Few thoughts on the new AF 540FGZ II

Started Dec 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Few thoughts on the new AF 540FGZ II
Dec 27, 2013

I was fortunate enough to receive a new Pentax AF 540FGZ II flash for Christmas this week. This will replace my existing 540 FGZ flash (that is probably 5-7 years old) and be used alongside my Metz 58 I and a couple manual Vivitar flashes.

I haven't seen many threads on the new 540 or 360 flashes. So I thought I'd take a moment to write up my initial impressions. Please note that I've only used the flash for a couple days and am more of a "flash for fill" user than straight P-TTL user or an experienced strobist (although I do tend towards this on occasion). I am primarily interested in the 540 FGZ II for the build quality, WR features, and smaller size.

The build quality of the new 540 is a huge step forward. The flash body is much more compact and the head is not floppy like the older version of the 540 flash. I have also used a Canon 580 flash frequently over the years. The build quality is similar, although the C 580's I have used have a rubber boot around the foot - The new 540 FGZ II does not which makes me wonder about the WR capability of the connection...

I think it's safe to say, my old 540 flash will be sold off in the near future! The smaller size means the flash AND a small Sto fen type diffuser will fit in my Lowepro flash case. I frequently use a Sto Fen type diffuser on my flash heads. I have not been able to find one that fits the newer 540 FGZ II flash yet. The old one will work if taped to the flash head.

No word on the WR of the flash yet. I'll be backpacking two weekends in January, so the flash ought to get exposed to some weather then.

The only negative I can think of is that there is no pull out bounce card included with this flash. The older version had a pull out bounce card tucked in alongside the wide angle diffusion panel. I very seldom used this feature, so it's not a big deal to me.

Peace - Roger Hayslip

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