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11-17-2015, 03:12 PM   #241
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QuoteOriginally posted by pavare Quote

It actually steared me away from the K3 towards D7200 which is perfect for my purposes:
high ISO (10000 and up) , slow(ish) shutter aided by image stabilisation...
Patrick, if you went for the 7200 instead of the K3 you'd be *losing* sensor image stabilization!

11-18-2015, 12:40 AM   #242
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
There are differing perceptions between users with most not noticing anything in normal shooting.
+1

I agree with you that it is extremely unlikely that there are copies of the K-3 without the P-TTL flash delay. There were numerous reports of the K-5 overexposure problem either being absent, or being cured by firmware, but in the end many of those reports were retracted and ultimately Ricoh confirmed that there is an issue that they cannot address using firmware updates. Likewise, Ricoh confirmed to have traded in some response time to get a more accurate result for the K-3, so the "issue" is confirmed and not subject to the behaviour of individual K-3 copies.

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The serious flash folk recognize the limitations of and don't use P-TTL. The occasional flash users aren't bothered by a short lag.
+1

It is 100% possible to do great flash photography of action with a K-3, e.g., by using manual flash power control. I don't think a Canikon shooter would use i-TTL/E-TTL for shooting action either, if response time is paramount. All pre-flash based systems cause a bit of lag, the one added by the K-3 is just worse, but absolutely no reason to dismiss the whole camera, AFAIC.
11-18-2015, 05:47 AM   #243
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
+1

I agree with you that it is extremely unlikely that there are copies of the K-3 without the P-TTL flash delay. There were numerous reports of the K-5 overexposure problem either being absent, or being cured by firmware, but in the end many of those reports were retracted and ultimately Ricoh confirmed that there is an issue that they cannot address using firmware updates. Likewise, Ricoh confirmed to have traded in some response time to get a more accurate result for the K-3, so the "issue" is confirmed and not subject to the behaviour of individual K-3 copies.


+1

It is 100% possible to do great flash photography of action with a K-3, e.g., by using manual flash power control. I don't think a Canikon shooter would use i-TTL/E-TTL for shooting action either, if response time is paramount. All pre-flash based systems cause a bit of lag, the one added by the K-3 is just worse, but absolutely no reason to dismiss the whole camera, AFAIC.
Indeed. If you want to freeze action you don't use auto anything. Hss works for fill in some circumstances, close in. The pttl metering doesn't know that it is the small subject that needs illuminating so tends to over expose. I typically use manual mode and switch power settings for reach and speed.

What would be a real treat is it the body could set the flash modes via user modes.
11-18-2015, 07:35 AM   #244
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So, maybe I could have been more clear in my original post. The reason I can't live with the lag is because I need high-speed sync which is only available in PTTL mode, not in Auto or Manual. If you can make do with or even prefer Manual or Auto, then that's great.

I'm interested to know how people who also rely on hss are dealing with this. I've informed Pentax about my issue and will post their response here. The more I think about it, the more it seems that if the lag was known to exist in all K3s when they released it, then calling it capable of high-speed sync is at least bordering on false advertising. It's no use to those who intend to use it for moving subjects and expect to capture a 'decisive moment'.

Interestingly, I came across this post from awhile back on the Taiwanese Pentax Fans Club forum by a long-time Pentax shooter. The author drafted a petition in English and makes reference to this thread on the "world-renowned PENTAX forum".

K-3??????????P-TTL??????PENTAX (RICOH)?-PFC-Pentax Fans Club

11-18-2015, 08:39 AM   #245
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QuoteOriginally posted by afmeck Quote
So, maybe I could have been more clear in my original post. The reason I can't live with the lag is because I need high-speed sync which is only available in PTTL mode, not in Auto or Manual. If you can make do with or even prefer Manual or Auto, then that's great.

