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03-12-2014, 10:18 PM   #1
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Flash questionare

I have a Af360 Pentax flash and it seems to fire and recover too slow (15-20 seconds almost) for my wedding needs and I have no clue on how to set it to a more usable mode

my af200 flash seems to be faster and it's way cheaper

is there any setting that will better fit me? I have no manual for my flash


also


will old promaster 5200 or 7100 slr pentax flashes work on my dslr?

Thanks in advance everyone!

03-12-2014, 10:21 PM   #2
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Try starting off with a higher iso.. This would require lesser power per shot from your flash.
03-12-2014, 11:01 PM   #3
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Can't help with settings but you can download the manual at Ricoh's website under the support option/Accessories:

Downloads & Literature - RICOH Imaging
03-12-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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TTL mode instead of Manual Full-Power would allow the camera to only use as much flash as it needs per the meter's calculations. The result is that each pop uses less juice, thus allowing for faster cycle times.
Is it the AF360FGZ or the new ii model? What batteries are you using? (rechargeable AAs won't cut it) What camera are you using it on?
I predict A Sunpak Auto 622 Pro with a Pentax TTL cable would solve all your wedding photographer flash problems.
Its also huge, lights up entire stadiums, and discontinued so you can find them cheap.
Add a Quantum battery pack and you could be your own lighthouse for an entire night.

Over-do it or do it over, I always say...

03-13-2014, 01:01 AM   #5
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AquaDome's suggestions are good (in particular, only using the flash power you need, for faster recycles).

In addition:

1) Only use better batteries - Eneloops are the best rechargeables because they maintain a constant voltage right up until just before they die. Energizer Ultimate Lithiums are the other ones I'd sometimes use (they last long, but they don't maintain a constant voltage).

2) The AF540FGZ can use the Pentax TR Power Pack III 37225 B&H Photo Video to greatly reduce cycle times

3) If better batteries aren't enough and you need to buy another flash anyway, both of the new 360 and 540 models advertise greatly reduced recharge-cycle times. And the new 360 has both tilt and swivel now. Both were on sale during the week of WPPI - I don't know when the next sale will be.


According to the specs, the new 360 flash will perform the best of any of the options (1.5 second recycle) if you use it with Eneloops (which are a form of NiMH battery) Pentax AF360FGZ II Flash for Pentax DSLR Cameras 30438 B&H Photo
03-13-2014, 01:48 AM   #6
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I just checked my AF360FGZ. It cycles from a full pop in four seconds using the Duracells I put in it in January (they aren't fresh).
Check with a fresh set of name-brand alkalines just to see if your cycle time is similar. That will tell you if its your batteries or the flash.
I haven't switched to Eneloops yet. Once I have fully vetted them, I may advocate them. We shall see. So far, NOBODY has panned them.
03-13-2014, 02:42 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
I just checked my AF360FGZ. It cycles from a full pop in four seconds using the Duracells I put in it in January (they aren't fresh).
Check with a fresh set of name-brand alkalines just to see if your cycle time is similar. That will tell you if its your batteries or the flash.
I haven't switched to Eneloops yet. Once I have fully vetted them, I may advocate them. We shall see. So far, NOBODY has panned them.
Eneloops (the black ones) work spectacularly well in my Metz 52 AF-1. Easily the best AA batteries I've ever used.
03-13-2014, 07:10 AM   #8
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When I was doing weddings, I started off using a regular Quantum battery pack. I eventually switched to the Quantum Turbo battery pack. Full power blasts every 1-2 seconds ALL DAY! If that isn't fast enough for you, then nothing will be. Unless you're shooting for free (friends and family) doing weddings with AA batteries in your flash is ridiculous.

03-13-2014, 09:00 AM   #9
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i don't do weddings but i've done many headshots for a local theater and some group shots.

I use flashes at 1/2 power and less. the rest i make up with iso. Think about it. If you use a flash at 1/2 power, 1/2 the flash power is still remaining - no significant recharge before it can go again.

