What if one hates AF540 flash

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by hin_man, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. I am a complete idiot with my AF540. I never like it and I never understand the P in the TTL. P stands for 'pathetic' in my dictionary as long as I remember how I use PTTL. It may be my copy of AF540 that acts up on me from time to time. The other day I ran into issue with not getting the PTTL mode but TTL, Auto and M modes. Every mode I could choose but not the stupid PTTL mode. I ran into this erroneous problem before if I was in the wireless setting but I was not. I ended up shooting completely in Auto mode and I found better pictures in Auto mode when compared to those in pathetic TTL mode. I always found myself underexposing and require +0.5 stop with the on-flash compensation with AF540. And the guide number on 540 is not a weak flash as far as I remember.
    I simply hate how the AF540 works. I wish my AF360 to have the swivel and a bit more power. I will sell my AF540 for $200 and I need a better flash than my AF360. Any kind souls to share with me what to go after. I researched on Metz 58 AF-2 but that seems too much for the price for me. I am more thinking of Metz 52 AF-1, anybody have experience with Metz 52 AF-1
  2. The new AF360 swivels...
    I hate P-TTL, too. If it drops into TTL, I usually just have to re-seat the flash in the shoe and/or restart it.
    I find the P-TTL is too sensitive to shiny things, making a very small reflection dominate the overall exposure. I like running in manual or Auto when I can.
  3. I hear that AF-2 is the one to get but the price has kept me away too. I got a much cheaper Sigma EF-530 DG Super (quite a name). It also has annoying controls and I'm not 100% confident with it but it tens to work well enough the majority of the time. P-TTL does seem to be hit and miss some days. One day I'll get that nice Metz.
  4. Use 2 or more AF360s? - Maybe in a wireless rig, the main handheld with an umbrella if needed? Or get some Inspiration from http://strobist.blogspot.de/ I didn't get a PTTL swivelhead flash. Manual mode with an old Metz 60CT4 works sufficiently for me when needed. - I shoot RAW and expect no perfect JPGs straight out of camera.
  5. That's why I use older Nikon flashes
    (SB26 and SB28) in Auto mode.
    Cheap, reliable, well built, no pre-flash
    to make your subjects blink. I see no
    advantage in P-TTL.
  6. Thank you for all the valuable inputs.
    I think Matthew is right on the suggestion of remounting in case I have lose connection leading to no pttl. I was scrambling with my friends waiting for a baby shower group photo and I totally felt like an idiot searching for the P (pathetic) TTL in the display of AF 540. That darns on me and only thing that I tried is turning off the camera (the reboot brain wash from the Windows era). Re-seating the flash should be the proper way to try.
    I do use two Nikon SB25 in manual mode and Auto mode is plenty to use with my pentax as well. I use PTTL for the quick moment that I want to focus on framing and I want the extra help from the bounced flash in helping an ambient light this is otherwise too dark needing iso above 800. That is not much to ask for the AF540. But honestly, it has failed me more so than a simple AF280. It is some bad luck and some from my ignorance with flash. Will do better in next shooting.
    Here is a shot of my Nikon SB25 used in manual mode with my Sony traveling camera with nex 5n
    My mom and brother
    ony NEX 5N, Kit Zoom, Wansen hot shoe, external flash with Nikon SB25 in manual mode
    I may venture to use more on manual flash to up my experience as I am currently too dependent on the convenience of Pathetic TTL.
  7. I had the Metz 52, it was great. On the not-so-often times I shoot with flash on my K-20D I go M with a wonderful old Sunpak. If my forthcoming K-3 is the real deal, then I'll get the Metz 58. PTTL sucks really (I've been spoiled by Canon's superior flash system) and will most likely use the thyristor.
  8. I have found that Sigma DG Super to work satisfactorily on my K-7. I too have had trouble with the Pentax branded flash and have found that removing it from the camera and putting it back on, and the sequence of turning on the flash power relative to the camera power, both seem to make a difference.
  9. Matt, ME and Bob, thank you for your valuable inputs. I will look into Metz 52 and Sigma alternatives with interest. Having had bad experience with 540, I don't think I will invest in the newer 360 as I don't think the extra sealing will help me with anything at all. The addition of swivel is nice and what Ricoh should have done is up the development on the lacking of flash system. Adding weather sealing and a swivel has little impact to up their flash lacking system.
  10. 540 is better than 360, but since the K5 the Pentax flash system has been a royal PITA. I focus stack so use things like reversed enlarger lenses, which being "manual" lenses, Pentax has decided in its infinite wisdom to mean that even with the metz58af2, you can no longer do rear sync manual exposures from k5 onwards (used to work fine with k7). I did a few write-ups on my new site that might interest you although they're macro specific:

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