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02-13-2017, 06:39 PM   #1
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Is it safe to use an AF-280T flash on my Pentax k-30 DSLR?

Is it safe to use this flash: PENTAX AF 280T reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database With my k-30? I was reading something about "trigger voltages", and now I'm scared to use it out of fear of frying my new camera!

02-13-2017, 06:43 PM   #2
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Relax, it's a Pentax. It was designed to work with Pentax film bodies that had fairly sophisticated electronic circuits (LX, Super Program), and I trust it implicitly with my *istDS and K-5.

The really big issue, IIRC, is some of the earlier third party flashes, especially some Vivitar models.

If you read the reviews at the link, you will see that many others use it on Pentax DSLRs including the K-30.

Last edited by pathdoc; 02-13-2017 at 06:49 PM.
02-13-2017, 06:44 PM   #3
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7.8v trigger per this source:

Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages

probably safe. But I would look to see if anyone has used that flash on your dslr body or at least the same vintage in the brand.
02-13-2017, 07:02 PM   #4
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It should be fine. Just remember that you'll be exposing manually since TTL is not supported any more.

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02-13-2017, 07:15 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It should be fine. Just remember that you'll be exposing manually since TTL is not supported any more.
Doesn't the 280t support auto thyristor modes?
02-13-2017, 07:15 PM   #6

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I use this flash on my K1 regularly with good results. The thyristor exposure works well. Start off using it with the flash set to AUTO (red), the lens aperture set to A, and the camera set to P, although it seem to work well with the camera set to Manual and the lens set to f8 too. It's actually really surprising good.
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02-13-2017, 10:53 PM   #7
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It is quite safe on your K-30. While it does not support P-TTL, it does have a high level of feature dedication on your camera including auto exposure using a sensor built onto the flash. See my review on the AF280T for a full description of how it behaves in the various modes.

PENTAX AF 280T reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

Yes, I do use mine with my K-3 and have been very pleased with the automation features and exposure consistency.


Last edited by stevebrot; 02-13-2017 at 11:34 PM.
02-13-2017, 10:59 PM   #8
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I think all the old Pentax flashes are safe to use on DSLRs, it's just some third-party ones which aren't.

02-13-2017, 11:19 PM   #9
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I've been using it even for portraits on my K10D. But as others said, don't try TTL: it won't work. And, by the way, review the AF-280T threads for useful camera modes information. Happy flash photography!
02-14-2017, 04:36 AM   #10
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Works great on K5.
I measured 7.2v trigger voltage on mine.
02-14-2017, 06:43 AM   #11
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Using classic flashes on K-1, K-3, K-5, etc.

I love these classic old flashes, including 200 series. Mine is AF200T, which is a great small hotfoot flash, esp. for the K-1 which has on on-board flash. I always use manual flash anyway. I set shutter at 1/160, ISO 100, and aperture 8.0. Then set flash on M for Manual and adjust flash power from full down to 1/8. If you are getting too much light at 1/8, just stop down a little. No problem with voltage, but I keep a couple of voltage regulators to fit into camera hot foot, and if there is any doubt about the classic flash you're using, just use one of these. I use them with Sunpak flashes like the 422 and 522. Using manual flash sure simplifies life for me, and if you don't mind chimping a little to get the light level correct, you can do better than P-TTL (in my humble opinion).
02-14-2017, 08:10 AM   #12
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The 280T was (is) a very good flash, highly rated by the PhotoMags that tested it. I still have one of the two I owned, this one with a Gerry-Rigged battery door lock, a flaw in several Pentax flash units (the original 360 comes to mind). If you're not aware, the 280T had available WA and TELE attachments, and Quantum batteries still makes a plug for it (I have two of them). I've been something between disappointed and disgusted that Quantum has not introduced more plugs for newer flash units other than Canikon models.

As to high voltage contacts in old on-camera strobes, safest to test with a voltage meter before sliding into your hot shoe. I had a tiny two-AA flash, Rollei-branded and made especially for the Rollei 35. Only two AA batteries, but the capacitor kicked up the unguarded hot shoe voltage to 240v! BTW: I bought it as a left-over new item for $5 at a going-out-of-business sale.
02-14-2017, 12:46 PM   #13
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I have 6 different 280 flashlights, and all of them worked without problems on my K5 II!

No TTL, but excellent Auto modes.

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