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04-15-2010, 06:46 PM   #1
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You only have 100.00

What flash would you buy? That is about all I have for a flash right now and wanted everyones opinion.

Please tell me what you picked(or would pick) to shoot on your camera. I am open to new or used. Any opinions are welcome and if you spent less and have a great flash please speak up because I would like to save any change for a FA 50 1.4!

Thanks in advance!


04-15-2010, 06:53 PM   #2
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I do not have this particular flash but it has been brought up as one of the cheap "off brand" flashes that have been rebranded by several other companies: Bower Power Zoom Flash for Pentax: Electronics

a little more than 100USD new but it could be what you are looking for.
04-15-2010, 06:56 PM   #3
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My guess is you don't really need a flash right now, but just want something cool to stick in the shoe.

Save your money, and buy something better than $100 worth--which I don't even know you can buy in the first place.

Never start with a dollar figure for any piece of gear. Start with what you want the gear to do, and work your way towards the dollars you have to spend to make that happen.

I can sell you any of a dozen older mint flashes that I have for dirt cheap, but they will fry your DSLR's electronics because of voltage.
04-15-2010, 06:58 PM   #4
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It depends on what camera you have, actually. If you have an older camera such as the *ist series, then you can use any older flash, and get a great one for probably less than $50. For $100 though, you're not going to get very much for P-TTL flashes, considering that Pentax doesn't have the largest lineup of them. I'd recommend looking for the cheapest P-TTL compatible one that you can find, and then posting it here. We'll let you know whether or not you should get it.

04-15-2010, 07:01 PM   #5
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I have a Promaster FTD 5600 with an standard base (not Pentax specific) and it is GREAT. Can bounce, swivel and even has a mini-front flash to fill when bouncing. Not P-TTL or even TTL, but the flash's own auto function works well. If you can find one, get it!
04-15-2010, 07:02 PM   #6
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I had no idea an external flash could do that. Good to know not to stick any random flash I picked up at tha estate sale on my K-x. Could you elaborate on what you mean about frying the camera?

04-15-2010, 07:08 PM   #7
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Ira is refering to the fact that older flashes have a trigger voltage much higher than the modern digital camera bodies can tolerate. The resulting voltage will overload your camera's circuitry causing damage to the body.

Forum member mattdm has put together great reference site for P-TTL flashes that are compatible with modern bodies:

Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison: The Definitive Guide
04-15-2010, 07:24 PM   #8

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I can name a few available right now from B&H Used Department (prices are approximate):

- Pentax AF280T ($50)
- Sunpak Auto 433D ($50)
- Sunpak 3600DX ($30) + EXT-8 Dedicated Remote Cord ($6) + Module (doesn't need to be for Pentax - $10).

The last one is particular useful for macro because you can move the flash off camera and the module with light sensor is still attached to the camera's hot shoe.

No p-TTL but I try to avoid it anyway.

IMHO, a flash with auto and variable power settings is much better than one with p-TTL and no auto.

04-15-2010, 07:27 PM   #9
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Thanks to everyone that has replied. I really appriciate all of the help. It is starting to look like I just need to save and pick-up a good dedicated flash(after I get the FA-50 1.4.

MrApollinax, thanks for the information and the link. That will help a lot.
04-15-2010, 07:28 PM   #10
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Look used...

I got my pentax AF 360 in practically brand new condition for $130....
04-15-2010, 07:36 PM   #11

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a used af-360fgz or an older af280T if you insist that you need a flash on a budget. the 280 could likely be had for 100 bucks or less. the 360 im not sure about, but shouldn't be too much above your said budget.
04-16-2010, 01:58 AM   #12
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Used Nikon Sb-28 or Sb-26, or a new Vivitar 285HV

That and a few hours to spend reading 'Strobist 101' on to bone up on how to use off-camera manual (non-ttl) strobes creatively and effectively with minimal gear.

I'll admit fully that I've got zero interest in flash automation when it comes to exposure, but with $100, some spare time, and a bit of practice, you can get killer results out of any reasonably powered manually-controllable flash (ie. one that lets you manually control the flash output).
04-16-2010, 02:40 PM   #13
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I picked up a Vivitar 285 and an off camera sensor cord for under $100 when I was looking for a cheap but capable flash. Older manual flashes like the 285 work well but you have to be willing to learn how to use the flash in manual or auto sensor mode. If you decide to look into older flashes take a set of AA batteries and a digital multimeter for checking trigger voltages with you when you go shopping.
04-16-2010, 02:56 PM   #14
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I would not buy a flash and put 100 down on a Pentax DA 10-17mm Fish Eye, but that's just me.
04-16-2010, 02:59 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
I picked up a Vivitar 285 and an off camera sensor cord for under $100

*koff* If you ever decide you don't need that cord,, *koff* Well, I could maybe take it off your hands.

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