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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-10-2018, 02:59 PM  
AF 540 FGZ not charging on its own...
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 2,005
You are very welcome, Philtandir. I'm glad it helped you.

I'm still around (haven't figured out whether "fortunately" or "unfortunately" yet), just don't have much time for photography as I used to.... Also, I now most of the time use my little RX100-IV, too old to lug around my K3 + DA* 16-50.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2018, 06:53 PM  
Seeking correct power cord for TR Power Pack-2
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 7
Views: 402
Unfortunately, that cable was difficult to find as replacement part, even when the TR-2 and TR-3 were still in production. Now that they are discontinued, it's even more difficult.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2018, 04:55 PM  
Strap safety
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 37
Views: 1,468
Happened to my Fujica years ago; the camera fell 4 ft onto concrete.

I vowed never allowing that to happen again....
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2018, 04:03 PM  
Strap safety
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 37
Views: 1,468
See the photo in my post above with "two point" attachment: the eyelet, and the tripod plate.

If one fails, there is still the other. Not perfect, but better then any "one point" attachment.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2018, 03:55 PM  
Strap safety
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 37
Views: 1,468
Another weak point is where the eyelet is attached to the camera body. The leather piece in your set up does not address this issue.

Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2018, 01:36 PM  
Seeking correct power cord for TR Power Pack-2
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 7
Views: 402
Read this:

Pentax TR Power Pack 2 Multilation

Note that the 5-pin port on the flash is NOT for external power supply.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-06-2018, 01:26 PM  
Strap safety
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 37
Views: 1,468
I'm using an Optech sling strap, which has 2 connectors. If one fails, the camera is still attached to the strap.

With most other straps, including the default neck trap, if one connector fails, the whole system fails.

Most of the times I use the "hand strap" configuration as in the second photo.



Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 10-16-2017, 02:08 PM  
Faster Flash
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 7
Views: 802
I modified the battery compartment a bit to accept 7 Ni-MH AA cells. Works great.

But the current version (II) of the Pentax AF-540FGZ does not have provision for high voltage input. This and the elimination of A mode is a huge step backward.
Forum: Visitors' Center 10-10-2017, 01:55 PM  
Pentax AF-540fgz Not Flashing
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 8
Views: 986
Assumption: the model flash unit in question is AF-540FGZ, not AF-540FGZ II.

Before sending it out for service, make sure the charging mode is set to "PP2" and try again.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-30-2017, 05:51 PM  
Question about trigger voltage and using older flashes with Pentax DSLR's
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 31
Views: 1,757
Interesting.

- How much is a multimeter?

$6. And it can be used for many things around the house and the car.

7 Function Digital Multimeter.

- How long does it take to measure the trigger voltage?

3 minutes, including 2.5 minutes to look for the multimeter.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-19-2017, 06:16 PM  
Taping up everything except centre pin - safe?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 1,099
I'm a "junk collector" when it comes to flash guns. I currently have no less than 2 dozens of them.

I've used my Pentax bodies (K10D, K-7, K-3) with flashes dedicated to Olympus, Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Leica, and of course Pentax without any problem.

No need to tape anything.

Of course the trigger voltage needs to be safe (to me, that means "under 24V").
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-13-2017, 12:30 PM  
Ring flash weight issues?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 14
Views: 786
I've been using my Sunpak DX-8R and Sunpak DX-12R with Pentax 50mm macro and 100mm macro (WR version). I don't notice any problem with autofocus.

This is not related to the thread, but it may help somebody: Ring flash quick release.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 12-14-2016, 02:49 PM  
Filter Ring Dent?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 13
Views: 811
If you can screw a filter on to the lens, why not a 52mm "empty" filter (a filter with the glass removed)? You can still use the (outside) thread of the filter to mount other things if needed.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-13-2016, 04:32 PM  
Off Brand Flash for Pentax
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 18
Views: 1,433
See my (partial) list of flash units in the signature below (last line). They are all "compatible" with Pentax camera bodies, some more, some less.

Currently I'm using a Sunpak 444D with PT-2D module and a Lumedyne Minicycler high voltage battery pack. They are probably 25 - 30 years old (the battery pack has been recelled with Eneloops).
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-07-2016, 03:07 PM  
Eneloops BQ-CC55 at Costco
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 2
Views: 917
$19.99 for either (1) 8 AAs + 4 AAAs + charger, or (2) 10 AAs.

Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Battery Kit

I needed 20 cells to build a battery pack for my accordion.

I planed to pick up 3 packages (1), but when seeing (2), picked up 2 packages (2) instead.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 12-05-2016, 02:47 PM  
Replacement diffuser panel for AF540 FGZ II?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 8
Views: 794
Can you drill a small hole and use epoxy glue to attach a piece of wire?

