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04-08-2007, 07:37 AM   #1
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K10D needs a flash

What flash should I get for my K10D? I've seen the PENTAX AF540FGZ and the AF360FGZ and don't know what the difference is. I've been doing some stock shots and I get a lot a rejections because of lighting so I need a flash, just not sure which one to get.

Thanks!

04-08-2007, 07:43 AM   #2
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540 is nice because it swivels. 360 only bounces- no swivel.
04-08-2007, 08:10 AM   #3
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The 540 is also much more powerful, which is nice for bouncing to get a more natural look.
04-08-2007, 03:28 PM   #4
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Got to go with more power! Thanks!


QuoteOriginally posted by davemdsn Quote
The 540 is also much more powerful, which is nice for bouncing to get a more natural look.


04-08-2007, 06:09 PM   #5
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I don't know if you need P-TTL, but my Vivitar 285HV is a complete workhorse and has always done just what I need it to. Also, I'm not sure if the Pentax flashes can do manual override, but being able to select your own power setting is always nice.
04-09-2007, 05:02 AM   #6
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Is that true that the 360 doesn't swivel? Are you sure?
04-09-2007, 05:11 AM   #7
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Yep, it's true! 360 doesn't swivel.... That's why I went with the Sigma EF-500 DG Super (why can't companies just name their products something simple like "big flash" and "bigger flash")

I use the JoeDemb Flip-it bounce card/diffuser, so I need the flash to tilt and swivel. The 360 would work if you're just doing a landscape-oriented ceiling bounce, but once you switch the portait, you're out of luck....

The Flip-it is nice because you can orient it so you don't need to move the flash AT ALL when going between landscape and portrait. Very handy...

To the OP, also check out the Sigma flash, I believe it's almost as much power as the Pentax 540 and does HSS (if you get the Super, the non-super doesn't have HSS), and tilts/swivels. Only negative for me is the interface is clunky, and the users manual is pretty bad. But you save $100 over the 540
04-09-2007, 05:12 AM   #8
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no swivel on 360

Right Christian... No swivel on the 360...

04-11-2007, 02:36 PM   #9
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Guys, my dad has an old flashgun that has a small fixed forward flash as well as the larger top swivel main flash.

Are there any modern flashguns that so this, or are we limited to the single large swivel flash like the PENTAX AF540FGZ. Does it even matter in terms of performance?
04-11-2007, 03:23 PM   #10
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Richdog,

What is the flashgun? If it is an old Metz or Sunpak, DO NOT try to connect it directly to your DSLR. The voltages are extremely high and you will burn out your flash sync circuits. The only way to use those old flashes is to get a hotshoe adapter that steps down the voltage to safe levels.

Mike
04-12-2007, 02:44 AM   #11
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It's an old AA battery powered flash-gun, the Nissin 360TW. It does a fantastic job, really really good, but it's ancient and completely manual. I want to look into getting one that has the same dual-flash system (1x small fixed forward-facing and 1x large top swivel) but has automatic metering.

Anyone know of a flashgun which does that?
04-12-2007, 02:59 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richdog Quote
It's an old AA battery powered flash-gun, the Nissin 360TW. It does a fantastic job, really really good, but it's ancient and completely manual. I want to look into getting one that has the same dual-flash system (1x small fixed forward-facing and 1x large top swivel) but has automatic metering.

Anyone know of a flashgun which does that?
The Metz 54 MZ series does. Unfortunately Metz haven't released a P-TTL adaptor for it as yet. They keep promising, the latest one is first half this year, but it's been a loooonnng time coming!

The good news is that it works really well with the Kx-xD series in their "smart" A (auto) mode at all ISO settings, but not TTL as the K eries don't have TTL sensors, only the istD and DS did.

I have used mine with my MZ-S and on my istD in both TTL and A mode, I actually prefer the A mode on the istD as TTL on the D and DS really only works at ISO 200 & 400. Naturally I shall get the P-TTL adaptor when released as it will be much better for macro work.
04-12-2007, 03:04 AM   #13
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Holy sheite that looks like a beautiful flashgun! Forgive my ignorance (still learning) but what exactly is the P-TTL adapter?
04-12-2007, 09:39 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Richdog Quote
Holy sheite that looks like a beautiful flashgun! Forgive my ignorance (still learning) but what exactly is the P-TTL adapter?
Metz make different adaptors so you can use the same flash gun with different cameras.

In the film days, most camera makers made TTL (through the lens) metering for flash by having a small sensor in the body measuring the light off the surface of the film and correctly exposing accordingly. It was an analog system and was fine for film speeds up to ISO 400.

When digital came along, most camera makers dropped TTL metering and devised more sophisticated digital systems (Canons E-TTL and Nikons i-TTL) which used metering through the lens but instead of metering off the surface of the imaging sensor which gave unreliable metering results, they used a pre-flash from the gun to calculate the correct exposure, other features such as hi-speed synchronisation were easier to implement.

Pentax fitted TTL sensors to their fist digital bodies (the istD and DS), they were the last manufacturers to do so, but more recently have adopted their digital TTL called P-TTL and dropped TTL support, much to the annoyance of some diehard supporters of TTL. The TTL performance in the D and DS was moderately okay up to ISO 400, but not so hot at higher ISO's. I found that using the Auto mode of metering using the flashguns own exposure sensor more accurate and reliable. This is what I use with my K10D.

Metz have TTL support for their SCA 3000 series of adaptors (SCA-3702 for Pentax) but we are awaiting an upgrade for P-TTL support from them. They have i-TTL and E-TTL adaptors for Nikon, Canon and also for Olympus digital now, so hopefully we can expect them to release one for Pentax in the future. When? Only Metz know that answer!

Another feature is that the Pentax guns have built-in wireless flash control that can be triggered by the pop-up flash.

The Metz guns require a wireless slave adaptor (SCA 3083) to be fitted instead of the camera adaptor, the slave units can then be fired by another MZ54 on the camera. I haven't tried using the camera pop-up flash to trigger a SCA 3083 equipped slave flash gun. I shall have to see if I can find one at a dealer to try.

If I was to buy a flashgun system today, I would probably buy into the Pentax AF 560FGZ, even if Metz had P-TTL support.

Last edited by Richard Day; 04-12-2007 at 11:24 AM. Reason: Deleted an incorrect statement
04-12-2007, 10:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
To the OP, also check out the Sigma flash, I believe it's almost as much power as the Pentax 540 and does HSS (if you get the Super, the non-super doesn't have HSS), and tilts/swivels. Only negative for me is the interface is clunky, and the users manual is pretty bad. But you save $100 over the 540
Yes, you may save the money now, but how about when you upgrade your camera to a future newer model? It may or may not work; it may require a chip upgrade or an upgrade may not be possible. Compatibility is the main problem with Sigma flash. Even with the most updated version, Sigma flash would not work wirelessly with K10D's built-in flash.
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