Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Started Feb 18, 2007 | Discussions
vlad736 New Member • Posts: 21
Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Are there any owners of this or other similar (Sakar 952AF, Soligor DG-420 Z) 3rd party PTTL flashguns?
I'm considering to buy this one:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200080422223

to use with K10D. Did anyone tried it? I looked through some old threads about these units but there are more questions then answers.

Thanks,

Vlad
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Kitanis Forum Member • Posts: 87
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

I am still doing experiments with mine.. but both my K100D and My K10D have operated with it with no ill effects.. but it is Not a P-TTL flash.

From what I understand, the Soligar 420Z for Pentax From Factory is a P-TTL flash.. but I do not have a example to play with.
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Guy Ashkenazi New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

I recently bought this flash unit (Digital Concepts 952AF/PEN), and it works well with my K100D. It is P-TTL, judging by the ability to see the pre-flash in the viewfinder before the mirror rises. It works well as long as the flash is strong enough to produce a good exposure, but underexposes more than needed when flash intensity is less then optimal. I compared the P-TTL result against a manual 1/1 charge over a range of apertures. As long as the full charge manual shots are overexposed, the P-TTL produces consistently good exposures. But when I close the aperture to a point where the manual full charge is exposed correctly, the P-TTL underexposes. For some reason, the P-TTL doesn't deliver a full charge. This is not a big problem, because if the shot is underexposed, you can safely turn the flash to manual mode (a single push of a button), without fear of overexposing.

The unit has a switch for first curtain / second curtain sync, so you can use slow sync flash. It does not support high sync flash. Curiously, when the flash is set to first curtain sync, the flash icon in the viewfinder stays lit even if the flash is not ready, causing me to sometimes shoot before the flash is charged. This does not happen in second curtain sync mode - the flash icon blinks while the flash is charging.
The unit supports the anti-red-eye pre flash, if this mode is set by the camera.

The 270 degree swivel and 90 degree bounce are very good - you can bounce directly up off the ceiling even if you point your camera at an angle downward.

The built-in diffuser and reflector plate are very handy and improve picture quality.

It can be used in principle as a wireless slave, but not with the built in camera flash - it fires on the built-in flash's pre-flash. If you have another non-P-TTL flash unit, you can use it as a master to trigger the slave.

The manual says it should produce only 80 flashes on a set of fresh alkaline batteries. I used a set of 2000mAh NiMH, shot 250 flash pictures, and they are still going strong.

Overall, I'm very happy with this unit, even though it has a few quirks, mentioned above. Looking at the specs, I believe it is identical to the Soligor DG-420 Z mentioned above.

Bob the Printer Veteran Member • Posts: 3,034
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Guy Ashkenazi wrote:

For some reason, the P-TTL doesn't deliver a full charge. This is

If you think about it for a few seconds, you'll understand that NO P-TTL flash will 'deliver' a 'full charge'... The pre-flash uses a portion (even if it is rather small) of the capacity..

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Have a Safe and Happy 2007!

Bob the Printer

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Thanks for taking the time to test that flash., Good to know that not only Soligor but also the other "brands" have P-TTL now.

Do you see anything on the flash that indicates that this is one of the newer P-TTL flashes?
A serial number maybe?

But when I close the aperture to a point where the
manual full charge is exposed correctly, the P-TTL underexposes.
For some reason, the P-TTL doesn't deliver a full charge.

I can't be totally sure, but I think other flashes show this, too, but maybe not as drastic.

Curiously, when the flash is set to first curtain sync, the flash
icon in the viewfinder stays lit even if the flash is not ready,
causing me to sometimes shoot before the flash is charged.

Did you set your camera to "allow shot when flash not charged"?

The manual says it should produce only 80 flashes on a set of fresh
alkaline batteries. I used a set of 2000mAh NiMH, shot 250 flash
pictures, and they are still going strong.

That number usually refers to shots at full power. Also, modern NiMH batteries deliver more flashes than alkaline batteries.

quirks, mentioned above. Looking at the specs, I believe it is
identical to the Soligor DG-420 Z mentioned above.

