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06-24-2017, 09:12 PM   #1
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The difference in flash types

I am using a K3, I bought a after market TTL zoom flash but it does not work with the K3, the problem is when I put in the flash it starts auto firing completely out of control, since Pentax has stopped producing film camera for long time, so flash like this 'advanced' should be designed for digital camera, but may not be the K3, I've no other Pentax DSLR to test so have no idea about that, I still have a Super A so the flash will not be wasted, any comment ?

06-24-2017, 09:16 PM   #2
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TTL or P-TTL? Pentax has not used TTL in years. Many years.
06-24-2017, 09:24 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
TTL or P-TTL? Pentax has not used TTL in years. Many years.
Opps... so any changes since the first Pentax DSLR to the current one in flash specification ? my first Pentax DSLR was the K20D, and then K7, K5 and K3
06-24-2017, 09:36 PM   #4
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Last Pentax DSLR to use TTL was the *ist DS from 2004 I think. Since then AFAIK the P-TTL protocol is unchanged. But I am no expert on that.

If your aftermarket flash can be set to manual then it will work that way. It will not work with P-TTL if it is a TTL flash.

06-24-2017, 09:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Last Pentax DSLR to use TTL was the *ist DS from 2004 I think. Since then AFAIK the P-TTL protocol is unchanged. But I am no expert on that.

If your aftermarket flash can be set to manual then it will work that way. It will not work with P-TTL if it is a TTL flash.
IC... I did not use flash often ever since I switched to digital, so have zero idea about the current technology in flash design !
06-24-2017, 09:53 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
IC... I did not use flash often ever since I switched to digital, so have zero idea about the current technology in flash design !
You have two choices:
1) Pentax P-TTL with a Pentax master flash and P-TTL slave flashes from Pentax, Metx or Sigma
2) Manually adjusted flashes using radio triggers from a number of makers. Dozens of options, almost all far cheaper than the Pentax gear.

For manual you have three choices:
1) Ebay triggers and cheap new flashes or older good quality ones like the Nikon SB-26
2) Cactus ecosystem with Cactus v6 triggers and Cactus RF60 flashes
3) Yongnuo ecosystem with their triggers and flashes

Both Cactus and Yongnuo allow some control of the remote flashes from the camera just not automation like P-TTL.
06-25-2017, 01:48 AM   #7
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If your TTL flash unit also has an "auto" mode (not TTL) which has its own internal sensor to regulate auto flash output, that might provide decent results with your K-3.
06-25-2017, 03:10 AM   #8
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Hi lotech

Can you specify the brand of the flash and if possible a photo of the back (so one can see the controls of the flash).

Best regards,

06-25-2017, 04:04 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lotech Quote
I am using a K3, I bought a after market TTL zoom flash but it does not work with the K3, the problem is when I put in the flash it starts auto firing completely out of control, since Pentax has stopped producing film camera for long time, so flash like this 'advanced' should be designed for digital camera, but may not be the K3, I've no other Pentax DSLR to test so have no idea about that, I still have a Super A so the flash will not be wasted, any comment ?
I had the same experience with a flash when mounted on more recent Pentax cameras. It would start strobing when triggered. It had worked fine with a Pentax K-x and K-20, but not with a K-50, K-01 or K-3 II. I got it to work in manual mode only by using cellophane or plastic electrician's tape to cover all but the central pin on the flash. Mine is a Rokinon D980AFZ-PK. This same flash was sold under a variety of brands.
06-25-2017, 04:11 AM - 2 Likes   #10
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About $75 gets you a Yongnuo 585 that does pretty much everything bar HSS, so it might be time to stop agonizing over these vintage things.

06-25-2017, 05:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Last Pentax DSLR to use TTL was the *ist DS from 2004 I think.

Actually, the very last Pentax DSLR to support the lovely TTL flashes was the *ist DS2 (but the DS2 was really just a DS with a larger LCD screen) from 2005.

Sometimes I still use a DS with my AF280T, AF400T, and AF080C flashes just for the joy of using "old" TTL flash technology.
06-25-2017, 05:38 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikesbike Quote
If your TTL flash unit also has an "auto" mode (not TTL) which has its own internal sensor to regulate auto flash output, that might provide decent results with your K-3.

The AF280T and AF400T work surprisingly well in "auto flash" mode, using the built-in light sensors in the front of the flash units (located in the center of the obvious "green doughnuts"), with newer Pentax DSLRs. [I currently do so with a pair of K-3 bodies, but this also worked well for me on an older K20D, too.]

And, of course, many of these older types of flash units can be employed for manual flash use...

BUT, IT'S REALLY A SHAME THAT TTL SUPPORT DIED AFTER THE *IST DS2, SINCE IT WORKS SO WELL !!!

[OK, I'll get off my soapbox now...]
06-25-2017, 07:03 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
About $75 gets you a Yongnuo 585 that does pretty much everything bar HSS, so it might be time to stop agonizing over these vintage things.
Good suggestion. What would be the next step up from the Yongnuo 585?

Last edited by Theov39; 06-25-2017 at 05:17 PM.
06-25-2017, 01:00 PM   #14
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A second hand Pentax 540 so you won't have to worry as much about future compatibility. I have a pair of them from eBay.

06-25-2017, 05:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
A second hand Pentax 540 so you won't have to worry as much about future compatibility. I have a pair of them from eBay.
Thanks for that. I''l keep my eye open although they don't tend to come up too often and are pricy, even second hand.
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