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03-16-2014, 07:02 AM   #1
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HSS sometimes not working on K-3 in Tv mode - confirmed

I just tried to use High-Speed Sync (HSS) on my K-3, with both a Metz 48 AF-1 (latest Firmware 5.0) and a Pentax AF-540FGZ.

I've tried this:

Set the camera to Tv mode and dial a 1/2000s. Activate HSS mode on the flash, wait for it to be ready, press the shutter button half down.

Then the time switches to 1/180 (sync time). And if I take the short, the taken images says it was taken at 1/180, not at 1/2000.

However, it's not supposed to change the speed to 1/180, is it? It's only supposed to do that in non-HSS mode, but the purpose of HSS is that I can take shots at shorter times (at the cost of range and such).

When I perform the same test with my K-5, it works - The shots are taken at 1/2000 as expected.

Now, after some more testing I found that HSS works in M mode. Just not in Tv (and neither in P when I set a shorter exposure time). Surprisingly, HSS also works in TAv.

So, is this a bug in the K-3 or did Pentax, uh, Ricoh, remove the HSS feature from these modes on purpose?

BTW, here's another thing about using TAv with a flash: It appears to be always using the highest ISO it's allowed, even if it's not necessary with the flash, even causing overexposure. That's because, I believe, it measures the ISO as if the flash would not fire, even though it's ready and it's firing, so it takes the image with ISO 6400 when it should lower it to ISO 100 if the range of the focused object is close or if P-TTL determines that it'll bright enough. Ergo, TAv is a bit of a risk to use unless you remember to change the auto-ISO range to limit it to 100-200. It's far smarter to use only M (for HSS) and X (for non-HSS) modes and control the ISO manually, I think.


Last edited by tempelorg; 03-16-2014 at 09:52 AM.
03-16-2014, 08:55 AM   #2
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A little update: Now it works, suddenly. In all four modes (P, Tv, TAv, M), and with both external flashes.

I have no idea what "fixed" it. Maybe it's a bug in the firmware ("uninitialized variable") causing random behavior with this. Or it's an innocent looking setting that I may have changed to make it work.

In any case, would be nice if other could also try the HSS mode with their K-3: See if you can set the shutter speed to shorter than 1/180 in Tv mode and then take a picture and verify in the camera that the picture was taken at the chosen speed. Let us know if it works or not.
03-16-2014, 08:58 AM   #3
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According to the online Pentax manual

"With the AF540FGZ, AF540FGZ II, AF360FGZ, or
AF360FGZ II, you can use the high-speed sync flash to
discharge the flash and take a picture at a shutter speed
faster than 1/180 seconds. Select an exposure mode
(such as Tv) which allows you to set the shutter speed."

I've gotten HSS to work with my Metz 48, but I don't remember the settings. Probably M mode. I'll investigate further when I get a chance.

Cheers,
Lou
03-16-2014, 09:04 AM   #4
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I have got the Metz 50 and have had no problems with HSS.

03-16-2014, 09:25 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by lm4187 Quote
I'll investigate further when I get a chance.
Got the chance; rather, found my Metz flash.
Seems to work as advertised. One of those 'sweet little mysteries of life,' I guess. Glad it works for you now, tempelorg.

Cheers,
Lou
03-16-2014, 09:41 AM   #6
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I set TV, 1/2000s and flash on P-TTL-HSS.
When I half press the shutter and let it go the speed changes to 1/180 in the OVF but stays 1/2000 on the rear LCD.
If I shoot a picture it is at 1/180, as indicate on the OVF, not 1/2000 as displayed on the rear LCD.

It is a bug for sure - especially the fact that the OVF and rear LCD are indicating different shutter speed from each other.
03-16-2014, 09:47 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
When I half press the shutter and let it go the speed changes to 1/180 in the OVF but stays 1/2000 on the rear LCD.
Ahh, that's exactly what happened for me as well!

So I'm not the only one seeing this. Thanks for verifying this.

Does it work in the M mode for you, though?

