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12-20-2013, 12:49 PM   #1
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Wireless Flash help with a K30

Hi folks,

I had to jump back into freelance after many full time years. I bought into Pentax for features and price. I have a K30, nice little performer! Normally I would use big clunker studio flash units but decided to try a couple of Pentax 360fgz units. I love the wireless feature but can't fire them wireless unless I use the pop up flash. Did I miss something? Is there a way to fire these wireless without using the on camera pop up flash? I thought you could. I admit I'm a little confused by the Pentax manuals regarding this area. Any help is appreciated.

12-20-2013, 01:36 PM   #2
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You can do wireless with popup flash as trigger or do an off camera flash triggered by extension cord connected to hot shoe adaptor on camera. If you do the off camera setup with cord, you can use additional flash units wirelessly as slaves triggered by the hard wired off camera flash. I am not aware of any radio remote trigger for the AF360 flash. With an off camera master flash, you can at least avoid all the problems of the popup flashes.
12-20-2013, 02:15 PM   #3
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So you CAN't do wireless WITHOUT pop up and without a cord? I have an off camera cord, so I guess I could go that route. Yeah...not a fan of the pop up so I if you can't do complete wireless without it, I'll use the off the camera cord. Just double checking I read your response correctly. Thanks, Ron
12-20-2013, 02:31 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by ronuser Quote
So you CAN't do wireless WITHOUT pop up and without a cord? I have an off camera cord, so I guess I could go that route. Yeah...not a fan of the pop up so I if you can't do complete wireless without it, I'll use the off the camera cord. Just double checking I read your response correctly. Thanks, Ron
You read correctly. The only good news is that the output of the trigger popup flash appears to me to be greatly reduced when used as wireless mode. My cat was the test model and no glassy eyes from the popup trigger with nice side lighting from the slave.

12-20-2013, 02:37 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick reply. I'm getting the hang of it! Cheers, Ron
12-20-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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amoringello, using a cheap garage sale $0.50 flash in the hotshoe and put my other flashes in dumb slave mode is not a bad idea, I'll play with that as well, thanks!
12-20-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ronuser Quote
amoringello, using a cheap garage sale $0.50 flash in the hotshoe and put my other flashes in dumb slave mode is not a bad idea, I'll play with that as well, thanks!
If you're going to be using them as dumb slaves you may as well pick up some radio triggers. They won't work with P-TTL, so the flashes must be in manual mode.
12-21-2013, 08:15 AM   #8
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All good suggestions

Anyone have a preference on radio triggers?

12-21-2013, 08:26 AM   #9
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The most trouble free ones for a reasonable price are the Cactus V5.

There are cheaper options, but many have been known to have problems syching at 1/180. I have the Yongnuo RF-602 set and without modifying the transmitter they weren't reliable beyond 1/125s. Some people get lucky though and have a set that work fine out of the box.
12-23-2013, 06:50 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ronuser Quote
So you CAN't do wireless WITHOUT pop up and without a cord? I have an off camera cord, so I guess I could go that route. Yeah...not a fan of the pop up so I if you can't do complete wireless without it, I'll use the off the camera cord. Just double checking I read your response correctly. Thanks, Ron
I am assuming BOTH of your 360's are off camera? If so, then you still need a wireless P-TTL trigger ON the camera - the popup flash can do the job without contributing to the image. First, understand that wireless P-TTL is achieved via IR signals that are embedded in the flash's output.

In the menu you have a choice of making the popup flash a controller or a master. (Menu C3 - see page 243 in the manual) In controller mode, the visible flash output is greatly reduced, but the IR signal is still present. In many cases the additional light won't be noticed. However, if even this light is objectionable, you can eliminate the visible portion using an IR pass filter.

There are several options for blocking the visible light portion of the popup flash. I have heard that a piece of fully exposed and developed film taped over the flash will do it, but I've never tested this. Ditto for taping on an IR filter - although such a filter is perhaps the most expensive option and still clunky. Some Metz flashes come with a clip that goes over the flash, but apparently Metz doesn't sell this clip separately.

That brings us to an easily obtained and inexpensive solution - the IR panel. This device attaches to the flash shoe on the camera (even with the popup flash open), extends an arm to the front of the popup flash and has a light shield on a hinge that can be up to allow full flash operation or flipped down to block the visible light while still passing the IR signals for wireless P-TTL flash control. I have no problem folding this type of device and putting in my camera bag with my wireless P-TTL capable flash. This device is around US$12 - do an eBay search for "IR Panel" in the camera section .... or just go to one of this Forum's sponsors, Adorama.
12-23-2013, 08:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
I am assuming BOTH of your 360's are off camera? If so, then you still need a wireless P-TTL trigger ON the camera - the popup flash can do the job without contributing to the image. First, understand that wireless P-TTL is achieved via IR signals that are embedded in the flash's output.

In the menu you have a choice of making the popup flash a controller or a master. (Menu C3 - see page 243 in the manual) In controller mode, the visible flash output is greatly reduced, but the IR signal is still present. In many cases the additional light won't be noticed. However, if even this light is objectionable, you can eliminate the visible portion using an IR pass filter.

There are several options for blocking the visible light portion of the popup flash. I have heard that a piece of fully exposed and developed film taped over the flash will do it, but I've never tested this. Ditto for taping on an IR filter - although such a filter is perhaps the most expensive option and still clunky. Some Metz flashes come with a clip that goes over the flash, but apparently Metz doesn't sell this clip separately.

That brings us to an easily obtained and inexpensive solution - the IR panel. This device attaches to the flash shoe on the camera (even with the popup flash open), extends an arm to the front of the popup flash and has a light shield on a hinge that can be up to allow full flash operation or flipped down to block the visible light while still passing the IR signals for wireless P-TTL flash control. I have no problem folding this type of device and putting in my camera bag with my wireless P-TTL capable flash. This device is around US$12 - do an eBay search for "IR Panel" in the camera section .... or just go to one of this Forum's sponsors, Adorama.
Nice thorough and understandable explanation. You could write a better Users' Manual than Pentax. Good job.
12-23-2013, 09:00 AM   #12
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Agreed...you should write for Pentax!

Also...one more question. In the flash settings on/in the back of the camera, You can arrow down and use the rear wheel to go lets say +0.7 to increase the intensity of the flash output, or -0.1 to decrease the flash output. OK, here is my question: If I have an external/wireless Pentax (360) ]flash set to slave in the PTTL mode, with the + or - setting turned on in one direction or the other, will the dial adjustment effect the wireless flash as well, or just the output of the pop up? Lastly, this forum has been so helpful, thanks everybody!!!
12-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #13
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"In the menu you have a choice of making the popup flash a controller or a master" - Jim Johson - really appreciate this! Does knock the pop up down a bit!!!
03-23-2015, 05:38 PM   #14
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After all this. I wound up buying the FlashQ wireless flash triggers. No automation, but even down low, the pop up was killin' it for me. These things are cheap and work great. LightPix Labs - FlashQ
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