Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
08-14-2014, 07:25 AM   #1
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
mattt's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Niagara
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,818
*ist DS on board flash query

Hey folks,
I picked up an *ist DS for my boy, he's pleased as punch to have a real camera. I picked it up used off the local Kijiji and everything works great, but I am struggling with the flash.

No flash exposure is correct. In Auto Mode (green), Manual mode, Flash Exposure bias +1 etc.

Is this a problem with the *ist DS that is known (I couldnt see anything in the forums) or is there possibly a setting I'm missing. My wife indicated (as the subject) when comparing my K5 to the *ist DS that the K5 has a preflash to measure exposure while the *ist DS did not. The menu is a bit foreign to navigate, but i've considered the exposure bias, and auto ISO versus setting ISO to 200 and no difference... all under exposed by at least 2.5 stops or more.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-5 II s  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX *ist DS  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX *ist DS  Photo 
08-14-2014, 09:58 AM   #2
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Perrineville, NJ
Posts: 1,365
For external flashes, the DS will support both TTL and P-TTL modes, but with a preference for P-TTL. By "preference", I mean that if you attach an external flash that supports both TTL and P-TTL (such as the AF360FGZ first edition), the camera will default to P-TTL mode, and in fact there is no way to force it to use the TTL mode. (Except, maybe, by fitting a lens without electronic contacts.)

So that would lead me to believe the DS probably also has a preference for P-TTL mode, with the on-board flash. I could check this myself but my DS is at home, and don't want to be seen browsing through the PDF manual on my work break.

So, maybe there is something wrong with the on-board flash, such that the preflash is firing, but there is not enough stored charge to fire the main flash afterwards. And what your wife is seeing is actually just the pre-flash.

What happens when you use an external flash? I'll bet that works fine.

I guess you could try mounting an older pre-A lens, which might force the on-board flash to use TTL mode, although I'm not positive it supports that. Even if my theory is correct, I don't know if the flash would have enough power to fire a single main pop.
08-14-2014, 11:50 AM   #3
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Michigan
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,200
Hi Mattt,

The ist ds on board flash works in these modes:
DA lens: p-ttl mode and a metering pre-flash will fire.
A lens with aperture ring set to "A" : ttl mode and a pre-flash will not fire
M lens (or lens with aperture ring not set to 'A" ): the flash fires fully
and the exposure has to be controlled by manual aperture.

With AF360fgz, all flash modes on the AF360fgz menu are available
and furthermore, the AF360fgz will work in ttl mode if an M lens is fitted,
and also with a A lens with aperture ring not set to 'A"

Do you have an instruction book?
The above modes and the instruction book are a bit confusing, but refer to pages 49 , 146, and 191

I have just checked all the above on my ist ds and it is correctly exposing.
08-14-2014, 04:36 PM   #4
Site Supporter
Site Supporter
mattt's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Niagara
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 2,818
Original Poster
Thank guys.. I'm specifically asking about the on board flash which I assumed at this point is cacked out - I tried with fully charged eneloops, and brand new alkaline batteries - no dice. No sweat - we dont need to get him bogged down with a speedlight (yet).


08-14-2014, 04:48 PM - 1 Like   #5
Senior Member
kdf9511's Avatar

Join Date: May 2014
Location: Weatherford, Oklahoma
Posts: 206
What is is with boys loving the *istD series. I'm putting together an *istD kit for mine on witch the on board flash doesn't work at all. Thanks to the generosity of a fellow member here I got a Pentax AF160Sa this week and it works great on the green mode with the flash set to Program. I think it will be just fine for my boy as all he has to do is put it on and set it to program and everything else is fine.

Jon by kdf9511
08-14-2014, 08:11 PM - 1 Like   #6
Site Supporter
Site Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Perrineville, NJ
Posts: 1,365
Yeah, great camera for the kids! My daughter likes to use mine. Got to start them off young!

What I meant about trying the external flash: If that works okay, then you know your other camera settings are okay, and there's no problem with the body reading the lens contacts. That would help isolate the problem to being with the onboard flash. But if the problem persists, then maybe your lens contacts are not being read, or the aperture is not on the "A" setting when you think it is, etc.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
*ist, *ist ds, auto, board flash, camera, ds, ds on board, dslr, exposure, flash, iso, mode, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ist DS flash problem cooneym Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 5 07-13-2013 03:32 PM
Calibrating AF on an *ist DS GibbyTheMole Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 10 10-06-2012 06:41 AM
METZ 32 MZ-3 Flash on *ist DS? iht Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 2 08-01-2010 07:24 AM
Old Vivitar Flash used on the Ist* DS? mrmorrill Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 2 11-07-2007 07:57 AM
Can I use smc Pentax-A lenses on my *ist D/*ist DS? Ole Pentax DSLR and Camera Articles 3 05-18-2007 10:23 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:23 AM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]