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01-20-2014, 07:02 PM   #1
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K-3 Wireless Flash Modes

Hello!

I'm new to the forum and could use some help with the wireless flash mode on my new K-3.

What I'm trying to do, is have the camera wirelessly trigger my slave flash without the on camera flash contributing to the exposure. I was able to find a video of how to do this on the K-5 that involved selecting Wireless in the flash menu and then telling the on camera flash not to fire in wireless mode in the customization menu.
From what I can tell from the K-3 manual, this is all done in one step by choosing the Wireless mode called "Controller" in the flash menu. However, I can't seem to get it so that the on camera flash doesn't fire. I have tried both wireless settings (Master and Controller). I have the Sigma EF-610 DG Super external flash. I am new to flash photography, and would appreciate any help.

Thanks!

01-20-2014, 07:24 PM   #2
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Hi there.

When you say you don't want the on board flash 'to fire', I assume you realise that it will fire each and every time as a pre-flash? How else can it tell the slave what to do? The pre-flash happens before the shutter starts moving, (in controller mode) but it all happens so fast it is sometimes impossible to tell with mere human senses that there is a delay (short but measurable) between the on board flash sending out it's signal and the shutter/ off board flash operating.

I don't have my K-3 in front of me, but from memory the set up was essentially the same as the K-5. Set the menu setting to 'controller' (does not contribute to the exposure) and set the pop up flash to 'wireless' mode and fire away..

You don't say if the Sigma flash fires or not. I'm assuming it does.

Hope this helps a little
01-20-2014, 07:39 PM   #3
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My understanding is that the flash contributes the exposure in wireless master mode, but does not in wireless controller mode.

These choices are under the flash menu (p43 in the english manual).
01-20-2014, 07:41 PM   #4
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Set your K3 Wireless setting to Controller and it will only fire the slaves but will not contribute to the exposure. The Master setting will do the opposite and contribute to the exposure.

Dale

01-20-2014, 07:43 PM   #5
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Thank you, wizofoz. That answers my question. I guess I had it in my head that the on camera flash wasn't supposed to fire, but never thought about how the slave would trigger. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out for me.
01-20-2014, 07:44 PM   #6
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Thanks, everybody!
01-21-2014, 12:41 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by l.cole Quote
Thank you, wizofoz. That answers my question. I guess I had it in my head that the on camera flash wasn't supposed to fire, but never thought about how the slave would trigger. Thanks for taking the time to spell it out for me.
That's what we are here for, one big happy Pentax family.

A former boss of mine once told me 'the only stupid question is the one you don't ask' and I've stuck by that philosophy ever since.

Glad to help
01-21-2014, 12:55 AM   #8
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thanks guys, I had the exact same question and using a combination of a wireless sender unit to trigger a soft box and a pentax 540 as a slave. I guess I need to choose which wireless method I am going to use. Any aftermarket radio slaves that will work with the K-3? the manual seems to state that they will via flash trigger, but then I loose the soft box which is a good high powered fill. anyway... threadjacking.
Mike

01-23-2014, 10:27 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fig Quote
thanks guys, I had the exact same question and using a combination of a wireless sender unit to trigger a soft box and a pentax 540 as a slave. I guess I need to choose which wireless method I am going to use. Any aftermarket radio slaves that will work with the K-3? the manual seems to state that they will via flash trigger, but then I loose the soft box which is a good high powered fill. anyway... threadjacking.
Mike
If you are using a wireless trigger with your k-5 it should work on the k-3.
No need to enable wireless on the camera or the flash unit, keep using your triggers.
Pentax does not use radio signal it triggers via optical method.
With your wireless triggers you have the advantage of not needing to be in line of sight of the camera.
01-23-2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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Note that the onboard flash will actually always contribute some light to the picture even in controller mode. In many situations though the contribution will be small enough to not be significant but there are cases when it can be a problem especially if you are shooting at short distance but have the external flash bouncing over a long distance.

Most of the control pulses that the on board flash uses to communicate commands to the external flash do occur when the shutter is still closed and do not affect the picture, however there is one last pulse that is flashed after the shutter is fully open, and it is the pulse which finally triggers the external flash. This happens even in controller mode, the difference being that instead of making a bright flash it makes one at about 1/50th power, which is enough for the remote flash to 'see' but normally low enough as not to significantly illuminate the photo.
01-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Note that the onboard flash will actually always contribute some light to the picture even in controller mode. In many situations though the contribution will be small enough to not be significant but there are cases when it can be a problem especially if you are shooting at short distance but have the external flash bouncing over a long distance.

