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03-31-2014, 04:44 AM - 1 Like   #1
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Rogue Safari Flash Extender

The Rogue Safari is a fresnel lens flash extender for the pop-up flash on an SLR camera. This device isn't yet tested on Pentax (only theoretically available for Canon, Nikon and Sony), but I thought I would buy one and check it out. The Canon/Nikon version comes with two spacers (5mm and 10mm) and I found that the 10mm adapter works a treat on my K5IIS (which in theory should be the same geometry as the K5 and K5II). On the K3, the geometry also seems to be correct for the 10mm spacer, but I found that the flash arms rub slightly on the spacer, so the flash has to be gently pushed into the pop-up position. It gave me considerable extra distance from the pop-up flash using a zoom lens at 135mm on the couple of quick sample shots I took.

I will get some better subjects to test it on over the weekend and post some comparison shots. Don't have time to do a proper write-up today. However, I think it was worth the AUD40 that I just spent.

1. The Rogue Safari on my K5IIS

2. Shot at ISO 100 and 135mm without the Safari

3. Shot at ISO 100 with the Safari

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03-31-2014, 05:31 AM   #2
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The second shot has weird banding going on. Maybe that's why it "doesn't work" on Pentaxes?
04-01-2014, 04:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
The second shot has weird banding going on. Maybe that's why it "doesn't work" on Pentaxes?
I exchanged emails with the manufacturer last night on this. What it means is that I just need to move the unit back a couple of millimetres until I find the correct distance between flash and lens. Interestingly, the bands don't appear on the original raw shot (or at least are not obvious) and only appeared in the reduced size jpeg. It could also be a K5IIS moire thing. I will play with it more on the weekend, and if I can find a 'sweet spot' should be able to glue the spacer into place.
04-04-2014, 04:10 PM - 2 Likes   #4
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I made an adjustment by sliding the Safari backwards about 4mm in the connection slot in the spacer. It seems to sit there quite solidly, and when I get a bit more confident I have the right spot, I will glue the spacer into place. When I did this I took a number of test shots on flat surfaces and other targets and have not yet identified the banding I got in the first shots. Two test shots below with the DA*300 with flash (and the Safari) and without flash.

I will keep playing and see what i come up with, but so far it is looking good.

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04-04-2014, 04:43 PM   #5
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The shots above look good. I have a Better Beamer but don't always take it along as it and the required external flash are just more stuff to carry.
If this adds a little bit of fill light for the DA*300 it may be all I need.
Do you think shaving the sides a bit on the spacer would cure the K-3 rub?
04-08-2014, 06:13 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
The shots above look good. I have a Better Beamer but don't always take it along as it and the required external flash are just more stuff to carry.
If this adds a little bit of fill light for the DA*300 it may be all I need.
Do you think shaving the sides a bit on the spacer would cure the K-3 rub?
I'm having the same thought. If I am shooting with my DA* 300 or DA* 60-250, a lot of times I don't want to bother with the AF 540 flash and Better Beamer for just casually shooting from my deck. Plus any added weight is tough on me. If it will give me some fill flash at 30'-40' it may be just the ticket. Going to do some more research.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Adrian.
04-08-2014, 01:23 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
The shots above look good. I have a Better Beamer but don't always take it along as it and the required external flash are just more stuff to carry.
If this adds a little bit of fill light for the DA*300 it may be all I need.
Do you think shaving the sides a bit on the spacer would cure the K-3 rub?
My next task is to play with the K3 as well - first thought is that the spacer could be shaved enough. It is only a minor rub, so isn't really a big deal - the friction is just enough to overcome the spring but the flash is easily pushed into place.

I finally settled on a 4-5mm rearwards in the big spacer (which is 8mm, not the 10mm I mentioned above). In order to see if there was banding and find the right position, I used a 50mm lens so that I could see the whole flash pattern in a dimly lit space. There is still banding under these conditions. However, as you can see from the shot I posted, when all you are looking for is a bit of fill flash with a long lens like the DA*300 f4, it seems to be just fine.

---------- Post added 09-04-14 at 06:28 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
I'm having the same thought. If I am shooting with my DA* 300 or DA* 60-250, a lot of times I don't want to bother with the AF 540 flash and Better Beamer for just casually shooting from my deck. Plus any added weight is tough on me. If it will give me some fill flash at 30'-40' it may be just the ticket. Going to do some more research.

