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09-23-2014, 04:21 PM   #1
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Pentax AF-360 FGZ: No TTL Mode

Two weeks ago I bought a new, never used Pentax AF 360 Flash from B&H photo. Shortly after opening it I noticed some odd thing such as intermittent firing off camera and no TTL mode available. I read the instruction carefully but still I could not get the flash into TTL mode.

I called up B&H and they took the return. They sent me out a new one and it arrived tonight. Again, I read through the instructions but still the flash does not go into TTL mode. Instead I get 4 Options P-TTL, A, M , and then it drops down into SB mode which should not even be an option. I have made a video and posted it to youtube. I have tried this mounted to my Pentax K5 as well as my K-1000 and I get the same results.

Video:

Does anyone know what is going on? Is this a batch of bad flash guns?

Any help would be appreciated.

09-23-2014, 05:03 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by burnt umber Quote
Two weeks ago I bought a new, never used Pentax AF 360 Flash from B&H photo. Shortly after opening it I noticed some odd thing such as intermittent firing off camera and no TTL mode available. I read the instruction carefully but still I could not get the flash into TTL mode.

I called up B&H and they took the return. They sent me out a new one and it arrived tonight. Again, I read through the instructions but still the flash does not go into TTL mode. Instead I get 4 Options P-TTL, A, M , and then it drops down into SB mode which should not even be an option. I have made a video and posted it to youtube. I have tried this mounted to my Pentax K5 as well as my K-1000 and I get the same results.

Video: AF-360FGZ Flash - YouTube

Does anyone know what is going on? Is this a batch of bad flash guns?

Any help would be appreciated.
As far as I know Pentax dropped TTL flash mode long ago, the last body compatible with TTL flashes was Pentax *istD
Your flash is in perfect working order. With your Pentax K5 you can use all the modes you have listed, P-TTL being closest to TTL.
According to Bojidar Dimitrov's website the K-1000 (film body) has an analog flash system capable of 1/60 synchronization speed - thus probably unable to work in TTL (on this I am just guessing) http://www.bdimitrov.de/kmp/bodies/film_K/K1000.html

Hopefully someone who is more experienced with flashes will jump in and give you more detailed answers - until that see this old thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/6-pentax-dslr-discussion/99153-difference...ttl-flash.html

Last edited by Caver; 09-23-2014 at 05:15 PM. Reason: +info
09-23-2014, 05:26 PM   #3
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Caver,

So what you are saying, in order for the flash to go into TTL mode it needs to be mounted to a TTL compatible camera which in this case would be a 67 II, or 645 series, and the flash cannot be forced into the TTL mode mounted on a non compatible camera or even on wireless remote? However, there is nothing to explain in the instructions what the SB mode is. It is described as the AF Spotbeam on page 8 of the instructions but beyond that, there is zip as to what this does. I have played with it in the dark and it appears it will just through a beam of red light to help AF the lens but will not trigger the flash. Jesus, is it too much to ask for at least one line in the instruction book.
09-23-2014, 05:26 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by burnt umber Quote
Shortly after opening it I noticed some odd thing such as intermittent firing off camera
Were you using Lithium batteries by any chance? On some of my flashes this is exactly what it does. At first I thought it was the flash, then I thought it was the camera and then I read somewhere that Lithium batteries can cause this behaviour if the flash electronic wasn't designed for it.

09-23-2014, 05:33 PM   #5
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Nope, Alakaline Batteries.
09-23-2014, 05:35 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by burnt umber Quote
Caver,

So what you are saying, in order for the flash to go into TTL mode it needs to be mounted to a TTL compatible camera which in this case would be a 67 II, or 645 series, and the flash cannot be forced into the TTL mode mounted on a non compatible camera or even on wireless remote? However, there is nothing to explain in the instructions what the SB mode is. It is described as the AF Spotbeam on page 8 of the instructions but beyond that, there is zip as to what this does. I have played with it in the dark and it appears it will just through a beam of red light to help AF the lens but will not trigger the flash. Jesus, is it too much to ask for at least one line in the instruction book.
I own the AF-360 FGZ flash, and lets be honest, the instruction manual is outdated, vague and anything else then user friendly.... I don't know if the newer model (AF360FGZ II) has an updated manual, worth searhing for one online...
Regarding to your question about TTL mode - if the flash is mounted on a TTL compatible SLR - I can't try that, since I don't own a TTL compatible body - so I'm relying just on the informations read on this (and other) forums... What i know for sure, that you can't use any flashes (Pentax or other brand) on the K5 in TTL mode, since the body lacks this feature... Instead you have the P-TTL...

