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Old Sep 4, 2010, 12:38 PM   #1
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Default Flash Units for Pentax K7

I was looking to upgrade my hotshoe flash and needed some advice on a new unit. I found out that from the local shop that the promaster brand they carry is not compatible with the K7 as it wouldn't adjust the strength of the flash. I need it mostly for indoor shots such as portraits and events. Any suggestions on a somewhat inexpensive flash that has a swivel top? Don't want to spend more than $150 if possible. Thanks!

This was the only one on amazon that mentioned being compatible with the K7:
http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Desi...3617198&sr=8-1
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 2:09 PM   #2
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I posted this recently for someone else but it's just as relevant for you and may save you some cash too !

Flash - a must for indoor photography where you'll want to 'bounce' the light off of a wall / ceiling for more natural looking lighting. This is where a swivel head comes in handy. The Pentax models are quite expensive but there is a fantastic new flash out from Yongnuo (yes, it is Chinese) whose older models were so-so but whose latest is being much lauded. It is the Yongnuo YN 560 speedlite (fits Pentax as well as other brands) and has features to match Canon's best, the Speedlite 580ex. Do a Google search for comments and comparisons but for ca. US$70 in the USA on fleabay, that's an unbeatable price for a very modern design flash with swivel head, auto zoom head, sync, slave mode and goes all the way down to 1/128th power for great flexibility (with 8 micro stops in between each fraction setting) - it also has a large GN number too so it's very powerful and includes diffusers !

Just a quick word on Chinese made accessories from someone who now lives here in China, since you'll see many disparaging remarks from people who have bad experiences in the past or who have bought very cheap equipment.
Traditionally the Chinese made any product as cheaply as they could, with huge compromises on quality and quality control, because that is all the Chinese people could afford, and because their technology lagged far behind.
Nowadays though people are now demanding the very best, which means higher & higher quality products from some local manufacturers to distinguish themselves from the rest of the pack. The likes of Yongnuo in flashes and Benro in tripods and ball-heads are good examples. There are others but the improvement in quality has been, and continues to be, exponential.
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 3:02 PM   #3
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Kevin/frogfish-

You recently mentioned that Yongnuo had in their line a flash that would work with P-TTL cameras like the Kx and Km, I thought that I remembered that you said it was the Y/N 560. However, with some research, I found that the Y/N 560 is a manual flash, whereas, for example, the Y/N 460 is TTL for Canon. But I could not find any flash model specifically designed for the Pentax P-TTL synch system.

Can you please comment more about any Y/N flash model designed to operate P-TTL. Thanks in advance, Kevin.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 4:35 PM   #4
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Hi Sarah,

Maybe that was someone else as I didn't say that Yongnuo have a P-TTL or even the older TTL for Pentax (they do have for Nikon & Canon) - my exact quote, from my other post on this flash, is the one above. Though I read that it will support the master flash's TTL in S2 mode.

There is a TTL version of the YN560 supposedly due out soon (YN56X) - hopefully there will be a Pentax version this time and not just Canikon. And of course there is already the YN46X which works on Pentax but offers TTL for Canikon only.

The best report I've found on the YN560 is here :

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2010/08...uo-yn-560.html
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Old Sep 4, 2010, 7:51 PM   #5
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Hi Kevin-

Thanks for the update on the Y/N 560. I have found that my Y/N 460 works on my K100 and K-2000, but in the manual mode. Yes, www.stobist is where I found data on the Y/N 560.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 12:55 PM   #6
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Frogfish,

Thank you so much for the info. So if I understood correctly the YN-560 does not support the synch function with the K7? The reason I ask is because I want a flash that will automatically adjust for the lighting/exposure in different situations. I usually shoot either programed (camera does the settings) or I shoot AV. I have trouble going from far off shots to closeups in that kind of setting such as a party and most places I've shot at have low ceilings and horrible lighting(yellow tone). Thanks again!
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 3:35 PM   #7
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Hi Mav.

The YN 560 will do sync but not P-TTL. Your best bet may be a more in-depth Google / MSN etc. search to find people who actually have the flash and have written a report on it.

As it happens I just found out today that I've busted my current (manual) flash unit so as fate would have it I'm ordering my YN 560 tomorrow ! I'll let you know how it goes but for the money (it's $50 here) it's worth buying and then selling at a few $$$ loss if it doesn't work out - before laying down the big bucks on a Metz or Pentax. Maybe worth it for you too ?
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 3:50 PM   #8
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Hi Maverick,

If you're not anticipating doing a significant percentage of your shooting with a flash, then probably the cheapest alternative with some exposure automation would be an Auto Thyristor gun. These aren't dedicated to any particular camera system, and there are a lot of professional grade models out there on the used market at a small fraction of their original cost, or even possibly new ones at considerably under your target price.

Auto Thyristor flashes don't communicate with the camera, except to fire the flash. All the metering is done in the flash, so you'd need to set up the aperture and ISO in the camera to match the flash, but this is not really a big deal, and the flash will give you good exposures within a reasonable working range of subject distances. These flashes also allow you to effectively bounce, use diffusers, and deal with some more advanced flash techniques, if you're willing to experiment a bit to get the best results. Personally, I'd consider a very high grade Auto Thyristor flash a better choice than a low grade P-TTL. YMMV. . .

A good Pentax branded flash unit in this category is the AF 280T. It's actually a Pentax dedicated TTL flash, but none of the Pentax digital bodies after the DS2 have the TTL sensor, so this flash would have to be used in its "Auto" mode to get any automatic exposure control. It has a tilt and swivel head, is relatively compact, has significant power, and mine cost me @ $25 USD used. Nikon, Canon, and Olympus all made pro grade flashes that have this mode available, and since most current digital photographers want through the lens metering capability, these flashes are commonly available very inexpensively for the quality they offer.

In 3rd party guns, the most often cited are probably the Sunpak 383 Super and the Vivitar 285 HV. On these, and any non-digital dedicated flashes, you need to be aware that some had very high trigger voltages, and could damage your camera. The safe thing would be to measure the trigger voltage on any older flash before using it on the camera. All Pentax branded flashes with Auto Thyristor mode have appropriately low trigger voltages -- with any others, I'd want to check this. I'd suggest that trigger voltages under 24V are acceptable, but since Pentax has not been specific about this spec, I can't absolutely state that this will be safe, but it's what I use as a guideline.

Personally, I like Pentax P-TTL because I'm a fan of relatively brainless flash use, and with some experimenting, I've been able to get this system to work well for me. I've gotten used to using some of the advanced features of the system, so it's a good fit for me. Many users don't like it, and will suggest going manual, but that's not for me. I don't use flash a great majority of the time, so manual flash is not an option as I'd have to relearn the whole Guide Number thing every time I'd want to use a flash. Auto Thyristor flashes are my second option, not quite as versatile as P-TTL, but very workable without a whole lot of thinking. . .

Scott
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 4:04 PM   #9
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Some good sites to read up on flashes :

Pentax Compatible : http://pttl.mattdm.org/
Yongnuo 560 et al (click English in the top right corner) : http://www.hkyongnuo.com/e-detail.php?ID=275
Strobe Voltages (that Scott mentioned) :http://www.botzilla.com/photo/strobeVolts.html

Ok - off to bed now 04.00 here ! Night all.
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Old Sep 5, 2010, 4:34 PM   #10
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I'm not happy with my Pentax 360.
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