Thanks for bringing this to our attention Adrian.
My pleasure Stormtech. See my previous response re my other test. I wouldn't say the Safari is ideal with tests to date, but as fill flash with a long lens where the flash isn't the only light source, it seems just fine. I also need to check it out on a Canon when I get a chance, to see how much different it is there. The engineer in me says that there is s till some experimenting to do.

By the way, the manufacturer now has copies of my Lorikeet photos and may actually post them on their web site. I don't think they are going to recommend the Safarai as perfect for Pentax, but in some circumstances it does work. I feel that I'm getting some fun from the AUD40 (circa USD35) that I spent.
04-08-2014, 01:29 PM   #8
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Adrian - could you tell me an approximate distance you made those bird shots from?

Very nice fill effect for the 300mm which is exactly what I am looking for.

04-08-2014, 01:50 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stormtech Quote
Adrian - could you tell me an approximate distance you made those bird shots from?

Very nice fill effect for the 300mm which is exactly what I am looking for.
From memory, it was about 7-8 metres. When I do the guide number calcs for the pop-up flash, at ISO 200 it is 1.4 times 13 which is around about 18. For f5.6, that would normally give an effective range of about 3-4 metres. The effect of the extender to go beyond this and provide a good exposure becomes apparent.
04-08-2014, 02:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AdrianM Quote
From memory, it was about 7-8 metres. When I do the guide number calcs for the pop-up flash, at ISO 200 it is 1.4 times 13 which is around about 18. For f5.6, that would normally give an effective range of about 3-4 metres. The effect of the extender to go beyond this and provide a good exposure becomes apparent.
Excellent - thanks for the additional info!
05-03-2014, 06:21 PM - 2 Likes   #11
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I have now had a bit of a chance to play around with the Safari and the K3, and feel that I am getting some really good results with a Sigma 120-400 f5.6 APO DG HSM OS lens in deep shade. The following shots all taken at a focal length of 400mm. The 'binding' that stopped the flash from popping up seems to have gone away. I still pull the Safari back 5mm - the way I found to measure this is: when pushed all the way into the spacer, the tip of the attachment shoe protrudes from the spacer roughly 5mm, so it is fairly easy just to push it only as far as it does not protrude. In this position, there is still some banding if shots are taken in full darkness, but it seems to work just fine when there is a little bit of daylight around.

My view is that the results are good enough for me to now consider not taking my Metz 58AF-2 flash and Better Beamer on a trip to South America later this year. I will be very weight limited, and the Safari seems to be the answer.
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05-10-2014, 12:20 AM - 1 Like   #12
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A couple of shots taken with K3, DA*300 f4, Tamron 1.4x Pz-AF TC and Rogue Safari with inbuilt flash. The shot of the Sulphur-crested Cockatoo showed the value of the Safari in dealing with stong backlighting at a range of about 15 metres.
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05-10-2014, 01:01 AM   #13
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Nice!
05-17-2014, 03:30 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I met up with the inventor at a photo show in LA today, very nice guy and happy to discuss the design process for the safari.
When I asked him about use on a Pentax he mentioned the OPs experimentation and showed me the lorikeets photos.
He felt in addition to the distance factor the banding could also be an interaction with the specific design of the fresnel on the front of the Pentax pop up.
He told me the unit was designed for optimal placement of the fresnel at 48mm from the front of the pop up.
I picked up a Safari from a vendor at the show and will do some experimenting as well.
05-17-2014, 03:42 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
I met up with the inventor at a photo show in LA today, very nice guy and happy to discuss the design process for the safari.
When I asked him about use on a Pentax he mentioned the OPs experimentation and showed me the lorikeets photos.
He felt in addition to the distance factor the banding could also be an interaction with the specific design of the fresnel on the front of the Pentax pop up.
He told me the unit was designed for optimal placement of the fresnel at 48mm from the front of the pop up.
I picked up a Safari from a vendor at the show and will do some experimenting as well.
I'm interested to see how you go. I was just about to try it with the DA*300 and the new Pentax 1.4x RC.
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