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01-06-2015, 07:48 AM   #1
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Pentax Flash - what to buy? (Done - Its a gonna be a Metz)

Hello fellow Pentaxusers

i am quite new to photography (6 month) and i want to learn new things about lightning, try new stuff and get some more light in some quite dark places from time to time so i think about getting a flash for my pentax k30, since i really don't like the build in flash, the lightning is always so "straight in the face", don't know how to describe it. Tried pulling the power down, but it won't help and for my 8mm Walimex it casts dark shadows from the lens onto the photo (lens to big ^^).

So, what do you guys think, i searched and found some flashes on amazon:

Yongnuo YN560-III (+ a little diffuser maybe) for example and i have red some quite positiv reviews about this one but i am not sure if i may need another pentax specific, so TTL works.

Budget would be around 100 Euro (like 130 Dollar)

I am not the best informed about what to look for in a flash, so if you could help me out, that would be amazing =)
Oh and i haven't fount my favorite subject in photography, i shoot outdoor and architecture, but i like to go more into street and portrait to catch some emotions =)

Thanks a lot guys and sorry for my english ^^'
have a nice day =)

Marco


Last edited by Lost Forever; 01-07-2015 at 11:42 AM.
01-06-2015, 08:10 AM   #2
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The Yongnuo is a great "strobist" flash (visit strobist.blogspot.com, if you haven't already; probably the best website about flash photography on the internet and it's completely for free); nevertheless, I would recommend buying at least one system flash that works with P-TTL, such as a used AF360FGZ which should be well within your budget. There are situations where P-TTL really comes in handy, and it can do manual as well, has a tiltable head (which allows you to bounce your flash off the ceiling for example), it has a wireless mode and can be triggered via the built-in flash of your K-30, it supports high speed synchronization (HSS) for shutter times lower than 1/180, etc. etc.
01-06-2015, 08:12 AM   #3
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TTL doesn't work on the DSLRs (aside from the original *ist D and I think one or two other *ists?), it needs to be P-TTL.

To be honest I'd strongly recommend an AF280T in your position. The TTL mode won't work but everything else will (two auto settings, two manual power output levels), it's well-made, the trigger voltage is low enough to be safe on a DSLR and it has a swivel/tilt head. You should be able to find a good one for well under €100. I find it much easier to use than more modern flashguns as the controls are far clearer!
01-06-2015, 08:19 AM   #4
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I would recommend the Yongnuo. It's fully manual, so you will have to learn to use it properly. It has tons of range, and it fits into the yongnuo wireless system when you are ready to go off camera. You will need to get the nikon version of any remote triggers, as pentax and nikon use the same pin locations.

I personally use a yongnuo 560-tx (nikon version), two 560-iii wireless slaves and a couple of old Vivitar flashes connected to 603 triggers for my strobe setup.

01-06-2015, 09:15 AM   #5
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Original Poster
Thanks for the fast responses =)
And yeah, i meant the P-TTL (others don't work, i know that).

So, just to clear that up for me, i got 2 choices:

TTL and No TTL (for my Pentax)
What else are the differences for the flash? (i read some books while i post here and try to get structure into this new area for me)

- for example: AF280T or AF360FGZ, what do the letters stay for?

@Milewis: thats why i thought i go for the Yongnuo, since in most situations i can set it up in time (no hurry and in street i don't think i use this flash) and i learn the basics.
01-06-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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I wouldn't buy the used one. You newer know is it still flashing well. Is it not "burnt" a little bit or more, depending how heavily it was used. I own myself AF360GZ. Three things I can tell. The head is only swinging up and down, no left right rotation. The battery door in most cases gets broken after some using. It has some "moods" sometimes and can be unpredictable. (Maybe it's just mine)
01-06-2015, 09:34 AM   #7
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You will find a lot of info on p-TTL flashes at mattdm's site: http://pttl.mattdm.org

An alternative to the AF360 could be Metz 44 AF-1, slightly more powerful and a bit cheaper than the Pentax. It also supports auto mode, which sometimes can be a good alternative to p-TTL.
01-06-2015, 09:39 AM   #8
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Original Poster
currently reading this site
thanks for the information.

still try to figure out, what the difference is between auto and p-TTL, thought that p-TTL enables an "auto-flash" (like auto = the right power)?

01-06-2015, 09:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lost Forever Quote
currently reading this site
thanks for the information.

still try to figure out, what the difference is between auto and p-TTL, thought that p-TTL enables an "auto-flash" (like auto = the right power)?
In P-TTL the flash fires a quick pre-flash to let the camera figure out the correct flash power needed. In auto mode the flash will read your camera's settings and decide how much light to pour out using its own light meter (ending the flash when it measures what it regards as enough light has been returned from the subject).

This means both modes will work even when you bounce the flash. Manual will require more experimenting and experience when bouncing.

If that made sense...
01-06-2015, 09:59 AM   #10
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ah ok
thanks savoche.

So automatic measures the needed amounts of light WHILE flashing?

From what you read i don't see a big difference in both flashes, since both work "on the run" just different methods, is this correct?
01-06-2015, 10:49 AM   #11
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I am also looking for a flash and am having the same problem figuring out which on to get. I have the Pentax AF-200FG it came with my kit it doesn't have bounce features. I just put it on and it works what would be the next step up? Which flash(s) could i just put on and it works.
01-06-2015, 10:54 AM   #12
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The Metz also supports p-TTL, so no big difference between the two - not that I'm aware of, anyway. I would get the one I could find for the lowest price.

The main reason for me to use auto rather than p-TTL is if I want to avoid the pre-flash. (Or to avoid the slight but still annoying delay when using p-TTL on the K-3.)
01-06-2015, 11:00 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by savoche Quote
The main reason for me to use auto rather than p-TTL is if I want to avoid the pre-flash.
thats exactly what i thought, anymore reasons from other members here? i am nearly done with the page you gave me, going to strobist after this, to get some more informations
01-06-2015, 11:01 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by focusr3 Quote
I am also looking for a flash and am having the same problem figuring out which on to get. I have the Pentax AF-200FG it came with my kit it doesn't have bounce features. I just put it on and it works what would be the next step up? Which flash(s) could i just put on and it works.
Pentax AF-360FGZ and Metz 44 AF-1 are two good options for "it just works" flashes with tilt and swivel heads.
01-06-2015, 11:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by focusr3 Quote
I am also looking for a flash and am having the same problem figuring out which on to get. I have the Pentax AF-200FG it came with my kit it doesn't have bounce features. I just put it on and it works what would be the next step up? Which flash(s) could i just put on and it works.
That's what I wanted. I bought an AF-540FGZ. It has P-TTL, bounce, swivel, zoom, and lots of power. I assumed that I could put the camera in P mode and blast away. I think my photos are only slightly better this way. I still needed some flash knowledge to get the full value from the flash. (Just one example: what do I do when there is no surface to bounce from?) The annoying part is, the smarter I get, the less I use the complete automation that makes the AF-540FGZ so expensive. The photos get better, though.
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