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12-12-2010, 11:07 PM   #1
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K20D & Metz 48 wireless question

My Metz 48 AF-1 works wirelessly no problem with my K20D, but is there any way to still have the Metz fire wirelessly without the K20D built-in flash firing at the same time?

12-12-2010, 11:48 PM   #2
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Yes. check your manual or just scroll through the numbered menu options for the one that turns off the built-in flash. It will still do a pre-flash to communicate with the Metz but will not flash when the shutter is open.
12-13-2010, 04:58 AM   #3
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Go to MENU, Custom Setting, function 29, "Flash in Wireless Mode" and set it to "2" (off). Fires built-in flash as controller in Wireless Mode.
Also set Flash Mode in FN to Wireless Mode.
Hope this helps :-)

Last edited by Davor; 12-13-2010 at 05:01 AM. Reason: additional text
12-13-2010, 08:22 PM   #4
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Okay, I did what you both suggested several days ago, but in my photos the pre-flash from the K20D flash still shows up in my photos. It's quite annoying when this occurs on a reflective surface. In other words, the built-in flash still flashes with CF 29 turned "off" unless I'm doing something wrong. I was hoping the K20D would emit an infrared signal instead of an actual flash, but I guess that was wishful thinking. Thanks anyhow for your suggestions.

12-13-2010, 08:55 PM   #5
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Having used the k20d + Metz 48 combo for 2 years I am quite sure that unless your camera is broken, that setting will use only a pre-flash in wireless controller mode versus master mode.

Um...latest firmware in the k20d? latest firmware update applied to the Metz 48 (not that it should be able to make this problem). What shooting mode and flash settings are you using, both for on-board and the Metz? Give me everything and I will go run a test with your same parameters.

Last edited by imtheguy; 12-14-2010 at 07:14 AM.
12-13-2010, 09:29 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Having used the k20d + Metz 48 combo for 2 years I am quite sure that unless your camera is broken, that setting will use only a pre-flash in wireless mode. Um...latest firmware in the k20d? latest firmware update applied to the Metz 48 (not that it should be able to make this problem). What shooting mode and flash settings are you using, both for on-board and the Metz? Give me everything and I will go run a test with your same parameters.
There was another thread about this not too long ago and it was shown that the pre-flash can actually be seen as part of the exposure. The poster had pointed the camera at a mirror, in wireless, claimed the slave was firing, and the camera flash was lit up for the exposure. It's probably not enough to actually affect the exposure but if there's a reflective surface in the line of flash fire, it will be seen.

I was playing with the wireless on the K5 and AF540 and Metz 58, and would have suggested covering the the built in flash. That is, except for the fact that the slaves must SEE the controller flash output in order to fire. I was trying to see how far apart I could spread the slaves and still have them both (all) fire.

12-14-2010, 07:13 AM   #7
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Interesting....I will try the mirror trick to see what my setup does. Never noticed any light from the built-in flash on my shots when in controller versus master mode before.
12-14-2010, 07:18 AM   #8
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I haven't tried it either. That was the claim of the poster of that thread. It does seem plausible though. Even in wireless mode, everything is happening faster than our shutters are closing. I guess the question to answer is does the controller fire before or after the shutter opens?



12-14-2010, 07:48 AM   #9
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In Controller mode it fires before the shutter opens. In Master mode, it fires both before and during. But if you see light in the mirror test for controller mode then you can toss the theory.
12-14-2010, 08:09 AM   #10
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Just tried some tests and it was a blast. The timing is just as reported above; you can catch part of the pre-flash in the frame even though it starts when the shutter is closed and you can see it through the viewfinder (so mirror is still down) in Controller mode. My only reasonable guess is that its typically so weak compared to the Slave that it does not show. I just shot a few frames to test every combo of modes and all seems to work properly....but you CAN see the built-in flash in the frame if you shoot a mirror. I'm stumped. Time for those smart people to intervene.

Enoxatnep - is the built-in actually interfering with the lighting for your shot? I tried some shots just now where I shielded the built-in from the subject but not from the Slave and saw no difference in the shadowing when shielded and when not. But both flashes were about equidistant to the subject.
12-14-2010, 06:03 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by imtheguy Quote
Enoxatnep - is the built-in actually interfering with the lighting for your shot? I tried some shots just now where I shielded the built-in from the subject but not from the Slave and saw no difference in the shadowing when shielded and when not. But both flashes were about equidistant to the subject.
The built-in lighting did interfere, and this was actually the reason for my original question. I was using my FA 50 f1.4 against a reflective metal surface, using the settings you and Davor mentioned above, and the built-in flash reflected off the subject even though I thought it would only be a controller. The Metz was being used as a bounce flash and both were the same distance from the subject. I then tried shielding the built-in with some tissue paper to no avail.

I think the only way to control this problem is to use a longer focal length (100+ mm) so there's less of the built-in striking the subject. Otherwise, all I can conclude is that controller mode is useless and, like you mentioned, shows no difference between that and master mode.
12-14-2010, 06:14 PM   #12
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In wireless flash using a flash unit attached to the camera (either the built-in flash or a flash connected to the camera's hot shoe), there is NO WAY to prevent the flash attached to the camera to fire during exposure.

If you set the flash attached to the camera as control flash only, it still fires during exposure, but with less power.

One of the problems with the K7 (I don't know about the K5) is that when the built-in flash is set to control only, its power is more noticeable than the K10D and K20D.

I used to take photos of fish in aquariums (or is it aquaria ), so I became aware of this problem a few years back when I just bought my first K10D. I started then using flash with extension cord instead of wireless.

This applies not only to Pentax, but also for Canon, Sony, Nikon, ......

I think the strobe during exposure from the flash attached to the camera is to tell the remote flash to fire the main strobe. To verify this, set the camera to wireless flash mode, and set the timer to 2 second delay, you will see a strobe from the built-in flash during exposure, after the 2 second delay. It makes sense that the remote flash waits the (second) strobe from the built-in flash to fire. Let's say that the next Pentax DSLR has a 3 second instead of 2 second delay timer, it will work exactly as it does now without modifying the flash unit.

There have been many discussions on this. To be honest, I'm surprised to see this relatively new thread.

Last edited by SOldBear; 12-14-2010 at 06:44 PM.
12-15-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
There have been many discussions on this. To be honest, I'm surprised to see this relatively new thread.
I guess I restricted my search to 'Metz wireless flash operation' instead of searching for "wireless flash operation" or something similar. Sorry for the redundancy.
12-15-2010, 06:57 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by SOldBear Quote
I think the strobe during exposure from the flash attached to the camera is to tell the remote flash to fire the main strobe.
I'm pretty sure you're right. And to quote something I wrote in an earlier post, "I was hoping the K20D would emit an infrared signal instead of an actual flash, but I guess that was wishful thinking." I suppose it's time to invest in a hot shoe with extension cord, thus eliminating the convenience (and zero cost) of wireless
12-15-2010, 07:09 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by enoxatnep Quote
I guess I restricted my search to 'Metz wireless flash operation' instead of searching for "wireless flash operation" or something similar. Sorry for the redundancy.
I'm glad you posted. Despite trying to catch every new thread for the last 20 months I was totally unaware of this issue until now.
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