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First flash for K-3 II
Posted By: talkskiwon, 08-02-2016, 02:11 PM

Hello. I am in search of a flash for K-3, but it seems like most flash are bigger than I imagined. Could you recommend me a smaller capable and reasonably price flash? There is one I'm considering called Metz 26AF-1 on Metz 26AF-1 Digital Flash for Pentax P-TTL / Remote TTL (Slave), GN 85' MZ 2631796P but couldn't tell if its good enough.
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08-03-2016, 01:41 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Definitely look at P-TTL capable flashes, and something that can tilt and swivel. However, if you start to get more serious, you may also want to use it off-camera. You can't do that with the K3 II because it doesn't have a pop-up flash to trigger the external (unless you fit radio triggers or use a cable). So, down the track, you may want to have two flashes, one on-camera to act as a trigger (master or controller), and one off-camera to act as a slave. Many (not all) P-TTL flashes can be slaves, but not all can be masters/controllers. The Metz 26 you mentioned can only be a slave. You would be up for more cash later if you want to add a master (e.g. Pentax 360 II or Metz 52 AF-1).

The Pentax AF360 II can do off-camera HSS; the Metzes cannot. Apart from that, they have all the same features. I have the Metz 52 AF-1; it's great, and powerful. I have a Pentax 360 II on order to be the master on my K1.
Thank you. Unfortunately, I already bought more lenses than I should have along with my first camera, so there are limits to my spendings. Do you think getting the Mets 26 first would do some help?

08-03-2016, 03:26 AM   #17
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I haven't used the Metz 26, but it is very compact, and at least tilts (but doesn't swivel). If you just want basic and small, it looks a decent choice. A big advantage of this Metz is that you can do your own firmware updates via USB.
08-03-2016, 05:04 AM - 1 Like   #18
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I have the Metz flash unit you mentioned. I am an amateur photographer too and I think the flash unit is not too big and works great. It also has an led light that has 2 power levels. The led helps with macro and close up video. It doesn't throw very far for low light photography at distances beyond 8 to 10 feet. I have not used the slave feature. I would recommend this flash for the cost, size, versatility, and performance.
08-03-2016, 05:11 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lmcfarrin Quote
I have the Metz flash unit you mentioned. I am an amateur photographer too and I think the flash unit is not too big and works great. It also has an led light that has 2 power levels. The led helps with macro and close up video. It doesn't throw very far for low light photography at distances beyond 8 to 10 feet. I have not used the slave feature. I would recommend this flash for the cost, size, versatility, and performance.
Great help. Thanks.

08-03-2016, 06:59 AM   #20
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Pentax AF360FGZ has HSS.
10-21-2016, 01:32 PM   #21
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I have and recommend the Metz 26 AF-1. Its not too big, swivels up and down, powerful, p-ttl and 1/180 hss. Its also can be used as a slave flash and is equipped with a 2 power led light (not much reach or very powerful).
10-21-2016, 01:58 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lmcfarrin Quote
I have and recommend the Metz 26 AF-1. Its not too big, swivels up and down, powerful, p-ttl and 1/180 hss. Its also can be used as a slave flash and is equipped with a 2 power led light (not much reach or very powerful).
But it can't be used as a master! That's the big omission. The main use of a small flash like this SHOULD be to replace the pop-up on-camera, not be an external slave. It makes no sense.
11-28-2016, 01:13 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by talkskiwon Quote
...do every photographer needs a flash? I plan to take most photos in very bright day light conditions to good light indoor situations. The motivation to buy a flash only started to roll because I am going on a trip at the end of this month.
While it's true that a flash does have great potential to improve photos indoors and out, it's also true that potential comes at a price. Modern flashes are amazing, but also expensive, complex, bulky, and heavy. I have a AF360FGZ, but I almost never carry it, except in situations when I know I will really need it, like a poorly lit car museum.

Furthermore, after reading a LOT about flash technique, I still don't know how to get photos that don't look like flash photos. Whenever possible I use available light. I plan to go home tonight and do some more test shooting with the flash to see if I can improve my technique, but I find the flash to be a difficult beast to master.

Bottom line, I dread those situations which require using the flash because it takes all the fun out of it for me. Now if I was in a studio situation, that would be a different situation which would be fun to learn, but in the field, for grab shots, my keep rate is very poor.


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11-28-2016, 02:11 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by runswithsizzers Quote
Furthermore, after reading a LOT about flash technique, I still don't know how to get photos that don't look like flash photos.
Bounce, diffuse, or place the flash off-camera. It makes a huge difference.
11-28-2016, 04:53 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lmcfarrin Quote
I have and recommend the Metz 26 AF-1. Its not too big, swivels up and down, powerful, p-ttl and 1/180 hss. Its also can be used as a slave flash and is equipped with a 2 power led light (not much reach or very powerful).
Well featured and offers a lot more than the Metz 24 which I have, but are you sure it does HSS? The manufacturer doesn't specify it: Product information: Metz
11-29-2016, 08:35 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
Bounce, diffuse, or place the flash off-camera. It makes a huge difference.
I leave the diffuser on all the time, and often angle the flash for bounce as well.

