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12-21-2009, 10:49 AM   #31
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Ok, I found one of these:

DL-82ABSZ Adorama Auto Bounce Flash, Non-Dedicated Flash with a GN of 82 ft (ISO100)

Good?

12-21-2009, 11:46 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
I think that one is OK. The only potential problem (can be a big one) is the trigger voltage.

I would pick the Sunpak below instead, just because I have experience with it. There is no zoom head, but it is powerful (GN 120 ft), bounce and swivel, 3 aperture settings in auto mode, 5 manual power ratio settings (full, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/16).

Sunpak 3600DX ($30)

and

Sunpak Extension Cord ($5)

This extension cord is really good for flash bracket, macro, ....

and

Sunpak Module for Pentax ($15)

If you want to save $11, instead of the module for Pentax, get the one for Ricoh. The advantage of the module for Pentax is that if the camera is in Av mode, the flash, when ready to fire, will set the shutter speed to something like 1/60 sec so you can just look at the shutter speed display in the camera's viewfinder and tell if the flash is ready.

Sunpak Module for Ricoh ($4)


Here's a photo of my setup. The trigger voltage is around 5V. I also use this setup for my Ricoh GX200 and my Canon G5.


Last edited by SOldBear; 12-21-2009 at 11:52 AM.
12-30-2009, 07:18 PM   #33
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Ok resurrecting the old thread

I took the advice and was able to find the exact flash 36DX from the listed link above. Just got it today. The condition is decent. I cheaped out and bought the ricoh adapter as oppose to the pentax specific one.

Now, a few questions for its usage:

*) the trigger voltage is very consistent at 11v. Not the 5v listed above. the K-x fires it fine. But is it safe for long term? The N/C* guys likes to keep it uner 6v it seems like. I can't through google find the pentax requirement for voltage other than pentax site saying buy their flash. Please advise.

*) in manual mode, I slide the iso to 200 where my camera setting is at, I then slide to M on the flash. Camera in M mode, the shutter is at 160 since the next one is 200 which is > sync of 180. I shot tests at all manual settings on the flash via the slider one click at a time, at a constant aperture of 2.8. I would get fairly consistent lessor exposure as I cut down power on flash, but, all the sudden it would do full power. I can't seem to reproduce this with consistence. Am I doing this wrong? Leaving in the same setting on flash does not cure this. I took it off camera and just use the test button to fire after each manual setting, it is also not consistent. What do you guys think?


For both above, could the cheapy ricoh shoe cause this to happen?

Thanks
12-31-2009, 12:41 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
*) the trigger voltage is very consistent at 11v. Not the 5v listed above. the K-x fires it fine. But is it safe for long term? The N/C* guys likes to keep it uner 6v it seems like. I can't through google find the pentax requirement for voltage other than pentax site saying buy their flash. Please advise.
Nobody knows the exact limit of the trigger voltage for sure. Pentax has never published this number. A few years back, a support tech in Germany sent out an email saying the limit was 25V for the *ist series.

The only camera maker that I know of who states a number is Ricoh. The user's manual of the GX200 specifically says 20V.

I myself has been using a number of flash units with the K10K and without a Safe-Sync. The one with highest trigger voltage is Metz 45CT-4: 24V. I'm still currently using that one.

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
*) in manual mode, I slide the iso to 200 where my camera setting is at, I then slide to M on the flash. Camera in M mode, the shutter is at 160 since the next one is 200 which is > sync of 180. I shot tests at all manual settings on the flash via the slider one click at a time, at a constant aperture of 2.8. I would get fairly consistent lessor exposure as I cut down power on flash, but, all the sudden it would do full power. I can't seem to reproduce this with consistence. Am I doing this wrong? Leaving in the same setting on flash does not cure this. I took it off camera and just use the test button to fire after each manual setting, it is also not consistent. What do you guys think?

For both above, could the cheapy ricoh shoe cause this to happen?
I have the feeling the flash is bad. The Ricoh module has nothing to do with the inconsistency of the flash. Currently I'm using a Sunpak 555, a 36DX, and a Ringlight 8DX, all sharing interchangeably 4 different modules: Pentax, Nikon, Olympus, and Ricoh. None displays the problem you describe.

