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11-22-2020, 01:42 PM   #1
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Rear curtain flash disappointment

I was shooting my K3 II last night and trying to get rear curtain flash to work. I love the camera, but now loath the fact it doesn't allow this in full manual or bulb mode. The closest I could get was in program mode, but was then still limited by the ISO trying to compensate (was light painting, so typical exposure calculations don't apply).

Is there a way to more or less trick the camera into manual with rear curtain flash? I was using the AF201FG flash unit.


Last edited by Mooncatt; 11-22-2020 at 11:33 PM.
11-22-2020, 02:23 PM   #2
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I think Pentax rear curtain has always been a P-TTL mode
11-22-2020, 02:25 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
I love the camera, but now loath the fact it doesn't allow this in full manual or bulb mode.
You loath too readily...

It should work in both modes, assuming shutter speed is 1/90s or below and that you are not using the aperture ring on the lens and that trailing curtain mode is set on the AF201FG.


Steve

(...tested on my K-3 before posting...have used both in actual shooting...works cool...)

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-22-2020 at 02:32 PM.
11-22-2020, 04:35 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You loath too readily...

It should work in both modes, assuming shutter speed is 1/90s or below and that you are not using the aperture ring on the lens and that trailing curtain mode is set on the AF201FG.
Manual and bulb modes only allow standard and red eye reduction on the camera (confirmed in the manual as well).

Is that what the setting circled in my pic is? When I got the kit, the flash didn't come with instructions, and my last kit worked the way I expected. I could use rear curtain sync on any non-auto mode, and there was nothing to set on the flash other than the power level. So this seems like a step backwards to me.

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11-22-2020, 06:48 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Manual and bulb modes only allow standard and red eye reduction on the camera (confirmed in the manual as well).

Is that what the setting circled in my pic is? When I got the kit, the flash didn't come with instructions, and my last kit worked the way I expected. I could use rear curtain sync on any non-auto mode, and there was nothing to set on the flash other than the power level. So this seems like a step backwards to me.
The circled setting is the symbol for trailing curtain sync on my KP, I don't have a K-3 to check. The KP does allow trailing curtain sync in Manual and Bulb, but not SLOW trailing curtain sync. I do not know what the difference is, the manual does not explain any difference, but there are two different symbols in the manual and on the screen.
11-22-2020, 07:45 PM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Manual and bulb modes only allow standard and red eye reduction on the camera (confirmed in the manual as well).
We must be using different manuals. I have the K-3II manual open in front of me. Do you have a page number for me?

QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Is that what the setting circled in my pic is? When I got the kit, the flash didn't come with instructions, and my last kit worked the way I expected. I could use rear curtain sync on any non-auto mode, and there was nothing to set on the flash other than the power level. So this seems like a step backwards to me.
Yes, that is the setting. If you need a manual for the flash, it can be downloaded at:

Operation Manuals Download : Support & Service | RICOH IMAGING

I have the AF201FG manual open in front of me as well. The manuals come in handy when helping people troubleshoot.

As for seeming like a step backwards to you. I am assuming that your previous kit had a compact proprietary flash that could not be used on other than that brand camera. With that type of system, the flash logic is built into the camera with the flash itself usually having only an on/off switch. That is very handy and uncomplicated, but fairly limiting.

Your K-3II is positioned somewhat differently in that the settings on the camera are concerned with behavior related to exposure balancing. The flash on the other hand takes care of the flash stuff. Trailing curtain sync requires that the flash fire at mark T - d, where T is the arrival time of the trailing curtain and d is the flash duration as determined by the flash exposure automation. You could fire when the trailing curtain starts, but that would be way too early for a short flash duration and would result in a leading ghost image. The flash asks the camera for T and fires right on the mark, having calculated d in advance.

Having read the above, yes, you can do trailing curtain sync in all exposure modes other than green and X. Just tell the flash you want trailing curtain sync and take care that the shutter speed is 1/90s or less (K-3II manual page 91). There is a ton more that your current kit can in regards to flash that you might find interesting. The AF201FG is extremely basic, but when you are ready to spread your wings, there is a lot of cool stuff out there.


Steve

Last edited by stevebrot; 11-22-2020 at 07:53 PM.
11-22-2020, 07:57 PM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
use rear curtain sync on any non-auto mode
I forgot to mention one small thing. As you are probably aware, the flash automation for your K-3II uses a pre-flash to meter the main flash intensity (duration actually) when doing trailing curtain sync with a long exposure, there will be a small flash when the shutter button is first pushed and a second flash just as the shutter closes. The first flash is normal.


