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07-21-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
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Shutter speed using flash

I just bought a new K30 and used it all weekend. Works great and im impressed so far. I was testing how the flash works and noticed the shutter speed remains the same regardless of using or not using the flash. In Auto mode in a dark room it shoots the pic way too slow for normal flash shooting - at 1/6 or whatever it thinks it needs without the flash. I used P mode and manually set it to 1/100 a more typical setting. The pictures are fine, but I would think the camera would have a default setting of 1/60 at the slowest. Could I have a setting wrong somewhere?

FYI - I downloaded the latest firmware before I used it. v 1.04

07-22-2013, 04:27 AM   #2
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Hey, welcome to the forums
I dont know what mode and flash settings you are using, but for flash, you cant have shutter speed faster than 1/180. You regulate the amount of light by using the aperture and ISO, rather than shutter speed (because flash is so much faster than shutter speed). Also, I think the onboard flash doesn't have full automation, but Im not sure as I generally dont use it
07-22-2013, 04:29 AM   #3
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I would guess that you have "slow speed sync" enabled in the flash menu. But on the other hand, the K-30 might restrict that from being enabled when in Auto mode.
07-22-2013, 07:20 AM   #4
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One irritation with the K-30 is how it treats the built-in flash settings. (see pages 66-69 in the English version of the K-30 manual)

Background:
Aside from all the specialty flash settings, there are two settings - full automatic (lightning bolt with an 'A') and semi-automatic (just the lightning bolt).On full automatic, the flash will A-automatically pop up if needed, and B- even if already up, only fire when needed. Full automatic is only available in Auto and several SCN (scene) modes. The flash will always fire if up when in semi-automatic mode. It is my understanding (although not clear by the manual) that if you have a lens in the 'A' position, both methods use P-TTL. However if using a manual aperture lens, if up the flash always fires with full power. If you are shooting in Auto or SCN mode and want fill-flash, you typically will need to put the flash in semi-automatic mode and use the flash power override (+/-).

Irritation:
If you WANT full automatic, you had better double-check the current flash setting. The built-in flash uses whatever mode it last used. If I use an Auto or SCN mode with the flash in the full automatic setting, and then switch to, for example, P (program) mode, full automatic is not available. The flash will automatically switch to semi-automatic mode. But if you then switch back to Auto or SCN, the flash stays in semi-automatic mode. In other words, the flash will automatically change its settings going one way, but not the other way.

If I am working in Auto or SCN modes and expect to use the built-in flash, I always check the flash's operating mode first.

07-22-2013, 08:48 AM   #5
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The programming of the auto setting assumes you want to correctly expose the background, so it meters out a slow shutter speed. When using flash, you really need to take charge and go to manual. Think about it this way, if you are using flash with people up close, and the scenery in the distance, the flash can not illuminate the scenery, so the shutter speed must remain relatively slow. If the background is relatively close, you will want fast shutter speed because the scenery wil be lit by the flash, and the faster shutter improves motion blur. The camera can't tell the difference, so you must take over control.

The truth is that onboard flash is almost useless, especially in green mode. Look over at strobist.blogspot.com for a trove of info on flashes. My main use for on board flash is as a trigger for a real flash.
07-22-2013, 09:04 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The truth is that onboard flash is almost useless, especially in green mode. Look over at strobist.blogspot.com for a trove of info on flashes. My main use for on board flash is as a trigger for a real flash.
The built-in flash does have other uses than just a wireless trigger .... but they almost all fall in to the category of "snap shot". Certainly I usually reach for a better tool when I'm doing anything more 'serious'. What I find sad, is even for family snapshots, I find it simpler to use my 30 year-old flash with its built-in autothyristor circuit.
07-22-2013, 04:10 PM   #7
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Well, I can only recommend to read through a flash Tutorial. You can only get the best out of the flash by using the manual mode of the camera. This is because of the fact that you need to find the right mixture of natural and artificial light which is achieved by setting the right exposure time independent of the used Aperture .
07-22-2013, 06:53 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
One irritation with the K-30 is how it treats the built-in flash settings. (see pages 66-69 in the English version of the K-30 manual)

Background:
Aside from all the specialty flash settings, there are two settings - full automatic (lightning bolt with an 'A') and semi-automatic (just the lightning bolt).On full automatic, the flash will A-automatically pop up if needed, and B- even if already up, only fire when needed. Full automatic is only available in Auto and several SCN (scene) modes. The flash will always fire if up when in semi-automatic mode. It is my understanding (although not clear by the manual) that if you have a lens in the 'A' position, both methods use P-TTL. However if using a manual aperture lens, if up the flash always fires with full power. If you are shooting in Auto or SCN mode and want fill-flash, you typically will need to put the flash in semi-automatic mode and use the flash power override (+/-).

