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09-28-2014, 07:16 PM   #1
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Pentax k5 need external flash help

I've been researching about external flashes online but feel a little confused. I would like to get a flash for my pentax k5. I just keep reading bad things about the external flash and k5's. Anyone have any good experiences?

I'm mainly looking for some bounce when I shoot outdoors in the shade and probably inside a some. I know it sound stupid to use outdoors but I used one withy old camera and it did help a bunch outside.


Last edited by julbelle; 09-28-2014 at 08:21 PM.
09-28-2014, 08:35 PM - 1 Like   #2
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While the Pentax flash system isn't quite as strong/versatile as another major DSLR, I feel it's more than capable for most applications. I've used mine for wedding coverage, outdoor fill flash (which isn't stupid at all) and two at one time wirelessly for macro purposes.

I actually have two flash units listed for sale in the market place with some accessories (diffuser/sync cable for off camera flash) if you are interested.

Like I said, unless you need really fast recycling time or a lot of power, the Pentax flashes should work just fine for your applications.
09-28-2014, 08:39 PM - 1 Like   #3
Brooke Meyer
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QuoteOriginally posted by julbelle Quote
I've been researching about external flashes online but feel a little confused. I would like to get a flash for my pentax k5 in simple terms can someone pls explain the differences in the flash systems.

Im mainly looking for some bounce when I shoot outdoors in the shade and probably inside a some. I know it sound stupid to use outdoors but I used one withy old camera and it did help a bunch outside.
Here's the Readers Digest version:

1. I think you mean fill instead of bounce for shooting outdoors. Bounce you can do indoors, when you have a wall or ceiling the light can be reflected or bounced back from. Flash is often used outdoors for fill ( especially on sunny days) or even as main or key light.

2. You can get along with $50 to $60 manual flash, like a Yongnou 560, which has an adjustable output and can tilt, swivel and zoom. You will be balancing flash and ambient light. With a little practice and study, it will do most of what you need. Add an umbrella, stand and some inexpensive wireless triggers and you can do quite a lot.

Study and practice is more important than gear. The main idea when using flash is to understand you are making two exposures, one for ambient and one for what the flash will light.

Here's a great free site with everything you need to know : Neil van Niekirk Tangents Indoors, I always use the black foamy thing indoors.

3. The Pentax 540 model flashes and a few others ( Sigma & Metz) are a lot more expensive but can work automatically using P-TTL exposure. They can also be used on camera in HSS (High Speed Sync) useful on bright sunny days with high shutter speeds. The trade off is limited distance.

I always use manual exposure on my cameras but will often use my flash in P-TTL mode, usually adjusted with some -EV dialed in on the flash. More and more, I just use manual. mode on the flash.

4. I recommend you buy a $60 Chinese knockoff Yongnuo 560II and learn. Even if you later buy a Pentax 540 ( check shareasale.com/r.cfm?b=889257&u=523490&m=66875&urllink=keh.com for used), you'll still use the Yongnuo, its about the same power output. If you drop it or break it, no big deal. BTW, both will work just fine with these triggers for off camera use. I carry my tripod with a small softbox & flash around on portrait shoots.


Some examples:

On camera, Pentax 540 flash, HSS



Off camera, manual flash as main light through umbrella, under tent in street.



Off camera, bare manual flash, outdoors in afternoon


Off camera, bare manual flash.
09-28-2014, 08:40 PM   #4
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Thanks, I'll check out what you have

09-29-2014, 02:48 AM - 1 Like   #5
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The K5 doesn't work nicely with P-TTL off camera. Exposure is screwed. It's a camera bug. On the hot shoe it's fine though. This problem was fixed with later models (K30 and K3 in my personal experience).
10-06-2014, 05:59 AM   #6
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My K5 lls works perfectly PTTL and HSS off camera using two AF540FGZ's triggered with my Sigma DG610 super. However in bright light off camera I use those Cowboy studio triggers Brook linked to without HSS. One needs to learn to control ones ambient light exposure coupled with the manual flash settings using umbrellas, reflectors etc.

