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11-23-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
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repair internal flash or buy an external flash

my k100D internal flash bulb has went bust.

I just got an estimate from Pentax's third-party that repairs cameras; they said ballpark estimate is $225 to repair more or less depending on parts required.

This camera was bought in 2010 as a refurb from best buy for $300.

So i've been wanting to buy an external flash anyways, but we are snapshot people; i wouldn't even call us amateurs.

so - external flash, get it repaired, or just take photos in good lighting instead of a repair?

we basically lost the ability to snapshot indoors though.

and I know I can get an external flash for that price point.

11-23-2011, 11:36 AM   #2
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You can get a very good external flash for that price. It also gives you an excuse to break the bad habit of using that pop up flash.
11-23-2011, 12:15 PM   #3
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Don't wast your money on an old camera, buy an external flash or a new second hand camera (K-x?).
11-23-2011, 12:40 PM   #4
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Can't beat the versatility of an external flash. Even cheap'os from ebay, since you can have them off camera and can use with reflectors and such offer great flexibility.

11-23-2011, 12:43 PM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
Don't wast your money on an old camera
Maybe old to you; we bought it in 2010 as a refurb so it's new to us. Need a few more years out of it before we upgrade.

QuoteQuote:
You can get a very good external flash for that price. It also gives you an excuse to break the bad habit of using that pop up flash.
ok, that hits my original thoughts; I think I got what i wanted out of this discussion .


QuoteQuote:
or a new second hand camera (K-x?).
thought about that too; that be a hard sell to my wife since we already have a DSLR plus 2 film pentax slrs, and if we did that we would end up with two DSLRS with one that doesn't have a flash.

it be nice for both of us to have our own cameras; but it's not a necessity.
11-23-2011, 12:45 PM   #6
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big question though:

i am looking through the flashes in the pentaxforums database - when i take those and go to ebay a lot of listings might say "Nikon" or "Olympus"?

does this matter? how do I know if it does? I imagine that ttl or p-ttl from pentax is the same as nikon....no?
11-23-2011, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
big question though:

i am looking through the flashes in the pentaxforums database - when i take those and go to ebay a lot of listings might say "Nikon" or "Olympus"?

does this matter? how do I know if it does? I imagine that ttl or p-ttl from pentax is the same as nikon....no?
Many of the Nikon and other branded flashes have manual modes and auto modes with a built in light sensor, those can be used on the K100D, but you won't get p-TTL. You need a p-TTL compatible flash if you want to use that feature, Nikon uses i-TTL and Canon has e-TTL, neither of those are compatible with the Pentax system.

The Metz 36af-5 wouldn't be a bad option for you, it has p-TTL so it works like your pop-up as far as automatic metering. It has the ability to tilt so you can bounce the light, it has much more power than the pop-up and has a zoom feature so you aren't wasting light by lighting up a wider area than your lens sees. Most of all, it is about half the cost of repairing your K100D.
11-23-2011, 02:09 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Capslock118 Quote
Maybe old to you; we bought it in 2010 as a refurb so it's new to us. Need a few more years out of it before we upgrade.
It's at least 4 years old and maybe close to 5 years old. In consumerelectronics that is old. Closer to the end of it's life then somewhere in the middle.

11-23-2011, 02:16 PM   #9
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Repair price too high for the camera,get a flash even if it a manual one,just be sure the trigger voltage isn't too high.Manual flash is easy to learn to use for indoor shots.Good manual flashes can be had from bay for less than 25 bucks sometimes.
Jake

Last edited by bjake; 11-23-2011 at 02:18 PM. Reason: addition
11-23-2011, 02:25 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
It's at least 4 years old and maybe close to 5 years old. In consumerelectronics that is old. Closer to the end of it's life then somewhere in the middle.
Yet many of the newer bodies don't seem to be making it half that long before dying or falling apart.

I agree that repairing it isn't economical, especially since the pop-up flash sucks anyway. Though, I see no reason to ditch it just because the flash went bad, it is a perfect time to upgrade to a real flash that will also be compatible when you finally do upgrade the body.
11-23-2011, 02:42 PM - 1 Like   #11
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P-TTL is Pentax's TTL (through the lens) flash metering protocol (Nikon's I-TTL is similar but, naturally, incompatible). Basically you get a small preflash to meter then the big flash to expose (because of the speed you shouldn't notice the preflash - it's not like red-eye reduction). No idea whether your K100d supports wireless control of an external P-TTL flash but since the bulb is broken that's a moot point. Metz units support P-TTL and come in a fair bit cheaper than Pentax units. Beware: the Pentax AF200FG is pretty useless - you can't even bounce it off the ceiling.

The alternative is a manual flash - basically dial in your exposure settings in manual mode on your DSLR (say 1/180 shutter speed and F5.6) and then adjust the flash power to get a correct exposure. It's a bit of a learning curve (I'm trying to get a feel for this myself). The good thing is that these are much cheaper than TTL flashes and the controls are a lot easier too. The Yongnuo YN560 is a popular choice. The Strobist site recommends a particular model, the Lumopro LP160 which you can buy from Midwestern Photo Exchange.

I used to use the popup flash and always wondered what I was doing wrong. Basically what I was doing wrong was using the damned thing in the first place.

Definitely don't pay $225 to have something a bit rubbish repaired (the popup flash, that is, not the camera). For that money you could probably replace the K100D, couldn't you? I saw one going for 125 (approx $190). For another 100 bucks you could probably find a K-x. This would give you about two or three stops improvement through its better low light handling: ISO 3200 is very usable and 6400 is bearable for small prints / web use, while the K100d is topping out at ISO 800. Then you wouldn't need flash at all in normal indoor lighting, particularly if you added something like a DA35.
11-23-2011, 05:22 PM   #12
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QuoteQuote:
It's at least 4 years old and maybe close to 5 years old. In consumerelectronics that is old. Closer to the end of it's life then somewhere in the middle.
QuoteQuote:
For another 100 bucks you could probably find a K-x. This would give you about two or three stops improvement through its better low light handling: ISO 3200 is very usable and 6400 is bearable for small prints / web use, while the K100d is topping out at ISO 800. Then you wouldn't need flash at all in normal indoor lighting, particularly if you added something like a DA35.

I mean I get your point Ron but I wasn't really buying the whole "k100d is too old to be worth putting money into" thing because well, a: i want an external flash anyways and b: we don't have that much money to just throw around especially around the holidays when we bought this not 1-1/2 years ago. Yes, consumer electronics get old fast but we are not in the position to buy the new iPad every single year either; know what I mean? I agree though that fixing the built-in flash would be a terrible idea. You make a good argument though about the better handling of low light in the more recent cameras. Though, If I had the money, i'd rather just upgrade all the way up to the k-5 and call it a day; but then I'd still desire an external flash....you get where I am going here - it's like LBA but like I said, we are snapshot people.

You have all really re-enforced the idea of picking up an external flash. And, like it was stipulated, it will carry over to the next camera we buy and will probably be more fun to shoot in low light anyways.

It sounds like it does matter that I pick up P-TTL and not just any [something]-TTL; i just figured the model number would have eluded to whatever that [something] was. So i'll make sure anyways. I like the concept of learning manual; i have a lot of manual lenses anyways, but there is always a place for automatic when the situation calls for it....

....like trying to take a photo of an energetic baby and you don't have time to monkey around. :-D

thanks everyone!
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