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07-01-2015, 04:21 AM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
The YN560IV is the same price as its predecessors (I get thru Taobao, a China website)
Function wise they are day and night.
The IV is not only a TX/RX, it also can control power and zoom of slave modules.

Saves a lot of trouble moving around flashes and opening up softboxes and lowering umbrellas.
What do you mean by that? Can't you do the same thing with a mkIII+TX that you can with a mkIV+TX?
I think that the interface on the mkIV is quite inconvenient compared to that of the TX, even though in the latter case you can't use a flash on the hotshoe (useful eg. for bounce).

07-01-2015, 04:43 AM   #32
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Manual flash

I have P-TTL and other types of automated flash units. They all work well when paired with cameras offering support for their type of automation.

However, I have found delightful flash freedom by going manual. Here are some points:

1. Buy any old flash from film days, and there are some out there with fantastic output levels.

2. Buy a voltage protector that fits in your camera hotshoe, with another hotshoe on top of the voltage protector.

3. You can mount the rig directly atop your DSLR camera, or use a strobe frame to get the flash higher above the camera.

4. Set aperture at 8.0 and shutter speed at 1/160 seconds. Do a few trial shots and adjust aperture level of flash output level (your two main variables) up or down to accommodate aambient light conditions, although I must say I seldom have to make any such adjustments.

5. Start shooting within the guide number distance limitations, of course.

This has worked so well and so simply for me that I use it almost entirely now.
07-01-2015, 04:53 AM   #33
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There's a new Metz flash, 26-AF1 currently on sale @ B&H for ~$100. Works on two AAA (yes, triple-A) batteries and has a simple set of features: pTTL, two "zoom" settings, simple tilt, manual output. It's currently on back-order which suggests the demand is high. The shape is unusual, sort of a flattened tube rather than the upright boxy shape of most strobes. Might be worth a look if you want something very small/compact/light (including tiny/light batteries) that is probably good quality & reliable (Metz) and has very simple features (no wireless, no in-flash variable output*).

*But pTTL flash exposure can be adjusted through the camera's flash output option accessible via the 4-way controller, which is reasonably quick and easy.

Apologies if someone else has already suggested this unit as an option. There are too many posts on this thread to read through all before putting up my own.
07-01-2015, 04:56 AM - 1 Like   #34
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I picked up one of these: MEIKE MK-320 I-TTL HSS Master FLash Speedlite for Nikon j1 J2 J3 D750 D550 D810 D610 D7100 D7200 D5300 D5100 D5200 D5000 D3300 D3200 D3100 | MeiKe Store

Works in manual mode only with Pentax. But it is both cheap and small. Plus it swivels in both directions, making it perhaps the most flexible of all small flashes. For me, manual mode only is not an issue.

YMMV

Michael

07-01-2015, 10:34 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
*But pTTL flash exposure can be adjusted through the camera's flash output option accessible via the 4-way controller, which is reasonably quick and easy.
Not on my camera (K-3). Those options are for the built-in flash only and then only when it is in manual (non-P-TTL) mode. It is sort of a general rule for external flash, that any special features are a property of the flash and controlled from the flash. The user guide for the flash is your key as to what it can do.


Steve
07-01-2015, 10:47 AM   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Not on my camera (K-3). Those options are for the built-in flash only and then only when it is in manual (non-P-TTL) mode. It is sort of a general rule for external flash, that any special features are a property of the flash and controlled from the flash. The user guide for the flash is your key as to what it can do.


Steve
page 84 of the manual says otherwise. The camera's flash exposure compensation works with P-TTL external flashes.
07-01-2015, 10:52 AM   #37
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Thanks for the pointer! The smaller previous models (300 / 310) seemed to generate very mixed reviews, but this one seems much better, judging from the buzz (e.g. discussions here and here)... You also upgraded from one of those earlier models, right? Do you find the difference noticeable?
07-01-2015, 02:03 PM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Not on my camera (K-3). Those options are for the built-in flash only and then only when it is in manual (non-P-TTL) mode. It is sort of a general rule for external flash, that any special features are a property of the flash and controlled from the flash. The user guide for the flash is your key as to what it can do.


Steve
Not so, The flash adjust works on pop-up flash when in PTTL mode and also on any external PTTL unit.

07-02-2015, 08:03 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
page 84 of the manual says otherwise
Page 84 is a table of the supported flash features when paired with the K-3 and contains a mix of body-controlled and non-body-controlled features. I don't have a AF201FG to pair up and cannot test, though in theory, the Pentax digital protocol should support real-time attenuation through the TTL (not P-TTL) feature set. It may be that could be leveraged to attenuate the flash in manual mode. That being the case, I will shut my mouth.


