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02-13-2020, 12:19 PM   #1
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AF-360FGZII contrast control operation

Review says: Contrast Control synchronization requires a wired connection using dedicated, expensive cables and adapters. Add to that the inconvenience of the cabling in itself if you have anything but a small table-top set-up. It would have been better with a wireless option for this mode.

Read more at: Pentax AF360FGZ II Flash Review - Operation | PentaxForums.com Reviews



However, the table showing capabilities has a checkmark in the wireless PTTL contrast control column. I take it that is a discrepancy of information? What am I missing?


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02-13-2020, 03:10 PM   #2
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You can use that unit off camera and powered wirelessly in P-TTL mode with either another flash or in-built flash (depending on model) on your camera. You can use the ratio settings to tell which unit should be providing more or less of the output.

When using wirelessly do not use Contrast control sync mode. That is only for wired connection.
02-13-2020, 11:09 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
When using wirelessly do not use Contrast control sync mode. That is only for wired connection.
Are you sure? My understanding is that is only true when using a mixture of built-in and external flash when the built-in does not support P-TTL master. With a P-TTL external flash on the hot shoe and a second P-TTL external flash as remote, contrast control should be possible. (See K-1ii user guide, page 112.)


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 02-14-2020 at 01:54 PM. Reason: clarity
02-14-2020, 12:22 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
You can use that unit off camera and powered wirelessly in P-TTL mode with either another flash or in-built flash (depending on model) on your camera. You can use the ratio settings to tell which unit should be providing more or less of the output.

When using wirelessly do not use Contrast control sync mode. That is only for wired connection.
Radio????

02-14-2020, 09:16 AM   #5
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I have an AF{560/360}FGZ II operating manual, but no physical FGZ IIs. The manual does not show a 5P connector on the flash. So any attempt to cable connect would require using F hot shoe connectors with 5P cables. See pages 55 and 61 of the operating manual. The text on page 55 suggests this configuration is quite limited in capability, but I have no experience with it.

With old school TTL using FTZ flashes, a number of flashes can be hooked in parallel using 5P cables; all will be quenched at the same time when the in-camera TTL measurement says "enough." Contrast will be whatever the flash configuration will accomplish, given distance, aiming, modifiers, etc. I remain unclear whether daisy-chained or home-run multi flash configurations of FGZ (not II) in TTL mode can operate, as this series of flashes is digitally controlled.
02-14-2020, 01:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marktax Quote
However, the table showing capabilities has a checkmark in the wireless PTTL contrast control column. I take it that is a discrepancy of information? What am I missing?
I think we are all missing good documentation of this feature. What camera are you using and what flash are you wanting to use as the other half of the contrast control pair along with the AF540FGZii?

As noted above, similar effect may be managed with manual flash or with P-TTL by setting the on-camera master to 1/2 that of the off-camera slave.


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02-14-2020, 03:35 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
As noted above, similar effect may be managed with manual flash or with P-TTL by setting the on-camera master to 1/2 that of the off-camera slave.
Agree. Once you start using two or more light sources you will get better results by taking control of the output yourself. The OP can use exposure compensation on individual units or better still, full manual.
02-16-2020, 01:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
When using wirelessly do not use Contrast control sync mode. That is only for wired connection.
QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Are you sure? My understanding is that is only true when using a mixture of built-in and external flash when the built-in does not support P-TTL master. With a P-TTL external flash on the hot shoe and a second P-TTL external flash as remote, contrast control should be possible. (See K-1ii user guide, page 112.)
I did some more research on this as well as attempting to set up for contrast control on my K-3 using the on-board flash and my Sigma EF610DG Super. Yep, not an option for optical wireless on the Sigma unit. It was then that it dawned on me that the contrast control has historically (pre-P-TTL) been "Contrast Control Sync" in the context of real-time quench for OOF TTL. In that context, the built-in flash and the hot shoe are to start together, but quenched differently to different exposures based on the TTL metering. The same strategy is inherited with P-TTL bodies with the Sigma flash that aimed to AF540FGZ emulation. That said, the rules might be different with two AF360FGZii using P-TTL optical wireless.


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02-16-2020, 07:52 AM   #9
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Just had a re-read of my flash manuals. You are right Contrast-Control sync mode is not simply a wired mode. It can be used with a AF360/540 with the camera built in flash or with two AF360/540 units........ I think

With digital I never use the contrast-control sync mode. Most of my flash work is done with manual power setting and radio triggers. If I do use P-TTL with more than one unit using optical triggering, it is simply wireless master/controller and wireless slave settings. Output can be adjusted using both ratio (1/1 2/3 1/2 1/3) and flash compensation on the different units. Never seen the need to use the contrast control sync setting.
02-16-2020, 08:16 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
It can be used with a AF360/540 with the camera built in flash or with two AF360/540 units.
yes! (and throw in the 200fg in place of pop up for the likes of k-3ii, k-1)......with pop up/200fg only a 1/2 option but with (2) af360/540 the other contrast ratios come into play.....will add that all the trouble to set things up manual is preferred versus the cameras best guess
02-16-2020, 08:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
will add that all the trouble to set things up manual is preferred versus the cameras best guess
Exactly. In a studio-type set-up you only need to do a little bit of work at the beginning, with your flash meter. Then get shooting and adjust each unit on the go to taste. Manual is always consistent and predictable.
02-16-2020, 12:30 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone for the replies. My interest in automatic flash output, not manually setting ratios based on distance and aperture etc., is that I am taking pictures of groups of dancers who are moving toward and away from the camera. I'm trying to get the best compromise of exposure on all couples, regardless of whether they are close to or farther away from the camera. I believe that will happen best if I allow P-TTL cut off, rather than setting a distance and getting good light only on the couple who happen to be at that distance. I admit to being frustrated with Pentax flash implementation. When they went to pre-TTL, they basically rendered my AF-500FTZ a brick other than as a slave. Then, the FGZ-II's did away with automatic exposure control, which had been on the first versions of the FGZ's. Right now I am using a generation one 360FGZ and a generation II 360 FGZ, and both a K3 and a K-S2 body. The K-3 has wireless optical in the pop-up, the K-S2 does not. So it's a mixed bag all the way around. Yes, I should get a wireless system. I guess I'm just trying to be a purist and insist the native Pentax equipment work.
02-16-2020, 02:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marktax Quote
I believe that will happen best if I allow P-TTL cut off, rather than setting a distance and getting good light only on the couple who happen to be at that distance.
That makes sense, so why the arbitrary 1:2 ratio used by the contrast control feature? Is that something you used with the AF-500FTZ on a TTL body? Doing ratios with P-TTL is something easily accomplished with the on-board flash on the K-3 and/or a mix of your two 360s and the K-S2.


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02-16-2020, 03:57 PM - 1 Like   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
That makes sense, so why the arbitrary 1:2 ratio used by the contrast control feature? Is that something you used with the AF-500FTZ on a TTL body? Doing ratios with P-TTL is something easily accomplished with the on-board flash on the K-3 and/or a mix of your two 360s and the K-S2.


Steve
my question on "contrast control" per se was just "by the way", as i was trying to refresh my memory on fgz360 operation. Plus, I was trying to clarify the apparent info discrepancy described in my original post. What I'm actually doing now is setting 2/3 on the offboard 360-I in an umbrella as slave, and 1/3 on the hotshoe mounted 360-II as master.
02-16-2020, 04:03 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marktax Quote
What I'm actually doing now is setting 2/3 on the offboard 360-I in an umbrella as slave, and 1/3 on the hotshoe mounted 360-II as master.
nice!! hope it does the trick!!
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