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03-12-2019, 06:52 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
Not sure your camera but you have 3 ways. Override the flash to what you want in flash settings like on my ks2. Or drop the ev setting. Or put tissue in front of the flash.
I have a K-5.
I'll see what I can tinker with in the settings, thanks for the input!

03-12-2019, 06:59 PM - 1 Like   #32
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Most add on flashes aren't geared to shooting at macro subject distances when using auto thyristor settings . Built in flashes are going to depend on automatic exposure through the camera lens. More recent Pentax cameras do not support the older TTL flash protocols used in older Pentax flash units originally designed for film cameras. What combination of settings for flash and shooting mode are you using? The more recent PTTL flash exposure system won't work for an older like your M 50mm f2; something A series or later is required for that, unless I'm much mistaken. Does the K-5 offer manual flash power setting? My K-S2 and KP both have variable power out put from full all the way down to 1/128 power. If the K-5 doesn't, you're going to have to find a workaround (lots of diffusion material?) or find an auxiliary flash with manual power control. Or, find an "A" series or later lens and extension tube to work with. Here's where the deglassed teleconverter will come in handy. A teleconverter with "A " contacts, once the lens elements are removed, becomes an extension tube that maintains the communication between the camera and lens needed for proper PTTL flash operation, whether it's the built-in one or an add-on. You will probably have to paint interior surfaces matte black after removing the glass, as this procedure is likely to expose bare metal surfaces that will create unwanted reflections. Actual "A" contact extension tubes are relatively rare and expensive. As Pentax never made them, they are always third party items. This is why the deglassed teleconverter is a popular DIY project amongs Pentax shooters. Ease of use for things like PTTL and exposure modes other than M and Green Button are what make A series manuall enses more desireable amongst some Pentaxians.

Last edited by Thagomizer; 03-12-2019 at 07:13 PM.
03-12-2019, 07:08 PM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
What combination of settings for flash and shooting mode? PTTL flash exposure won't work for an M series lens; something A series or later is required for that, unless I'm much mistaken. Does the K-5 offer manual flash power setting? My K-S2 and KP both have variable power out put from full all the way down to 1/128 power. If the K-5 doesn't, you're going to have to find a workaround (lots of diffusion material?) or find an auxiliary flash with manual power control. Or, find an "A" series or later lens and extension tube to work with. Here's where the deglassed teleconverter will come in handy. A teleconverter with "A " contacts, once the lens elements are removed, becomes an extension tube that maintains the communication between the camera and lens needed for proper PTTL flash operation, whether it's the built-in one or an add-on. You will probably have to paint interior surfaces matte black after removing the glass, as this procedure is likely to expose bare metal surfaces that will create unwanted reflections. Actual "A" contact extension tubes are relatively rare and expensive. As Pentax never made them, they are always third party items. This is why the deglassed teleconverter is a popular DIY project amongs Pentax shooters...
Yep, just found out that the flash will fully discharge if I'm not using a lens with an A setting.
I only have one lens with the A settings, so that's unfortunate.

I can't seem to find any way to manually tone down the power of the flash, but I might not be looking hard enough. Where is the power setting located on your K-S2 and KP? The K-5 is 5 or so years older than the K-S2, so I wouldn't be surprised if it lacks that feature.

And thanks for the extra info on teleconverters and whatnot!
03-12-2019, 07:37 PM - 1 Like   #34
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It's on the 4 way button with iso/white balance/ drive mode/ flash.

03-12-2019, 07:42 PM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
It's on the 4 way button with iso/white balance/ drive mode/ flash.
All I get in the flash menu is the flash mode and a compensation dial from -2 to +1 EV.
03-12-2019, 07:54 PM - 1 Like   #36
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ropuchy Quote
Yep, just found out that the flash will fully discharge if I'm not using a lens with an A setting.
I only have one lens with the A settings, so that's unfortunate.

I can't seem to find any way to manually tone down the power of the flash, but I might not be looking hard enough. Where is the power setting located on your K-S2 and KP? The K-5 is 5 or so years older than the K-S2, so I wouldn't be surprised if it lacks that feature.

And thanks for the extra info on teleconverters and whatnot!
You're welcome!

