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02-21-2011, 03:18 AM   #1
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Pentax AF 540 FGZ flash problem when on camera

Hi all

My Pentax 540 FGZ flash is acting strange, meaning, it works perfectly while on wireless but if on camera it fires but image is always black, like if it doesn't fire on the right "curtain" moment.

(I tested with another flash and it works all ok, so it's not a camera problem.)

Any help?

Thanks in advance

02-21-2011, 03:25 AM   #2
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Maybe post one of those dark frames for the EXIF info? (That would likely eliminate a lot of guesswork in figuring out the problem.)
02-21-2011, 03:52 AM   #3
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Do you have the flash set for second curtain (trailing curtain) sync?

02-21-2011, 04:23 AM   #4
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Will post images when I get home, later on the day.
No, flash is set to first curtain (first left) and also try fill flash (last option on the right)

03-03-2011, 02:57 PM   #5
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[langtitle=ru]the same problem[/langtitle]

Thanx for raising an important question. Got just the same problem, strugle with it for a while now.

The flash is getting the focus length just fine, and it works perfect in the wireless mode. Yet, when I put it on the shoe, it gives this blackness.

If you don't mind I'll also post the info from my file. Here's the metadata I have:

Planar Configuration: Chunky;
Exposure time: 1/40 (seems to be quite long, for the flash fires);
fNumber: 8;
Exposure Program: AperturePriority;
ISO 200;
ExposureBiasValue: 0/10;
Metering Mode: Pattern;
FocalLength:20;
Sensing Method:OneChipColorAreaSensor;
ExifCFAPattern: Columns - 2, Rows -2;
Custom Rendered: Normal;
ExpMode: auto;
WB: auto;
FocalLength35mmFIlm:30;
SceneCaptureTime: standard;
contrast: normal;
saturation: normal;
Sharpness: hard.

In the attachment there's my example of such a black image. Do you need something more in order to get the idea on the issue?

Thanx in advance!
And thanx to netuser once again for raising this question!
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K200D  Photo 

Last edited by DimitryMD; 03-04-2011 at 12:18 AM.
03-03-2011, 04:40 PM   #6
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I'm clueless!

Just a question: what do you mean by "image is always black"? There is nothing in the image at all? Or is it a case of severe underexposure?

I ask because if there is nothing in the image at all means (1) the shutter curtains do not open, or (2) the image is not recorded. While in the case of severe underexposure (the image illuminated by ambient light), it means the flash is not in sync with the shutter curtains.
03-04-2011, 12:05 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Just a question: what do you mean by "image is always black"? There is nothing in the image at all? Or is it a case of severe underexposure?
It looks like severe underexposure, for when something like computer monitor fits in the frame, it is visible (it is the only visible thing in the image). I could provide an example tomorrow.

I understand that there is a problem with syncronization, but how can it be fixed, for in the wireless mode it all works just perfect?

I tried all of the sync modes...

PS. I use it with my k200d, but when we used it on k20d all things were the same. So it seems like it is something in the settings of the flash itself, but I tried almost everything and didn't manage to make it work as is needed.
03-09-2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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Sorry to get back so late to this thread but real life is with a lot of work these days...

So, about the flash problem I have uploaded two images in raw to my dropbox.

Check the kinks here

1 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12116690/_IGP0046.DNG

2 - http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12116690/_IGP0047.DNG

Any help is usefull

Again, on wireless mode is perfect, only mounted on the camera it does this

Thanks for the help

03-09-2011, 03:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by DimitryMD Quote
It looks like severe underexposure, for when something like computer monitor fits in the frame, it is visible (it is the only visible thing in the image). I could provide an example tomorrow.

I understand that there is a problem with syncronization, but how can it be fixed, for in the wireless mode it all works just perfect?

I tried all of the sync modes...

............
Same problem

I made a sample like you were described with my monitor

LINK for raw file --> http://dl.dropbox.com/u/12116690/_IGP0048.DNG
03-09-2011, 06:45 PM   #10
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My AF540's are great pieces of kit and have been trouble free, provided that they are mounted properly. I suggest the usual checks before you look at other issues:

1. Flash contacts, locking tab and locking pin aren't broken or loose.

2. Hot shoe locking pin extends and retracts in sync with the locking tab.

3. Foot of the flash is as far forward as possible when sloted into the hotshoe.

4. Flash modes and settings are as you intend.

I've found that I can severly under or over expose if the foot isn't properly aligned (i.e. fully forward). This may explain your issue only when the flash is mounted.

Cheers,
M
03-09-2011, 09:33 PM   #11
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Check that the flash goes into P-TTL mode when mounted on the hotshoe. I have a AF360FGZ that does that - it will go into P-TTL in wireless but not otherwise. Its probably the connection from hotshoe foot into the flash body.
03-10-2011, 12:46 AM   #12
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+1 on ensuring properly mounting on the contacts

Very important to make sure the flash is mounted properly on the contacts.
I have not experience the same problem with my AF540, but in occasion I have had incorrect exposures and the flash speed will not go to in HSS. Adjusting, in the mount on the contacts cured it. I was sure it was in properly to begin with but obvoiusly not.
03-10-2011, 04:48 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by steve1307 Quote
+1 on ensuring properly mounting on the contacts

Very important to make sure the flash is mounted properly on the contacts.
......
I did and it's properly mounted in the contacts
03-10-2011, 05:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
I did and it's properly mounted in the contacts
Did you investigate the flash foot? Four screws, I think, will take the foot off of the flash. Broken or shorted wire, maybe? What else is left? Sounds like the problem is with the flash to camera connection. Maybe a loose connection from the flash foot to the circuit board.
03-10-2011, 08:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by gp1806 Quote
Did you investigate the flash foot? Four screws, I think, will take the foot off of the flash. Broken or shorted wire, maybe? What else is left? Sounds like the problem is with the flash to camera connection. Maybe a loose connection from the flash foot to the circuit board.
I managed to check/measure the flash foot and all connections are working ok, the right way.

It's very strange. Maybe the processor of the 540 got corrupted?
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