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06-03-2015, 07:07 PM   #1
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Pentax k3II has the shutter lag problem wtih external flash

So bummed, I just took delivery of a Pentax K3ii with 50mm lens (coming from Nikon camp). The camera works well overall, but when you attach an external flash (I've tried Pent af-540GZ), there is a noticeable lag before the camera will actually take a picture. Release priority selected on all focus modes. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, but a quick search reveals 17 pages of forums comments on this issue with the K3. Did anyone ever find a solution. Does anyone know if the KS2 has this issue? My local stores don't carry Pentax to try.

06-03-2015, 07:29 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ontariomark Quote
Does anyone know if the KS2 has this issue?
I'll test it out tonight and let you know. The behavior could potentially be different since the K-S2 has a different CPU. The K-3 and K-3 II share identical core hardware.

Edit: flash batteries were dead, but I'll do my best to test it soon.

Adam
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Last edited by Adam; 06-03-2015 at 10:40 PM. Reason: update
06-03-2015, 07:47 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I'll test it out tonight and let you know. The behavior could potentially be different since the K-S2 has a different CPU. The K-3 and K-3 II share identical core hardware.
Much appreciated Adam, hoping the KS2 is immune to this issue.
06-03-2015, 09:32 PM   #4
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I guess you're using pTTL and that the pre-flash fires immediately? Try the flash in auto-thyristor mode or manual; it should not give the issue (but is less convenient)

06-03-2015, 10:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ontariomark Quote
So bummed, I just took delivery of a Pentax K3ii with 50mm lens (coming from Nikon camp). The camera works well overall, but when you attach an external flash (I've tried Pent af-540GZ), there is a noticeable lag before the camera will actually take a picture. Release priority selected on all focus modes. I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, but a quick search reveals 17 pages of forums comments on this issue with the K3. Did anyone ever find a solution. Does anyone know if the KS2 has this issue? My local stores don't carry Pentax to try.
So far my K3 and K3II have been without any lags in Manual, AV modes, PTTL or auto flash. I also have been shooting manual focus and autofocus without any lags. I have found the focus priority function to be sensitive with great focus results but with lags during live soccer (football) without flash shots however this is a justified and adjustable.
06-03-2015, 11:03 PM   #6
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17 pages? There was a user shortly after the K-3 debuted who was very concerned about shutter lag for flash, but I don't remember any particular outcry.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/242556-k-3-delay-when-using-flash.html

The above thread (15 pages) discussed the lag, but quickly degenerated into a general discussion of the weak points of Pentax flash across several models and then withered to a series of yes I have, no I don't posts. To the best of my knowledge the behavior was never addressed in firmware on the K-3. FWIW, I don't know that any reviewer of the camera detected this behavior or found it to be problematic. Some users in the above link were able to reproduce the OP's complaint and others not. In at least one case the lag was user error (red-eye reduction on). I am able to perceive a few millisecond lag on my K-3, but only in PTTL mode. Consensus on the other thread was that the lag was prior to the preflash and flash and was related to some unknown calculation of ambient exposure and/or communication with the flash itself though that explanation was not universally accepted. Whether other Pentax models at the time had similar behavior was not well established either. To the best of my knowledge nobody did an automated timed test. Wrong...see below...

Based on the comments for the older thread and here, it seems that some users are more sensitive than others and in at least one case. My advice to the OP would be to report their concern to Ricoh/Pentax and perhaps start a new thread on Ricoh's official user forum. (Ricoh does not regularly monitor posts to this site.)

Edit: I reviewed my comments on the previous thread and forgot to note here that I was able to compare the lag on my K-3 to that on the K10D
I owned at the time and found the K10D to have a much longer lag.

Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 06-03-2015 at 11:51 PM.
06-03-2015, 11:46 PM   #7
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Automated test results at linked comment below:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/242556-k-3-delay-when-usin...ml#post2972999


Steve
06-04-2015, 03:19 AM   #8
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Come on, everybody knows that K-3 has a huge lag when shooting in P-TTL. Actually, it is almost impossible to shoot people in P-TTL mode.
The only solution I know is to use Auto/Manual modes on a flash instead of P-TTL or... to buy K-5 IIs.

06-04-2015, 04:34 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
I guess you're using pTTL and that the pre-flash fires immediately? Try the flash in auto-thyristor mode or manual; it should not give the issue (but is less convenient)
Yes, this is exactly the behavior I noticed. It's only in pttl that the behavior happens.

