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Old Mar 11, 2009, 6:43 AM   #1
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Me again guys..

just investigating flashes.. external ones that is not the super hero variety!

will only pentax flashes work in the hotshoe or are there more economical variants available?


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Old Mar 11, 2009, 7:40 AM   #2
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I've used non-Pentax brands without any issue...they are less expensive and work just as well. I presently use a Sigma 500 DG Super which I beleive has now been superceded by the 530 series. Just a word of caution about using older flashes: the trigger voltage in older flash units are higher than what current day DSLRs can tolerate. In using them, you risk frying the circuitry in the DSLR.
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 5:47 PM   #3
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Hi Steve,

The best online source of info on external flash guns for Pentax DSLRs is, IMO, here:


It's good to read the whole thing and any related links. There's a lot of confusion about different modes and features, so it's good to have some basic knowledge about everything that's available, then eliminate all the bells and whistles that you can't imagine needing. I will say though, many advanced features that seemed way over my head at first have become techniques that I've used more than I had ever thought possible.

If you just want something that will work with the least pain to your checkbook and not be to hard for the brain to get around, I'd look into a used Pentax AF280T. It won't work in TTL mode, but works great as an Auto Thyristor flash, has tilt and swivel head, and tho it's not the most powerful gun out there, it's got plenty of power for most anticipated uses. I got mine in an ebay auction for less than $20 USD. Other options would be older Nikon Auto Thyristor flashes -- Pro quality units that sell for pennies on the dollar because they aren't fully compatible with the Nikon DSLRs.

Personally, I chose the Pentax 360 and 540 for the features and guaranteed compatiblity to the fullest extent available.

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