A little disapointed...

Started Dec 30, 2007 | Discussions
Gian Luca Patriarca Contributing Member • Posts: 840
A little disapointed...

I became a pentaxian recently and after first impressions I must admit that I like the K10D and even more the DA*50-135/f2.8
The DA16-45/f4 is ok and the SMC-M 50/f1.7 is a very good lens, very sharp.

However, I came from Nikon and despite using the Metz 58-F1 (that is supposed to be a little better than the pentax 540) I´m very disapointed with the flash system performance in PTTL when comparing it to Nikon one. I´ll have to work hard to get good and consistent results. Sometimes the flash is unpredictable and will underexpose or overexpose in the same situation.

I said that I loved the DA*, but to be honest the weight butters me a little and the set will draw some atention in the street and I don´t like that. So I ebayed it and in a couple of hours it will be sold and replaced by a FA prime. Probably the 77.

So I ebayed also the K10D and the 16-45 but I´m not shure if I´ll sell them. In case I´ll do, I´ll go back to Nikon and will sell the Metz and the 50/f1.7

If not, I guess I´ll try Pentax a little longer, buy the prime and get deep in this flash issue to see if I can understand how to get it close to Nikon performance.

I´m reluctant to leave pentax because of the pancakes, but as I take 70% of shots indoors, the flash system must be the best I can get (within my range of course).
I´ll see what happens, but tonight I´ll decide.

Thank you for reading

Alfisti Veteran Member • Posts: 6,649
Pentax is the last place to come for flash

a lityany of posts about problems with flash, stay with Nikon for that certainly.

Gian Luca Patriarca wrote:

I became a pentaxian recently and after first impressions I must
admit that I like the K10D and even more the DA*50-135/f2.8
The DA16-45/f4 is ok and the SMC-M 50/f1.7 is a very good lens, very
sharp.
However, I came from Nikon and despite using the Metz 58-F1 (that is
supposed to be a little better than the pentax 540) I´m very
disapointed with the flash system performance in PTTL when comparing
it to Nikon one. I´ll have to work hard to get good and consistent
results. Sometimes the flash is unpredictable and will underexpose or
overexpose in the same situation.
I said that I loved the DA*, but to be honest the weight butters me a
little and the set will draw some atention in the street and I don´t
like that. So I ebayed it and in a couple of hours it will be sold
and replaced by a FA prime. Probably the 77.
So I ebayed also the K10D and the 16-45 but I´m not shure if I´ll
sell them. In case I´ll do, I´ll go back to Nikon and will sell the
Metz and the 50/f1.7
If not, I guess I´ll try Pentax a little longer, buy the prime and
get deep in this flash issue to see if I can understand how to get it
close to Nikon performance.
I´m reluctant to leave pentax because of the pancakes, but as I take
70% of shots indoors, the flash system must be the best I can get
(within my range of course).
I´ll see what happens, but tonight I´ll decide.

Thank you for reading

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Updated November 2007

Rick104 Regular Member • Posts: 240
Re: Pentax is the last place to come for flash

Gian Luca Patriarca, Hi

look there is one Solution. use manual and the computer on the flash...
LIKE THE OLD DAYS....LOL

I have the new METZ 45 Digital it has a lot of features, HSS etc,,, none of it works with the Pentax... with the C&N no problem...

Cheers
Rick
--
Know The Truth, and The Truth will Set You Free!

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,950
Don't understand...

Hi Gian Luca!

Well, you've been back and forth between Nikon and Pentax for quite some time now. Do you still want to become a pro? What is your intended/expected field of income? Indoor shots with flash? Outdoor sports? Street photography? Each may have its own answer.

So I ebayed it and in a couple of hours it will be sold
and replaced by a FA prime. Probably the 77.
So I ebayed also the K10D and the 16-45

So you bought a new lens eventhough you are trying to sell the body?

  1. scratches head#

If not, I guess I´ll try Pentax a little longer, buy the prime and
get deep in this flash issue to see if I can understand how to get it
close to Nikon performance.

Wouldn't this have been the thing to do before selling (or trying to sell) it?

I´ll see what happens, but tonight I´ll decide.

