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11-08-2018, 09:49 AM   #1
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K5 PC flash sync socket

I just purchased a used K5 from KEH. I haven't received it yet, but I'm reading up on the camera.

The K5 has a PC flash sync socket, which my K10d does not.

My question is: does anyone know if this socket is protected from high-trigger-voltage flashes, or do I need to use a Wein Safe-Sync, or equivalent?

I remember when the K20d came out, it was the first Pentax dslr to have a PC socket and there was much discussion about this issue. Some posters thought that it was protected, others thought not. I don't believe that Pentax ever made definitive statement. They just said to use a Pentax flash and you won't have any problems, which doesn't answer the question.

I have some studio flashes that I might want to use with the K5. I don't want to fry the electronics in my camera.

11-08-2018, 01:09 PM   #2
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Assume nothing. Use a safe-sync device if you love your camera.
11-08-2018, 01:33 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
I remember when the K20d came out, it was the first Pentax dslr to have a PC socket and there was much discussion about this issue.
I don't believe that the question was every fully settled for the K20D or any model since. My multi-meter indicates that the PC socket on my K-3 is isolated from the hot shoe (voltage across the shoe is not detected on the PC socket and vice versa), but whether it is safe is hard to say.


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Last edited by stevebrot; 11-08-2018 at 01:40 PM.
11-08-2018, 03:09 PM   #4
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Thanks. That's kinda what I thought.

Ricoh/Pentax is never going to answer a question about using non-Pentax flashes on their cameras, so unless a qualified electrical engineer wants to dismantle their camera and analyze the circuitry, we'll probably never know.

Of course, since Pentax doesn't make any flashes that use PC sync connectors, it seems kind of silly that they would put the socket on the camera and then not describe the safe usage.

11-08-2018, 03:47 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
Of course, since Pentax doesn't make any flashes that use PC sync connectors
Amazingly, only a few Asahi/Pentax-model flash have supported cabled sync via PC connector: 1) Pentax Super-lite, 2) Pentax Super-lite II, and 3) Pentax AF16.

The matter of voltage safety is sort of a sticky wicket. Almost all* modern cameras use electronically managed flash sync rather that simple contacts or switches typical of film cameras up through the 1980s. Making a statement of voltage safety tempts the end user with a game of brinksmanship. The last I looked, Canon was coy about voltage in a manner similar to Ricoh/Pentax. Nikon states a 250V limit for their upper models, but whether they will warranty a fried circuit is not clear except that Nikon reserves the right to not warranty failure associated with use of a non-Nikon accessory. In other words, proceed at your own risk.


Steve

* The exceptions would be mechanical shutter cameras where sync is done the old-fashioned way.
11-08-2018, 08:18 PM   #6
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I've not used any flashes I'd consider risky, but as for studio strobes, I've used Buff (Paul C. Buff) strobes through the X-sync socket on my Pentax cameras for years. I've used them many times on the K-5 and K-5 II s, and probably most often (so far) on the K20D. FYI, the main strobes I've used are the "Einstein" and the ABR800 ringflash. I've never noticed even a hint of a problem, though I've always used them as recommended and with Buff cables/connections as well.

These strobes have worked fine through that socket on subsequent Pentax cameras as well, including the K-1. The only related 'surprise' I've ever had was that the K-P doesn't come with such a socket! As far as I'm concerned, that is actually the main shortcoming that keeps it from being an APS-C flagship, haha! I have used the same strobes through a Pentax connector on top of the hot shoe for the K-P, but that connector seemed to be tough to find when I last looked.
11-08-2018, 09:29 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by FS1 Quote
I've not used any flashes I'd consider risky
I own two Vivitars with 100v+ trigger potential. Pentax-brand flashes are 4.5v. I consider the Vivs dangerous to my K-3.


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11-09-2018, 03:54 PM   #8
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Better safe than sorry: Measure, measure, measure and make the best judgment you can.

Years ago:
Flash trigger voltage - PENTAX official answer - PentaxForums.com
dealt with this issue and repeated the old Pentax claim of safety to 380v.
I've used an ancient 100+ volt Osram blitz to trigger remotes and my camera still works. I don't recommend that you follow my example.

11-09-2018, 07:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by squareeyes Quote
Better safe than sorry: Measure, measure, measure and make the best judgment you can.

Years ago:
Flash trigger voltage - PENTAX official answer - PentaxForums.com
dealt with this issue and repeated the old Pentax claim of safety to 380v.
I've used an ancient 100+ volt Osram blitz to trigger remotes and my camera still works. I don't recommend that you follow my example.
I have never heard of the "old" claim of 380v, though I do remember this thread. My reading at the time was that the OP approached Pentax with the question whether 380v was too high and they basically responded that one can do as one pleases, but it might damage one's camera.

FWIW, there was a 300v rumor in 2009...

Old flash and dslr compatability

The same thread had the claim that the AF400T was spec'd on the rating plate with a trigger voltage of 100v. There was an AC adapter with a line voltage 100v rating, but the other is hard to confirm with the flash in hand. The manual is silent about such.


Steve
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