EDIT: I never had the "intermittent firing off camera" error with my flash.
But the flash can be fired off camera by the incorporated flash from your camera (or a second flash mounted on body), if it's in wireless slave mode...
09-23-2014, 05:41 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Well, PTTL is pretty much TTL adapted for Digital. Requiring a pre-flash to perform metering instead of measuring the light during exposure. It's not really the same but I believe it's the closest you can get now. I'm not sure about the technicality but it has to do with sensor/metering.

the AF-360 is a P-TTL flash. Your K5 is a P-TTL compatible body. And I believe your K1000 is TTL... Confusing for sure, maybe they should have come up with a different name... TTL, iTTL, eTTL, P-TTL ... none are compatible yet the all sound the same.
09-23-2014, 05:44 PM - 1 Like   #8
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A Pentax K-5 camera's only TTL flash mode is P-TTL. Ever since the K-10D the ONLY TTL mode offered by Pentax DSLRs is P-TTL. You need to go back to the *ist D, DS and DS2 if you want TTL and P-TTL, but whether you get TTL or P-TTL is dependent on the lens mounted on the camera (If I recall correctly).

A Pentax K-1000 (film camera) has NO TTL flash circuitry built into the camera so the only modes the flash will respond to are A and M.

SB is the spot beam mode, where the SB light on the flash is used to illuminate the scene for Auto Focus. It has a longer range than the Spot Beam light built into your camera.

So if you can only get P-TTL, A, M and SB on your Pentax AF-360FGZ mounted on a K-5 then the flash is working correctly.

Regards

Chris

09-23-2014, 05:45 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caver Quote
I own the AF-360 FGZ flash, and lets be honest, the instruction manual is outdated, vague and anything else then user friendly.... I don't know if the newer model (AF360FGZ II) has an updated manual, worth searhing for one online...
Regarding to your question about TTL mode - if the flash is mounted on a TTL compatible SLR - I can't try that, since I don't own a TTL compatible body - so I'm relying just on the informations read on this (and other) forums... What i know for sure, that you can't use any flashes (Pentax or other brand) on the K5 in TTL mode, since the body lacks this feature... Instead you have the P-TTL...

EDIT: I never had the "intermittent firing off camera" error with my flash.
But the flash can be fired off camera by the incorporated flash from your camera (or a second flash mounted on body), if it's in wireless slave mode...
I just checked on the Global Network | RICOH IMAGING site, and I'we found just the manual for the original AF-360 FGZ flash - PDF manual assambled from ugly, badly scanned images of the original printed manual... this is is a shame....
09-23-2014, 06:06 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caver Quote
PDF manual assambled from ugly, badly scanned images
Give them a break, it's not like it's their business to make imaging products
09-23-2014, 08:04 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Since I do not have a Pentax 67 or 645 to mount the flash to I will never know if the unit will actually kick over to TTL mode. It certainly does not do it off camera. This is my first venture past the Vivitar 285HV and having poor instructions is certainly not helping that curve. Thanks for the help.
09-23-2014, 08:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by burnt umber Quote
Since I do not have a Pentax 67 or 645 to mount the flash to I will never know if the unit will actually kick over to TTL mode. It certainly does not do it off camera. This is my first venture past the Vivitar 285HV and having poor instructions is certainly not helping that curve. Thanks for the help.
When mounted on a K-5 you will get P-TTL mode on an AF-360FGZ. This is good. P-TTL is a better mode for digital cameras where it determines the flash power required by emitting a pre-flash and measuring the light returned. (Canon, Nikon and other camera manufacturers now use this method, all calling it something different iTTL eTTL et cetera.) The previous version was called TTL and measured the flash light emitted as the exposure was taken by metering the light reflected off the surface of the film. With digital cameras this became problematic as the reflectance off a digital sensor is not the same as off the surface of film. That is why all camera manufacturers moved the versions of P-TTL.

So your flash (AF-360FGZ) will work on a K-5. There are some idiosyncraties of P-TTL particularly when bouncing the flash. They are due to a hardware problem present in all Pentax DSLRs from the first *ist D to the K-5IIs. This problem has now been fixed in the K-3. Owing to this problem being hardware related a fix in firmware is not possible.

Regards

Chris
09-23-2014, 10:20 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Caver Quote
I just checked on the Global Network | RICOH IMAGING site, and I'we found just the manual for the original AF-360 FGZ flash - PDF manual assambled from ugly, badly scanned images of the original printed manual... this is is a shame....
Not sure what you looked for but this link & Manual PDF Download popped up when I searched for "Pentax 360 Manual" Downloads & Literature - RICOH Imaging

"Supported Function For Pentax Cameras" begins on Page 57.
09-24-2014, 02:29 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Brooke Meyer Quote
Not sure what you looked for but this link & Manual PDF Download popped up when I searched for "Pentax 360 Manual" Downloads & Literature - RICOH Imaging

"Supported Function For Pentax Cameras" begins on Page 57.
That's a nice version
This one is the one I've found:
Support?RICOH IMAGING CANADA

Or direct link to the PDF:
http://ricoh-imaging.ca/pdf/o_manuals/om_AF360FGZ_e.pdf

...at least the main site has a normal version
09-24-2014, 06:17 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by burnt umber Quote
Does anyone know what is going on? Is this a batch of bad flash guns?
Any help would be appreciated.
Sorry, but I don't see the problem.
P-TTL works fine on the K-5. Why would you want plain old TTL, which was designed for film cameras? P-TTL is nicely controllable from within the camera too.

Or just switch the AF-360 to manual and work your flash shooting that way, if you like the non-P-TTL way of shooting..
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