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01-09-2011, 03:11 AM   #1
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hows does strobe light connect to camera

I have a pentax kx and am looking at a studio strobe light kit on ebay. It says that it comes with a 5m sync cable. How does this attach to the KX, does it attached via the hotshoe? Do i need to specify the I have a pentax camera to get the correct hot shoe attachment?
Is it then just a matter of setting it up, turning on the external strobe and takeing a photo?

thanks

David

01-09-2011, 03:24 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by isusdfr Quote
I have a pentax kx and am looking at a studio strobe light kit on ebay. It says that it comes with a 5m sync cable. How does this attach to the KX, does it attached via the hotshoe? Do i need to specify the I have a pentax camera to get the correct hot shoe attachment?
I don't believe the Kx has a pc connection, so you will need a hotshoe-pc adapter; it needn't be Pentax-specific as the pc connection is a fine old example of something that is pretty much open standards and universal. (Note that "PC" here has nothing to do with personal computers; it stands for "Proto-Compur", an old camera shutter manufacturer who developed the connection).

QuoteQuote:
Is it then just a matter of setting it up, turning on the external strobe and takeing a photo?
You have to learn about how to calculate the exposure and make the appropriate settings yourself on the camera, but it isn't hard to do.
01-09-2011, 03:33 AM   #3
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is the adaptor something like this??
Hama Hot Shoe Adapter 2 with Male PC Cable - Digital Camera Warehouse Australia

or this
http://www.digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod4080.htm
01-09-2011, 03:50 AM   #4
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I believe the second one is probably what you need. You mount the adapter on the hotshoe atop your camera and then plug the sync cord from the flash unit into the port on the side of the adapter.

Before committing yourself to a studio-based AC-power lighting setup you might want to give some thought to the alternative of going with a setup based on hotshoe flashes (the kind you normally mount directly to your camera). They can also be used off-camera for studio style shooting and have the advantage of being easily portable. For those times when Mohamed can't come to your mountain, you can take your mountain to Mohamed.

01-09-2011, 03:56 AM   #5
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Does the hotshoe part of the adaptor need to be specifically for a pentax or are they universal?
01-09-2011, 04:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by isusdfr Quote
Does the hotshoe part of the adaptor need to be specifically for a pentax or are they universal?
I believe some certain Sony and Minolta cameras have their own proprietary hotshoe standards, but outside of that it is a universal standard that has been in place for decades. The only time you have to worry about Pentax-specific is if you're getting some flash units that are capable of communicating with the camera to take care of making certain settings for you automatically. Not the case here, so no need to worry about that.
01-09-2011, 07:24 AM   #7
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Don't buy any eBay kits until you post your intended purchase here.

There are people here with a lot of experience in these kits that may be able to point you in a better direction for the same price. Also, some people will buy better quality pieces just one at a time as they need them.

A lot of these made in China strobes are real crap, so be careful.
01-09-2011, 07:53 AM   #8
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Another way is to use a radio link, this one from a reliable UK supplier (usual disclaimer - just a satisfied customer) has advantages and is not expensive.

RF-602 Canon Trigger Bundle: 1 x Tx & 1 x Rx - Zone 1 on eBay (end time 22-Jan-11 08:25:43 GMT)

The transmitter slots into the hotshoe and the receiver plugs into the studio flash with a lead which is 5.00 extra.

The other advantage is you can use these to remotely trigger your Pentax camera with both half press and full press on the shutter. You'll need another lead from the Rx to the camera.

Range is around the 100Mts mark (or more), I have found these units to be well built and 100% reliable in operation., When used as a remote flash sync there is no cable to fall over and bring all your set up crashing down.

These are for manual flash, no p-ttl, but studio flash are manual anyway.

A cheaper option for the studio strobes are cheap manual flashguns (the RX has a hotshoe for connection to these), see this site for details of off camera flash

Strobist: Lighting 101

A full kit of a couple of manual flash, light stands, a couple of modifiers such as umbrellas or soft-boxes and the radio link (with a couple of receivers) can all be bought for less than the cost of one dedicated TTL flash, but it is manual all the way, which has distinct advantages, but is another learning curve (sigh).

I have heard reports that these cheap Chinese flashguns are full of reliability issues, all I can say is I have 3 of them all now over a year old, all well used without any problems at all. Buying from a UK source (as above) removes a lot of the possible reluctance you may have as any under guarantee issues are resolved under UK Law, any returns are to your local(ish) UK supplier so any returns costs are low, not that I've had to use any of it. I guess its a case of you hear about all the horror stories, the thousands that just work you never hear about.

Chris


Last edited by ChrisJ; 01-09-2011 at 08:01 AM.
01-09-2011, 08:20 AM   #9
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The PT-04NE radio triggers have worked for me with the k-x. I got a transmitter + 2 receiver set from Ebay for US$ 24 including shipping. These would be more convenient than a cable, and they do have a PC connector in addition to the hot shoe. (Wireless Flash Trigger Umbrella Holder +2 Receivers T3E bei eBay.de: Slaves (endet 14.01.11 17:48:05 MEZ)).
01-09-2011, 09:54 AM   #10
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There are also external flashes that mount on the hot-shoe with their own PC-sync connectors, so that you can use the external flash for portability and just connect it to the cable when in the studio.
01-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #11
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Beware of trigger voltage

When attaching any external flash, whether hotshoe of PC connected, be careful of the trigger voltage. When a flash is charged up, ready to fire, there is a voltage across the synch terminal. On some older flashes particularly, this voltage can be several hundred volts, enough to fry the electronics in your camera.

It is very easy to measure the voltage with a digital multimeter that you can buy at most hardware or home improvement stores. Simply charge the flash and use the probes to measure the voltage across the terminals.

The lower the voltage, the better. Generally, new flash units are less than 10 volts, often around 5-6 volts. Anything less than 20-25 is probably safe.

If your flash has an unsafe voltage, Wein makes a device called the "Safe Sync". It is an adapter that fits in the hotshoe and provides another hotshoe on top and a PC terminal on the side. However, it contains electronics that lower the voltage presented to the camera to less than 10 volts, regardless of the voltage on the flash. These cost a little more than a simple adapter, but it might save your camera. Since your K-x needs an adapter to use a PC cord anyway, a few more bucks for the Safe Sync might be a good investment, for the piece of mind, if nothing else.
01-09-2011, 05:01 PM   #12
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I have two sigma ef-530 flash units. Would the setup below allow me to fire both remotely with my K-x?? I believe that the flashes will only work in manual mode.

RF-602 Wireless Flash Trigger for CANON with 2 Receiver (eBay item 220640452808 end time 16-Jan-11 17:33:51 AEDST) : Cameras
01-10-2011, 01:38 AM   #13
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Should work, operation is strictly manual as these merely relay the shorting of the center/body or PC contacts (=FIRE!); it is like a wireless replacement of a PC cable.
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