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Old Jan 8, 2007, 3:50 PM   #1
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OK...someone PLEASE help me...

I got a new Pentax K100D for Christmas and I'm absolutely loving it. I've decided to get an external flash. I've pretty much ruled out a P-TTL because my price ceiling is around $120. I just can't justily spending over $200 on a flash (this is just a hobby after-all).

Will just a plain-ole $70auto thyristor flash work with this thing? I've heard people refer to 'slave' flashes....is that what this would be called? I know that I would have to adjust the sliders on the back of the flash in order for it to work properly. Would it also be a requirement that I shoot in M mode on the camera? I shoot almost exclusively in Av mode and I'm not sure that my chops are good enough to switch to M mode.

thanks,

jason


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Old Jan 8, 2007, 4:10 PM   #2
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maynard001 wrote:
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OK...someone PLEASE help me...
..I've pretty much ruled out a P-TTL because my price ceiling is around $120. I just can't justily spending over $200 on a flash (this is just a hobby after-all).

..and I'm not sure that my chops are good enough to switch to M mode.

thanks,

jason

You are not likely to get better results with a $70 generic flash than you do with the built-in flash. You would be better off waiting until you can afford a properly matched external flash. Once you use a P-TTL flash you'll understand why they cost $200. I have the K100d and a Pentax 360 speedlight, and I can tell you that the combination works very well.
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 4:20 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response Bill. The main reason that I wanted the external flash was so that I could easily diffuse/bounce it. Sometimes the built-in flash is a little harsh.

Is there really that big of a difference between the auto-thyristor vs. the newer p-ttl models? also...i've got a couple of 'blinkers' in my family. I'm worried that I'll spend $200 on a flash only to have constant blinking problems when taking shots of my family
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 4:28 PM   #4
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Look at my avatar, this is a Vivitar 285 flash, the head is pointed straight up with a sheet of 8.5X11 paper wrapped around the back and held in place with a rubber band. Simple but effective, the flash is set on one of its automatic programs and the camera is set on manualfor the sync speed (1/125 is close enough) and the aperture is set to the recommended value on the flash's calculator (for that mode and ISO).

Works like a charm.

Ira
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 4:34 PM   #5
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Thanks Monza. I've only had my camera for a few weeks and have done most of my shooting in Av mode (I set the ISO and Aperture...the camera decides the shutter speed). Is going to full Manual on the camera a big leap? How much monkeying around with settings do you find yourself doing?
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Old Jan 8, 2007, 4:56 PM   #6
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Manual is easy with a good auto-thyristor flash, just set the ISO to an appropriate value (typically 200 unless you need lots of range), set the white balance to flash (this should work although a custom white balance may be necessary with some flash units), set the shutter speed to a value within the sync speed (1/160 on a Pentax I believe, but I use 1/100 or 1/125 just in case) and then I set the aperture to the value the flash recommends. Since the flash meters the scene the camera needs no further setting.

These units will not handle difficult situations as well as a P-TTL flash unit but you can get a very powerful and reliable Sunpac or Vivitar unit for a fraction of the cost which will operate very well most of the time.

Ira
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Old Jan 9, 2007, 4:55 PM   #7
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Make sure you take a look at the Sigma EF 500 DG Super, witch is almost exactly like the Pentax FG 500. I used this flash on the *ist Ds and it worked fine with P-TTL at half the cost of a Pentax model. Make sure you check out eBay as they have some deals on flashes, just be wise about buying online.

I promise you that you will be happier with a flash that has P-TTL that is made to work with your camera. It's definately worth the money.

Just purchased the Pentax AF540FGZ and can't wait to take it for a spin on my new K10D
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Old Jan 9, 2007, 5:52 PM   #8
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the non super 500 di sigma is still P-TTL and is only a little bit more than your 120us. ck out promaster also.. as dave said ''you will be a lot happier''

roy
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Old Jan 9, 2007, 11:02 PM   #9
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Thanks...I'll definitely check these two out.
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