Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

Started Aug 17, 2007 | Discussions
AstroShooter Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

Get a Nikon Sb-26!!

I got one for 60€ in very good status.

This is the flash prepared to be connected to my DS:

Nikon SB-26 + hot shoe PC sync adapter + PC male to male sync cable

The "thing" connected to my DS:

Test pics here: http://morenjavi.zenfolio.com/p828061607

This flash also has an (amazing) stroboscopic mode that can be used with the DS, but I have not a decent pic to publish. Of course, It is supposed to work also with any Pentax DSLR.

My initial plan was to use it exclusively off camera, but I put it on the hot shoe... and it worked very well!! I use it in automatic mode and the exposure is very accurate. I have also a AF280T, but I got more problems getting good exposures in TTL with this flash than with the Nikon in A mode. Also the Nikon is more powerful and much more advanced. I only need to set the ISO and the lens aperture, and it's done. The only disadvantage is that the camera has to be in M mode (also no EXIF info about the flash is saved). If you want to balance flash and ambient light you need to make a bit more calculations but it takes no more than 30 sec. Also, it helps you to think about how much flash and ambient light do you want instead of let the machine think for you.

Of course you don't have TTL or HSS but, with a little practice you can get good exposures... or you can spent +200€ and buy a fully automatic one.

Highly Recommended (just).

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Javier.

jackbw Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

The SB26 is an amazing flash. I also have one and a SB28, which is smaller and lighter so I sometimes mount it on my K10D. With the built-in slave trigger on the SB26 it is possible to use both flashes at the same time.

cseiler Regular Member • Posts: 375
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't you just attach it directly to the camera and it would work just as well? I thought the middle (trigger) contact is always the same.

Also since it does not supporrt TTL isn't it simmilar to any other flash which ic not specifically for Pentax?

doyle shafer Contributing Member • Posts: 710
Cant get my SB28 to trigger....

Congrats on your buy!

I have a K100D and a used SB28. I picked up one of those Ebay trigger/receiver combos. I attacted the trigger directly to the shoe mount and the connected the flash to the trigger via a cable.

When I hit the test button on the trigger the flash works. But when I push the shutter on the camera the flash doesnt work.

What settings should I put the camera on so it know there is a flash connected?
--
Doyle

muxis Regular Member • Posts: 389
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

I was thinking the same thing

Alternatively, isn't it much faster to just use the flash in M mode? All you have to do is dial up/down the EV, instead of putting aperture and ISO. I can usually get the exposure right after two shots. (6 sec!)
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igelfeld Senior Member • Posts: 1,337
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

How does it compare with Vivitar 285HV?

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Cheers,

Igelfeld

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jackbw Senior Member • Posts: 1,702
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

cseiler wrote:

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't you just attach it directly to
the camera and it would work just as well? I thought the middle
(trigger) contact is always the same.
Also since it does not supporrt TTL isn't it simmilar to any other
flash which ic not specifically for Pentax?

I've mounted both directly onto the hotshoe and it worked fine. I googled the trigger voltages first and found both flashes are below 6V and actually have lower voltage than some Pentax flashes. One time I took 400 flash shots with the SB28 mounted on my K10d. I won't recommend it because Pentax doesn't; I would use a SafeSync if only I could get hold of one. But it seems to work fine even without it.

Couple of shots I took using SB28 and SB26:

OP AstroShooter Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

cseiler wrote:

Sorry for my ignorance, but couldn't you just attach it directly to
the camera and it would work just as well? I thought the middle
(trigger) contact is always the same.

It is a very logical question! :). I didn't try because I was not 100% sure if it was safe for my DS. I have read now the other posts and it seems that there are other users that have attached it directly without problems.

Also since it does not supporrt TTL isn't it simmilar to any other
flash which ic not specifically for Pentax?

Yes, the "difference" is the amount of features that this flash have... and also he very good price.

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Javier.

OP AstroShooter Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

muxis wrote:

I was thinking the same thing

Did you try it ? I know that the voltage seems to be safe... but I didn't dare to do it !!

Alternatively, isn't it much faster to just use the flash in M mode?
All you have to do is dial up/down the EV, instead of putting
aperture and ISO. I can usually get the exposure right after two
shots. (6 sec!)

Maybe it's faster if you have to balance lights. But I have found that, if the flash is the main light just putting the ISO and aperture works fine too. Thanks for the suggestion. I just receive the flash a few days ago and I'm testing.

Regards,

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All you need in life is photoshop and photo mechanic.

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Javier.

