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02-27-2009, 05:06 PM   #1
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Help with old flash on K20D

I have an old Pentax AF200S flash that came with a ME Super. I googled it, found out this flash will work with K20D, but no P-TTL or TTL. What does "No P-TTL" mean? Does that mean the flash will always at full power, no appropriate sensitivity to different ISO and Aperture setting on the camera? thanx

02-27-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by winglik Quote
I have an old Pentax AF200S flash that came with a ME Super. I googled it, found out this flash will work with K20D, but no P-TTL or TTL. What does "No P-TTL" mean? Does that mean the flash will always at full power, no appropriate sensitivity to different ISO and Aperture setting on the camera? thanx
Yes, I think you've got it. I'm no expert though, so hopefully someone else will chime in.

Also, there's a Pentax Strobist group on Flickr. They should have some good practical advice on using it, and it comes with examples.
02-27-2009, 05:44 PM   #3
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If the flash has an Auto mode, give that a try. See if you can find the manual for it ( or see if Pentax has it on their site for download ) and read up on it, if it has auto mode, it'll make it a lot easier to use once you learn the basics of it.

Edit: found the manual on the Pentax site, scroll down, and download it, seems it does have an auto mode, so you should be in business !!

http://www.pentaximaging.com/support/manuals-and-literature/

Last edited by Stratman; 02-27-2009 at 05:50 PM.
02-27-2009, 05:58 PM   #4
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QuoteQuote:
What does "No P-TTL" mean?
It means just that, no P-TTL. In P-TTL mode, the flash fires a weak preflash strobe. The camera will receive the light reflected and then calculate how much light needed. The camera then take control of the flash.

"No P-TTL" means none of that happens. The only thing the camera tells the flash is when to fire (sync signal).

QuoteQuote:
Does that mean the flash will always at full power, no appropriate sensitivity to different ISO and Aperture setting on the camera?
If you put the flash in 'Auto' mode, it will use its own light sensor to determine how much light is needed. Shame on Pentax that the flash and the camera don't communicate the ISO and the aperture settings in any mode but P-TTL or TTL. So you have to make sure the ISO and the aperture settings on the flash and on the camera match.

Don't be despair, however. I have a Pentax AF160 (tiny one) and a Pentax AF200S. I still use them whenever I need an external flash but don't want to carry the big Pentax 540 or Nikon SB-24. They are good at triggering optical slave units, something the onboard flash is not good at.

In fact, unless when I need wireless flash or highspeed flash, I use the Nikon SB-24 or the Pentax 540 in auto mode. I find that P-TTL too inconsistent.


Last edited by SOldBear; 02-27-2009 at 06:10 PM.
02-27-2009, 06:07 PM   #5
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Cool, thanx all for the help. I just plug in 4 AA batteries and try it, it works with K20D, but have to manually input ISO on the flash, and aperture has to set to the flash required aperture value. But overall, pretty good for a free flash. Result is much better and natural than the built in flash. Even works with manual lenses. great.

Last edited by winglik; 02-27-2009 at 06:35 PM.
02-28-2009, 06:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
If you put the flash in 'Auto' mode, it will use its own light sensor to determine how much light is needed. Shame on Pentax that the flash and the camera don't communicate the ISO and the aperture settings in any mode but P-TTL or TTL. So you have to make sure the ISO and the aperture settings on the flash and on the camera match.
I'm afraid that information is not accurate. This is a "dedicated" flash and the camera and flash unit do communicate with each other even in auto mode. The ASA (ISO) slider on the flash body is connected to nothing and doesn't actually do diddly-squat, other than move a little scale for reference purposes. There is absolutely no need whatsoever to adjust it to match the camera when shooting in auto mode. If you want to change ISO all you have to do is to change it in the camera.

If you're using a lens without an "A" setting on the aperture (or one not set on "A"), then it does become necessary to refer to the scale on the flash body to determine your shooting aperture, but so long as you're in "A" and have the flash on auto, using it is really a no-brainer.

Manual in PDF format
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