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09-29-2007, 04:25 PM   #1
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K10D - has anyone found a way to trigger optical slave with onboard flash?

I want to move up to a K10D but I need to know whether the onboard flash can be set up to trigger a simple optical slave unit. I tried with a camera salesman one day and we did not have any luck but he was not familiar with all of the menu settings for red-eye, preflash, white balance, etc so we may not have had the right set up for it to work.

Has anyone found settings on the K10 that work? I'm only interested in firing a manual flash remotely - no need for TTL functions.

Also if anyone has used a Wein or similar slave that ignores the preflashes and fires properly that would be helpful information too.

09-29-2007, 05:18 PM   #2
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I have tried this also, but found that the K10D has a quick preflash before the actual flash, which sets off my stobes prematurely. Couldn't figure out how to turn off the preflash. Had to use a sync cable.
09-30-2007, 12:56 AM   #3
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The K100D can fire a Sigma EF-500 DG Super remotely in dumb slave mode, so I would have hought the K0D could. I used A mode on the cam and followed the instructions in the Sigma manual to the letter on page 25.
Here's a test shot.....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v58/sbrads/K100D/SigmaSlavetest2.jpg
09-30-2007, 02:14 AM   #4
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Youll want to get a wein slave or a speedlight with a delay mode, such as the nikon sb26 which I have two of, these work fine if you set the slave to delay mode, the wein peanut slave should work similar. Then you can trigger even if you are in p-ttl mode. Otherwise you have to get the on board flash out of p-ttl mode but that will mean it will fire at full power. one way to do this is if you have a flash that has an aperature ring, move the aperature off the A position and then the built in flash will not be p-ttl anymore, but will fire at full power. So the slaves are a better route. I havent tried the slaves myself, but I can verify it will work with the built in slaves on the Nikon sb26

09-30-2007, 06:25 AM   #5
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If you use a manual lens (eg Pentax-M or M42), with the camera in Manual exposure mode, the camera will fire the flash in a single, max-output discharge. You then use the iso, and aperture settings, plus whatever control you have over your external flash, to control the exposure.
09-30-2007, 06:29 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisN Quote
If you use a manual lens (eg Pentax-M or M42), with the camera in Manual exposure mode, the camera will fire the flash in a single, max-output discharge. You then use the iso, and aperture settings, plus whatever control you have over your external flash, to control the exposure.
And to followup on ChrisN's comment, you can also do this with any autoaperture lens just be moving the aperture ring off "A".
09-30-2007, 07:11 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
The K100D can fire a Sigma EF-500 DG Super remotely in dumb slave mode, so I would have hought the K0D could. I used A mode on the cam and followed the instructions in the Sigma manual to the letter on page 25.
Here's a test shot.....
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v58/sbrads/K100D/SigmaSlavetest2.jpg
I've just bought a Sigma EF-500 DG Super flash and while reading this post I thought why not try this myself.
I can say that wireless works with built-in flash as a trigger on K10D as well. Also you can set the built-in flash to fire either as controller or as master in wireless mode.

Last edited by AprilFool; 09-30-2007 at 07:17 AM.
09-30-2007, 10:13 AM   #8
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I use a Wein digital peanut and it works fine with my K100d built in flash in the "auto" modes. I usually just pull out 1/2 to 1 stop with EV comp using a 285HV with diffusion on low power.

09-30-2007, 05:28 PM   #9
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Triggering slave flash

I recently got a K10D and I'm still learning it's functions and abilities. So far, I'm very impressed.

The K10 has several flash modes. One mode is a single flash (without red-eye reduction) and one is with a pre-flash. I've tried my Promaster FTD 6500M, which has a built-in slave. When I set the on-camera flash to skip the red-eye reduction, there is no noticeable pre-flash; only the main flash and the slave fires as it should.

Please note that Pentax does not seem to be updating the firmware in the standard K10D. Mine came with version 1.0 installed. I updated it to 1.30. This may have changed the flash modes. I don't remember how many modes there were out-of-the-box. Version 1.30 did add the ability to fire wireless, off-camera Pentax flash units. So, a camera you saw in a camera store will almost certainly have version 1.0 of the firmware. They are installing 1.30 in the K10D Grand Prix edition.

Paul Noble
09-30-2007, 08:07 PM   #10
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Many Thanks

Thanks to everyone who has responded to my inquiry about firing a slave flash using the K10d onboard. There are a number of useful suggestions and observations that I can investigate - now if only knew someone who could lend me their K10D for awhile...

