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04-04-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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K-5 IIs External Flash not working

Hello all. I've had my K-5 IIs for a couple of months now, but only recently have I been dabbling in external flashes. The first one I ordered was a Sigma 610 (think that was the number), and it didn't work when I first put it on the camera, then it started working, then I took the pair to an event and the flash just wouldn't work.

So I figured it was the flash. I sent it back and ordered a Metz Mecablitz 44 AF-1. Got it today, put fresh batts in, slapped it on the camera and bam... nothing. The camera keeps flashing the little flash icon as if the flash isn't up. Flash turns on fine, changes modes fine, etc. There are no updates for the Metz firmware as yet, and my camera has the latest. I'm no flash wizard, but I've never had this issue with any other camera... I don't understand what's going on, but it seems like my camera has a problem.

Any ideas would be very helpful.

Thanks everyone.

04-04-2013, 05:53 PM   #2
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Borrow or try in store PENTAX (digital) flash 360 or 540 FGZ to see if your assumption "it seems like my camera has a problem" is correct. No manufacture is obligated to be compatible with 3rd party of anything.. Good luck!
04-04-2013, 09:07 PM   #3
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Here's a quote from another web site. Hope it helps you :

There is unfortunately a flash-recommendation warning which cannot be turned off. This warning appears as a flashing lightning icon in the viewfinder when the shutter-speed falls below a certain fixed threshold. Having this flashing icon does get annoying after a while, so we are still hoping Pentax will add an option to disable it via a firmware update. This warning is of little help as using a flash is frequently ineffective.
04-04-2013, 09:10 PM   #4
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Original Poster
Hmm well that makes sense about the flashing icon, but doesn't explain why the flash doesn't work... thanks to you both, I'll see if any local shops have a Pentax flash I can try.

04-04-2013, 09:33 PM   #5
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Is it possible the icon is telling you to turn off the flash if the image may end up too bright ?
That's assuming you have it set to force flash.
04-05-2013, 07:19 AM   #6
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Nope, just trying to get it to auto flash. Onboard flash works fine. With the Sigma it was super weird. Couldn't get it to work for a while, then magically it worked. I flashed a few times, then put it away. Then went to an event with it (luckily not a paid one), and nope. Camera giving me the same shenanigans that it is with the Metz now. I realize that the manufacturer isn't required to support any other flashes, but I've used 3rd party flashes with both Nikon and Canon systems, and never had even one issue. I can't believe this is an issue simply related to Pentax, as many others are using these types of flashes and they are working just fine.

When I have time this weekend I'll take it to one of the local shops and see if they'll let me use a Pentax flash as a tester.

Cheers.
04-06-2013, 04:29 AM   #7
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Well it does sound like the cameras hotshoe is intermittent then doesn't it ?
04-06-2013, 04:56 AM   #8
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Sounds like a stupid question, but what is your shutter speed?
Put camera in Manual mode, set shutter to 1/160 or sower and try again.
Pentax turns off the hotshoe above 1/180 shutter speed unless the flash has Hi-Speed Sync.

It honestly sounds like a camera hardware problem, but this will check off one box on the debugging list.

04-06-2013, 07:38 AM   #9
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Hey all, thanks for the suggestions. This ended up being a bit of a ridiculous solution, but one that I'm glad for in the end. I still can't believe this really, but I had FOUR bad sets of batteries. 3 rechargeable NiMH sets (Duracell AND Energizer), and one BRAND NEW pack of Duracell alkaline batts (one of which was bad, which was enough). All my rechargeable batts had worked fine in my previous flashes, so I couldn't understand it. The new pack of Duracell alkalines was what worked in the first Sigma flash for about 20 seconds, but then stopped working. Of course I had made sure my batts were charged, etc.
But when the guy at the shop took the alkalines out of the Metz, he went to test them and I said, "Those are brand new." Thank god his response was: "You never know." And sure enough, one of the 4 was bad, which allowed the flash to turn on and change settings, but not to fire, which was why it was so confusing. Same behavior with the rechargeables. Flash would turn on, you could change settings, buttons lit up, etc, but would not fire.

So, lesson learned. I definitely felt a little stupid, but I've also never had such a perfect storm of battery issues. Anyway, I'm glad for it, as the flash works great now.

Sorry for wasting everyone's time, and thank you for all the responses!
04-06-2013, 08:03 AM - 1 Like   #10
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Thanks for reporting the "solution". So many people don't.

Its a really good note to remember. I would not expect such behavior from one bad battery, let alone a new pack.
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