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08-15-2015, 06:46 AM   #1
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External flash issues with K100D

Good morning.

I have recently purchased a K100D and Vivitar DF-283-PEN flash unit.

This external flash unit powers up and it fires when the test button is pressed but I cannot get this flash to fire when the shutter button is pressed. The camera does seem to recognise that the flash is attached to the hot shoe and fired up. I have tried AUTO PICT and all of the others, but it still will not fire.

This may be more of a Vivitar problem than a K100D problem, but here goes.

When I hit the FN button to check the flash setting on the K100D, it only allows for a manual flash. It just skips over the auto settings.

I have read the camera and flash manuals for anything pertaIning to an external flash on this camera, but so far to no avail.

I am using alkaline batteries in the flash and the camera right now.

I'm sure to be omitting some key details, so please ask away for any clarification.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks

08-15-2015, 07:31 AM   #2
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It will only work in manual because there is no communication between the camera and the flash for TTL. Try in manual mode with a shutter speed below 1/160 and manual flash activated. Clean the contacts in both the camera and the flash (not just the pin but the base as well) and make sure the flash sits properly all the way in and tight. Only the center pin is used to tell the flash to fire.
I'm assuming the flash is compatible (low voltage trigger) but it needs to be confirmed.

Hope this helps.

Thanks,
08-15-2015, 07:51 AM   #3
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Did you try cleaning the contacts on the hot shoe and the flash?

Does the flash trigger off the camera when you short the center pin with contacts on the side of the foot base?

The Vivitar DF-283-PEN is apparently a rebadged Tumax DSL986AFZ which claims to have P-TTL support:
http://www.icorpandtumax.com/manual/DSL986AFZ-IB_98435_eng.pdf
Tumax DSL986AFZ / Vivitar DF-293 - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison
08-15-2015, 07:51 AM   #4
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That flash is a TTL flash and the K100D uses P-TTL flash communication so they do not talk. It can be made to work in manual as @ismaelg describes. It seems to be fairly modern so trigger voltage should not be an issue but should be checked before using it on digital. I looked and it is not listed in the strobe voltage database here: Photo Strobe Trigger Voltages However, it is listed on the Vivitar site as compatible with DSLR digital cameras so I think you are OK on voltage.

---------- Post added 08-15-15 at 07:54 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
The Vivitar DF-283-PEN is apparently a rebadged Tumax DSL986AFZ which claims to have P-TTL support:
Your link is for the DF-293 not DF-283.

08-15-2015, 08:13 AM   #5
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Key omitted detail

My first new flash I tried was a YONGNUO YN460 which behaves exactly like the Vivitar--no flash action.

However, when I tried my old Achiever DZ260 (that I use on my K-1000), it works like a champ.

Hard to believe that I received two out-of-the-box failures from two different companies.

Any ideas?

---------- Post added 08-15-15 at 08:16 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Did you try cleaning the contacts on the hot shoe and the flash?

Does the flash trigger off the camera when you short the center pin with contacts on the side of the foot base?

The Vivitar DF-283-PEN is apparently a rebadged Tumax DSL986AFZ which claims to have P-TTL support:
http://www.icorpandtumax.com/manual/DSL986AFZ-IB_98435_eng.pdf
Tumax DSL986AFZ / Vivitar DF-293 - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison
Yes, I did try cleaning the contacts on the hot shoe and the flash, but sadly, to no avail.

And yes, the flash does trigger off when I short the center pin with contacts on the side of the foot base.

What to try next, please?
08-15-2015, 08:37 AM   #6
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As a test put the camera in 'M' mode. Set shutter speed to 1/100. Put on the flash and test. As far as the camera is concerned that should make the flash fire.

However, you may also need to put the flash in manual mode and I've no idea how to do that. You might check the manual for the flash to see if it has a fully manual mode.

I use an assortment of flashes including modern and vintage Pentax as well as a trusty Nikon SB-26 and never had a problem getting them to fire. Getting the correct exposure is a different story though.

One other thing to check: make sure the flash is fully seated on the camera. Make sure the lock knob/ring is fully retracted. I have had flashes that with the lock ring only just a partial turn down prevented the flash from seating all the way. It looked just fine but it was off just tiny bit, enough for the contact pins to not touch.
08-15-2015, 04:38 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
Your link is for the DF-293 not DF-283.
The next model down is the DSL88/87 series - Still says P-TTL

http://www.icorpandtumax.com/manual/DSL886-876AFZ-IB_98512_eng.pdf

Even if it is only TTL it should still trigger in TTL mode at full power.
08-16-2015, 03:18 AM   #8
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I use external flash on a k100d. I do know many times I have to wiggle the flash to get a proper contact.

08-16-2015, 07:46 AM   #9
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It's easy enough to see if the flash is P-TTL or TTL. P-TTL will have four contacts on the foot vs only three.

And even though the basic dimensions of the flash hot shoe are "standardized" there is still much variations on the shoe and foot. For instance foot on my Sunpak 433D is too long for the hot shoe on my Pentax K1000. I need to shave off a bit of the front of the foot for the center pin to make contact with the center pad on the K1000 hot shoe. Yet the flash fits and connects with every other hot shoe camera and sync cable I have including those contemporary with the K1000.

The difference between the DF-293 and DF-283 is that the DF-293 has a LCD panel, more buttons and vari-power in manual mode. Otherwise they are basically the same.

Last edited by Not a Number; 08-16-2015 at 07:55 AM.
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