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08-30-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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K-30 and Metz mecablitz 50 AF-1 flash incompatibility

I bought a mecablitz 50 AF-1 for my K-x a couple of months ago and was very happy with its performance. A couple of days ago I upgraded to the K-30 and the flash doesn't work the same. I get extremely underexposed images that are completely unusable. I have installed the latest flash firmware (version 3) from Metz' website but the problem hasn't been resolved. If I mount the flash on my old K-x, even in Auto mode without setting anything manually, I get fantastic results, but using the same settings, scenes, etc. with the flash mounted on the K-30 I get awfully underexposed pictures. Anybody has had similar issues? Anybody knows of any "simple" workaround? Metz' website has a drop-down list under "Flash unit recommendation" that lists every digital Pentax from K-100 all the way to K-01, but doesn't list the K-30 (yet). The latest firmware (version 3.0 released July 2012) lists as its only feature "Now also for Pentax K-01". So I am hoping there will be a version 4.0 soon that will have a "Now also for Pentax K-30" listed as its feature.

08-30-2012, 09:08 PM   #2
jup
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Check the shutter speed camera's using. I have previous model (48 AF-1) and know that sometimes I get underexposed images when using too short times (1/100 and higher). This happened with K-x too, though. I believe that while x-sync speed of Pentax cameras is 1/180, Metz flashes, when they need higher output, have flash that lasts something like 1/90s (it's specified in user's guide). So the safest bet is to shoot something like 1/50. This may be emphasized in K-30 because, from my observation, when you use auto ISO & flash on K-30 it sets usually VERY low ISO (in 100-200 range), while K-x had opposite tendency to use relatively high ISO. Hence K-30 needs much higher flash output in auto-iso mode then K-x did. Generally, auto-ISO and flash was never Pentax's strength...

My recommendation - switch to manual mode, try something like 1/50s, ISO 1600, whatever aperture you like and see how that goes. I don't have flash with me right now to do the tests, but can try some experiments later.
08-30-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
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Noticed the same thing with my 48 AF1 which worked well with my K-x. Pictures seem underexposed with the K-30 specially with bounce flash. I have since upgraded the firmware (July 2012 version). Still have to test it.

Cheers,

SB
08-31-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Thank you jup and shoebox! I wrote to Metz and they very quickly replied the following which confirms what I thought was at the origin of the issue and states that the compatible firmware will be released this fall:

---------------------------
We regret the trouble that you have with your flash unit "mecablitz 50 AF-1 P digital" and your new digital camera "Pentax K-30".

Sometime ago the new digital camera "Pentax K-30" was tested in our developing department. Unfortunately, we noticed that flash unit's current firmware version 3.0 is not suitable for running with the new digital camera "Pentax K-30". For this reason there are also not any flash unit recommendations mentioned for the "Pentax K-30" on our homepage.

The current firmware version of flash unit "mecablitz 50 AF-1 P digital" needs to be improved for the digital camera "Pentax K-30". A new firmware version for the flash unit is in preparation.

According to our developing department it is planned for the fall to release the new firmware version for the flash unit "mecablitz 50 AF-1 P digital" for running also with the new digital camera "Pentax K-30". Unfortunately, at the moment we can't supply you an exact date when the new firmware version will be available.

As soon as the new firmware version for the flash unit is available it will also be ready for download on our homepage:
Pentax: Metz

Additionally, we will also inform you by e-mail when the new firmware version for your flash unit is available.
---------------------------

I also saw this Field Upgradeable via USB - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison which tells me that the guys at Metz have to reverse-engineer the P-TTL digital protocol for each camera. So I guess for the next few month I'll have to use the manual mode or revert to my "old" K-x.

08-31-2012, 11:10 AM   #5
jup
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Yes, I've run some tests myself and the truth is, 48 AF-1 doesn't work either, even with 4.0 firmware. It sometimes does expose correctly, but it's unreliable. Guess we'll just have to wait, then.

Thanks for info, donfenix, and if you remember, please post update here once you get email from them that new firmware is ready.
09-01-2012, 07:23 AM   #6
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Donfenix, thanks so much for posting your experiences with the Metz mecablitz 50 AF-1 and Pentax F-30.
I just took delivery on both units and I am having the same underexposure issues when using the 50 AF-1.
Initially I thought it was user error, but I played around with various setting for quite sometime. The clincher is when I would take the same series of shots; first using the 50 AF-1 and then switching to the F-30's pop-up flash. The F-30's imbedded flash consistently gave me just fine exposures. Hoping that the firmware update is released sooner rather than later.
09-01-2012, 12:57 PM   #7
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I admire Metz's willingness to respond quickly, taking responsibility for the incompatibility, and providing a time period in which it will be fixed. This is instead of blaming it on Pentax for changing things.