See this thread.

I'm sorry I lost all the intermediate photos. The one at a end of the thread shows the panel after being repaired.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-10-2016, 11:32 PM  
External battery pack for AF540FGZ / AF 500FTZ flashes
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 1,479
There are two kinds of external power pack: high voltage (330V) and low voltage (6V). The main purpose of high voltage pack is to shorten the recycle time. It also lengthens the time between battery charge or battery replacement. The main purpose of low voltage pack is to lengthen the time between battery charge or battery replacement.

The current version of Pentax 540 does NOT accept external high voltage. The original 540 version and the 500 do.

A 330V shock from a high voltage pack can be nasty, but it should not happen if you know what you're doing.

Please tell me what you'd like to do. I used to mess around with high voltage packs a bit. I may be able to help.

This was one of my threads about the Pentax TR.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 10-07-2016, 03:13 PM  
Digitizing Film, any Suggestions?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 23
Views: 2,147
A few years back, I tried to digitize about 30K family film frames. Some were 35mm negatives, some 35mm slides, some APS.

I tried macro lenses, I tries slider copiers, I tries slide projectors (still have some of the equipment from this exercise).

None of them work decently, even just for family photos. I didn't want to send the them out because of the risk of losing them.

I ended up buying a Nikon scanner (Coolscan V ED I think). It was one of the best decision I've ever made. Unfortunately that good decision was followed by a bad one: I sold the scanner after the project was completed.

My advice: if you don't have to, don't bother with taking photos with film and then scanning them. The result is never, never as good as starting with digital photos in the first place.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-19-2016, 03:15 PM  
Metz Megablitz 26 AF-1 any good?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 19
Views: 3,357
I seriously doubt the 26 AF-1 can do p-TTL remote and high speed sync. But let's for now assume that it can do both.

I think you will be disappointed.

Fill flash requires a lot of power from the flash, especially when the distance is more than a few feet. Note that in most cases in which fill flash is needed, the flash has to compete with the light from the sun.

So does high speed sync.

When you combine fill flash and high speed sync, the need for power is even greater.

Frankly, I don't think even the AF360FGZ helps very much.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-06-2016, 04:21 PM  
Good flash
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 789
I wrote this post almost 5 years ago. I think it's still valid.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-21-2016, 02:34 PM  
Question about a Metz flash.
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 2
Views: 603
I'm not sure what you mean by "to be red." If you mean whether it is supposed to light up, the answer is no.

It's a light sensor. It's supposed to receive light reflected from the scene and tell the flash if there has been sufficient light to quench the flash bulb ("auto" mode). As a receiver, it does not emit anything (light in this case).
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 03-08-2016, 01:57 PM  
Cracked rear LCD on K-3 - Repair cost?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 16
Views: 1,559
If the crack doesn't impede with the ability to take photos, I wouldn't spend the money to repair the camera. Sooner or later, you'll replace the camera. The crack may be annoying now, but it's just the appearance. You'll soon get used to it and won't notice it anymore.

I would just buy a glass protector to prevent further damage to the screen. I'm using this one.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 03-07-2016, 03:30 PM  
Lightweight Camera Strap with Tripod Mount Attachment Recommendation
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 10
Views: 797
I use OP/TECH USA 3401002 Compact Sling for my GXR, even with A16 lens.
Forum: General Photography 02-23-2016, 04:08 PM  
Some people...
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 39
Views: 3,353
Sometimes it works to you advantage.

A few years back, I called to inquire about a CL ad selling "a box of camera equipment."

- What are there in the box?
- A bunch of stuffs: cameras, lenses, and other things I don't know.
- How many cameras are there?
- Two.
- Can you tell me the wordings on the cameras?
- Yeah....see.... one says... pentax.... s... f... one, the other.... says.... Pentax... i... i... x.
- How about lenses? How many are there?
- Oh.... four.... oh no.... five.... yes, five of them.
- Can you tell me the wordings on the lenses?
- Uhm..... pentax... a.... one colon... one dot four... eight five mm...uhm....
- OK. How much do you want for it?
....

At the end, I paid $400 for, among other things, a Pentax LX body, a Pentax-A* 1:1.4 85mm, a Pentax-A* 1:4 300mm, and a Pentax 1.7X AF adapter.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-23-2016, 12:47 PM  
Quick release solution for tripod legs + head?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 8
Views: 747
I'm sure if you try, you can get a set of Arca-Swiss clamp & plate and make it to work between the tripod & head.
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