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03-10-2016, 01:13 PM   #1
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Metz 48 AF-1 and K-3 II compatibility issues (CONFIRMED)

If there are any (advanced) photographers out there using this combination, I'd really appreciate your input on this.
Ever since I've switched to the K-3 II, I've been having 2 issues with my 48 AF-1 flash, which were not present on my older K-500:
1. P-TTL shutter lag - A lag/delay of some 1/4s after pressing the shutter release until the actual picture is taken (well documented on this forum already)
2. Random underexposed images when using P-TTL (re-create instructions below), which is my main issue with the flash.

I've contacted Metz about these issues, and they claim they've tested their flash guns with the K-3 II and they are "fully compatible". I then assumed the problem might be my K-3II itself. So I took it to the Pentax service and after testing multiple K-3II's with my Metz 48 AF-1 they concluded it was not a K-3II issue. The same issues happened on all K-3 II's. They also tested my K-3 II with a Pentax flash gun which showed no issues whatsoever.
So apparently it is a Metz flash issue after all..

Now here's my dilemma: I now know my K-3 II is working fine, but what I don't know is whether I have a bad copy of the flash (highly unlikely, as it works fine with my K-500) or if it's a Metz firmware issue, in which case any Metz flash may be affected. I was ready to purchase a new Metz 52 AF-1 as my primary flash, but I have no way of knowing if the flash will actually work or if it will display the same issues as my Metz 48 AF-1.

If anyone has the time to try and re-create this issue, I'd really appreciate it. Here's the instructions:
1. K-3II settings: Manual mode, shutter:1/15s,ISO 800, f3.5 (or any other low aperture the lens supports). (it happens in other modes as well, but it's easy to re-create in this mode)
2. Metz 48 AF-1 settings: P-TTL, Rear curtain mode, flash head pointed up (bounce mode).
3. Place camera on tripod/static surface and shoot at least 20-30 shots.
4. Some shots will turn out as intended (properly exposed), but a few will be randomly underexposed.

I'm at a loss as to what to do. I love Metz flashes for their built quality, power and most importantly, price, but I can't know if they actually fully work with the K-3II. And paying 500$ for a Pentax AF540 is out of the question...

Any help is appreciated.


Last edited by Rayn; 04-26-2016 at 02:41 PM.
03-10-2016, 01:41 PM - 1 Like   #2
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I've got both flash guns (a 48 and 2x58s) and a K3-ii. I won't get a chance to try them until the weekend...BUT check to see which version of the Metz software you've got running. I had a problem with a K5-II with an older flash software version, especially with rear curtain sync. When I'd done the upgrate (to v4 it seemed to solve the problem).
03-10-2016, 03:12 PM   #3
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Thanks, but that was the first thing I checked. I have the latest firmware. I've also sent the bug report to Metz , so hopefully if this is indeed a FW issue, it will be fixed sometime in the future.
03-10-2016, 03:34 PM   #4
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Are you using the same lens as well when you test your K-3II vs. your K-500? Reason I mention this is because something happened with Metz, Pentax, rear sync and pre-a lenses from K-5 onwards. I use a 58afii; on my K-7 all was hunky dory on both pre-a and modern lenses. On my K-5 rear sync suddenly didn't work with pre-a lenses (but does with modern). On my K-3ii modern works fine, but using a pre-a lens the first shot fails, the second doesn't (although the second's metering is all over the place). 58 is also on v4

03-10-2016, 04:00 PM   #5
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I would have thought that rear curtain sync was not valid with manual focus lenses, because it requires P-TTL mode ... And P-TTL mode is only valid with autofocus lenses .... ?

