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Old Aug 10, 2006, 4:02 AM   #1
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I have been reading Sarah's very informative flash thread and now I am trying to put some of this information to good use!

My camera is a *istDS and the flash is a COSMOS 35AFPX which claims to be a model dedicated for Pentax, it claims:

Guide number 34 ISO 100/m and 112 ISO 100/ft(what does that all mean?)

Dedicated auto focus

Fully TTL

HI/LO control

Auto Cut Off



I bought this new for less than the price of half a tank of gas although I see the same thing advertised for much more.

Unfortunately this feels like a very unstable combination on top of the camera and I would really like to mount it on an off-camera bracket. But I find the cost of a suitable connection cable to be way outside my budget (almost 10 times what I paid for the flash!) although an optical slave trigger or a simple sync cable is much less.



I would appreciate any advice including should I hang out for full TTL compatability or would I have a practical, usable system with just the slave or sync cable?



Thanks








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Old Aug 10, 2006, 8:06 AM   #2
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John

I would bite the bullet mate and get the TTL cord. I have the 5p model from Pentax wit two hotshoe adapters, picked it up off eBay for about $50AUS.



Today picked up a sunpack L frame (for $16Aus). So instead of mounting my flash on the camera it mounts on a hand grip pushing the flash about 3 inches higher again and to the left.

I can push a button on the bracket and it separates the camera plate mount from the flash handle, allowing me to hand hold the flash off the camera upto 1 metre on the cord still with Pa-TTL.

Foudn a picture of it at Adorama.


Crash


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Old Aug 10, 2006, 9:01 AM   #3
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You are better off with hot shoe adapter Fg rather than the F if you want to use the in-camera flash. The in-camera flash won't pop all the way up with hot shoe adapter F. Also, the lit that comes with the hot shoe adapter F specifically cautions against using a flash mounted to the hot shoe adapter F mounted on the camera - the whole thing could fall off the camera.

Don't confuse the hot shoe adapter F with the off-camera adapter F. The off-camera adapter F is made to be mounted to a tripod or flash bracket.

For a full off-camera setup on the Pentax DSLRs, you'll need hot shoe adapter Fg, sync cord 5P (there are a couple variants), and off-camera adapter F. Allegedly Pro Master makes an off-camera setup for Pentax that is cheaper than the Pentax components but I have no experience with it.

See http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/for pictures of these and a description. These items can be found on the 'Flashes' page.

RG
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 3:44 PM   #4
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I like simple inexpensive solutions, as you might have picked up from the lessons in the flash thread. My suggestion John, would be to use a flash bracket mounting one of the larger, more powerful,tilt and swivel type Slave Flashes. Using your camera's built in flash as the triggering device, that type of arrangement can be very powerful indeed.

To work out the kinks in the setup, which I detailed in the Flash Thread, I have many times used the simple setups illustrated in the two attached photos. They both worked well,allowing me to take excellent flash photos at distances up to 40 feet, using telephoto lenses.

Here is what the two setups look like. Note that the Olympus E-300 is the only camera that I have ever found that will allow the Slave Flash to be mounted on the camera's hotshoe, while the built-in flash remains fully operative.





Here is an example of what kind of photo that either setup can tak at 40 feet.



MT/Sarah
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 4:19 PM   #5
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Thanks Rob, Crash, Sarah....



I think you scored a couple of good finds there Crashman.

Rob, I priced those Pentax bits at about a month's pocket money which made me hesitate.

Initially, at least, I think I will make a rig like yours Sarah, I will buy a slave-hot-shoe-receiver type thing today and drill a bit of metal this evening. Then I will try and work my way through your lessons again.





I
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Old Aug 10, 2006, 5:16 PM   #6
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Hi John,

I'd also consider the Promaster TTL cord:

http://www.promaster.com/products/pr...roduct=TTLCORD

I got one last year, and it's very well made and I think would suit your purposes well. Works for both TTL and P-TTL with my DS and various flashes (as well as just a non-dedicated remote cord with my FZ30). $50-$60 but might be a little hard to find in stock (not as much demand as C and N) -- I'm sure any Promaster dealer could order one for you. Obviously you have to buy the Pentax dedicated model.

I've read that the Pentax components are a bit more fragile -- but because it's a modular system, it's more versatile if you want more distance between the camera and flash. I thought the Promaster would be more worthwhile for me because I'm an idiot and would probably lose one of the pieces if I got the Pentax stuff.

Scott
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 9:57 PM   #7
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Actually, Scott-

The Promaster Dual Flash is kind of interesting, if it is possible to sort out the various Promaster Flash Modules. Thus far,I have found three different modules that may or may notwork for my Pentax DS or my Pentax K100D. It will take more research.

Promaster was quite like Vivitar, they sub-contracted out for lenses, flashes, and a lot of other equipment. They (Promaster) were not as big as Vivitar, but they were big enough potatoes, that Moose Petersen wrote a few books about their lenses and flashes.

So they probably should not be overlooked. Any interest? Please let me know? Thanks! i just received a Promaster 19-35mm lens today. It is fairly good and probably deserves a bit more attention. Here is thephoto sample.

MT/Sarah
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Old Aug 11, 2006, 10:09 PM   #8
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Here is my solution, the flash, a Vivitar 285,is over 20 years old and the bracket, aStroboframe camera flip,was purchased on ebay for about half price. No TTL (sorry with the DL only P-TTL works) but a reliable remote sensor that mounts in the camera's hot shoe so the flahs can be aimed in any direction and still give results that are consistent. BTW I checked the trigger voltage and it was less than 10V, well within the tolerance of my DL.




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Old Aug 11, 2006, 10:38 PM   #9
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Hi Sarah,

Actually, at this time, my flash budget is just about tapped out as I recently found a very inexpensive AF500FTZ that works well for my DS. I already owned an AF360FGZ (bought new), an AF280T (used and really cheap), and an AF200T (used and really really cheap), so I probably won't be looking for another flash soon (unless Pentax only incorporates P-TTL in the new 10.2 mp SR cam, or the new model doesn't really impress and I decide to get some SR with the K100D).

We'll have to wait and see what next month brings -- then I'll have to make some decisions as to how the photography budget is appropriated.

If another P-TTL flash is part of the picture, the Promasters will get another look.

About that lens -- I woulda thought that you would already have the Pentax kit lens. . . so why that zoom range?

Scott



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Actually, Scott-

The Promaster Dual Flash is kind of interesting, if it is possible to sort out the various Promaster Flash Modules. Thus far,I have found three different modules that may or may notwork for my Pentax DS or my Pentax K100D. It will take more research.

Promaster was quite like Vivitar, they sub-contracted out for lenses, flashes, and a lot of other equipment. They (Promaster) were not as big as Vivitar, but they were big enough potatoes, that Moose Petersen wrote a few books about their lenses and flashes.

So they probably should not be overlooked. Any interest? Please let me know? Thanks! i just received a Promaster 19-35mm lens today. It is fairly good and probably deserves a bit more attention. Here is thephoto sample.

MT/Sarah
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