Indeed.

Cheers
Jens

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Guy Ashkenazi New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

If you think about it for a few seconds, you'll understand that NO
P-TTL flash will 'deliver' a 'full charge'... The pre-flash uses a
portion (even if it is rather small) of the capacity..

That's true, but once the optimal exposure level at full charge had been reached, the P-TTL under exposes by 1 EV - it gives the same result as the manual at 1/2 setting.

I wonder if this is the flash's fault, or is it the body which never asks for a full charge? Does this also happen with the Pentax flashes?

Guy Ashkenazi New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

JensR wrote:

Do you see anything on the flash that indicates that this is one of
the newer P-TTL flashes?
A serial number maybe?

Nothing on the body of the flash or in the instructions to indicate that. The instruction sheet is the same for all versions of the flash (PEN/NIK/OLY...), and uses the generic term "TTL" for its auto mode.

But when I close the aperture to a point where the
manual full charge is exposed correctly, the P-TTL underexposes.
For some reason, the P-TTL doesn't deliver a full charge.

I can't be totally sure, but I think other flashes show this, too,
but maybe not as drastic.

When it under exposes, the P-TTL shot has the same amount of light as a manual at 1/2 power, judging by the histogram. Do you have a Pentax flash? I want to know if this is the flash's fault or is it the body.

Curiously, when the flash is set to first curtain sync, the flash
icon in the viewfinder stays lit even if the flash is not ready,
causing me to sometimes shoot before the flash is charged.

Did you set your camera to "allow shot when flash not charged"?

Yes. As I stated, it only happens in first curtain sync, and not in second curtain sync. I e-mailed Sakar about this, and let you know when I get an answer.

Pete Dee Veteran Member • Posts: 3,759
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Looks to be a cheap copy of the cheap Sigma DG500 Super, whcih is a cheap copy of the 360/540-FGZ
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JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

When it under exposes, the P-TTL shot has the same amount of light
as a manual at 1/2 power, judging by the histogram.

Wow, that's quite much, I think.

Do you have a Pentax flash?

No, I have no P-TTL, except the one in my DS. I could try to do some tests...

I want to know if this is the flash's fault or is it the body.

Well, it's a rather cheap flash, so maybe they took some engineering short-cut? I don't know, though.

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JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Looks to be a cheap copy of the cheap Sigma DG500 Super, whcih is a
cheap copy of the 360/540-FGZ

You seem to use a rather peculiar definition of "copy".

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Pete Dee Veteran Member • Posts: 3,759
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

And your point would be?
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Guy Ashkenazi New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

JensR wrote:

Looks to be a cheap copy of the cheap Sigma DG500 Super, whcih is a
cheap copy of the 360/540-FGZ

You seem to use a rather peculiar definition of "copy".

I think his logic is: "the 360/540-FGZ is a flash, and it fits Pentax cameras, therefore all flashes that fit Pentax cameras are considered a copy (so what if the Sigma has features not in the 360/540-FGZ, like multi-exposure strobe - don't confuse me with facts!)".

As for his repetitive use of the word "cheap", I guess he means: "I wish I hadn't spent an outrageous amount of money on my Pentax flashes, when all these companies are coming out now with decent flashes at a reasonable price..."

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

And your point would be?

I'm quite sure you know. But I'm happy to spell it out for you

All three flashes are rather different. Calling them a "copy" is factually wrong. Also, calling them "cheap" in the way you did is putting them down for no real reason, as each flash caters for different needs, at a different price point.

Believe it or not, there are people out there for whom a basic P-TTL flash is just what they wanted.

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awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

And don't forget your all using cheap copies of copies of copies etc of the magnificent

Asahiflex I

o o
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(unknown member) Regular Member • Posts: 249
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Would anyone please let me know where I could get Soligor 420z in the U.S.??? I couldn't find it on ebay or froogle.

Thank you very much.

Kitanis wrote:

I am still doing experiments with mine.. but both my K100D and My
K10D have operated with it with no ill effects.. but it is Not a
P-TTL flash.

