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Old Dec 6, 2006, 10:56 PM   #1
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The inevitable query. Which one do you any of our Pentaxians prefer? I know the 540 can swivel and both units can bounce flash and the 540 has a longer reach - but how much flash power does one really need for casual use at family gatherings and non professional use etc., AND, are these flashes useable for photographing birds etc with a 200-300mm lens, or are they strictly only good for the the focal lengths and distances written in the specs. I'm going to purchase one or the other of these flashes, but am not sure if the 540 would just be overkill. Thanks for anyone's input...cheers.......Don
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 4:12 PM   #2
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I decided on the 360. I think it will meet my needsbut tht remains to be seen.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 4:31 PM   #3
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i've got the sigma 500super and a af400ftz. i use the flash off camera usually for macros. both of these flashes rotate. if they did not i'd have to build a lot fancier off camera mount. hope this helps don. also if the $$ does not make that much difference then i'd definately get the 540.

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Old Dec 7, 2006, 5:22 PM   #4
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Hi Don

I opted for the Sigma DG ST for use with the DS. One thing To think about before you buy one is compatability Going forward. It is My understanding That some flashs are not Compatable with the K10D. I am Not saying that the Pentax flashs Will Not Be. But if it were me i would Check

Phil
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 10:26 PM   #5
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Thanks guys. I'll contemplate a little while longer......cheers...Don.
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 3:37 PM   #6
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I've got the 360 on my K100d. It's vastly superior to the built in flash and lets me take pictures I simply could not get without it. I can't say how much better, if any, the 540 would be but I couldn't justify the price difference. So far I haven't encountered a situation where flash power was the limiting factor in getting a good shot.
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Old Dec 8, 2006, 4:56 PM   #7
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Absolutely no doubt- if You check the 540 out You will/shall stick with it- how often do You change Your Pentax gear? (BTW diff is much greater than specifications so if this some hundred $ is not so important...)- and another time vote for me=540 :-)

Best regards, JR

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Old Dec 8, 2006, 5:18 PM   #8
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Hi Don,

To try to answer your second questionI've used my AF360FGZ outside to shoot birds and such with some success with lenses up to 300mm, and if you find that you're running out of range, you can add a Better Beamer. If you don't need the swivel, then you can save some money with the 360 over the 540. That being said, I have a 360, but just ordered a 540 for the power, swivel, and the possibility of using a high-speed battery pack. If you think that you might be using the flash extensively for events, candids, portraits, or bouncing in very large rooms, then these might point to the 540.

If you don't need all the bells and whistles that the Pentax flashes offer (and many really don't -- these are professionally featured units), there are less sophisticated P_TTL flashes available from Sigma (EF500 ST P-TTL) and Promaster (5750 with the digital Pentax module), both at significantly under $200.

I have to add that there are alsao some other alternatives for external flashes, at significantly lower prices than the fully auto P-TTL models. Non-dedicated Auto Thyristor flashes like the Sunpak 383 (@$80 new) can also work with any of the Pentax DSLRs, but have less auto range and limit your use of different apertures. Although not as sophisticated and "automatic" as P-TTL flashes, for the uses that you stated, they would work pretty well.

Another alternative is a "digital slave" flash as advocated by Sarah in her flash thread. They are usually very inexpensive, and are triggered by the second (main) flash of your onboard flash, adding significantly more light, and allowing some creativity when placed remotely to the camera. These can usually be had for significantly less than $100 new.

Both of these last alternatives take a little setup, but are not difficult to master, even for a novice, just read the manual and follow directions.

I probably confused things more than helped, but I think that there's maybe too much emphasis on the more costly flashes when a lot of people could get by admirably with a lot less flash automation at a much lower cost.

Scott
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Old Dec 9, 2006, 1:03 PM   #9
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Hi Snostorm,

What is a Better Beamer ?

"Can not forget your city of Chicago w its blending of remarkable Old & New Architecture building"


Thanks,

Regards,
RTogog

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Old Dec 9, 2006, 10:14 PM   #10
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Hi RTogog,

It's a flash extender -- a frame with a Fresnel lens which concentrates the flash beam, supposedly extending the flash's effect an extra 2 stops, and folds up flat for transport. @ $39 US.

Here's an article on it:

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/re...r_beamer.shtml

I don't have one. . . yet, but as I plan for more flash use in the birding I like to do, it's on my B&H wishlist, and I'll probably get one before next spring.

Scott
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