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Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison
Posted By: mattdm, 12-03-2008, 08:33 PM

As I'm sure has been apparent from all my recent messages, I'm working on a very thorough comparison of all of the available P-TTL hotshoe-mount flashes for Pentax dSLRs.

I had originally envisioned this as a Google Knol, but the amount of information has quickly grown beyond the "single unit of knowledge" that system is designed to handle.

So, while I think I'll still maintain the Knol site in some fashion (not sure exactly how -- maybe as a truncated version), I've moved instead to my own site:

Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison: The Definitive Guide.

<http://pttl.mattdm.org/>

This lets me have better organization, better version control, templates for charts, and some javascript widgets in the future.

Let me know what you think, and if you happen to notice any errors or anything lost in translation between the Google-based site and this one please alert me. (And to any other errors as well, of course.)

I'm going to add some different views of the same data in the form of entry-level, mid-range, and high-end specific guides, so people with an idea of what they're looking for already can get to the point more quickly. And I'm going to make a specific page for each flash, containing its flash-burst profile, links to documentation, etc. I'm also open to other ideas!
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12-04-2008, 02:44 AM   #2
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Looks nice and clean anyway. I'll have a decent look through later, not that I know anything about flashes, but I can spell!!

Clicked on a Google ad too.
12-04-2008, 05:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Looks nice and clean anyway. I'll have a decent look through later, not that I know anything about flashes, but I can spell!!
Excellent that's importtent too.
12-04-2008, 10:59 PM   #4
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matt

It's nice job you do there ! I learn a few tricks already . Thanks .

Tran

12-05-2008, 07:41 AM   #5
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On the Feature page you have SIGMA 530ST marked as needing the Promaster Module to zoom to 105mm.

Great pages, I learned more about flash than I ever thought I wanted to know.
12-05-2008, 08:12 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
On the Feature page you have SIGMA 530ST marked as needing the Promaster Module to zoom to 105mm.
Good catch I had 7 and 8 switched around.

The wiki site I'm using has some nice automatic footnoting features, but unfortunately they don't interact well with the tables, so I made the numbered list by hand.

QuoteOriginally posted by WheresWaldo Quote
Great pages, I learned more about flash than I ever thought I wanted to know.
Heh.
12-07-2008, 09:00 PM   #7
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I've updated the site with individual pages describing each flash in brief, with pros, cons, links to product pages and manuals, and references to other sections on the site which are relevant.

For example, the entry for the Metz 48 AF-1:

Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison: Metz Mecablitz 48 AF-1 Digital

As always, your feedback is really helpful.

Oh, and I've also added an automatic note at the top of the front page showing when the site was last updated and linked to a list of recent changes. I've already seen a post or two wondering if the site is current, so I added this so you'll always know the answer to that.
12-08-2008, 07:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I've updated the site with individual pages describing each flash in brief, with pros, cons, links to product pages and manuals, and references to other sections on the site which are relevant.

For example, the entry for the Metz 48 AF-1:

Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison: Metz Mecablitz 48 AF-1 Digital

As always, your feedback is really helpful.

Oh, and I've also added an automatic note at the top of the front page showing when the site was last updated and linked to a list of recent changes. I've already seen a post or two wondering if the site is current, so I added this so you'll always know the answer to that.
thanks for the hard work and info

bookmarked

12-13-2008, 10:36 PM   #9
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After doing all this research (which is MUCH appreciated btw), which flash do you think is the best bang for the buck for a person who is knowledgeable about the basics of photography, but have never ventured into flash photography?
12-14-2008, 05:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghost Quote
After doing all this research (which is MUCH appreciated btw), which flash do you think is the best bang for the buck for a person who is knowledgeable about the basics of photography, but have never ventured into flash photography?
Matt has done a fantastic job on helping us to find the right flash. I think everything is there to help you find the right one for you.

Now, IMHO, the 2 best flashes are the Metz 58AF-1 and the Pentax AF540FGZ with the Sigma EF-530 just behind. The best bang for the buck is the 540 IMHO because it doesn't make sense to skip on features like power, wireless, HSS, etc. The EF-530 can also be considered if you find a good deal on it.
The Promaster flashes don't have HSS.
The Sigma EF-530 lacks an auto mode.
The Pentax 360 cannot swivel (so forget portrait mode with bounce).

Like Thom Hogan said for tripods: "I can save you at least US$700: just buy the right stuff the first time." You may not save 700$ on flashes but IMHO the AF540 is cheap enough (through Prodigital, it's 320$ Cdn = 270$ US!) to make that right choice the first time.
12-14-2008, 06:53 PM   #11
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Thank you so much for your help! I knew what was better technically, but there is no MRSP listed (unless I'm stupid, which could be the case), but Thom Hogan is right. Thanks a lot
12-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #12
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Mount the Pentax 360 on a stroboframe with a swivel base attached set in wireless, select for the on camera controller flash not to be included in the image and go to town with bouncing. Or you can set the on camera to be included and use as a fill flash and mount the 360 on a tripod with a swivel base and use it as the primary source. Matt thanks for all the hard work it is very interesting and highly informative ! I have both the 540 and 360 and use them in concert a great deal especially at smallish weddings. If I don't have to drag all the strobes, cords, stands etc.. It is a good thing, hum..., a VERY good thing. With some diffusers and a silver reversing to gold disc and white disc and my wife to help, we can get some very pleasing images.
12-23-2008, 12:44 AM   #13
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Very nice site with lots of useful information.

I must disagree with one thing though: Exakta DPZ-38AF does support P-TTL.
Here's a review (in Finnish, but with some info in English too)

I just got one yesterday as my first flash for my K100D and I'm very pleased with it. It's way cheaper (109€/approx 150$) than the other P-TTL flashes and for a beginner like my it has enough features to fiddle with.

edit: just googled for DPZ 38 AF and found that In Germany you can get one for 91.89€

Last edited by ovim; 12-23-2008 at 12:54 AM.
07-10-2009, 05:23 AM   #14
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I have a Nissin Pz401 flash unit (for Pentax) which I used with my old Pentax MZ50 SLR. Can I use this flash unit with a K10D?
07-10-2009, 05:53 AM   #15
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Matt, this is really a great reference for P-TTL flash buyers.
A lot of work has been put into this.
Many thanks.

One minor thing I noticed was that the Metz 58 AF-1 page has a formatting problem (on regular PCs running IE6) causing the flash info to appear below the end of the left column bar, leaving a big gap in the page. Also, there's a note about the flash being able to be set manually to '⁄₂₅₆' power in third stop increments. I assume this is supposed to say something like 1/200?

Thanks for sharing this very handy resource, Matt.
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