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03-25-2007, 01:44 PM   #1
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K100D wireless flash

I'm brand new to DSLRs -- I've owned my K100D for two days -- and brand new to flash period. I barely even know what "TTL" means! My SLR experience is ancient history, with all-manual everything on a Nikon F, and frankly I never figured that out worth a damn. One nice thing about the K100D DSLR is I won't be wasting entire rolls of film trying to get it approximately right.

So where do I start?

My two questions are, one, where's a good place to learn, that's hopefully not too technical, and geared at a person like me who starts to cry after thinking about guide numbers and stuff too long, and two, what are my options besides the built-in flash?

I know I can get a Pentax AF-360FGZ or AF-540FGZ and get great results off the hot shoe. I also understand that my flip-up will NOT work as a master to fire either of those units (or any other) as a slave. Is there a wireless master adapter that will fit my hot shoe and fire a 360 or 540 as a slave, and still work as P-TTL? What about a wired connection? I see a bewildering array of Pentax accessories, but I don't know which ones work, or how to connect them.

As far as I can tell, my options are:
  1. flip-up flash
  2. AF-360FGZ or AF-540FGZ on the hot shoe
  3. 360 or 540 on the shoe driving a second 360/540 as a wireless slave
  4. Wireless gizmo on the shoe driving a 360 or 540 as a slave? Is this possible? What part number? Is the advantage of getting the flash off the shoe and away from the camera worth the trouble? Am I an idiot?
  5. Wired gizmo ditto?

Help is much appreciated.

03-25-2007, 01:54 PM   #2
Ed in GA
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"So where do I start? "



This would be a good place
Strobist: Welcome to Strobist.

For wireless on the K100D You'll need either two of the 360s or 540s.

Or, one of each.

There may be a wireless gizmo available but I'm not sure what it would be.

The avantage of having flash off camera is covered at many web sites. Do a "Google" search.

And finally..... No, you're not an idiot. All are good questions.

Ed
03-25-2007, 04:48 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by EddyinGA Quote
No, you're not an idiot.
Oh, just give me a chance to prove myself!

Thanks, these are great suggestions. I'll be immersing in Strobist ASAP. My last question none of you can answer: "if I buy a 360 or 540 flash, will my darling wife divorce me?" The camera itself, and lenses, have put a bit of a strain on things already...
03-25-2007, 05:13 PM   #4
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The last five items here, (starting with the extension cord) are the connection accessories to move Pentax flashes off-camera via wire.

03-25-2007, 10:21 PM   #5
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Some guy's wife considers the 540 an accessory for his camera. He was caught looking at a diffuser, or in her words an accessory for the accessory. Apparently he's still good to go, he just owes her a new iPod. Don't know if your wife is more like a budget comandant, or more like the above guy's wife. If your lucky she is somewhere in between leaning closer to the guy's wife. From here the only way we will know what she will do is if you go out do your research as to where you want to order from, order it, then tell us what she did.
03-26-2007, 01:17 PM   #6
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Thank you all. Jfdavis58, can you tell me if I'm understanding this correctly -- to go off camera with a wire, I need three, uh, four things:
  1. a thingie that fits on the flash end which has a mount (tripod? hand-held frame? bare hand?) on the bottom and a shoe on the top (adapter F)
  2. a doohickey that fits the camera's hot shoe (adapter FG)
  3. the wire that runs between the two (F5P or F5PL)
  4. a flash unit.

There appear to be two different versions of Adapter F on that page, but it's not clear to be what the difference is -- do I need them both? Or does one just provide the remote flash, while other provides remote flash AND a new on-camera hotshoe? If so, why does the latter appear to be less money?

Seeing as how none of this stuff works without a flash in the first place, my best bet is probably to just get the flash unit, and then worry about off-camera use, wireless, and related magic once the household temperature has gone down a bit.

