Finally going for a flash- recommendations please?


dinneenp

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 07:33
Hi,
I've put off getting a flash cos it seemed like something I didn't need as photography is just a hobby and that it's a big thing that sits on your camera and just attracts people's comments...
But every wedding we're at my wife is always going on about how some shots always come out blurred. (last wedding I brought the nifty fifty but then had no zoom).
I'm planning on selling the nifty fifty and getting a 17-50 f2.8 (or similar) instead.
I finally said I might as well get a flash. I havent' looked into it at all yet and know nothing about flashes (differnet types etc)
Requirements:
1. inexpensive flash. I'm not mentioning rough price cos I've no idea what they begin at....
2. I suppose any time it'd be handy.For weddings (not that we have many coming up), indoors shots of kids (6 month & 3 year old) mainly (probably other times too but can't think of when), sports maybe?
3. I'd prefer something that is easy to use
4. I'd prefer one that's inexpensive (will also consider 2nd hand).I have a K-X.

My questions:
1. when do you use a flash/for what?
2. what woud you recommend & why?

Thanks,
Pa.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

Hardgravity

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 08:05
For a flash see THIS.

It's the real thing and will fit all Pentax DSLRs.

Hurry in ordering though, at this price stocks will fall fast!
Cheers, HG

K110+DA40, K200+DA35, K3 and a bag of lenses, bodies and other bits.

Mustn't forget the Zenits, or folders, or...

I've some gallerieshere CLICKY LINK! and my PPG entries.

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petrochemist

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 08:29
More advanced flashgun open up new possibilities, such as P-TTL exposure control, increased power, bounce, swivel, auto zoom, rear curtain use (used for showing a blur of movement behind a sharp image), high speed flash, modelling light...
These start about 70 For the cheapest Metz P-TTL and go to ~220 for the top of the line Pentax (there are probably much more expensive options available too)
Unless your budget is really tight its worth considering if any of these might interest you.
If you go for an older 2nd hand model check the trigger voltage BEFORE using it - some can damage your camera! Fully manual flash guns can be very cheap, but they're also very limited.
Mike
Mike
.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

.[size=11:].Flickr WPF Panoramio

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petrochemist

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 09:13
Too late to edit previous post.
Sorry, I got the top of the line price wrong - its ~400 for the AF560FGZ!

Matt has a great site on P-TTL flashguns at http://pttl.mattdm.org/overview to compare the options of the current range.

If you can stretch to 100 the Currys offer Hardgravity has linked to above will take some beating!

Mike
Mike
.
Pentax:K5ii, K7, K100D, DA18-55, DA10-17, DA55-300, DA50-200, F100-300, F50, DA35 AL, 4* M50, 2* M135, Helicoid extension, Tak 300 f4 (& 6 film bodies)
3rd Party: Bigmos (Sigma 150-500mm OS HSM),2* 28mm, 100mm macro, 28-200 zoom, 35-80 zoom, 80-200 zoom, 80-210 zoom, 300mm M42, 600 mirror, 1000-4000 scope, 50mm M42, enlarger lenses, Sony & micro 4/3 cameras with various PK mounts, Zenit E...
Far to many tele-converters, adapters, project parts & extension tubes etc.

.[size=11:].Flickr WPF Panoramio

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flossie

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 09:31
I'd second the recommendation for the cheap AF360FGZ from Currys! Its a huge improvement over a pop-up flash, and you can experiment with tilt, bounce, off-camera (remote) flash, etc.

Only downside to them is the battery covers are prone to break - mine (which I got 2nd hand on here - wasn't much cheaper than Currys are selling those new ones for) is held shut with two small nails (! - well, it works and was how it came).

Oh, and get Eneloops for the 360, as then you have the same batteries as the Kx (obvious advantage).


