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09-26-2010, 10:16 AM   #1
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Which hotshoe flash?

Which hotshoe flash (that isn't Pentax) would be best for my K20D. Need one asap but can't afford the Pentax price tag. Really want a bounce-type. Appreciate your input. Thanks!

09-26-2010, 11:51 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naturenut Quote
Which hotshoe flash (that isn't Pentax) would be best for my K20D. Need one asap but can't afford the Pentax price tag. Really want a bounce-type. Appreciate your input. Thanks!
Details on what you'd like to do? Budget? Metz seems to have just come out with a whole spate of interesting new options that are about to come on the market. I think their model 48 gives enough control and power for probably most things, and it seems they've made some new models that maybe straddle that for specs, but they aren't quite available yet. (Enough if you want to be banking off walls and ceilings in particular, or use a big diffuser) and squares well for the price. Going up to the biggest at least doubles the going price.

If budget weren't a concern, I'd probably want one of the biggest (Mostly for the control, but occasionally even I need lots of power) and one of the smallest. Cause a big unit wouldn't do me much good being left home all the time. The ideal for me probably 80 percent or more of the time would actually be if they put good control in a small unit: I usually just don't need the power, but in general the control comes with big powerful ones and that's how it is.

One reason I might consider a Pentax unit is that they actually have a nice dial for the most important control to me.. 'Turn it down.'

If you check out the Accessories section, our Mattdm has a thread or three up about the new models, and you can find his site about what units are already available and all.
09-26-2010, 11:55 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Details on what you'd like to do? Budget? Metz seems to have just come out with a whole spate of interesting new options that are about to come on the market. I think their model 48 gives enough control and power for probably most things, (Enough if you want to be banking off walls and ceilings in particular, or use a big diffuser) and squares well for the price. Going up to the biggest at least doubles the going price.

If budget weren't a concern, I'd probably want one of the biggest (Mostly for the control, but occasionally even I need lots of power) and one of the smallest. The ideal for me probably 80 percent or more of the time would actually be if they put good control in a small unit: I usually just don't need the power, but in general the control comes with big powerful ones and that's how it is.

One reason I might consider a Pentax unit is that they actually have a nice dial for the most important control to me.. 'Turn it down.'
I'm going to be doing people and horse portraits primarily. Budget is a concern which is why the Pentax brand is not really an option at this point.
09-26-2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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Cool. (Addded a bit more to my previous reply, btw)

I suspect a 48 (or one of the newer models coming) ought to be sufficient for those jobs last I saw they ran about two hundred. (Can't recall lighting a horse before. ) You get bounce and swivel and I think enough control to do good fill lighting and all.

09-26-2010, 01:12 PM   #5
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+1 on the Metz 48. Works great for me. Also provides auto-focus beam which the k-x lacks.
09-26-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naturenut Quote
Need one asap but can't afford the Pentax price tag. Really want a bounce-type.
The Pentax 360 is about the same price as the Metz 48, so either you were thinking of the 540 or you're finding the 360 pricier too, in which case the Metz 48 is not an option.

Look at the Vivitar Series 1 flashes - those can be had for less - they don't have as many features, but they provide the basic functionality. They're also available under other brands like Bower, so look around.

This guide is excellent: The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison. Just go over it, learn about each feature, see what you need, and find the flash that gives you that.

If the Metz 48 is in your price range, go for it.
09-27-2010, 08:48 AM   #7
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If you want to light up a horse barn for cheap you can't go wrong with the Sigma EF-530 DG ST. Bounce, swivel, PTTL and zoom.
09-27-2010, 01:18 PM   #8
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Metz vs Sigma - a digest of my research (I also want to buy a flash but haven't decided yet):

Metz pluses: includes a bounce card, more manual power levels, can do firmware updates

Sigma pluses: more powerful, can be used as wireless controller

Both appear to have arcane interfaces - Metz has a menu based system with few buttons which occasionally requires pressing two buttons. Sigma seems to have more buttons but their use requires referring to the manual.

Note that Sigma has just announced new flashes at photokina that will probably replace the existing ones, so it might be worth waiting to see what they're coming up with: Sigma introduces EF-610 DG Super flash : Digital Photography Review

09-27-2010, 01:27 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naturenut Quote
Which hotshoe flash (that isn't Pentax) would be best for my K20D. Need one asap but can't afford the Pentax price tag. Really want a bounce-type. Appreciate your input. Thanks!
Do you want a flash that is P-TTL or do you just want a shoe mount flash? Personally I'd recommend buying the best you can afford but if money is Really an issue, any flash with an Auto mode will fit your bill and in most cases, for less than $50. You're going to give up some features and automatic (camera controlled) functionality there but the flash will be more than usable.

That said, I've often considered dumping my AF540 and getting the Metz 58 because it has more features that I would like to play with (stroboscoptic flash and the little fill flash tube on the front of the unit). Don't get me wrong, I like the Pentax there are just a few other features I would like to have and will never justify having both units.

09-27-2010, 01:30 PM   #10
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There are some recommendations on inexpensive flashes in this post.
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