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07-11-2019, 11:59 PM   #1
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Help with the AF-500 ftz

Hello,

I need some help with the AF-500ftz. I purchased a unit to use with
the PENTAX 654N. I read the manual for the flash unit and the 645N and
I’m still a bit confused.

1. Does the flash effective range appear on the LCD? (I am using
FA lenses) according to the 645N manual the range should appear
on the LCD on the back of the flash unit. However, according to the AF-500ftz
manual the flash effective range appears only when paired with
MZ-5/ZX-5 and Z-/PZ-series cameras.

2. Does anyone have experience shooting the PENTAX 645N and the AF-500ftz utilizing
the slow-speed-sync mode? I may be confused but according to the 645N manual I have to be in the
manual mode for both the camera and flash unit and be slower than
1/60 of a second for it to work?

Any advice from personal experience will be greatly appreciated.

Regards


Last edited by Ejacks3; 07-12-2019 at 04:58 AM.
07-12-2019, 09:43 AM   #2
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1b) I can answer part of the question: The flash manual you are using is not the latest one that includes 645N data. Check out this thread: AF500FTZ compatibility with Pentax 645 - PentaxForums.com. The extra pages you need are in the last link.

1a) Let me do an experiment today if I get a chance to answer what is displayed.

2) I know that the 645N sync speed is 1/60 of a second. I haven't tried (that I recall) your exact conditions. In any case, as far as I know, the 500FTZ will produce a flash that is at most a few hundred microseconds long -- shorter in TTL mode when quenched at the point the camera decides it has enough light. I think leading or trailing edge shutter operation is possible. There is no long flash or multiplicity of flashes filling a shutter's total open time, as in HSS mode with the 540FGZ and 645Z. I believe (from memory) that the 500FTZ can do a modest number of multiple flashes for multi-exposure shots.
07-12-2019, 10:44 AM   #3
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I did this experiment: 645N with mounted AF-500FTZ. No film using functional check back. ISO = 100 set. Lens was FA 4.5 45-85 Zoom. Flash was in TTL, auto-zoom modes. Camera was in X mode, with auto focus and auto aperture enabled. Flash read 35mm. A half-press of the shutter button lead to auto focus, auto calculation of f/no, and in the flash display it read 4.2 ft -- 24 ft. (The TTL function would adapt to where one was within that span.)

I have a variety of lenses. Is there a particular one you want me to try, or some other camera configuration (within the limits of those that will work with the filmless test back)?
07-13-2019, 06:58 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
I did this experiment: 645N with mounted AF-500FTZ. No film using functional check back. ISO = 100 set. Lens was FA 4.5 45-85 Zoom. Flash was in TTL, auto-zoom modes. Camera was in X mode, with auto focus and auto aperture enabled. Flash read 35mm. A half-press of the shutter button lead to auto focus, auto calculation of f/no, and in the flash display it read 4.2 ft -- 24 ft. (The TTL function would adapt to where one was within that span.)

I have a variety of lenses. Is there a particular one you want me to try, or some other camera configuration (within the limits of those that will work with the filmless test back)?
Hey Kaseki,

Thank you for your reply.

The effective flash range is still not showing on the back of my AF-500ftz. (Have 2 AF-500ftz flashes and have received the same results)The flash unit is paired to the 645n. I have tried it with the 3 lenses I own the 150mm, 75mm and 45mm all FA lenses. The flashes were in TTL mode with auto zoom. I have tried it with the camera in full auto, aperture priority, shutter priority and there is no flash range information visible on the LCD on the flash. I don’t have it in bounce flash mode.

I am also curious about another thing, does the flash unit have a low light AF assist? I went into a darkened room to test if a light came on but did not see anything. I’ll reread through the camera manual and flash manual again. Maybe, I am missing something.

Once again, thanks for the information. I’m really at a loss at why the flash range info is not showing up on either of my af500 ftz units bought separately. The units fire when placed on 645N.

Thanks and regards

07-13-2019, 07:26 AM   #5
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I believe the unit provides IR illumination to aid the camera in performing autofocus. You may not be able to see it, even in a darkened room. This will depend on your eyes and whether an IR LED is used, or a tungsten light with filter. In my youth I could see to 810 nm at safe irradiation levels, but that is barely into the IR, and silicon detectors can see to 1100 nm.

The way TTL works, the camera controls when the flash pulse ends. The range estimation that appears in the 500FTZ I tested (I guess I should test all of them) is only telling you what the table in the (revised) manual is telling you about the flash power range vs. flash head beam divergence. The minimum range is probably the estimated distance where the earliest quench time is possible. I believe it is critical that the camera have the ISO set in order for this function to work (not that I am aware of it being possible to have ISO set to no value).

It has been a while since I read the manuals for both units. Perhaps there is some subtle flash or camera set-up necessary for this. I'll play a bit further. However, it may be that your 645N is not fully functional in its interface with your two 500FTZs.
07-14-2019, 10:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
I believe the unit provides IR illumination to aid the camera in performing autofocus. You may not be able to see it, even in a darkened room. This will depend on your eyes and whether an IR LED is used, or a tungsten light with filter. In my youth I could see to 810 nm at safe irradiation levels, but that is barely into the IR, and silicon detectors can see to 1100 nm.

The way TTL works, the camera controls when the flash pulse ends. The range estimation that appears in the 500FTZ I tested (I guess I should test all of them) is only telling you what the table in the (revised) manual is telling you about the flash power range vs. flash head beam divergence. The minimum range is probably the estimated distance where the earliest quench time is possible. I believe it is critical that the camera have the ISO set in order for this function to work (not that I am aware of it being possible to have ISO set to no value).

It has been a while since I read the manuals for both units. Perhaps there is some subtle flash or camera set-up necessary for this. I'll play a bit further. However, it may be that your 645N is not fully functional in its interface with your two 500FTZs.
Kaseki,

Once again thank you for the information. I’m currently in Japan for a year. So, maybe I can find an old Pentax tech/repairman that I can communicate with to figure out why both these flash units seem not to be full communicating with my 645N or the other way around. It could just be me too. I recently picked up an old AF-300ftz for a few dollars. So, I will try that as well.

Once again thanks!!
07-15-2019, 07:04 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ejacks3 Quote
Kaseki,

Once again thank you for the information. I’m currently in Japan for a year. So, maybe I can find an old Pentax tech/repairman that I can communicate with to figure out why both these flash units seem not to be full communicating with my 645N or the other way around. It could just be me too. I recently picked up an old AF-300ftz for a few dollars. So, I will try that as well.

Once again thanks!!
You are welcome. I haven't had a chance for extended testing yet, but I'll let you know the results when I get them.
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