To access flash options for both my cameras, I press the flash symbol on the 4 way control button array on the back. Options are forced flash, red eye reduction, slow sync, slow sync with red eye, second curtain slow sync, manual, and wireless control, in that order. I had a quick look at the K-5 online and didn't notice a manual flash setting option in the relevent section. It could be that I've missed something, or that wasn't a feature built into the camera, in which case you're out of luck for many of my suggestions. Perhaps a more experienced K-5 owner can chime in on this?
03-12-2019, 07:56 PM - 1 Like   #37
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On my K-5, I press the four way for the flash, then use the rear wheel to change the compensation. I have mine set to -0.3 Mines always in manual flash setting.
03-12-2019, 09:27 PM - 1 Like   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by photolady95 Quote
On my K-5, I press the four way for the flash, then use the rear wheel to change the compensation. I have mine set to -0.3 Mines always in manual flash setting.

Thanks for chiming in. I don't have the K-5 so I'm making suggestions without knowing if they're applicable or not. Is there any power level adjustment available like on the K-S2 and KP, from full to 1/128 power? I didn't see anything in my quick glance at the K-5 manual. Did I miss anything like that in my haste?

03-13-2019, 05:39 AM - 3 Likes   #39
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I've just skimmed this thread, I didn't see the older non-WR DFA100mm mentioned as an option. It's sometimes available for (relatively) bargain prices used. I bought mine new years ago and it hurt spending that much, but my only regret was not buying it earlier. The even older FA100mm macro is also worth looking at, but as you prefer handheld you might want to wait for one of the DFA's to fall in your price range (the svelte size of the dfa's is a huge bonus for handholding).

Tubes, bellows, Raynox adapter, Converters, reversed lenses, and so on are great options (which I still use), but a dedicated ~100mm macro is ideal for most amphibians. Most of these were with the dfa100mm non-WR frog album

As mentioned, lighting is really important. Get yourself a small 5-in-1 pop up reflector/diffuser. Put camera on a tripod and aim at flowers out of the wind. Mess around with how the reflector/diffuser changes the light. On bright days, it's absolutely feasible for me to one hand a k-5+dfa100mm with a diffuser in the other hand (a standard setup when I'm wading through a swamp). I love my flashes, but a reflector/diffuser has the awesome advantage of being 'what you see is what you get' and it's much easier to learn about the important aspects of lighting (direction, size, etc.) by fiddling around with one compared to a small flash. They're also inexpensive, mine was easily the best $20 I've spent on a piece of photography equipment.

QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
Thanks for chiming in. I don't have the K-5 so I'm making suggestions without knowing if they're applicable or not. Is there any power level adjustment available like on the K-S2 and KP, from full to 1/128 power? I didn't see anything in my quick glance at the K-5 manual. Did I miss anything like that in my haste?
Sadly no, there's no manual power settings on the built in flash for the K-5 series.
03-13-2019, 05:46 AM - 1 Like   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Sadly no, there's no manual power settings on the built in flash for the K-5 series.
I didn't think there was either. But had not delved into the manual for it to find out this morning. I just shoot how I do and don't use the manual until I run into a problem. Haven't ran into a problem with the flash so never looked. Thanks Brian for stepping in.
03-13-2019, 06:33 AM - 1 Like   #41
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I've just skimmed this thread, I didn't see the older non-WR DFA100mm mentioned as an option. It's sometimes available for (relatively) bargain prices used. I bought mine new years ago and it hurt spending that much, but my only regret was not buying it earlier. The even older FA100mm macro is also worth looking at, but as you prefer handheld you might want to wait for one of the DFA's to fall in your price range (the svelte size of the dfa's is a huge bonus for handholding).

Tubes, bellows, Raynox adapter, Converters, reversed lenses, and so on are great options (which I still use), but a dedicated ~100mm macro is ideal for most amphibians. Most of these were with the dfa100mm non-WR frog album

As mentioned, lighting is really important. Get yourself a small 5-in-1 pop up reflector/diffuser. Put camera on a tripod and aim at flowers out of the wind. Mess around with how the reflector/diffuser changes the light. On bright days, it's absolutely feasible for me to one hand a k-5+dfa100mm with a diffuser in the other hand (a standard setup when I'm wading through a swamp). I love my flashes, but a reflector/diffuser has the awesome advantage of being 'what you see is what you get' and it's much easier to learn about the important aspects of lighting (direction, size, etc.) by fiddling around with one compared to a small flash. They're also inexpensive, mine was easily the best $20 I've spent on a piece of photography equipment.



