Flash advice requested


Link Posted 18/11/2009 - 13:27
I see that SRS have a used Sunpak 3600 auto and a Pentax AF400 ZFT . I am told that I can only use these manually with my K100D. Would it be better to get say the Metz AF36 which would be fully automatic.

I don't use flash much but feel that the one on the camera isn't always what is required but can't afford to spend too much money.

Advice appreciated.



Link Posted 18/11/2009 - 13:31
I use the Metz model and its a nice simple first time flashgun, its battery door is slightly flimsy, but it gives great results. Cant speak of the other models, never used them.
My piccies.


Link Posted 18/11/2009 - 21:12

Thanks thanks for the input. Will probably go with the Metz.



George Lazarette

Link Posted 18/11/2009 - 21:49
I prefer never to buy anything fully automatic, unless there is also a manual option.

A Pentax flashgun is the best bet for a Pentax camera, but Metz is very good second-best, and often rather cheaper.

If cash is a problem, there is nothing wrong with buying one of the old sensor-equipped guns, which require that you put the camera into manual mode with a prescribed aperture. The gun will then cut the light when it has produced enough for a good exposure.

Pentax examples include the AF-280T, AF-400T, and AF-240Z, all available on Ebay.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.


Link Posted 19/11/2009 - 09:57
I have a Sunpak Auto Zoom 3600 which I have had for many years. It is a very well designed pro, or semi-pro, flash system with excellent characteristics and a good range of accessories to make it really useful in a wide range of applications.

George is absolutely right about NEVER buying any photo gear that is 'auto only'.

Your advice that you can only use the Sunpak manually is incorrect. There is a thyristor built into the gun and an additinal remote sensor is/was available. This will give you excellent auto flash exposure over a wide range of distances and be perfectly adequate for the most demanding work.

With the gun set to manual, you can turn down the power in a full range of increments down to 1/64 of full power. This is VERY useful for any kind of 'studio' aplication where you don't want to overlight the subject such as still life and portraits etc.

The tripping voltage of the Sunpak is nearly 200 volts and I usually use a remote trigger on the rare occaisons when I use pentax DSLR. However, some authorities consider that pentax is able to handle this high a votage. In any case a voltage adaptor is readily available if you are unsure.

If you get into serious flash work you will probably find like the rest of us that the modern 'extra, super duper double auto TTL_PPPPTTL' or whatever, flash systems are an embuggerance that you don't need and which takes more away from your creative work. So gear like the Sunpak will serve you just fine. The gun can run from mains but usually takes 6 'AA' batteries. This works in nicely with the 'AA' rechargeables that you probably use in your K100, and use of 2500 mAh 'Energisers' gives more or less instant re-flash and/or fast sequences of flashes for multi image work.
Last Edited by viewfinder on 19/11/2009 - 10:06


Link Posted 19/11/2009 - 10:07
I've got two Yn 460 speedlite from ebay 26.00 that i use off camera as slave and they work well

I use my metz 45CL-4 D now this is not cheep but one hell of a good flash
At a wedding last week indoors with a zoom lens 200mm 10 meters 3/4 portrait dim lighting in the room and this flash worked well the only shot of the day with red eye now that's power

My Fluidr

"To see in colour is a delight for the eye, But to see in black and white is a delight for the soul" ANDRI HERY


Link Posted 20/11/2009 - 13:39
Thanks all for the info, decided to go for the Metz AF 36 which I was told does have a manual option, as I am rather new to things.


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