As far as off-camera, how do you do that, say at a crowded family gathering? I'm not going to be setting up light stands, and I don't have an assistant.

So far, I believe my biggest problem has been finding the right camera settings/mode that will produce properly exposed results in grab-shot family gatherings, where I don't have a lot of time to mess around.
11-29-2016, 11:31 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by runswithsizzers Quote
.

As far as off-camera, how do you do that, say at a crowded family gathering? I'm not going to be setting up light stands, and I don't have an assistant.

.
The issue is shadows. If you have light coming from one direction (off camera or bounced), from the top can mean the angle is okay for some but results in black eye sockets for others, and from the side some participants will block others.

For good reason, the classic large group in three rows gets shot with an umbrella either side of the camera.

Something like a stofen or Fong becomes valuable in a room with white ceiling and walls because it will fill in shadows on a group using just a single flash.

As a photographer calling the shots, put your subjects into such a room rather than the crappy one they're in, or shoot several smaller groups, or whatever.
11-29-2016, 02:27 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The issue is shadows. If you have light coming from one direction (off camera or bounced), from the top can mean the angle is okay for some but results in black eye sockets for others, and from the side some participants will block others.

For good reason, the classic large group in three rows gets shot with an umbrella either side of the camera.

Something like a stofen or Fong becomes valuable in a room with white ceiling and walls because it will fill in shadows on a group using just a single flash.

As a photographer calling the shots, put your subjects into such a room rather than the crappy one they're in, or shoot several smaller groups, or whatever.
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I prefer taking candid snaps, not posed. And I do use a plastic difuser similar to those you mention. A fair number of shots are OK, but too many are too bright or too dark. I usually keep the camera (K-x) set to Av priority, with no exposure problems until I put on the flash (Pentax 360).
11-29-2016, 03:59 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by runswithsizzers Quote
Sorry, I should have been more clear. I prefer taking candid snaps, not posed. And I do use a plastic difuser similar to those you mention. A fair number of shots are OK, but too many are too bright or too dark. I usually keep the camera (K-x) set to Av priority, with no exposure problems until I put on the flash (Pentax 360).

For quick and dirty (putting up with the variation that comes from backgrounds and reflections that throw metering), I set the camera's Exposure compensation to -1 and the P-TTL Flash Exposure Compensation to -1 and shoot away.


But until you can really judge these things, RWS, I suggest do the following ... take charge.


It's a DSLR.


You bought it because it gives you control the way a cameraphone doesn't.


Before any shots are taken, throw it into Manual Mode (ISO 800 to 1600 indoors) and set that to expose the background the way you want. The less interesting the space, the darker you can let it be. Then when it doesn't matter, take a pic of someone with the flash on manual at 1/8 power. Adjust the power up or down to taste, from full on Terry Richardson style Vogue covershot to so subtle you hardly know it's there.


Your exposures are now repeatable/predictable, and you may have very little adjusting to do as you move through the room snapping here or there - very good for parties and dances. If you turn the camera for more shots on a couple double the distance away from your last subject, boost the flash by a stop, leave the other settings alone.

Last edited by clackers; 11-29-2016 at 08:21 PM.
11-30-2016, 10:16 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote

For quick and dirty (putting up with the variation that comes from backgrounds and reflections that throw metering), I set the camera's Exposure compensation to -1 and the P-TTL Flash Exposure Compensation to -1 and shoot away.

But until you can really judge these things, RWS, I suggest do the following ... take charge.

It's a DSLR.

You bought it because it gives you control the way a cameraphone doesn't.

Before any shots are taken, throw it into Manual Mode (ISO 800 to 1600 indoors) and set that to expose the background the way you want. The less interesting the space, the darker you can let it be. Then when it doesn't matter, take a pic of someone with the flash on manual at 1/8 power. Adjust the power up or down to taste, from full on Terry Richardson style Vogue covershot to so subtle you hardly know it's there.

Your exposures are now repeatable/predictable, and you may have very little adjusting to do as you move through the room snapping here or there - very good for parties and dances. If you turn the camera for more shots on a couple double the distance away from your last subject, boost the flash by a stop, leave the other settings alone.
Clackers, Thanks for your reply. I would like to learn more about how others set up their cameras and flashes in various situations, but I should start another thread for that. I am particularly interested to learn what camera Mode you use with your "quick and dirty" method. Do you use P or Auto, or Av? Do you leave the camera ISO on Auto or lock it down? Do you have camera flash Synch mode set to Slow or something else? I assume you set the "P-TTL Flash Exposure Compensation to -1" on the flash, and not via the camera's flash compensation menu, right?

It was not my intention to hijack the OPs thread with my personal struggle to flashdom. I only wanted to caution the OP that these things are not exactly plug-and-play, and that his concerns about size are valid.
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