Really?
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=25960262

I am a bit confused. You left the company that perhaps has the best flash system in the industry (Nikon) to Pentax eventhough you use flash often. You say you like street photography but bought a heavy&large HQ zoom. To me it seems as if you don't know which direction you are heading, but instead of thinking and making work what you have, you keep trying new stuff that only gets you more confused.
Or maybe I'm the only confused one here.

I don't know what exactly you shoot (I don't remember a photo thread by you?), but maybe using a flash on "auto", not relying on P-TTL would help you?

Good luck
Jens

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Rupert60 Forum Pro • Posts: 12,731
Me too....

I am also confused. Why is it a problem to use Nikon if you are a flash shooter and they have the best flash? Are you afraid someone here will put you on a "hit list"? Roger got himself a nice Canon outfit to suit his needs and last I heard he is still alive and well. We are mostly adults here, aren't we.........?
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Michelle Knight Contributing Member • Posts: 635
Re: A little disapointed...

Hi Gian,

Pentax and flash have certainly taken me a lot of working out. I've tried various bits and pieces but eventually I'll be aquiring a 540 next year. For most on camera flash situations, I'm using the camera in P mode, with a 360 on top. The 360 is fitted with a difuser and is angled at 45 degrees and set to +1. That seems to work well enough for what I'm using it for. Try that and see what happens ... but I wouldn't trust a non-Pentax flash to work well with the K10 ... don't ask me why, I just haven't had good results ... but I'm someone who can turn a sure fire in to a complete failure I'm just like that!

With indoor off-camera flash with multiple strobes, it is definatley a case of taking the whole thing manual and using a flash triggered light meter, IMHO.

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OP Gian Luca Patriarca Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: Me too....

well,

Indeed, it might be confusing. The first problem is that in my country try to rent a Pentax system... hell, try to rent any system. Good luck:(
Even if you find a place prices are absolutely prohibitive.

So, reading is always nice, but until you try a system, you can read all you want and it turns out to be a unique experience to each individual. For good or bad.
Why did I came Pentax? The primes of course. I just love primes.

Why did I went for the set I have instead of primes? Because not having any glass for Pentax I decided to cover most focal length I could and then go for the primes I wanted for particular matters. Also because, for portraits the DA* bookeh was rated as good as primes like the 77

Never thought the DA* was so "imposing". I shoot mostly portraits and candids but ocasionaly like landscapes and just shooting outside (for a change)

Some talked trash about Pentax system flash, others swear it was almost equal to Nikon. How could I know which was thruth until I tried it for myself?

Now, I could try and walk around the system flash to get the best out of it... but really, why should I, if I just could get fantastic results without almost any effort?
So, I decided to ebay my gear.

I know that the DA* will be sold, but not the rest. So, of course, I couldn´t change to Nikon with Pentax in my hands. In this case I would keep Pentax and get the prime. If I would sell all Pentax gear, then I could consider Nikon again.
Does it makes more sense now?

I´m not perfect, I´m not saying that if I knew what I know now I would do the same. But understand that without trying, without renting, without experience with some systems, one can´t guess what is true or not without trying.

Finally, I never posted any shots... yet, because I was trying my equipment and getting familliar with it and I don´t want to post experience fotos that wouldn´t care to anybody. But I will if I keep being a pentaxian.

Finally, I want to become a pro in 6 to 7 years... so I have some time to improve, get a system that I feel confortable with and gain lots of experience. I´m just at at the beginning and so I´m trying diferent thinghs in several matters. In September I´ll start a 4 years course and let´s see how thinghs will roll in the future.
Anyway, thanks for listening and pointing my mistakes. I always learn from them.

Lacerta
Lacerta Contributing Member • Posts: 713
Re: Me too....

Good luck, whatever you choose, Pentax or Nikon.
If you decide to sell your Metz let me know.

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JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,950
Re: Me too....

Hi Gian Luca!

Indeed, it might be confusing. The first problem is that in my
country try to rent a Pentax system... hell, try to rent any system.

Well, renting is only economically sensible for some situations. And learning a system might not be one of those...

Many people here had to adjust when they started with pentax dSLRs. I don't really know your background, but I assume you need more than a few days to learn a system and so renting is maybe not ideal.

Why did I came Pentax? The primes of course. I just love primes.

