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04-27-2010, 09:12 AM   #1
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TTL cord vs P-TTL cord

I'm in the market for an off-camera flash cord.

I don't need full automatic P-TTL control of the off-camera flash, I'll be using mainly manual settings.

Am I understanding correctly that full automatic control would be the only thing that I would be losing if I choose just standard TTL?

Thanks

here are my two choices.

PTTL- Off Camera pTTL Shoe Cord Pentax K20D K200D K10D K7 K-7 - eBay (item 390178581697 end time May-03-10 08:15:08 PDT)
TTL- 3M TTL Off Camera Sync Cord for Pentax K20D K-7 KM E3F - eBay (item 220584885909 end time May-06-10 04:56:14 PDT)

04-27-2010, 09:54 AM   #2
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I don't have an answer but I'm quite interested in this as well.
04-27-2010, 10:51 AM   #3
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You'll definitely lose any kind of communication between the flash and camera.
So if the flash allows you to adjust the output power and fire with central contact thats fine. Other than the flash will have no idea that it's attached to camera.

Most likely while loosing P-TTL you'd also loose Aperture/Shutter/ISO value communication, lens zoom setting (if the flash zooms automatically with lens), high speed sync, rear curtain sync and other manual modes, that require extended collaboration with camera.
04-27-2010, 11:18 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jqjones Quote
I'm in the market for an off-camera flash cord.

I don't need full automatic P-TTL control of the off-camera flash, I'll be using mainly manual settings.
For the cost of the cable, you could get a wireless trigger and receiver. You'll get the same functionality in setting the flash manual without the cables plus more range if you need it. Is there a reason that you don't want to go with radio triggers?

The cable in the second link is probably a 5-P cable anyway, i.e. will give you P-TTL capability. I've seen a couple of these universal cables on ebay, but have yet to see anyone post that they have bought one.

Thank you
Russell


Last edited by Russell-Evans; 04-27-2010 at 11:24 AM.
04-27-2010, 11:23 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jqjones Quote
I'm in the market for an off-camera flash cord.

I don't need full automatic P-TTL control of the off-camera flash, I'll be using mainly manual settings.

Am I understanding correctly that full automatic control would be the only thing that I would be losing if I choose just standard TTL?

Thanks

here are my two choices.

PTTL- Off Camera pTTL Shoe Cord Pentax K20D K200D K10D K7 K-7 - eBay (item 390178581697 end time May-03-10 08:15:08 PDT)
TTL- 3M TTL Off Camera Sync Cord for Pentax K20D K-7 KM E3F - eBay (item 220584885909 end time May-06-10 04:56:14 PDT)
Hi jqjones,

Either of these that you linked to should give you full P-TTL compatibility, if the mfg's claims are correct. The second link is to a cord that claims to be fully compatible with all the digital systems that use the most standard basic hotshoe clamp (all except the proprietary Minolta/Sony hotshoe). The extra contact pins in the second one are supposed to accommodate all the different contact positioning of the different brands and "intelligently" choose the appropriate combination for each specific brand. They probably call it TTL to avoid confusion (different mfgs call their digital preflash TTL flash systems by different names ie: I-TTL, E-TTL, P-TTL). Pentax TTL (pre-digital, with no preflash) hotshoe cords have 4 conductors, while P-TTL cords have 5)

Either should work with your proposed purpose since any P-TTL cord will also be compatible with manual only flashes, but you could probably save some money by looking for a used old-style hotshoe to hotshoe flash cord, with just a single contact in the middle (the ground contact is in the frame of the shoe that you slide the base of your flash into). This center contact transmits the signal to fire the flash. The other contacts are used to communicate with the camera for things like aperture, metering, AF assist light, etc, and are not needed if you're using manual settings. These are usually considerably lighter and smaller than the P-TTL cords which require 5 conductor wires.

Another setup that would possibly give you more flexibility (lengthwise) is to find a single contact hotshoe to PC cord adapter to mount on the camera and a PC to hotshoe adapter to fit on the remote flash. Then get PC cords of different lengths for different applications. These will require manual control of the flash.

Pentax also makes P-TTL compatible cord components. The "FG" Hotshoe Adapter slips into the camera's hotshoe and adapts the hotshoe contacts to either of the Pentax 5P cords (3' coiled or 9' straight) which then connects to the "F" Hotshoe Off-Camera Adapter that has a 1/4-20 threaded hole in the bottom and a hotshoe for the remote flash on top. To make things more complicated, they also offer an "F" Hotshoe Adapter that slides into the camera's hotshoe, has a port for the 5P cord, and has an additional hotshoe on top to allow mounting a P-TTL flash on the camera as well as providing for wired remote P-TTL flash. These components are considerably lighter and smaller than the third party assemblies I've seen, and are pricey new, but can be gotten fairly reasonably used if you can find them.

Scott
04-27-2010, 02:14 PM   #6
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The idea of radio triggers has me intrigued. My one question is that most of them reference some form of plug-in on the flash. I am using a Vivitar DF-383 that lacks any kind of jack.

Does anyone know of any triggers that would work with such a flash?

Thanks


These are the ones I'm currently looking at.


Remote Radio Wireless Flash Trigger+2 Receiver FLASHGUN - eBay (item 130386491995 end time May-26-10 21:16:24 PDT)
04-28-2010, 07:14 AM   #7
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I'm fairly certain even most of the pre-DSLR era TTL cords were 5-pin.

Pentax had "digital control" flashes (the F series flashes) long before digital SLRs.

Flash Systems Evolution, Features and Operation

Off-Camera Flash Setups

04-28-2010, 07:51 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jqjones Quote
The idea of radio triggers has me intrigued. My one question is that most of them reference some form of plug-in on the flash.
The ones you linked to have a hot shoe on the top so no worries with using your flash with them. I would suggest however that you look around before buying anything as there are a lot of cheap options now and the one you linked to isn't the best.

The question you are probably going now ask is, which one should I be looking at, and the answer to that question is, it depends. There isn't a perfect solution and you'll just need to look at them all and decide which one works for what you want. No real shortcut for you unless your still 12 and trust someone to make your decisions for you.

Thank you
Russell
05-01-2010, 07:56 AM   #9
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I ended up purchasing Cactus V4's which should arrive today. Hopefully they'll fit in the mailbox so I can try them out tonight, won't be home due to my Graduation for my MBA.



Ended up buying them from MPEX.
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