grandson for the rest of your life. It will be worth it. The other option is to put the flash on a stand and fire it with the K-70’s pop up flash.
02-19-2019, 10:20 AM   #8
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Like the above post- you can find used af360fgz for under $100 and af540fgz too.

It's too bad pentax removed wireless flash master on the k70

02-19-2019, 10:56 AM   #9
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thanks a lot everyone glad to understand that not all the bad results are on me but also some attributed to the pop up flash. I know if you have time to set it up then the results can be had with the pop up however I'd like any one just to be able to pick up the camera and take a decent shot with the flash basically turning it into a point and shoot when needed. the lighting in my house varies however I I have mainly daylight led bulbs which I thought would actually help. My Samsung phone performs pretty well indoors with the flash.

I will read up the links you have sent and see if there maybe is a way to under expose the flash. Tried stopping down but again it's a manual intervention with inconsistent results.
02-19-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
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If the balance is getting you even with a small bounce flash you might consider an L bracket and cord. I am guessing it's portrait style camera turned sideways where the balance gets you.
02-19-2019, 03:29 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by luckylu Quote
I will read up the links you have sent and see if there maybe is a way to under expose the flash. Tried stopping down but again it's a manual intervention with inconsistent results.

It's like seasoning with salt, Lucklu, dial up or down your Flash Exposure Compensation on the K-70 to taste.

Ultimately, a real flash and a big modifier (wall, Flashbender, foldable softbox) is what lets you recreate even window light.
02-20-2019, 03:56 AM - 4 Likes   #12
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I think you are imposing too many self made limitations ....(ISO limits, worry about camera weight and balance with flash attached worry about the hotshoe connection, wanting "point and shoot" to bring instant good results .). Until you free yourself from all this and dive in to learn about flash techniques and taking full control over ambient and flash exposures, then your Phone pictures will continue to be the better ones.

You're got a DSLR .... Time to start really using it!


BTW, I find that with my AF-540FGZII on the hotshoe, even with the D FA28-105 on the camera, I can get it to balance Ok on a flat surface by turning the flash head around towards the back. I usually have that silver "flag" thing you will have seen in the thread that was linked, and this adds to the weight on the flash head, meaning that when turned around and more facing backwards it balances the weight of the lens, so I don't have to rest the lens hood on the table.... the camera stays sitting fully flat on the Battery Grip base.

Last edited by mcgregni; 02-20-2019 at 09:12 AM.
02-23-2019, 06:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by luckylu Quote
My Samsung phone performs pretty well indoors with the flash.
.
Interesting question: As mcgregni suggested and helpful comments from others, I think you have found the answer to your own question, given all the limitations (and reasoning) you have imposed on yourself.
02-23-2019, 07:36 PM - 1 Like   #14
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small and semi versatile...…the af-201fg would seem the fit you are looking for.....I believe there is a godox of similar size only 2 'aa' batteries but do not know the model
PENTAX AF 201FG reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I really like the af360fgz its the one I mount majority of the time...….
02-23-2019, 08:00 PM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
small and semi versatile...…the af-201fg would seem the fit you are looking for.....I believe there is a godox of similar size only 2 'aa' batteries but do not know the model
PENTAX AF 201FG reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

I really like the af360fgz its the one I mount majority of the time...….
very good suggestion.. I think it's a good fit for the OP.
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