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12-25-2010, 09:46 AM   #1
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stupid flash questions

I apologize if these are ridiculously stupid questions, but here goes.

I have a K-5, and just got a used 540FGZ. I've read all about the overexposure issues in P-TTL, and do experience some of the same issues myself. In an effort to get over that, I've tried using the flash in manual mode.

1) Can I use the flash in manual mode, and get exposure information in the viewfinder? All the camera says the entire time that I have the flash in M mode is that my exposure is less than -5. Is this normal?

2) In P-TTL mode, is there any way to get the camera to fire the flash in continuous shooting? If I want to take two pictures very close to eachother, right now, I have to wait for the flash to fully recharge. Is there any way to get continuous shooting in P-TTL? In manual mode, I can just set the flash to 1/4 power and get continuous shooting.

Thank you all for being such an awesome resource, and I wish you all a happy holiday season.

12-25-2010, 11:51 AM   #2
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Hi there neuro,
QuoteOriginally posted by neurocyclist Quote
I can just set the flash to 1/4 power and get continuous shooting.
Yup that's other way (or even 1/8 power and bump up ISO) to get continuous flash. Some pentax power pack III just for the 540fgz can also helps shortened recycling time to make the flash ready. But most efficient way is to lowered power output then open aperture/ISO bump up.

QuoteOriginally posted by neurocyclist Quote
In P-TTL mode, is there any way to get the camera to fire the flash in continuous shooting?
In this mode, flash mostly is trying to discharge in full so its kinda hit and miss. So will go back to manual mode and lowered flash power.

QuoteOriginally posted by neurocyclist Quote
) Can I use the flash in manual mode, and get exposure information in the viewfinder?
Flash in M-Manual, Camera in M-manual, you should be able to see IN THE FLASH GUN DISPLAY the correct distance the flash is set for by PRESSING THE SHUTTER HALFWAY.
Base on the pentax manual when you press auto-focus/shutter halfway, the camera information needed by flash is transmitted to the Flash Gun reception area or some buffer to give you the proper read out (In the Flash gun display) the proper exposure the flash has been set with regards to cameras aperture,ISO and shutter speed.

QuoteOriginally posted by neurocyclist Quote
All the camera says the entire time that I have the flash in M mode is that my exposure is less than -5. Is this normal
Is that in a fix distance? Using Flash Gun direct lighting base on the lens that i use at 2 meter distance, I set up my flash power at 1/8, aperture f9, speed 1/125-1/180s, then make
some adjustment to get the average exposure (open aperture or bump up ISO), on occasion i use power up to 1/4.... hope this helps.
12-25-2010, 12:09 PM   #3
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You can do all that (1) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ or you can simply leave it in P-TTL and set the flash compensation down. You can do this either on the flash or in the camera. On both, it is adjustable from -2 to +1. OR, you can go to A mode (on the flash), set your Aperture and ISO on the flash and fire away. Manual (M) mode on the flash is good for a situation where you want to specifically dial down the flash output. As you know, at 1/1 it fires at full power, regardless of camera settings. All will get you there but IMO, sometimes it's better to let the equipment do the work, with just a little bias input from the user if needed.

For your continuous shooting (2), the camera will not fire unless the flash is fully ready (factory default that can be changed in the custom menu, release while charging). Going to M mode, this is a situation where it would be useful, and dialing the output down will allow a faster recharge because the flash isn't charging for a full output burst. You just have to remember that you are getting that much less exposure and adjust your camera accordingly. Either, as mentioned, boost the ISO by as much as you adjust the flash, or open your aperture by as much, or slow down your shutter by as much (or some combo of all 3).

By the way, if you go the flash compensation route, I would do it in the camera. Once you turn the flash off and back on again (even if it powers down for standby) you will have to set it again on the flash (whatever settings you had).


Last edited by JeffJS; 12-25-2010 at 12:15 PM.
12-25-2010, 12:30 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
For your continuous shooting (2), the camera will not fire unless the flash is fully ready (factory default that can be changed in the custom menu, release while charging).
Doesn't that setting affect only the built-in flash, not an external one?

12-25-2010, 12:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote

All will get you there but IMO, sometimes it's better to let the equipment do the work, with just a little bias input from the user if needed.

For your continuous shooting (2), the camera will not fire unless the flash is fully ready (factory default that can be changed in the custom menu, release while charging).

I agree, Jeff. There are definitely times where I've just dialed down the compensation in P-TTL, but there are times where it would be really beneficial to have continuous shooting. I didn't realize there was a release while charging option, and that's a possibility I'm about to go do some testing on. Will report back when I get a chance to test it out with some continuous shooting!

Thanks for the tip!


QuoteOriginally posted by buaobao Quote

Flash in M-Manual, Camera in M-manual, you should be able to see IN THE FLASH GUN DISPLAY the correct distance the flash is set for by PRESSING THE SHUTTER HALFWAY.
Base on the pentax manual when you press auto-focus/shutter halfway, the camera information needed by flash is transmitted to the Flash Gun reception area or some buffer to give you the proper read out (In the Flash gun display) the proper exposure the flash has been set with regards to cameras aperture,ISO and shutter speed.
This works, buaobao. Thanks for the advice! I get the distance information in the flashgun window, but I was looking for any information in the camera viewfinder. It would be great to see if what I'm setting my flash to will result in an under/over exposed image.

I don't know if this is possible, but what I'm envisioning is something similar to M mode on the camera with no flash attached/activated. When a given shutter speed and apperture are set, the camera will calculate if the image will be under/over exposed and display that exposure information in the viewfinder.
12-25-2010, 01:50 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by neurocyclist Quote
When a given shutter speed and apperture are set, the camera will calculate if the image will be under/over exposed
Daylight (daytime) can vary distance coz the lights are all over.
Indoor (Night time) with flash, distance is fixed on a given flash power, unless you change any of the basic exposure parameters.

Its easy as saying as for example: Good exposure at 2 meters (using direct flash )
(default set up) ISO200, 1/180s, f8 (depends on lens speed)

If the subject step back at 4 meters = underexpose
If you turn aperture smaller(big number) = underexpose
Setting the ISO from 200 to 100 = underexpose and setting all these three the other way will brighten up your subject up to the K-5 limit where you still can pull it down(using computer image editor).

QuoteOriginally posted by neurocyclist Quote
under/over exposed and display that exposure information in the viewfinder.
This must be one reason why until now the e-ttl, i-ttl, p-ttl still have flaws that's why great numbers of photogs have not yet rely fully on automatic.
12-25-2010, 01:58 PM   #7
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I might have over stated the K-5 upper limit, what i'm talking about is upper limit inside histogram altho not recommended.

Read out in viewfinder using flash, lets hope this happens.

Last edited by buaobao; 12-25-2010 at 02:01 PM. Reason: add explanation
12-25-2010, 10:38 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by G_Money Quote
Doesn't that setting affect only the built-in flash, not an external one?
I actually don't know for a fact if it does apply to the external or not. Truthfully, the flash charges faster than I'm ready to take the next shot most of the time. Of course, if it Does work, and the flash isn't ready, all you're going to get is either a dark frame (Tv), or a very long exposure (Av). Both of which kill the purpose of rapid firing the shutter.



12-26-2010, 08:38 AM   #9
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Jeff,

The release in charging is only for onboard flash. It was a good idea none the less. Maybe a future firmware update, but I'm not holding out hope!
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