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06-06-2016, 05:09 AM   #1
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Use of Manual mode Vivitar 283 Flash vs PTTL Metz 50 AF-1 with the Pentax K-S2

With my Pentax K-x I used most of the time the Metz 50 AF-1 flash when an external flash was needed. Often the PTTL mode worked fine with that camera. Although sometimes the PTTL could not handle the situation.

I also have a Vivitar 283 Flash since my analog Minolta MD 7 days.

Now when using my new Pentax K-S2 camera in the PTTL mode i had mixed experiences. Sometimes when I made 2 pics in the same light situation, One was not equal to the other. Same settings but different results.

So I tried to use the good old Vivitar 283 Flash in full manual mode. And as I expected, al pics are fine. The same as in the old analog days without PTTL.

Question is for me: Is the PTTL implemented the same in the K-x as in the K-S2 ? Or is a firmware update for the Metz needed? ( There has been released no update since a few years and since Metz is in other hands !!).

How are the experiences of the other Pentax users on this matter ?

What advice ??

06-06-2016, 05:30 AM   #2
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What lens were you using with the K-S2? It's just that you need an autofocus lens for P-TTL. Also, check to be sure that auto-ISO is not activated as this varying seems to lead to inconsistencies.

If those two aspects are ok then yes, you'd expect the same flash exposure between shots in the same light. Be aware that when zooming in on a subject , like a person, and isolating them from the surrounds, that this will generally require a plus flash compensation setting .... Conversely, zooming out and including a lot of space around a subject will generally need minus compensations.
06-06-2016, 05:36 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mcgregni Quote
What lens were you using with the K-S2? It's just that you need an autofocus lens for P-TTL. Also, check to be sure that auto-ISO is not activated as this varying seems to lead to inconsistencies.

If those two aspects are ok then yes, you'd expect the same flash exposure between shots in the same light. Be aware that when zooming in on a subject , like a person, and isolating them from the surrounds, that this will generally require a plus flash compensation setting .... Conversely, zooming out and including a lot of space around a subject will generally need minus compensations.
I am not aware of a change in user settings, I mean I was used to my K-x and it worked oke, as far as I remember. When using the new K-S2 I noticed the different results. May be I also had those varying results earlier, but I did not notice it.
06-06-2016, 08:32 AM   #4
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Watch out for trigger voltage

When charged, some old flashes, like the Vivitar 283, can present several hundred volts across the sync terminals. This can fry the electronics within the camera.

Your Minolta had a mechanical switch that triggered the flash. Modern cameras have electronic switches, which can be damaged by high voltage. A P-TTL flash has a trigger voltage of five volts or so.

You can measure the voltage by using a digital multimeter. If the voltage is less than 20-25 volts you should be okay. If its above that, I wouldn't risk it.

If you find the voltage is high, you can protect your camera by using a Wein "Safe Sync" adapter that has an optical coupler that shows only a few volts to the camera.

Note that the 283 was made for many years. One 283 may be safe, while the next one is not.

06-06-2016, 10:33 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
One 283 may be safe, while the next one is not.
I own two 283s, one bought in the 70s and one bought recently. The old one has a trigger voltage of over 300 volts; the newer one is 8 volts. They are physically, cosmetically, and operationally identical.
06-06-2016, 12:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by noblepa Quote
When charged, some old flashes, like the Vivitar 283, can present several hundred volts across the sync terminals. This can fry the electronics within the camera.

Your Minolta had a mechanical switch that triggered the flash. Modern cameras have electronic switches, which can be damaged by high voltage. A P-TTL flash has a trigger voltage of five volts or so.

You can measure the voltage by using a digital multimeter. If the voltage is less than 20-25 volts you should be okay. If its above that, I wouldn't risk it.

If you find the voltage is high, you can protect your camera by using a Wein "Safe Sync" adapter that has an optical coupler that shows only a few volts to the camera.

Note that the 283 was made for many years. One 283 may be safe, while the next one is not.
I measured my Vivitar already when I used my K-x. Its trigger voltage is about 6.3 V. So it was safe to use for the K-x and also for the K-S2.
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