Most of the control pulses that the on board flash uses to communicate commands to the external flash do occur when the shutter is still closed and do not affect the picture, however there is one last pulse that is flashed after the shutter is fully open, and it is the pulse which finally triggers the external flash. This happens even in controller mode, the difference being that instead of making a bright flash it makes one at about 1/50th power, which is enough for the remote flash to 'see' but normally low enough as not to significantly illuminate the photo.
Great explanation, thanks lister! It agrees with my observations. The onboard flash firing in controller mode is usually not visible in pictures when your subject is normal distance from the camera - by the time the light gets to it, it's far too weak. But it can become issue in extreme situations - macro shots being one example, where I had wireless flash firing from the side of the camera to avoid shade of the lens issue and I'd still get shade from the on board flash (in controller mode) ruining my picture.

I guess there's no way around it with current Pentax implementation - all the wireless flashes need to fire at the same time after the 1st curtain is open, so they need the pulse from onboard flash.
01-23-2014, 02:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Note that the onboard flash will actually always contribute some light to the picture even in controller mode. In many situations though the contribution will be small enough to not be significant but there are cases when it can be a problem especially if you are shooting at short distance but have the external flash bouncing over a long distance.

Most of the control pulses that the on board flash uses to communicate commands to the external flash do occur when the shutter is still closed and do not affect the picture, however there is one last pulse that is flashed after the shutter is fully open, and it is the pulse which finally triggers the external flash. This happens even in controller mode, the difference being that instead of making a bright flash it makes one at about 1/50th power, which is enough for the remote flash to 'see' but normally low enough as not to significantly illuminate the photo.
I've discovered the same thing about the flash contributing a bit. I could never get my K5 to work right using the on-board as a control flash, but my K3 seems to work much, much better.

Besides the issue with macro, I've discovered that the DA 16-50 will be a problem when shooting at 16mm and a fairly close distance. It's not so much that the flash contributes much to the exposure, it's more a matter that the lens causes a flash shadow at 16mm, and you can still see it when the flash is set to control. It doesn't hit you over the head like it would if you were shooting with just the on-board flash, but it's there and distracting. I'm thinking about getting some radio triggers because I do a lot of macro and (now that I have the 16-50) wide angle interior stuff.
01-23-2014, 04:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
Note that the onboard flash will actually always contribute some light to the picture even in controller mode. In many situations though the contribution will be small enough to not be significant but there are cases when it can be a problem especially if you are shooting at short distance but have the external flash bouncing over a long distance.

Most of the control pulses that the on board flash uses to communicate commands to the external flash do occur when the shutter is still closed and do not affect the picture, however there is one last pulse that is flashed after the shutter is fully open, and it is the pulse which finally triggers the external flash. This happens even in controller mode, the difference being that instead of making a bright flash it makes one at about 1/50th power, which is enough for the remote flash to 'see' but normally low enough as not to significantly illuminate the photo.
The sensors that receive the light pulses are IR sensitive, so adding an IR pass filter over the pop up flash (or Controller camera mounted external flash) will cut the visible portion of the Controller flash and eliminate its contribution to the image. The Metz 15 MS 1 Macro Slave flash includes a filter that looks like a snack bag clip that can be mounted on the popup flash to block the visible light. I don't know if they sell this separately. . .

Nikon makes one that slips into the flash shoe -- and it's not too expensive -- $12

Nikon SG-3IR IR Panel for Camera Built-In Flashes 4905 B&H Photo

For a very cheap DIY solution, you can also use a piece of overexposed developed color negative film -- the black part from the leader end of a processed roll of film -- just attach it over the pop up flash reflector -- it will block most of the light, letting IR through. If you don't have any of these, you might try going to a place with a 1 hour print service and ask if they can cut off a piece for you. . .

Scott
01-24-2014, 06:15 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by crewl1 Quote
If you are using a wireless trigger with your k-5 it should work on the k-3.
No need to enable wireless on the camera or the flash unit, keep using your triggers.
Pentax does not use radio signal it triggers via optical method.
With your wireless triggers you have the advantage of not needing to be in line of sight of the camera.
Is this still true when using a Metz flash?
01-24-2014, 10:15 PM   #15
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By the way, those using a K-3 with wireless flash set on Master, can control the intensity of the on-board flash. I've been experimenting somewhat with this. Do any of you set your on-board flash to a lower power and let the remote flash be the main light? If so, what do you set your on-board flash at? -1? -.7 or what?
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