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05-30-2011, 10:35 AM   #1
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Flash for k-x?

Hi, I am thinking on getting a little flash for my k-x but I have no understanding of how it works.

Since the hot shoe on all DSLRs are the same, does that mean all flash will work on the camera? Will I be able to get a nikon flash and hoping it will work just fine on my k-x?

And what is different between those 40$ flash and those $400 one??
I know the flash power output is different, but what else?

Last but not least, does anyone have any recommendation on a cheap flash that works on regular everyday uses? (I am on tight budget)

Thanks!

05-30-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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technically, all flashes (cept minolta/sony) will fire on any standard hotshoe. The main difference between brands is support for their brand-specific ttl metering system. put simply, you have to use a p-ttl capable flash in order to simply set it on p-ttl mode and the camera will set up flash output for you as you go. Some flashes also support their own auto modes too however. So technically, yes, you can use a nikon flash on a pentax camera, but it'll act as a manual flash (no pttl mode).
The difference in price is a combination of several things:
power, tilt-swivel, brand name, ttl-support, level of manual control, etc. If you can label a flash to have something, you can probably charge more for it.

as for flash recommendations, what do you consider "everyday uses"? because for me, everyday uses includes shooting with off camera flashes for portraiture and/or shooting events for my university. That, combined with a bit of personal preference, led me to using the yongnuo yn560 flashes, which are fully manual.
05-30-2011, 12:16 PM   #3
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Thanks adpo, now i have a better understand on flash.

what i mean everyday use is shooting portraits indoor, or group photos during events.
nothing big like huge interior so i think i don't need a power flashgun.

ttl-supported flash sounds good, but seems like none of them are cheap.
i will do more research and find out what i need.
Thanks.
06-01-2011, 09:05 AM   #4
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I bought a Bower SFD926P for my K-x last year and it seems to work fine. I do not know a lot about flash and just wanted something to use during those times when I had to have something without spending a lot of money. It is TTL and cost around $105 last December.

06-01-2011, 11:33 AM   #5
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Understanding and using manual flash will save batteries, give better and more consistent results, and will frustrate you less than trying to do PTTL. It's not hard, you kind of go by feel. Plus, it'll save you money. Next time I get $40 extra bucks I plan on getting a Yongnuo 460-II flash. Gets a lot of love around here, and if you buy it from the right eBay seller you get a 1 year warranty.
06-01-2011, 01:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by telly0050 Quote
Last but not least, does anyone have any recommendation on a cheap flash that works on regular everyday uses? (I am on tight budget)
For that purpose - you could consider using the built-in pop-up flash.

Seriously, it is there and convenient - don't have carry anything extra -
it is fully automatic and functional with TTL metering.

Learn to use the flash compensation adjustment -
this adjusts the level of flash to balance/compare to a "normal" ambient exposure.

A very nice and cheap accessory that I just saw is a pop-up flash diffuser that clips in to the flash shoe

Some have three diffusers for neutral, warming or cooling effects -
I think these are simple, pretty outstanding and cheap (like just over $2 shipped from fleaBay):





Last edited by UnknownVT; 06-01-2011 at 01:42 PM.
06-01-2011, 07:53 PM   #7
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My tight-budget option was a Rokinon 2-AA flash that can tilt vertically - under $50 at overstock's website. I received a gift card there and it does the little that I need; it's nice to bounce light off the ceiling instead of blasting subjects directly. For more cash you can get one to swivel side-to-side as well, in case ceilings are too high to bounce from or you shoot vertically.

Looks like the Vivitar PL108 $48 is the same model, just a different (off)brand.. you might search to see if B&H or Amazon carry similar, since they support this site!
06-01-2011, 08:26 PM   #8
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I have only used 1 flash; a Metz 48 (replaced now by the Metz 50). For $220 it's a terrific flash, probably the best $220 I've spent on camera gear ever. It has pTTL, HSS and can tilt and swivel.

