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10-25-2010, 11:52 PM   #1
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K-5 with flash

OK guys, I know I am sounding like a pain in the backside but I can't turn to anyone else for help so please bear with me.
Last night I was trying out my K5 and took some shots with my flash - Metz AF 58. Stofen diffuser in place and tilted up. The shots were anything but desirable - totally washed out. I then noticed that the shot was taken at ISO 5000 (ISO set at auto and 5000 was the highest limit). The only time I got a decent exposure was the flash was directed straight at the subject - i.e. no tilt.
So, has anyone else had that experience or is it just my camera?
Thanks a bunch.

10-26-2010, 12:20 AM   #2
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Yes, my K-5 frequently exhibits this exact behavior. We're currently discussing flash issues with the K-5 in this thread, where I've also posted pictures from a controlled test: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/119630-my-2-days-old-k5-faulty.html

It seems there is a communication problem between the camera and flash. I was thinking it is possibly due to a hardware defect. However, you're now showing the exact same flash symptoms as mine: usually works in direct flash, but at an angle it fires at full power (not sure if filorp's results are identical), so I'm wondering if there's some kind of bug in the software.

Last edited by Cannikin; 10-26-2010 at 12:33 AM.
10-26-2010, 12:35 AM   #3
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That's a shame.
Do users with other P-TTL flashes have this same issue?
10-26-2010, 01:02 AM   #4
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Metz has a Firmware update for the Pentax version of the AF58, apparently necessary to work better with the newer bodies like the K-7.
Not sure if the implication to the K-5

10-26-2010, 10:32 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naim Khan Quote
OK guys, I know I am sounding like a pain in the backside but I can't turn to anyone else for help so please bear with me.
Last night I was trying out my K5 and took some shots with my flash - Metz AF 58. Stofen diffuser in place and tilted up. The shots were anything but desirable - totally washed out. I then noticed that the shot was taken at ISO 5000 (ISO set at auto and 5000 was the highest limit). The only time I got a decent exposure was the flash was directed straight at the subject - i.e. no tilt.
So, has anyone else had that experience or is it just my camera?
Thanks a bunch.
On the Metz 58 the secondary reflector engages if you tilt the head (it doesn't fire if the head is straight on). Check to see if it is turned off or on. If on, I suspect that is the cause of the issue (this is what I am betting since it only happens when the flash is tilted). At high ISO and with a diffuser the ratio of the secondary flash could easily blow out the scene. If that isn't it, does it do it with the diffuser off?

And of course what was your exposure without a flash? The camera will use the highest ISO you have set (if your ambient calls for it). This can easily generate an overexposure. I strongly suggest using manual mode if you are going to use flash and set the ISO you want. You can more easily decide what level of ambient you want in the scene via shutter speed, etc.
10-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #6
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/119630-my-2-days-old-k5-faulty.html
10-26-2010, 10:45 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrforman Quote
On the Metz 58 the secondary reflector engages if you tilt the head (it doesn't fire if the head is straight on). Check to see if it is turned off or on. If on, I suspect that is the cause of the issue (this is what I am betting since it only happens when the flash is tilted). At high ISO and with a diffuser the ratio of the secondary flash could easily blow out the scene. If that isn't it, does it do it with the diffuser off?

And of course what was your exposure without a flash? The camera will use the highest ISO you have set (if your ambient calls for it). This can easily generate an overexposure. I strongly suggest using manual mode if you are going to use flash and set the ISO you want. You can more easily decide what level of ambient you want in the scene via shutter speed, etc.
Thanks JR. I have switched off the secondary flash and the problem still persists. Have a look at the other thread - it seems to be happening to more than one person. In any case, I have used this flash for 2 years with my K20 and have had great results!
I have contacted both Metx and Pentax - I have sent a couple of shots to the latter. The Metz technical guy in the UK is away until Thursday so let's see what he has to say. I also plan to download the latest firmware for the flash, to see if that solves the problem. It is supposed to support K-7.
10-26-2010, 10:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
That's a shame.
Do users with other P-TTL flashes have this same issue?

My question as well.. I thought I read somewhere that flash had improved but still not up with Nikon.


Can someone here please post any usage results of the K-5 and Pentax flash systems.

