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07-18-2019, 09:20 AM   #1
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Flash FTZ vs FTG

This may have been asked but I haven't been able to find the answer in my searches. Will FTG flash work on film cameras such as MZ-5? Likewise, will FTZ flash work o digital K-2S? What features might I loose? I wish there was a chart, but the K-2S manual only shows FTG and FTGII units. I would assume Ivan shoot manual...maybe some Auto modes... Does auto-zooming work and P-TTL is my main interest. Thanks



07-18-2019, 09:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tonyzoc Quote
This may have been asked but I haven't been able to find the answer in my searches. Will FTG flash work on film cameras such as MZ-5? Likewise, will FTZ flash work o digital K-2S? What features might I loose? I wish there was a chart, but the K-2S manual only shows FTG and FTGII units. I would assume Ivan shoot manual...maybe some Auto modes... Does auto-zooming work and P-TTL is my main interest. Thanks
The older PENTAX AF 540FGZ would be your best bet, as it has TTL (for your MZ-5) and P-TTL (for your K-2S).

Phil.
07-18-2019, 12:15 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
The older PENTAX AF 540FGZ would be your best bet, as it has TTL (for your MZ-5) and P-TTL (for your K-2S).

Phil.
Thanks. Ok, so the newer flashes are backward compatible. Well either I'll wait for a used 360FGZ at a reasonable price or look into a Godox flash... Spending $400 on a flash isn't in my forseable future.

07-18-2019, 12:46 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tonyzoc Quote
Thanks. Ok, so the newer flashes are backward compatible. Well either I'll wait for a used 360FGZ at a reasonable price or look into a Godox flash... Spending $400 on a flash isn't in my forseable future.
Yep the AF 360FGZ is also TTL/P-TTL, so will work on both your cameras.

The AF 540FGZ & AF 360FGZ were the MZ/ZX Series flashes, as some bodies like the MZ-S & MZ-6 had P-TTL flash. (The newer version II of both flashes only have P-TTL.)

Phil.

07-18-2019, 01:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yep the AF 360FGZ is also TTL/P-TTL, so will work on both your cameras.

The AF 540FGZ & AF 360FGZ were the MZ/ZX Series flashes, as some bodies like the MZ-S & MZ-6 had P-TTL flash. (The newer version II of both flashes only have P-TTL.)

Phil.
Great, thanks. I do see some 540FGZ around $100 used so not as high as I thought. If I could grab one around that price I'd pull the trigger.

One thing about the Pentax flash (or any other mfgr) that annoys me is seeing a unit sell for $500+ and 5 years or so later you see them on eBay for $75. That plus you see comparable Chinese units going for under $100...makes me feel the price is grossly inflated. They could make a profit with a $225 price?

07-18-2019, 01:27 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by tonyzoc Quote
One thing about the Pentax flash (or any other mfgr) that annoys me is seeing a unit sell for $500+ and 5 years or so later you see them on eBay for $75. That plus you see comparable Chinese units going for under $100...makes me feel the price is grossly inflated. They could make a profit with a $225 price?
Yep I just bought a AF330FTZ for $20.00 CDN ($14USD) and it works perfectly. The clerk in the camera sore said the same thing, that the flash probably sold for over $300.00CDN new back in the 90's!

Phil.
07-18-2019, 01:51 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
Yep I just bought a AF330FTZ for $20.00 CDN ($14USD) and it works perfectly. The clerk in the camera sore said the same thing, that the flash probably sold for over $300.00CDN new back in the 90's!

Phil.
I used to have the 330FTZ with my ZX-5, with the 28-70 and I gave the whole outfit away 5-6 yrs ago because I couldn't even get $50 on eBay. So recently I was missing the ZX-5 and got 2...one with broken popup the other perfect condition. Spent under $40 for both. I think I paid about $75 for the 330 back in the late 90s and that was a used price. I see them now for $10 plus shipping.


07-18-2019, 02:16 PM   #8
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I've used the 540 and 360 (first versions) on my K2 DMD successfully. It had to be in manual mode, of course. But then I only use flashes in manual so it wasn't a big deal. The camera's hot shoe had no issue triggering the flash. The 540 and 360 work great on K and M cameras, the K10D, and K-1.

I also have used my K2 DMD in the studio with modern strobe triggers (Paul C Buff) on the hot shoe without any issues.

07-18-2019, 04:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I've used the 540 and 360 (first versions) on my K2 DMD successfully. It had to be in manual mode, of course. But then I only use flashes in manual so it wasn't a big deal. The camera's hot shoe had no issue triggering the flash. The 540 and 360 work great on K and M cameras, the K10D, and K-1.



I also have used my K2 DMD in the studio with modern strobe triggers (Paul C Buff) on the hot shoe without any issues.
Thanks, Good to know. I still shoot film with my old Pentax...currently have film in my MX, KX and SuperProgram .