I also have a few flash units that fire at full power, at first intermittently and overtime always: 2 Sunpak 522s, a Vivitar 283, a Vivitar 5600. At some point in time I bought a used Sunpak B 3600 DX from B&H that behaved just like yours. I returned it promptly.

Have you try using the flash in auto mode? Set the flash in auto mode, match the ISO setting and the aperture setting on the flash and on the camera. You should have good exposure. If not, see if you can return the flash.

12-31-2009, 08:30 AM   #35
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Thanks!

There are 3 A modes on the flash. At base ISO of 200 for k-x. I get

red@11 1.6 - 15 ft
yellow@5.6 3.3 - 30 ft
green@2.8 6.6 - 60 ft

I am mostly in the red/yellow zone since I shoot indoor most. I find that in red mode, flash fires the strongest power then yellow and green being the weakest. This seems backwards to me. If the subject is closest like red mode within 15 ft, shouldn't that be the weakest? If I want to have large DOF, but subject is further than the 15 ft, do I actuall shoot red mode? The opposit where subject is close but I want less DOF, I shoot green with 2.8?

So far, I leave it yellow for the comprimise. But, I don't get the markings in various A modes. Is there even a reason NOT to shoot base ISO with flash?

There is also a '*' mode that is blue in color. not sure what that is neither.

update on the M mode. the slider is 'slightly' defective. The detent clicks in just fine and slide has almost zero wiggle. But, if I just slide from tick to tick, it may or may not seat correctly. But, after each tick, if I wiggle the switch a bit, I can consistently get it in to the correct power thus correct firing. It is minor enough that I may not need to return it. The shipping will certainly eat away at the low cost savings of this flash too.

question regarding the 555, I noticed it is a handle mounted where the camera goes into another bracket. Does the flash go to the right or left of the camera? Also, how do you manual focus with such a setup? Seems really heavy?

Thanks
12-31-2009, 12:07 PM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
There are 3 A modes on the flash. At base ISO of 200 for k-x. I get

red@11 1.6 - 15 ft
yellow@5.6 3.3 - 30 ft
green@2.8 6.6 - 60 ft

I am mostly in the red/yellow zone since I shoot indoor most. I find that in red mode, flash fires the strongest power then yellow and green being the weakest. This seems backwards to me. If the subject is closest like red mode within 15 ft, shouldn't that be the weakest? If I want to have large DOF, but subject is further than the 15 ft, do I actually shoot red mode? The opposite where subject is close but I want less DOF, I shoot green with 2.8?
The 11, 5.6, and 2.8 numbers are apertures. These are supposed to be the apertures you have set on the camera and thus the distances reflect that with the assumption that the ISO is also at the setting for the given numbers.

The smaller the aperture on the camera, (the larger the number), the more light is needed when the ISO levels stay the same. The flash output is thus hotter at the larger aperture number.

Does the K-X have optical preview? If so, set the aperture to f11 and then activate the optical preview while looking through the viewfinder. You should see a dramatic drop in the light levels. This is what the flash is trying to compensate for. Now set the camera's aperture at f5.6 and activate the optical preview. There should be a lot more light at this setting so you can see the flash doesn't need to produce as much light to compensate. The same for f2.8.

Thank you
Russell
12-31-2009, 12:44 PM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
The 11, 5.6, and 2.8 numbers are apertures. These are supposed to be the apertures you have set on the camera and thus the distances reflect that with the assumption that the ISO is also at the setting for the given numbers.

The smaller the aperture on the camera, (the larger the number), the more light is needed when the ISO levels stay the same. The flash output is thus hotter at the larger aperture number.

Does the K-X have optical preview? If so, set the aperture to f11 and then activate the optical preview while looking through the viewfinder. You should see a dramatic drop in the light levels. This is what the flash is trying to compensate for. Now set the camera's aperture at f5.6 and activate the optical preview. There should be a lot more light at this setting so you can see the flash doesn't need to produce as much light to compensate. The same for f2.8.

