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12-09-2010, 06:48 AM   #1
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K5 and Metz 45 flash

A 2-year +ist owner, 2-year K200D owner. Just bought a K5. Awesome!

I have an old Metz 45 flash; looks like this one though I am not sure if it is a CT4. Most likely it is a CL4. It is definitely not the original Metz45 whose shoe connection had a high voltage.

Anyway, the flash worked fine on all previous cameras. It was never properly coupled (TTL) but it was OK because its own light sensor mode was OK; you just set the camera's F number and the ISO number, and it just works.

It could be triggered either via a shoe adaptor cable, via a more recently bought Pentax shoe adaptor + cable (the adaptor being a rather bulky thing costing about £100 which emits a focusing beam**), or via a radio transmitter/receiver which was bought for about £30 on Ebay.

With the K5, the radio link doesn't work, but the others do.

I wondered if there is something in the shoe mode but cannot see anything in the camera's menus.

I will probably buy the Pentax "540" flash anyway, which can be radio linked to the K200D or the K5, but it would be nice to get this Metz flash working over a radio link.

Can anyone suggest something I could try?

** This is actually a SCA3702 plus an SCA3045. I never got much help on this at the time (spent a lot of time 2 years ago trying to work out the right part numbers) and I am not sure what this is supposed to do, given that a straight shoe-to-45 cable works fine, and the 45 flash will never support TTL anyway... the focusing beam emitted is very weak and basically the whole thing seems pointless.

12-09-2010, 07:47 AM   #2
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There seems to be a problem with the hot shoe...
I have a recent Dörr Combi Macro flash which fires continuously when the K-5 is turned on...
No problem with it on a K-7, K20D, K10D...
12-10-2010, 02:06 AM   #3
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Yes, there is a long thread in this forum on K5 flash issues, though those seem to be related to TTL operation.

A friend has a Pentax 540 flash and I will try that next. If that doesn't work I will be seriously cheesed off...
12-10-2010, 02:20 AM   #4
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Since you don't seem to own the "digital" version of 45 CL-4 your camera can only trigger the flash. I would recommend connecting it with a PC-sync cable. It is the least bulky and my educated guess is that cameras own AF light will work.

12-10-2010, 03:33 AM   #5
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Yes, that's the cable I used with the previous cameras (none of which had the mini coax socket for it, so I used a shoe adaptor; I believe the K5 has that socket) and that worked fine.

The next level up from that is the system that uses the SCA adaptors but as far as I can tell that doesn't do anything at all, over the direct cable connection.

Can anyone post the P/N of a wireless trigger? On another part of this forum, people are reporting success with the RF-602 but nobody appears to have yet used it with the K5.
12-10-2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Can anyone post the P/N of a wireless trigger? On another part of this forum, people are reporting success with the RF-602 but nobody appears to have yet used it with the K5.
You'll have the same problems I did w/ the K20D. No clean sync above 1/125 and flaky sync at 1/180 if you get the canon version...
Import some radiopopper Jrx studios, even if the frequency is illegal....much better trigger and functionality...
12-13-2010, 02:16 AM   #7
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Have you tested the Radiopopper JRX on the Pentax K5?

Do you think it would also work with a Canon 7D (my son's camera)?

I've emailed them, asking if they sell abroad and what output options they offer. I am after the mini coax socket, and a shoe so that any dumb flasg can be used.

It looks a nice product.

Edit: Their EU versions are MUCH more expensive. I have just noticed they say on their website that orders for the US version but with a European ship-to address will be "cancelled", which probably means they will not even answer my email now... great stuff.
12-13-2010, 05:51 PM   #8
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what kind of radio triggers do you have exactly? (small picture should do). i am not sure if this is the case, but it might be that the transmitter doesn't sit right on the shoe (have you tried the transmitter on the pc sync socket instead of the shoe?). i had to modify my own triggers, by bypassing a rectifier bridge connected to the shoe, because the trigger voltage of my pentax flash (540fgz) is too low and with the voltage drop of the rectifier added it makes the trigger malfunction, but this was on the k20d, i do not think it's your issue, if it works fine with this flash and those triggers on another camera (camera shouldn't matter at all actually, if that were to be the issue).

i'd check the position on the shoe, or better use a sync cable, i've seen the problem happen before.

12-13-2010, 09:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Have you tested the Radiopopper JRX on the Pentax K5?
Do you think it would also work with a Canon 7D (my son's camera)?
I haven't tried the JrX on a K5.
I've used it on my K10D, K20D and have let folks use my setup and they've used the 5D, 30D, D80, D90, D700 on it. It's pretty simple...just a center pin trigger like most wireless triggers. The power control knobs are independent of system.

