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05-13-2009, 07:36 AM   #1
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K200D flash exposure problems

Hello all,

About 6 months ago my k200d started behaving strangely when using the flash: almost all photos were under- or overexposed while shooting the same pictures (same location, same settings - just completely different results). Only one in a dozen pictures actually succeed

The camera has been returned to Pentax, but they told there was nothing wrong. I have tried everything I could think of - resetting all settings, manual settings, etc - but nothing seems to help.

I have posted three example pictures at Flickr: mvdee's Photostream - one is overexposed, one is OK and one is underexposed. Direct links to the exif information:
The obvious difference between the ok and overexposed are the flash strength, but I cannot find why it is much stronger I assume it has something to do with the Flash Metering Segments, but that still does not answer the question of why

If anyone has any ideas on what to try - am I doing something terribly wrong or is Pentax wrong? Thanks!

EDIT: Sorry, I was not clear on this point: I am using the in-built flash


Last edited by valhallasw; 05-13-2009 at 08:43 AM.
05-13-2009, 08:37 AM   #2
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Sorry this probably won't help, but I've always found that P-TTL sucks. It sucked on my K100D and it sucks on my K20D. I get about 25% of my shots properly exposed, tops. It's supposed to be totally hands off but it does not work out that way. I tend to use A mode or manual mode more often than not.

From thinking more about your post, though, I think it's the built-in flash you're having trouble with. I'm not sure there is a way to change the mode of that from P-TTL.
05-13-2009, 10:15 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by valhallasw Quote
The obvious difference between the ok and overexposed are the flash strength, but I cannot find why it is much stronger I assume it has something to do with the Flash Metering Segments, but that still does not answer the question of why
Do you have the option set to allow you to shoot before the flash has fully recharged? And do you think it's possible that this is what happened on the underexposed shot? (BTW, it's also a different shutter speed and focal length than the other two).

Not sure what happened the overexposed shot, but I'd observe that setting ISO 1600 and shooting at point blank range like that is going to be tough for the flash system to control - it's going to have to hold back an awful lot, with little room for error. My guess is you'd get more consistent results at lower ISO settings.

I also wonder why you're using spot metering. That's pretty much *guaranteed* to give results that are all over the map unless you are very careful to point only at subjects that are exactly 18% gray in value. Without flash, spot metering can be useful in conjunction with the AE-L button to set an exposure off a neutral subject and then reframe and shoot, but you can't really do that in conjucntion with flash, since the flash metering will still be based on what you're pointing at when you hit the shutter.

So, my advice: make sure option to allow you to shoot while the flash is charging is turned off, lower ISO, and switch to a more sensible metering mode for the application (multisegment or center-weighted), and see if things don't improve.

BTW, the values under "Flash metering segments" seem very different, and I wonder about all those n/a's in the bad shots. But I don't know how to interpret these numbers.
05-13-2009, 10:24 AM   #4
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I have had similar problems but not that often....I have changed setting in my custom menu to say "exposure and focal length" to "off", I dont remember the exact words...that sometimes would help...But I make sure to lock focus and exposure.

05-13-2009, 05:43 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
BTW, the values under "Flash metering segments" seem very different, and I wonder about all those n/a's in the bad shots. But I don't know how to interpret these numbers.
I don't think flickr is interpreting them in a usable maner. Those values are nonsensical.
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