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09-13-2010, 11:49 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlatour Quote
If you take a lot of vertical pics, take in consideration that this flash (like most others)
has a PLASTIC hotshoe assembly and it's a pretty heavy flash to flip on its side all the time.
I try to be thorough, but I forgot to mention this, and it's an excellent point to consider: use of the flash when shooting with the camera tilted sideways. Aside from the importance of solid construction, this is another reason to have a flash that swivels. The ability to swivel in normal orientation means that it will tilt in sideways orientation. I use this all the time.


QuoteQuote:
If you don't mind using a flash without a compatible P-TTL mode,
I have always preferred Nikon flashes (I own an older SB-80)
for the simple reason the hotshoe plate assy. is made of METAL.
Interesting. You use Nikon flash units in the hot shoe of your Pentax cameras? Is this legal? Safe?

I have an old Nikon flash that I use fairly often as an accent light—but not in the hotshoe. I trigger it with radio triggers, and settings are all done manually.

Will

09-13-2010, 03:18 PM   #17
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As you can see from my profile, I'm not Pentax brand loyal,
I use the equipment I feel gives me the best performance and durability
for the price: K-x, Nikon flash, Sigma lenses & filters.

As a hobby, I'm an amateur firegrounds photographer (full gear, permission
from Fire Dept.) so my camera equipment gets beat up a lot,
on every photo outing (100+ per year) there's a risk of getting something damaged beyond repair.

Using P-TTL in low-light , smokey, bright emergency lights in
the background, flying embers etc. never gets any good results.

So all of my pics are done with the camera's Manual mode and so is the flash,
At first I guesstimate the distance then just + or - the power level
to correct exposure after a quick look at the LCD.

Before buying a K-x I was using the SB-80 on a Fuji S9100 (DSRL-type 'bridge' camera), same principal, full manual modes.
I'm pretty sure any camera can fire any flash when both are set in manual mode, the contacts locations 'should' be an industry standard.

Last edited by mlatour; 09-13-2010 at 04:27 PM.
09-13-2010, 03:21 PM   #18
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Thanks, mlatour, but you didn't answer my question, or perhaps I wasn't clear. I'm wondering: Do you actually put a Nikon flash unit into the hot shoe of a Pentax DSLR? And it works?

Will
09-13-2010, 03:28 PM   #19
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Yes it does, a Nikon SB-80 works fine on my K-x,
as mentionned I only use it in manual mode for my
type of specialty photography but most likely also it functions
in all other modes except TTL.

09-13-2010, 03:35 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlatour Quote
Yes it does, a Nikon SB-80 works fine on my K-x,
as mentionned I only use it in manual mode for my
type of specialty photography but most likely also it functions
in all other modes except TTL.
Thanks for the follow-up.

I understand the need to use manual mode. I just wasn't sure if a Nikon flash could be fired in the Pentax hot shoe. And I'd worry about voltages—in good part because I know so little about this stuff and I've heard about people hurting their cameras or flashes by using incompatible electronics. But it's working for you, which is great. Live and learn.

Will
09-13-2010, 03:38 PM   #21
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You should see the Frankenstein camera I created as a spare / rainy / snowny days...

After getting the hotshoe mount torn off my Fuji S9100 (old camera but not worth the $$ to repair, but still functions great) I installed an old 'L' bracket that mounts onto the tripod threads, then simply soldered wires to the proper contacts where the hotshoe was, and sealed them with epoxy.

Using the Sigma-530 flash that I broke the hotshoe, (see previous posts)
I removed the lower assembly, the auto-focus assist lamp and just bolted the flash to the 'L' bracket and re-soldered the
wires from the camera to the proper wires in the flash.

Looks 'different'... but functions just fine, and more durable than a hotshoe!
09-13-2010, 03:43 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlatour Quote
You should see the Frankenstein camera I created as a spare / rainy / snowny days...