As Brook mentioned you don't need to go to a lot of expense to be able to do really good off camera flash photography. Take the time to go through this site. Strobist: Lighting 101
11-04-2014, 05:40 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
The K5 doesn't work nicely with P-TTL off camera. Exposure is screwed. It's a camera bug. On the hot shoe it's fine though. This problem was fixed with later models (K30 and K3 in my personal experience).
I have had a lot of problems with this as a relative newbie, was most agrived to find i can shoot no faster than 160 without hss when canon and nikons in a similer bracket go a lot quicker. but i will sing the praises of the youngnou, i have a few of them and have always found them easy to use and a great "first set " of flashes

11-04-2014, 11:12 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by cybertaff Quote
I have had a lot of problems with this as a relative newbie, was most agrived to find i can shoot no faster than 160 without hss
No, Cybertaff, Canon or Nikon don't go to their 1/5000 or 1/6000 shutter speeds either.

They also need HSS after 1/250 or so.
11-05-2014, 12:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
No, Cybertaff, Canon or Nikon don't go to their 1/5000 or 1/6000 shutter speeds either.

They also need HSS after 1/250 or so.
didnt say they can go full speed canon is 1/250 (as fas as i know, never used one) my nikon goes 350 without the need for hss, its a little gripe but it does shut out a lot of fun high speed stuff to the newbie user. from my own stuff with fluids i know those extra moments help a lot big diffrence shooting at 1/160 than 1/250 that extra time at 1/160 does give a marked amount of drag on the subject.
11-05-2014, 07:29 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cybertaff Quote
my nikon goes 350 without the need for hss, its a little gripe but it does shut out a lot of fun high speed
1/350 isn't 'high speed'.

For moving people or stationary objects in broad daylight 1/1000 and faster can be required - much more if you shoot wide open..

Btw, I'd check your camera's half-step settings.

You should be getting 1/180s - which is the same as the Canon 6D.
11-05-2014, 07:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
1/350 isn't 'high speed'.

For moving people or stationary objects in broad daylight 1/1000 and faster can be required - much more if you shoot wide open..

Btw, I'd check your camera's half-step settings.

You should be getting 1/180s - which is the same as the Canon 6D.
Not saying it is I'm just pointing out the pentax is the slowest of the lot, and you can't capture what I do with natural light, well not well anyway.
11-05-2014, 07:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cybertaff Quote
Not saying it is I'm just pointing out the pentax is the slowest of the lot, and you can't capture what I do with natural light, well not well anyway.
Well, OK then...
11-05-2014, 07:52 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
Well, OK then...
Lol love your ident pic btw
11-05-2014, 08:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by cybertaff Quote
Not saying it is I'm just pointing out the pentax is the slowest of the lot.

But it's just been pointed out to you, the Canon 6D has the same speed!


Your shutter can be set to between 30s and 1/6000. The difference between the 6D and the 5D MkIII is that tiny range between 1/180 and 1/250!


That's not even a stop ... an ND2 filter would be too much.


QuoteOriginally posted by cybertaff Quote
you can't capture what I do with natural light, well not well anyway.

And Pentaxians would use flash as much as anybody - have a look at Brooke's photos above!


I never had a problem alongside Nikon and Canon shooters in a workshop:


11-05-2014, 08:15 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
But it's just been pointed out to you, the Canon 6D has the same speed!


Your shutter can be set to between 30s and 1/6000. The difference between the 6D and the 5D MkIII is that tiny range between 1/180 and 1/250!


That's not even a stop ... an ND2 filter would be too much.





And Pentaxians would use flash as much as anybody - have a look at Brooke's photos above!


I never had a problem alongside Nikon and Canon shooters in a workshop:

Yes I understand all this truly I do my point is that small difference means a lot when taking a pic of a fast moving object, I take stills of things that move , a good example would be this pic , if it was taken at 1/250 instead of 1/180 the fringing from the flash lag would not of been apparent, in every other way I would agree wholeheartedly with everything said above

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