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07-03-2008, 11:05 AM   #1
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Can I fire the Pentax AF-360 FGZ wirelessly without triggering on-camera flash?

My first post!

I'm pretty new to DSLR photography (bought my K10D 3 months ago) and I just bought a Pentax AF-360 FGZ yesterday and I'm wondering if it's possible to fire the Pentax AF-360 FGZ wirelessly without triggering on-camera flash? I tried looking through the included information but it was pretty confusing since I don't know what a lot of it means...

I'd like to build a DIY flexible flash bracket and use the AF-360 as a fill flash when I'm shooting people in bright light, but I don't want the on-camera flash to fire and muck things up.

Do I need to buy a hot shoe cord? Or some sort of transmitter? Or will the flash be able to do this by itself?

Here's the flash bracket(s) I'd like to build:
Quiglag.com DIY Flexible Flash Bracket.


THANKS!

07-03-2008, 11:11 AM   #2
and
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You need to go to the custom settings of your k10d and set your on board flash to not fire when in wireless mode by alteing the Flash in Wireless Mode setting.

the on board flash still has to fire to trigger the external flashes, but this happens before the picture is taken and does not affect the exposure.
07-03-2008, 12:10 PM   #3
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Thanks so much, and!
I can't wait to try it out this weekend.

I'm also planning on making the DIY Beauty Dish. Lots of fun projects to try now that I have the flash.

Flickr: Discussing DIY Beauty Dish - Yeah, another one! in Strobist.com
07-03-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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Now that I'm at home testing it I don't seem to be able to get the AF-360 to fire without also firing the on-camera flash.

I've set the flash up as the manual described (P-TTL, power switch set to Wireless) and the camera is set on the right channel, in Wireless flash mode (FN menu), with the flash set to NOT fire in Wireless mode (Custom settings menu).
I'm using the Pentax 50mm f1.4 lens, with the aperture set to A, using the Aperture Priority mode.

However when I go to the mirror to shoot a picture of myself to check, the AF-360 will not fire unless the onboard flash is in the up position, and when the onboard flash is in the u position it always fires at the same time as the AF-360 so that both flashes are caught in the photograph...

Is there a page I can go to for more info on this?
I have the most recent software on my K10D (1.3) and I think it is possible to fire the AF-360 wirelessly without using the onboard flash, but I just can't seem to get it to work...




Last edited by jacksonpritt; 07-03-2008 at 09:31 PM.
07-04-2008, 01:52 AM   #5
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i'd also like to know how to do this, i have a k20d and and might buy a 360 tomorrow hoping i can shoot it wirelessly....
07-04-2008, 03:30 AM   #6
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ehm ok I did mention about this.

Yes the built in flash needs to be raised because that it what is triggering the external flash! The light coming from the intenal flash triggers the external one.

But the triggering flash happens before the exposure! You press the shutter release but the shutter has not opened yet. This happens in microseaconds, you wont be able to tell that it happens before.

You can experiment with this, take an object, use settings that will make the scene go dark if it hadnt been lit by flash, then turn the external flash off. does the picture become dark? position the remote flash directly to the side of the subject, does it become side lit.
07-04-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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The final flash from the popup is also what actually triggers the external flahses.

Before shutter openes, Camera flashes and remote flashes flash to communicate different information about how bright to be.
The shutter opens, the camera pop-up flash fires one last time - although very dimly.
The remote flashes pick that up and fire immediately at their determined brightness. This last flash cannot be turned off completely. How would the other flashes know when to fire?

The pop-up flash normally would not be seen (depending on the menu settings), but if you have highly reflective surfaces, or if you are very close to the subject, the pop-up flash will have impact on the scene.

The only way to do away with that is to use a PTTL cable and hot-shoe adapter to allow you to move one of the remote flashes off to the side.

Alternatively, set your flashes to Slave Mode 2 to be dumb slaves, go in full manual mode and use a radio trigger on one or all of your flashes. (You could also use a hot shoe adapter and a plain PC cable. Adapter needed for K10D, I think K20 has a PC cable connection again??)
07-04-2008, 07:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
But the triggering flash happens before the exposure! You press the shutter release but the shutter has not opened yet. This happens in microseaconds, you wont be able to tell that it happens before.

You can experiment with this, take an object, use settings that will make the scene go dark if it hadnt been lit by flash, then turn the external flash off. does the picture become dark? position the remote flash directly to the side of the subject, does it become side lit.
Well, this is what I've been trying to do, but with no luck.
I'm trying to shoot a picture of something in a mirror (so that I can see both flashes) and so both flashes can be seen firing in every shot.

Naturally this isn't anything like the actual conditions that I'll be shooting in when I use the flash for real, but I'd like to get this problem solved before I start using it with models.


QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Alternatively, set your flashes to Slave Mode 2 to be dumb slaves, go in full manual mode and use a radio trigger on one or all of your flashes. (You could also use a hot shoe adapter and a plain PC cable. Adapter needed for K10D, I think K20 has a PC cable connection again??)
This may be what I have to do in the end, but I'd really like to get the advertised wireless functionality of this flash working. A big reason why I picked the more expensive Pentax-branded flash over some cheapo Vivitar was that it supposedly did painless wireless without the need for cords and hot shoe adapters.
Also then I'd need 2 PC adapters, one for the K10D and one for the AF-360 since it doesn't have a PC connection.


SETTINGS I USE:
1) Turn on the camera and set to Av mode.
2) Use FN button to set the flash mode to Wireless Mode, go to Custom Settings in the Menu mode and set the Flash in Wireless Mode to OFF.
3) Turn flash on in Wireless mode, with the S (Sync) setting. P-TTL, with Zoom set to AUTO, leading shutter curtain sync.

Not really sure what else to do.
The manual is outdated (2003) and confusing, and was clearly written for the *ist series cameras, with no specific information mentioning the K10, K100, K20, or K200.


Last edited by jacksonpritt; 07-04-2008 at 08:45 AM.
07-04-2008, 12:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lanfriendly Quote
i'd also like to know how to do this, i have a k20d and and might buy a 360 tomorrow hoping i can shoot it wirelessly....
From what I've heard from other people I've asked about this you'll either need to get a TTL cable or a radio slave.

Radio slaves can be quite expensive, so I'm thinking about going the TTL cord route, since the non-Pentax ones cost around $40.

Honestly, I'm pretty frustrated about this, since there are cheaper alternatives to the AF-360 out there that probably would have been just as good. It seems fairly disingenuous for them to market this as a "wireless" flash when the wireless only works in conjunction with the firing of the camera's main onboard flash.

LINK to the AF-360 manual:
http://www.pentaxslr.com/pdf/flash_360_manual.pdf
07-04-2008, 01:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by jacksonpritt Quote
Well, this is what I've been trying to do, but with no luck.
I'm trying to shoot a picture of something in a mirror (so that I can see both flashes) and so both flashes can be seen firing in every shot.
While this is true, when you have the custom setting set to controller-only, the flash from the camera is very, very short and doesn't affect the actual exposure in a meaningful way you won't see shadows from it and if there's reflections in eyes I haven't noticed.
07-07-2008, 10:26 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
While this is true, when you have the custom setting set to controller-only, the flash from the camera is very, very short and doesn't affect the actual exposure in a meaningful way you won't see shadows from it and if there's reflections in eyes I haven't noticed.
Yeah, that's what Pentax customer support and all the documentation I've read says, but that's not what happens in reality.

I had a friend of mine try the same thing (shooting pictures of himself in the mirror using his AF-360) and he was surprised to see the exact same thing in all his shots too. It's less bright than the normal camera flash, but it's clearly visible in every image.
07-07-2008, 10:47 PM   #12
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Jacksonpritt and Lanfriendly
The 360 will work just fine in wireless. Mattdm is correct as usual; I have followed his posts and this guy knows the Pentax system. Thanks Matt for all you have shared in this forum.
In the K20D go to Custom menu 29, Flash in Wireless, set to off - it should show as 2. This will set the on camera flash to just pulse and control the off camera flash (I have a 360 and 540). It will not make a difference in almost all shots. Here's why; you shoot at a sync speed of 1/180, the on camera flash fires at up to 1/20,000 of a second. You may catch this in a mirror shot, but it is not going to cast a shadow in a your photo. If you are seeing a shadow, my guess is that you have Custom setting 29 wrong.

Now that said, I am still looking for a radio controller because the on-camera flash is line of sight and relatively short, they say 5 meters and that's indoors. I've had some success outside and indoors at greater distance, but not consistently. That's why people go to radio control.

Try the Custom mode 29 Off and that may fit your need. I want to use wireless in a large architectural setting, so will have to go radio.
07-08-2008, 05:17 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jacksonpritt Quote
Yeah, that's what Pentax customer support and all the documentation I've read says, but that's not what happens in reality.

I had a friend of mine try the same thing (shooting pictures of himself in the mirror using his AF-360) and he was surprised to see the exact same thing in all his shots too. It's less bright than the normal camera flash, but it's clearly visible in every image.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding what you need. Is having the camera and flash actually reflected in the shot the goal? I assumed you were just doing that for testing.
07-09-2008, 03:26 PM   #14
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In the past I have been able to use my 540 wirelessly without any visible flash from the camera. I haven't used that option in a long time, because I have the sync cables now.
08-26-2008, 04:04 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
You need to go to the custom settings of your k10d and set your on board flash to not fire when in wireless mode by alteing the Flash in Wireless Mode setting.

the on board flash still has to fire to trigger the external flashes, but this happens before the picture is taken and does not affect the exposure.
Ok, thanks for explanation.
I thought it had to do with making the wireless 360 the controller. (But I guess it is setting the built-in flash to be controller, instead of master).

(I see that you're mentioning some of the same, in the other thread :
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-camera-accessories/28058-wireless-...tml#post249625 )

Last edited by Jonson PL; 08-26-2008 at 08:41 AM.
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