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07-21-2007, 04:13 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christian Quote
I was set to buy a Pentax 540 flash but.. does the Sigma 500 Super DG do everything that teh Pentax one does on the K10D? (not bothered about build quality or anything... just compatability / accuracy of exposure / functions/control/ power.. want to use it for gigs mainly and some occasional portrait/experimental work, possibly weddings/occasions as the onboard flash leaves a shadow). The Sigma is so much cheaper see... should I get it?
Some older versions of the Sigma 500 DG Super are not compatible with the K cameras and a firmware update at the factory is needed and I heard that it is for free.

But I would recommend to get the Pentax 360 instead. It should provide the best compatibility and it of the best value. It should be good enough for occasionally use as for the light purposes you describe.

07-21-2007, 08:57 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Christian Quote
thanks for all the info. I'm not particuarly sure what all that meant, so still not sure which of the two is strongest... although they're both prob on a par I guess?

What's auto flash?
At maximum power they're probably nearly equivalent.

When in P-TTL mode, the AF-540 tends to be "lazy" when mounted to the K10D, likely resulting in the perception that it is far less powerful than the Sigma, as it consistently underexposes even though it has the power delivery capability to properly expose the picture.

Note that a few other threads have indicated that some K10D metering problems were fixed in 1.30 despite no mention of it in the changelog for that firmware rev. The 540 may be fine now when used with the K10D - As I type this, I'm topping off my K10D's battery in preparation for a 1.30 upgrade to check.

As to "auto flash" - Most older flashes that didn't do TTL had a bult-in light sensor that allowed the flash itself to meter the exposure. You would set aperture on your camera and the flash would do all the rest. Most TTL (and P-TTL) flashes have removed this sensor, one of the 540's saving graces is that Pentax left the auto sensor on the flash so it can be used in this mode, which usually performs more consistently than P-TTL when mounted on a K10D. Of course, once you remove P-TTL the AF540 becomes not much better than a much cheaper Vivitar 285HV.
07-24-2007, 07:17 AM   #18
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Original Poster
Does auto flash mean you can use manual lenses then?

I presumed that when I use my 50 1.7 M that I wouldn't be able to use a flashgun v easily.

But, if I can use the 540 easily with it, it might be worth a look. Although being mostly for concert's, might the Sigma super be more useful alongside my sigma 18-50 2.8? And keep my manual lens for low light non-flash shots ( I took some at a gig with it recently and they came out well).

Regarding the amount of swivel.. I'll have a look thi safternon as I'm off to look at one. I presume it'll swivel enough for concert/wedding purposes!?
07-24-2007, 07:44 AM   #19
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AFAIK, Auto-flash would allow you to use your manual lenses. I tried it with my modern lenses and it worked fine. Just make sure you set the ISO/f-stop on the flash to match what the camera lens is set to. If I remember, tonight I'll try this out with one of my lenses OFF of the 'A' setting to see if it works.

07-25-2007, 04:33 AM   #20
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Thanks again for your help. It would be nice to use the manual lens with flash but for half the price I went for the Sigma. For gig's I mainly use the AF zoom anyway. I might get an AF 1.4 prime for gigs too to use instead of my manual one as at high ISO the benefits of my manual lens decrease I think.. conditions/noise etc.

Wonder if I can use my manual 50mm 1.7 with the sigma for still life/ protraits... I guess I can probably manually adjust the intensity range somehow on the Sigma no!?

If not I'll get the Pentax as a second unit later on.. or the new USB updatable Metz flashgun when it comes out if that has auto flash... see what the reviews are like for it. I see so many people having problems with their Pentax flashguns!

Here's last nights shots, having read the manual for half hour. . . never used a flashgun in my life bear in mind! I mostly used it at normal and -0.5 power. Bounced at around 45 - 60 degrees (the gun doens't click to 45 degrees annoyingly so I'll have to make a velcro/tape solution for it or soemthing). I also used a Stofen omnibounce.

What do you think?


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