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05-16-2009, 09:52 AM   #1
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K10D - Need a Cheap Flash

Hi Guys.

I own a K10d and i need a flash.

I dont have alot of money to spend but i would like the head to tilt vertically.

Im new to the flash game so be kind

Ive seen these on eBay, any suggestions.

This one

Or this



05-16-2009, 10:55 AM   #2
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Personally, I've found P-TTL auto flash to be hit and miss. I prefer more manual control. For that, I'd recommend any of the Nikon SB series (24/25/26/28), or Vivitar 283/285. All have vertical tilt, and some zoom/swivel as well. There are several excellent Metz & Sunpak units - though not exactly in the 'cheap' category.
05-16-2009, 04:43 PM   #3
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I recently bought the Lumo Pro flash from Midwest Photo Exchange. It works pretty well except you don't get P-TTL or remote sync but can be triggered by cable, hot shoe and by firing another flash. Very strong and with a tilt/swivel/zoom head. Cheap too. I recommedn.
05-17-2009, 05:37 AM   #4
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I don't think those ebay flashes are P-TTL they have Pentax in the ebay description but don't seem to be actually Pentax-dedicated. They're either manual control or have their own auto sensor. That's not necessarily a problem, but in generally, I'd be concerned about quality with random purchases like this.

05-18-2009, 06:12 AM   #5
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I've been looking at these on ebay too. I've actually just picked up a secondhand Jessops one for cheap, but I'll possibly still go for another one of these in the future. The Jessops one has optical triggering and an auto mode which seems to work better than I expected.

Of the ones on ebay, the yongnuo one looks useful for it's adjustable manual power (You should find a slightly cheaper listing than the one you posted, by the way).

Here are another couple that I had been looking at:

Automatic Flash for Pentax K-m K2000 K200D super K20D on eBay, also, Flash Units, Flashes, Cameras Photo (end time 11-May-09 19:10:46 BST)

Slave FLASH Bounce Zoom for PENTAX K200D K20D K100D on eBay, also, Flash Units, Flashes, Cameras Photo (end time 01-May-09 22:47:39 BST)

If anybody gets one of these, I'd be interested to hear your experiences. You tend to read reports of poor quality/faults with cheap items like this, but for every one of those there might be a thousand happy people who never thought to post anything.
05-18-2009, 06:43 AM   #6
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I have a Sunpak Super 383 flash, retail about $75-80 USD on It is a manual flash with guide numbers on the back of the unit, runs on AA batteries, and the head swivels both horizontally and vertically. It is a pretty powerful little unit for the price.
05-19-2009, 05:51 AM   #7
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Take about $30~40 out of your wallet and hunt up an old AF280T.
05-24-2009, 09:35 AM   #8
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WARNING: Some cheap flashes, mounted in the hotshoe or linked via sync cable, generate a high voltage/current and will FRY your camera's electronics! Bummer. I'm not sure what the 'safe' limit is, nor how to test flashes to see if they're murderous or not. I use old cheap flashes, but NOT connected to the camera. Slave triggers are safe and cheap. Your safest cheapest option is to get slave triggers and cheap old flashes, mount those on tripods (or just a 1/4" bolt in a board) as needed, and trigger them with your onboard flash. Shoot, chimp, adjust, repeat until satisfied. Better solutions cost more (of course) but are cheaper than replacing a fried cam.

05-27-2009, 12:18 PM   #9
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For more specific recommendations, you should probably decide on what level of automation and manual control you require. Some particularly manual-friendly units allow five or more manual power settings. If you want some amount of automation you probably want one that includes a thyristor auto-flash capability. This is an older style of flash automation (Pre-TTL) but still works pretty well within its limitations. The P-TTL flashes tend to more expensive but there are some lower cost options that provide basic automation if you don't care about any of the bells and whistles.

For an auto flash with some manual capability, a used Pentax AF-280T (as Mike Cash recommended) is a pretty good choice.
05-27-2009, 01:27 PM   #10
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+1 on the AF-280t (and 200T) - these flashes are of the 'auto thyristor' type with their own sensor built in. That's the sort you'd want, if you don't want to pay for p-ttl. TTL only, which Pentax unfortunately went with for a while, isn't so good.

With the trigger voltage warning in mind, any 'auto thryristor' is easy to use - you set your camera to manual, shutter speed to 180 or less, and f/stop to what the flash tells you to.

Unless it is a dedicated flash, which the two Pentax flashes are. With these the flash and camera communicate, not for TTL exposure, but to set ASA, shutter speed, and f/stop even in program mode. Plus, as I discovered, the K100D (and I'd wager the K10D as well) will set shutter speed anywhere between 1/50 and 1/180 depending on ambient conditions, in program mode. This has the effect to a point of giving you automated fill flash.

Other flashes, such as the Vivitar 2800 I have, will work as well - with the 2800, if you get the one with Pentax as one of the dedicated cameras you'll get dedication. (They come dedicated to 3 makes each.) Mine's a Nikon dedicated unit so I have to set shutter and f/stop manually.

Here's a good description of how these dedicated flashes work:

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