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02-15-2009, 10:43 PM   #1
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wireless flash saga

it seems that there is always a some wireless flash issue that comes up with Pentax cameras. Here is my latest

The shot...

So I got a new custom shaped board and figured I'd take a picture of it before it got destroyed. I placed a black cloth on the floor in a dark room and figured I'd use the pop-up plus my 360 FGZ to light the shot. I could have just mounted the flash and pointed the flash at the wall for bounce but its good to practice other techniques so I decided on trying this. So here was my list of problems as I tried to set up the shot.

1. When mounted on-camera in MASTER the flash can meter TTL with EV compensation at 0.5 increments but in SLAVE mode off camera it will only fire in A or M mode. In A mode there is no EV compensation and it appears to do TTL metering based on some magical formula being calculated inside the camera. In A mode it was not possible to boost the power in the flash to anywhere near useful.
2. When the flash was set to Manual it would not sync at full power. It also would not sync at 1/2 or 1/4 power. It was not until I hit 1/8 power that the flash would sync with the camera. So I was able to set the exposure of the camera manually until the 1/8 power of the flash was the appropriate power level.
3. This flash will not sync with my ebay triggers past 1/30 sec. This is something that has come up on this forum before but it still bugs me and I don't know why it is. I can shoot my Canon 580 flash off my Pentax body at 1/180 but I can't shoot my Pentax flash beyond 1/30. Go figure...

02-16-2009, 02:25 AM   #2
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Hi. I had similar problems (to points 1 and 2 above) until I realised that my flash was set on the wrong wireless slave mode. For a K10D, K20D or K200D (which I assume you're using, wireless won't work with the popup flash on a K100D etc (and I can't remember about the *ist family)), it needs to be on mode 1.

1. Slide the setting switch up (on the right edge of the flash).
2. Press the LIGHT button for 2 seconds or more. SLAVE 1 should be displayed.
3. If SLAVE 2 is displayed, press the S button to change it to SLAVE 1.
4. Press the LIGHT button to end the setting.

The flash wont sync. at full, 1/2 or 1/4 power because te slave is being triggered by the pre-flash from the pop-up flash on the camera. At lower powers, the slave can recycle quickly enough to fire on the 'real' flash, but at high powers it's still recylcling.

I'm not sure about the ebay triggers - I've never used any. I wonder if you have your flash set to 2nd curtain sync. If so, try putting it on 1st curtain.

I hope this works.

Last edited by marnold; 02-16-2009 at 02:26 AM. Reason: Typo
02-16-2009, 05:32 AM   #3
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What he said about the channel. That will then give you P-TTL, A, and M when used as a wireless slave.
02-16-2009, 07:27 AM   #4
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Someone on here named Laurel wanted help in her wireless settings, so I made her this page to walk her through:


Feel free to check it out.

02-16-2009, 07:37 AM   #5
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FireMate that is a pretty cool link. Nice job
02-16-2009, 08:00 AM   #6
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Welcome to the club..

If you do decide to get serious with this stuff you should probably consider the flashwaves kit ( ) or the widely anticipated new cactus V4s which promise better build and improved functionality ( ). They offer wireless triggering with no preflashes, increased range and manual modes available.

I think im going for the flashwaves for build quality... good luck whatever you do!

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