Last edited by mcgregni; 03-10-2016 at 04:56 PM.
03-10-2016, 04:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
I world have thought that rear curtain sync was not valid with manual focus lenses, because it requires P-TTL mode ... And P-TTL mode is only valid with autofocus lenses .... ?
Yeah - works on K-7 though. Rayn the OP didn't mention lens at all, so maybe he's testing on a lens type that doesn't even support PTTL.
03-10-2016, 04:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Nass Quote
Yeah - works on K-7 though. Rayn the OP didn't mention lens at all, so maybe he's testing on a lens type that doesn't even support PTTL.
First time I heard about lenses having an effect on P-TTL.. good to know.
However, as you can see from my signature, I don't own a single MF lens. I tested the flash with a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and Pentax 18-55mm kit lens on both K-3II and K-500, just to rule out 3rd party lenses being an issue.
03-11-2016, 04:09 AM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rayn Quote
If there are any (advanced) photographers out there using this combination, I'd really appreciate your input on this.
Ever since I've switched to the K-3 II, I've been having 2 issues with my 48 AF-1 flash, which were not present on my older K-500:
1. P-TTL shutter lag - A lag/delay of some 1/4s after pressing the shutter release until the actual picture is taken (well documented on this forum already)
2. Random underexposed images when using P-TTL (re-create instructions below), which is my main issue with the flash.

I've contacted Metz about these issues, and they claim they've tested their flash guns with the K-3 II and they are "fully compatible". I then assumed the problem might be my K-3II itself. So I took it to the Pentax service and after testing multiple K-3II's with my Metz 48 AF-1 they concluded it was not a K-3II issue. The same issues happened on all K-3 II's. They also tested my K-3 II with a Pentax flash gun which showed no issues whatsoever.
So apparently it is a Metz flash issue after all..

Now here's my dilemma: I now know my K-3 II is working fine, but what I don't know is whether I have a bad copy of the flash (highly unlikely, as it works fine with my K-500) or if it's a Metz firmware issue, in which case any Metz flash may be affected. I was ready to purchase a new Metz 52 AF-1 as my primary flash, but I have no way of knowing if the flash will actually work or if it will display the same issues as my Metz 48 AF-1.

If anyone has the time to try and re-create this issue, I'd really appreciate it. Here's the instructions:
1. K-3II settings: Manual mode, shutter:1/15s,ISO 800, f3.5 (or any other low aperture the lens supports). (it happens in other modes as well, but it's easy to re-create in this mode)
2. Metz 48 AF-1 settings: P-TTL, Rear curtain mode, flash head pointed up (bounce mode).
3. Place camera on tripod/static surface and shoot at least 20-30 shots.
4. Some shots will turn out as intended (properly exposed), but a few will be randomly underexposed.

I'm at a loss as to what to do. I love Metz flashes for their built quality, power and most importantly, price, but I can't know if they actually fully work with the K-3II. And paying 500$ for a Pentax AF540 is out of the question...

Any help is appreciated.
I have 2x 48Af1's some 50 af1's and fgz360 /540 mk1's

I don't have a K3ii though.

What version of firmware have you installed on the 48 .?
Pentax: Metz

I can test against my k3 if you like but though haven't done your exact test have not seen any consistency error when bouncing.

One thought it relies on the 'bounce' being detected Does your head acknowledge it in bounce mode ? (zoom indicator vanishes bounced or comes on direct.)
Ensure when your firing your test shot it doesn't flicker into direct mode (zoom appears)

03-11-2016, 07:25 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
I have 2x 48Af1's some 50 af1's and fgz360 /540 mk1's

I don't have a K3ii though.

What version of firmware have you installed on the 48 .?
Pentax: Metz
As you can see on the page, the last FW update was in 2013. I updated it 6 months ago, when I got the K-3II and started having problems.

QuoteQuote:
I can test against my k3 if you like but though haven't done your exact test have not seen any consistency error when bouncing.
I'm not sure this issue is present on the K-3, but if you could test it, it might help pinpoint the problem.