Sadly no, there's no manual power settings on the built in flash for the K-5 series.
Excellent lens suggestion! And thanks for confirming the power thingy.
03-13-2019, 07:54 AM   #42
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I've just skimmed this thread, I didn't see the older non-WR DFA100mm mentioned as an option. It's sometimes available for (relatively) bargain prices used. I bought mine new years ago and it hurt spending that much, but my only regret was not buying it earlier. The even older FA100mm macro is also worth looking at, but as you prefer handheld you might want to wait for one of the DFA's to fall in your price range (the svelte size of the dfa's is a huge bonus for handholding).

Tubes, bellows, Raynox adapter, Converters, reversed lenses, and so on are great options (which I still use), but a dedicated ~100mm macro is ideal for most amphibians. Most of these were with the dfa100mm non-WR frog album

As mentioned, lighting is really important. Get yourself a small 5-in-1 pop up reflector/diffuser. Put camera on a tripod and aim at flowers out of the wind. Mess around with how the reflector/diffuser changes the light. On bright days, it's absolutely feasible for me to one hand a k-5+dfa100mm with a diffuser in the other hand (a standard setup when I'm wading through a swamp). I love my flashes, but a reflector/diffuser has the awesome advantage of being 'what you see is what you get' and it's much easier to learn about the important aspects of lighting (direction, size, etc.) by fiddling around with one compared to a small flash. They're also inexpensive, mine was easily the best $20 I've spent on a piece of photography equipment.



Sadly no, there's no manual power settings on the built in flash for the K-5 series.
Thanks for clarifying things about the K-5 flash! And thanks to Thagomizer and Photolady95 for trying to figure that out too!


Optically, aren't pretty much all of the Pentax 100mm F2.8 Macro lenses the same? And thanks for the suggestion, I'll make sure to look at it when I've got the money to get one!
I'll make sure to look into the 5-in-1 reflector/diffuser thingy too.


Oh, and thanks for all the lovely frog/toad/tadpole photos! I like your portable frog studio.
03-13-2019, 12:02 PM - 2 Likes   #43
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The 100 macro F, FA and DFA (both versions) are essentially the same optically. I have the DFA WR but would have kept the F 100 if it had not developed slight hazing as a bonded pair of elements developed some separation at the edges. It was still a fine lens and past f4 it was not detectable. At f2.8 there was a tiny bit of haze induced softness.

At some point I need to do a shootout between my DFA 100 WR and my EM1/Oly60 macro. 24mp APS vs. 16MP m43.
03-13-2019, 12:30 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
The 100 macro F, FA and DFA (both versions) are essentially the same optically. I have the DFA WR but would have kept the F 100 if it had not developed slight hazing as a bonded pair of elements developed some separation at the edges. It was still a fine lens and past f4 it was not detectable. At f2.8 there was a tiny bit of haze induced softness.

At some point I need to do a shootout between my DFA 100 WR and my EM1/Oly60 macro. 24mp APS vs. 16MP m43.
That's unfortunate that your lens developed some haze. At least you've got a nice replacement!

That'd be an interesting comparison to make. Macro on a K-3 vs on an E-M1.
03-13-2019, 12:35 PM - 2 Likes   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ropuchy Quote
That's unfortunate that your lens developed some haze. At least you've got a nice replacement!

That'd be an interesting comparison to make. Macro on a K-3 vs on an E-M1.
I enjoy both systems. The one cool advantage the EM1/Oly 60 macro has is the ability to do in camera automated focus stacking and automated focus bracketing captures. The in camera stacking is only 8 images, but if you use an external tool to stack them you can automate taking 999 images. My poor laptop would melt trying to merge 999 images I'm sure!

For my comparison I'd be sticking to simple single exposure shooting.
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