Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
12-07-2014, 07:42 PM   #1
Veteran Member
hks_kansei's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 827
Flash automation issues.

ok, so I've never really been one for flash photography since I've never really owned a decent flash.

In my travels I now have 3 of them, they are:

Pentax AF160
Sunpak Auto321
Sigma EF530DGST

They are used on an *istDS

Anyway, when the flashes are pointed straight ahead they all expose fairly well, however, when using the bounce option (not on the AF160 since it's fixed position) I have noticed that the Sunpak tends to be more consistant in exposures than the Sigma....

So I'm curious, what is the benefit of P-TTL?
Is it purely the ability to use any Aperture setting (letting the flash deal with the power levels/speed) or are there other benefits to P-TTL flashes?

Basically what I'm getting at is that I've been disappointed all the time with the Sigma P-TTL flash, is it actually crap, or am I using it wrong?

12-08-2014, 06:56 AM   #2
Senior Member

Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 143
I hope it isn't crap. I just ordered one yesterday
12-08-2014, 12:05 PM   #3
Dark Underlord
Loyal Site Supporter
AquaDome's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: New Carlisle, IN
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 1,475
The *istDS is TTL, as is the SunPak 321. Does the *istDS also do P-TTL?
The Sigma EF-530 DG is P-TTL. Does it also do TTL for older Pentax cameras?
12-16-2014, 10:40 AM   #4
emalvick's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Davis, CA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 1,540
I never had an *istDS and as the previous post mentioned, I think it is the one camera that is TTL and not P-TTL.

That being said, most subsequent Pentax camera bodies have not been great with external flashes and P-TTL. I know that with my K10d and K5, I could not get consistent results with PTTL flashes, especially when trying to bounce the flash. It isn't to say I couldn't make it work, but I had to develop rules of thumb for exposure and flash compensation. I also found that using Auto or Manual mode on my flashes with easier than TTL or PTTL. You might try Auto or Manual mode on your flash to see how it goes (if it has one)

12-16-2014, 11:21 AM   #5
Veteran Member

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Frisco Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 382
The istDS can do TTL and PTTL.
12-17-2014, 07:01 AM   #6
Veteran Member
awaldram's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Hampshire
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 731
QuoteOriginally posted by rockmaster1964 Quote
The istDS can do TTL and PTTL.
Ah but does a 3rd party flash know that and is it capable of switching itself and the body into correct modes ?

I doubt the 530 has ever been tested on a ds
12-18-2014, 05:44 AM   #7
Veteran Member

Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Frisco Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 382
I believe the 530 is a PTTL only flash, so that is how the istDS will use it. If you buy a old TTL flash it will work with the istDS. I am not sure which mode a Pentax 540 would use since it can do TTL and PTTL.
12-20-2014, 07:51 AM   #8
Veteran Member
hks_kansei's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 827
Original Poster
I will add that today I used the Sigma flash agian, and found I got more consistant results.

The big change was that I was using the camera in Shutter priority this time, where previously I had been using it in aperture priority (apparently PTTL doesnt work properly in Av mode or something?)

Granted, today's photos were a fairly easy shoot, so it may not have been the mode change, it may have been more the user (me) doing a better job.


  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
af160, flash, flash automation, flashes, lighting, p-ttl, photo studio, sigma, strobist, sunpak
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
K5-II flash issues solved? Isoruku Pentax K-5 7 07-08-2014 05:09 AM
K-5 and PC flash issues beales1986 Pentax K-5 7 05-15-2014 05:46 PM
AF160fc Ring Flash issues john mood Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 3 11-16-2013 07:57 PM
New Metz flash issues with Q Rahp Pentax Q 5 12-29-2012 08:48 AM
Automation for beginners wsteffey Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 12 06-09-2011 06:18 AM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:17 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]