But Nikon has some nice ones, too. True, no pancakes, but seeing that you ordered the 77 and not the 70, maybe you could have lived with the Nikon AF Nikkor 85 mm 1:1,8D or Nikon AF Nikkor 85 mm 1:1,4D, too?

Why did I went for the set I have instead of primes? Because not
having any glass for Pentax I decided to cover most focal length I
could and then go for the primes I wanted for particular matters.

That's not a bad plan.

Some talked trash about Pentax system flash, others swear it was
almost equal to Nikon. How could I know which was thruth until I
tried it for myself?

Yes, it gets hard to read the truth between haters and lovers. Both give bad advice.

I know that the DA* will be sold, but not the rest. So, of course, I
couldn´t change to Nikon with Pentax in my hands. In this case I
would keep Pentax and get the prime. If I would sell all Pentax gear,
then I could consider Nikon again.
Does it makes more sense now?

It seems you make the decision of your gear dependent on whether the body sells foir the buy-it-now or reserve price you used.

I am not sure if that is sensible, but neither do I have some smart recommendation for you.

Finally, I never posted any shots... yet, because I was trying my
equipment and getting familliar with it and I don´t want to post
experience fotos that wouldn´t care to anybody.

Well, they would certainly help us in helping you: Is it the gear, is it the conditions or is it you? You've had at least two dSLRs for several weeks combined, you must have something to share, I had assumed. maybe you fear that you get a bunch of "You can't use your gear posts.", but without sample shots, it is really kind of hard to know what happens.

Cheers
Jens

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My Homepage: http://www.JensRoesner.de

Martin Ocando
MOD Martin Ocando Veteran Member • Posts: 6,281
Re: Me too....

You definitively seem a bit confused, Gian Luca. If you want to become a pro in 6 or 7 years, you have no idea what can Pentax come up with in flash systems in 6 or 7 years. You should be learning the internals of manual photography, spot metering, manual flash, etc. You should learn to grow up with your equipment and make your base, know your system, learn how to use it in every occasion and to improvise when things get rough. If you keep jumping from one system to another, you'll never get really acquainted with your gear.

If you are looking for a system that will take the pictures for you, you'll workout very hard to become a pro. A pro not only have good eye, but is technically expert in taking the pictures with the gear he have, even if he finds himself in the middle of nowhere with just a mechanical camera.

Galen Rowell the days he tested his new Nikon F4, a rhyno approached him and when he pressed the shutter release, the camera was out of juice. He never realized the F4 consumed so much battery than his old F3. So he used the Sunny 16 rule to take the picture in mechanical mode and no metering at all. Maybe not perfect, but he got it. This is a Pro at work. Or was, sadly.

If money is no object, Nikon and Canon are ahead of Pentax for a bunch, but you can't beat Pentax value for the money. The K10D body is the most advanced piece of equipment of ANY manufacturer at its price range. No questions asked here. You also say the DA* lenses are heavy, well try a "L" class glass in Canon or a top of the line AF-S from Nikon, not the cheaper ones, but the most expensive ones. You'll end up with similar performance, at almost the same weight and bulk, but at double the price.

Gian Luca Patriarca wrote:

well,

Indeed, it might be confusing. The first problem is that in my
country try to rent a Pentax system... hell, try to rent any system.
Good luck:(
Even if you find a place prices are absolutely prohibitive.
So, reading is always nice, but until you try a system, you can read
all you want and it turns out to be a unique experience to each
individual. For good or bad.
Why did I came Pentax? The primes of course. I just love primes.
Why did I went for the set I have instead of primes? Because not
having any glass for Pentax I decided to cover most focal length I
could and then go for the primes I wanted for particular matters.
Also because, for portraits the DA* bookeh was rated as good as
primes like the 77
Never thought the DA* was so "imposing". I shoot mostly portraits and
candids but ocasionaly like landscapes and just shooting outside (for
a change)
Some talked trash about Pentax system flash, others swear it was
almost equal to Nikon. How could I know which was thruth until I
tried it for myself?

