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12-18-2009, 06:52 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Do you need p-TTL?
Do you need wireless flash?
Do you need high-speed flash?

If not, a flash with variable manual output and auto mode (flash having its own light sensor) will meet most, if not all of your needs. Later when you get flash(es) with more feature, the existing flash can be still be used.

I'd rather buy a flash with auto and no p-TTL than a flash with p-TTL and no auto. My backup camera is a Ricoh GX200 or a Canon G5; I need a flash that can work with them and my K10D.

See this thread for one of my recommendations.
Thank you helping.

I assume "TTL" is through the lens? I don't understand how supporting TTL yet non auto? I had thought (I am sure I am wrong) that supporting TTL means that the camera tells flash what to do vs manual?

I just want it to self regulate with non A lenses. I am finding the built in flash fires full force very annoying to me and the family members humoring me when using less $ older non A lenses.

as for wireless that is a plus as well as high speed. though I have no idea what I would be shooting that requires a flash at high speed... So, I guess it is not that important. But, self regulate with non A is most important.

thanks

12-18-2009, 08:01 AM   #17
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TTL and P-TTL are NOT the same thing

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
Thank you helping.

I assume "TTL" is through the lens? I don't understand how supporting TTL yet non auto? I had thought (I am sure I am wrong) that supporting TTL means that the camera tells flash what to do vs manual?

I just want it to self regulate with non A lenses. I am finding the built in flash fires full force very annoying to me and the family members humoring me when using less $ older non A lenses.

as for wireless that is a plus as well as high speed. though I have no idea what I would be shooting that requires a flash at high speed... So, I guess it is not that important. But, self regulate with non A is most important.

thanks
You have to understand the terminology. "Auto" means that the flash has a sensor that reads the light reflected from the subject and controls the light output. Such a flash can be used on any camera with an X-sync.

"TTL" refers to a now-obsolete technology, in which the sensor is built into the mirror box of the camera. Most of the last generation of film cameras and the first generation of Pentax dslrs used this method. The sensor actually read the light reflecting off the film/sensor DURING THE EXPOSURE to determine how much light to produce. The current crop of Pentax dslrs do not have this sensor.

Current Pentax dslrs use a technique called "P-TTL", which is similar to "i-ttl" and "e-ttl" used by Canon and Nikon. In this mode, the flash pre-fires at reduced power BEFORE the exposure. Sensors in the viewfinder (may be the same as the normal metering sensors) read the light output, adjust the aperture and send a signal to the flash, telling it how much light to produce. Then the mirror flips up, the shutter opens and the flash fires at the requested power (actually, its the duration).

A p-ttl flash, with no builtin light sensor, can only be used on a dslr that supports p-ttl. An auto flash (with builtin sensor), can be used on almost any camera.
12-18-2009, 11:05 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
I had thought (I am sure I am wrong) that supporting TTL means that the camera tells flash what to do vs manual?
Essentially, yes (ignoring for now the distinction betwene TTL and PTTL) - but it just doesn't work with manual lenses, since the camera doesn't know the aperture. An "auto flash" has the the sensor built in to the flash itself, so it doesn't need the camera to tell it how much light to put out. They require you to set a specific aperture / ISO combination on the camera in order to work, but they do tend to work pretty well. A nice thing about them is that they are cheap and not brand-specific. $30 gets you an auto flash that works just fine.

QuoteQuote:
I am finding the built in flash fires full force
Right, which is why you need to look up the guide number and learn how to use that to control exposure (Google "guide number").
12-19-2009, 07:43 AM   #19
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I did a quick look on BH. I filtered for pentax mount but allowed for all brands. I don't see a filter for auto flash. But, looking through "spec" tab, I see p-ttl mentioned but no "auto" specific.

*) How do I read the spec to see if flash supports auto?
*) pentax 360/540 are both auto and p-ttl?
*) if I get a auto flash, and end up liking flash phtography a lot, is the auto flash no longer usful in a muli flash setting?

thanks

12-19-2009, 01:03 PM   #20
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Like I said, the advantage of auto flash is that it is *not* brand specific, so you shouldn't be limiting searches to flashes that say they work with Pentax - that would actually be more likely to be hitting on PTTL flashes.

