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01-11-2016, 04:28 PM   #1
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Sync issue between K50 and ExternalFlash

Hi everybody,

I am a bit confused after hundreds of shots realized with my new external Flash. WS 560 Speedlite. I have some random behaviors when trying to sync from the pop-up flash. Only when I reduce to 1/4 to 1/8 I got systematic sync, between 1/1 to 1/8 whatever the speed of the shutter is, in either forced flash mode or wireless flash mode, I got some eratic triggering. What I mean is the flash always shoot, but not always correctly sync with the shutter.

I don't know if it's a settings issue of my camera or a misunderstanding of myself, an issue with the flash or whatever ? Any glue on my issue Ladies & Gents ?

Greetings from Switzerland.

01-11-2016, 04:50 PM   #2
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Is that flash PTTL compatible?
Most likely is has what can be called a "dumb slave". i.e. it will flash on any dramatic change in lighting. (usually your flash).

The problem is that the Pentax flash system will always fire a pre-flash for metering before the main flash goes off.
This pre-flash will trigger the "dumb slave". As far as I know, there is no way to disable the pre-flash for Pentax; even in Manual mode.

It is possible that the two flashes occur quick enough and the remote slave has a long enough flash duration that it affects the exposure.
So you may see some images where the flash seems to fire and some where it does not.

---------- Post added 01-11-16 at 06:53 PM ----------

An easy solution is to get a wireless trigger system (Cactus, etc...) or if you find a REALLY cheap dumb flash at a garage sale (I found one for $0.50), put it in the hot shoe.
Get the lowest power you can find. It will be enough to trigger the slave but may not affect exposure much.
I did this for a long time before I got a wireless trigger system.
01-11-2016, 04:55 PM   #3
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I'm not familiar with the WS 560 specifically, but the symptom you describe is a common one. The pop-up flash of your K-50 always emits a preflash to determine how strong to make the exposure-making flash. This preflash is fooling your speedlight into firing too soon, and so when the camera's shutters actually start to move, the speedlight is still recharging. At 1/8th power or less, the speedlight has enough time to recycle and so it triggers again on the main flash event.

Solution? Check the owner's manual on your speedlight and see if there is a "Slave 1" and "Slave 2" mode (sometimes called "preflash suppression" mode). If not, you will have to either get a wireless trigger system (but you'll be limited to manual control over flash power), or get a different speedlight, one which supports pTTL preflash suppression.
01-11-2016, 09:00 PM   #4
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You can try what I did, jack22: mount a used Pentax AF-280T in the camera's hot-shoe, set it to one of the Two-Level Auto modes and Finder A.Check to off or just manual mode and use it as trigger of the other flash connected to the flash slave unit. If you can find a used AF-200T, you can do the same. If you find an AF-200SA unit, may be even better.

01-12-2016, 11:28 AM   #5
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On my K5 I don't have a preflash when I use a manual aperture setting lens. If you have a lens with an "A" setting, change it to a manual set value. Your K50 might operate the same.
01-12-2016, 12:44 PM   #6
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Hello Jack,

Read this thread.

Post #4 explains why the slave WS 560 Speedlite (similar to YN560 III in S1 mode) is not in sync with the built-in flash.

Post #8 has a paragraph explaining why "Only when I reduce to 1/4 to 1/8 I got systematic sync..."
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