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Old Aug 1, 2007, 10:49 AM   #1
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Thanks to JimC for letting me re-post this.

If you didn't see my other post, basically I just need some advice, I am looking for a general purpose flash for my K10D, doesn't have to be anything special, tilting and a diffuser are a bonus, but budget has to be ideally under £100.

Anything recommended? anything to avoid?

Thanks in advance
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 12:45 AM   #2
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Hi Tachikoma,

If you live in the US, you have 2 choices for P-TTL flashes in your price range. The Sigma EF 500 DG ST P-TTL and the Pentax AF 360 FGZ. The Pentax is only in your price range with the current rebate ($25) which ends at the end of Sept, and is only for the US.

The advantages of the Pentax are some advanced features, but features you might grow to love -- High speed synch (allows flash to be used at shutter speeds faster than 1/180) -- useful for outside fill flash on bright days, the ability to fire the flash remotely with TTL metering and contrast ratio control with the pop up flash which really allows for some creative lighting, and trailing curtain synch, which you might or might not ever use, fires the flash at the end of a longish exposure instead of at the beginning. The head tilts, and lack of a swiveling head can be worked around.

The Sigma has more power, and a tilt and swivel head (which might be more important than you think). Other than P-TTL compatibility, it's a pretty barebones flash.

Both have pretty good AF assist lights built in, and both seem to work well with the K10.

There are other choices, if you just plan to use the flash for casual occasional use, or don't mind having to make a few initial settings before using the flash, then a good Auto thyristor flash can do the job. All you have to do is set the shutter speed at 1/180 or slower, and the aperture for a value compatible with the flash (there's a table on the back of the flash to tell you the right value). Then, within a set range of distances, the flash will meter the exposure for you, and with a little experience, you can take flawless flash shots without having to fiddle with the camera. A good example that's been reviewed well by users is the Sunpak 383 (about $80 USD)-- there are many others by many manufacturers, and they can be had --especially used -- very inexpensively.

Any more ??s -- feel free to ask -- the manufacturers fall quite short in explaining their products and their uses -- the best info is usually available on fora like this.


Edit: The major caveat about other flashes is that you need to check their triggering voltage -- to be safe, stick with below 6v, tho up to 30V has been reported as safe by different Pentax official service centers.
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 1:22 AM   #3
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And if you can find a used one the P dedicated Promaster 7000M (bounce and swivel) does quite well and it is PTTL.

Got one used from B&H for $30, and its been great for 6+ mos now.

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Old Aug 2, 2007, 2:45 AM   #4
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Thanks both.

Forgot to update my profile, I am in the UK, but you have given me a few models to look out for, thanks!
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 6:42 AM   #5
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Hi Tachikoma

Check the current Amateur Photogarpher Magazine (sure it was the current one). Pentax have announced a new basic flash. Can't remember the exact price, but very cheap compared to the others, and due out very soon.


edit: Knew I had seen it somewhere


Looks good for basic, simple flash
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Old Aug 2, 2007, 6:56 AM   #6
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"Due to exceptionally high usage, this web site is currently experiencing delays"


Thanks, I will have a look when I get home!


Aye, that looks good to me, will have to keep my ear to the ground, and try to word it to my other half so she doesn't injure me for spending more money...
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Old Aug 14, 2007, 11:35 PM   #7
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Checking on ebay I also saw the digital concept flash, should be a rebrand of some other manufacturer, for around 110 $.

It's advertised as p-ttl, and so is confirmed on dpreview's forum.

It's also bounce and swivel.

Anyone knows if this is comparable with the sigma 500 st?

Due to budget and use, my choice is between these 2.
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