QuoteQuote:
One thought it relies on the 'bounce' being detected Does your head acknowledge it in bounce mode ? (zoom indicator vanishes bounced or comes on direct.)
Ensure when your firing your test shot it doesn't flicker into direct mode (zoom appears)
It does, and unfortunately the problem happens too often for this to be an issue; around 1 out of 10 shots are underexposed by a varying degree. The Pentax service tested the flash using a high speed camera, and concluded what I already suspected; There is a flash sync problem with the K-3II. The flash light sometimes misses the shutter by a few milliseconds, effectively making the shot look like it was shot without the flash.
Anyway, if Pentax service could reproduce the issue with multiple K-3II's, it's obviously not a K-3II issue, which just leaves one of 2 options: Either My Metz 48 AF-1 is faulty (which, as I mentioned in the OP, is unlikely, as it works fine with the K-500) or the Metz firmware is incompatible with the K-3 II.
03-11-2016, 12:02 PM   #10
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Issue confirmed by Metz!

I've just recieved an email from Metz, confirming the issue with Metz FW and K-3II:


QuoteQuote:
Concerning the combination of the mecablitz 48 AF-1 digital and the Pentax K-3 II I want to give you a short status report.

Meanwhile the mentioned combination could be checked. Thereby the described malfunction could be reproduced. This is why we will do further checking with our flash units and probably we have to modify the firmware of the flash units. As soon as I get further details I will inform you again.

Best regards
_____________________________________________

Metz mecatech GmbH
Ohmstraße 55, D-90513 Zirndorf, Germany
03-11-2016, 12:18 PM   #11
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Would be nice to see a new fw update for the 58 AF-1 even though I am (only) using it with the K-5 IIs
03-11-2016, 01:28 PM   #12
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Metz issued beta firmware fix which seems to fix the compatibility issue with the K-3II.

Last edited by Rayn; 04-26-2016 at 02:43 PM.
12-29-2016, 04:47 AM   #13
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Hello all maybe I can get some help with you

The question is about my Metz 52 Af1, on my K3II. When in P-TTL mode just limit the Shutter speed to 1/90, and in HSS P-TTL it limits 1/90 and then jumps to 1/200 and goes descending as expexted 1/8000, but doesn't seems to syncronise as expected. because the image is under exposed from 1/200 and so one.

I think it could be the compatibility with the model K3II.
What do you think on it?

I can't go to 1/180 as K3II sync speed permits. I didn't relate it to Metz. Any of you has already have this problem?

best regards
12-29-2016, 09:27 AM   #14
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To test things indoors, set the camera to M exposure mode, set 1/180 sec, F8, ISO 200 .... Bounce your light sideways and a little upwards onto a light colored wall and have your subject a few feet from the wall. In P-TTL mode in most domestic rooms this configuration should produce perfect exposures, as well as nice looking light, which is exactly what you're looking for .... Adjust flash compensation to your taste if needed. Try it like this a few times and let us know how it works out.

Please avoid any other modes and settings for now, and especially do not allow any auto-ISO on your camera.
01-03-2017, 10:11 AM   #15
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Hello all

First let me public thank to mcgreni, and you all for the research in pentax devices. I’ve been learning and studying this last year in this forum

For sometimes i said to a “canon” friend, that I’m suffering from excess of technology, hence my K3II is a very complete equipment.

By now, i think I can control the equipment and some techniques, but still far to know what I really want in this world of photography.

I’ve make some tests these days in family, with flash and without flash, and study some e-books and videos.

By luck, after a photo of 3 sec exposure, in another photo it was necessary to use the flash and i realise that i had the flash programed to 2nd curtain (When at 1/90 i was unable to see the selected curtain), so that’s why it has this limit 1/90.

Once I put it in 1st curtain the P-TTL and HSS P-TTL works fine.

Some links and books, you may already know:

The Book
www.pentaxforums.com/forums/attachments/125-flashes-lighting-studio/286779d1446139268-comprehensive-pentax-flash-guide-pentax-digital-camera-flash-lighting-system-2nd-edition-c-.pdf


Many Thanks
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