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06-23-2016, 11:01 AM   #1
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Wireless flash outdors

I set up my K-3 and AF540FGZ for wireless: built-in flash > Wireless Control, AF540 > Slave. I test it and it works.

I go outside, and the flash won't fire, regardless of exposure mode it seems, though I didn't actually test for this. Back indoors, and it works.

That was yesterday. I just went outside to test it again, and it works.

Am I doing something stupid, or are there some restrictions that are not so obvious?

Thanks.

06-23-2016, 11:12 AM   #2
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"Slave" relies on detecting the burst of light from the built-in-flash. If your AF540 can't see the flash, it won't fire.
06-23-2016, 11:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by 12345 Quote
"Slave" relies on detecting the burst of light from the built-in-flash. If your AF540 can't see the flash, it won't fire.
I should have mentioned that the Slave Mode is SL1, which according to the manual is "When photographing in wireless mode". Whether the flash i sset to SL1 or SL2 ("slave flash") the reading on the LCD is "SLAVE".

I just did a very quick test, and I don't see any difference in response between SL1 and SL2.
06-23-2016, 12:24 PM   #4
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its not an RF wireless like a radio trigger. It works using preflash communication. In bright outdoor conditions the off camera flash can not "recieve " the preflash info effectively.


SL2 does not wait for pre flash response, it just fires when it is flashed. It is "dumb", and works best in M or A modes. Plus the only way K and M glass will work at anything other than full power is in SL2

Search Gary Fong Pentax Flash tutorials on YouTube - quite informative.

06-23-2016, 01:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
its not an RF wireless like a radio trigger. It works using preflash communication. In bright outdoor conditions the off camera flash can not "recieve " the preflash info effectively.
I suppose this is the problem. Somewhat disappointing.

QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
Search Gary Fong Pentax Flash tutorials on YouTube - quite informative.
Yes, some useful stuff here, thanks.
06-23-2016, 05:38 PM   #6
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It's not really disappointing. It's simply the way it is. Nothing to be disappointed about. The solution is pretty simple and it's the reason why I never really cared about the built in flash. Simply buy some wireless triggers and be on your way. The big pro of wireless triggers is you don't need line of sight, you don't need dim lighting, you have more options for creativity. I've definitely used the commander mode in a pinch, but typically I have either cheap Cactus triggers and a off camera sync cord or some Skyports and a off camera sync cable. Either works fine, the Skyports are professional grade triggers and almost never fail, while the Cactus triggers fire most of the time, but sometimes fail to fire. For outdoor use while camping or backpacking, the Cactus are just fine. If I lose or break one, I'm out a few bucks. For anything more serious I use the Skyports.
06-23-2016, 05:43 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I set up my K-3 and AF540FGZ for wireless: built-in flash > Wireless Control, AF540 > Slave. I test it and it works.

I go outside, and the flash won't fire, regardless of exposure mode it seems, though I didn't actually test for this. Back indoors, and it works.

That was yesterday. I just went outside to test it again, and it works.

Am I doing something stupid, or are there some restrictions that are not so obvious?

Thanks.
My K50 would fire two flashes outside, as long as they can see the light.

Did you check if the shutter speed went over 180? The flash won't fire above that speed so the whole system won't work.

Tuggie76
06-23-2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
I suppose this is the problem. Somewhat disappointing.
All the manufacturers' default inbuilt wireless flash systems work this way, Bxf.

Go to a third party wireless trigger.

But now that you know, why don't you experiment with what you have in the meantime?

Point the oncamera flash when operating the shutter at the red plastic window of your remote flash.

You will soon find the distance that you can trust in those lighting conditions - remember it travels in a straight line.

Inside, the light bounces around off walls and ceiling so that some of it hits that rear sensor.

06-24-2016, 05:42 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mountain Vision Quote
Simply buy some wireless triggers and be on your way
My need for this is not serious. My wife is black, so she needs fill light more often than a whitey

Do these triggers work with P-TTL? Presumably, one has to have the builin-flash open...

Any suggestions for a cheap trigger?

