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04-09-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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wanted: advice on flash options for K20?

Dear fellows

I recently got myself a K20. Since I don't care much for flash, and avoid it as much as I can, I didn't really considered its flash compatibility before buying it. By now I have discovered that the K20 and my 500FTZ are not on speaking terms, except in primitive ways.
Although I did enjoy discovering that I still remember how to set a flash+camera manually, at those occasions when I need a flash, at my work or at larger family occasions, some sort of automatic function would be nice, since there is usually not so much time to count in my head. In addition, what came natural when I was teenager and had no other options than a manual flash, appears to go more slowly now.
I understand that the Pentax options for the K20 are the 360FGZ and 540FGZ. If we for a moment forget about the price, I'd be most obliged if someone with experience of one of these or even with both of them could help me sum up what are their respective advantages and disadvantages (except the obvious: more weight and more power in the 540). Also, does anyone know of a good option of an alternative brand of flash for the K20? I have not used other than Pentax flashes in almost 20 years, but could be prepared to test something else, since I'm less particular about flashes than the rest of my hardware.

Yours Sincerly,

Douglas

PS. And yes this was my first posting in this forum (a little bit scary, mostly since this is not my native language). I must say that you do seam to be running a very nice little society here, or even a sub-culture! My complements! DS

04-09-2008, 03:28 PM   #2
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There really isn't much difference between the 360 and the 540 besides size and power. The controls are the same. Oh wait, the 540 swivels and the 360 doesn't. I had a 360 and now have two 540s. I prefer the latter.
04-09-2008, 06:41 PM   #3
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There's also a third "entry-level" flash, the AF200 I think? Don't remember off the top of my head.

I believe Sigma makes a P-TTL flash or two but I would stick with the Pentax. With the K20D, you can control the external flash wirelessly via the onboard flash. I have an AF360 flash and it's a lot of fun to be able to do P-TTL wireless without needing any special extra hardware.

I would like the 540's swivel head (and more power) but I'm not sure if I would like the extra size and weight. Thanks to wireless, if I'm holding the camera in portrait mode, I'll just handhold the flash with the other hand. It's a little extra work but not too bad at all.
04-13-2008, 01:57 PM   #4
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OK, thanks both of you for the advice. The swiwel (that's a word I would not have thought of using being not native to this language) may be an issue. I have to think if I want that bad enough for the price difference (and weight).

04-13-2008, 03:03 PM   #5
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Sigma and Metz both manufacture compatible flash that are quite a bit cheaper than Pentax units. They even have models which will work in wireless mode with the K10-K20 cameras using the on-board flash as a driver (Sigma EF530 DG Super).
04-13-2008, 03:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
Sigma and Metz both manufacture compatible flash that are quite a bit cheaper than Pentax units. They even have models which will work in wireless mode with the K10-K20 cameras using the on-board flash as a driver (Sigma EF530 DG Super).
OK, thanks. I will look for them. Used to use Metz long ago in the air force and they were good, but that was in ancient time.
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