Help picking out a Flash for Pentax???

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by Pat Kopf, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Pat Kopf

    Pat Kopf Guest

    Aloha,
    My wife is currently a photography student and I would like to
    buy her a flash for her Pentax ZX SLR for x-mas. She wants to get
    into portraits and wedding photography, but also likes doing nature
    shots as well. She was told at school (either by teachers or fellow
    classmates) that Vivitar flashes offer a good bang for the buck. Upon
    looking into Vivitars, I found that there are several models that
    would work with her camera. They all pretty much look the same to me.
    Can someone please take the time to explain what the diference is
    between them? What features should I be looking for? What makes one
    better than another? Should I be considering another brand other than
    Vivitar? I was considering the 730AF because it has a head that
    swivels. Thanks in advance for any and all info.

    Pat
     
    Pat Kopf, Oct 22, 2003
    #1
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  2. Pat Kopf

    Ron Todd Guest

    You might want to look at the Pentax AF330FTZ while your shopping.



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    Ron Todd, Oct 23, 2003
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  3. Pat Kopf

    Pat Kopf Guest

    Is there a significant advantage that this flash has over the Vivitar
    flashes that I've been looking at? It costs about double the price.
     
    Pat Kopf, Oct 23, 2003
    #3
  4. Pat Kopf

    ROBMURR Guest

    The Vivitar 283 has been the standard
    for about 20 years. Cheap reliable and
    powerful.
     
    ROBMURR, Oct 23, 2003
    #4
  5. Pat Kopf

    Ron Todd Guest

    (1) It is designed by the manufacture to work with the camera.

    (2) In truth, most likely no.

    It has features that integrate it with the camera and maximize
    convienience and such, but IMHO, they are not significant. OTOH, some
    folks consider every little nuance added to modern cameras
    significant, it is one of those decisions that you have to make
    yourself.



    Best Regards.

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    For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
     
    Ron Todd, Oct 23, 2003
    #5
  6. Pat Kopf

    Ron Todd Guest

    Yes, a very good flash unit.

    I also have one of these and I am pleased with it.

    If you want to compare them I would say that with the 283 you have to
    think and do it yourself, while the 330 is mount it on the ZX and just
    shoot. I guess one could say the 330 on the ZX, all set to auto,
    makes it a big point & shoot. :)





    Best Regards.

    *****************************************
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    Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
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    Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
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    Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

    For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
     
    Ron Todd, Oct 23, 2003
    #6
  7. Pat Kopf

    Pat Kopf Guest

    Would someone be able to tell me the difference between this unit
    (283) and the 730AF? I see that the 283 is labelled 'Professional' on
    Vivitar's web site, but what exactly makes it professional or better
    than the 730AF? There's not that much difference in price between the
    two, but the 730AF has a swivel head. I believe there is only a 5 pt
    difference in the guide number. Is that significant? Also the 283
    has the thyristor(?) circuitry for faster recharge times. How much
    faster does this make it? I hope I don't sound like an idiot. Like I
    said, this is a gift and I know very little about flashes. Thanks
    again.

    Pat
     
    Pat Kopf, Oct 23, 2003
    #7
  8. Pat Kopf

    ROBMURR Guest

    Would someone be able to tell me the difference between this unit
    Not sure why they label the 283 is labeled that way but probably
    90 percent of pros own one or have owned one. Any modern flash
    made in the last 20 years has thyristor circuitry, dont worry about
    that. The 283 can be used in manual mode or several auto modes
    I suppose the 730af may be TTL(thru the lens metering for flash)
    which is a good thing too. I really like the bounce feature to bounce
    the light off a ceiling for much more natural pictures.
     
    ROBMURR, Oct 24, 2003
    #8
  9. Pat Kopf

    Ron Todd Guest

    Reading the 730AF page, I interpret it as working off the Through The
    Lens (TTL) circuitry of the ZX. This means it calculates the length
    of the light burst by the amount of the light recieved through the ZX
    lens rather thatn hitting the on flash sensor as on the 283.

    It looks like the 730AF also has the on flash focus assist light.

    Thes functions are what the AF330FTZ provides. The Pentax unit also
    provides trailing curtain synchromization. (You can google groups
    that one if your interested.)


    "Professional" is a marketing term that should always be ignored,
    unless you know somthing that would give you a good reason not to
    ignore it.

    The swivel head can be handy. The 5 points, IMHO, is not significant.
    Don't have the foggiest. You would have to do an A:B comparison.

    How fast a recycle time do you really need? Myself, I'm just amazed
    at how fast the modern low end units recycle compare with chaning a
    flash bulb.
    No problem. If you don't as questions, how will you learn.

    After reading the specs, and seeing the price, I would probably take a
    strong list at the 730AF if I was buying a flash for my ZX to day.

    ..



    Best Regards.

    *****************************************
    Boycott list:

    Belgium, France, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, PRC, Iran, Syria,
    Hollywood, San Francisco, Massachusetts, New York City, Sierra Club, ACLU,
    Movies of the first blacklist, Turner, Madonna, S. Crowe, Dixie Chicks, Cher, U2, rapp,
    Trudeau, W.Miller, Disney, ABC news, CBS news, NBC news, CNN, PBS, B&H Photo Video, Heinz
    Foods,

    Sometimes the only influence you have is to say, "No, I'm not buying."

    For those who are unclear about the situation, California is the Clinton - Davis model for the rest of the United States of America.
     
    Ron Todd, Oct 25, 2003
    #9
  10. Pat Kopf

    Bandicoot Guest

    The Pentax unit also has the wireless off camera option - not sure if the
    Vivitar does that - nor how much that will matter: depends on how you see it
    being used.

    [SNIP]
    Unless you want the extra features of the AF330FTZ, I'd probably go with the
    Viv. 730AF. The 283 is a great flash (I have about four of them) but isn't
    TTL: that makes it good for someone who is using it with a variety of
    different cameras at different times, and it is a robust design for which
    there are quite a lot of accessories. For the use suggested, I think giving
    up TTL control for the sake only (really) of the fact that the 283 is a very
    old design that is proven in heavier use than an amateur is ever going to
    give a flash would be a bad trade.



    Peter
     
    Bandicoot, Oct 25, 2003
    #10
  11. I strongly recommend the Sigma EF-500 ST for Pentax. It's built more
    solid than Pentax's own dedicated TTLs, and works like a charm on my
    MZ-5n. I bought a second for backup, I was so impressed with the
    first. (I shoot weddings...) It has a powered zoom too... Got them
    for $100 Canadian on Ebay.


    jim h


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.jamesphotography.ca

    More than photographs: free downloads, prizes, a bit of humour...
     
    Jim Hutchison, Oct 29, 2003
    #11
  12. Pat Kopf

    Pat Kopf Guest

    I have one final question. This flash will be bracket mounted, not
    mounted directly onto the camera body. Upon further investigation
    into the Vivitar 730AF, it appears that I would have to buy an
    additional 3 pieces of equipment totaling $80 to use it on a bracket:
    hot shoe adapter Fg, off camera shoe adapter F, and one of two
    extension cords. Since this more than doubles the cost of the flash I
    was wondering if the same or similar accessories are necessary to use
    the Vivitar 283 bracket mounted on a Pentax ZX? Thanks again.

    Pat
     
    Pat Kopf, Oct 30, 2003
    #12
  13. You'll only need the off-shoe adapter - it has an integrated
    hot-shoe adapter and thyristor plug. Works great.


    jim h


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    http://www.jamesphotography.ca

    More than photographs: free downloads, prizes, a bit of humour...
     
    Jim Hutchison, Oct 31, 2003
    #13
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