Strobist Quest: Traveling light with add-on flash.

I’ve never been that motivated to use an external flash when doing the type of photography I usually do. I completely understand the need for additional light in most situations to uniformly expose a scene. I have a Sigma 530 DG Super flash, diffuser, two slave flashes, flash stands, and flash brackets yet I don’t use them that often. My primary reason is to avoid extra bulk and to make my gear feel less… startling… to my subjects.

So I started looking for a flash that could provide me the ability to fill the foreground with a decent amount of diffuse light. My other requirement was to be as small as possible. In the same line of something like the Nikon SB-400.

Metz has the mecablitz 24 AF-1 which would have been my first choice, but it isn’t sold in the USA. I saw an ebay seller, but they wanted $80 plus a lot in shipping. Too much to spend for an experiment. Promaster sells a similar item, but it is not available for Pentax.

I eventually found something with the same ideals. It takes 2 AA batteries (small), the front reflector tilts up for bounce, and has P-TTL functionality meaning it talks with the camera.

TUMAX DSL288AF

Here is more information:
Guide number (ISO 100): 20 at 85mm position
Focal length: 28-35-50-85mm
Recycle time: 0.3-10 sec.
Flash head bounce: Horizontally – 0°, 45°, 60°,75°, 90°
Color temperature: Daylight
Power source: 2 x alkaline battery 1.5V AA
Dimensions: 65(W) × 54(D) × 98(H) mm
Weight: 127g (without batteries)
Number of flashes: min. 100x with new alkaline batteries.

So I should get that in a week or so. My goal here is to have something that can soften shadows on people in close proximity. I need to find a diffuser or make something that will fit the flash to further soften the output. Should be interesting to try out.

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