Now, I could try and walk around the system flash to get the best out
of it... but really, why should I, if I just could get fantastic
results without almost any effort?
So, I decided to ebay my gear.
I know that the DA* will be sold, but not the rest. So, of course, I
couldn´t change to Nikon with Pentax in my hands. In this case I
would keep Pentax and get the prime. If I would sell all Pentax gear,
then I could consider Nikon again.
Does it makes more sense now?
I´m not perfect, I´m not saying that if I knew what I know now I
would do the same. But understand that without trying, without
renting, without experience with some systems, one can´t guess what
is true or not without trying.
Finally, I never posted any shots... yet, because I was trying my
equipment and getting familliar with it and I don´t want to post
experience fotos that wouldn´t care to anybody. But I will if I keep
being a pentaxian.
Finally, I want to become a pro in 6 to 7 years... so I have some
time to improve, get a system that I feel confortable with and gain
lots of experience. I´m just at at the beginning and so I´m trying
diferent thinghs in several matters. In September I´ll start a 4
years course and let´s see how thinghs will roll in the future.
Anyway, thanks for listening and pointing my mistakes. I always learn
from them.

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Martin Ocando

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OP Gian Luca Patriarca Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: Me too....

Thank you for your post. I apreciate your honest coments.

Just to clarify, maybe I used the wrong words (It´s my english) I haven´t ordered the 77 yet. I said that if I would keep Pentax, than I would do it.

I´m curious that you said the 77 is much heavier than the 70. I didn´t know that. I must look closely to those aspects. It would be stupid to get rid of the DA* to get almost the same lens in weight and lenght.

Maybe I must consider the 70 instead. I was considering the 77 for its better lowlight performance and so I wouldn´t use the flash as much (hopefully).

I wouldn´t change system only because I would sell my gear or not. If I had no system at all and the money in my hands I would go Nikon right away. But because my money is in Pentax gear I can´t change without selling. And of course I won´t sell if I´ll loose money.

Since I own a company, I usually buy without paying taxes, so when I sell I usually gain the same I spent. I can´t seem to sell the K10D or the 16-45 because people are offering those items at prices that I can´t understand how they do it. So, to loose money I won´t sell them.

I managed to sell the DA* because it seems that here prices are not that stupidly under value. This is fine because it was my first priority. Change the DA* for a long prime.

If I won´t sell the rest - I´ll know in 30 minutes;( I´ll keep Pentax and won´t look back again. I´ll learn the hard way to get the best out of what I have and that´s not a bad thingh. Sometimes it make us understand matters that we wouldn´t even consider if everything worked fine in automatic.

Still, after all this talk, I kust wanted to say again that, despites everything good about Pentax, I´m still a little desapointed with the flash system, when compared to Nikon.
With everything else I´m delighted!

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,950
Re: Me too....

haven´t ordered the 77 yet.

Oh, okay.

I´m curious that you said the 77 is much heavier than the 70.

I said that the 77 is no pancake.
77: 48 mm x 64 mm, 270 g
70: 26 mm x 63 mm, 130 g
DA* 50-135: 136 mm x 77 mm, 685 g

I
didn´t know that. I must look closely to those aspects. It would be
stupid to get rid of the DA* to get almost the same lens in weight
and lenght.

There's enough difference between a pancake and the DA* zoom: Not every lens bigger than a pancake is almost the size of the DA*

Maybe I must consider the 70 instead. I was considering the 77 for
its better lowlight performance and so I wouldn´t use the flash as
much (hopefully).

Whatever you do, take a moment to reflect on what you want/need/can afford.

I can´t seem to sell the K10D or the 16-45 because people
are offering those items at prices that I can´t understand how they do it.

who does what??

There are cheaper countries for digital cameras than Portugal (or Europe, for that matter). And secondly, maybe those other people are selling their used cameras and accept a loss in value?

I´ll learn the hard way to get the best
out of what I have and that´s not a bad thingh.

While each system is different and has different strengths, learning photography isn't much different: It always needs mind and soul to succeed.

Good luck
Jens

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My Homepage: http://www.JensRoesner.de

sooming Contributing Member • Posts: 599
Re: A little disapointed...

Dear Gian Luca,

P-TTL's weakness is a known problem. Since you're already familiar with Metz, try using the 54MZ3/4i with the SCA 3702M adaptor, and then set the flash to A mode, instead of using TTL. I have used this to great success and every shot becomes a lot more predictable. Metz is famed to have very accurate sensor, and with the adaptor, information such as focal length, ISO and aperture is transmitted into the flash.