Irritation:
If you WANT full automatic, you had better double-check the current flash setting. The built-in flash uses whatever mode it last used. If I use an Auto or SCN mode with the flash in the full automatic setting, and then switch to, for example, P (program) mode, full automatic is not available. The flash will automatically switch to semi-automatic mode. But if you then switch back to Auto or SCN, the flash stays in semi-automatic mode. In other words, the flash will automatically change its settings going one way, but not the other way.

If I am working in Auto or SCN modes and expect to use the built-in flash, I always check the flash's operating mode first.
Thanks Jim and all who replied. I'm using the 18 - 135mm Auto Pentax lens. Put in Auto mode and on Auto flash. Actually I tried all combinations I could think of. The only consistent thing here is that whatever the camera calculated to use WITHOUT the flash it used WITH the flash. Almost like it was using the flash as a fill only. If I program the shutter speed at a "normal" speed such as 1/100 and took the picture it remained as such. I guess I'm used to the K10 that would set the shutter speed at 1/60 for every shot in Auto mode. Just seems odd that the camera doesn't seem to recognize it can use the flash to come up with a faster shutter. It seems to really like 1/15, but will choose all the way down to .6 seconds which will naturally blur whatever image you are trying to capture is a tripod is not used. Seems like this may be a firmware issue? Has everyone updated to v 1.04? Maybe this is a new bug intro? Other than this just buggy thing which I can. Overcome, I love the camera.

FYI - The flash does not come up on demand. You have to push the flash button to make it come up.

07-22-2013, 07:06 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kozlok Quote
The programming of the auto setting assumes you want to correctly expose the background, so it meters out a slow shutter speed. When using flash, you really need to take charge and go to manual. Think about it this way, if you are using flash with people up close, and the scenery in the distance, the flash can not illuminate the scenery, so the shutter speed must remain relatively slow. If the background is relatively close, you will want fast shutter speed because the scenery wil be lit by the flash, and the faster shutter improves motion blur. The camera can't tell the difference, so you must take over control.

The truth is that onboard flash is almost useless, especially in green mode. Look over at strobist.blogspot.com for a trove of info on flashes. My main use for on board flash is as a trigger for a real flash.
Kozloc. I believe you are spot on! That explains it. I usually don't use Auto for anything unless I hand over the camera to my wife or just want a quick snapshot. Your comments make perfect sense.

Jim, I typically use my 30 year old flash also. Same one I've used for the old Pentax SLR 35mm film camera and K10D


I guess I was just checking to see if there was anything wrong with the camera. S my recommendation for others wanting to just do some snapshots is to use the P mode and set the speed to 1/100. Tried it on several quick shots and the pictures are great. And not blurry.


Thanks everyone!
07-23-2013, 04:02 AM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bftuuri Quote
I just bought a new K30 and used it all weekend. Works great and im impressed so far. I was testing how the flash works and noticed the shutter speed remains the same regardless of using or not using the flash. In Auto mode in a dark room it shoots the pic way too slow for normal flash shooting - at 1/6 or whatever it thinks it needs without the flash. I used P mode and manually set it to 1/100 a more typical setting. The pictures are fine, but I would think the camera would have a default setting of 1/60 at the slowest. Could I have a setting wrong somewhere?

FYI - I downloaded the latest firmware before I used it. v 1.04
The way that Pentax has programmed the flash and exposure when not using manual mode is as follows.

For lenses where focal length is transmitted to the body from the lens, it uses a shutter speed that follows 1/f and will try to make the correct exposure within the limits of aperture and ISO using only flash for fill. Tis is why you see no changes of settings.

You are much better setting to manual mode and taking control of the situation yourself
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