QuoteQuote:
the OVF and rear LCD are indicating different shutter speed from each other.
Well, that might actually be a feature - you can see what you have set the dial to, and it'll be used if the flash isn't ready. Though, one could argue about this, as one might want to see the actually used speed on the rear as well.
03-16-2014, 11:34 AM   #8
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I can't get HSS to fail, no matter how hard I try. K-3, AF360FGZ, Tv, even at 1/8000. Perhaps its a Metz thing.

03-16-2014, 02:35 PM   #9
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Metz? No, can't be a Metz thing as the issue also happen with a Pentax flash as both I and lister6520 wrote.
03-16-2014, 02:57 PM   #10
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Metz 50 AF-1 firmware 4.0 have no problems with High Speed Sync on the K-3. I have been messing with all sorts of settings to make the camera not work on faster speed than 1/180 but it does.
03-16-2014, 03:11 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by tempelorg Quote
Ahh, that's exactly what happened for me as well!

So I'm not the only one seeing this. Thanks for verifying this.

Does it work in the M mode for you, though?



Well, that might actually be a feature - you can see what you have set the dial to, and it'll be used if the flash isn't ready. Though, one could argue about this, as one might want to see the actually used speed on the rear as well.
On manual, and also Tav it is obeying the shutter speed I set but the photos are a bit underexposed. I have always used it only in manual before and I'm a bit surprised about the underexposure this time round. I'm wondering if it is after a firmware update as exposure had always been spot on until now.
03-16-2014, 03:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lister6520 Quote
On manual, and also Tav it is obeying the shutter speed I set but the photos are a bit underexposed. I have always used it only in manual before and I'm a bit surprised about the underexposure this time round. I'm wondering if it is after a firmware update as exposure had always been spot on until now.
Just in case: Have you checked so that you have not put in a flash comp in the flash menu. I had a minus 1.3 set for the internal flash and this also affects the hot shoe flash.
03-16-2014, 03:34 PM   #13
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Thanks for clarifying. I missed that part.

In Av mode, with a shutter speed of 1/160 or longer, a manual flash will fire.
In Av mode with a manually-set shutter speed of 1/200 or shorter, a manual flash will not fire, but a TTL flash will fire with the camera adjusting shutter speed to 1/180 to do so.
In Av mode with shutter speed set to 1/200 or shorter, a flash with HSS will fire without the camera adjusting.
You are seeing flash/camera miscommunication. They can't agree on whether the flash is HSS or just TTL.
This is happening on more than one camera with more than one flash.
What do they all have in common? A precarious set of electrical contacts historically prone to certain problems, the hot-shoe.
Try cleaning the contacts and see if it helps.

Last edited by AquaDome; 03-16-2014 at 06:12 PM. Reason: Sounded adversarial. Appologies.
03-17-2014, 12:42 AM   #14
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With all respect, AquaDome, but again, this is nonsense.

It can't be the contacts because switching the mode from Tv to M fixes the issue, which proves that the HSS transmission from flash to camera works just fine - if the problem were with the contacts, then the "HSS state" transmission would also fail on M. Besides, the contacts aren't just one pin for each different flash function - that would require dozens of separate contacts on the shoe. But there are only 4. No, the information is transmitted via a serial protocol - if a contact is bad the communication between flash and camera would fail entirely, not just one particular bit of information.

Could we please focus on confirming the issue and looking at settings that might influence it.
03-17-2014, 05:17 PM - 1 Like   #15
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Someone in another (German) forum could reproduce the effect as well, but for him, it was a settings issue: When "Auto EV Compensation" (setting C.6 on K-3) is enabled (=2), then the Tv was limited to 1/180 with a HSS flash.

Oddly, though, I cannot reproduce this myself on neither my K-3 nor my K-5. My cameras are currently not showing any shutter speed limitation in Tv mode with HSS, no matter what I set this setting to.

@lister6520 - could you test this yourself, please? Assuming your K-3 is still limiting the shutter speed to 1/180 in Tv mode with HSS, change the C.6 setting and see if that helps.
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