Excerpt: So, my AF280T came "dead". It arrived and i was very excited, i put some batteries and...nothing. Turns out i needed to let the capacitor charge for a couple of minutes, and then i kept messing with the buttons, and then suddenly it turned on.
Pros: Seems well built, powerful, great swivel/tilt feature
Cons: Battery door is the weakest part [we always say that, but it resisted years and years, so...], mine came with some kind of trouble to turn on (i have a trick to turn it on)
Excerpt: Bought as the primary flash for my new Pentax Super Program, way back then. It's been dependable and reliable ever since. Last year my two year old Af360FGZ need to go in for repairs and (of course) I needed a flash for a nephew's college project. I dug out the old AF280T, put in new batteries, set it for auto and shot away. Perfect results first shot and (almost) every shot.
Excerpt: I had had no flash until I bought my istD years ago. Then I thought I need a flash so I bought a powerful Sigma EF 500 DG ST that I soon regretted. The Sigma was a nightmare to use, exposures were over-underexposed in a very unpredictable way.
Pros: Very versatile, spot on exposure with my cameras
Excerpt: Of the older, pre-P-TTL flashes, this is one that works best with Pentax's digital cameras. In P and Tv modes (and several other modes besides) the camera will set the appropriate aperture when one of the auto-flash settings are chosen on the flash. The camera also notes, in the viewfinder, when the flash is ready to fire. This provides a level of automation otherwise difficult to find in a non-P-TTL flash.
Excerpt: This is the Energizer Bunny of my flash collection - just keep going and going for years without a problem. It works fine with dSLRs on the red or green Auto mode as well. I agree with other reviewers that the battery compartment design can be improved, but mine never pop open accidentally.
Excerpt: A great old flash unit. Simple and reliable. A good combination of size, versatility, and power. It is small enough to carry along any time, and puts out good power. I like its boxiness, as that makes it more compact, so it's easier to carry in a pocket or bag. It doesn't have a zoom head, but that also makes it smaller unless it has the telephoto adapter on it.
Pros: Simple; reliable; inexpensive these days, especially when considering its performance
Summary: I got this flash at a garage sales, with a camera and lens. Paid 10$ for the lot, a real steal. The flash usually sells for about 40$. I use the flash with my K20D. Even after many years unused (with alkalines batteries left inside, that leaked all over the place) the flash still works perfectly. It's easy to use with the K20D, simply use P mode, set the ISO, and fire!
Pros: Sturdy, reliable thyristor, good battery life, swivel head