I'm interested to know how people who also rely on hss are dealing with this. I've informed Pentax about my issue and will post their response here. The more I think about it, the more it seems that if the lag was known to exist in all K3s when they released it, then calling it capable of high-speed sync is at least bordering on false advertising. It's no use to those who intend to use it for moving subjects and expect to capture a 'decisive moment'.
It sounds like you do not know what HHS is.
11-18-2015, 10:51 AM   #246
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Just my personal testimony, but IMHO, the additional delay on the K-3 is not much longer than it already is on the K-5. I wouldn't have noticed if it were not for this thread. I can't be too upset because all preflash-TTL systems (regardless of brand) have noticeable delay.
11-18-2015, 12:47 PM   #247
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QuoteOriginally posted by afmeck Quote
Thanks for the update, thehiko. Did you pursue it any further? I'm asking because I just noticed it on my K3 (even with the firmware 1.21 update) which makes it unusable for most of my shooting (birds and insects in overcast conditions).

In their response to you, Ricoh seem to be saying the lag was intentional which is weird because other people report that the latest firmware update fixed it (https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/297103-flash-lag-fixed-fw-1-21-a-4.html) and still others report no lag, even without updates.

If, as Ricoh seems to be claiming, the lag was a known issue then they should have disclosed it to potential buyers who rely on high-speed sync, such as myself, so we could have made an informed decision before buying. If they refuse to admit fault and replace the faulty copies, it seems we have no real choice but to jump ship and move to a (hopefully) more reliable brand.

I'll also be contacting Ricoh and demanding a resolution but in the meantime I'm wondering how other people are dealing with this? I can't think of a workaround or a reason to stay with Pentax, unless offered a working replacement.
I did not pursue it any further, no. The impression I got from the emails was that they will review it but it's not a priority. I don't think multiple requests will have really gotten anywhere. They acknowledge the delay is there and that it's intended. In their eyes nothing is wrong, and I suspect the majority of users accept the delay as-is. Not sure if they'd put in the resources to address it in a FW update for people like us.
11-18-2015, 08:48 PM   #248
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QuoteOriginally posted by thehiko Quote

I contacted Ricoh Japan about it because I can't seem to find an email address on Ricoh US. Support links just take me to Ricoh Connect and I can't find a way to sign up...?

Anyhow, I asked whether they are aware of this phenomenon, if it was normal, and if they would be updating this behavior in a FW update. In case anyone still cares, I got the following reply (roughly translated):

"Compared to previous models, the K-3's flash has been designed in a way where the user will experience a slight lag. This was done to increase the metering accuracy with P-TTL, and the algorithm has been modified. Therefore, there are control constraints which cause this time lag.

We will take your feedback and notify the proper department for future reference."
@ thehiko, I contacted Ricoh Canada since I purchased the K3 from a Canadian retailer on Ebay. The webform on their site (Support?RICOH IMAGING CANADA) looks the same as the one on the Ricoh USA site (Support | Ricoh Imaging). I wasn't asked to register, just clicked 'submit' and was done.

Anyway, I got a reply within 24 hours and the response was a little surprising, claiming that they've received "no reports" of the delay:

Thank you for contacting RICOH.

We have had no reports of a known issue in the K-3 involving a delay in the shutter activation when using either the built-in flash or an off-camera PENTAX flash. Make sure you are pressing and holding the shutter button down half way until the camera indicates focus lock before you try to take the shot. Also, check to make sure you don't have the flash mode set to red-eye reduction.

If you are in need of further assistance, please respond to this email or call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.

Sincerely,
Randall S.
RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION


Now, I don't remember if anyone else on this thread has so far reported that they've also contacted Ricoh USA/Japan/Canada/etc but if not, then why not? Perhaps the algorithm could be re-modified with firmware to give us a choice between the lag or inaccurate exposure? Of course, I have no idea but I'd like to at least have an answer from those at Pentax who do, so I'll continue to press for it.

I would also request that anyone who has experienced the lag please report it. Even if it doesn't affect your style of shooting, why not at least support those of us who are affected? It only takes a minute to fill out the form.

Thanks.