PS. If I find the solution that works for me I'll post it back to this thread
11-26-2008, 08:42 PM   #11
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Update on using optical flash

Well it's been about a year since I started this thread and I promised I'd give an update. I bought the K10D and after a bit of playing around with the menu settings for flash my setup worked. I didn't really make an effort to determine exactly what the key setting was - I just made sure I didn't change anything in the menus. Since then I've been using the onboard flash to trigger a small manual flash mounted on a macro flash bracket (John Shaw design) optically/wirelessly. The onboard flash actually helps to provide some background lighting around my subjects - eliminating some of the super-black backgrounds common in flashlit macro shots. I also found that using a small piece of exposed film to cover the onboard flash can eliminate the onboard as a light source but it will still trigger the remote flash. The biggest problem I encountered with this setup was that the optical trigger hotshoe has the sensor on the front (more or less hidden from the onboard flash in my setup). This was solved by modifying the optical hotshoe so that the flash mounts opposite to the original direction.

Now I've got a K20D and in testing my macro rig I found that none of my shots were getting exposed even though the flash was firing optically. After fiddling around for a bit I discovered that I had the lens set on "A" which I normally don't do. Apparently, as someone else mentioned in this thread, the flash doesn't fire synchonously in this lens mode - does this make any sense? I already don't like the missing apreature ring on DA lenses but this pretty much seals it for me - at least in terms of macrophotography I have to have the ability to use a aperature ring. While I'm on this - why doesn't the camera record the aperature of an A lens when it is set on a discrete f-stop? The light meter seems to know what f-stop is set otherwise the exposures would always be wrong!?

I would like to hear other's opinions ...
11-27-2008, 09:14 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hornet Quote
Well it's been about a year since I started this thread and I promised I'd give an update. I bought the K10D and after a bit of playing around with the menu settings for flash my setup worked. I didn't really make an effort to determine exactly what the key setting was - I just made sure I didn't change anything in the menus. Since then I've been using the onboard flash to trigger a small manual flash mounted on a macro flash bracket (John Shaw design) optically/wirelessly. The onboard flash actually helps to provide some background lighting around my subjects - eliminating some of the super-black backgrounds common in flashlit macro shots. I also found that using a small piece of exposed film to cover the onboard flash can eliminate the onboard as a light source but it will still trigger the remote flash. The biggest problem I encountered with this setup was that the optical trigger hotshoe has the sensor on the front (more or less hidden from the onboard flash in my setup). This was solved by modifying the optical hotshoe so that the flash mounts opposite to the original direction.

Now I've got a K20D and in testing my macro rig I found that none of my shots were getting exposed even though the flash was firing optically. After fiddling around for a bit I discovered that I had the lens set on "A" which I normally don't do. Apparently, as someone else mentioned in this thread, the flash doesn't fire synchonously in this lens mode - does this make any sense? I already don't like the missing apreature ring on DA lenses but this pretty much seals it for me - at least in terms of macrophotography I have to have the ability to use a aperature ring. While I'm on this - why doesn't the camera record the aperature of an A lens when it is set on a discrete f-stop? The light meter seems to know what f-stop is set otherwise the exposures would always be wrong!?

I would like to hear other's opinions ...
Couple answers (I hope). The camera has no real communication w/ the lens when you take the "a" off "A".. It has no idea what aperture you set it to. As to exposure, it meters off whatever aperture you have it set to.
I also assume on "A" the flash defaults to p-TTL w/ pre-flash. Off "A" p-ttl flash is probably off and you just get straight manual flash.
11-27-2008, 09:00 PM   #13
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Reasonable answers Jeffkrol. But if the camera knows what aperture is set for metering (the metering doesn't manually stop down the diaphragm does it?) when off "A" mode, then why can't this be saved in the EXIF info? Just something that has been bugging me about using non-DA lenses (which I have several of and prefer for many reasons).
11-28-2008, 07:37 AM   #14
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Wein's current slaves all deal with pre-flash.
11-28-2008, 08:11 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Hornet Quote
Reasonable answers Jeffkrol. But if the camera knows what aperture is set for metering (the metering doesn't manually stop down the diaphragm does it?) when off "A" mode, then why can't this be saved in the EXIF info?
The camera does *not* know the aperture you've set if the ring is not on "A". That's why you have to use manual mode and stop-down metering with the green button.
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