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03-21-2013, 12:47 PM   #1
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Problem with External Flash

I have a Bell & Howell external flash (model Z680AF-P) I use frequently with my K-x. But it does not work when mounted on my K-01 -- it either will not fire when the shutter is pressed or it goes into a delayed strobe mode. Is this flash unit incompatible with the K-01, or is there a special setting I need to use?

Mike

03-21-2013, 01:29 PM   #2
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Hi Mike, I'm no flash expert but a couple of things you might look into.

First as far as I can tell this is a TTL flash, not P-TTL so it should only work in manual mode on the k-x. Is that what you are using it in?

And second have you tried manual flash settings on the k-01? Instead of automatic?

Hopefully someone else can chime in with more info. There is no reason I can think of that it should not work the same on the k-01 as on the k-x if you have the camera settings the same.
03-21-2013, 01:55 PM   #3
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The flash unit works in all modes with the K-x. I just mounted it again onto the K-01, where it only works in manual mode. (I had not tried it in manual mode before.) When I try it in any other mode on the K-01, it either does not fire at all or goes into a strobe mode after the shutter has fired.

Mike
03-22-2013, 04:47 AM   #4
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Flash Doesn't Work with K-01

Mike, I have a Rokinon D980AFZ-PK, which is identical to the Bell & Howell and others except in name. It exhibits the same characteristics as as you describe (strobe firing) when on the K-01, but does seem to work in manual mode. The flash works fine in P-TTL mode with the Pentax K-x and K20D.

03-22-2013, 08:26 AM   #5
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I had same trouble with my Sigma-Ring-Flash (works fine on K7 & K10d but fires full power all the time on the K01). Sigma told me a firmware update (in service) woude cure the problem. Currently I am waiting to get it back. So no prove so far.

On the other hand 360 & 540 Pentax flashes work fine on the K01..... as long as I do not use may Chinese cable extension. The cable conection shows the same problem as the Sigma.
03-22-2013, 04:06 PM   #6
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West Penn wrote: "Mike, I have a Rokinon D980AFZ-PK, which is identical to the Bell & Howell and others except in name. It exhibits the same characteristics as as you describe (strobe firing) when on the K-01, but does seem to work in manual mode. The flash works fine in P-TTL mode with the Pentax K-x and K20D."

Interesting. I guess I should try the latest firmware update (I'm still on the first update) and see if that makes a difference. I wonder why the flash exhibits different behaviors of these two cameras? I suppose I should also email Pentax support and see what they say. In case you're wondering, I'm a real estate agent and take a lot of interior photos of homes. The K-01 is much superior to the K-x in terms of auto white balance. It would be nice to use just one camera when taking interior photos both with and without flash.

Mike
03-22-2013, 05:42 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike M. Quote
It would be nice to use just one camera when taking interior photos both with and without flash
http://static.bhphoto.com/images/images150x150/761801.jpg

Found that either one or two of these work great for in home photography. As a matter of fact; some of the leading publications use versions of this (the more expensive rechargeable version) for their work
03-22-2013, 06:18 PM   #8
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Mike, I have the latest firmware on my K-01, so it isn't likely that updating will improve the flash performance. The update will improve focus, however.

I have a small, cheap flash (Yinyan CY-20) with a guide number of 20 that works fine on the K-01 in manual mode, but it takes a few exposures (or perhaps some math) to set the correct aperture for proper exposure.

03-22-2013, 11:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by klaus123 Quote
I had same trouble with my Sigma-Ring-Flash (works fine on K7 & K10d but fires full power all the time on the K01). Sigma told me a firmware update (in service) woude cure the problem.......
I think I have been misunderstood: I talked about a FLASH FIRMWARE UPDATE, and NOT about the camera Firmware!

Last edited by klaus123; 03-23-2013 at 01:47 AM.
03-23-2013, 06:05 AM   #10
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I had to update the firmware of my Metz flashguns before they worked properly on my K-01 (and the K5 too).

