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08-14-2009, 02:42 PM   #1
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K2000 low light autofocus flash assist - without using flash

Is there an easy way to have the flash help AF at low light without taking a picture with flash?

I noticed there was no flash-off setting, and the only way to turn off the flash is to, obviously, close it. This kinda works for low light focus if you don't set AE-lock with AF, but is there an easier way without closing it?

08-14-2009, 02:47 PM   #2
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I found out that the flash will blink really really fast once in awhile to help autofocus, but I forgot how to do it because I am quite lazy and don't find it that useful since I use an off camera flash instead of the built-in one now.

Some people use a flash light to shine on the subject they want to focus on, then shoot afterward. I find this especially useful for the settings I am using. What I do is set my K-m/K2000 so that the shutter button doesn't do anything when pressed half way down, it doesn't focus or anything and it's only job is to release the shutter. The AF button is the focusing button for this. That way when I get the object in focus, the shutter will release right away, because it's annoying when the shutter won't release because the octagon keeps blinking even though you can clearly see it is in focus.

All I need to do is press the AF on the subject for it to focus and let go of it then press the shutter. No more annoying blinking octagon and autofocus problems. If I need assistant, then I will use a flashlight. It's also useful for when you focus on the object first, then move the camera to the side. This way the subject is not in the center yet still stay focused. You can do this by doing the regular autofocus settings by holding the shutter button half way down and moving the camera a bit to the side, but it doesn't always work and the camera may lose focus of the subject this way.

Last edited by LeDave; 08-14-2009 at 02:55 PM.
08-14-2009, 02:53 PM   #3
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Get the Pentax dedicated flash AF540FGZ, I think it can allow you to just use the AF assist without firing the flash.
Although to achieve this you have to pay some serious cash to purchase that feature..
08-14-2009, 07:16 PM   #4
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heh i don't have the budget right now to buy an external flash or even a tripod (i use a monopod) so using a flashlight without an assistant. I was under the impression that the flash would automatically pop up if it thought it needed it - and of course also use it for AF - but you could disable it by turning flash off completely / no auto-popup. Is there no such feature for the k2000?

08-15-2009, 12:23 PM   #5
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Once its poped up can't you just push it down again, may not be ideal, buts it's cheap.
08-15-2009, 03:00 PM   #6
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That's what I do when I need to focus in the dark. Flash up, focus with the AF button, flash down, take a picture sans flash.

Edit: I have disabled the half-press of the shutter button, too. Otherwise the camera would just lose the focus, one the shutter button was pressed to take a picture.
08-15-2009, 09:41 PM   #7
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I do that now but I was wondering if there was another way. I actually half press with it up, and push it down while it is still half pressed - because AF is not linked to AE (although you can set it like that)
08-16-2009, 06:52 PM   #8
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There is a thread here about a forum member making some sort of a single LED light that can be mounted on the hot shoe. It has it's own battery.
It works as some kind of a flashlight but more like the key ring light where it is only the LED itself is shining the light with no additional reflectors on the LED bulb.
Anyway, imagine a key ring light made of LED that is mounted on top of the hot shoe mount.

08-17-2009, 12:42 AM   #9
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that sounds pretty sweet - is there a schematic?

I'm not having the best of luck search but I did find a thread where they used a hot shoe on all the time camcorder light
08-17-2009, 01:38 AM   #10
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"I was under the impression that the flash would automatically pop up if it thought it needed it" while the flash may just pop up when needed with the 2000 it certainly does not do so with the K10 or 20 nor I believe the 100.
Focus is indeeed a problem with the Pentax family. I think tha Impact might have the best sussestion that I have heard so far. The Torch is not a bad idea either but a bit "clunky".
08-17-2009, 05:18 AM   #11
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Tape a "pen flashlight" to the body, problem solved
08-17-2009, 02:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Eruditass Quote
that sounds pretty sweet - is there a schematic?

I'm not having the best of luck search but I did find a thread where they used a hot shoe on all the time camcorder light
Here's the link as I just searched it. https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/camera-studio-accessories/64708-my-little...ny-camera.html

Hope this helps!
08-17-2009, 02:18 PM   #13
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I have one of those little flashlights, I gotta try that. However I fear that it will be as annoying as the flash strobing.

Camera manufacturers should definitely look into IR/UV assist lights or other ways to aid focus in the dark that do not blind or alert the target (ultrasonic distance metering anyone?).
08-17-2009, 02:20 PM   #14
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On the thread I just posted, they also suggest using a laser pointer with designs so it can throw the light to focus on farther.
Anyway, just read the thread.
08-17-2009, 02:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by impact Quote
I have one of those little flashlights, I gotta try that. However I fear that it will be as annoying as the flash strobing.

Camera manufacturers should definitely look into IR/UV assist lights or other ways to aid focus in the dark that do not blind or alert the target (ultrasonic distance metering anyone?).
Not as blinding as the flash strobing repeatedly!
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