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02-23-2015, 11:09 PM   #1
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K3, FGZ540II and wireless p-ttl flash

Hello everyone!
I just bought the wounderful flash unit (fgz540II) but can't figure out some details.

How do the wireless p-ttl flash work?

I may missunderstood how it works.. this is how i thought it would work:
1. Set flash to wireless p-ttl (controller )and choose channel
2. Put it on the K3 and start it up, set flashmode to wireless and controller in camera
-- I now see the channel in camera that i choose on the flash.
3. Take the flash off (without turning it off)
4. Take a photo with the camera and the flash should fire.... but it aint.

Do I allways have to have the built in flash also? Does not the K3 have a wireless controller?

I hope anyone can help!


Best regards
Cristopher

02-23-2015, 11:27 PM   #2
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If you want to trigger the AF 540 flash (off camera) with the K-3's internal flash, you need to set the AF 540 flash to slave mode, not controller. In master/controller mode the AF 540 would trigger additional Pentax flash units nearby, and these modes would typically be used with the flash mounted on the hotshoe.

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02-24-2015, 07:19 AM   #3
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"Do I allways have to have the built in flash also? Does not the K3 have a wireless controller?"

I think the OP misunderstands the "wireless" implementation. Pentax cameras with wireless functionality have no wires, correct, but the communication between the camera and the off-board flash is not an electronic signal; It is "optical wireless" using flash bursts from the camera -- either the pop-up or a flash on the hot shoe -- to both establish the desired exposure value with a pre-burst, and then triggering the off-board flash. As CONTROLLER, the onboard does not contribute to the capture, it merely "controls"; as MASTER, the onboard refires and contributes to the flashed exposure.
02-24-2015, 07:40 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marktax Quote
"Do I allways have to have the built in flash also? Does not the K3 have a wireless controller?"

I think the OP misunderstands the "wireless" implementation. Pentax cameras with wireless functionality have no wires, correct, but the communication between the camera and the off-board flash is not an electronic signal; It is "optical wireless" using flash bursts from the camera -- either the pop-up or a flash on the hot shoe -- to both establish the desired exposure value with a pre-burst, and then triggering the off-board flash. As CONTROLLER, the onboard does not contribute to the capture, it merely "controls"; as MASTER, the onboard refires and contributes to the flashed exposure.
Well the on board can contribute ...there is a setting to allow that. But typically, your right, it's just used to trigger the main off camera flash.

02-24-2015, 07:56 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by MikePerham Quote
Well the on board can contribute ...there is a setting to allow that. But typically, your right, it's just used to trigger the main off camera flash.
Yes, I said that when set as Master, the onboard flash communicates to the offboard flash regarding exposure value and then fires for the capture also. I think that is probably the more typical use (rather than as controller only) so as to gain contrast control between the two flashes. The first implementation of Pentax dual-flash contrast control was on the Pentax Pz-models, which in a stroke of genius had the hot shoe on the right shoulder of the camera, where it did not restrict opening of the pop-up. The pop-up fired directly at your subject while the hot-shoe could be bounced from a ceiling, and you could adjust the fill ratios between the two. Putting the hot shoe back on the shoulder of the camera is a feature I would love to see return. It was brilliant. (This was not a wireless use -- I'm talking about something else now.)
02-24-2015, 09:11 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies!

I had missunderstood the hole wireless solution, thanks for explaining it for me. Will try some shooting tonight with the flash to learn...

To use the external flash "wireless" I should have the external flash set to wireless P-TTL and slave? and the setting in camera on wireless - master and the builtin flash operational. Then both flashes should trigger and make an expression on the target.

If a have the same setting on external flash but the setting in camera on controller. Shall the builtin flash make less expression on the target?

Will try it out tonight.

Sorry about my bad English.

Best ragards
Cristopher
02-24-2015, 09:44 AM   #7
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To use the external flash "wireless" I should have the external flash set to wireless P-TTL and slave? and the setting in camera on wireless - master and the builtin flash operational. Then both flashes should trigger and make an expression on the target. THAT IS CORRECT

If a have the same setting on external flash but the setting in camera on controller. Shall the builtin flash make NO expression on the target? -- THAT IS NOW CORRECT


02-24-2015, 10:30 AM   #8
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Reading many posts in this thread, I think there is a common misunderstanding of the difference between "master" and "control" mode of the built-in flash.

The built-in flash ALWAYS fires during exposure, whether in "master" or in "control" mode. The only difference is that in "control" mode, it fires at lower power. Depending on the situation, in "control" mode, the built-in flash can still contribute significantly to the exposure. In other words, the effect of the built-in flash can still be visible in the photo.

I used to take photos of fish in aquarium. I know.

But don't take my word for it. Take a photo in front of a mirror and see for yourself.

02-24-2015, 11:12 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone for the answers in this post! Really helpful!

I think I got everything I need. But feel free to post more tips and tricks. Does anyone else own the Fgz540II ?

//Cristopher
02-24-2015, 02:11 PM   #10
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"The built-in flash ALWAYS fires during exposure, whether in "master" or in "control" mode."

That is true. The pre-fire only establishes the exposure information as between the camera and the offboard wirless flash. The onboard flash obviously MUST fire again to tell the offboard flash when to discharge while the shutter is open. As a result, you will indeed see two flash reflections in an aquarium glass, but clearly in distinctly major and minor modes. (You can also see two reflections in someone's eyes, as I have done using the onboard flash as controller-only.) But for all practical purposes, I don't think the controller contributes an appreciable amount for purposes of thinking about how the master and controller functions differ. Admittedly, the translation of the Pentax manual -- as always -- is abysmally unclear, viz:

"The purpose of the control flash in wireless mode is to send information to the other flash unit before taking a picture. The main flash [the offboard flash] discharges at the actual time a picture is taken in the same manner as traditionally done."

But it does strongly suggest the controller as merely "before" exposure, with discharge "at the actual time" as being the offboard flash's job.




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