It's one reason I have two Metz flashes (considering a third) but none from Pentax.

There's a pretty clear message here .....
09-02-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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Got to take a few pictures with the v4.0 firmware (mecablitz 48 AF-1) on the K-30. It seems to still underexpose a bit but not as badly as with the stock firmware. I never updated prior to this since the unit worked fine with my K-x... if it ain't broke....

I'll be waiting for the new firmware to be released.

Cheers,

SB

09-03-2012, 02:00 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by shoebox Quote
Got to take a few pictures with the v4.0 firmware (mecablitz 48 AF-1) on the K-30. It seems to still underexpose a bit but not as badly as with the stock firmware. I never updated prior to this since the unit worked fine with my K-x... if it ain't broke....

SB
In checking the Metz's revision notes specific to the Mecablitz 48 AF-1 there is no indication that V4.0 will work with the K-30.
http://www.metz.de/index.php?eID=tx_nawsecuredl&u=0&file=fileadmin/fm-dam/Do...f18e4daccc684b

It would seem that firmware update V4.0 for the 48 AF-1 is similar to V3.0 for the 50 AF-1.
11-02-2012, 05:49 AM   #10
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Recent response from Metz - dated Nov 2, 2012

'Thank you for your e-mail inquiry of 31 October 2012. We regret the trouble that you have with your flash unit "mecablitz 50 AF-1 P digital" (Pentax version) and your digital camera "Pentax K-30". The new digital camera "Pentax K-30" has been tested in our developing department. Unfortunately, we noticed that flash unit's current firmware version 3.0 is not suitable for running with the new digital camera "Pentax K-30". For this reason there are also not any flash unit recommendations mentioned for the "Pentax K-30" on our web site. The current firmware version 3.0 of flash unit "mecablitz 50 AF-1 P digital" needs to be improved for the digital camera "Pentax K-30". A new firmware version for the flash unit is in preparation. When the new firmware version is ready it has also to be tested intensively by our quality department before it will be released. Unfortunately, for this reason we cannot supply a time frame when the new firmware will be available at the moment.

As soon as the new firmware version for the flash unit is available it will also be ready for download on our web site: http://www.metz.de/en/flash-units/firmware-download-flash-units/mecablitz-50...al/pentax.html Additionally, we will also inform you by e-mail when the new firmware version for your flash unit is available.

With kind regards
Wolfgang Becker Technical Support'

Last edited by tvcrider; 11-02-2012 at 06:26 AM.
11-02-2012, 08:47 AM   #11
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Hopefully they release this soon.
I just bought a Metz 50 Af-1 and thinking of upgrading my body to k30 from a Kx.
01-17-2013, 11:36 PM   #12
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Same issue with K30

Hi all,

I also upgraded from my old istDl towards K30 and I had to notice that also the combination with my AF48 does not work properly.

First I was wondering about the synctime of 1/20 sec. No idea, why this is give. Beside that the flash works more or less ok. FInally I have to work in manual mode to set synctime correctly.

ALready udpated flash and camera to latest updates.

Does someone have an update from either Pentax or Metz ?

Thanks, Oliver
01-20-2013, 08:23 AM   #13
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If anyone is thinking of a new flash the Metz 52 AF1 works great with the K-3o. There is a pdf comptability chart from Metz dated Nov 2012 that shows the 52 AF compatible with the K-30.
01-20-2013, 08:44 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by bcorson Quote
If anyone is thinking of a new flash the Metz 52 AF1 works great with the K-3o. There is a pdf comptability chart from Metz dated Nov 2012 that shows the 52 AF compatible with the K-30.
Could you please post a direct link to the cited pdf chart. I just checked the Metz website and I cannot find mention of Metz 52 AF1 flash compatibly with the Pentax K-30 stated anywhere.
Thank you.

Last edited by tvcrider; 01-20-2013 at 09:17 AM.
01-20-2013, 09:16 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tvcrider Quote
Could you please post a direct link to the cited pdf chart. I just checked the Metz website and I cannot find mention of flash compatibly with the Pentax K-30 stated anywhere.
Thank you.
Metz Flash Canada TTL Flash for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony, Four Thirds

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