---------- Post added 06-04-15 at 04:36 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by 77tbholmes Quote
So far my K3 and K3II have been without any lags in Manual, AV modes, PTTL or auto flash. I also have been shooting manual focus and autofocus without any lags. I have found the focus priority function to be sensitive with great focus results but with lags during live soccer (football) without flash shots however this is a justified and adjustable.
Which external flash unit are you using? I don't notice any lag when shooting non-pttl flash modes, or when I turn off the flash. Maybe I have a defective camera?

---------- Post added 06-04-15 at 04:42 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
17 pages? There was a user shortly after the K-3 debuted who was very concerned about shutter lag for flash, but I don't remember any particular outcry.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/172-pentax-k-3/242556-k-3-delay-when-using-flash.html

The above thread (15 pages) discussed the lag, but quickly degenerated into a general discussion of the weak points of Pentax flash across several models and then withered to a series of yes I have, no I don't posts. To the best of my knowledge the behavior was never addressed in firmware on the K-3. FWIW, I don't know that any reviewer of the camera detected this behavior or found it to be problematic. Some users in the above link were able to reproduce the OP's complaint and others not. In at least one case the lag was user error (red-eye reduction on). I am able to perceive a few millisecond lag on my K-3, but only in PTTL mode. Consensus on the other thread was that the lag was prior to the preflash and flash and was related to some unknown calculation of ambient exposure and/or communication with the flash itself though that explanation was not universally accepted. Whether other Pentax models at the time had similar behavior was not well established either. To the best of my knowledge nobody did an automated timed test. Wrong...see below...

Based on the comments for the older thread and here, it seems that some users are more sensitive than others and in at least one case. My advice to the OP would be to report their concern to Ricoh/Pentax and perhaps start a new thread on Ricoh's official user forum. (Ricoh does not regularly monitor posts to this site.)

Edit: I reviewed my comments on the previous thread and forgot to note here that I was able to compare the lag on my K-3 to that on the K10D
I owned at the time and found the K10D to have a much longer lag.

Steve
You're right, I just checked and it's 15 pages, I thought it was 17. Nevertheless, I agree that either contacting Ricoh/Pentax or simply returning/exchanging the camera is probably the next step. The forum is useful, however, as there is no local Pentax dealer near me, so firsthand experiences are useful in determining whether or not this is a problem with my particular camera, or the model in general.
06-04-2015, 05:03 AM   #10
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I am using a Pentax AF280T and a Promaster FL1. However I still need to try it with my Metz 45 CL4 wired or hot shoed.
06-04-2015, 05:53 AM   #11
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Hmmm ....never experienced any problem like this. I set my aperture and shutter speed manually and the flash on PTTL. I have both the 360 and 540 (three of them) and all work just fine.
06-04-2015, 06:42 AM   #12
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I have one of the K-3's effected with P-TTL lag. I'm not sure if its every K-3 or just some, maybe some people don't notice it or their camera just isn't effected. Anyway, I've learned to deal with it and I'm pretty much used to it. It definitely makes some wedding shots difficult, but overall, I can live with it.

Its disappointing to hear they didn't fix this on the mark ii. I really hope they get it sorted out on the FF.
06-04-2015, 08:10 AM   #13
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I noticed this when I first got the K3 as well and used it with the AF 540 I. It was really bad at first, then weeding through the settings I seem to recall that the camera came defaulted to red eye reduction and some other settings which made it worse. After checking settings, upgrading firmware and starting to use the Metz 64 AF, I did not notice the lag any longer.
06-04-2015, 08:28 AM   #14
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I don't remember having any lag issues shooting my k-3 with AF540 (that came with the bundle) in PTTL mode.. This was last October, but I can try checking this weekend when I get home..
06-04-2015, 09:39 AM   #15
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The lag is more than 1/4th of a second minimum in pTTL mode; many find that unacceptable for good reason. Pentax is not in the Nikon league for programmed flash, but learning the workarounds (auto, manual, ratio) is pretty darn easy, and gives you all the control. If you need complex multi-flash, there are plenty of fine flash systems out there that give you all the control you need. Also, the on-board flash has ratio settings for triggering and fill - and that works very well - with no lag whatsoever.

Pre-flash TTL is a compromise and potential liability in all the systems, but with Pentax especially so. Understanding ambient light ratios is the best way to go.
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