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11-13-2010, 11:38 PM   #1
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K-5 flash metering in low-light

So, I took the K-5 out for the first time tonight. I was shooting (snapshots only) at a birthday party, including a dance floor. The ambient lighting once dancing started was very low. The K-5 autofocus really struggled; not that I think it was the camera's fault. It was dark enough that I couldn't see well enough to manual focus either, so it was kind of a dice throw.

What is interesting to me is the flash metering. I'm trying to get used to the feel of the Pentax system (coming from Nikon). I have the the "K-5 flash issue," but I'm not sure given the very challenging conditions. I did have a few instances of gross overexposure with the flash (mainly bounce, but some straight on as well). I think the straight on overexposure might be related to light bouncing off the wall behind the subject and back at the lens.

A few things were interesting to me:

1) In scenes where the flash grossly overexposed, it would consistently overexpose that scene. I took several shots (I think even changing ISO in between), with no change. However, if I moved to another location, the problem went away. There was definitely something in that particular angle / background / something that was confusing the metering system, not a purely random occurrence.

2) The flash metering system seemed to work better if I did not use the omni-bounce when using bounce flash.

3) I also found that the metering system didn't like tilted flash at fairly low angle (~30 degrees) when the subject was fairly close (less than 10 feet). Inside 10 feet, straight on would work, and bounced at "two clicks" (on portrait or landscape) worked OK.

Anyone else have similar experiences? Any tips?

Overall, I think I'm starting to get a feel for the system. Definitely clad I took it out before my sister's wedding next weekend.

11-14-2010, 07:13 PM   #2
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There are a couple of threads that discuss these issues. In the one I reference here, there is another thread referenced by cannikin that might also be of interest. I don't know if these will help or not, but others' experiences may be of interest to you. Good luck with the problem.
11-27-2010, 10:11 AM   #3
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I have just posted some pix on dpreview...user pentax shooter. Flash priblem happens consistatly. I do not use bounce. Also it happens with the built in flash too.
11-27-2010, 12:13 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Shooter Quote
I have just posted some pix on dpreview...user pentax shooter. Flash priblem happens consistatly. I do not use bounce. Also it happens with the built in flash too.
I'm on my second body and the flash system requires you to dial in correct exposure with on board and external flashes - you cannot rely on the metering for now. Hopefully Pentax fixes this sooner than later.

11-28-2010, 04:38 AM   #5
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DSLR when use with External Flash suppose to be treated as if the sensor is like the film that is locked at ISO-100 and make a computation about distance and flash power output however if you use its programmed mode as Av, Tv, TAv which sometime needs to bump up the ISO to get the required exposure, makes the sensor more sensitive to little amount of lights as it behaves such as using external flash gun overexposed if not treated with caution such as: (use just very little power of external flash or bump up the flash power if use in ceiling bounce.
Best bet for pop-up flash is just for fill in flash, until you decided(understand how) that pop-up can be use as the main source of light in some situation.

11-29-2010, 02:51 AM   #6
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Mój K-5 prześwietla zdjęcia z zewnętrznym Metz 50 AF-1. Z wbudowaną lampą jest OK. Problem występuje z obiektywami Sigmy i Pentaksa, przy różnych ustawieniach aparatu. Ciekawe, czy będzie ( i kiedy) nowy, lepszy firmware...

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