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12-08-2012, 03:30 PM   #1
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Penatx Kx + Metz 36 af-4p (shutter speed)

Hi

Ive just bought the Metz 36 af-4p external flash unit for my Pentax Kx.

Problem Ive having is the shutter speed will not go higher than 1/180 ! when the flash is on.

Ive read that this flash is capable of 1/20000

Can anyone help me out with this problem ive tried all modes M, Tv, etc......

I want the flash to fire quick with a slowish shutter for splash phtograpghy and stuff like that.

Many thanks in advance
ken

kennewby@talktalk.net

12-08-2012, 04:33 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by kennewby Quote
Ive read that this flash is capable of 1/20000
The flash burst is only that fast at low power, so if your subject is mainly lit by the flash it will freeze motion very well, the higher the power the longer the duration though. Get your ambient light low enough and the shutter speed on the camera itself is completely irrelevant. With a flash being at low power it must be relatively close to your subject to get a good exposure, especially if you have the aperture stopped down.
12-09-2012, 06:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
The flash burst is only that fast at low power, so if your subject is mainly lit by the flash it will freeze motion very well, the higher the power the longer the duration though. Get your ambient light low enough and the shutter speed on the camera itself is completely irrelevant. With a flash being at low power it must be relatively close to your subject to get a good exposure, especially if you have the aperture stopped down.
Thanks for your reply...yeah thats making sense to me now
The flash only has zoom settings (no buttons etc on the actual flash) where I literally slide the flash head back n forth, Im guessing, dont pull it out at all and that will give me the lowest setting? (it didnt come with a manual and I cant find one on internet)
thanks again
ken
12-09-2012, 06:53 AM   #4
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It is going to be tricky to get right without having a real manual mode on the flash. You're going to need the flash as close as possible to the subject, so that probably will mean having it off camera. Your best bet will be to get a P-TTL cord that is long enough for what you want to do.

On the camera you're going to need to be in manual mode, 1/180s shutter speed, set the aperture to whatever you need to get the DOF you want. Keep in mind that the smaller the aperture, the more flash power is needed for proper exposure. If you need a small aperture that will cause the flash duration to go higher than you need, you can compensate by raising ISO.

The zoom setting just controls how large of an area the light covers, if you're using a wider angle than necessary you are wasting light by lighting up something that is not in the frame.

This isn't the ideal setup, having a flash that you can manually control is really the best way to do this.

12-10-2012, 04:46 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by elliott Quote
It is going to be tricky to get right without having a real manual mode on the flash. You're going to need the flash as close as possible to the subject, so that probably will mean having it off camera. Your best bet will be to get a P-TTL cord that is long enough for what you want to do.

On the camera you're going to need to be in manual mode, 1/180s shutter speed, set the aperture to whatever you need to get the DOF you want. Keep in mind that the smaller the aperture, the more flash power is needed for proper exposure. If you need a small aperture that will cause the flash duration to go higher than you need, you can compensate by raising ISO.

The zoom setting just controls how large of an area the light covers, if you're using a wider angle than necessary you are wasting light by lighting up something that is not in the frame.

This isn't the ideal setup, having a flash that you can manually control is really the best way to do this.
Thanks - i think i bought the wrong flash !

thanks for your help
Ken
12-10-2012, 05:07 AM   #6
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It is still a good flash to have, just not so good for the more creative and technical uses where manual control is helpful.

I'd recommend a Yongnuo YN-560, they are very cheap and at low power are around the same 1/20,000s duration. I have the early version with the LED display, it never misses a beat unless the batteries are low.
12-10-2012, 05:40 AM   #7
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A different flash will not let you use faster shutter speeds with it. There are two different issues here: flash duration vs shutter speed. Your camera (like most) will only work properly with a strobe flash up to 1/180 shutter speed. At faster shutter speeds the shutter is never fully open at one time so that the flash burst would be seen by the entire sensor. At faster speeds the shutter operates as an open slit that moves across the sensor; the faster the speed, the narrower the slit. So if the camera let you use a faster speed with flash only part of the sensor would get the light from the flash.
The flash duration determines the image freeze, not the camera shutter speed. Use it in a fairly dim natural light, and the flash will be so much brighter than the rest of the exposure that only the instant of flash will be seen - not the effects of the slow shutter.
Your shutter speed may be only 1/180, but the flash duration will be MUCH shorter, and you can get the effect you want. We used to do it with film cameras where the flash would only work with 1/50 shutter speed!
12-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by TomB_tx Quote
A different flash will not let you use faster shutter speeds with it.
It would make the process easier and more repeatable by using a flash that has manual control. For things like this, fighting with P-TTL will just lead to headaches.

I've done something similar to this with my YN-560 in a very dark room and used a 10 second exposure. That was with my K100D that had a pitiful burst rate, so that was out of the question. I triggered the camera, triggered the event I wanted to capture, then manually popped the flash by hand at the moment I wanted to capture. It definitely wasn't easy, but it worked well with that slow old camera. If I were doing it again with the K-5 I would just leave it on burst and 1/180s, at low power the Yongnuo has no problem keeping up with the K-5.

12-10-2012, 05:03 PM   #9
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Here is a quick and dirty one I did as an example, shutter speed at 1/180 and aperture at F8:




Yongnuo YN-560 at 1/128 power, which is the lowest, it should be around 1/20,000 duration according to this guy's tests.

Last edited by elliott; 12-10-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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