Try this and you'll be a lot happier.

-- hide signature --
*isteve Veteran Member • Posts: 9,509
Re: A little disapointed...

You seem to have a real problem deciding if you like the gear or the photography. When you decide, perhaps you will be happy with your camera choice.

70% of your shots are indoors but you are selling the 50-135 (one of the best indoor gig and portrait lenses on the planet) because it looks too obvious on the street?

You think the 77 will replace it? Odd because I own both and the 50-135 gets a lot more use - even though I will never sell the 77 I do not consider the two to be equivalent in any way whatsoever. I like the 77 a lot for emotional reasons and for the odd special occasion but it is in no way a replacement.

Personally I've never seen an auto-flash shot that didnt look like a family snap, nor would I rate a flash system based entirely on its auto performance but rather on how easy it was to set up manually. Having said that it works extremely well for daylight fill, just not so well for indoor main-light unless you bounce it.

But frankly Nikon make some nice gear and lenses which are just as sharp and a flash system thats somewhat more foolproof. If you feel better served by Nikon gear you would be in good company. Apparently 50% of SLR buyers feel the same way.

Gian Luca Patriarca wrote:

I became a pentaxian recently and after first impressions I must
admit that I like the K10D and even more the DA*50-135/f2.8
The DA16-45/f4 is ok and the SMC-M 50/f1.7 is a very good lens, very
sharp.
However, I came from Nikon and despite using the Metz 58-F1 (that is
supposed to be a little better than the pentax 540) I´m very
disapointed with the flash system performance in PTTL when comparing
it to Nikon one. I´ll have to work hard to get good and consistent
results. Sometimes the flash is unpredictable and will underexpose or
overexpose in the same situation.
I said that I loved the DA*, but to be honest the weight butters me a
little and the set will draw some atention in the street and I don´t
like that. So I ebayed it and in a couple of hours it will be sold
and replaced by a FA prime. Probably the 77.
So I ebayed also the K10D and the 16-45 but I´m not shure if I´ll
sell them. In case I´ll do, I´ll go back to Nikon and will sell the
Metz and the 50/f1.7
If not, I guess I´ll try Pentax a little longer, buy the prime and
get deep in this flash issue to see if I can understand how to get it
close to Nikon performance.
I´m reluctant to leave pentax because of the pancakes, but as I take
70% of shots indoors, the flash system must be the best I can get
(within my range of course).
I´ll see what happens, but tonight I´ll decide.

Thank you for reading

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Steve
Pixel peepers miss the big picture.
http://www.pbase.com/steve_jacob

OzSavage Senior Member • Posts: 1,909
Re: A little disapointed...

Gian Luca Patriarca wrote:

However, I came from Nikon and despite using the Metz 58-F1 (that is
supposed to be a little better than the pentax 540) I´m very
disapointed with the flash system performance in PTTL when comparing
it to Nikon one.

I can appreciate that.

Nikon is recognised as having probably the best flash system.

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Dave Savage
GMT +8:00 hrs
http://flickr.com/photos/disavage/

OP Gian Luca Patriarca Contributing Member • Posts: 840
Re: A little disapointed...

Well I raved the 50-135 and never said it wasn´t a fantastic lens, especially for portraits. If it is one of the best lenses in the world for indoors... I really don´t know but that would mean that the tokina 50-135 is also one of the better lenses in the world since it is the same lens just don´t have the Pentax finish and waterproof and has a collar. Because of this it costs 350€ less than the Pentax version.

Certainly the 70-200/f2.8 for Nikon can also be considered one of the best in the world. Would I get it? No. Why? Weight. Same reason.

After shooting without a tripod for 2 hours I start feeling tired and uncofortable.

Does the 77 or 70 prime will be a direct substitute? No. But it will be lighter and for me that´s important at this stage. Also it will be a fantastic portrait lens, I suspect and that´s what I want also.

Do you have another suggestion for portraits indoors that are lighter than the 50-135 but with almost same qualities? If not, I´ll keep heading for the 77 since I won´t see, at the moment, a better solution for my needs.

