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06-09-2014, 08:11 PM   #1
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Indoor shooting issue

I have an old *ist DS that I will be upgrading from in the near future. It's been a great camera and was thinking of passing it down to my kids as their 1st DSLR camera. However, recently I've started experiencing a problem when shooting indoors.


The problem occurs regardless of ambient light levels, whether using the integrated flash or an external flash, or what mode the camera is in (including Auto). The problem is that I will need to take multiple shots (usually 3 or 4) in order to get one with proper exposure levels.


Hoping it is something relatively minor that is worth fixing.


Any suggestions on what I can check to try and resolve this issue would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks

06-09-2014, 09:02 PM   #2
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If you're shooting fluorescent lights, this is normal because of the frequency at which the light flickers. Can you post an example shot showing the issue?

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06-09-2014, 10:50 PM   #3
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All with the same lens? Might be sticking aperture blades.
06-10-2014, 07:33 AM   #4
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Hi Adam,
Here is an example of the problem. I have a habit of snapping a few shots wherever I am as a way to gauge the room. Both pictures were taken in a banquet hall with the stock Pentax DA 18-55mm lens, Pentax AF220T flash, and camera set to auto. The flash did go off for both pictures.

Hi Jatrax,
Can't comment on whether or not it's always the same lens. Will have to remember to keep tabs on that.

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06-10-2014, 07:47 AM   #5
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Are you giving the flash time to recharge? I have a pretty good flash that I like really well but once the batteries start getting a little low it takes longer to recharge and I get the same results, when I know everything is working right. It's just me not giving it time to recharge.
06-10-2014, 10:53 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paleo Pete Quote
Are you giving the flash time to recharge? I have a pretty good flash that I like really well but once the batteries start getting a little low it takes longer to recharge and I get the same results, when I know everything is working right. It's just me not giving it time to recharge.
Hi Paleo Pete,
Thanks for the suggestion. It's funny how many times we forget to check what should be obvious. Yes, the flash had time to recharge between the two pictures above. It was a special occasion for my daughter so I made sure I had fresh batteries in everything. I've been burned too many times to count in the past by being impatient when shooting with an external flash.
06-10-2014, 12:04 PM   #7
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Just to add... I don't know if your Kr has this option. On my K5 & K50 in the custom menu has a selection for "enable shooting while charging", If yours has it I suggest selecting it to off.
06-10-2014, 02:52 PM   #8
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I can see specular highlights in the glitter in the dark image, so the flash definitely fired.

How close are you? If you're closer than about three to four feet, the metering system cannot always work reliably.. (I think the flash cannot fire at low enough power to meter accurately in all cases at that range). You may be intermittently lucky (unlucky) with regards to exactly where the white v.s. non-white areas are in the metering analysis. Even the slightest movement can throw off the metering in wild ways.

Remember as well, that the entire sensor is used when metering with flash.
Spot and center-weighted settings have no effect when using flash.

Also, PTTL is horrible with specular highlights. The tiny specs *should* not have affected the metering, but if anything in the cropped out portion of the image is reflecting flash, the camera may be going to go to horrible lengths to ensure every pixel is "properly exposed".
PTTL is too stupid to know what a specular highlight is, so your image can underexpose with some spot that you might have considered as being too small to matter.
Keep in mind, if the white paper is blown out because you are too close with the flash, that essentially becomes a giant specular highlight.


Last edited by amoringello; 06-10-2014 at 02:59 PM.
06-11-2014, 04:33 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the replies so far.

Oldbayrunner, there is a setting to prevent shooting while charging, but it is only for the integrated flash.

Amoringello, the table was probably a little lower than waist height and I typically stand a couple feet away from my subject so I should be outside that 3 - 4 ft. range. While the example I posted has a white tablecloth background, I have the same issue even when there isn't such a contrasting background.
06-11-2014, 05:01 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cdn_tbird Quote
Thanks for all the replies so far.

Oldbayrunner, there is a setting to prevent shooting while charging, but it is only for the integrated flash.

Amoringello, the table was probably a little lower than waist height and I typically stand a couple feet away from my subject so I should be outside that 3 - 4 ft. range. While the example I posted has a white tablecloth background, I have the same issue even when there isn't such a contrasting background.
Yeah, hard to say. Honestly I periodically get the stray shot that I just cannot figure out why it failed.
But I would watch carefully for specular highlights. I've had the mere glint of a necklace or earrings cause issues.
Either that, or Pentax flash is so wildly unpredictable it is completely useless. (which some days I swear is true) :-)
But from what I've experienced, exposure is generally pretty good for matte subjects and when you remain more than a few feet away.

Of course, if these problems are new and more prevalent than you are used to them being... perhaps the camera is due for a tune-up?
06-12-2014, 09:41 AM   #11
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Thanks again for the great input. At this point I'm going to see if it makes sense to have Ricoh look at it. Hopefully it gets a clean bill of health so that I can pass it on to my kids and let their interest in photography bloom.
07-21-2014, 05:14 AM   #12
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Hello everyone,
Just wanted to come back and let everyone know what the final diagnosis was. After some "challenges" with the company that is Ricoh's official service provider in Canada, I have a diagnosis. It appears that the issue is with the diaphragm control block and it will be approx. $200 to repair. In my mind it's not worth repairing at that price so I'll be passing it on to my kids "as is" and replace it for them with a K-50 body when it finally gives up completely. For me it's time to move on to a new K-3.

Thanks again for suggestions.
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