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09-22-2019, 12:43 AM   #1
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FGZ-540 and K1 strange issue

Hi all,

I experienced a strange issue when doing a wedding yesterday and wonder if anyone else has experienced anything similar.

Iíve noticed in the past that, very occasionally, the FGZ540 would fully discharge, overexposing everything in the frame and make subjects reach for their sunglasses. I switched both flash and camera off and on again, reseated flash on camera and changed batteries. I noted that the flash seemed to drop from P-TTL to TTL whenever this happened. A reset makes things normal again...for serval shots then it recurs.

Settings were manual or Av, slow sync. Flash was occasionally in HSS mode for daylight fill in (although the issue seemed most prevalent at night on manual).

Iíve had the FGZ540 for 10 years so I guess it might be on its last legs? Known firmware issues in the K1? Any experience of similar anyone?

09-22-2019, 03:42 AM - 1 Like   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
Any experience of similar anyone?
Not had that happen myself. When the flash allows you to select TTL (or selects it itself) it could be a sign that the connection between camera and flash is at fault. TTL should not be a selectable option when the camera is switched on as K1 cannot do TTL
09-22-2019, 04:27 AM - 1 Like   #3
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Sounds familiar. I have had my FGZ-540 for close to 10 years also. What a workhorse. Early on I had the locking pin removed after it failed to release and got caught on my K10D. I've had the hotshoe replaced after it broke off 3 years ago, and had to readjust the internal wirings of it after they loosened last year. The last episode made the flash perform exactly the way you describe. But my issue was the contacts miscommunicating with the internal mechanism via the wiring. So after I did minor surgery to it (undoing the hotshoe and just tightening up all the wires), it returned back to its PTTL performance we all know and love.
09-22-2019, 11:36 AM   #4
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Thanks both for the replies. Iíll check everything is nice and secure and see how I get on.

09-22-2019, 12:46 PM   #5
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By any chance were you using an "A" series rather than an auto-focus lens? There is a poorly documented P-TTL behavior when used with lenses that don't provide an estimate of subject distance that may result in the flash firing at full intensity if the metering from the pre-flash is outside the meter's range due to proximity, reflectivity, wide aperture, and/or high ISO.* That is why some of the user manuals caution against use of other than auto-focus lenses with P-TTL flash.


Steve

* My testing indicates that if an estimate of subject distance is known, the pre-flash intensity is tailored to distance. If not, it fires at a single high intensity. If that brightness is is beyond the meter's maximum, the fail-over is to fire full-strength. There is a similar fail-over if the brightness is below the meter's minimum.
09-22-2019, 06:14 PM   #6
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usually the contacts. I have my camera contacts get a layer of something at times... (something like it was kept in a humid situation for some time, although not). I have to deliberately clean each contact on the hot shoe (on the camera) to make it clean/shiny. This happens more on my K-01 often and sometimes on my K-5ii.
Flash wont be at the end of it with that behavior.. if the capacitor inside (which is the component that usually fails if not the bulb) is dying then it will just stop working or will recycle more often than it used to.
09-22-2019, 08:58 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
By any chance were you using an "A" series rather than an auto-focus lens?
It was a recent model AF lens, 24-70 f2.8.

---------- Post added 23-09-19 at 05:02 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by shardulm Quote
usually the contacts. I have my camera contacts get a layer of something at times... (something like it was kept in a humid situation for some time, although not). I have to deliberately clean each contact on the hot shoe (on the camera) to make it clean/shiny. This happens more on my K-01 often and sometimes on my K-5ii.
Flash wont be at the end of it with that behavior.. if the capacitor inside (which is the component that usually fails if not the bulb) is dying then it will just stop working or will recycle more often than it used to.
Thanks for this. Hopefully a good clean and check will solve it.
09-22-2019, 09:27 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by HippyHippo Quote
Thanks both for the replies. Iíll check everything is nice and secure and see how I get on.
I believe I posted a thread on it which may be of some use to you: Flash issues on K-1 II - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com
In fact, you've even contributed in that thread....

09-22-2019, 09:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
I believe I posted a thread on it which may be of some use to you: Flash issues on K-1 II - Page 3 - PentaxForums.com
In fact, you've even contributed in that thread....
Brilliant, Iíd forgotten all about that. Thank you.

By way of an update, Iíve given the hot shoe and the flash foot a good clean with alcohol wipes. Itís early days, but having fired off a couple of dozen shots thereís no sign of the issue, so fingers crossed.

Last edited by HippyHippo; 09-22-2019 at 10:55 PM.
4 Days Ago   #10
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My AF540 flash has been carefully treated. The body looks great and even the battery door works fine. Unfortunately the flash started acting up and performance has steadily declined. By the time the K-1 arrived, the 540 was so inconsistent, it would rarely fire. If it did, the exposures were all over the place. I was looking at replacements.

Then I happened on this thread. Took the 540 apart, operated the quick disconects, and cleaned the foot's electrical Contacts. It's like a new flash now. Thank you, thank you.

My PentaxForums donation has already paid for itself.
Thank,
barondla
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