OP AstroShooter Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

I wanted to buy this model first but then I found this other nice flash on eBay (and cheaper). They have the same GN. The difference is the amount of features. For example, the SB-26 has 7 levels of power and the Vivitar only 4. I think this is the most important difference. Also, the Nikon has a display where you can do all the calculations... if you need to do something. Also, the Nikon has a nice "device" for adding a catch light... You can download the manuals and compare.

Regards,

igelfeld wrote:

How does it compare with Vivitar 285HV?

-- hide signature --

Javier.

OP AstroShooter Contributing Member • Posts: 504
Re: Cant get my SB28 to trigger....

doyle shafer wrote:

Congrats on your buy!

I have a K100D and a used SB28. I picked up one of those Ebay
trigger/receiver combos. I attacted the trigger directly to the shoe
mount and the connected the flash to the trigger via a cable.

When I hit the test button on the trigger the flash works. But when
I push the shutter on the camera the flash doesnt work.

What settings should I put the camera on so it know there is a flash
connected?

I have a similar settings. My flash is triggered in any mode if the speed of the camera is 1/180s or lower. If I had time I'll send some pics of my setup this evening.

Regards,

-- hide signature --

Doyle

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Javier.

doyle shafer Contributing Member • Posts: 710
I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Doyle

BiscuitMonster Senior Member • Posts: 1,021
Agreed!

I have two - well actually an SB-24 & an SB-26, and both are excellent - and work really well in "A" mode when attached directly to the hot shoe. Most of the time I used them in "M" and off-camera, but the metering is not bad at all in auto.

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Ted Faust Regular Member • Posts: 183
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John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

AstroShooter wrote:

I wanted to buy this model first but then I found this other nice
flash on eBay (and cheaper). They have the same GN. The difference is
the amount of features. For example, the SB-26 has 7 levels of power
and the Vivitar only 4.

Erm... no. The Vivitar 285 has continuously adjustable output in both manual and auto modes. You can't get more flexible than that

One of the things I like most about the Vivitar is the ability even in auto mode to tweak the output if an exposure looks a little light or dark, or set any f-stop I want - even oddball ones - all with a single knob. It's deadly accurate and consistent too,

Lack of swivel in the head is its only limitation, other than that it's got to be one of the best non-dedicated flashguns of all time, if not the best.

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Alain Jeanson Forum Member • Posts: 71
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TwoUptons Senior Member • Posts: 1,155
Re: Cant get my SB28 to trigger....

Doyle,
Are you talking about one of the two-piece wireless trigger/receivers?

If so, isn't the plug on the trigger an "input", to connect to a PC socket from the camera rather than a hot shoe? You would need to connect the flash to the receiver part, put the transmitter on the camera and let it do its thing wirelessly.

If you're talking about a slave unit that works from the pulse from the built-in flash, it should fire the SB28, though it may fire with the P-TTL pre-flash, not the main flash.

If you are going to put the flash on camera, it should be fine with just going directly on the shoe. I use my SB22s like that all the time, and it works fine.

-Eric

doyle shafer wrote:

I have a K100D and a used SB28. I picked up one of those Ebay
trigger/receiver combos. I attacted the trigger directly to the shoe
mount and the connected the flash to the trigger via a cable.

When I hit the test button on the trigger the flash works. But when
I push the shutter on the camera the flash doesnt work.

What settings should I put the camera on so it know there is a flash
connected?
--
Doyle

josh_b Forum Member • Posts: 91
Re: Cant get my SB28 to trigger....

I apologies for my ignorance in these matters, but, I would like to get started in the world of flash. Are one of these ok for a noob? Alot of this stuff sounds pretty complicated regarding voltages and such. I have a k100d that I wouldn't want to fry. I would love to be able to take some low light action shots of bands.

I apologies if this is a highjack of the thread. I just would like to avoid spending $300 on a AF-360.

I think the only way I'm going to understand this stuff is to just jump in, but I don't want to break anything.

Thanks

trepid New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Do you want a cheap but pro flash for your Pentax?

John Bean (UK) wrote:

AstroShooter wrote:

I wanted to buy this model first but then I found this other nice
flash on eBay (and cheaper). They have the same GN. The difference is
the amount of features. For example, the SB-26 has 7 levels of power
and the Vivitar only 4.

Erm... no. The Vivitar 285 has continuously adjustable output in both
manual and auto modes. You can't get more flexible than that

I keep reading about the continuously adjustable power settings on the 285's. My new 285HV's only have the 4 advertised power settings. They click into notches at those points, and even setting it between notches doesn't seem to give a power output in between. Perhaps on the old 285's it was continuous, but on the new ones it doesn't seem to be. And the old ones would fry the 10D's hotshoe...

I've found references to people making their own, and swapping out the existing control, but I'm just wondering what the real deal is, and why it's written so frequently that they are continuously variable.

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