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01-26-2016, 04:32 AM   #1
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Possibly Fried My K-5

Greetings all!

I have reason to question whether or not I might have accidentally damaged the flash circuitry of my K-5 and am hoping that the forum might be able to provide some guidance.

Not being an expert on digital photography I attempted to use my K-5 with my old Sunpak Auto 522 (handle-mount flash connected via X-sync) and after several attempts could not get the K-5 to fire the Sunpak. What I didn't know then but which I DO know now is that the voltage for many older flash units is too high for modern DSLRs.

The camera itself continues to work well and the built-in flash continues to fire. But since I don't own a modern "safe" external flash with which to test my K5 I'm at a loss as to testing the camera to see if any damage has been done. And if damage was done I don't know if it is limited to the X-sync or perhaps might have damaged the hot-shoe connection as well (not that I've ever used the hot-shoe, just thinking that the X-sync and the hot shoe might share common circuitry.)

A side note here, I am not technically inclined. Although I own a volt meter I really don't know how to use it. Also, if it turns out that my K5 is okay I'd like to see if there's a way to safely use it with both the Sunpak as well as an old set of Novatron studio lights that have been sitting in my closet for about 30 years.

If the only solution turns out to be to take the camera to some sort of repair facility can anyone recommend a good one in the South Jersey area? I live about half an hour from Philadelphia.

My thanks in advance to any and all who can offer any assistance!

-Dave
Lindenwold, NJ

01-26-2016, 05:49 AM - 1 Like   #2
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If camera still works and internal flash operates you may have only damaged the circuitry involved in the Sync output.

There is a link on this site to a table which lists several flash units with their respective trigger units. Photo Strobe Trigger VoltagesThis lists your Sunpack 522 as doubtful with possibly several versions out there. As always with this sort of thing is that it is at your own risk.Personally I would not risk that flash connected directly to my camera.

Safest way to use an unknown flash is to employ a radio trigger. These can be purchased at varying quality grade with corresponding price tags. Yongnuo make a reasonably priced unit at reasonable quality. Better and more expensive units are also available as are cheaper and less well constructed units. Sender unit sits on Camera Hot Shoe, receiver unit plugs into the flash either via a hot shoe connection or sync cable. Also optical units are available which trigger off the built in flash. Possibility exists that the flash may also damage the receiver unit. Check the specs of and remote system you buy to ensure it can handle high trigger voltages.

01-26-2016, 07:56 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Typically the xsync corded connection is far more tolerant to voltage than the hot shoe. This circuit is typically protected after all it is intended for use with many brands and less control over features. It is a fairly loose standard as well.
01-26-2016, 10:29 AM - 1 Like   #4
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Did you try firing the flash with the camera's shutter speed set slower than 1/180 sec? Pentax bodies won't trigger an external flash above the the x-sync speed (except for flashes that are capable of HSS, which includes the K-5's on-board flash).

Once that is diagnosed, then we can talk about options for safe triggering.

Welcome to the forums.


Last edited by Tanzer; 01-26-2016 at 03:37 PM.
01-27-2016, 04:09 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bruce Clark Quote
If camera still works and internal flash operates you may have only damaged the circuitry involved in the Sync output.

There is a link on this site to a table which lists several flash units with their respective trigger units. Photo Strobe Trigger VoltagesThis lists your Sunpack 522 as doubtful with possibly several versions out there. As always with this sort of thing is that it is at your own risk.Personally I would not risk that flash connected directly to my camera.

Safest way to use an unknown flash is to employ a radio trigger. These can be purchased at varying quality grade with corresponding price tags. Yongnuo make a reasonably priced unit at reasonable quality. Better and more expensive units are also available as are cheaper and less well constructed units. Sender unit sits on Camera Hot Shoe, receiver unit plugs into the flash either via a hot shoe connection or sync cable. Also optical units are available which trigger off the built in flash. Possibility exists that the flash may also damage the receiver unit. Check the specs of and remote system you buy to ensure it can handle high trigger voltages.
Many thanks to all who have replied so far. When trying my Sunpak I used the "X" setting since this is what I thought was appropriate for use with an off-camera flash unit connected via the X-sync socket. I'm happy to learn that options for using my Sunpak and Novatron lights may exist but I'm still uncertain about what I can do (if anything) to test the current condition of my K-5's flash circuitry or the best options for having a service provider do so. Again, thank you all for your assistance!
01-27-2016, 06:01 AM - 1 Like   #6
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X should have worked. If it didn't the port, the cable, the camera or the lights may be broken. Try finding another photographer to troubleshoot with - your lights his body etc. Any film cameras in the house? They may have an X-sync port to test with.
01-27-2016, 11:04 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Hey Dave,

Not certain I'm seeing any evidence that you've damaged the camera. You seem to be saying the flash never did work attached to the camera, yes? I would be inclined to blame the old flash, or the sync cord you used (sync cords are unbelievably fussy).

