Using Pentax with external flash

Started May 15, 2013 | Discussions thread
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SBS
SBS
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Using Pentax with external flash
May 15, 2013

I have both the k5 and the k20. I am creating this thread because I have not seen any evidence/opinions that indicate an improved performance with the K5II.

I shoot weddings with my Pentax gear. I have been mostly more than satisfied, but if anything would send me to another brand, it is the poor performance of Pentax cameras with TTL, external flash.

First, the good news. Because of this limitation, I have learned quite a bit about using external flash in manual mode. I consider this to be valuable knowledge, and I do not regret the process of learning this information.

However, I have shot with another brand, and have worked with other photographers who uses this brand (oh, let's just pick a name out of the hat: voila, Canon) in which the use of an effective TTL flash system is, well, not only comforting, but in some cases, arguably essential. The pictures of TTL flash pictures from these cameras are usually pleasing and useable. I have produced better results from my manual bounced and/or off camera flash, but I have also produced unusable results. Manual flash requires some trial and error, and one doesn't always have time for that process.

Does Pentax TTL work at all? Yes. My best results have been to mount the external flash on the camera, use a Gary Fong flash reflector with the top on (results with a Stoffen have been less reliable), and have the flash pointed directly at the subject. But this my least favorite way to use flash. If you change the flash position in any way (pointed away from the subject, or removed it from the camera) your results are usually over exposed.

This, I believe, is the single most important thing that Pentax technicians should work on. Any new Pentax DSLR cameras that have not solved this problem will never get my money. Why create this post? Just a hope that somehow opinions from Pentax users matter to Pentax.

Pentax K-5
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