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12-18-2014, 07:46 PM   #1
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Weak link in the chain

Do you think Pentax should have made the pentaprism that houses the pop-up flash a little heftier ? It seems a little flimsy on such a robust body.

12-18-2014, 07:49 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The pentaprism housing is made of cast magnesium alloy. How much more robust do you want?


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12-18-2014, 08:19 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Do you think Pentax should have made the pentaprism that houses the pop-up flash a little heftier ? It seems a little flimsy on such a robust body.
The pentaprism does not house the pop-up flash. the pentaprism is housed by the camera body, which sets under the pop-up flash.
12-18-2014, 08:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
Do you think Pentax should have made the pentaprism that houses the pop-up flash a little heftier ? It seems a little flimsy on such a robust body.
To which camera are you referring? The pop-up flash on the my K-3 seems tight and reasonably
robust for what it is. Markedly more robust than the pop-up flash on the Q7, for example.

12-18-2014, 08:42 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by promacjoe Quote
The pentaprism does not house the pop-up flash. the pentaprism is housed by the camera body, which sets under the pop-up flash
What he said!
The pop up flash is itself tough enough for its purpose.
12-18-2014, 08:46 PM   #6
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Out of curiosity, I took a closer look at my K-5. I'm guessing you are referring to the pop-up flash housing itself, rather than the surrounding area, which is of alloy construction, as Steve pointed out.

I would agree the flash housing can flex a little, when popped-up, if you give it a little twist, thus revealing its plastic construction.

However, I've never twisted it in use, nor have I heard of this breaking off or otherwise causing a problem for others. I pop my flash up and down all the time, with gusto, and never even noticed it was plastic. It pops up via the side button, so pretty much the only time I touch it is when I push it down, and that is at a central point of contact at the front. I think the hinge and catch mechanism are pretty well designed and work solidly. So, I would not worry about it at all.

I wouldn't want them to use a more solid material, if it transmitted an impact to the rest of the body and caused some other part to break, or if it made the camera heavier. I think it is just about right, really.
12-18-2014, 09:27 PM   #7
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Why would it be a weak link???
12-18-2014, 10:26 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The pentaprism housing is made of cast magnesium alloy. How much more robust do you want?
strong enough to break the nose of an assailant. That is a feature marketing would have fun promoting.

12-19-2014, 12:07 AM - 1 Like   #9
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The pentaprism sits within a reasonably thick magnesium case, as you can see from looking at the front and back of the K-5 body:


The K-5 cross-section below illustrates in more detail the thickness of the metal surrounding the pentaprism, and how the flash sits outside of the metal casing:


The K-5 pentaprism is, as you can see, a pretty big and hefty chunk of glass. And as you can also see from cutaway above, the pentaprism actually sits quite low in the camera. About half of it sits below the top of the viewfinder.

Last edited by rawr; 12-19-2014 at 12:13 AM.
12-19-2014, 03:03 AM   #10
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Those shots of the stripped-down K5 chassis show how small the pentaprism hump could be without the silly pop-up flash. Personally I never use the little pop-up toy, and I don't think it's necessary on a top-of-the-range camera.
12-19-2014, 03:25 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dartmoor Dave Quote
Those shots of the stripped-down K5 chassis show how small the pentaprism hump could be without the silly pop-up flash. Personally I never use the little pop-up toy, and I don't think it's necessary on a top-of-the-range camera.
What's that thing with all those prisms just under the flash? red AF point projector?
12-19-2014, 03:35 AM   #12
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"The pentaprism housing is made of cast magnesium alloy. How much more robust do you want?"


Oops I thought it was plastic ?
12-19-2014, 03:50 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LensBeginner Quote
What's that thing with all those prisms just under the flash? red AF point projector?
There seem to me to be two options: the metering sensor (which seems more likely to be the optical assembly above the viewfinder), or (since it is in direct line of sight of the viewfinder), it may have something to do with the viewfinder overlay that projects the AF points and displays the camera settings (green hexagon included) along the bottom of the viewfinder.
12-19-2014, 03:51 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote


Oops I thought it was plastic ?
The cladding will be plastic, the frame alloy.
12-19-2014, 03:59 AM   #15
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The thing that sparks curiosity with me is the little hole at the very top of the prism housing in front of the hot shoe- what the hell is that for? it can't be a mic, as the K5IIs has those on the side.

QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
it may have something to do with the viewfinder overlay that projects the AF points and displays the camera settings (green hexagon included) along the bottom of the viewfinder.
that prism is responsible for the AF leds, the smaller prism at the bottom is for the viewfinder info screen.
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