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10-30-2007, 10:13 PM   #1
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Flash advice needed

Hey folks, Im looking for a good flash for my K10D to use for indoor shots, family get togethers and such. Id like something pretty responsive/quick and accurate. Id like something with a bounce feature/angel option because i really dont like the look of the in camera flash, gives such obvious shadows... I know very little about flash photography, just bits a peaces ive picked up from various readings... Ive read about auto, manual, ttl, pttl, ect and i can make sense of some of it, but maybe not enough to make the best choice.... What im looking for is a economical flash, i hate the word cheap lol... something under 60 bucks that I can use to shoot indoors. I found some low cost flashes on ebay but i dont know if they would be considered quality products... Ive often found that you get what you pay for... so my main two questions are this.... Does anyone know of a good low price flash that isn't junk? and more importantly, What kind of flash would be best suited for the needs Im talking about. Im not looking for anything amazing, just something that will be easy to learn and use that will give me nice indoor photos for family memories. Thanks in advance for any help!


Last edited by pentaxbling; 10-31-2007 at 01:18 AM.
10-31-2007, 02:59 AM   #2
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I currently have four flash units.

Sigma 500 DG ST:
Modern P-TTL flash that sits on my shelf unused. Bounce and swivel. Utterly useless with the vintage lenses I use and the reason it sits on the shelf. Cost a bundle.

Vivitar 2000:
Small auto flash (two auto ranges, plus full power manual option). Bounce only; no swivel. Sees quite a bit of use with remote triggers. Flash trigger voltage is over 200 volts, so it doesn't go directly on the camera. Cost nine bucks from KEH

National PE-3057
Large auto flash (three auto ranges, plus 1/1, 1/4, and 1/16 power manual options). Bounce, no swivel. Trigger voltage under 10 volts so it can go directly on the camera. Cost about eight bucks from Yahoo Japan Auctions.

Vivitar 2500
Medium sized auto thyristor (two auto ranges, plus 1/1 and 1/16 power manual options). Bounce, no swivel. Trigger voltage about 12 volts and can go on camera. High school graduation present in 1983 and my "go to" flash. Available for probably around twenty bucks on eBay.

Flashes don't have to be new or loaded with features in order to provide good results.

The main thing you need to be aware of is that the K10D can't make use of the TTL feature if you buy a flash with that; it has to be P-TTL or they camera and flash can't communicate. Since P-TTL is a relatively new thing, that limits your choices considerably. On the other hand, "auto" or "auto thyristor" flashes will work with any camera and the only thing you have to be careful about is the flash trigger voltage (so you don't fry the electronics on your modern camera....it wasn't an issue on old film cameras).

Last edited by Mike Cash; 10-31-2007 at 04:37 AM.
10-31-2007, 03:57 AM   #3
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Thank you so much for your reply! im glad i now know that ttl wont work with the k10d! i was looking at some on ebay.... example ---> TTL Dedicated AF Flash FOR Pentax K100D K110D K10D - (eBay item 300165576030 end time Nov-02-07 18:07:04 PDT) its advertised as working exclusively with the Pentax units.... so there selling ttl flash units claiming they will work with the k10d? ... thats real honesty there....
10-31-2007, 04:36 AM   #4
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What's even worse is that there seem to be ignorant and/or unscrupulous sellers saying that flashes are P-TTL when they're not.

I sent the guy the following via the eBay question form:

QuoteQuote:
The K100D, K110D, and K10D all require P-TTL flash and will not work with TTL flash. You run the risk of appearing either careless in your descriptions, ignorant of the distinction, or plain unscrupulous by advertising a TTL flash as being compatible with those cameras.
Not that I think it will do any good, of course. I'm not that naive.

I'll include a few images taken with my outdated "obsolete" bargain flashes (taken with flash off camera, using el cheapo eBay radio triggers):

Vivitar 2500:





Vivitar 2000:


Vivitar 2000 and Vivitar 2500 together:



National PE-3057


I have nothing against the latest brand-new top-end flashes....I just don't have the money for them, the older (cheaper) stuff works just fine, and is actually easier to use with the old (cheap) lenses I use.


Last edited by Mike Cash; 10-31-2007 at 04:48 AM.
10-31-2007, 04:39 AM   #5
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O cannot open your link, safari does not like it for some reason, but older flashes like the AF280T should work with a K10D, you just have to use it in Auto or manual modes because of the P-TTL of the K1oD.

I have not tried my af280-t on my K10D, but i know others that have(on another list) and they claim it does work in limited functions.

The 360 seems to be a nice flash that works well on the K1-D, if you can live with out swivel.

Dave
10-31-2007, 05:00 AM   #6
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If you can, save up for the 540. It swivels and bounces. It supports HSS (allows you to fire it at ANY shutter speed, perfect for outdoor fill-flash with wide-apertures), it supports P-TTL AND Auto. It also has an auto-focus assist light, which can be used without firing the flash (great for indoor low-light where you don't want a flash, but want to help the autofocus).

Don't know about older flashes, so listen to the previous posters
10-31-2007, 10:30 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike Cash Quote
<snip>I'll include a few images taken with my outdated "obsolete" bargain flashes (taken with flash off camera, using el cheapo eBay radio triggers)<snip>
Wow Mike! Those are some impressive images! Thank you so much for taking the time to reply and share you knowledge! You've really helped me out!
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