Having a flash makes a bigger difference to getting quality pictures inside than having one of the top tier Pentax lenses IMHO.

06-02-2011, 05:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Having a flash makes a bigger difference to getting quality pictures inside than having one of the top tier Pentax lenses IMHO.
I agree with this 1000%. Some of the best shots I've taken of people were with bounce flash.
06-02-2011, 08:58 AM   #10
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UnknownVT brought up an interesting alternative. When I was researching for a flash, I read on this forum that you can use an opaque film canister as a diffuser to cover the onboard flash. I now carry one in my bag, whereas I don't carry the Bower unless I know I am going to use it.
06-02-2011, 09:10 AM   #11
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I use the Sigma 530 super, I have had problems at all with it. Some folks have had a zoom issue, but what had discovered with mine was, if the built in difusser is not seated all the way in, the zoom function will not work. But I used the sigma flash on my Kx, and loved it. I shoot alot of macros with the Kx, and the K5, and I think it had the best features for 169.00 . I also added a softbox for 10 dollars, and that helps a ton shooting flowers, and insects.
06-02-2011, 03:56 PM   #12
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Built-in Pop-up flash (straight, no diffuser)
ISO3200, f/7.1, 1/20, 21mm, -2/3 stop flash compensation.


Built-in Pop-Up flash (straight, no diffuser)
ISO3200, f/5.6, 1/15, 18mm; -1.3 stops flash compensation
06-02-2011, 08:04 PM   #13
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The problem with the pop up flash in any of its disguises is that it is in line with the lens and therefore usually provides boring lighting and frequently a shadow behind the subject.

I has a AF540 that was way too much for my limited needs. Sold it and got a cheap swivel/tilt/zoom Bower SFD290 for $40. Two auto modes, manual, no PTTL. So far so good.

SFD290 Bower SFD290 Fully Automatic Zoom, Swivel Bounce Flash for All Cameras with Standard Hot Shoe
06-02-2011, 08:20 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The problem with the pop up flash in any of its disguises is that it is in line with the lens and therefore usually provides boring lighting and frequently a shadow behind the subject.
Can't disagree with that if flash is the main source of lighting.

The typical on board flash picture is the deer caught in the headlight and probably with devilish red-eye.

However we have a whole bunch of clever(er) people here -
the built-in pop-up flash need not be the main lighting source - but kind of a supplemental light -
since the K-x has fabulous ISO performance up to about ISO6400.

So the built-in pop-up flash could be used as fill-in light at a noticeably weaker level than the normal "full power" - hence the advice to learn to use flash compensation to have the flash level below that of the ambient light.

Of course some might consider the two photos I posted using the built-in op-up flash above in Post #12 to be "boring" lighting (actually I found it quite "exciting" - excuse me, while I wipe myself off ) But I did use flash compensation ranging from -0.7 to -1.3 stops.

I think it is worthwhile learning to use what is available - eg: the built-in pop-up flash properly - rather than the blanket advice to use off camera bounced flash - that in itself will not guarantee good and exciting pictures.

It would be great to see picture examples illustrating better off camera/bounce flash usage

Last edited by UnknownVT; 06-02-2011 at 08:27 PM.
06-03-2011, 05:58 AM   #15
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UnknownVT, that's a very good point. In almost any situation, dialing down the flash's power is advisable, whether bouncing or not.

One of the big problems I have with the on-camera flash is that my 16-45 f4 throws a big ugly shadow at the bottom (or side) of every picture if I'm below 30mm with it. No amount of dialing down or diffusing will help that.

In some situations, like the ones you posted, you didn't have anything to bounce against, so if you needed more light, straight on was your only option.

However, I've always felt that for concert photos, flash is rarely necessary, because the stage lighting (IMO) is usually adequate and produces a better mood, that flash wouldn't help anything. But that's just me, and don't take that the wrong way, your pics are great, just for the subject matter, I prefer not to fill flash. I just prefer to let the stage lighting do its thing.

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