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05-22-2012, 11:28 PM   #1
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Does kr flash like normal when it is set to wireless mode + controller mode?

I have setup an external speedlite (no P-TTL) to slave mode and place it away from camera. The camera has set to use wireless flash and controller mode.

When i take a shot, I found that both speedlite and kr flashed out.

To furthur verify, I placed the speedlite on a table facing ceiling and kr under table shooting the floor. The exposure of the photo is the same as using the camera built-in flash.

Is my kr work correctly or there maybe a problem?

05-23-2012, 02:50 AM   #2
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In controller mode, the on-board flash will still fire before the exposure is made, to communicate with the slave flashes.
The on-board flash works only with P-TTL slaves.

From what I understand of your setup, you rather need a radio slave, or use your lens out of the A position (so the on-board flash will fire at full intensity, without the pre-flashes, at the start of the exposure).
05-23-2012, 06:26 AM   #3
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I was expecting the kr pop-up flash will not produce the flash and only the external speedlite will flash in this setup. One scenario might be i'm shooting a model from the front but i want a strong light source from the side or diagonally.

I can understand your solution on using a radio slave (transmitter/receiver?), but i don't understand the lens part. I was using the kit lens 18-55 to try out and this doesn't have A position.

Thanks for the reply.
05-23-2012, 06:29 AM   #4
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As mentioned, the K-r only supports P-TTL for automated flash control. For off-camera P-TTL flash, the only support is either a pricey Pentax P-TTL hotshoe to hotshoe extension cable, or so-called wireless P-TTL ... wireless meaning embedding control into a pre-flash.

I have the wireless P-TTL capable Sigma EF-610DG Super. When used in off-camera wireless slave mode, it is controlled and triggered by another P-TTL flash in controller mode. The K-r's built-in flash can work in two wireless P-TTL controller modes. It can participate in lighting the image, or it can perform only the pre-flash to send exposure information to off-camera P-TTL slave flashes. I have tested both functions using these two flashes. To the eye, it looks like both flashes are always participating in the exposure, however by examining the images, I can readily see that when the built-in flash is acting solely as a controller (pre-flash only), none of the built-in flash's light appears in the image.

When I moved from film to digital bodies I was left with an older but still useful Vivitar flash that supported TTL (now useless), auto-thyristor, and manual control. I recently took a gamble and purchased a Seagull SYK-5 optical flash slave controller. This device has a tunable timer to ignore the red-eye reduction pre-flashes present in nearly all modern cameras. I found that the timing was perfect for ignoring my K-r's P-TLL pre-flash at the shortest time setting. Using the flash's auto-thyristor control, I can combine this non-P-TTL flash with any combination of my two P-TTL flashes. The only caveat is the camera's aperture cannot be set by the camera; rather it has to be set via aperture priority (Av) to the value shown on the non-P-TTL flash (or as tweaked for artistic control).

As a note. The SYK-5 slave requires no batteries. It is powered by the flash itself, bleeding off just enough current to operate without actually triggering the flash. It supports both hotshoe and PC connected flashes. I have no documentation on this, but suspect that the slave requires the use of current low-voltage flash triggers and may be damaged by older high-voltage flash triggers.

05-23-2012, 06:39 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zev23 Quote
I can understand your solution on using a radio slave (transmitter/receiver?), but i don't understand the lens part. I was using the kit lens 18-55 to try out and this doesn't have A position.
Diacouture was referring to non-DA lens where the lens has an aperture ring. Almost all of these lens made in the past 30 years included a 'A' setting where the aperture can be automatically selected by the camera's metering system. So long as the camera doesn't see an automated aperture lens, he is stating that the built-in flash stops working in P-TTL mode and operates only in full manual mode without the pre-flash.

As you have noted, DA lens do not have a means of manually setting the aperture on the lens. The aperture is controlled exclusively by the camera. Therefore they are always in 'A' mode.
05-23-2012, 07:07 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
. To the eye, it looks like both flashes are always participating in the exposure, however by examining the images, I can readily see that when the built-in flash is acting solely as a controller (pre-flash only), none of the built-in flash's light appears in the image.
Is it only if the external flash support P-TTL properly, then the built-in flash will act as controller (no flash discharge but external flash do)?

Just performed another test. I left my speedlite on slave mode and Kr in manual mode (no more wireless mode). When I take a picture, both flash discharge. Tested by both facing a power off LCD screen and I see 2 light sources in the photo. No radio device is used so the external flash is not suppose to fire in manual mode right?

Maybe either my kr or speedlite really got something wrong here.
05-23-2012, 07:24 AM   #7
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Another question:

When "Flash in wireless mode" is set to "OFF", built-in flash set to "Wireless Mode" and no external flash around, will the built-in flash still discharge?

Mine discharged.
05-23-2012, 08:07 AM   #8
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Using your kit lens and raising the built-in flash to its operational position, the built-in flash acts as a controller for any active external P-TTL flash - it will always discharge. However you can control the function of the built in flash via the camera's menu: C-17.

#1 - On ... the flash is a master ... it fires BOTH the pre-exposure (meaning the shutter is still closed) flash to meter and pass instructions to any P-TTL flashes acting as slaves AND fires again during the exposure (the shutter is open), or
#2- Off ... the flash is strictly a controller ... it fires ONLY the pre-exposure flash to meter and pass instructions to any P-TTL flashes acting as slaves, but it does NOT fire during the exposure.

If you are using an external non-P-TTL flash that uses an optical slave to determine when to flash, unless it has a mechanism to ignore the pre-exposure flash, the external flash will fire BEFORE the camera shutter is open and its light will not be recorded.

Further, if you DO use an external non-P-TTL flash that has an optical slave that ignores the pre-flash and fires with the second flash, and the built-in flash is set to work strictly as a controller (option #2 above), your external flash will never fire because it is waiting for the second flash from the built-in flash, which won't happen. This is why I like the Seagull SYK-5. It does not use the second flash as the trigger. Instead, it uses a timer to wait a specified amount of time after the pre-flash before firing the external flash. The idea is the timed delay causes the external flash to fire while the shutter is open.

I can see where all this can be confusing - especially as English uses the word 'flash' as both a noun and a verb. But read it all slowly and think about whether the shutter is closed or open when the event happens and it will all start to make sense. Most people cannot follow this with just their eyes and ears. It all happens too fast. The proof is shown in the test images. My favorite is my little table in my office with the coffee maker and cannisters of coffee. I use the shadows in the image to determine the lighting angles and relative strength of each light source. I am also glad this is a digtial camera and I can easily delete test images. Otherwise I would have to do a gallery showing of hundreds of photos of a coffee pot and call it 'art'.

The only other alternative for your non-P-TTL off-camera flash is to not use the built-in flash at all. You would then have a number of options, all of which require the purchase of some additional gear.


Last edited by JimJohnson; 05-24-2012 at 07:24 AM.
05-24-2012, 07:09 AM   #9
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I see... This cleared lots of doubt.

Thanks Jim!
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