Somehow I've managed to get as far as I have without really using a flash, but I've decided to really tackle this, and embrace artificial light when I leave the studio.
Right now I have an old Sunpak MZ440AF-PT, which came with a used Pentax a few years ago. I do not have a manual for it and am not having any luck whatsoever in getting much information online. I know how to use it with desired results, but I have a couple of issues.
1. The recycle time is terrible - I count usually around 11 seconds! I now there's a few ways around this, like adjusting to only use half power, which is easily doable, but I did find out on one site the minimum time is 8 seconds anyway. This is NOT doable ;)
I found some information about creating a battery pack (specifically for a Vivitar) which greatly increases speed (only .9 seconds to recycle) - is there any solution like this for the Sunpak? I started reading horror stories about the unit burning up if not done correctly. I don't know much about amps and volts, but have access to someone who can build me just about anything within reason. Input?
I also heard just adjusting the type of battery can make a significant difference - this I may or may not be interested in. I already struggle using batteries because I hate how wasteful they become, but if there are any suggestions for reasonably priced, effective rechargeable batteries, I'd be game!
2. I shoot with a Nikon D200 outside the studio, and I have stuck the Sunpak on with no problems so far (though only for a couple shots here and there to test things out). Is this a big no-no?