Question about Pentax *ist DL Digital Camera

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Compatible Flash Units

I have purchased a pentax digital SLR camers ist.


I hoped that the flash (sigma ef 500 st)) I used on the my pentax MZ50 would be able to be used on my digital but apparently not.


What flash will be compatible of the same caibre or better



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  • dvetteone Apr 07, 2008

    I have a Pentax K100D digital SLR and a Vivitar 500 550FD (previously used with a Pentax ZX-M). Can I use this flash with my digital and if so, how do I place the flash settings to use in full auto mode?



1 Answer

Pentax istDL does not support TTL flash metering unlike most of the other pentax DSLRs. You need a flash that is P-TTL. How annoying hey? I was pretty bummed, but it made me learn to shoot fully manual...

i think that there is only one P-TTL flash on the market at present. (AF540 or something)

good luck...

Posted on Nov 05, 2007


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Hello there. It seems that the Sigma EF-500

John, there is a difference in sync times between film and digital flash. It's taken the third party manufactures a little time to catch up so there is a lot of "film" flash units out there. I'm understanding that the Sigma flash doesn't fire at all which is pretty amazing I would have thought it would fire just not at the correct time. This flash isn't a total loss because it can be used wireless with a slave unit for fill or even a main light triggered from a mini transmitter on the camera hot shoe. Here is a link to an e-Bay auction to see what I'm saying.

I use this type of system for a location shoot, there are no wires and I can set up and balance my lighting to each set with no more dark backgrounds hope this was a help

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The Sigma EF-500 flashes have very small chromed contacts for the batteries. Even though they may not look corroded, they may not power up or conduct enough power to fully cycle up. Use a polishing tip in a dremel or an ink eraser tip to clean the internal wire contacts and the flat contacts on the door. I use dielectric grease on a q-tip to apply a coat to all contacts and cleaned battery terminals to minimise future issues.

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