I'm almost tempted to get a second one at that price, even though I rarely use flash there are times where having a second one might be useful...
Still shooting in the dark (literally and metaphorically)...
Last Edited by flossie on 15/10/2010 - 09:33

MrCynical

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 09:49
If you can afford the extra 35 or so over those special-offer AF360s, then I'd suggest the Metz 48 (135 from SRS). Compared to the AF360 (which is pretty good itself) you get:
*One third more power (GN48, vs GN36 for the Pentax)
*Swivel head - this means that you can still bounce the light off the ceiling in portrait mode, which the AF360 can't

dinneenp

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 09:59
Just wondering why there isn't a sticky on this thread with 'idiot's guide to flashes/fashes faq' or similar?
I'd find it helpful, sure others would too....
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

MattMatic

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 10:37
You mean this stick thread?
Matt
http://www.mattmatic.co.uk
(For gallery, tips and links)

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SteveF

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 13:09
You beat me to it, Matt!

I was going to recommend dinneenp to purchase and read your guide before making a decision.

Dinneenp - This guide is one of the biggest benefits of being a member here.

dinneenp

Link Posted 15/10/2010 - 13:13
Thanks- just noticed stickys in this site now. On other sites they're more prominent.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

dinneenp

Link Posted 18/11/2010 - 14:10
Hi,
A few more questions:
1. Is TTL mode a *must have*? does it help a lot?
2. Can anyone recommend a flash for under 70 (ideally) that'll do the job for mainly indoor pics of my kids (but I guess I'd use it in other situations too)?
3.There's a Pentax AF280T flash on offer in Clasifieds. What are the thoughts on this flash?
Cheers,
Pa.
Cheers,
Pa
http://www.photoblog.ie where every post have a musical reference as it's title.

dougf8

Link Posted 18/11/2010 - 14:54
Sigma ef-500 super does it all. If you get one that had the update it does wireless too. if you don't need all the bells and whistles then the st would do.
Lurking is shirking.!

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bretti_kivi

Link Posted 18/11/2010 - 17:05
the ST only does full and 1/16 IIRC, which means it's nowhere near as flexible as the super.
The super also does HSS all the way up to 1/4000.

Bret
my pics: link
my kit: K3, K5, K-01, DA 18-55, D-FA50 macro, Siggy 30/1.4, 100-300/f4, 70-200/2.8, Samsung 12-24/f4, Tamron 17-50, and lots of other bits.

dougf8

Link Posted 18/11/2010 - 17:56
bretti_kivi wrote:
the ST only does full and 1/16 IIRC, which means it's nowhere near as flexible as the super.
The super also does HSS all the way up to 1/4000.

Bret

ST does P-TTL and hits all of the criteria required.
The full and 1/16 only matter on manual.
Lurking is shirking.!

Anvh

Link Posted 18/11/2010 - 19:48
MrCynical wrote:
If you can afford the extra 35 or so over those special-offer AF360s, then I'd suggest the Metz 48 (135 from SRS). Compared to the AF360 (which is pretty good itself) you get:
*One third more power (GN48, vs GN36 for the Pentax)t

That's not fully true.
Those numbers are at the maximum zoom settings but if you've the flash on the same zoom settings the difference is less.
At 35mm for example the 360 has 25GN and the Metz48 29GN so the differnce is less then it appears so only with longer lenses the Metz is quite a bit more powerful.

dinneenp wrote:
Hi,
A few more questions:
1. Is TTL mode a *must have*? does it help a lot?
2. Can anyone recommend a flash for under 70 (ideally) that'll do the job for mainly indoor pics of my kids (but I guess I'd use it in other situations too)?

TTL is not supported with the K series DSLR they only support P-TTL and that's a major difference they aren't compatible.
So if you want automatic flash mode then P-TTL or Auto function on the flash the only option.

for under 70 you might get lucky with secondhand flash or else you need to find an older flash with an Auto function. You don't really need to stick with Pentax since the auto-function is controllable inside the flash but it's handy though that the flash and the cmaera share the information so you dont need to input them all the time.
If you want to go fully manual then it doesn't matter what brand, don't get minolta or sony though, they use different socket but Nikon and Canon work without a problem. Watch out for the voltage thought.
Stefan


K10D, K5
DA* 16-50, DA* 50-135, D-FA 100 Macro, DA 40 Ltd, DA 18-55
AF-540FGZ
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