Pentax: Metz

Chris
03-29-2013, 09:09 PM   #11
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I'm glad I checked the forum, I've been meaning to call Pentax support over the same issue. My flash is a Promaster 7500EDF Digital, a Pentax dedicated P-TTL flash that works great on my older Pentax Dslr, but only fires at full power on the K-01. Just checked Promasters support page for that model of flash and on the spec's page it states "Flash upgradeable by your PROMASTER dealer", It's good to know my K-01 isn't broken.

Edit:
I just checked my backup P-TTL flash, a Vivitar 730AFPK (I hadn't used it in so long I forgot I even had it) and it works flawlessly with the K-01. I wished I had thought to do that 6 months ago.

Last edited by average-guy; 03-29-2013 at 09:26 PM. Reason: To add extra info
03-30-2013, 11:02 PM   #12
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Pentax Response

Original poster here. I emailed Pentax and they responded that they do not test or warrant their cameras for use with third-party external flash units. They are unwilling to help. They cautioned that using any third-party flash could damage the camera (any Pentax DSLR) and advised using a Wein SafeSync hotshoe adapter with third party flashes. Not very helpful! It would be nice to know why it works fine on the K-x but not at all on the K-01.

"We do not test our cameras for compatibility with third-party flashes so we cannot tell you what might be the problem when you try using the Bell & Howell flash on the K-01. This flash may not be compatible with the camera, or it may only work in manual mode. We do recommend that if you do try to use it on the camera (or any PENTAX camera), you use a Wein SafeSync hotshoe adapter with it to protect the camera."


Not very helpful! It would be nice to know why it works fine on the K-x but not at all on the K-01.
03-31-2013, 06:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by average-guy Quote
I'm glad I checked the forum, I've been meaning to call Pentax support over the same issue. My flash is a Promaster 7500EDF Digital, a Pentax dedicated P-TTL flash that works great on my older Pentax Dslr, but only fires at full power on the K-01. Just checked Promasters support page for that model of flash and on the spec's page it states "Flash upgradeable by your PROMASTER dealer", It's good to know my K-01 isn't broken.

Edit:
I just checked my backup P-TTL flash, a Vivitar 730AFPK (I hadn't used it in so long I forgot I even had it) and it works flawlessly with the K-01. I wished I had thought to do that 6 months ago.
If you still plan on updating your promaster, and if it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you let me know if you get it successfully updated and it works? I have several modular promaster flashes and the p-ttl module doesn't work with the k-01. Its the dx module (not updatable), but I suppose I could spend the $50 on the dxr module (its the newer one that is firmware updatable). I'm curious if promaster will update firmwares to work with the k-01.
04-01-2013, 08:48 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
If you still plan on updating your promaster, and if it wouldn't be too much trouble, could you let me know if you get it successfully updated and it works?
Will do, I'll call them today.

Kerry

Edit: I couldn't find a phone number, they seem to only have email support, here is what I sent them, I'll post back when I get a reply.

I have a Pentax dedicated Promaster 7500EDF Digital flash.
It works flawlessly on my older Pentax DSLR but it only fires at full power on my new Pentax K-01. After some testing with other dedicated P-TTL flashes, and online investigation I found that the camera is working correctly. I assume Pentax has changed/updated their communications protocol between camera and flash. Is the firmware on the flash updatable? Has Promaster released a firmware update to address this issue? If so how would I send in my flash to be updated?

Thanks in advance,
Kerry Harrell

Last edited by average-guy; 04-01-2013 at 09:07 AM. Reason: new content
04-01-2013, 11:17 AM   #15
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As stated above, it looks like a flash firmware update is the way to go, here is the reply I got back from Promaster. RIPIT, I will send off my flash tomorrow, when I get it back I'll post here on how/if it works


Thank you for your email, your flash may need a firmware upgrade. PROMASTER offers this service free, please send it to:


Photographic Research Organization

360 Tunxis Hill Road

Fairfield, CT 06825

Attn Brianna Henningsen


Thank you for supporting PROMASTER products.

--
John Haggerty - Product Support Representative

Photographic Research Organization

Phone 203-336-0183 Ext 1111

Fax 800-782-1069

Last edited by average-guy; 04-01-2013 at 11:26 AM.
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