Probably easiest way to check, if you're really worried, is to take your camera to a camera store, explain the situation, and ask if you might try firing one of their modern flashes once or twice off your camera, assuming they've got something suitably generic. Or borrow a suitable flash from a friend.

Me, I wouldn't worry about it, given that the onboard flash is working.

As far as safe triggering goes, I'd just buy something old and used and safe, like a Pentax AF280T ($35 at B&H), or something like one of the cheap all-manual Neewers, and retire your Sunpak.

Bob
01-28-2016, 12:52 PM - 1 Like   #8
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OK, I can't stand it any longer, the suspense is killing me.

I commute daily between central NJ and north-of-Philly. If you are willing to drive up to the Florence/Bordentown/Burlington area during the evening, we can meet up at a public place (like a Dunkin Donuts). You can try one of my flash units on your K-5, and we can test your flash with a voltmeter, my Wein safe-sync, and my wireless triggers. It will only take 5 minutes to diagnose the problem, plus you walk away knowing more about your triggering options. And I get to sleep better. Real easy.

LMK if that works for you, then we can work out the time/place via PM.

I'm putting this out there in case there are other SJ/Philly PF members closer to you who would be willing to take a look. Actually I know they are out there, but they probably haven't seen this thread.


Last edited by Tanzer; 01-28-2016 at 01:04 PM.
01-28-2016, 02:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tanzer Quote
OK, I can't stand it any longer, the suspense is killing me.

I commute daily between central NJ and north-of-Philly. If you are willing to drive up to the Florence/Bordentown/Burlington area during the evening, we can meet up at a public place (like a Dunkin Donuts). You can try one of my flash units on your K-5, and we can test your flash with a voltmeter, my Wein safe-sync, and my wireless triggers. It will only take 5 minutes to diagnose the problem, plus you walk away knowing more about your triggering options. And I get to sleep better. Real easy.

LMK if that works for you, then we can work out the time/place via PM.

I'm putting this out there in case there are other SJ/Philly PF members closer to you who would be willing to take a look. Actually I know they are out there, but they probably haven't seen this thread.
This made me laugh out loud - I think this is hilarious. I think it is a fine solution for your collective problems.
01-28-2016, 05:10 PM - 1 Like   #10
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If your camera works still it is fine. If it doesn't work then it is not fine. Simple right?

---------- Post added 01-28-16 at 07:16 PM ----------

PS save yourself all the headache and just pony up for a used 540 mk1. They are pretty cheap these days because people are selling them and they are discontinued. Its a good torch. A very good torch sometimes. Get yourself some super cheap radio poppers too ($20) and throw that thing on a tripod. On camera it works well but you have to typically take a test exposure if you bounce and compensate. I've used autothyristors a lot and they can actually be more accurate with avoiding overexposure, but I find you still have to compensate on those too.

On the K-3 they fixed all the exposure issues mostly. Still the autoexposure is nice sometimes. Lately I've been using it more manually than anything. In that case you could just get a cheap yongnuo. I have an AF280. They are kind of useless with only 2 auto settings and a low mode. No zoom though they do cover a mostly wide area but you lose a lot of light with longer focal lengths. I've used one for a while and it was serviceable but for a couple bucks more a cheap manual flash would have been a lot more useful.

Hope that helps.
01-29-2016, 03:43 AM   #11
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Many Thanks!

I'd just like to thank everyone for having taken the time to reply to my post. You've given me some good information and I truly do appreciate it.
01-29-2016, 06:32 AM - 1 Like   #12
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If still in doubt, send your K5 to Otis for a complete internal inspection...Since you are a New Member, he will do it for free!

Regards!



If you don't know/trust Otis ...do a search here. He has been around for ages and is one of the most trustworthy Members at PForums.....so he says.

sq1
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