07-18-2019, 08:11 PM   #10
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Depending on model, the forward and backward compatibility of a particular flash may be highly variable with some being very limited. The user manuals for specific flash models usually include a compatibility matrix for cameras from the same time period. Similarly, camera manuals usually include a compatibliity matrix for flash of the time. Those two references are the best resources for determining compatibility.

The flash resource pages at "The K-mount Page" (hosted by the German Pentaxians group) are excellent as a background resource to help navigate the maze of initials, interfaces, protocols, and capabilities.
KMP | Flash Systems Evolution

KMP | Meanings of the Pentax Flash Names
Protocol Summary
Which protocols are supported are a clue to which features are supported with which cameras. The year of introduction is in parentheses a reference to camera support.
  • Analog dedication (1977) uses the "ready" hot shoe contact
  • Program dedication (1981) uses the "ready" and "mode" hot shoe contacts
  • Analog protocol TTL (1981) uses the "ready" and "mode" hot shoe contacts*
  • Digital dedication (1987) uses the "digital" hot shoe contact
  • Digital protocol TTL (1987) uses the "digital" hot shoe contact**
  • P-TTL protocol (2001) uses the "digital" hot shoe contact
Some flash are broadly compatible to all K-mount cameras and support most of the above protocols (e.g. AF360FGZ/AF540FGZ) and the features supported on the same. Others are more narrowly focused to support a limited range of cameras and features (e.g. AF500FTZ supports digital dedication (partial) and digital protocol TTL to support SF, PZ, and MZ series bodies with little backward and almost no forward compatibility).

As hinted above, the AF360FGZ and AF540FGZ have perhaps the broadest camera support of all Pentax flash. Both fully support my Pentax Super Program for all features found on the 1981 AF280T to the majority of features on current model Pentax and Ricoh cameras. Interestingly, the 1981 AF280's analog program dedication is still respected on my K-3 such that the flash can automatically set sync speed and appropriate aperture for the flash's auto feature and signal flash ready. The current AF360FGZII and AF540FGZII provide excellent focused support for current model cameras and less complete backward support (e.g. no digital or analog protocol TTL or auto-thyristor) for discontinued and vintage cameras.


Steve

* Some confusion exists in regard to OTF TTL Flash metering in that two protocols have been used. The earlier "analog TTL" uses the analog control/dedication protocol supported by the "ready" and "mode" contacts in combination and was initially implemented on the Super Program and LX bodies along with several flash models of the day.

** Analog TTL was superseded the "digital TTL" protocol common to Pentax AF bodies, though several later camera and flash models also support analog TTL in addition for backwards compatibility.

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-20-2019 at 06:38 PM. Reason: Wrong year...also added more info
07-20-2019, 07:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Depending on model, the forward and backward compatibility of a particular flash may be highly variable with some being very limited. The user manuals for specific flash models usually include a compatibility matrix for cameras from the same time period. Similarly, camera manuals usually include a compatibliity matrix for flash of the time. Those two references are the best resources for determining compatibility.

The flash resource pages at "The K-mount Page" (hosted by the German Pentaxians group) are excellent as a background resource to help navigate the maze of initials, interfaces, protocols, and capabilities.
KMP | Flash Systems Evolution

KMP | Meanings of the Pentax Flash Names
Protocol Summary
Which protocols are supported are a clue to which features are supported with which cameras. The year of introduction is in parentheses a reference to camera support.
  • Analog dedication (1977) uses the "ready" hot shoe contact
  • Program dedication (1981) uses the "ready" and "mode" hot shoe contacts
  • Analog protocol TTL (1981) uses the "ready" and "mode" hot shoe contacts
  • Digital dedication (1987) uses the "digital" hot shoe contact
  • Digital protocol TTL (1981) uses the "digital" hot shoe contact
  • P-TTL protocol (2001) uses the "digital" hot shoe contact
Some flash are broadly compatible to all K-mount cameras and support most of the above protocols (e.g. AF360FGZ/AF540FGZ) and the features supported on the same. Others are more narrowly focused to support a limited range of cameras and features (e.g. AF500FTZ supports digital dedication (partial) and digital protocol TTL to support SF, PZ, and MZ series bodies with little backward and almost no forward compatibility).

As hinted above, the AF360FGZ and AF540FGZ have perhaps the broadest camera support of all Pentax flash. Both fully support my Pentax Super Program for all features found on the 1981 AF280T to the majority of features on current model Pentax and Ricoh cameras. Interestingly, the 1981 AF280's analog program dedication is still respected on my K-3 such that the flash can automatically set sync speed and appropriate aperture for the flash's auto feature and signal flash ready. The current AF360FGZII and AF540FGZII provide excellent focused support for current model cameras and less complete backward support (e.g. no digital or analog protocol TTL or auto-thyristor) for discontinued and vintage cameras.


Steve
Thanks for this. I did find looking at the flash user manuals had much more detail on compatibility across camera models. I ended up buying an AF-330FTZ and an AF-360FGZ for about $65 for both including shipping.

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