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Old Nov 12, 2007, 11:54 PM   #1
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Say, hi to the NOOB. Well, at least to Pentax D-SLRs. :-)

I concerted from my Canon S3IS, (a darn good camera in its own right) to the Pentax K100. What helped me make the move is that I was able to use all of my lenses that I used with my old K1000 from high school (yup, the one that came with that great 50mm prime).

I'm really trying to explore small studio portrait photos with this camera. I'm using an old Rokinon 2200 as my external flash and its attatched to an optical slave. Not risking attaching it to the hot shoe! Of course I have to use the onboard flash to trigger the external. The problem is, since I have to have the camera flash go manual so I dont have to worry about pre-flash, I cant seem to control the power coming out of the onboard. I want to make it bright enough to trigger the other flash but not bright enough to register when I take the shot. Using the -2 exposure control in the menu doesnt seem to work like that. Is there a way to control the power of the flash like an external?

Also, I'm going to buy the Sunpak 383 in a couple of days since Ive heard nothing but good things about it and I can attach it to the camera. I figure that I can use the Sunpak on the cam to trigger the other flash since I can dial the power down to 1/16th. I figure itll be just enough light to trip the slave but maybe 3 stops or more difference than the cam exposure so that it doesnt show in the shot. Do you think it will work that way? I'm trying to stay as wire-free as possible but if I just have to suck it up and go the sync cord route then I will. Just seeing if there are options. I dont have the $$$ for radio triggers yet.

I thank you in advance to anyone that can help me here. I love my K100 and I want to use it to its fullest potential. If you'd like to see what Ive shot with it then please let me know. Im kinda gun shy about just putting my stuff up somewhere. :sad:
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 2:07 AM   #2
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jay,
as far as i know the answer is--no
you could however build a diffuser for the onboard to limit it's output. layers of paper or milk carton, etc. i'm not much into flash(except in macro)so i really don't know.

roy
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 2:42 AM   #3
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Hi JB,

The optical slave should fire off IR light. To block the visible light coming from the onboard, you can use the exposed end section from a developed roll of color negative film -- the black part almost opaque part, not the transparent orange part.If you cover the onboard flash with it, it will not effect the exposure, but should fire the slave.

If you don't have any old negatives, try contacting a camera store that offers photofinishing and see if they'd save you a piece. If you can get ahold of the exposed end of a roll of medium format film, it would be big enough to filter a hot shoe flash, and you could pick up a used very small and light external flash unit to use as a trigger. It wouldn't have to have adjustable output since you'd be filtering the visible light, and it would be both a lot cheaper and a lot more portable in use.

Scott
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 2:55 AM   #4
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i'm impressed scott!!!!!!!

roy
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 3:43 AM   #5
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Hi Guys,
You can control the level of the onboard flash on the K100D ... Open the record menu ... scroll down to "Flash Exp. Comp" on the second page of the menu, and use the 4 way switch right option you can then adjust between +1.0 EV --- -2.0 EV with the up/down buttons of the 4Way switch as required, then OK to confirm. I use this option for using the onboard flash with a macro setup, when possible ... depends on the length lens in use, too long and it casts a shadow. check it out JB. Hope this helps, and welcome to the forum BTW. ... Jack

Edit... Further it seems you can change the level setting with the E-dial while pressing the +/- button, but only when a lens is full auto or one set to it's A setting, Manual lenses don't seem to adjust this way. Adjustment steps are same as EV steps ie. 1/2 EV or 1/3 EV.
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 8:28 AM   #6
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JBoyde wrote:
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Say, Im kinda gun shy about just putting my stuff up somewhere. :sad:

Hey JB !, just noticed the last part of your post. Don't be afraid of posting your pics, you may get constructive criticism, but it will be well meant, and with the wealth of knowledge here I'm sure we all learn something from time to time. ... Jack
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 9:48 AM   #7
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Thank you again for all your help. I think I heard... somewhere... about putting some kind of filter over the flash to just send IR light. I MUST have some old negatives around here somewhere. I'm definitely trying that out.

Jachol, unfortunately I tried the "flash exposure comp" part already. That was the part about the "-2 exposure control in the menu" part of my OP. Yeah, that did come out kinda vague, sorry. But you did give me an idea though. I'm going to see whether or not doing that really works by using my flash meter and seeing if the readings change when I play with those settings. I figure that if it does work I may just bring my external flashes closer to the subject so that its brighter, thereby getting a big enough discrepancy to not have the onboard show. I have you to thank for that.

And nah, I'm not afraid of constructive criticism. Bring it on!!! :-xI've looked (lurked) in these forums for the past few weeks and I appreciate that people know what theyre talking about and share info with each other. Its definitely been a learning experience. Hopefully, you'll like what I contribute. I range from portraits to landscapes to flowers.

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Old Nov 13, 2007, 10:15 AM   #8
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JBoyde wrote:
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Also, I'm going to buy the Sunpak 383 in a couple of days since Ive heard nothing but good things about it and I can attach it to the camera. I figure that I can use the Sunpak on the cam to trigger the other flash since I can dial the power down to 1/16th. I figure itll be just enough light to trip the slave but maybe 3 stops or more difference than the cam exposure so that it doesnt show in the shot. Do you think it will work that way? I'm trying to stay as wire-free as possible but if I just have to oops it up and go the sync cord route then I will. Just seeing if there are options. I dont have the $$$ for radio triggers yet.
Some of the radio triggers around are very inexpensive. Check out the ones at http://www.gadgetinfinity.com for examples. Just make sure you buy the correct receivers for them (some are designed only for flashes with lower trigger voltages). They have a variety of inexpensive models to choose from.

As for a flash to trigger optical slaves, you may also want to shop around for some of the smaller Sunpaks on the used market. For example, I bought a little Sunpak 222 Auto from the used department at http://www.keh.com for only $7 (and they even threw in a nice coiled PC Sync Cord with it). lol It doesn't have the variety of power levels you find on the larger units like my Sunpak 333 Auto. But, it's 1/2 power setting is probably not much different than a lower setting on one of the larger Sunpak flashes.

As for a way to diffuse the on board flash, if you have a translucent film container sitting around somewhere (Fuji uses translucent film containers on a lot of their 35mm film now), see if it will fit over the camera's flash.

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Old Nov 13, 2007, 11:31 AM   #9
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JC,
Here's a small diffuser I made to help smooth out the flash when I use it for macro shots, any translucent material should work. ... Jack.
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Old Nov 13, 2007, 11:33 AM   #10
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Fitted on the flash here ... Pleased that I gave you some ideas ...
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