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11-27-2008, 08:35 AM   #1
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K10D camera flash problems

I really haven't used the flash on the camera much at all so I am almost completely uneducated about it. Looking back the times I have tied to use it it didn't seem to work like I though It might.
Anyway, two things are happening that I can't figure out.
First, when I use the flash I get a completely overexposed picture. All white. ( not all the time ) This is in AV mode. So I am thinking I must be doing something wrong. Is there some way to change the settings? I have tried to set the EV compensation to - but ot no avail. I have tried to use it for macro stuff a couple times before and this is what I got so I just gave up.

Second, I just noticed that when the preflash goes off it will make a static noise sometimes. Not always. Sounds like its shorting or something. I don't recall it making that noise until this morning when I was using it. Usually before it would just makes that little beep. It just don't sound right.

I think I have a little time left on my warrenty but I wanted to ask here first because I might be doing something wrong. I don't know what that could be though.

I just bought the Metz flash and have only popped it off a couple times just to see if it worked. I wanted it for the holidays. I suppose I could just try to use this flash. But as you see though I am completely new to the strobist side and I may miss a few photos this Thanksgiving but I hope to have it figured out by Christmas.

BTW Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
I know, what am I doing on the computer today.

11-28-2008, 11:38 AM   #2
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In general, the system is supposed to be smart enough to control the flash output to give a correct exposure for the chosen aperture. I suppose maybe there are limits to far it can go, and if you've got a wide aperture, high ISO, and/or very close range subject, maybe it can't adjust enough? Also, with manual lenses (which you wouldn't normally be using in Av mode), it *always* fires full power - you'll need to stop down using trial & error or the guide number formula to get a correct exposure.

As for the noise, I hear it too, and always assumed it was normal. As far as I know, there is actually a rapid succession of bursts both for exposure and for AF assist.
11-29-2008, 08:48 AM   #3
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Thanks Marc,
I think I can figure out the exposure thing by use but the noise from the flash was a big concern. Just as long as I know its normal I'll live with it. I belive it is the af assist actually that is making the noise not the preflash. But it only made the noise when I had the flash up so I assumed it was that. I find now of couse this function only works with flash up. DUH
11-29-2008, 09:34 AM   #4
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Try P mode first with your FA lens and ISO 100 - 400. If that works the problems you saw are probably due to one or more of:
- the aperture being out of range,
- flash too close to the subject,
- ISO too high, or
- the use of a manual lens.

Bear in mind that the built-in flash is not suitable for macro - the closest distance for the flash is about 70 cm/2 feet.

11-29-2008, 02:52 PM   #5
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Thanks Ole,
I probably should have tittled this " K10d flash user problems" because I'm sure it is something I have been doing wrong. Like I said, vey little use. Come to think of it the complete white out was when I was close focusing. The noise was the big concern and Marc has answered that for me. .

BTW do you own the Metz, I ask a question about that in another thread?
11-29-2008, 03:05 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by OrenMc Quote
Thanks Ole,
I probably should have tittled this " K10d flash user problems" because I'm sure it is something I have been doing wrong. Like I said, vey little use. Come to think of it the complete white out was when I was close focusing. The noise was the big concern and Marc has answered that for me. .

BTW do you own the Metz, I ask a question about that in another thread?
No, I don't have the Metz. I have the Pentax AF360FGZ, and some older Pentax TTL flashes. For macro with the K10D I use the AF360 off camera, in wireless mode, so that I can keep it at a distance from the subject.
12-02-2008, 09:01 AM   #7
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Basically, in Av mode, the shutter speed is set by metering the ambient light only. Also, the X-sync of the built-in flash (or external flash NOT in HSS) is 1/180s, so if you need a faster shutter speed than that to NOT overexpose, you WILL overexpose unless you use a lower ISO, smaller aperture, OR use a HSS-capable external hotshoe flash. Paragraphs below are my standard cut-paste response on flash issues -

My little P-TTL "recipe"

Basically, with flash, the FLASH exposure is solely determined by flash power (actually duration, how long the bulb is actually firing for), aperture and ISO. Ambient exposure is determined by ISO, shutter speed, and aperture (just like without any flash), so the trick is balancing the two. If I'm indoors in a smallish room (such as in someone's house), I usually just forget about ambient since the flash is powerful enough to light up the entire room (hence the 1/180s below, if the flash didn't fire, I'd have a more or less black picture) Now although you're shooting MANUAL Mode, that's only for the ambient exposure (the exposure needle in the viewfinder will blink warning you about underexposure, but ignore that). The camera's P-TTL metering will determine the needed flash output for a proper exposure.

Here's something I wrote on another forum -
"Easy" recipe for great P-TTL flash shots -
1)Point flash at ceiling
2)Put camera in MANUAL mode on the mode dial
3)Set FEC to +1 on the flash head


4)Shoot RAW (this allows you to recover some highlights that might get blown as a result of #3 above)

5)Set ISO to 200 (to start)
6)Set shutter speed to 1/180s
7)Set f-stop to whatever DOF you want



Now if the flash runs out of "power" because of high ceilings, you can raise the ISO or open up the f-stop to compensate. Or you can slow down the shutter to bring more ambient light into the exposure (in addition to adjusting ISO/f-stop) If the ceiling is REALLY high (like in a church), you may need a reflector to throw some of the light forward (I use the Joe Demb Flip-it).

Quick and dirty outdoor fill flash tutorial -

Basically, if your subject is in shade and the background is bright (ie under a tree) or majorly backlit, fill flash is your friend. Think of those times when you got a properly exposed background, but the subject was almost pitch black.

Put camera into Av mode, metering will set the shutter speed to expose the overall shot (which in the situations that call for fill-flash will generally be the background) based on your selected aperture/ISO.

Make sure flash is set to HSS (in case your shutter speed go faster than 1/180s) and P-TTL. Fire away! The shutter speed/f-stop/ISO will expose the background, and the flash should output enough power to light up the foreground.

Now to control the background exposure, you use exposure compensation on the camera body (which would adjust the shutter speed), to adjust how much fill for the flash exposure, you use Flash exposure compensation. The trick is balancing the two (as it is with indoor work), and that comes with experience/experimentation.
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