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Old May 25, 2009, 12:46 AM   #11
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Getting an external flash is an excellent investment in its own right. I used to hate flash, and still don't always get what I think I should get when I'm using it but when I do get things right it's so well worth it. Beats the on-board flash big-time - one of my better purchases.
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Old May 25, 2009, 12:14 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone for the info.After reading the post and reviewing some of the pics I believe it is the onboard flash. Is this a common problem ???
I do like using the flash and was trying to avoid more weight to carry around.
Anyone use a flash that really would recommend ???
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Old May 25, 2009, 1:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by PJOBE View Post
Is this a common problem ???
Maybe problem is to strong a word more like a limit and everthing has a limit.

Originally Posted by PJOBE View Post
Anyone use a flash that really would recommend ???
Here is a site with a lot of information a Pentax flashes and compatible 3rd party flashes. http://pttl.mattdm.org/

About the only flash I would not recommend is the AF200FG. Not that there is anything wrong with it just not enough right with it. With the AF200FG you get P-TTL, small, a little more power and a little height. So little height it may not help get over the lens. That is all. No manual, Auto, off camera, bounce, zoom, ect. If this is all you need and all you will ever need then OK but I think it is just so little. For like twice the money you can get an AF360FGZ and get a lot. If you start doing anything with flash beyond what the AF200FG can do then you will need to get a new flash. When you get the new flash the AF200FG is so limited you will probably not use the AF200FG anymore. So to me it is better to just get some more then the AF200FG.

There are other 3rd party flash units as you can see from Mattís site but if you stay with Pentax the AF360FGZ is an OK first flash. It is a little bigger then the AF200FG but has a lot going for it. I can only think of 2 down sides to it. One is trivial and the other is just a small nuisance. The trivial thing is with the AF360FGZ you can bounce but not swivel. You get around this with a right flash bracket and either optical or hotshoe adapters/cable. The small nuisance is that unless you are using the flash as an optical slave it will turn itself off and rest itself after 3 minutes unless you trigger the flash first. If you get to the point that these 2 are getting to be a problem then it is probably time to get a new flash like the AF540FGZ. You can keep the AF360FGZ and do even more (lots more). With the AF360FGZ you can have a three flash setup. You can also use the AF360FGZ as a more powerful optical wireless control that you can also use to control a flash in HSS mode. You canít use wireless HSS with the onboard flash. This is just some of what you get.

I use both the AF360FGZ and the AF540FGZ. The AF540FGZ is a very good flash with about as much power as you can get in a small (non studio) flash with about as many features as you can get. I think having a flash that can do P-TTL is important as you get some neat things but past two P-TTL flash units the value goes down. For a 3rd probable some thing like the LP120 is better as you are probably going to control them in manual mode more.

Painting is an additive art. The artist adds to the canvas until they stop with their version of reality. Digital photography is subtractive art. First we throw away 90 percent of reality then remove what is left bit by bit until we have only the reality we wish to show. Flickr is like fun. PPG is like work. A camera is a machine of light and time with the purpose of capturing a luminous moment. Like the eye it is a tool of the mind.
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Old May 25, 2009, 2:05 PM   #14
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A good value in flashes is the Sigma 530 DG Super (about $250 at B&H) or the 530 DG ST ($170 at Adorama). I have the earlier generation Sigma 500DG Super and it has plenty of good features including wireless capability with the K20D, trailing curtain sync, as well as a high speed sync mode. Compared to the price of the Pentax AF540FGZ flash ($340 at Amazon.com), the Sigma's are an excellent value (IMHO).

BTW, I also use the DA*16-50 mm lens, and have experienced the vingetting when using the on-board flash. Fortunately I do not use the on-board flash much...my Sigma is always in the holster with me!
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Old May 26, 2009, 1:51 AM   #15
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I own several flashes: Pentax AF-360 FGZ, Metz 48 AF-1, Nikon SB-26, Nikon SB-24, and a Sunpak Auto 433D.

"Wait, Nikon?" you might ask. I use the Nikons and Sunpak flashes manually off-camera using a wireless remote trigger. That way I can get creative with the lighting.

If manual lighting isn't your thing, I'd go with the Metz 48 AF-1. It's a few dollars (US$) more than the Pentax AF-360, but you can swivel and bounce the flash, rather than just bounce with the Pentax flash; you would need the Pentax AF-540 FGZ, which is more than the Metz 48 AF-1, to gain the same functionality. With either the Metz or the Pentax flash, you can also use the flashes off-camera and still retain some P-TTL functionality using the K20D's wireless flash capability.

If price is a huge concern, go with Sigma. It's cheaper than the Metz. I don't have experience w/ Sigma flashes though, so I can't comment on it apart from price.

In any case, I would think getting an external flash will help your photography immensely indoors. On-board flash really leaves you with that "point-and-shoot" style lighting which isn't very flattering. Plus, you don't get much reach with on-board as well.

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Old May 26, 2009, 7:31 AM   #16
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One other option would be to get a smaller, less expensive lens to use with the on board flash. You do not need f2.8 when using flash, and may want more depth dof with smaller aperture. On the other hand it is very worthwhile to have an external flash.

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