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02-28-2022, 06:21 PM   #1
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AF500FTZ won't go out of TTL mode when using dSLR

Hello fellow Pentaxians,

I've recently been getting back into my beginner's level of photography, and am excited to dive into my newly acquired Pentax bodies and lenses, as well as flashes!

I have an AF500FTZ, and I know it is a TTL which will work with my istDs, but none of my other bodies (K50, K-7, K-x, K200D) for TTL / P-TTL mode. However, I can't get it out of TTL mode when mounted on the hotshoe of any of these four bodies. When on the istDs, it will cycle through TTL, Auto, and Manual modes (as well as when I take it off any body and just click the buttons as a standalone, it will cycle through the modes), but not when on the other dSLRs. It will stay on TTL mode no matter what button I choose. I notice that when my camera body goes to sleep, will it then allow me to change to Manual mode, but once I wake up the camera, it goes right back to TTL. On a side note, when it is on the camera, when I use the zoom lens, I can see that the flash is instantly making automatic adjustments for zooming as well.

It will also cycle through the autozoom and the various manual zoom steps, as normal for any camera body.

Is my flash defective, since I can't find anyone having the same issue scouring the internet? I have read plenty of posts on this forum stating that it can be used in manual mode, and only in manual mode for dSLRs.

I also have a AF540GFZ, and that works perfectly on the four bodies, so I know it's not a problem with the hotshoes on any of the bodies. I've also thoroughly cleaned the contacts on the AF500FTZ. I did notice the plastic locking pin has been broken off the flash hotshoe, but I can't imagine that really doing anything, as it's just plastic.

Hopefully someone might have an idea of what's going on?

Thank you much!


Last edited by calbear; 02-28-2022 at 06:57 PM.
03-01-2022, 01:07 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Maybe this can help
Pentax K-1 and AF500FTZ flash - PentaxForums.com
03-01-2022, 04:27 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by calbear Quote
it will cycle through TTL, Auto, and Manual modes
The AF500 FTZ has only TTL and Manual mode. No Auto

Here is a link to the manual http://www.cameramanuals.org/flashes_meters/pentax_af500ftz.pdf

Make sure your DSLR cameras are set to Manual exposure mode

Last edited by pschlute; 03-01-2022 at 04:37 AM.
03-01-2022, 06:46 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I used one a while back but sold it. I mainly used it on a cactus v6. I donít recall if I ever used it directly on my k-3.

03-01-2022, 12:59 PM   #5
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Video showing issue

Thank you GQPhDFBI for your link. I looked at it, but couldn't find anything that would help in my situation. But I appreciate the link.

Thanks pschlute, you are correct. There is no Auto mode on this flash. I was confusing it with the other one I have (the AF540). I do have the manual, but couldn't find anything related to my situation in there.

Thanks UncleVanya! You're the one who helped me years ago! So glad to hear from you. I've actually be looking into Cactus V6 and V6ii lately. I know the company no longer exists, but I'm fine with trying to find some used ones. So far, all the ones on ebay for the V6ii are all for Sony. I'll just be patient and wait for the non-Sony version that works with Pentax.

I made a quick video to show you what I am encountering. I have a feeling this might be a singular problem with just this flash, as I've read multiple threads which say you can use this on any Pentax dSLR in manual mode...

Here is the video (please ignore the rubber band holding the infamous defective battery door in place):
Edited...

Last edited by calbear; 03-04-2022 at 07:22 PM.
03-01-2022, 02:04 PM - 1 Like   #6
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This flash was released in 1992, over 10 years before Pentax's first DSLR. I checked the K50 manual online and it does not mention this flash, only the newer AF540. So there's no documentation by Pentax.

Unless someone has used this exact combo and it did work, this may be "normal"???

Phil.
03-01-2022, 03:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
This flash was released in 1992, over 10 years before Pentax's first DSLR. I checked the K50 manual online and it does not mention this flash, only the newer AF540. So there's no documentation by Pentax.

Unless someone has used this exact combo and it did work, this may be "normal"???

Phil.
Thanks gofour3,
Yes, I guess that is one of the things I was asking in this thread... is this normal behavior, or is there something wrong with my flash?
The reason why I suspect there is something wrong is that there are plenty of posts in this forum where owners have said it works in manual mode on their dSLRs, although the flash is over a decade old.
I have yet to find one thread that says that they have encountered this.
I've tried changing every flash setting in the camera menu and seeing if it will make a difference, but all settings have the same issue where it won't get out of TTL. This has been tried for every dSLR I have (K50, K-7, K-x, K200D), except for the istDs, which works properly with this flash, as it is expected being that the istDs is a TTL-capable SLR.


