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09-23-2017, 11:40 PM   #1
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Shutter issue with K3

I'm not sure if this issue relates to my camera (K3 model) or lens (Pentax SMC 50mm F/1.4). Yesterday, I was taking some portraits in my studio with a couple of strobes and one external flash (Metz). My shutter speed was set as the recommended synch speed 1/180. For some unknown reason, my shutter didn't fire properly. So I decided to take the battery out from the camera and put it back -- the problem was still there. Then I switched off and back on the camera and finally, I was able to take a good photo. Does anybody have any idea about what could have gone wrong?

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Last edited by Katja; 09-23-2017 at 11:50 PM.
09-23-2017, 11:53 PM   #2
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Here is another photo from the same photoshoot.
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09-24-2017, 01:18 AM   #3
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It could certainly be a sync issue, though I'm not well enough versed in lighting gear to be able to tell you for sure. If you don't see the problem while shooting outdoors in natural light, it's probably not the camera.

I'd try reducing the shutter speed as 1/180s is the absolute maximum, and is designed for use with P-TTL. Also see if there are any firmware updates for the Metz, though this is probably not the issue if you're using other lights. I'd try dropping the shutter speed to 1/125s as a first step, then go up to 1/160s if that's OK.

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09-24-2017, 02:27 AM - 1 Like   #4
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was the flash set to the first or the second shutter curtain?

09-24-2017, 08:22 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
It could certainly be a sync issue, though I'm not well enough versed in lighting gear to be able to tell you for sure. If you don't see the problem while shooting outdoors in natural light, it's probably not the camera.
That's correct Adam. I don't have this kind of issue when I'm shooting outdoor with/without external flash.

---------- Post added 09-25-2017 at 02:33 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
was the flash set to the first or the second shutter curtain?
D1N0 the flash would be set to the first shutter curtain.

Last edited by Adam; 09-24-2017 at 11:03 AM.
09-25-2017, 03:35 AM   #6
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Somebody please check my logic... I am pretty sure the shutter curtains move from the left to the right (if you could see the motion from behind the sensor, like you could with a film camera with the back open). As the focused image is actually upside down on the sensor, that shadow would be the second curtain closing. Then taking our logic a step further, implying your flash is going off a tad too late.

In which case, Adam's suggestion should work, but in an ideal world shouldn't be necessary. Try using an electronic contact cleaner on both the camera and flash (don't spray. rather mop with a swab). It could be as simple as oxidation on one or both sides acting like a capacitor to delay the signal to discharge the flash.

One more random thought - There is X-sync (electronic flash) and there is M-sync (flash-bulb). M-sync is delayed to let the magnesium wires in the flash bulb burn to peak brightness. I am not familiar with your flash unit, but know some electronic flashes are capable of emulating M-sync to allow them to work with older cameras. This is grasping for an answer, but worth checking the flash manual.

Last edited by JimJohnson; 09-25-2017 at 03:40 AM.
09-25-2017, 04:30 AM   #7
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It would be helpful if you could upload the pics with intact exif info. Also you could try to use the second curtain when the problem occurs to see whether it happens there too.
09-25-2017, 07:54 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by D1N0 Quote
It would be helpful if you could upload the pics with intact exif info. Also you could try to use the second curtain when the problem occurs to see whether it happens there too.
Here is the EXIF info for both images. I've noticed that the pic with the delayed flash (strobe) was shot at 1/180 and the other pic was shot at 1/80. This could confirm Adam's theory about the slower shutter speed. However, I also checked the EXIF info for a couple of images which were taken prior to the issues and both were shot at TV 1/180!

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09-25-2017, 07:58 AM   #9
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This photo was taken before the flash (strobe) delay. This pic was shot at 1/180 shutter speed as well.

---------- Post added 09-26-2017 at 02:39 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Try using an electronic contact cleaner on both the camera and flash (don't spray. rather mop with a swab). It could be as simple as oxidation on one or both sides acting like a capacitor to delay the signal to discharge the flash.
Yes, I'm thinking about getting serviced my camera when I'll be in the city in next two days. I could get my flash cleaned at the same time. However, I somehow feel that my external flash isn't the cause of the problem in this instance. I was using one strobe as the main light and one strobe as the fill light; the external flash was used to brighten the background only.
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09-25-2017, 08:45 AM - 1 Like   #10
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This must be something in the studio setup the way you control your strobes I guess. There was no flash in the hot shoe, or it didn't fire. I am not a studio photographer. Maybe you could open a topic in this forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio - PentaxForums.com
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