What's weird about the RF602 is that is uses Canon/Nikon's half-shutter press signal on one of the pins to send some "get ready to fire" info and the Pentax pin isn't compatible for this message, so it sents that info during the actual firing sequence which slows things enough that you only get 1/125 sync...
12-14-2010, 02:03 AM   #10
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That's a pity - I have just ordered the RF602, as per here

I will report on how it worked.

The K5 has an "X" switch position which IIRC always sets 1/180.

The triggers I had previously looked just like these

No response from Radiopopper - they have sussed I am not American, so to get this stuff will require some subterfuge.

Last edited by peterh337; 12-14-2010 at 08:04 AM.
12-14-2010, 04:18 PM   #11
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The RD616 actually would work at 1/180. I had the V2s (basically the same as the RD616 which were the V1)...they're now up to Cactus V4.

You can always use the RF602's as wireless shutter releases if they don't work out.

Yes, there are no JrX Studios for the EU. Radiopopper has been claiming it's ship 3 months from now for over a year :-)
If you like the concept, just get someone to send/bring them over...not like your local police are running around w/ RF detectors....they didn't even seem to have firearms the last time I visited London ;-)
12-16-2010, 08:18 AM   #12
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I got the RF602 kit.

Very nicely made.

Only slight issue is that I have a cable for the Metz 45 flash which comes out on the mini coax plug, but there is no coax socket on the 602. The receiver comes with two cables: one terminates on a 3.5mm jack plug, and the other terminates on a strange 3-pin female connector which is probably a Canon or a Nikon. So I need to cut some ends off and do a bit of wiring, or buy a cable which plugs into the Metz flash on one end and has a 3.5mm jack socket on the other.

The transmitter can be connected either via the shoe, or via a double-ended mini coax plug cable.
12-16-2010, 12:59 PM   #13
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OK, here are some results with the RF602 (Canon version).

In X mode (1/180) it does not work; you get the black band at the bottom. It is almost there but not quite. Pressing the transmitter button halfway gets around this issue - as posted elsewhere here - but is not exactly convenient.

In M mode, 1/125 works perfectly.

1/160 does the same thing as the X mode above. However, the size of the black band at the bottom of the pic is very variable, suggesting that there is a big variation in the trigger delay in the M mode. The half-press workaround also works.

1/200 does not even trigger the flash.

Wiring the transmitter to the camera's mini coax socket (rather than using the shoe for the connection) using a double-ended mini coax cable does not make any difference.

Funnily enough I also have an old and really cheap and nasty RD616 (do a search on Ebay) radio system and that works. In X mode it triggers perfectly (1/180). In M mode it does the same thing as the RF602. But the RD616 doesn't have the mounting and connection options of the RF602.

The RF602 works superbly with the Canon 7D, syncing down to 1/200 and perhaps slightly faster. It also works perfectly as a remote trigger for the 7D.

There is clearly something marginal about the K5's flash trigger system.

I am on firmware v1.00. I know 1.01 is out but I haven't heard that it fixes anything important.
12-16-2010, 03:32 PM   #14
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Pentax dslrs won't fire the external flash signal beyond x-sync (we've been griping to Pentax for a while, but they probably figure they'll get more complaints from people who do this and see black bands instead of strobists who know what they're doing ;-) That's why 1/200 doesn't work.

The rest of your behavior is exactly as I mentioned early on in that long RF602 thread in the studio forum...I was one of the early adopters.
There's nothing marginal about the K5....the problems are exactly as I described above. You're actually lucky you can get the half-press working...I had the Canon version and half press didn't work at all. Some folks got the Nikon version to work w/ the half press, but it wasn't 100% (probably 70-80%) because the Pentax equivalent half-press pin pulses while the Nikon version is constant.

Now you know why I went to the JrX ;-) And manual remote control of flash power is definitely worth the marginal extra cost :-)
12-16-2010, 05:46 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
There is clearly something marginal about the K5's flash trigger system.
I'm not sure that's the correct conclusion. Maybe it's the triggers that are on the "marginal" side? Or both?

These RF602 triggers will cause the same trouble with other Pentax cameras. There are other (very inexpensive as well) triggers that work with Pentax cameras without such trouble, e.g., the Cactus V4.

Are you using the same flashes for both tests with the K-5 and 7D camera? Sometimes the combination of flash trigger voltage and receiver properties can cause a delay in firing the flash.
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