Last edited by calbear; 03-01-2022 at 03:09 PM.
03-01-2022, 09:26 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by calbear Quote
Thanks gofour3,
Yes, I guess that is one of the things I was asking in this thread... is this normal behavior, or is there something wrong with my flash?
The reason why I suspect there is something wrong is that there are plenty of posts in this forum where owners have said it works in manual mode on their dSLRs, although the flash is over a decade old.
I have yet to find one thread that says that they have encountered this.
I've tried changing every flash setting in the camera menu and seeing if it will make a difference, but all settings have the same issue where it won't get out of TTL. This has been tried for every dSLR I have (K50, K-7, K-x, K200D), except for the istDs, which works properly with this flash, as it is expected being that the istDs is a TTL-capable SLR.
I've got two of these Af500ftz flashes and they have different manuals. It might be possible Pentax tweaked the electronics in the flash over it's production run, when a new series of film cameras came out. (This flash came out with the Z/PZ series cameras and was still available when the newer MZ/ZX series came out a few years later)

Phil.
03-01-2022, 09:41 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by gofour3 Quote
I've got two of these Af500ftz flashes and they have different manuals. It might be possible Pentax tweaked the electronics in the flash over it's production run, when a new series of film cameras came out. (This flash came out with the Z/PZ series cameras and was still available when the newer MZ/ZX series came out a few years later)

Phil.
Oh! If you have two of these, when you have the time, any chance you can check on a dSLR that is more recent than the *istD line of cameras (K-x, K100D or newer) to see if one or both of your flashes act the same way as mine?
TIA
03-01-2022, 10:08 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by calbear Quote
Oh! If you have two of these, when you have the time, any chance you can check on a dSLR that is more recent than the *istD line of cameras (K-x, K100D or newer) to see if one or both of your flashes act the same way as mine?
TIA
I wish I could help but I don't own a Pentax DSLR, just film cameras.

Hopefully some else on the form can test this flash on their camera for you.

Phil.
03-01-2022, 10:16 PM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by calbear Quote
Oh! If you have two of these, when you have the time, any chance you can check on a dSLR that is more recent than the *istD line of cameras (K-x, K100D or newer) to see if one or both of your flashes act the same way as mine?
TIA
The k100d was at the transition. Either the camera or the new fgz has *'s about uses. In fact I think it refers to the ist and newer. One of those manuals might help.
03-02-2022, 01:36 PM   #12
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Thanks Phil and swanlefitte for your responses.

I've gone online, and downloaded several pdf manuals. Unfortunately, they don't help as well.

I guess if I can't figure this out, at least the flash can be used off-camera, most likely with a trigger in manual mode. I can't use it as an optical slave with my AF540GFZ, since that's P-TTL, and that initial flash will set off the AF500.
I also can still use it with my istDs as well on-camera.
03-03-2022, 11:12 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by calbear Quote
Thanks Phil and swanlefitte for your responses.

I've gone online, and downloaded several pdf manuals. Unfortunately, they don't help as well.

I guess if I can't figure this out, at least the flash can be used off-camera, most likely with a trigger in manual mode. I can't use it as an optical slave with my AF540GFZ, since that's P-TTL, and that initial flash will set off the AF500.
I also can still use it with my istDs as well on-camera.
Some flashes have an extra optical mode that ignores a first flash - I don't recall if the AF500FTZ does. You can also add optical triggers but I highly recommend looking at wireless triggers - if mixing multiple flashes P-TTL mode isn't going to work unless all the flashes are P-TTL - so manual mode triggers would probably work best. The super cheap ones are not remotely controllable and the cactus v6 which I like are no longer supported - but they are fairly reasonable. With the v6 you would set the appropriate flash type and it would communicate to the flash and allow pseudo manual control. Using groups and such you can have fine grained control over the lighting without having to go to each device. The af500FTZ I think is supported but it's been a while since I used one.
03-03-2022, 01:05 PM - 2 Likes   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by calbear Quote
I made a quick video to show you what I am encountering
When you change your camera exposure mode from TAv to M, the camera lcd is still registering TAv mode.

I think this is a camera issue.
03-04-2022, 07:19 PM - 3 Likes   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
When you change your camera exposure mode from TAv to M, the camera lcd is still registering TAv mode.

I think this is a camera issue.
Thank you @pschulte! That was it! For the E-Dial Programming settings for M, it was set to something else, such that it did not go into Manual mode. I could not figure it out, until I reset the camera. Then those settings went back to default, and when I put on the Af500, it allowed me to get out of TTL mode and into manual. Thank you all for your help!
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