ASAHI Pentax ESII flash

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by J, Oct 15, 2004.

  1. J

    J Guest

    I just received a Pentax ESII and need a flash but I am very new to
    the photography game and am not sure what to get. Are the flash units
    standard or do I have to get a unit that is made especially for an
    ESII or at least a Pentax? This is an older camera so I hope these
    things are standard.

    Any help is appreciated.
    J, Oct 15, 2004
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  2. J

    me Guest

    Your camera can take any brand of non-dedicated flash. Typically the flash
    is mounted in the hot shoe on top of the camera but could also be used with
    what is known as a PC cord for off camera flash. Look here:

    Or here: & Slave Flash&feature3=Shoe Mount&sf=Price

    The main factor affecting flash prices is guide number. The higher the
    guide number the more powerful the flash and the further the distance to the
    subject can be from the flash.

    Look here for a manual for your camera:

    Another manual:
    me, Oct 15, 2004
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  3. J

    Guest Guest

    Take a look at the Vivitar 16A Automatic Flash (shown in the B&H list).
    Looking at the product photo, I can see it has 'manual' mode (full power all
    the time), where you have to set the lens aperture according to distance
    from the flash. It also has two 'auto' modes that extinguish the light at
    less than full power according to how close and reflective the subject is;
    that lets you set the lens aperture and forget it (to some extent). Some of
    the other flashes there may offer this but I couldn't tell from the photos.
    It's really cheap and it should be fine for average photography.
    Guest, Oct 15, 2004
  4. J

    Guest Guest

    How to use guide number. Suppose guide number is 50 ft @ 100 iso. How
    to set f/stop? Calculate 50/(distance to subject) = (f stop to set on lens
    if using 100 speed film). Suppose distance is 10 feet: Set f/5 on the
    lens. 20 feet? f/2.5. If you have 400 film on the other hand, four times
    as fast, the effective guide number is 100. (50 x sqrt(4)=100). So at 10
    feet, set f/10 on the lens for 400 film.

    You don't have to do this in your head; the flash has a slide rule on the
    back that gives you a chart to read.

    The 'auto' function allows you to set a single f/stop instead of fiddling
    with it every time you change positions. The f/stop you should set is also
    shown on the slide rule on the back of the flash.

    Don't forget to set the camera at 1/60 or slower. (Is there a way to
    manually set the ESII to slower speeds than 1/60? Couldn't see it from the
    manual). Slower speeds helps build more ambient light in dim surroundings,
    like indoors at night. Try 1/30 or even 1/15 with dim ambient light.
    Guest, Oct 16, 2004
  5. Any flash will work

    But beware of older (pre-1985 or so) flashes which can have a high
    contact voltage capable of "frying" the circuits of electronic cameras.

    This may or may not be an issue for the ESII, but keep it in mind.
    Chris Loffredo, Oct 16, 2004
  6. J

    Bandicoot Guest

    The ESII is a _lot_ older than 1985... And a good solid camera.

    Bandicoot, Oct 17, 2004
  7. I'm certainly not putting the ESII down (I have an ES myself!)
    It has nothing to do solidity, but with how the camera activates the
    flash. If it uses a purely machanical contact (like, say, the
    Spotmatics), there is no problem. If it uses elctronic circuits for
    activation, well I'll just say that I measured over 300 volts across the
    contacts of my old Metz 45CT1 flash...
    Not all old flashes had such high voltages, but many did (notoriously
    Metz and Vivitar).

    Chris Loffredo, Oct 17, 2004
  8. J

    Bandicoot Guest

    I wasn't arguing with that, just noting that your stricture was stated to
    relate to post '85 cameras - which the ESII ain't. The contacts on it
    should be fine, though.

    Bandicoot, Oct 18, 2004
  9. J

    me Guest

    Hi Chris,
    After reading what you said about the Metz I decided to see what I could
    find out about flash trigger voltages and what the potential was is damage.
    The result is a post I just made titled "Your flash can damage your camera".
    I think this is important to anyone who uses a flash that isn't recommended
    by the camera manufacturer. Thank you for tweaking my curiosity.
    me, Oct 18, 2004
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