11-18-2015, 09:03 PM   #249
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QuoteOriginally posted by afmeck Quote
@ thehiko, I contacted Ricoh Canada since I purchased the K3 from a Canadian retailer on Ebay. The webform on their site (Support?RICOH IMAGING CANADA) looks the same as the one on the Ricoh USA site (Support | Ricoh Imaging). I wasn't asked to register, just clicked 'submit' and was done.

Anyway, I got a reply within 24 hours and the response was a little surprising, claiming that they've received "no reports" of the delay:

Thank you for contacting RICOH.

We have had no reports of a known issue in the K-3 involving a delay in the shutter activation when using either the built-in flash or an off-camera PENTAX flash. Make sure you are pressing and holding the shutter button down half way until the camera indicates focus lock before you try to take the shot. Also, check to make sure you don't have the flash mode set to red-eye reduction.

If you are in need of further assistance, please respond to this email or call our technical support center at 800-877-0155.

Sincerely,
Randall S.
RICOH IMAGING AMERICAS CORPORATION


Now, I don't remember if anyone else on this thread has so far reported that they've also contacted Ricoh USA/Japan/Canada/etc but if not, then why not? Perhaps the algorithm could be re-modified with firmware to give us a choice between the lag or inaccurate exposure? Of course, I have no idea but I'd like to at least have an answer from those at Pentax who do, so I'll continue to press for it.

I would also request that anyone who has experienced the lag please report it. Even if it doesn't affect your style of shooting, why not at least support those of us who are affected? It only takes a minute to fill out the form.

Thanks.
Thanks for the link to the web form. And indeed a surprising response from Ricoh. I, too, would have thought they received more complaints. It seems like a pretty significant issue imo.

When I contacted Ricoh Japan, I mentioned the multiple reports from Pentax Forums, as well as from a Japanese site (well-known site but not Pentax specific). And you know how that went. I'm sure it's got to be addressable through FW. And why do we have to compromise between accuracy and responsiveness? Canon/Nikon do it, I don't know about Sony or Fuji or other manufacturers, but I assume they're not as bad either.
11-18-2015, 11:57 PM   #250
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoeske Quote
It sounds like you do not know what HHS is.
Near as I can tell, he wants to use electronic flash in much the same way as traditional FP flash bulbs for classic glamour shots. The flash is used as key in a daylight situation using a fast shutter speed to minimize ghosting and to freeze motion. Rather than young women in bikinis, his use case is birds (presumably at close range given the low guide numbers for HSS) under overcast daylight situation. For some reason, split second shutter responsiveness is required.

In my mind, this is an extreme corner case, though user afmeck has expressed that everyone who shoots wildlife and sports will be using their camera and flash in this way. There is a strange sense of deja vu to these last several messages, particularly the details of the exchange with Randal S.. I could swear I have read this stuff before.

My opinion is that it is highly unlikely that Ricoh will craft a fix to change this behavior. It is also my opinion that this particular behavior has been thoroughly discussed with little left to add to the discussion.

In summary:
  • The extra lag time on the K-3 has not been addressed by firmware updates as of this date (18 Nov 2015)
  • There are NO workarounds using P-TTL or P-TTL pass-through with existing flash units
  • It is entirely possible that Canon or Nikon may offer less latency with their version of HSS via P-TTL
  • Adapted leaf-shutter lenses may be an option, though the maximum shutter speed is generally less than 1/1000s
  • Another option is traditional FP flash bulbs, though sync would have to be off camera (X sync does not work with FP bulbs)
  • Similarly to the point above, a custom module might be crafted to emulate on-camera P-TTL/HSS protocol through a special wired shutter release
That last point might make for a fun project, but I doubt there is any money in it.

Just for giggles:

http://www.flashbulbs.com/flashbulb_basics.htm


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-19-2015 at 12:05 AM.
11-18-2015, 11:59 PM   #251
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QuoteOriginally posted by thehiko Quote
I'm sure it's got to be addressable through FW. And why do we have to compromise between accuracy and responsiveness? Canon/Nikon do it, I don't know about Sony or Fuji or other manufacturers, but I assume they're not as bad either.
I hope you're right about a FW fix. I've responded to Ricoh's reply and explained that camera settings aren't a factor and that the K3 doesn't provide a functioning high-speed sync option for moving subjects.

