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07-03-2015, 11:37 AM   #1
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Pentax - Please unlock the sync speed

As many of you know, if you choose a shutter speed above 1/180s on a Pentax DSLR, the camera will disable the hot shoe triggering.

This has 2 bad effects:
1. This makes it more difficult to trouble-shoot flash fail to operate. On a couple occasions, i could not get the flash to fire - causing me to suspect batteries and other causes, and after much effort, discovered that it was sync speed too high. Other cameras aren't made that way. My Nex cameras have a sync speed of 1/160s. I have increased shutter speed up to 1/300s to see what kind of flash image i got. That was sort of the limit as strange exposures got more severe.

2.
QuoteQuote:
Class A: In general, unfortunately, Pentax decided to disable hot-shoe triggering once the shutter speed exceeds the sync speed. Hence, you can no longer use any non-P-TTL equipment, unless you use the HSS workaround technique I described earlier.
Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...#ixzz3er380CwA

It would really be nice to have higher sync speeds, but if thats difficult, couldn't the firmware be modified to not disable the hot shoe at speeds about 1/180s ???

07-03-2015, 12:06 PM   #2
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Amen, brother!
Same issue with flashes... some time I left it in optical triggering mode and it wouldn't budge, then I put it back in M mode and forgot that I was above max synch speed, and still was puzzled.
Shooting one picture at 1/250 or upwards would have allowed me to troubleshoot my lack of... memory... instantaneously, instead of fidgeting with the flash contacts and shooting test shots for a good 10'...
07-03-2015, 12:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
As many of you know, if you choose a shutter speed above 1/180s on a Pentax DSLR, the camera will disable the hot shoe triggering.

That is Pentax seeking to save us from ourselves and to keep the volume of calls to their support staff to a minimum. I agree that this behavior is retrograde and silly, at least for M mode on their advanced bodies. It would seem like something that could be addressed as a custom setting or exposed (shiver), in debug mode.

Being that prevailing opinion is that Ricoh does not actively monitor posts to this site, have you made this suggestion on the official Ricoh/Pentax "Engagement Forum"?

Home - RIAC Community

With any luck such a feature might make it into the long-overdue revamp of the Pentax flash support.


Steve
07-03-2015, 12:39 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
As many of you know, if you choose a shutter speed above 1/180s on a Pentax DSLR, the camera will disable the hot shoe triggering.

This has 2 bad effects:
1. This makes it more difficult to trouble-shoot flash fail to operate. On a couple occasions, i could not get the flash to fire - causing me to suspect batteries and other causes, and after much effort, discovered that it was sync speed too high. Other cameras aren't made that way. My Nex cameras have a sync speed of 1/160s. I have increased shutter speed up to 1/300s to see what kind of flash image i got. That was sort of the limit as strange exposures got more severe.

2.

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/125-flashes-lighting-studio/258624-cactus...#ixzz3er380CwA

It would really be nice to have higher sync speeds, but if thats difficult, couldn't the firmware be modified to not disable the hot shoe at speeds about 1/180s ???

Yes have a means to disable this.. plus just increase the sync speed .. 250th or shorter!

07-03-2015, 02:53 PM   #5
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Actually Pentax isn't the only company that disables features that aren't applicable.

At least on my older Nex, they gray out any camera options that don't apply for some reason. Really hard to figure out at times.

Adobe, in Elements and Photoshop will gray out all the "filters" and not even show you whats available, if the available loaded picture isn't 8 bit. There's benefits to having 16 bit files for some operations, like resizing so i normally load files that way. No where does the program itself tell you what the problems - cost me weeks of time to eventually figure it out.
07-03-2015, 11:27 PM   #6
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Surely if a flash set up studio or on board does not work when it should there are only a couple of things to remember to check, sync speed, is something not switched on, is the trigger or flash fully home in the hots shoe,( the last is a favorites student mistake .)
Its not much to remember, and changing it to highr speed , (not possible due to current shutter design,) or allowing you to use a high shutter speed and then getting black lines would cause just as much confusion and rubbish images.
At least now it saves you from that.
07-04-2015, 05:20 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I find it amusing that some I presume research the product they are buying, research what it's specifications are, research it's good points and comparative negatives vs other products, buy the product then beseech the manufacturer to change to something they want differently found in other products that have the feature(s) they want and could have bought in the first place. It is a known given Pentax cameras, as mentioned due to their shutter designs, have always had no greater than a 1/180 flash shutter limitation, ever. If they really wanted to produce a higher shutter speed sync I am pretty sure in their over 50 years of Slr/dslr manufacturing history they would have by now. I also am pretty certain if they didn't have the feature that stops one from taking a photo beyond that, unless using HSS, then we would have who knows how many threads on Pentax's lack of prevention for photos taken with the out of sync black lines, which I image is one of the reasons why it is included in the first place.
07-04-2015, 08:49 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
It is a known given Pentax cameras, as mentioned due to their shutter designs, have always had no greater than a 1/180 flash shutter limitation, ever. If they really wanted to produce a higher shutter speed sync I am pretty sure in their over 50 years of Slr/dslr manufacturing history they would have by now.
During most of Pentax's existence - they produced film cameras. Using your logic, Pentax should go back to making film cameras, maybe that would sell more.