10-26-2010, 11:11 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naim Khan Quote
Thanks JR. I have switched off the secondary flash and the problem still persists. Have a look at the other thread - it seems to be happening to more than one person. In any case, I have used this flash for 2 years with my K20 and have had great results!
I have contacted both Metx and Pentax - I have sent a couple of shots to the latter. The Metz technical guy in the UK is away until Thursday so let's see what he has to say. I also plan to download the latest firmware for the flash, to see if that solves the problem. It is supposed to support K-7.
Well, I just tried it with my K-5 and Metz 58 and did not have the problem. Tried with flash head tilted with and without diffuser and flash straight on. Samples of flash with tilt/diffuser and straight on attached [I probably should have + comp for when I had diffuser on]. This is without update on flash although I am going to do that now and if anything change I will let you know. Camera in manual mode and iso at 3200 (had to go to f9 at this speed to go over ambient). Also tried at lower ISO with same results. We have something different but I can't think of what.
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10-26-2010, 11:32 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naim Khan Quote
OK guys, I know I am sounding like a pain in the backside but I can't turn to anyone else for help so please bear with me.
Last night I was trying out my K5 and took some shots with my flash - Metz AF 58. Stofen diffuser in place and tilted up. The shots were anything but desirable - totally washed out. I then noticed that the shot was taken at ISO 5000 (ISO set at auto and 5000 was the highest limit). The only time I got a decent exposure was the flash was directed straight at the subject - i.e. no tilt.
So, has anyone else had that experience or is it just my camera?
Thanks a bunch.
Was the Metz put on A( Auto ) or P-TTL ?
10-26-2010, 11:33 AM   #11
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O.K. an update. Was going to test different settings with the flash, shot some bounced stuff and then went direct. I had the experience of way overexposing when shot direct. Turned everything off, tried again and things were underexposed. Turned everything off and then tried it again and everything is fine again.

Ran Metz firmware upgrade. Have not been able to recreate problem again. Hmmm. I have no [expletive] idea what happened. Did not have any problems before on over 100+ flashes (but all were bounced).

Edit: Took another 100+ picts after update - all possible combinations I could think off. Did not have problem again. Hope this works for you.

Last edited by jrforman; 10-26-2010 at 11:42 AM. Reason: Update
10-26-2010, 11:46 AM   #12
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Thanks JR. Here are 2 shots I took just a short time ago. Camera was set at 'P' and flash on auto - I am not very comfortable with manual settings. As I have said earlier, auto settings have worked fine with K20.
The first shot is with the flash pointing directly at my son while the second istilted at 45 degrees.





BTW, how do you get the link for exif data below you photo?
10-26-2010, 12:06 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naim Khan Quote
Thanks JR. Here are 2 shots I took just a short time ago. Camera was set at 'P' and flash on auto - I am not very comfortable with manual settings. As I have said earlier, auto settings have worked fine with K20.
The first shot is with the flash pointing directly at my son while the second istilted at 45 degrees.





BTW, how do you get the link for exif data below you photo?
Last things first. I just upload a jpg as an attachment and the exif shows up automatically.

The second is a little hot - diffusers can sometimes screw things up (Stoffen even has a warning about that somewhere) albeit usually when the flash is straight ahead. Same issue without the stoffen? Also, for me if no one else, try bouncing off a wall to the side rather than upward (makes a better picture too). And one last request - try in Aperture mode rather than P. I believe in the P mode it will always use the highest default ISO. This wasn't much of a problem when we shot in a K20D because we never had the highest range that high. Let me know how it comes out.
10-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jrforman Quote
Last things first. I just upload a jpg as an attachment and the exif shows up automatically.

The second is a little hot - diffusers can sometimes screw things up (Stoffen even has a warning about that somewhere) albeit usually when the flash is straight ahead. Same issue without the stoffen? Also, for me if no one else, try bouncing off a wall to the side rather than upward (makes a better picture too). And one last request - try in Aperture mode rather than P. I believe in the P mode it will always use the highest default ISO. This wasn't much of a problem when we shot in a K20D because we never had the highest range that high. Let me know how it comes out.
Thanks for taking the trouble JR. I did try bouncing off the wall with no obvious difference. However, I have taken more shots - all in Aperture priority at f5.6. My niece kindly agrees to be the guinea pig.
No PP has been done.
This is with Stoffen diffuser and directed at the subject:


This is with Stoffen and bounced off wall:

This is with Stoffen and bounced off ceiling:


and this last one is without a diffuser and directed at the subject:


I'll wait to see what you think.
Cheers
10-26-2010, 02:46 PM   #15
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O.K. One last post before I go crazy. I tried different lens and flash and I do get problems. They are of the worst kind - intermittent. I can not detect a pattern of when they will show. Most of the time it works just fine.

I get different exposures when the flash is direct versus bounced. I find the exposure to be about 1/2 to 1 stop greater than when bounced. That isn't too bad a problem because if consistent I can adjust for that through ec and fec. The flash goes to widest spread when angled which may account for part of that.

BUT at times, with the same settings I get very different output from the flashes. For example, I find that I get a good exposure with the flash, change the settings, then set them back to the exact same settings and get a different output. I have had both a over exposure, changed settings and then back and it stayed the same. Other times it seems to have corrected and exposure is corrected. As long as I don't change settings (I haven't been able to track what settings, if any effect it) flash output stays consistent.

I have tried turning the camera and flash off and turning them on in a different sequence without any differences and numerous other things I could think of.

I have upgraded the flash firmware without impact. Occurs with both Pentax 360 and Metz 58 AF-1 which suggests its the camera. Most of my testing was done in Manual mode. Put flash on/off probably a dozen + times. Seems to occur right away if it will happen. Probably turned camera off/on 30 times with 300+ shutter releases. Occurred (I think) three times during all of that. Again, no observable trigger for the behavior.

I'm putting it all away now. Enough obsession for today.
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