After getting the hotshoe mount torn off my Fuji S9100 (old camera but not worth the $$ to repair, but still functions great) I installed an old 'L' bracket that mounts onto the tripod threads, then simply soldered wires to the proper contacts.

Using the Sigma-530 flash that I broke the hotshoe, (see previous posts)
I removed the lower assembly, the auto-focus assist lamp and just bolted the flash to the 'L' bracket and re-soldered the
wires from the camera to the proper wires in the flash.

Looks 'different'... but functions just fine, and more durable than a hotshoe!

There are two kinds of men in the world. Guys like you, who own soldering guns, know how to use them, manly men who know how to spell "solder" without hesitation.

And there are guys like me, who don't. ;-)

Will

p.s. And if you are a female, please forgive my prejudice and know that you have my sincere admiration.
09-13-2010, 03:55 PM   #23
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As you can see I'm from Montreal, Quebec / Canada so my native language is french.
I consider my knowledge of english is pretty good but of course far from perfect.

If I've misspelled something in my post, please help me out.

09-13-2010, 04:02 PM   #24
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S'il vous plaît, pardonnez-moi! Votre anglais est bien meilleur que mon français.

You made no error, other than thinking I was being sarcastic when in fact I was not. I made a bad joke. In English, "solder" is a hard word that a lot of people do not know how to spell. You spelled it perfectly and I was trying to complement not just your mechanical skills but your linguistic skills.

I do admire your abilities, not to mention your courage. I am willing to install new memory chips in a computer, but that's about as far as I dare to go.

Will
09-13-2010, 04:11 PM   #25
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I try to 'Google' words or expressions that I'm not sure of,
but as long as everyone understands the message. I guess
with an international forum like this one, it's to be considered 'normal'
to misspell things once in a while!

Yes I have to admit I'm quite proud of that spare camera/flash set-up,
I'll try to post some pics of it someday.
09-14-2010, 12:59 AM   #26
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Original Poster
All thanks for your feedback

And for other people looking for a solution themselves, this post:
QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Leads to this site:
The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison
- With tons of comparison information.

Making me lean towards the Metz 48 AF-1

Why?
  • The cheaper standard Sigma has no manual zoom, nor wireless functionality at all
  • The super Sigma at same price level additionaly support stroboscopic mode and the flash can be used as master, but also has less userfriendly menu and some compatibility issues especially wrt Focus assist beam (which I like on the K-r)
Biggest potential frustration is that if I want to extend my setup in the future wirelessly then I will probably need to go for a Metz 58 AF-1 (which is even more expensive that the flagship flash of Pentax).

Or should I go for the Sigma super?
  • Did Sigma (and/or Pentax) address this assist beam compatibilty issue that is flashing on camera assist beam?
  • Will I miss the bounce card of the Metz?
09-14-2010, 04:06 AM   #27
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The focus assist beam should be okay. It's the strobing assist light using the built-in flash, as found on older models, that gave me the problem.
09-14-2010, 04:44 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
The focus assist beam should be okay. It's the strobing assist light using the built-in flash, as found on older models, that gave me the problem.
Great for confirmation!!!

So then the Sigma is in the lead.

How about the missing build-in bounce card, is frequently used effectively on Metz?
- Work around is a piece of carbon covered with silver paper?
09-14-2010, 04:54 AM   #29
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For the short period I used it on my K-x,
the Sigma Super 530's focus assist light
worked very well.
09-14-2010, 05:34 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by mlatour Quote
For the short period I used it on my K-x,
the Sigma Super 530's focus assist light
worked very well.
The compatibility problem is that if you use the Sigma flash wireless icw Pentax camera without build IR assist beam in low light situation the build-in flash used for focussing would trigger the flash.
- So as long as you use the flash on the camera you won't have issues
- But if camera like K-7 and K-r (NOT K-x) have build-in assist beam then there is no issue either

Correct me if I am wrong, because I am not knowledgable on this, but just trying to explain how I read the answer above.
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