The Digital Photo Guy

Archive for March, 2017

Pentax K1 Wireless Manual Flash

by on Mar.15, 2017, under Articles, gear, Monday Morning Tips

It Works, It Works! Yongnuo Flash with Pentax

I used a Yongnuo YN560-TX flash controller on a Pentax K1 to control two Yongnuo YN685C (Canon E-TTL) flashes and it worked like a charm. I also took a moment to add a Canon 580EX II in the mix and it worked as well. Two older non-TTL flashes also work fine as “dumb” flashes, i.e. I have to walk over to the unit to adjust power & zoom instead of dialing in adjustments from the controller. In the future, those will be replaced with more YN flashes.

A major concern when I upgraded to a Pentax K1 was flash, specifically, I didn’t want to buy all new flashes and controllers. For Canon systems, my Yongnuo YN685C flashes, Canon 580EX II and 2 older, “dumb” flashes all talked to the YN622C-TX controller. I wasn’t sure how this would work with the Pentax K1.

Fortunately, Yongnuo was looking out for me when they developed the YN560-TX. Notice, it doesn’t have a “C” in the model number denoting Canon compatibility. The YN560-TX is a universal controller that works with most Yongnuo devices. To control YN-685C flashes, I simply set the YN560-TX to the YN603 mode. That allows me to adjust power from 1/1 (Full power) all the way down to 1/128 and Zoom from 24mm to 105mm and works for both Yongnuo and Canon E-TTL flashes.

The signal from the YN560-TX is sent directly to the YN685C flash which are set to 603 Mode. When I make adjustments to the power and zoom on the YN560-TX, the commands are automatically received. With Canon flashes, I attach a YN622C receiver to the flash (580EX-II in this case) and turn on the YN622C-TX controller. The signal from the YN560-TX is relayed to the Canon flash via the YN622C-TX controller. The advantage is that controls on the YN560-TX allow me to wirelessly control power and zoom on each flash. I don’t have to walk over to each flash to adjust power or zoom settings.

If I add more YN or Canon flashes, the YN560-TX is capable of controlling up to 6 groups of 16 channels each for a total of 96 flashes, enough to fry an egg and crisp bacon. YN also has the “N” series for, wait for it… Nikon. For manual flash, which is the only way to go, the YN controllers and flash will work with virtually any camera system that has a standard hot shoe.

The only nit is a Pentax issue, not a YN problem. In flash mode, Pentax only allows shutter speeds up to the maximum flash sync speed, which, for the K1 is 1/200 second. That means 3rd party HSS or SuperSync can’t be used. Bummer. However, YN has just announced a flash for Pentax P-TTL. In a year or two, we should see full P-TTL controllers that, hopefully, fool Pentax cameras into HSS.



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