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03-26-2008, 10:55 AM   #1
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Sigma flash P-TTL wireless reliability

Hi all,

I just wanna ask is this flash (500/530 super) easily triggered by onboard flash (K10D/K20D/istD*)or by 360/540 in P-TTL wireless? Did it ever let you down in bright day or in kinda far away location? How's the reliability compared to Pentax 360/540?

I asked this question becoz my Met58 sometimes (or should I say a lot?) can't be triggered wirelessly in P-TTL by 360FGZ. But in opposite condition, my 360FGZ will always be triggered by met58 no matter how and where my position.

After small investigation, the problem is caused by location of the thrystor. In 360/540, the thrystor is located directly at surface of the body. While in Metz58, it deeply inside the body, about 15mm. So this is the reason why metz58 is not sensitive enough to be triggered wirelessly.

My plan is to subtitute my 360FGZ to higher GN but at cheaper price. So it would be the Sigma (500/530 super).

This is the only cons i hate my metz 58. Other than that, I like it very much. One Metz feature that I like is their (smart) A mode, where the flash reads the ISO, aperture, and FL from the camera and sets up its auto thyristor mode automatically. The zoom head also changed in order to follow the FL of the lens. I do not find this feature on Pentax flash. I always set the metz to A mode and never had UE problem anymore, even when the flash head is bounced. Another feature of Metz i like is "Extended Zoom" capability. When the flash head should be at 50mm position, it will step toward to 35mm so the illumination is smoother. When it should be at 105mm, it will step to 85mm for smoother illumination.

kyrios


Last edited by kyrios; 03-26-2008 at 12:54 PM.
03-26-2008, 10:59 AM   #2
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Did you see the small hole in this picture? That's the thrystor located is.

03-26-2008, 11:22 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by kyrios Quote
While in Metz58, it deeply inside the body, about 15mm.
try to put a piece of fiberoptic in that hole... may be it will work ?
03-28-2008, 08:26 AM   #4
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Sigma 500

Hi,

I recently purchased the Sigma 500 Super. Wireless P-TTL, the results are not consistent at all. Some times I have over exposed pictures and many are under exposed. I fail to see the reason. When I used this flash on the hotshoe of the Camera, I got ok results. I am not very sure if I have to follow any particular procedures to enable consistency in P-TTL mode. The user manual is not very helpful either. Hope any fellow member who uses 500 Super can guide us.

Metz AF48 was very highly recommended by another forum mate in DPS, and also the 58 P/S. (P/S means Pentax / Samsung), I heard the Metz 58 without P/S mentioned in the model name will not work with Pentax.

Thanks,
Kris

03-28-2008, 01:03 PM   #5
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What did you mean by the result is not consistent? I always get consistent result. If you use Control flash, ensure do not bounce the slave flash. It will reduce the proper light blasted by the flash at some lost. Especially when ceiling is high or not white.
rather than bounced, just place the slave as far away from object and point the flash head directly.
If you use the onboard flash/360/540 as Master, there should be one flash is pointed to the object. Another flash (master or slave) may be bounced to the ceiling/wall.

OK, I'm amazed by the wireless P-TTL protocol. When i use metz58 as Control and the slave (360FGZ) is only 3 ft away from object, it will blast small power to the object. Funny, how did it know that it close enough to the object so it will only blast small portion of power?
Last test, i change the direction of slave flash to opposite. So it currently it was in backward position from the object. What amaze me is the slave flash made its best attemp to illuminate the object by blasting a lot power its has (i think at full power), even the distance is only 3ft from the object. Just amazing!

Kyrios
03-28-2008, 02:56 PM   #6
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photomad_2007: I've got a Sigma EF500 DG Super. Bought new in January it didn't have the firmware/chip upgrade needed to synch up in wireless mode. Prior to the fix, it would fire during the P-TTL prefire before exposure, so wouldn't contribute to the exposure at all. So it was consistent in offering no help on the flash. Is it possible your camera flash was giving the inconsistent lighting/underexposure, and the Sigma was simply not synching at all? In that case, you probably need the same upgrade I did, and many other users on this forum have reported.

Otherwise, I dunno. I've had great results since getting my flash back from the upgrade. But I agree that the guide book is TERRIBLE. Possibly you have a setting issue?

