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12-20-2009, 08:30 PM   #1
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K100D + AF280T: What can it do?

I purchased a K100D a year ago, and have been learning ever since. One thing I learned early on is that the onboard flash isn't good for much. Since I'm playing it cheap for the present, I recently picked up an AF280T.

I've figured out how to get a better-lit indoor shot using the red/green auto modes on the flash + M mode on the camera, which will meet my limited flash needs for now, but I'm wondering if this combination is capable of more. Is there anything I'm missing?

12-21-2009, 01:18 AM   #2
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All you've got is the auto modes, and full power manual on the flash. Limited, yes, in comparison to a full P-TTL flash (in terms of choosing your shooting aperature), but use your limitations to your advantage.

For instance, you can force the flash on full-power manual, point the flash head at the cieling, and read off the f-stop required by the distance, open up one or two stops and take the shot.

You could also fashion a bounce card out of white paper (or a white material)tape it to the flash head (don't cover the flash), and use that to throw some light forward, while using the cieling to get an overall diffused light.

Experiment! You'll never know what you will discover if you don't experiment!
12-21-2009, 02:15 AM   #3
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Auto thyristor works just fine for me.

Set the flash to one of the modes, and then play with aperture or ISO to change the exposure (generally only the aperture).

Bouncing works just fine in auto mode as well.

What I'm missing is focus assist light though.

The problems that I've encountered with an auto flash are:

lack of focus assist

short falls in fast action, especially when subject moves closer and farther ( you need to figure out the aperture by intuition as well as shoot raw to have more headroom in PP).

I did my first and only wedding with an auto flash and the shots came out great. Much better than the Nikon shooter where photos came out like they were shot in a cavern.
12-21-2009, 05:13 AM   #4
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What can it the K100D and the AF280T do together?








All:
Pentax K100D
Tamron 28-75/2.8
AF280T


Ceiling-bounced in auto mode. Easy as rolling off a log, but a lot more fun.

12-21-2009, 12:25 PM   #5
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As others have said, auto mode (not TTL) on the flash will work just fine with ANY mode on the camera. that is a really fine flash you have, I love mine. Just remember:

green auto works well with relatively direct, short-distance illumination

red auto works better when you are bouncing the light, or if the subject is far away

Just a bit of experimentation and you will be quite happy with your purchase.

a note, when swiveling left, the head turns by 90 degrees, but when swiveling right, it turns by 180 degrees. It took me a few months to find that out.
12-21-2009, 03:48 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by escapecar Quote
I purchased a K100D a year ago, and have been learning ever since. One thing I learned early on is that the onboard flash isn't good for much. Since I'm playing it cheap for the present, I recently picked up an AF280T.

I've figured out how to get a better-lit indoor shot using the red/green auto modes on the flash + M mode on the camera, which will meet my limited flash needs for now, but I'm wondering if this combination is capable of more. Is there anything I'm missing?
I'm in exactly the same, cheap, boat, k100d with kit lens and af280t. but you have to ask yourself, was kind of work would davinci have produced had he thought he was limited by his tools?? it's never about the camera, lens or flash - its about the photographer, and the subject.
12-21-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the replies!

I should have phrased the question differently - I know I won't be artistically limited by my equipment for quite a while, if ever, and that a good photographer can usually get a good shot with whatever equipment he has. I'm really just curious if there are any technical capabilities I haven't figured out.

One thing I have noticed is that the flash will blow out any indoor shot I try to take using the P or scene modes on the camera, as the camera sets itself to wide open with a slow shutter speed. The camera and this flash really don't talk to each other at all, do they?
12-21-2009, 04:48 PM   #8
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The camera does not communicate with the flash at all. With the auto modes, you need to use the distance / f-stop tool to guide what ISO and aperture you select on the camera. You can view the manual here:

http://www.pentaximaging.com/files/manual/AF_280T_FLASH.pdf

Btw, the flash has a low power manual flash thankfully for macros and such (M-L). I love this flash, it works great and is real cheap for a bounce/swivel but requires a bit of experience/knowledge with it.

12-21-2009, 05:11 PM   #9
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in case you didn't know, i think it's when you turn it to the right, it will keep going to 180 so that you can bounce off the wall/ceiling behind you. also, the slider on the rear does absolutely nothing for flash output, it's only to help you in figuring f stop with distance. also, if you're really on the cheap, like me, go to a local craft store and pick up some sheets of that craft foam - i got an sheet of each of white and black with adhesive back and stuck them together and cut them similar to the one seen here: DIY Reflector-Diffuser and placed some velcro in similar places - works great as a fill flash, i used it on my first "shoot" yesterday (outside, very overcast) and i was really surprised with the results, gave just enough fill to light the peoples faces without looking like i used a flash - the only way you could tell was because one of the guys was wearing glasses and you could barely see the reflection.
12-21-2009, 05:40 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by eclipsed450 Quote
....the slider on the rear does absolutely nothing for flash output, it's only to help you in figuring f stop with distance...
Not sure what "slider" you're referring to. But some of the sliders and switches in the back of the flash do affect the flash output, and the camera's behavior.

My post here was written for the AF200T. But it applies also to the AF280T (and probably the AF400T). I verified that when I acquired the AF280T:

AF200T and K10D

Last edited by SOldBear; 12-21-2009 at 07:01 PM.
12-21-2009, 06:54 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Not sure what "slider" you're referring to. But the some of the sliders and switches in the back of the flash does affect the flash output, and the camera's behavior.

My post here was written for the AF200T. But it applies also to the AF280T (and probably the AF400T). I verified that when I acquired the AF280T:

AF200T and K10D
my apologies, the horizontal iso/asa slider
12-22-2009, 07:50 AM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
The camera does not communicate with the flash at all.
I don't know about the K100D, but with the K20D that sentence is not true. My flash is set with viewer flash warning on and auto modes, either red or green. The camera will adjust its exposure settings according to the flash being in red/green mode, being ready or not, etc. Exposure is very reliable.

On the other hand the chart at the back of the flash is also very reliable in most situations, I use it when I mount the flash with a manual lens.
12-22-2009, 09:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
I don't know about the K100D, but with the K20D that sentence is not true. My flash is set with viewer flash warning on and auto modes, either red or green. The camera will adjust its exposure settings according to the flash being in red/green mode, being ready or not, etc. Exposure is very reliable.

On the other hand the chart at the back of the flash is also very reliable in most situations, I use it when I mount the flash with a manual lens.
Very interesting, I've just verified this on the K-x. I never noticed this because I always shoot in Av or M mode with the AF280T, but Tv, Sv, and P both change the aperture (and M all the way to the right seems to change the shutter speed??). This is regardless of the Finder A. Check (which I find does nothing?). Does not appear to change with distance so I'm not sure how useful this is though..
12-22-2009, 01:44 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
Does not appear to change with distance so I'm not sure how useful this is though..
The flash should compensate for distance, within its range of course.

In other words, the camera sets itself to the aperture and shutter speed values displayed on the chart at the back of the flash and the ISO value you selected. In P mode, program shift will preserve the correct exposure (within the speed sync limitations of the camera). If you switch from green to red, for instance, the aperture will change. When the flash fires, it does so knowing the camera is set properly, and adjust its on illumination duration to expose properly (which is controlled by the photosensor in the green circle right to the front of the flash).

Works perfectly well for me.
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