Pentax AF360FGZ II Flash
Limitations and Restrictions
In this Section we outline the limitations of the new flashes and other restrictions you should be aware of.
The AF360 FGZ II and AF540 GFZ II do not support the original form of TTL flash introduced in 1980 with the Pentax LX, so through-the-lens flash exposure control is only available with cameras that support P-TTL. All Pentax DSLRs support P-TTL and so does a few later Pentax film bodies, for example the MZ-S, *ist and MZ-6/MZ-L/XZ-L. Check our camera database for P-TTL capability if you're interested in a particular model.
The operating manual claims that the flash switches to TTL mode in the case of the 645D with a lens with an "A" setting, if the aperture ring is turned off the "A" setting. We doubt that to be true since the 645D body does not support TTL flash (it lacks the required extra sensor in the mirror box). We do, however, believe that the flash would continue to work in P-TTL mode even with the aperture ring off the "A" setting since the 645D has an "uncrippled" lens mount.
TTL flash was available on the old models, the AF360 FGZ and AF540FGZ.
This term refers to the ability of the flash unit to provide correct flash exposure by itself, that is with no control by the camera.
Auto flash is achieved by a light sensor built into the flash which measures the light reflected from the subject and cuts the flash off when the subject has received enough light for a correct exposure. While perhaps not as accurate as TTL and P-TTL flash it does work remarkably well. The key benefit of this type of automation is that it works with any and all lenses, also K and M series, without having the user having to manually stop these lenses down.
Auto flash is not available on the new flash units. It was available on the old models.
This is an unfortunate omission, since there now is no way to obtain flash automation with M and K lenses. You'll have to resort to manual flash mode and calculate the required F-stop from the guide number (or use trial and error!).
P-TTL flash is the only way to achieve flash exposure automation with these new flash units. P-TTL has its restrictions, though. It only works with Pentax-A series lenses and newer (F, FA, FA J, D FA, and DA are all supported with P-TTL). It also works with the Q-system lenses and the 645D A, FA, DA and D FA lenses.
AF Spot Beam
The new flash units use a white LED as AF assist light. Using white AF assist light is not compatible with older cameras. Compatibility is as follows:
- Phase detect autofocus (i.e. using the viewfinder when focusing)
- Cameras introduced in September 2013 or later (like the K-3): Compatible
- 645D, K-5 II, K-5 IIs, K-5, K-30, K-50, K-500, K-r: Update to the latest firmware is required
- Other DSLRS and film bodies: Not compatible. The AF assist light should be turned off in the custom functions menu or else autofocus could be inaccurate
- Live view mode (any camera): Compatible
We don't consider this a major deal, but if you have a camera without AF assist light and wanted to add that feature via a flash unit, the AF360FGZ II is not the way to go.
The zoom head will only zoom with autofocus lenses (F, FA, FA J, DA D FA). In connection with other lenses you can manually set the zoom head to match the focal length.