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10-09-2014, 07:26 AM   #1
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Second Hand Flash Units - Opinions Please

I have a Pentax K-5II camera body, but no external flash units.

A friend of mine knows someone who is selling two flash units, plus a bunch of other bits and pieces, that were used originally on a film Pentax body. Could somebody tell me whether they will work with my camera?

The details are:
  • Sunpak Auto Zoom 3600 Thyristor
  • Metz 45 CL-1

The seller wants about USD100 for the whole lot, including the case.

Unfortunately the seller is not nearby so I cannot test the units personally.

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10-09-2014, 07:49 AM   #2
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I'd get a yongnuo 560 before I get those, but that's just me. I had the Metz and while it fires fine it's not very practical to use (for me). FWIW I didnt bother checking if the voltage is safe, so I used Wein Safesync to trigger it.
10-09-2014, 08:08 AM   #3
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Here is the site to check the voltage: Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

But I would agree with the above, get a new Yongnuo for the same price. More features, smaller package.
10-09-2014, 08:33 AM   #4
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The Metz is safe at 7.4 volts, but the Sunpak is definitely not (194 volts).

I probably would also go with the Yongnuo. It's a nice flash.

10-09-2014, 08:36 AM   #5
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I agree nothing there worth a $100. Even the case isn't worth it in my estimation. I much prefer a bag or a backpack. Easier to carry and not lose. Just in case you didn't understand Gibby's remarks. If you put the Sunpack on your camera and fire it, it will fry all of the circuits in your camera.
10-11-2014, 06:26 AM   #6
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I have no issues buying a used flash but the price for that stuff is way too high. My sister found a similar kit with with multiple flashes, brackets and a case for a small fraction of that price. Yeah, you will need a safe sync or some Cactus triggers for those high voltage old flashes which is why they are so cheap these days.
10-12-2014, 10:24 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neville Quote
Could somebody tell me whether they will work with my camera?
They will work, but not as P-TTL flashes. I'd recommend simply getting a modern flash from Metz or Sigma, or a modern Pentax flash of course. More compact, and simpler to use than the big old flash dinosaurs you are looking at.

QuoteOriginally posted by GibbyTheMole Quote
The Metz is safe at 7.4 volts
Depending on the serial number. My Metz 45 CT-1 measured at about 150V...

10-12-2014, 11:22 PM   #8
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I first bought a Metz 48 after i got a K10. They are kind of fiddly to use, having to hold 2 buttons at a time for some operations. A few years later i learned strobist type techniques, bought a Yongnuo 460 II and a 560. These are manual but the benefit is that they adjust down to 1/128 power in the 560 and 1/64 power for the 460. One was $45 and the other was $60 if i recall correctly. then bought some Cactus V5's for remote operation and then followed that up with a 20" square soft box and a portable stand. I don't even take the Metz out anymore. One bad thing about P-TTL is that the preflash can often cause eyes to blink. don't have that problem with manual. I do head shots for the theatre i work with, and often they look like professional portraits. The theatre org. wanted promo shots on Wednesday last, and I did that with a remote manual flash and they came out dynamic and interesting. Another good thing about the manual flashes, they are fairly intuitive from looking at the back of them, and are lit up so you can use them in lwolight conditions like i faced last Wednesday. Skip the Metz is my opinion, but everyone has to decide their own needs. These 2 actors are in a play about coaches of a kids baseball team, if you needed the backstory :-) (Key City Public Theatre, Port Townsend, is who i need to thank for this opportunity to shoot actors)


Last edited by philbaum; 10-12-2014 at 11:50 PM.

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