Also to answer your statement. I´ve been reading a lot of books about this fine art, shooting, talking with folks that used to be pros etc...
I know that I have much to learn still but I´m improving day by day.

I´ll take a long course and will always look for more. This so that you understand how serious I am about photography.

Now, if I´m able to choose a system that suits me better because of a particular detail or issue I´ll do it once I have the possibility.

I didn´t marry to Nikon, Pentax or any other brand. So just because I made a initial moderate investment in one system doesn´t means that I´ll have to keep it. If there is a time to really think and consider if going forward or coming back is now when I don´t have thousands invested yet in a system.

Let me just say that I was abble to take a better bounce picture on the spot with a Nikon SB-400 flash that with my Metz with Pentax.
I´m sorry if this annoys you but that is saying a lot.

Why should I go manual or loose more time post processing to get the same result as a 110€ flash provided me in the past that wouldn´t even swivel?

As I´v said before, never thought that PTTL was so unpredictable compared to I-TTL no matter what flash one is using. For you it might not matter but for me it might be a decising factor. Am I right or wrong? Don´t know for sure (that´s how humble I am) but it feels right to me at this moment.

Am I opened to be enlighted? Of course. If I was one of those only going for what everybody else did I would not even consider Pentax in the first place. I would have gone with Nikon or Canon without even looking back.

So my point is that the subject I write about seems legitime to me,maybe not to you or others,still I have the power to decide and also wanted to right this down for others that will consider the flash system important and a deciding factor.

You might be happy with it because this is just my opinion but that for shure it isn´t the same as Nikon, besides when operated manually... I´m shure of it!

Thank you

nosnoop Senior Member • Posts: 1,694
Try this before writing off P-TTL

Use bounce flash - e.g. with Stofen Omnibounce or just bounce
Use Matrix metering

Use Selective AF point, select the focal point on your subject (instead of center focusing and recompose).
Go to Custom menu - choose "Link AE to AF"

Do a test shot, dial in any exposure compensation to your taste - shots afterwards should be consistent.

In addition, upgrade K10D firmware to 1.10+ (1.10 to 1.30) and try wireless flash. It can give you very nice results.

65tigershark Senior Member • Posts: 1,571
Re: Me too....

JensR wrote:

There are cheaper countries for digital cameras than Portugal (or
Europe, for that matter). And secondly, maybe those other people are
selling their used cameras and accept a loss in value?

Some people when they sell gear apply depreciation and the fact it is second hand, and as such end up with a lower resale value.

Whether it is considered selling at a loss or not then becomes an individual thing.

I doubt anyone would buy anything second hand for the same price of the same product new, I know I wouldn't. It's a different matter when the said secondhand items are no longer in production such as the older Pentax lenses, which then appreciate in value rather than depreciate.

Andrew

mutleybird Senior Member • Posts: 1,095
Why is the Nikon system better?

Gian Luca Patriarca wrote:

Some talked trash about Pentax system flash,
Now, I could try and walk around the system flash to get the best out
of it... but really, why should I, if I just could get fantastic
results without almost any effort?

Isn't it controlled by camera software? Why can't Pentax just design a better exposure algorithm for the flash metering so it will produce consistent results along the lines of why people say Nikon is "the best".

Pentax must realize how prevalent these comments are.

If the Metz can produce fantastic results being controlled by what the Nikon camera software tells it to do, and the same Metz flash is inconsistent because of what the Pentax camera software tells it to do, then just design better software for a firmware update.

SloPhoto Regular Member • Posts: 142
Re: Why is the Nikon system better?

Two Big Comments.

First-

I hope you know that the 50-135 is available for the Nikon under the Tokina brand.

Second-

I have struggled as well getting used to p-ttl. I cannot get it to fill flash in a back lit situation (but am proficient with manual flash in those situations, so it is ok as long as it is not a snapshot). As far as your inconsistent flash exposures,,, I have found that if you bounce it or diffuse it (I use a lightsphere), it becomes MUCH closer in exposure. If you shoot raw, you will get mostly keepers (as long as you do not mind modifying the exposure of every shot).

I actually sold my 50-135 as it was a tad big and was not up to the same image quality as my primes. I now use a 43mm almost exclusively.

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