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02-01-2014, 09:13 AM   #1
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Q/Q7: Can't trigger flash via hotshoe?

A few days ago I wanted to see how my Q/Q7 performs in a studio environment with remotely triggered flashes. I used a simple wireless remote trigger for this that fits on a standard hotshoe and has only one contact at the bottom - the big middle one.

Curiously enough neither the Q nor the Q7 could trigger the flashes with the hotshoe remote device. I of course tested it with other cameras - it performed flawlessly on a K-01, K5-II and even on a compact Panasonic LX3 (not much bigger than the Q) - no problems there. I checked every flash settings nested in the menus of the two Q's, tried a lot of different flash modes - to no avail.

It states in the manual that the internal flash won't discharge if a remote flash is connected - but with the remote trigger connected the internal flash does discharge.

I then tried a small Metz flash 20 BC-6 - it didn't want to fire on both Q/Q7 either, and again I had no problems using it with the other cameras mentioned.

I finally used a Metz 32 MZ-3 - looking quite ridiculous and huge on the Q - with a dedicated Pentax SCA 3702 adapter - no success again. But curiously enough on the Q7 the same combo instantly worked!

For a last try I switched the SCA 3702 for a standard SCA 300 foot (which has only the one main pin in the middle) on the Metz 32 - now it didn't work on the Q7, and of course still not on the Q.

What's up here? Why have Q and Q7 a standard hotshoe, but won't be bothered to trigger standard flash guns - or even simple remote triggers? Am I doing something wrong?

That the Q7 could fire the Metz equipped with the SCA 3072 indicates that maybe the Q/Q7 accepts dedicated flashes only - but this doesn't explain why the Q7 can, and the Q can't trigger even a dedicated flash gun.

What are your experiences with external flashes - both Pentax and non Pentax - or with remote triggers on the Q/Q7 hotshoes? And again: am I doing something wrong here?

Phil

02-01-2014, 09:34 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Have you tried setting the flash mode to off?
02-01-2014, 10:12 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Have you tried setting the flash mode to off?
Uh, oh ... that's quite embarrassing ... It seems to be the only flash mode that I didn't try. Sure enough Q and Q7 now trigger everything perfectly when the flash is set to "off".

Thanks for the quick help! Very much appreciated.

Phil
02-01-2014, 10:23 AM   #4
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Would you believe I was just about to start a thread on my Q10 not triggering a manual flash. I've spent a couple of hours trying to shoot photos through a microscope and using an RF trigger for the flash and whatever I did I couldn't get the flash to fire. I gave up and put everything away and what do you know I log in to Pentax Forums and there is the answer waiting for me :-)

I'll give it a try and see how it goes.

02-01-2014, 10:37 AM   #5
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Turning the internal flash off works, but only when an auto lens is installed.

Without the auto lens it still doesn't trigger through the hotshoe :-(

Why would not having the lens attached prevent the flash from triggering?
02-01-2014, 11:11 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Turning the internal flash off works, but only when an auto lens is installed.

Without the auto lens it still doesn't trigger through the hotshoe :-(

Why would not having the lens attached prevent the flash from triggering?
Can confirm this for Q and Q7: External hot-shoe is triggered only with a lens that has a built in shutter (tried it with 01/02). Both Q/Q7 didn't trigger the hot-shoe with the 04 lens, even using sync speed as low as 1/8s. Seems that the electronic shutter used for lenses/adapter without built in shutter doesn't allow for flash usage. Beats me why ...

Phil
02-01-2014, 01:10 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by philzucker Quote
Uh, oh ... that's quite embarrassing ... It seems to be the only flash mode that I didn't try. Sure enough Q and Q7 now trigger everything perfectly when the flash is set to "off".

Thanks for the quick help! Very much appreciated.

Phil
Not embarrassing, it's totally illogical!
I just remembered about a hundred posts that always ends up with the question, "why is it like that?".
02-04-2014, 10:55 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by philzucker Quote
A few days ago I wanted to see how my Q/Q7 performs in a studio environment with remotely triggered flashes. I used a simple wireless remote trigger for this that fits on a standard hotshoe and has only one contact at the bottom - the big middle one.

Curiously enough neither the Q nor the Q7 could trigger the flashes with the hotshoe remote device. I of course tested it with other cameras - it performed flawlessly on a K-01, K5-II and even on a compact Panasonic LX3 (not much bigger than the Q) - no problems there. I checked every flash settings nested in the menus of the two Q's, tried a lot of different flash modes - to no avail.

It states in the manual that the internal flash won't discharge if a remote flash is connected - but with the remote trigger connected the internal flash does discharge.

I then tried a small Metz flash 20 BC-6 - it didn't want to fire on both Q/Q7 either, and again I had no problems using it with the other cameras mentioned.

I finally used a Metz 32 MZ-3 - looking quite ridiculous and huge on the Q - with a dedicated Pentax SCA 3702 adapter - no success again. But curiously enough on the Q7 the same combo instantly worked!

For a last try I switched the SCA 3702 for a standard SCA 300 foot (which has only the one main pin in the middle) on the Metz 32 - now it didn't work on the Q7, and of course still not on the Q.

What's up here? Why have Q and Q7 a standard hotshoe, but won't be bothered to trigger standard flash guns - or even simple remote triggers? Am I doing something wrong?

That the Q7 could fire the Metz equipped with the SCA 3072 indicates that maybe the Q/Q7 accepts dedicated flashes only - but this doesn't explain why the Q7 can, and the Q can't trigger even a dedicated flash gun.

What are your experiences with external flashes - both Pentax and non Pentax - or with remote triggers on the Q/Q7 hotshoes? And again: am I doing something wrong here?

Phil
My Pentax AF-500 FTZ (old TTL flash, not P-TTL) will not fire on my Q/Q7. New AF-360FGZ fires well on both.

02-04-2014, 05:48 PM   #9
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My Q7 will trigger a Pentax flash when on the hotshoe when the internal flash is turned off in the Menus.

Dale
02-04-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
Have you tried setting the flash mode to off?
I bumped into this the other night. And again - the one option I didnt try (will have a crack tonight now)
Not overly intuitive I must say.
02-04-2014, 10:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by DDoram Quote
My Q7 will trigger a Pentax flash when on the hotshoe when the internal flash is turned off in the Menus.

Dale
My Q7 would not fire the 500FTZ regardless of internal flash setting in the menu. I'll try again with a cable in case of a bad contact when mounted.
02-06-2014, 10:32 AM   #12
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There is no problem with a P-TTL flash mounted on the hotshoe - it fires even when using a non Q lens.

I need it mostly to shoot through a microscope. A hotshoe mounted flash is obviously not going to do much good for that so I usually use radio triggers (with the K-3/K-30). Unfortunatley a radio trigger dumbs down a P-TTL flash into a generic non P-TTL one so with the P-TTL flash and radio trigger I still cannot get the flash to trigger.

Eventually the only solution seems to be using a hotshoe extension cable with the P-TTL contacts - I tried that and it works fine. The P-TTL also does a good job of getting the exposure right which can sometimes be a great time saver. The thick coiled cable is a bit of a bother (I think it's heavier than the Q10) but I can live with that.
02-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Unfortunatley a radio trigger dumbs down a P-TTL flash into a generic non P-TTL one so with the P-TTL flash and radio trigger I still cannot get the flash to trigger.
Sounds like you might need my regular TTL AF-500 FTZ in the for sale listings!
02-06-2014, 03:43 PM   #14
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I was hoping by the Q7 they would have fixed this. I faced this problem over 2 years ago with the original Q. I wrote up a detailed synopsis here:

Definitive manual external flash guidance
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