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08-15-2010, 06:50 PM   #1
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K-x, Smc-m, and built-in flash

Hi all,

I usually don't use the built-in flash (or any flash) but just for kick I was trying to use the built-in flash with the 50mm f2 m (all manual). The resulting image is all white. Apparently the flash overwhelm everything. If I cover up the flash a bit, the picture would come out. I suppose that this happens for everyone using the old lenses. I'm just curious in how come the built-in flash was not synchronized with the camera setting since everything was already set (iso, shutter, aperture...)? Also, do you know of a way to use the flash with these old lenses?

Thanks

08-15-2010, 07:15 PM   #2
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Except for the *istD and DS which support TTL flash and can meter for non A lenses no other DSLR can support non A lenses in flash mode because they do not know the lens aperture. As a result they fire the flash at full power
08-15-2010, 07:22 PM   #3
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Ahhh.. that actually makes lots of sense. Thank you!
08-16-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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The K-x manual goes into a lot of detail about using the flash with manual lenses (p-158 and p-160 in particular). Basically you have to set the shutter at 1/180 or less and manually calculate the aperture to use given the ISO you have set, the known output power of the flash and the distance to your subject.

You may also be able to use an external flash that has its own in-built exposure metering if you need to use flash with manual lenses.

08-16-2010, 04:36 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Except for the *istD and DS which support TTL flash and can meter for non A lenses no other DSLR can support non A lenses in flash mode because they do not know the lens aperture. As a result they fire the flash at full power
For real? How to do this then? I have a DS and never got the flash to work at anything except full blast with non-a lenses. I think I read something about insulating contacts on the mount, but never bothered to try that. Is there a 'non-hacking' way to do this?
08-17-2010, 09:56 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by urje Quote
For real? How to do this then? I have a DS and never got the flash to work at anything except full blast with non-a lenses. I think I read something about insulating contacts on the mount, but never bothered to try that. Is there a 'non-hacking' way to do this?
The built-in flash of the DS does not support TTL, even though there is a TTL sensor in the body. You still need a TTL-capable flash (My old Sigma EF-500 Super supported TTL)

So like you said, you're stuck with full power flash and you need to properly set the ISO and aperture based on the distance to the subject.
08-17-2010, 10:37 AM   #7
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Like egordon99 said, you'll need a TTL-compatible external flash. The older TTL (not P-TTL) models goes for very reasonable prices, I've bought several 500ftz flashes myself. I also have the 080c macro ring flash and it performs great with the DS.

I think it's a shame Pentax dropped the TTL-sensor in their higher end models, it can't add much to the cost of the body. Although the P-TTL system is a lot more advanced on paper at least, there are certainly benefits with the older TTL-system as well. It's a typical move done by all camera makers to force customers to buy new accessories.
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