Steve
07-02-2015, 10:05 AM   #40
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One of the very useful aspects of wireless P-TTL I most enjoy is the ability to control flash compensation from the camera ... No need to walk back to an off -camera flash in P -TTL mode ... This pre-supposes that the built-in flash is set to ' controller' mode via the menu (in 'master ' mode then the camera FC controls the built-in and flash unit FC the off-camera unit).
07-02-2015, 01:41 PM   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I don't have a AF201FG to pair up and cannot test
As a follow-up, I do own a Sigma EF 610 DG Super which does a fairly good job of matching the behavior of the high end Pentax-brand flashes. When using the 4-way controller on the K-3 with that flash mounted on-camera, support goes as follows:
  • Flash EC : Yes
  • Auto Flash Red Eye Reduction : Yes
  • Slow Speed Sync : Yes
  • Slow Speed Sync w/ Red Eye : Yes
  • Trailing Curtain Sync : No* **
  • Manual Flash (Power Level) : No* **
  • Wireless (Master/Controller) : Could not test*** **

* The EF 610 DG supports these features as a setting on the flash itself. The behavior of Pentax-brand units may be different.

** Not available on the K-3II 4-way controller

*** I only have one external P-TTL flash


Steve
07-02-2015, 05:04 PM - 1 Like   #42
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The 610g does work as a master and slave for wireless P-TTL. I have used it for both. However, as we discussed in several other threads, there is no truly compact (shirt pocket) substitute for the built-in flash as a wireless P-TTL controller. The Metz 26 is an adorable little flash, similar in size to Sony's AAA cell compact flash, but unlike the Sony, it will not act as a wireless controller. The same goes for the Pentax AF 201. This is a real shame.
07-02-2015, 06:39 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
What do you mean by that? Can't you do the same thing with a mkIII+TX that you can with a mkIV+TX?
I think that the interface on the mkIV is quite inconvenient compared to that of the TX, even though in the latter case you can't use a flash on the hotshoe (useful eg. for bounce).
The MkIII has a built in Tx/Rx, so it can trigger other MkIII or ones attached with a YN Rx.

The MkIV not only has a built in Tx/Rx function, it also has a wireless controller to control the Power and Zoom on other MkIV.
So imagine you have :
1 flash on umbrella as key light at 1/8
1 flash with grid for highlighting at 1/32
1 flash on camera (perhaps bounced to the ceiling for fill light )

You are using a 77ltd and for a half body shot, you are standing 6m away.

You test fire, and the key light is over and the gird is under.
Conventionally, you'd need to walk over and adjust the power on each flash.
With the MkIV, you just need to change the power of both flash where you stand.
07-02-2015, 07:58 PM   #44
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You could look at many threads discussing how well pTTL works properly with various Pentax models - or not. Some folks say almost flawless, some folks say troublesome. Sometimes flash compensation works on external flashes (I find my success rate is around 70%), for others it's mostly a failure. Some folks are OK with pTTL flash latency, others are horrified - especially so with the K-3 (and most notably early production units and early firmware). Obviously, its kind of a lottery. Any small flash using two AA or AAA (!) batteries is designed for Sunday afternoon shooters who are taking the camera out for no more than 12 shots (hey, you could get color 35mm film in 12 exp. - plenty). These flashes are inadequate for real-world, serious use.

You find that those of us who depend mostly on Auto-thyristor or ratio (or both) have very few problems because the system is simple, quicker (significantly so), and foolproof if you take a bit of time to learn how to use strobist flash properly. You'll find almost no threads about problems with these modes for normal shooting situations because the problems are so few. The OP wants simple and small, and cheap. Here's what you should use at least to learn proper flash technique (includes tilt, swivel, zoom head, two Auto modes, under $40):
Adorama DL-82ABSZ Auto Bounce Non-Dedicated Flash DL-82ABSZ

If you need to get a single source flash image right, this flash will perform consistently better than any of the Pentax offerings currently (very sad to say). It might not hold up like an expensive flash, but it will be fine for several hundred uses, at least. Unlike the previous OEM models that included Auto, Pentax has removed this vital feature (among others) from the current offerings. You can also look for more-solid used Auto flashes, especially from Vivitar or Sunpak - but go too far back and you have to watch out for high trigger voltage... But that's a whole different story.

Last edited by ScooterMaxi Jim; 07-03-2015 at 10:56 AM.
07-02-2015, 11:46 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by pinholecam Quote
The MkIII has a built in Tx/Rx, so it can trigger other MkIII or ones attached with a YN Rx.

The MkIV not only has a built in Tx/Rx function, it also has a wireless controller to control the Power and Zoom on other MkIV.
So imagine you have :
1 flash on umbrella as key light at 1/8
1 flash with grid for highlighting at 1/32
1 flash on camera (perhaps bounced to the ceiling for fill light )

You are using a 77ltd and for a half body shot, you are standing 6m away.

You test fire, and the key light is over and the gird is under.
Conventionally, you'd need to walk over and adjust the power on each flash.
With the MkIV, you just need to change the power of both flash where you stand.
My bad, I had understood that you had a "TX", i.e. a YN-560TX controller... the thingy they added to their flash in its fourth iteration is just a scaled-down version of that item...
With that one there's no need for a mkIV, even though while having 3 flashes one can very well do with a mkIV and two mkIII and still have full group control from the hotshoe.
However the mkIII only has the radio rx part (you still can trigger other flashes, but it's the old-fashioned LoS optical triggering), it's the mkIV which has both radio rx and tx (and of course can be triggered optically).
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