Thank you
Russell
Thanks. I understand what the numbers were. I typed in haste and didn't put in the 'f' in front of them. I know that large means small opening too. The part that is confusing is that, the distance it lists with the respected aperture opening. It seems like it is saying that for example with green, it will 'reach' up to 66 ft. But, when I fired in green mode, the light was the weakest of them all. No way, in my experience will it reach 66 ft away. It is not intuitive to me that why list close coverage with large f number and thus a very strong flash up close when it would seem to me, that the green mode of 'weak' flash would cover much better?

thanks
01-01-2010, 12:35 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
I am mostly in the red/yellow zone since I shoot indoor most. I find that in red mode, flash fires the strongest power then yellow and green being the weakest. This seems backwards to me. If the subject is closest like red mode within 15 ft, shouldn't that be the weakest? If I want to have large DOF, but subject is further than the 15 ft, do I actuall shoot red mode? The opposit where subject is close but I want less DOF, I shoot green with 2.8?
It makes perfect sense that for the same scene, the output of the flash is the weakest in green mode.

See, the aperture is large (F/2.8), so the illumination does not need to be as great as when the aperture is small (e.g. F/11 in red mode).

Note that the output power of the flash has a range min-max, and this range of output power is the same regardless of red, green, or yellow auto mode. It is the difference in aperture settings that creates the difference in the range of distance.

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
I don't get the markings in various A modes. Is there even a reason NOT to shoot base ISO with flash?
I'm not sure what you mean by "don't get the markings" and "shoot base ISO with flash."

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
There is also a '*' mode that is blue in color. not sure what that is neither.
It is for TTL mode. You need a dedicated module and a camera body that both support TTL, otherwise the flash will fire at full power. So "*" mode doesn't apply here.

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
question regarding the 555, I noticed it is a handle mounted where the camera goes into another bracket. Does the flash go to the right or left of the camera? Also, how do you manual focus with such a setup? Seems really heavy?
You have some good questions here.

Does the flash go to the right or left of the camera? In theory, for better balance, the flash is on the left of the camera (when you are the photographer, looking at the camera's back). The problem is in vertical shooting when the whole setup is turned 90 degrees. For most people, the comfortable position is with the right hand on top. For camera with a vertical grip, it is definitely like that. Then the flash's head will be lower than the lens - not good lighting.

So my son set the flash on the right. And I set the flash on the left and turn the camera "the other way" for vertical shots. Fortunately we have multiple bodies and multiple flash guns, so we're still arguing but don't have to fight.

The setup is pretty heavy. Manual focus is a bit clumsy, so I try not to do it too much . If I know I don't need the great power or the short recycle time of a handle-mount flash, I use either the Sunpak 36DX, or the Nikon SB25, or the Pentax 540.

QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
It seems like it is saying that for example with green, it will 'reach' up to 66 ft. But, when I fired in green mode, the light was the weakest of them all. No way, in my experience will it reach 66 ft away.
Try it. If you let the flash charged fully, it will reach 60 ft at appropriate aperture.


Last edited by SOldBear; 01-01-2010 at 12:41 AM.
01-01-2010, 07:04 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
Note that the output power of the flash has a range min-max, and this range of output power is the same regardless of red, green, or yellow auto mode.
This is pretty subtle. You are talking about the range of output, min to max, being the same no matter the mode. The settings however still do count, as the meter is still telling the flash when enough is enough in the scene.

It is a good description, but I can see it being confusing.

Thank you
Russell
01-01-2010, 08:21 AM   #40
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Thanks for the help. By base ISO, I just ment that since ISO is to change the senitivity of the sensor (which has an effect of more noise), if I use a flash, what is the point of shooting anything other than base of the camera.

I did casual shooting of the family, according to the histograms, bouncing -- which is less harsh to me looses about 3/4 stop. I am not sure what is considered good flash photography... but at least the shots are clear with no motion blur I would get with low shutter speed other wise. But I must admit, every shot looks about the same as far as lighting goes. pretty "flash" colored if you know what I mean.
01-01-2010, 11:07 AM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by slow2focus Quote
since ISO is to change the senitivity of the sensor (which has an effect of more noise), if I use a flash, what is the point of shooting anything other than base of the camera.
Two reasons I can think of:

1. To extend the effective range of the flash
2. To allow more ambient light to fill in shadows and balance the harshness of the flash

QuoteQuote:
I must admit, every shot looks about the same as far as lighting goes. pretty "flash" colored if you know what I mean.
You can set an option in camera to control what WB is chosen when using flash, or manually set a WB, or do that in PP, or use a colored gel over the flash itself.
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