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12-24-2009, 09:51 PM   #1
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K10D and 540 - underexposed and always shoots at 1/30 sec

Newbie flash user here...

My K10D with a 540 Flash always shoots at 1/30 sec when in any auto mode on the camera (P, AV. etc). I have to switch the camera to manual to get another shutter speed.

Using the flash in P-TTL, auto zoom, flash compinsation on camera and flash set to zero, using "normal" flash mode (not red-eye, slow sync, etc).

Also, a lot of shots are coming out very dark and underexposed like the flash barely fired at all.

Trying to find my flash manual but wondering if the 1/30 sec is normal and also if all the under-exposed shots is normal.

Hoping to get a few quick anwers so my holiday shots tomorrow come out good!

Oh...and Happy Holdiays!

12-25-2009, 09:31 AM   #2
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try updating the flamware of your K10D, you can find it from Pentax website.
12-25-2009, 02:20 PM   #3
Ash
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It will depend on the focal length you're using (I'm guessing 28mm or so), but the shutter speed of 1/30 sounds right in all the auto modes. Switching to X mode gives you the flash-sync speed and M mode will allow any speed you want.

The 540 flash with K10D (even the K20D) is notorious for underexposing flashed images. I'd suggest boosting FEC to +0.7 or 1.0 and consider the metering mode on the camera when shooting a scene.

Also consider how far away your subject is and whether it exceeds the flash's ability to illuminate your subject. You may need to bump up ISO in this regard.

Hope you work it out.
12-25-2009, 04:36 PM   #4
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Thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
It will depend on the focal length you're using (I'm guessing 28mm or so), but the shutter speed of 1/30 sounds right in all the auto modes. Switching to X mode gives you the flash-sync speed and M mode will allow any speed you want.

The 540 flash with K10D (even the K20D) is notorious for underexposing flashed images. I'd suggest boosting FEC to +0.7 or 1.0 and consider the metering mode on the camera when shooting a scene.

Also consider how far away your subject is and whether it exceeds the flash's ability to illuminate your subject. You may need to bump up ISO in this regard.

Hope you work it out.
Yes, was using the FA 20mm mostly...then switched to the DA18-250 used mostly at the wide end. So it "locks" in to 1/30 sec for wide angle shots? You'd think that would be in the manual somewhere...maybe I missed. it.

Ended up shooting in manual mode with the camera to get the exposure I wanted.

Thanks for the info!

12-25-2009, 10:35 PM   #5
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No, it doesn't "lock" in any shutter speed. The camera chooses the slowest shutter speed that acceptably gives sharp handheld images - calculated as approximately 1/(focal length) in seconds.
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