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11-22-2020, 08:52 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Is there a way to more or less trick the camera into manual with rear curtain flash?
do not believe so.....it is a P-ttl deal......i think you can adjust the +/- ev of the flash through the K-3ii.......make sure the aperture ring is in the 'a' position using such lenses

11-22-2020, 09:15 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
do not believe so.....it is a P-ttl deal......i think you can adjust the +/- ev of the flash through the K-3ii.......make sure the aperture ring is in the 'a' position using such lenses
The flash needs to be in trailing curtain sync mode. Once that is done, it will work with all camera modes where shutter speed may be maintained at or below 1/90s (in practical terms: P, Tv, TAv, M, and B).


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11-22-2020, 10:20 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The KP does allow trailing curtain sync in Manual and Bulb, but not SLOW trailing curtain sync. I do not know what the difference is, the manual does not explain any difference, but there are two different symbols in the manual and on the screen.
Those settings refer to the on-board flash only and the SLOW sync options are only exposed for exposure modes where shutter speed is usually set close to the X-sync speed to reduce ghosting. Neither M, nor B modes have SLOW options. FWIW, trailing curtain sync is a subset of SLOW sync in those exposure modes because it will not happen if the shutter speed is above 1/90s.


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11-23-2020, 12:10 AM - 1 Like   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The flash needs to be in trailing curtain sync mode. Once that is done, it will work with all camera modes where shutter speed may be maintained at or below 1/90s (in practical terms: P, Tv, TAv, M, and B).


Steve
I think Stevebrot is right on this one. I had many cameras and flashes throughout my years in photography and trailing curtain sync is something you always set on the flash itself. My K5 II has trailing curtain sync for the pop-up flash but if I want to use that feature with an external flash like the AF-360FGZ, I will have to set it on the flash itself not on the camera. I'm not sure about the KP but there are no shutter speed or other restrictions other than trying to sync the flash over the 1/180 shutter limit.

Last edited by hjoseph7; 11-23-2020 at 12:36 AM.
11-23-2020, 05:49 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
We must be using different manuals. I have the K-3II manual open in front of me. Do you have a page number for me?
Slow speed sync is what I had been trying to use in this photo, which did perform a rear curtain flash (understood about the metering pre-flash). I thought that was the same as a general rear curtain flash, but I guess not.

QuoteQuote:
As for seeming like a step backwards to you. I am assuming that your previous kit had a compact proprietary flash that could not be used on other than that brand camera. With that type of system, the flash logic is built into the camera with the flash itself usually having only an on/off switch. That is very handy and uncomplicated, but fairly limiting.
I had an Olympus E-500, which has a pop-up flash, and also a generic manual external flash with no dedicated rear curtain setting.
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11-23-2020, 07:57 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Slow speed sync is what I had been trying to use in this photo, which did perform a rear curtain flash (understood about the metering pre-flash). I thought that was the same as a general rear curtain flash, but I guess not.



I had an Olympus E-500, which has a pop-up flash, and also a generic manual external flash with no dedicated rear curtain setting.
If you are trying to use "slow-speed sync" then you are right, Pentax does not let you use "slow-speed sync" and "rear-curtain sync" in combination unless you are in 'P' or 'AV' modes at least on my K5. I had the camera for over 8 years and still learning some of the features. On my K5 II it lets you do rear-curtain-sync on all modes except 'X'. Slow-Speed Sync is like dragging the shutter meaning that more Ambient light hits the sensor in dim lighting and/or night conditions. The shutter speed has to be really low so you probably will need a tripod to avoid camera shake.

I never thought about using it(slow-speed sync) in combination with rear-curtain-sync . My guess is that you might get some really wild/creative and unpredictable results. I'm not sure, but if you have the camera set to 'Bulb' and you are painting with light, can't you simulate the light trails with a flash light ? Then again, I'm not sure what you were trying to do ?

Last edited by hjoseph7; 11-23-2020 at 09:50 AM.
11-23-2020, 09:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by hjoseph7 Quote
I'm not sure, but if you have the camera set to 'Bulb' and you are painting with light, can't you simulate the light trails with a flash light ? Then again, I'm not sure what you were trying to do ?
This is one of the photos in question shot in program mode, trying to get a light saber battle shot. In this case, the sabers light up, which is where the blue and red trails came from. Btw, not really looking for critique on this one, just demonstrating the concept. There's other big problems I already know I need to correct for.
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11-23-2020, 10:03 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
Slow speed sync is what I had been trying to use in this photo, which did perform a rear curtain flash (understood about the metering pre-flash). I thought that was the same as a general rear curtain flash, but I guess not.
While trailing curtain sync works best at low shutter speeds, slow speed sync is where the algorithms favoring higher shutter speeds for flash are disabled. I've never used that feature; there being more straightforward ways to manage shutter speed with flash.

QuoteOriginally posted by Mooncatt Quote
I had an Olympus E-500, which has a pop-up flash, and also a generic manual external flash with no dedicated rear curtain setting.
OK, that explains it. If your K-3II had a built-in flash there would be a setting on the camera to control that flash for trailing curtain sync and also to set the intensity of the flash in that mode.


Steve
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