From what I understand, the Soligar 420Z for Pentax From Factory is
a P-TTL flash.. but I do not have a example to play with.
--
Kitanis, returning to photography

OP vlad736 New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

Thanks for the report. After reading it I decided to order this flash from eBay and received it just a few days latter. I can confirm most of your findings though I didn't experiment with flash power in Manual vs. P-TTL mode. The flash works fine with K10D and with *istDS. It's definitely P-TTL - 2 sec. delay mode exposes pre-flash clearly. K10D settings for front and rear curtain sync mode don't work - you need to use switch on the flash body instead. I have same issue with flash indicator when sync is set to front curtain. The high-pitch noise during flash charging is a bit lauder then I expected but not that bad. I don't have any other external flashes, it would be interesting to compare with the sound of other brands.

I think this flash is well worth its money, so if one can live without wireless mode or high speed sync then it's a good choice.

Vlad
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Pete Dee Veteran Member • Posts: 3,759
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

I think that my logic is that the K10D really should have a good flash attached, the 540 and 360 are about as good as it gets and everything else is less. Bit like buying lenses, I have a 18-55 but it is not as good as my 16-45 but is better than my Sigma 18-50 in several key areas, same goes for the cheaper flashes.

I have a Sigma DG 500 Super and it is pretty good but I have ordered a 360 because some things just do not work as well as the real thing.

Cheers.

Pete
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JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

I think that my logic is that the K10D really should have a good
flash attached, the 540 and 360 are about as good as it gets and
everything else is less.

Some people may be happy with a basic flash. There's little point in spending hundreds of bucks, if all you need is a bounce flash for the annual Thanksgiving family shot.

Of course a 540 at 360 Euros is "better" than a Soligor/Digital Concept flash at 100 Euros, but some people might even be happy with a used 20 Euro Braun flash.

Bit like buying lenses, I have a 18-55 but
it is not as good as my 16-45 but is better than my Sigma 18-50 in
several key areas,

You have three lenses covering that focal range?!

I have a Sigma DG 500 Super and it is pretty good but I have
ordered a 360

...without swivel...

because some things just do not work as well as the
real thing.

We'll be looking forward to your post describing the differences in performance of those two flashes. (No Sarcasm intended.)

Jens

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'Well, 'Zooming with your feet' is usually a stupid thing as zoom rings are designed for hands.' (Me, 2006)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

Pete Dee Veteran Member • Posts: 3,759
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

JensR wrote:

I think that my logic is that the K10D really should have a good
flash attached, the 540 and 360 are about as good as it gets and
everything else is less.

Some people may be happy with a basic flash. There's little point
in spending hundreds of bucks, if all you need is a bounce flash
for the annual Thanksgiving family shot.
Of course a 540 at 360 Euros is "better" than a Soligor/Digital
Concept flash at 100 Euros, but some people might even be happy
with a used 20 Euro Braun flash.

Bit like buying lenses, I have a 18-55 but
it is not as good as my 16-45 but is better than my Sigma 18-50 in
several key areas,

You have three lenses covering that focal range?!

Yes.

I have a Sigma DG 500 Super and it is pretty good but I have
ordered a 360

...without swivel...

Yes, something I rarely use, I find a StoFen diffuser does all I need.

because some things just do not work as well as the
real thing.

We'll be looking forward to your post describing the differences in
performance of those two flashes. (No Sarcasm intended.)

Wireless is the driver here and dual flash for macro work.

Jens

-- hide signature --

'Well, 'Zooming with your feet' is usually a stupid thing as zoom
rings are designed for hands.' (Me, 2006)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

 Pete Dee's gear list:Pete Dee's gear list
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Guy Ashkenazi New Member • Posts: 7
Re: Digital Concepts PTTL flash and K10D?

I'm happy I could help.

One more thing I found out, which is worth knowing - While the first curtain sync allows shutter speeds up to 1/180, the second curtain setting only goes up to 1/90. This means that when you use it as a fill flash, you better put it on first curtain setting.

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