My cactus v5's triggers, per their manual, will not last very long on eneloops rechargeable. Why? Eneloops and other rechargeables have a lower cell voltage than alkaline. The V5's are not designed for that low voltage. Mine will pop a few times on eneloops but then just die. But a new set for an event and then just replace the next event. They last a long time if you use alkaline.

So in my manual Yongnuo flashes, i use eneloop main power and for the Triggers, i use alkaline - everything works fine.
03-13-2014, 10:03 AM   #10
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The flash might not be powerful enough for your needs, meaning it always fires at full power. A stronger flash like a 540 would help. However, 15 seconds means your batteries are not good anymore, charge them or replace them.


If fast recycles are a must, and manual controls do not bother you, look at the Godox V850 / Neewer TT850, the li-ion battery is amazing.
03-13-2014, 11:46 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
I just checked my AF360FGZ. It cycles from a full pop in four seconds using the Duracells I put in it in January (they aren't fresh).
Check with a fresh set of name-brand alkalines just to see if your cycle time is similar. That will tell you if its your batteries or the flash.
I haven't switched to Eneloops yet. Once I have fully vetted them, I may advocate them. We shall see. So far, NOBODY has panned them.
I need to move it to p-ttl or ttl mode I believe it's in manual right now

I will also get away from the energizer rechargables I have been using

it's a great flash just need to know the settings a bit more

4 seconds would be more than enough but I'll look into the sunpak

thanks everyone!
03-13-2014, 01:35 PM   #12
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The Sunpak 622 is an antique monster. So far, I have only tested its Pentax TTL capabilities with an SF1 and a 645N, but it boggles my mind how perfectly it works. Trigger voltage is 8 volts, so I may volunteer my K-50 as a guinea pig to see what happens.

The AF360FGZ is a far-better match for a Pentax DSLR. Get yours to play ball and you're in good shape.
03-13-2014, 01:50 PM   #13
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Batteries are what makes the biggest difference in cycling time. Before blaming the flash or any settings try with different batteries.

For the fastest cycling time the older NiCd batteries are the best, but they of course have several drawbacks and it is increasingly difficult to come by good ones these days.I occasionally use them when cycle time is the priority. While NiCds have a lower cell voltage than alkalines they can maintain the voltage better when under heavy load.

Good NiMh batteries will also give good cycle times, though not quite as good as NiCd. Strangely I noticed that Eneloops, while being IMHO the best batteries out there are not necessarily the best NiMhs for cylce time and are outperformed in that respect by some old unbranded NiMh batteries I have, even if they only give me some thirty shots before needing a recharge.
03-13-2014, 02:36 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Batteries are what makes the biggest difference in cycling time. Before blaming the flash or any settings try with different batteries.

For the fastest cycling time the older NiCd batteries are the best, but they of course have several drawbacks and it is increasingly difficult to come by good ones these days.I occasionally use them when cycle time is the priority. While NiCds have a lower cell voltage than alkalines they can maintain the voltage better when under heavy load.

Good NiMh batteries will also give good cycle times, though not quite as good as NiCd. Strangely I noticed that Eneloops, while being IMHO the best batteries out there are not necessarily the best NiMhs for cylce time and are outperformed in that respect by some old unbranded NiMh batteries I have, even if they only give me some thirty shots before needing a recharge.
Yes
Yes mostly
Absolutely true

This is getting way too close to my actual area of expertise, electronics engineering. I shall withhold the long-winded blabity-blah for my forthcoming article on Eneloops and batteries in general.
04-02-2014, 09:36 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
The flash might not be powerful enough for your needs, meaning it always fires at full power. A stronger flash like a 540 would help. However, 15 seconds means your batteries are not good anymore, charge them or replace them.


If fast recycles are a must, and manual controls do not bother you, look at the Godox V850 / Neewer TT850, the li-ion battery is amazing.
I am actually buying the Neewer TT850 but the battery issue did help I put some quality ones in there and for the first 2 hours I was around 2-3 seconds recycle time
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