An auto flash will say auto flash in the description somewhere, and won't say TTL or PTTL. Actually, probably the majority of flashes that are not TTL/PTTL are auto flash, although there are certainly some completely manual flash units out there.

Some TTL/PTTL flashes might *also* support auto flash, but why pay for that if you aren't going to be using it? I'd just get a $30 auto flash that doesn't support TTL for now, then worry about spend hundreds more on a PTTL flash later if/when you have the need.
12-19-2009, 01:47 PM   #21
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Another vote for starting with a basic manual flash.
Get the hang of using it in M mode, learn about lighting from the Strobist website (Lighting 101 and 102), and if you do start enjoying flash photography you'll then know which one's right for you.
12-19-2009, 03:53 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Like I said, the advantage of auto flash is that it is *not* brand specific, so you shouldn't be limiting searches to flashes that say they work with Pentax - that would actually be more likely to be hitting on PTTL flashes.

An auto flash will say auto flash in the description somewhere, and won't say TTL or PTTL. Actually, probably the majority of flashes that are not TTL/PTTL are auto flash, although there are certainly some completely manual flash units out there.

Some TTL/PTTL flashes might *also* support auto flash, but why pay for that if you aren't going to be using it? I'd just get a $30 auto flash that doesn't support TTL for now, then worry about spend hundreds more on a PTTL flash later if/when you have the need.

Oh I see. The hotshoe is standard? I had thought that hotshoe like lenses are brand specific. That's why I did the filter
12-19-2009, 04:31 PM   #23
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Hot shoe is standard, yes.

12-20-2009, 07:20 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Hot shoe is standard, yes.

Just do not buy an "auto" flash made for recent Minolta or Sony cameras, they have an odd flash mount.
12-21-2009, 12:58 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Twix Quote
I just recieved my K-x, and I'm lovin it. I'm still learning how to shoot indoor, and I wanted to get your opinions on flash. I've read that the pop up flash is really harsh for indoors, and I've noticed the photos look a little washed. Turning the flash off the pics look better but harder to keep out the blur.

Should I get bounce flash or a lightscope to use with my pop up flash?


As you can see a picture with Flash looks infinitely cooler.
12-21-2009, 01:36 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Hot shoe is standard, yes.
The hot shoe is not standard. There are flashes that can damage your camera. There are flashes from other manufacturers with pins that interfere with the pins on the hot shoe. Sony/Minolta flashes have a completely different hot shoe set up.

Thank you
Russell
12-21-2009, 04:02 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
The hot shoe is not standard. There are flashes that can damage your camera.
While different manufacturers introduced various additional contacts, the standard way to fire a flash (through the middle SYNC) contact is the same among all (non-new-Minolta/Sony) flashes.

Some flashes can hurt your digital camera (typically not your film camera) because their trigger voltage is too high. For Pentax DSLRs the maximum trigger voltage seems to be 25-30V. This issue only occurs with old flashes and is independent of the existence of a hot-shoe standard.

There is a very low number of dedicated flashes which require communication with the camera about the aperture setting, etc., first before they allow firing through the standard (middle SYNC) contact. These flashes only work on the cameras they are intended for. The vast majority of flashes, even the dedicated ones, do not have that problem.

FYI, flash dedication means that the flash communicates with the camera and can thus adjust the zoom to the focal length set on the camera, turn on an AF-assist light, control the power according to aperture settings, etc.
12-21-2009, 07:30 AM   #28
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Alright. Can some at least point me to the correct search string in say BH* or Ad* then? Given the suggestions, I am in need of an inexpensive auto flash (working with m42 lenses) that can tilt and swivel that won't damage my k-x?

I checked both above site, I must not understand the lay out becasue just about every flash they list is made for specific brand of camera.

thanks
12-21-2009, 08:22 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Twix Quote
ISo, the next logical question is... what is the cheapest flash that will work with M or super tak lens on a k-x that does not require manual mode?

One of these at $14
Quantaray QDA-P Pentax Ricoh Flash Module
with one of these at $23
Quantaray QTB-9500A

The module has a thyristor for Auto and has a full power and 1/16 setting for manual.

Thank you
Russell





12-21-2009, 10:31 AM   #30
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Right, I should have said "semi-standard". Thanks for clarifying the issues. But the point is, an auto-flash is generally *not* camera-specific.
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