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11-25-2013, 03:45 PM   #1
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Bell & Howell flash issues with my K-3

Hi Guys,

I've had my K-3 for a couple of weeks now and I love it! just got me a battery grip as I do a lot of wedding photography and now it's really looking the part!

However i'm having some issues with my flash. I have a Bell & Howell Z680AF-P which I bought when I had my Pentax K-R because of the positive reviews. It worked fine with my K-R but seems to be having issues on my K-3 body .

Despite using the correct settings and pointing the flash directly at my subject the photos still come out massively underexposed - I can see the flash go off and light up the room but the photo that comes back is nothing like that. Also the TTL seems off and on and after taking a shot it takes ages for it to connect using TTL again. I tested it again tonight and noticed even weirder issues where the LCD on the back of the K-3 stopped working until I turned the flash off and turned the body off and on again.

Any ideas why this is happening or how I might correct it? Or is it just an incompatible flash? If this is the case then can someone recommend me a genuine Pentax flash to mimic what the Bell & Howell gives me? I really just want something to use for portraits/weddings.

Cheers

Alex

11-25-2013, 04:02 PM   #2
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You might look into what is said about the Tumax and look alike flashes like the Bell and Howell's here:

The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison
In particular the comment:
QuoteQuote:
Note: There's at are reports of incompatibility with the Pentax K-30. Following previous patterns, newer models which work with newer cameras will probably eventually silently make it to market — with no announcement or easy way to distinguish between compatible and non-working models. Models made a year or so earlier will be incompatible with the K-5 and K-r, and so on back. Make sure you double check before purchase, and buy from somewhere with a good returns policy, in case you happen to get an older unit.
Substitute 'K-3' for 'K-30'.
11-25-2013, 04:03 PM   #3
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I looked up your Flash and it has very mixed reviews.

Bell & Howell is nothing but a label anymore, Used on cheap electronics made by whoever, Unfortunately.

I'd look at Metz 44 AF-1 P-TTL Flash for Pentax Cameras MZ44317PS
02-17-2014, 05:53 PM   #4
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I have experienced similar issues with the same model flash on my K-3. You are not alone. I am now looking for an affordable flash for the K-3. I am going to keep the B&H for use on my K-x where it is fine.

Pentax Bob

02-19-2014, 12:01 PM   #5
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Bob Quote
I have experienced similar issues with the same model flash on my K-3. You are not alone. I am now looking for an affordable flash for the K-3. I am going to keep the B&H for use on my K-x where it is fine.

Pentax Bob

Hi Bob,

Yeah it seems fairly common, it's a pretty cheap flash tbh. I've kept it for now for use on my old K-r but I think i'm going to sell it. Re an affordable flash for the K-3, i'm not sure what your budget is but have a look at the Metz 52 AF-1, I have this combo and it works well.

Cheers

Alex
02-20-2014, 05:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the advice Alex. I am trying to find something for $200 or less. I have read a lot of good things about Metz units, but they are on the high side of my price range. I suspect if I wait for a while, other manufacturers will eventually make units that work well with the K-3. I do have an old Promaster thyrister flash that will do in a pinch until I locate something with true p-ttl capability.
Pentax Bob
02-20-2014, 11:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentax Bob Quote
Thanks for the advice Alex. I am trying to find something for $200 or less. I have read a lot of good things about Metz units, but they are on the high side of my price range. I suspect if I wait for a while, other manufacturers will eventually make units that work well with the K-3. I do have an old Promaster thyrister flash that will do in a pinch until I locate something with true p-ttl capability.
Pentax Bob
I'd have thought 'once bitten'

You can buy another cheap flash and next Pentax release you'll be buying another seems an expensive option to me.

If you buy one of the recognized oem manufacturers SIgma , Metz or Pentax then your pretty future proofed

Sigma have a good return/upgrade policy
Metz have USB firmware updates
Pentax just work

http://pttl.mattdm.org/feature:field-upgradeable

Last edited by awaldram; 02-20-2014 at 11:33 PM. Reason: Added Mats field upgradeable link
02-21-2014, 09:19 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by awaldram Quote
I'd have thought 'once bitten'

You can buy another cheap flash and next Pentax release you'll be buying another seems an expensive option to me.

If you buy one of the recognized oem manufacturers SIgma , Metz or Pentax then your pretty future proofed

Sigma have a good return/upgrade policy
Metz have USB firmware updates
Pentax just work

Field Upgradeable via USB - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison
I would buy a sigma if I could be sure it works on a K-3. I have asked B&H Photo, Sigma and other forum members. So far no confirmation that the EF 610 DG super will work. The Metz units and Pentax are out of my price range.
Pentax Bob

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