---------- Post added 24-06-16 at 13:45 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Point the oncamera flash when operating the shutter at the red plastic window of your remote flash. You will soon find the distance that you can trust in those lighting conditions - remember it travels in a straight line. Inside, the light bounces around off walls and ceiling so that some of it hits that rear sensor.
Yeah, I understand all of this. But it's not so much a matter of distance, since I was holding the camera in one hand and the flash in the other. As you say, there are no walls for the control flash to bounce off, so one has to be careful with the angle. I can keep this in mind when shooting - should help.

Thanks for all comments and suggestions.

Last edited by bxf; 06-24-2016 at 06:05 AM.
06-24-2016, 06:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bxf Quote
Any suggestions for a cheap trigger?
I picked up some FlashQ triggers from China - cheap, and small - but short range. Manual / A mode only as they are not smart. They show up in your mailbox after ~ a week.

If you buy cheap triggers mind the sync speed.. I had the misfortune of picking up some Aputure triggers which were only 1/60. If you want smart triggers you will have to pay more. I upgraded to Cactus V6 and have been playing with them for a bit now. Very functional, and more convenient than the FlashQ when using a soft box because I dont have to open it u p every time I make an adjustment.
06-24-2016, 06:57 AM   #11
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If you didn't try this already, you will get better results by turning the flash so that the red plastic window is facing your on-camera flash and then swiveling the head to aim at your subject.
06-24-2016, 10:13 AM   #12
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For $30 you can get a pair of Yongnuo RF-603 II (link). They're manual only, but have a decent range. One goes on your hot shoe, the other goes on the foot of your flash. (Feet go in shoes, right? I don't think I'd call it a male shoe...) you can also use these to remote trigger your camera if you connect a Canon C1 cable between this and the shutter socket on your camera.

There are a couple different versions, so to be safe make sure you buy the RF-603 II. The N and C designations are for waking the flash up from sleep on a half press of the shutter on Nikon or Canon, but for other brands they'll just listen for a shutter signal from the center pin. (Just take a random shot and it will wake up the flashes.) The C1 version comes with a cable that can connect to your camera for remote triggering, but both N and C will work if you have the cable already. (I have a few RF-603N II that work great with my K-3)

If you buy the original RF-603 (not version II) I believe the N (Nikon) version will work as well, but the C (Canon) version won't trigger from a Pentax camera without modifying some circuitry inside. I know because I had to solder the extra switch and resistor in mine before the II came out.
06-24-2016, 01:07 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
Point the oncamera flash when operating the shutter at the red plastic window of your remote flash.
QuoteOriginally posted by tncowdaddy Quote
If you didn't try this already, you will get better results by turning the flash so that the red plastic window is facing your on-camera flash and then swiveling the head to aim at your subject.
Sounds good and simple. I'll definitely try this one. Thanks.

---------- Post added 24-06-16 at 21:08 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
Manual / A mode only
QuoteOriginally posted by mattt Quote
some Aputure triggers which were only 1/60
Thanks for the warning.

---------- Post added 24-06-16 at 21:10 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by TheOneAndOnlyJH Quote
For $30 you can get a pair of Yongnuo RF-603 II...
Thanks for all the info.
06-27-2016, 02:10 AM   #14
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Buy the Acon R930 it is a true P-TTL wireless trigger that supports all flash functions including HSS. It effectively acts like a hotshoe cable and the flash performs as though it is mounted to your hotshoe. I have one and it works very well.

The only downside is you can't use your camera pop up flash for fill light because the trigger stops the flash popping up. You can use a hotshoe flash with the trigger mounted on the camera.

acon-photo - wonderful photography

---------- Post added 06-27-16 at 07:15 PM ----------

Also as tuggie76 said make sure your shutter speed doesn't go over 1/180 as the flash won't fire when it does. Use manual mode and you may need to use an ND filter. I know wireless flash from the K3 pop up doesnt support HSS so you can't exceed 1/180.
06-27-2016, 04:00 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Flasher Quote
Buy the Acon R930...
Looks good, though probably a bit too pricy for my casual intentions, especially since I'd have to pay EU taxes, etc.

I'm going to try simply pointing the red window at the camera and see how that works out.

Thanks anyway.
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