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02-10-2022, 06:03 PM   #1
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Hot Shoe Flash Unit cannot be controlled by K1ii

Hi. I have tried three different flash units on my K1ii, one Pentax, one Metz, and one some little cheapie. All purport to have full ttl function. However, with any of them, it's like going back to the 1950's, when you had to change the aperture to get the proper exposure. No matter what mode I set, what speed, what aperture, I have to adjust the aperture until I get a proper exposure. I have full confidence that ttl flash will function on this camera, but I can't get it to work. On the Metz unit there are two switches--on/off, and test. It takes all other commands from the camera. I set the shutter speed to some innocuous speed like 1/80, set AV, SV, Program, Manual, whatever, and set the aperture at, say, f4. My subject is completely washed out, no detail. So I keep stopping down, f5.6 on down to f11, when I finally get a proper exposure. Stop down to f16, now too dark. Shouldn't the ttl function adjust every shot to about the same values? I couldn't walk around with this camera and a flash at a party and get properly exposed pics, unless I would make sure every person is the same distance from the camera. So much for spontaneity! The lens I'm using for testing is the latest-model 50mm F1.4 Pentax AF.


I returned the cheapie flash, thinking it was defective, but now the Metz is acting just the same. The Pentax unit is fairly old, but it has a ttl switch on the back, so I figure it should still work.

What am I doing wrong?

02-10-2022, 06:33 PM   #2
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I have no experience with Metz flash units, but I know a bit of the old Pentax AF280T, AF200T and Vivitar 283 (old model) flash units. Can you specify which Pentax flash model you have issues with?
02-10-2022, 06:45 PM   #3
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All recent Pentax DSLRs require P-TTL compatible flashes (not film era TTL) if you want full auto exposure. Otherwise they will always fire at the preset power and you will need to set the shutter speed and aperture manually.

Model numbers would be helpful if you'd like more tips.
02-10-2022, 07:37 PM   #4
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Your camera is fully compatible with the correct flash units. Just invest in the correct units. The correct Pentax ones can be purchased for a reasonable amount on this site or try KEH, lots to choose from.

02-10-2022, 07:59 PM   #5
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As stated above, the key is that TTL isnít sufficient. It needs to be P-TTL.

The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

Comprehensive Pentax P-TTL Flash Guide Updated - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

Difference between TTL and P-TTL flash. - PentaxForums.com

The first link is a bit out of date but can set the stage for understanding.
02-10-2022, 08:22 PM   #6
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Let's ignore the Metz for a bit...

What Pentax brand flash did you attempt this with?

Which Pentax 50/1.4 are you using?


Steve
02-11-2022, 12:42 PM   #7
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You can tell me the Metz Model Number and I will search for further information.
I guess it is a quite old model, without any automatic at all.

02-11-2022, 06:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
All recent Pentax DSLRs require P-TTL compatible flashes (not film era TTL) if you want full auto exposure. Otherwise they will always fire at the preset power and you will need to set the shutter speed and aperture manually.

Model numbers would be helpful if you'd like more tips.
Thanks for your interest. No, this isn't an old model, it's a 24-AF1P in a brand-spanking-new box. In the instruction manual, or what passes for an instruction manual, it lists quite a few modes, including "TTL flash control" and "PTTL" flash control, plus "P-TTL fill-in flash control" and a bunch of others. The connecters on the base match those on the camera--four of them. As the Germans say, "Es stimmt, aber es stimmt nicht" (It agrees, but it doesn't agree). I went all through the camera's menus, and I couldn't see anything that would solve my problem. I'm thinking this is just some "senior moment" thing.

---------- Post added 02-11-22 at 07:59 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Let's ignore the Metz for a bit...

What Pentax brand flash did you attempt this with?

Which Pentax 50/1.4 are you using?


Steve
Hi. The Pentax flash is from film days, so I'm sure I'm out of luck. I think it cost me $10. Thanks.

---------- Post added 02-11-22 at 08:02 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
As stated above, the key is that TTL isnít sufficient. It needs to be P-TTL.

The Definitive Guide - Pentax P-TTL Flash Comparison

Comprehensive Pentax P-TTL Flash Guide Updated - Articles and Tips | PentaxForums.com

Difference between TTL and P-TTL flash. - PentaxForums.com

The first link is a bit out of date but can set the stage for understanding.
Thanks for the links, UncleVanya. I'll go through all of them.
02-11-2022, 07:39 PM   #9
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The AF 24 is P-TTL compatible, so it should expose properly unless there is something wrong with it. There are some threads on the forum referencing connectivity problems. There's also some useful info here:
Metz Mecablitz 24 reviews - Pentax Camera Accessory Review Database

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02-12-2022, 04:10 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialEd Quote
Hi. The Pentax flash is from film days, so I'm sure I'm out of luck. I think it cost me $10. Thanks.
OK...so what 50mm f/1.4 Pentax lens are you using?


Steve
02-12-2022, 05:55 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
OK...so what 50mm f/1.4 Pentax lens are you using?


Steve
It's a Pentax FA f1.4 50mm.
02-12-2022, 06:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialEd Quote
It's a Pentax FA f1.4 50mm.
Is the aperture ring on the "A" setting ?
02-12-2022, 06:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
Is the aperture ring on the "A" setting ?
My next question!

The symptoms suggest that may not be the case.


Steve
02-13-2022, 08:08 PM   #14
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Oh, yes, it's on the "A" setting. I tried manual f/stops. I tried everything I could think of. My inclination at the moment is to forget flash photography with this camera. Flash photography shouldn't be this difficult. I've had digital Nikons, Fujis, and Sonys, never a problem.
02-13-2022, 08:51 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialEd Quote
Oh, yes, it's on the "A" setting. I tried manual f/stops. I tried everything I could think of. My inclination at the moment is to forget flash photography with this camera. Flash photography shouldn't be this difficult. I've had digital Nikons, Fujis, and Sonys, never a problem.
Bear in mind that only one of those flashes is p-ttl and may not be working. My past experiences with p-ttl is that it just works.

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