BTW, for anyone questioning why that actually matters for shooting wildlife or other fast-moving or unpredictable subjects I, not being a professional, will defer to just one of many pros who do rely on that system, Ralph Paonessa. Of particular relevance is his emphatic statement, "...high speed flash sync is so useful to me that I won't buy a camera/flash combo that doesn't offer it. If you want to use fill flash with wildlife, people, or sports shooting, especially with long lenses, be sure to insist on this feature."

High speed sync for flash at any shutter speed

I hope anyone considering buying a K3 or K3II comes across this thread, reads Ralph's article, and takes his advice.
11-19-2015, 12:20 AM   #252
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QuoteOriginally posted by thehiko Quote
I don't know about Sony or Fuji or other manufacturers, but I assume they're not as bad either.
I suggest you do research before buying if this particular aspect is very important to you. Shutter latency varies by model within a brand and flash latency will always be at least as long as shutter latency. Imaging Resource routinely does shutter latency as part of their lab testing. That would be a good place to start. Beyond that, nothing beats actually checking things out with camera in hand. It is worth making the trip to a brick and mortar store if it can save you from post-purchase disappointment and frustration.


Steve
11-19-2015, 12:32 AM   #253
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QuoteOriginally posted by afmeck Quote
If you want to use fill flash with wildlife, people, or sports shooting, especially with long lenses, be sure to insist on this feature."
Ralph Paonessa? The hummingbird guy?

You might want to check the effective guide numbers for HSS flash. It will work for lions in the zoo or birds at a feeder, but not at true field distance. As for sports during actual competition, my inclination if a competitor would be to punch out any photog who strobed me during play. Staged shots, snowboard aerials for example, are sometimes done with flash, but using a strobist approach, not HSS.

Good luck with your quest. Randal S. at Ricoh Support is very helpful. You might also consider Canon. That is what Paonessa shoots.


Steve
11-19-2015, 12:52 AM   #254
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Ralph Paonessa? The hummingbird guy?
I found this recent (2013) article by Paonessa describing (in detail) the making of one of the excellent hummingbird shots he is famous for.

How I got the shot: Long-tailed Sylph

Here are the specs:
  • Manual flash technique
  • 4 flash units (non-TTL speedlights) at 1/16 power to yield 1/10,000s flash duration, RF triggers
  • Regular X-sync
  • 1/200s (max speed for x-sync on the camera)
  • 135mm @ f/16
  • ISO 200
  • Birds attracted with feeders
  • Printed fabric backdrop
  • 5'-10' subject distance
  • Camera on tripod
To avoid ghosting, the exposure was balanced so that flash was about 2 stops brighter than ambient light. He trained the hummers to the feeder and then replaced the feeder with a real flower for the money shot.

The guy is a pro...


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-19-2015 at 01:03 AM.
11-19-2015, 04:17 AM   #255
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I suggest you do research before buying if this particular aspect is very important to you. Shutter latency varies by model within a brand and flash latency will always be at least as long as shutter latency. Imaging Resource routinely does shutter latency as part of their lab testing. That would be a good place to start. Beyond that, nothing beats actually checking things out with camera in hand. It is worth making the trip to a brick and mortar store if it can save you from post-purchase disappointment and frustration.


Steve
Yes I do admit I didn't research this part when deciding on a camera system. So yea I can't really fault anyone but myself. It didn't really cross my mind for DSLRs, given that they are not point-and-shoots, and geared toward the photocentric and pro crowd.

I have accepted the idea of Ricoh likely not prioritizing a fix for this. As I said, they stated it was intentional for exposure accuracy, and while I can hope for positive things to come in the future, without droves of users sending comments to them, I do not expect much.
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