Ricoh has shown an inclination with Pentax to incrementally improve the brand. Thats wonderful IMO.

Sony's mirrorless started out with the Nex models and had a synch speed of 1/160s. When they introduced the A7 series - they bumped up the sync speed to 1/250s. Yet these are still the most inexpensive FF cameras one can buy. I don't think Pentax's mechanical shutters are inexpensive considering the high frame rates they are capable of shooting at and how quiet they are.

So i don't think changing the sync speed is such an insurmountable task.

I was shooting some promo shots inside a museum a few weeks ago. Needed the sync speed to overcome the outside sunlight that was filtering in. The 1/180s was enough to do the trick, but i could then understand what others have said about increased sync speeds.

Wedding and portrait photographers are probably the biggest professional niche out there. Changing the sync speed would probably make them happier. Why not do it??????????????? What are you afraid of - success???

07-04-2015, 09:00 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
What are you afraid of - success???
Gee I guess in your opinion anyone using a sync speed less than 1/250 sync isn't or can't be successful. Some people actually learn to be successful working within the limitations of their equipment, others complain.

Last edited by Oldbayrunner; 07-04-2015 at 11:19 AM.
07-04-2015, 09:18 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
It would really be nice to have higher sync speeds, but if thats difficult, couldn't the firmware be modified to not disable the hot shoe at speeds about 1/180s ???
QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
I was shooting some promo shots inside a museum a few weeks ago. Needed the sync speed to overcome the outside sunlight that was filtering in. The 1/180s was enough to do the trick, but i could then understand what others have said about increased sync speeds.
I agree with you wholeheartedly it would be nice if Ricoh did not disable the hot shoe at shutter speeds above max sync speed. However, 1/180 is only a 1/2 stop slower than 1/250. You can easily make up that difference with a variable ND filter, as long as you have sufficient flash power.
07-05-2015, 05:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
.

Sony's mirrorless started out with the Nex models and had a synch speed of 1/160s. When they introduced the A7 series - they bumped up the sync speed to 1/250s.
The A7 and A7S have 1/250, the A7R still 1/160s.
07-05-2015, 05:52 AM   #12
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I've been saying this for years. Make it a menu option so we're protected from ourselves by default but just send the darn 'fire' signal to the hot shoe.. This isn't exactly asking the world and is less demanding than wanting to raise the bar on a reliable sync speed (which would also be nice of course).
07-05-2015, 10:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by MPrince Quote
I agree with you wholeheartedly it would be nice if Ricoh did not disable the hot shoe at shutter speeds above max sync speed. However, 1/180 is only a 1/2 stop slower than 1/250. You can easily make up that difference with a variable ND filter, as long as you have sufficient flash power.
Thanks for the tip. One can also crank down the aperture. As far as I know, Pentax is the only major mfr that disables the hot shoe. It was an eye opener when I could crank my old nex6 beyond its specified sync speed. And nothing broke

QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
The A7 and A7S have 1/250, the A7R still 1/160s.
Thanks - didn't know that. Strange that A7r still have the longer sync speed.

QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
I've been saying this for years. Make it a menu option so we're protected from ourselves by default but just send the darn 'fire' signal to the hot shoe.. This isn't exactly asking the world and is less demanding than wanting to raise the bar on a reliable sync speed (which would also be nice of course).
Bingo - If its not that big of deal - why not make it easier on the shooter???

And to mitigate the cost of unlocking the sync speed - i recommend that Pentax throw out the LCD screen on the shoulder of DSLRs. Someone pointed out the other day - with the advent of tilting LCD screens, there really is no particular need to have the shoulder screen anymore. Saves money, weight and power.

I'm having a real good day today. The neighbor didn't manage to burn my house down last night with his crazy fireworks - major rockets with stuff raining down on my trees. And Friday - i interviewed with, and got accepted by a really nice gallery in my area. Because its a co-op, there were 5 artists that sat in for the interview. Feels incredible to get that kind of validation.

Last edited by philbaum; 07-05-2015 at 10:16 AM.
07-05-2015, 12:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by philbaum Quote
And to mitigate the cost of unlocking the sync speed - i recommend that Pentax throw out the LCD screen on the shoulder of DSLRs. Someone pointed out the other day - with the advent of tilting LCD screens, there really is no particular need to have the shoulder screen anymore. Saves money, weight and power..
Please no, don't do that. I use it all the time. It was a little sad for me when they dropped it from the 'intro dslr' line, but it was still in the more advanced models so it made my upgrade path pretty clear and I had no huge complaints about that.
07-05-2015, 01:19 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BrianR Quote
Please no, don't do that. I use it all the time. It was a little sad for me when they dropped it from the 'intro dslr' line, but it was still in the more advanced models so it made my upgrade path pretty clear and I had no huge complaints about that.
I haven't really used it that much - So in what situations do you use it??
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