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09-27-2012, 04:52 PM   #16

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Central Ohio (formerly SF Bay Area)
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Count me in the crowd that thinks that K-5 bounce P-TTL flash is very broken.


Off-camera wireless P-TTL works fine, even when bounced. I have experimented, setting up the camera exactly the same way for two shots, with the only difference between the two shots being as follows:
In shot 1, flash is mounted to the camera hotshoe and bounced

In shot 2, flash is taken off-camera but bounced at the same approximate angle, using P-TTL optical wireless mode (controlled by the on-camera flash)
Repeatably, shot 1 is badly overexposed and blown out. Shot 2 is fine. The two shots (on Av) have the same ISO/aperture/shutter, but I can hear (by the "pop" sound) that the flash in shot 1 is firing at a much higher power.

This is using a K-5 on latest firmware (1.13, right?) and an AF360-FGZ flash. I have also tried different lenses (Sigma and Pentax), different flashes (a Metz in addition to my Pentax), and different bodies (K-x works fine bounced with the same flash).

It's the camera, it's defective, and it's annoying.

09-27-2012, 09:22 PM   #17
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 7
Original Poster
Yes, something is definitely broken, and it really cheapens the whole Pentax experience to know something so basic (and likely easily fixed with firmware) is ignored by Pentax.

@calsan: i often shoot M when photographing people indoors. i adjust the exposure to -2 or -3EV for a darker, non-distracting background, and let the the camera meter the flash to properly expose the foreground subject. or so it works on other cameras...

@johnc: i think you're definitely on to something with the flash having a higher minimum power in bounce mode. quickly experimenting this morning, it seemed that bringing down the overall reach of the flash with smaller aperture and lower ISO (but lengthing exposure to keep my desired -3EV) worked. and then at that point varying the aperture up/down one stop seemed to produce very similar pictures (i.e., the flash intensity must have been properly varied by the K-5).

@asp1880: excellent suggestion.

@enoeske and stanic: nice shots. i wonder if they worked fine because you hit the flash's bounce range sweet spot, and maybe the ceilings were rather high in your photos. my experiments so far have been only in my house, bright white 8' or 9' ceilings.

Thanks everyone for their replies!! i'll be doing more experiments when i get some free time...
09-28-2012, 02:12 AM   #18

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 11,913
QuoteOriginally posted by Ponosby Britt Quote
I always use "The Black Foamy Thing" ( aka a piece of black foam from Michael's held on by a hair band)
Could you please post a pic of that mounted on your flash?
I'm having trouble visualising how it would look and work.
09-28-2012, 06:16 AM   #19

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: United Kingdom
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All interesting stuff. From memory, in wireless bounce works fine for me. So it seems that: the problem is limited to on camera bounce. And can be worked around by manual flash zoom control, or dropping the diffuser (effectively setting a wide flash zoom manually)? Proving that is this weekend's job.

09-28-2012, 09:50 PM   #20

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 11,913
QuoteOriginally posted by Ponosby Britt Quote
Here's a link to the guy who came up with the idea. A great place to learn about flash the black foamie thing ..
Excellent. Now I get it. Simple and effective.
Thanks for the link.
10-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #21
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Brussels
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K5 + Metz 58 AF-2 ... Got some problems with P-TTL + bounce in some conditions. Especially when the ceiling was low or too many white walls.
Removing the Highlight correction kinda solved my problem.
When for some reason it keeps failing, I switch to Auto on the flash.
10-17-2012, 05:32 PM   #22
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I have had no problems since the last couple(?) updates. I use it bounce/wireless.

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