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05-12-2010, 02:05 PM   #1
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What's wrong with my K10D pop up flash?

I just bought a used K10D and the seller said the flash works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't.

After trying multiple settings I can't hear it charge or get it to fire. Has anybody else had this problem? Is my flash bulb blown? If so how can I tell? I see the lightning icon on the display flashing, but that's it. Any help would be appreciated.

05-12-2010, 02:14 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
I just bought a used K10D and the seller said the flash works sometimes and sometimes it doesn't.

After trying multiple settings I can't hear it charge or get it to fire. Has anybody else had this problem? Is my flash bulb blown? If so how can I tell? I see the lightning icon on the display flashing, but that's it. Any help would be appreciated.
Hi bts,

I believe that two things will make the lightning bolt flash, either the flash is trying to charge and something is wrong in the circuit, or the flash isn't completely popped up (or there's another reason why it's not fully engaged -- maybe a bad switch). I'd try manually lifting it until it stops -- gently. . . and don't wear a hat while testing it -- I've had the brim of my hat block it from opening fully. You can't feel or hear it hit, so there's no other indication, except the flash doesn't work. . .

Scott
05-12-2010, 02:19 PM   #3
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Don't know exactly what went wrong with your K10D but the build in flash used to be the weak link for Pentax DSLRs. It could be faulty circuit, capacitor, or the tube itself. Repair won't be cheap so better refunded if still can.
05-12-2010, 02:20 PM   #4
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Thanks Scott. I've tried lifting the flash gently and I don't ever wear a hat.

The camera knows it's not firing as the exposure still comes out properly (instead of underexposed because it expected the flash to fire) with the flash raised.

05-12-2010, 02:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by builttospill Quote
The camera knows it's not firing as the exposure still comes out properly (instead of underexposed because it expected the flash to fire) with the flash raised.
If the exposure readings stays unchanged even with the flash pop-up, perhaps the little plastic pin that detects the flash pop up is stuck or faulty somehow.
05-12-2010, 02:31 PM   #6
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That's not a bad idea. Is the pin visible? I'll have to check my other K10D when I get home and see if I can see a difference.
05-12-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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Yeah just a simple plastic pin pointing up with the flash in up position. You can push it with finger.
05-12-2010, 02:39 PM   #8
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What mode are you in when this happens? What shutter speed is displayed when it fails to fire? If it is above 1/180 and there is sufficient light, I believe the camera will adjust aperture and ISO (if set to auto) accordingly and give you a properly exposed, no-flash picture.

05-12-2010, 02:45 PM   #9
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I've tried it in M, Av, P and Auto (green). I'll have to check the shutter speed tonight when I get home, but I don't think it was above 1/180 as I was indoors, but then again I don't know if ISO was automatic or not.
05-12-2010, 02:45 PM   #10
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Put camera in M mode, set shutter to 180 or slower, raise flash, and see if it fires every time.

That will get you closer to determining if it's an equipment problem, a firmware situation, or user error in not understanding when or why it should fire in various modes with various settings under various lighting conditions.

In M mode, it doesn't matter what ISO or aperture. But shutter has to be 180 or slower.
05-12-2010, 02:47 PM   #11
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Variously well put, Ira.
05-13-2010, 01:25 AM   #12
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If you hear it charge for a while, your capacitor is OK. The sound will stop when the capacitor is 'full'.
05-13-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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How long does the capacitor remain charged? What I mean is if it's already charged because I can't discharge the flash, I won't be able to hear it until the flash goes off, right? So how long does the capacitor hold it's charge?
05-13-2010, 06:37 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
Yeah just a simple plastic pin pointing up with the flash in up position. You can push it with finger.
I'm unable to find this pin on either of my K10Ds. Maybe I'm blind and missing it, but the exposure readings remain unchanged when I pop the flash up.

Can you give me more information on the pin?
05-13-2010, 09:51 PM   #15
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To my knowledge

The capacitor will permanently be charged by the camera as long the camera is on. You will however only hear the high pinch sound in the beginning of the cycle when the charge current is high; after that the current will be small just to keep it charged.

If you switch it the camera off, the capacitor will keep its charge for a while. I can not say for the built-in flash, but the capacitor in a Metz45 CT1 external flash will keep it's charge for at least a minute (if I recall correctly). After that you can still press the test button and it will fire (possibly not at full power).
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