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03-20-2011, 01:26 AM   #1
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What's the best accurate Pentax TTL Flash for weddings for bouncing?

I'm looking at flashes for weddings and need TTL so that I can bounce off walls and ceilings. I want a flash that has good TTL accuracy when bouncing since my current YN-560's only work in manual and I don't want to worry about adjusting my power all the time and risking over/underexposing shots. What would you all recommend? Thanks.

03-20-2011, 02:57 AM   #2
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A good place to start is:
The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

Also around these forums lots of people seem to like the Metz 50.
03-20-2011, 03:04 AM   #3
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Despite Pentax not being the optimal system for auto TTL flash, I still find Pentax's own AF540FGZ coupled with my K20D or K-x to be the most reliable system I've used for this application. Rarely does it give me erratic exposures in all sorts of conditions, but it can be confused with highly reflective surfaces (as it tends to underexpose those).

Also note that the AF540FGZ has a trimpot adjuster at the foot of the hotshoe adapter under the fix plate that can make up for any global underexposure that may seem to feature on the flash. A thread some time ago on this forum reported the utility of this adjustment. After a slight turn on the trimpot, my flash is spot on. All the best in that.
03-20-2011, 01:38 PM   #4
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Thanks all. Anyone use any of these flashes for weddings for bouncing and directly? What was your experience with it?

03-20-2011, 03:04 PM   #5
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I've used the AF540 and Sigma EF500 Super both for bounce and axial flash photography in weddings. Both do the job, but for P-TTL reliability, I still go to the AF540 as the EF500 can be off at times, for no particular reason.

At weddings, a lot of venues have very high ceilings and some not white, making bounce flash nearly impossible, so I always carry with me a diffusing kit, usually a shoot-through or reflective umbrella on a stand. Results from that setup are my favoured ones, even to straight bounce flash, since I have total control over the direction and quality of lighting on the subjects.
03-20-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
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I see, thanks. How do you set up your umbrella during the ceremony? You have it in the same spot each time like in the back corner?
03-20-2011, 04:06 PM   #7
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I get very consistant results with my Metz 48 in pTTL, but for a wedding you'd probably need the power of a Metz 58 or the Pentax 540.

I think pTTL accuracy is more a function of the body than of the flash to be honest, it is "through the (camera) lens" after all, the flash just does what the body tells it to.
03-21-2011, 03:00 AM   #8
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crossover, I only use it for the posed couple and family shots, after having chosen a spot for the shoot and the combination of poses and family members to shoot together. The umbrella and flash stay in the one place after getting the right light formula, and the results are consistent and pleasing that way.

I may also try it on a different setting, particularly an outdoor shaded area, and get similarly pleasing results there.

03-21-2011, 11:43 AM   #9
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I have the Metz 48 af-1 and really like it. I've done bounced flash with it off a side wall and ceiling and thought it came out fine. I can't compare it to the Pentax flashes, except to say that the 48 has both swivel and tilt, while the Pentax 360 only has tilt.

One of the best features of the Metz 48 is that in manual, one can adjust power from full down to 1/128. I've been experimenting with some strobist scenes, and i''ve been finding that low power is very useful at times, and not something i can get with some of my older pentax flashes. Also, the Metz flash has builtin flash compensation thats in addition to that in the Pentax camera - useful feature i think. Adjustment screen on back takes some getting used to, but is find once you use it awhile.

I don't do weddings, but if i did, I would get the higher power flashes from Pentax or Metz like the 58.

Off the topic a little bit, but i recently purchased an Alzo Porta-flash soft box Studio Flash Accessories by ALZO digital

it's easy to carry around, relative to an umbrella and i would think the wedding guys would find it useful, but weddings are not my thing - one will last me a lifetime :-)

best wishes,
03-21-2011, 12:34 PM   #10
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Yes, I too have a similar one of these portable softboxes, Phil - not bad, but not as good results as I thought I'd get, so I reverted back to the umbrella. Nevertheless, the umbrella is not all that cumbersome to carry arround, since whilst being transported it is in the collapsed form and easily carried along with the flash stand, which also is collapsed and easily carried with the one arm.
03-21-2011, 12:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Yes, I too have a similar one of these portable softboxes, Phil - not bad, but not as good results as I thought I'd get, so I reverted back to the umbrella. Nevertheless, the umbrella is not all that cumbersome to carry arround, since whilst being transported it is in the collapsed form and easily carried along with the flash stand, which also is collapsed and easily carried with the one arm.
Good feedback - i wondered about how it would compare. what size of umbrella do you use? large or small i guess. also, do you use reflective or shoot through?
03-21-2011, 07:12 PM   #12
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cool, thanks guys. I'll get either the Metz 58 or Pentax 540 af540fgz.
03-21-2011, 08:15 PM   #13
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with what camera? the K-5 has a flash issue still....
03-21-2011, 08:18 PM   #14
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K-x...what's the flash problem with the K-5?
03-21-2011, 10:00 PM   #15
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Phil, I have and use both - they're much the same in terms of results, and they're quite small (about 60cm diameter). An invaluable asset for portraiture.
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