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05-31-2013, 05:14 PM   #1
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Flash gun unresponsive on K-5 but works on other cameras

I recently purchased a used Promaster FTD 7000M on ebay. It will not fire on my K-5 nor K-5 IIs. I have tested it on a K-01, *ist Ds, and a ZX-7 and it works perfectly on them. It has an auto zoom feature that moves depending on the focal length of the lens. Once again the auto zoom doesn't move on the K-5 and K-5 IIs.
The flash itself seems to be in perfect condition other than it missing the metal prong on the right side that keeps it in place on the hot shoe. The four contact points on the flash are fine. Could the missing prong be contributing to the problem? Aren't the prongs electrical grounds?

05-31-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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Not sure if that flash supports P-TTL or not, but in any case, the flash should at least fire. Especially since it works on the K-01 which supports only P-TTL, not TTL.

Make sure the shutter speed on the K-5 is set to 1/180 second or slower, otherwise the camera will not trigger the flash.

The extra pins are not grounds, they all serve different purposes. The ground pin is a fifth pin located on the side of the flange, in the recessed gap that engages the hotshoe on the camera. It's easy to miss.

Last edited by Tanzer; 05-31-2013 at 08:54 PM.
05-31-2013, 11:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
The ground pin is a fifth pin located on the side of the flange, in the recessed gap that engages the hotshoe on the camera.
While I am facing the front of the flash, there is a pin located on the right side of the flange and no pin located on the left side. The left side has a hole like there should be a pin there but there is not.
I have two cheap non TTL/P-TTL flashes that have pins on both sides of the flange. The FTD 7000M only has one on the right side.

The FTD 7000M is not P-TTL, which is why when it is atop my K-01 and set to TTL mode, every picture taken is blown out. It does work in Manual mode on the K-01 though. On the K-5 and K-5 IIs it is unresponsive in any mode, Manual or otherwise. I'd assume it should work in Manual mode on the K-5.
06-01-2013, 12:22 AM   #4
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I used to have the Promaster 7500 and I remember there were issues when the K-7 was first released. The flash had to be updated and that could only be done in the factory. Although I still had a K20D at the time, I sold off my Promaster.

If you look at Matt's authoritative site on P-TTL here Promaster P-TTL Flash Models - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison and he literally says:
QuoteQuote:
Warning: The 7500EDF flash is the only model that works with the Pentax K-7, K-x, or K-r camera bodies. You will need at least firmware release V3-310, which should be the default in all currently-shipping units. Without this update, it will just fire at full power in all conditions. If you have an earlier version, the update can be performed (for free) by Promaster Service — contact them for details. In August 2010, Promaster stated that they were working on an update for the 7200EDF and 7400EDF, but more than a year later, that has not happened. Promaster has not tested the 7500EDF with the K-5.


06-01-2013, 12:40 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
I used to have the Promaster 7500 and I remember there were issues when the K-7 was first released.
My model is the 7000, even older than that. And Pentax released the cameras I've tested it on in this order...

K-5 > K-01 > K-5 IIs

Why would an old flash work on the K-01 but not the models older and newer than it?
My only guess is that the K-01 uses Prime M engine vs Prime II like in the K-5 and K-5 IIs.
06-01-2013, 12:45 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by geomez Quote
My model is the 7000, even older than that. And Pentax released the cameras I've tested it on in this order...

K-5 > K-01 > K-5 IIs

Why would an old flash work on the K-01 but not the models older and newer than it?
My only guess is that the K-01 uses Prime M engine vs Prime II like in the K-5 and K-5 IIs.
Forget about the 7000, it didn't work on any of Pentax's camera's since the K-7/K-X. Last cameras it worked on was the K20D/K200D. Even with the Prime M the Promaster probably doesn't perform to specs.

I enjoyed my 7500 but it was obviously a substandard product - cheaply made - and I realized what flash photography was when I bought the Metz.
06-01-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
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Yeah, I guess it was too good to be true. I got it for a song and a dance on ebay bundled with a bunch of other stuff. I just don't want to have to spend literally 10x the amount to get comparable features in a more modern flash.
06-01-2013, 05:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
I used to have the Promaster 7500 and I remember there were issues when the K-7 was first released. The flash had to be updated and that could only be done in the factory. Although I still had a K20D at the time, I sold off my Promaster.

If you look at Matt's authoritative site on P-TTL here Promaster P-TTL Flash Models - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison and he literally says:
It's the same for me with my 7500 and the K-5, TTL doesn't work and I would get one or even two flashes just for the shipping to the factory, not worth it.

06-01-2013, 06:57 AM   #9
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Regarding the pins, here is a diagram, looking down at the hotshoe on the camera from above:
Flash Systems Evolution, Features and Operation
Note that on the flash itself, you cannot actually see the ground contact on its hotshoe by looking at it from the bottom. You can only see that by looking at the flash's hotshoe from the side. In any case, the pins for TTL and P-TTL are physically identical, only the usage differs.

I have a Zykkor TTL-only flash that fires as a manual flash on my K-5. So I would think you should always be able to fire a TTL flash as manual on a P-TTL body. Maybe the firmware was a bad implementation of P-TTL, which somehow makes the K-5 kinda sorta half recognize the unit as a P-TTL unit, whereas the K-01 doesn't see the flash at all, hence firing it in full manual.

Anyhow, you should be able to get this to work by isolating all the auxillary pins, leaving only the main trigger pin (and the hidden ground pin) exposed. A straight cable like this
Paramount PMHSHSFM10 Sync Cord - Hot Male Foot to 17HSHSFM10 B&H
That one is expensive but you should be able to find one much cheaper, I'm thinking like 10 bucks.
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