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09-04-2018, 01:26 PM - 1 Like   #1
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old lenses flash and green button

Hi
I have a K3II and a Metz 44 AF1 flashgun. I have two old lenses from my old ME Super - A Pentax 135mm and a 50mm F1.7. When shooting without flash I use the Green button method ie set the aperture on manual mode and press the green button to stop down. Overall I get decent results although focussing is sometimes a little off. However when using flash should I set the camera to manual mode or to X and do I still use the green button?. Also should I use the flash on TTL or manual. I have tried various combinations but don't get consistent results. Is it just a matter of trial and error or has anybody got a proven method
I am interested to hear anybody's experience of this
Thanks

09-04-2018, 03:01 PM   #2
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Assuming you have the Pentax version of the 44 AF-1 and that it has no special behaviors, you can expect it to work something like the following if the lens lacks contacts on the base:
  • Use M or X mode, both will work
  • There will be no flash exposure automation and no special features such as HSS or trailing curtain flash
  • It will not automatically set the shutter speed for you either. You can set it to 1/180s or below manually or use X mode
  • The sync through the hot shoe will not fire above 1/180s
  • Aperture should be set based on the flash guide number, ISO, and distance. The user guide for the flash may help in this regard.
  • Flash duration to allow different guide numbers will have to be set manually on the flash
  • Angled flash for bounce and/or changing flash coverage for different focal lengths may result in lower guide numbers
  • Green button is not a part of the flow except, perhaps, to get an indication of exposure for ambient light
The nice part is that you are in a position to experiment without having to burn through a lot of film. A full discussion of how to do manual flash would take many words though there are many good online references, should this not be part of your history.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-04-2018 at 03:24 PM.
09-04-2018, 03:03 PM   #3
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X mode only sets the shuter to the fastest sync speed, 1/180s in this case.
When shooting in m mode with a manual flash, I use digital preview and adjust exposure by trial and error. Haven't tried manual mode with a p-ttl flash.
09-05-2018, 10:09 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Assuming you have the Pentax version of the 44 AF-1 and that it has no special behaviors, you can expect it to work something like the following if the lens lacks contacts on the base:
  • Use M or X mode, both will work
  • There will be no flash exposure automation and no special features such as HSS or trailing curtain flash
  • It will not automatically set the shutter speed for you either. You can set it to 1/180s or below manually or use X mode
  • The sync through the hot shoe will not fire above 1/180s
  • Aperture should be set based on the flash guide number, ISO, and distance. The user guide for the flash may help in this regard.
  • Flash duration to allow different guide numbers will have to be set manually on the flash
  • Angled flash for bounce and/or changing flash coverage for different focal lengths may result in lower guide numbers
  • Green button is not a part of the flow except, perhaps, to get an indication of exposure for ambient light
The nice part is that you are in a position to experiment without having to burn through a lot of film. A full discussion of how to do manual flash would take many words though there are many good online references, should this not be part of your history.


Steve
Thank you Stevebrot, a great reply. Most of the points you make link in with the results I've been getting. I do have the Pentax version of the 44AF-1 and I was getting good and bad results using manual and X mode. I think it is a case of noting the settings when the results are good. I agree with you it's great being able to experiment and see the results straight away and not wasting rolls of film. Thanks again

---------- Post added 09-05-18 at 10:13 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
X mode only sets the shuter to the fastest sync speed, 1/180s in this case.
When shooting in m mode with a manual flash, I use digital preview and adjust exposure by trial and error. Haven't tried manual mode with a p-ttl flash.
Thanks aaacb I will experiment some more and take note of what works and what doesn't.

09-05-2018, 12:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by retsoor Quote
I do have the Pentax version of the 44AF-1 and I was getting good and bad results using manual and X mode. I think it is a case of noting the settings when the results are good.
The main things to keep in mind are:
  • The two control points for flash exposure are aperture and power
  • Since aperture also affects ambient light exposure, power is probably the more useful
  • Unless the flash is very powerful, at moderate distance and moderate power and moderate ISO one may reasonably choose a moderate aperture
Here is an example for your 44 AF-1 with guide number 44 (meters) at full power.
At 1/16 power* and ISO 200 and 3m distance, an aperture of f/8 should work well.
If f/5.6 would work better, set power to 1/32. I hope this helps.


Steve

(...did not try those settings...hoping the calculation is close...usually just sort of fudge my manual flash work...)

* 1/16 power on the 44 AF-1 is about guide number 17 which is a bit lower than that of the moderately powerful Pentax AF201FG.

Last edited by stevebrot; 09-05-2018 at 01:10 PM.
09-06-2018, 10:30 AM   #6
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I'm now finding that altering the power of the flash or the aperture or in some instances both is getting me there
Thanks
09-06-2018, 10:59 AM   #7
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Yes, in M flash mode, aperture, ISO, power setting, distance (flash to subject), bounce angle/surface type, and diffusers will each have an impact and require a compensating adjustment of another aspect to maintain a fixed flash exposure level.

M flash mode is your only choice here really. Auto thyristor mode is good for old manual lenses, as the flash exposure is determined by the flash itself, not the camera, therefore communication of setting information is not needed.

Use M camera mode if you want to control the ambient exposure also, or create a mix of ambient and flash exposures ...... This is achieved by having independent control of exposure time ("shutter speed"). Exposure time will only affect the ambient exposure, so that is your most direct control over ambient exposure. Be aware of limitations for handholding steadily, and if needed increase ISO to allow for this.
09-06-2018, 01:45 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
Auto thyristor mode is good for old manual lenses, as the flash exposure is determined by the flash itself, not the camera, therefore communication of setting information is not needed.
Pity that the Metz 44 AF-1 does not have auto-thyristor. Also a pity that it is absent from the current generation Pentax flash. P-TTL generally works fine, but auto flash will usually work where P-TTL fails and is much easier than dead-reckoning.


Steve

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