The conversations right now are still in the "I don't see why I should ever believe anything you say" stage, as I in a fit of defensiveness MAY have uttered the words "I'll never buy anything again this year, I promise", and then of course immediately went out and bought a padded Domke insert for my bag. The "well, it's expensive, right, I can't have it banging around loose in there" argument is only barely holding the fort here; the "flash is an accessory" argument has no chance. If I get caught fondling a diffuser the next accessory I'll be buying is a tripod fitting for an electric wheelchair.

The fact that she's purchased at least TWENTY cameras in the past six months (none for more than ten dollars, though) isn't helping me much either. On top of everything I'm being accused of being a "traitor to film"! The worst thing is, she's ten times the better photographer even when she's using some piece of thrift-store garbage. All I can do is spend money to keep up!
03-26-2007, 03:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fnarf Quote
can you tell me if I'm understanding this correctly
OK, here's what you need for a wired TTL flash solution:
1. off camera shoe adapter F
2. F5P Extension Cord
3. Hot shoe adapter F or Hot shoe adapter FG - FG allows you to use the built-in flash with the cord attached for Contrast Control Sync Flash. The F version is too big and the pop-up flash is blocked.

A cheaper alternative is to use the 3rd party Promaster Sync cord - and one cord combines the above three. But it would block the pop-up flash like Adapter F.

This would cost you $100+, more if you need longer cord, less if you go with Promaster. This setup works best for flash bracket.

Otherwise, consider spending $100 more for a second 360 FGZ flash for wireless solution. It will be a more flexible and, IMHO, better set up. Once you go wireless, you can be a lot more creative in lighting.
03-26-2007, 04:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nosnoop Quote
Otherwise, consider spending $100 more for a second 360 FGZ flash for wireless solution. It will be a more flexible and, IMHO, better set up. Once you go wireless, you can be a lot more creative in lighting.
Wireless is where I want to end up, but funds are an issue. What about one of the cheap Chinese transmitter/receiver combos on Ebay? Will they work? I gather they'll trigger the flash, but will I lose my P-TTL magic?

See This item for an example.

03-26-2007, 07:57 PM   #9
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Yes, that's about right. The FG or the F (cheaper on the camera, the wire (either) And then either F (cheaper or expensive) under the flash. The 1/4 threaded bottom (expensive F) can fit to a tripod etc.

For domestic tranquility, I'd stay with just the camera and the flash. Add the other pieces when things cool-off--a piece or two at a time.
04-02-2007, 02:00 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fnarf Quote
Wireless is where I want to end up, but funds are an issue. What about one of the cheap Chinese transmitter/receiver combos on Ebay? Will they work? I gather they'll trigger the flash, but will I lose my P-TTL magic?

See This item for an example.
I've got the 16 channel set from Magic Trigger and I'm satisfied. Excellent value for the money. If you go this route, skip the Pentax 540s and pick up some old cheap flashes. It doesn't even matter if they are high voltage if you go wireless. But you might as well buy low voltage just in case you put them on the camera. Options are the Vivitar 285 HVs and many others. I like the Sunpak 444D -- I picked up one with a Canon AE-1 foot and taped off the non-center pins. Works great and has a head that rotates and tilts (285 HVs are tilt only).

The *major* benefit of a 540 is fill flash in the sun with p-TTL. If you don't need that or can put that off then go with the cheap eBay triggers and a pair of 285 HVs or something similar. For $150-$250 you'll have two off camera flashes with wireless trigger that are manually controlled. The Strobist site has all the details on how to actually go about using them.

It's involved but something to consider. I wish Pentax would up the sync speed on manual flashes from 1/180 to something decent like 1/500 or slightly higher. Some people are able to get their Nikons to sync up at 1/1000 and 1/1250 with the wireless triggers. As far as I can tell, we can't even attempt this as Pentax cuts the flash trigger above 1/180.

This route is more work and requires more studying but it impacts the pocket book less.

edit: Magic Trigger has eBay ID magic_trigger: eBay Seller: magic trigger: Lighting Studio Equipment, Games items on eBay.com
04-02-2007, 04:48 PM   #11
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So, am I the only one with a K110D that has been able to get a Sigma EF-500 Super to fire wirelessly?
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