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10-27-2010, 02:48 AM   #1
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New(ish) camera, old flash

I have a k10d and an old Cobra flash (a 450AF). This combination works fine, except the flash isn't P-TTL, so you have to shoot manually, and the flash is either full power or off. I can live with that though.

What I do find limiting is that the Cobra doesn't swivel, so you can often only use flash if you hold the camera horizontally - so I'm looking to get a flash that swivels. Being me though, I want to do it as cheaply as possible, and I've noticed that big old flashes go for not much on ebay. I know there is an issue with trigger voltages though, but was rather hoping I could buy an old flash and fit a cheap radio trigger of eBay.

So, I have a couple of questions.

1) What's the max. trigger voltage a k10d can take?
2) What's the max. trigger voltage a k5, because you never know, I might upgrade on eday
3) Do those radio trigger things on eBay actually work, or are they subject to trigger voltage issues too?
4) Can anyone recommend a flash that will work with my K10 (with or without a radio trigger), has bounce and swivel, and will allow me to control the output on it? I quite like the look of those big hammerhead Sunpaks.
5) Am I best off getting one of the cheap new flashes off eBay that will do all of the above?

Cheers

10-27-2010, 06:49 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
I have a k10d and an old Cobra flash (a 450AF). This combination works fine, except the flash isn't P-TTL, so you have to shoot manually, and the flash is either full power or off. I can live with that though.

What I do find limiting is that the Cobra doesn't swivel, so you can often only use flash if you hold the camera horizontally - so I'm looking to get a flash that swivels. Being me though, I want to do it as cheaply as possible, and I've noticed that big old flashes go for not much on ebay. I know there is an issue with trigger voltages though, but was rather hoping I could buy an old flash and fit a cheap radio trigger of eBay.

So, I have a couple of questions.

1) What's the max. trigger voltage a k10d can take?
2) What's the max. trigger voltage a k5, because you never know, I might upgrade on eday
3) Do those radio trigger things on eBay actually work, or are they subject to trigger voltage issues too?
4) Can anyone recommend a flash that will work with my K10 (with or without a radio trigger), has bounce and swivel, and will allow me to control the output on it? I quite like the look of those big hammerhead Sunpaks.
5) Am I best off getting one of the cheap new flashes off eBay that will do all of the above?

Cheers

That's more than a couple of questions

1) 30v
2) don't know but likely the same as K10D, you better off asking Pentax though
3) they do work, search in this forum for the suggestions
4) Nikon SB-22s,24,25,26,28 they all work great. I personally have 24,25 and 28 and love them all (SB22s doesn't swivel)
5) yes, look for those Nikon while they are still affordable
10-27-2010, 07:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply - those Nikon guns aren't cheap in the way I use the word though :-)

I was thinking more of this kind of thing - under 30 and seemingly quite useable, if completely manual.
10-27-2010, 08:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Northern Soul Quote
Thanks for the reply - those Nikon guns aren't cheap in the way I use the word though :-)

I was thinking more of this kind of thing - under 30 and seemingly quite useable, if completely manual.
I got my SB-24 used for $50 on eBay which is pretty close to your budget. Just be patient and you will get a good deal. Alternatively, you can get those Sunpak flashes like this one here

Just make sure to get it from a reputable seller

10-27-2010, 11:27 AM   #5
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Since you mentioned Sunpak; this is in my backpack everyday:



Cost: flash + module: $30 USD, remote cord: $10 USD, fun: priceless

The flash head can bounce and swivel, 3 auto aperture settings, full, 1/4, 1/16 manual power settings. The variable power settings and the remote cord (with the light sensor always on top of the camera) are very useful for macro shooting.

If you like Sunpak handle mount flashes, try to find model 555. It has safe trigger voltage, can take modules with sensor attached to the camera's hotshoe (the same modules for the 4xxD series), and with GN of 140 (ft, 35mm FOV, 100 ISO) is the most powerful in the 5xx series.

The voltage trigger of the 522 is iffy. It can be 10.5V or 180V depending on the particular unit and where you get the sync signal from. I don't know much about the 544, having only one copy. Its trigger voltage is 24V.

The 611 head does not bounce nor swivel (you can achieve that by rotating the flash in the handle, but it's a pain), with high trigger voltage (more than 200V). I don't know much about the 622.

About trigger voltage limit of the camera body, you're not gonna find any official specs. This is not unique to Pentax. The only camera maker that has ever published this number is Ricoh. The manual of my GX200 specifically states 20V limit. I use 24V as the limit for my K10Ds and K-7.

If you have some basic skills in electronics, you can build a voltage reducing circuit for flashes with high trigger voltage. I did so for my Sunpak 611, Sunpak 522, Metz CT45-1. The most difficult problem is to find space in the flash for the circuit.

Here are some reading materials:

- linky 1

- linky 2

Last edited by SOldBear; 10-27-2010 at 11:32 AM.
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