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11-13-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
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Fix the flash exposure issues Pentax!

After returning my K-5 due to the issues with over exposure with indirect flash, i bought a K-30 a couple of weeks ago, just to realize that the flash issues remains, maybe even got worse compared to the K-5.
Both the K-5 & K-30 are totally outperformed by my old K100D Super when it comes to flash exposures.
Take a look at these pictures:
They are taken with combinations of K-30 & K100D Super, and flashes Metz 58 AF-1 & Pentax AF-540FGZ. Same lens used on both cameras. Latest available firmwares in both flashes and cameras. The pictures were taken in a room with ambient light from a lamp in the ceiling.
Naming of the files explains conditions:
p or m: exposure mode, Program or Manual
lv: Live View
metz or af540: Flash used
ob: OmniBounce diffusor mounted on flash
direct, up, 45: Flash direction
dark: No ambient light in the room
k100: Pictures taken with the K100D Super
In P mode, the exposure values differ between the cameras. Therefore the K100D Super pics are taken i M mode with the same values as the K-30.
Notice how exposure levels varies depending on flash direction on the K-30, especially how it over exposure with no ambient light in the room and bounced flash.
Also notice that it does not over exposure with no ambient light in the room and bounced flash, in live view mode.
Then notice how similar the exposures of the K100D Super is, no matter flash direction, flash brand, ambient light or not.
It is about time that Pentax acknowledges this well known issue and deals with it, instead of denying the existance of the problem. It is embarrasing that otherwise two great cameras like the K-5 and K-30 are outperformed by the old K100d Super in this case.
If you managed to get it right back then, why can´t you get it right now?!


Last edited by Lage; 11-14-2012 at 02:06 AM.
11-13-2012, 02:49 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lage Quote
... well known issue and deals with it,
What is the well known issue with flash exposure?
11-13-2012, 02:51 PM   #3
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P-TTL with the K5 in incandescent lighting IS A MESS. It seems to be fine in fluorescent lighting, though.

My solution is to use a Metz 58 AF-2 in auto mode while shooting indoors with incandescent lighting. Two different K5s that I've owned had this same problem. I always set the cam to manual exposure with strobes.

There is no other solution than forcing your flash to underexpose. Enabling highlight suppression helps mask the problem. It's not a real solution, though.

Reason number xx Pentax isn't good enough for professionals who use strobes.
11-13-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
P-TTL with the K5 in incandescent lighting IS A MESS. .
In what way?

11-13-2012, 02:56 PM   #5
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Overexposures between .7 and 1 stop.
11-13-2012, 02:59 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
What is the well known issue with flash exposure?
Over exposure when using indirect flash. There are several threads in this and other forums about it.
11-13-2012, 03:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
Overexposures between .7 and 1 stop.
There are infinite variables that affects the overcome (direct flash, bounce flash, bounce surface, bounce ceiling height). Are you referring to the subject in focus or the entire picture? An example may help.
11-13-2012, 03:06 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
There are infinite variables that affects the overcome (direct flash, bounce flash, bounce surface, bounce ceiling height). Are you referring to the subject in focus or the entire picture? An example may help.
Take a look at the pictures, they speak for themselves.

11-13-2012, 03:07 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
P-TTL with the K5 in incandescent lighting IS A MESS. It seems to be fine in fluorescent lighting, though.

My solution is to use a Metz 58 AF-2 in auto mode while shooting indoors with incandescent lighting. Two different K5s that I've owned had this same problem. I always set the cam to manual exposure with strobes.

There is no other solution than forcing your flash to underexpose. Enabling highlight suppression helps mask the problem. It's not a real solution, though.

Reason number xx Pentax isn't good enough for professionals who use strobes.
I would second this Just about said it all for me.
11-13-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
P-TTL with the K5 in incandescent lighting IS A MESS. It seems to be fine in fluorescent lighting, though.
This down to colour temperature no? The addition of the appropriate filter (CTO etc - fitted to the flash-head) should alleviate any issue of this nature...

QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy97 Quote
Reason number xx Pentax isn't good enough for professionals who use strobes.
Professionals who use strobes understand how flash works and use those strobes in manual mode and generally off-camera...

The only 'real' flash issue I see with the Pentax system is the slower sync-speed in comparison to the competition (and this really is only slightly limiting)... Anything else can be put down to lack of understanding of flash exposure or user error...

Read up on colour temperatures, flash exposure and check out the Pentax Strobist group on flickr...
11-13-2012, 03:59 PM   #11
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A couple of other things I experienced in tungsten lighting. Wireless P-TTL achieves better exposure than wired. I also have Pentax cables and shoes for off-camera flash work. As well as Cactus triggers when the cam is too far from the flash.

I generally use a light meter/manual flash for off-cam work but recently have been experimenting with P-TTL for my wife which should be easier... if it could be relied upon.
11-13-2012, 04:05 PM - 1 Like   #12
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This thread is getting beyond my ability to respond using an iPhone app.

I understand color temp, off-cam flash, etc. P-TTL has major flaws in the K5. Those who feel otherwise have not used it in a variety of lighting conditions.

I have no idea why the K5 exposes so wildly in incandescent ambient lighting. It doesn't affect the Metz in auto mode.... Or wireless P-TTL.
11-13-2012, 04:14 PM   #13
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I don't use wireless P-TTL much but when I do, the pop-up flash is set to not be part if the exposure.
11-13-2012, 04:21 PM   #14
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One more thing (kinda fired up). Manual flash is without a doubt the way to go in a controlled environment. Having said that, auto flash exposure (P-TTL) is valuable for event photography when u need to create your own light and don't have time to fiddle with flash power settings.
11-13-2012, 04:37 PM   #15
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The K5 is fine in the studio when using my big monoblocks because you are obviously in full manual, What camera is not good that way lol. If I have a job that involves flash outside the studio I use the Nikon. The pentax is just blatently unreliable and is without question flawed. If I did not have the Nikon I would have to use an auto flash, which would solve the problem. The 180th sec sync speed is the least of the problems lol. HSS cures that.
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