My Sigma, set to slave mode, looks like this:
View Picture EXIF
Name:  Sigma Slave.jpg
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Size:  44.1 KB
Note the "SL" for slave mode, and the TTL upper left for auto exposure. And obviously the master flash (for me, always just the camera's built-in flash) set to wireless mode.

For what it's worth, I have my camera set to use the built-in flash to trigger the slave but NOT to expose the photo (option in custom settings). It might be harder to figure what flash is over/under exposing if both are contributing to the exposure.

And of course, different auto exposure settings will control aperture and ISO in different ways, which could exceed the Sigma's highest or lowest power output capacities, resulting in over/under exposure...

Hope that helps!

kyrios: yeah, the "magic" of TTL is pretty cool! I gather the trick to the "psychic" adjustments for distance and facing is that in the pre-exposure prefire, exposure information is exchanged BOTH ways, by not only the master pre-firing to synch the slave in time, but the slave pre-firing to demonstrate how much illumination it's casting on the subject, so that the master can then use camera exposure info to judge how strong a flash is needed and communicate this back to the slave, coded into a further pre-fire flash sensed by the slave. Pretty sneaky.

Oh, PHOTOMAD_2007: That reminds me, since wireless flash depends on the light of master and slave exchanged through prefire flashes, the ability of the slave and master to "see" each other's light is important. Too much extraneous light, too much distance between master and slave, and too obscured fields of view may lead to failures in wireless mode. Though again, I'd think that would more likely lead to a failure of the slave to fire at all (or to synch to the time of exposure) rather than to expose the wrong amount. But it's another thing that might be going wrong for you.

Last edited by David Whiteley; 03-28-2008 at 03:03 PM.
03-28-2008, 03:20 PM   #7
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Yeach.. When you wanna use slave flash, buy 360 or 540 without doubt. The reliability is it can be counted anytime, anywhere, and anyhow. Do not use Metz flash as slave. Use it as master/Control/ or attached on hotshoe.

The A mode of Metz is simply amazing. I did a wall test shot with flash and the metz58 gave me result with curve is precisely located at center. When i tried using P-TTL, the result was curve is located at left which is UE (seems 1/3 or 1/2 stop).

The next test i did was bouncing the flash to ceiling. The A mode still made the curve precisely at center while P-TTL mode made the curve more UE.

Kyrios
03-29-2008, 10:11 AM   #8
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Thanks Friends

Thanks for your guidance.


Now I know the problem. I bought the flash in Feb and I am sure it does not have the firmware update.

How can I update the flash, please let me know. Can it be done by me DIY or should I have to take it to a dealer.

Thanks for your interest in trying to sort out this issue.

Best Regards,
Kris

03-29-2008, 10:14 AM   #9
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Thank you very much. How is the update done on the flash. Please let me know.
Thanks,
Kris
03-29-2008, 12:51 PM   #10
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Bring back to your local Sigma dealer. I think it need rechipped, not firmware update.

kyrios
03-29-2008, 01:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by kyrios Quote
Bring back to your local Sigma dealer. I think it need rechipped, not firmware update.

kyrios
Whatever the terminology (my Gentec service receipt says "reprogrammed", others on this forum have variously referred to it as "firmware update" or "rechipping") the flash has to go in for service. This is not an upgrade/update/change that you can do yourself.

In Canada, at least, the upgrade is free (done by Canadian distributor Gentec). All I paid for was shipping to them. No charge for the upgrade and no charge to send it back to me. Not sure exactly how it'll work where you are, but your dealer will know.
03-30-2008, 02:34 AM   #12
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Thanks Friends

Thank you very much. I will send the flash for re-chipment and also re-shipment back to me, as the local dealer will have to send this to the factory. ( u.a.e does not have a Sigma service centre)
Thanks again,
Kris
06-16-2008, 10:25 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by photomad_2007 Quote
Thank you very much. I will send the flash for re-chipment and also re-shipment back to me, as the local dealer will have to send this to the factory. ( u.a.e does not have a Sigma service centre)
Thanks again,
Kris
Hey Kris, did you ever send that flash to Pentax? I think I might have the same problem and doubt I'll get much help here in Australia.
11-19-2008, 08:29 AM   #14
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If the original question is still actual (probably not for the kyrios, but maybe for someone else):
I can confirm that Sigma 530Super works great as wireless PTTL slave.
It fires every time and gives good results, even if it is "converted to home-made softbox" like that (using paper bouncer + ordinary shopping bag):

I am triggering it with Pentax 540FGZ as master or control from K100Ds.
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