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Old Feb 7, 2011, 3:18 PM   #1
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Default I'd like to know everything I need for a good flash setup. (I know, beaten to death)

I have a pentax K-r.
I am looking to buy anything that i would need for a good portable flash setup. All i am aware of so far is the flash itself, and something called a "flash slave" (is that a bracket?). I think i want P-TTL? Are there cables and adapters i will need? Are there flash diffusers I will need? I am a super beginner when it comes to flash. I have never used one, and have only used the on-camera flash once or twice.

I think i want a flash that will swivel, for portrait?

My budget is roughly $300-$400 for everything.

I am aware of the http://pttl.mattdm.org/ site, but it only tells about the flash itself.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
If there is another thread on what is needed for a setup, let me know.

Last edited by ewheeler20; Feb 7, 2011 at 3:21 PM.
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Old Feb 7, 2011, 4:18 PM   #2
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sorry, that post sounds a bit pushy. I did not mean it to be that way.
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Old Feb 7, 2011, 9:49 PM   #3
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I appreciate your cry for help. I have a Pentax 540 flash and use it on occasion. However, flash is one topic I feel completely mystified about. Every time I think I've got a bit of a handle on it, I discover it doesn't work the way I thought it did. So I'm hoping someone who really understands it all can explain it to you in such a way that I can follow it. And thanks for the link - I hadn't found it before, sure looks interesting.

Part of the flash question comes to whether you want to get the flash off the camera or not, and then how to do that. I can at least get my flash to work wirelessly, but there's times I'd like to use it wired but I understand (if I have it right) that I'd need to buy 3 items - the thing that goes on the hot shoe, the wire to connect that to the third item, a base that the flash fits on that acts more or less as a remote hot shoe - so the camera can set off the flash. Why would I want to use it wired (or with something like a radio trigger)? Wireless flash operates optically - if you are using the flash outdoors it has to be in shade - too much light and the flash and camera can't communicate (I discovered that by experimentation).

Some of the "flash for dummies" type of things I've seen are written for TTL flashes, not PTTL. Since I don't know the differences, I can't figure out what of things I've read apply or not to the Pentax system. I really should go out of my way to try to sort it all out.
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Old Feb 7, 2011, 9:56 PM   #4
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the k-x support wireless flash. You can get a metz 50, pentax 360 or a sigma 610. And set the channel and group. And the k-x's built in flash will p-ttl master. No need to cables or rf triggers.
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Old Dec 13, 2011, 7:43 PM   #5
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Does the metz 50 comes with High Speed Sync?
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 8:33 AM   #6
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I know this is on another forum, and I hope it's OK to link to it, but this guy knows his Pentax flash so I think it may help you :

Pentax : 15 Ltd, 77 Ltd, 43/1.9 Ltd, Cosina 55/1.2, DA*300/4, Contax Zeiss Distagon 28/2.8, Raynox 150/250, AFA x1.7, Metz 50 af1.

Nikon : D800, D600, Sigma 500/4.5, Sigma 120-300/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 21/2.8, Zeiss Distagon ZF2 - 35/2.0, Nikkor 85/1.8G, Sigma 50/1.4. Nikon x1.4 TC, Sigma x2.0 TC
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 9:46 AM   #7
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I think you may be confusing several different topics here.
First, there is the concept of using a single external flash. You can use this flash either mounted directly to the hot-shoe of the camera, using a wired cord to connect the flash to the hot shoe (in which case the flash can be mounted to a bracket or mounted to some other device the cord can reach to) or you can have the flash mounted to something else and controlled wirelessly.

All of that relates to just using a single external flash.

The next step up the "flash" food chain is using multiple flashes - this is a more advanced setup - you do this to reduce shadows or have different amounts of light on different parts of your subject or so that you can cover a larger area with flash (group shots).

Are you wanting to do a multi-flash setup or are you just looking for how to incorporate a single flash into your workflow?
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Old Dec 14, 2011, 7:14 PM   #8
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This is turning into an interesting thread, I have 3 old 1070's flashes I bought new back then. Based on trigger voltages they are safe on my Kr. With old auto flashes (cheap on Ebay) you get everything but P-TTL. Some still operate in P mode with K mount A lenses like my old Pentax AF160SA & AF200T. Non Pentax old auto flashes like my Sunpak Auto 30DX with Pivot and rotate head work in M mode where you set the Aperture and ISO to what the flash chart tells you and a shutter speed below 1/180 sec. then the flash will auto expose the shot using its on board sensor. I just ordered a slave trigger but don't know how it will work yet.


Thanks for the link Frogfish

The AF200T is TTL with old Pentax cameras but will not work as P-TTL on the digitals

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Last edited by hnikesch; Dec 14, 2011 at 7:34 PM.
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