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Old Sep 1, 2007, 11:56 AM   #1
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After several weeks of using my Pentax K10D I have come to realize that the camera's pop-up flash is inadequate for most photos needing the help of a flash. Like most purchases the better quality flash devices cost the most money.

I believe I can get by sutably by using only one or two slave flashes plus the built-in flash. I note that flashes said to have a slave or wireless feature regularly appear for sale on E-Bay. Would not those serve capably with the K10D in a slave capacity only? Even though the flash actually is made for some entirely different camera?

Does the built-in flash have enough oomph to trigger the slaves?

I would like opinions from those readers who have experience with such setups.

Thanks, Old Engineer
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Old Sep 1, 2007, 12:14 PM   #2
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While that sounds like a good idea, I believe that the problem you may encounter is when the Pentax does the pre-flash for P-TTL. This will trigger the slave flash to fire, unless it is made for P-TTL.



Nowadays, Pentax is making you choose certain specifics, like the other brands.





Dal




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Old Sep 1, 2007, 12:50 PM   #3
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They do make some slave triggers that professional wedding photographers use that are on a IR frequency so other flashes won't trigger theirs, but I don't know how they would work with the pre flash of P-TTL.

Makes me appreciate the TTL ability of my DS even more.

Tom
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Old Sep 1, 2007, 4:33 PM   #4
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Hi OE,

You have 3 choices for triggering slaves with your K10's onboard flash.

1. Get a P-TTL compatible flash that is wireless TTL compatible with the K10 -- AFAIK, this is limited to the Pentax AF360 FGZ and AF540 FGZ and the Sigma EF 500 DG Super (with the latest firmware chip update) and the new EF 530 DG Super. This will give you Through The Lens metered remote flash, is pretty expensive, and isn't what you're probably looking for.

2. Get a DIGITAL slave flash unit, or one with a DIGITAL slave mode. These are specifically set up for use with digital cameras (both P&S and DSLR) which pretty much universally use a preflash to meter, followed by the main flash for exposure. The digital slave flashes can be set to ignore the preflash and fire off of the main flash. An example would be the Vivitar DF 200 or this Bower unit:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ave_Flash.html

3. Get a standard hotshoe flash gun and a DIGITAL hotshoe slave trigger. The digtital slave trigger is also designed to ignore the preflash and fire on the main flash, and is a separate item which attaches to the base of any hot shoe flash. This would be my choice because it would give you the capability of using any flash unit with it, and there are tons of high quality used flashes being sold for relative pennies on the dollar all the time because they aren't TTL compatible with the new digital bodies. An example of the slave trigger would be this Wein model:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...hoe_Slave.html

Here's another trigger, recently posted by Crashman:

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/SF4-Digital-S...QQcmdZViewItem

This auction's ended, but go to the seller's store, and there are others.

I'd then buy a used name brand flash (one from one of the major camera mfgs (Nilkon, Conon, Pentax, Olympus) would be my first choice, but Metz, Vivitar, Sigma, and Sunpak come to mind easily for quality 3rd party flash mfgs) -- and put a premium on one having an Auto Thyristor mode -- in which the flash has its own sensor, and can meter the flash exposure without communicating with the camera body so you have to set the ISO speed and aperture to match the settings on the flash first. With such an Auto flash, you can mount the gun on the hot shoe of your K10 (or any other camera that you might get in the future) and it will give you the same level of automatic exposure control

Another alternative would be to get another non P-TTL external flash to use on the camera's hotshoe (eliminating the preflash) to trigger a non-digital optical slave (one that fires on the first flash, either built into a flash gun or as a separate trigger).

Sorry if that just adds to the confusion, but I've been mulling through this flash alternative stuff for quite a while.

Scott

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Old Sep 1, 2007, 6:56 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the help. From each of you, it is understandable, complete, and just what I was needing.

Thanks, Old Engineer
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Old Sep 2, 2007, 6:51 AM   #6
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Hi Scott



Something we found out a few months ago, was that the wireless mode with the Sigma Flash is limited to full manual. It is not P-TTL.



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