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07-02-2009, 07:11 PM   #61
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I'm a k10d user that also wishes for a higher sync speed. However, wireless HSS with a couple 540s usually does the trick for me, but occasionally when I need more juice out of the flash, or if i need the distance that wireless triggers give me along with high shutters, I'll just through the transmitter on my Ricoh gx100 and problem solved, syncs up to 1/800 with my cactus v4s.

So i'd suggest you throw a gx100, gx200, or a canon g9 or g10 in your camera bag and then you'll be covered in those situations where you need higher shutter speeds with flashes, but you won't have to buy into a whole new system.

-t

07-02-2009, 07:41 PM   #62
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Side Note

Unless I'm mistaken, it would be possible to produce the same effect the OP demonstrated with a video link with any camera brand, an ND filter, and a couple of pieces of cardboard to blank out part of your flash's beam....
07-05-2009, 04:58 PM   #63
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This is a rant, ya got me there. A good rant can be invaluable when it's called for and this one is. It's not just trailing curtain that's trailing in the Pentax system, it's flash support in general, and as far as I can tell, there's no good reason for it.

Cost can't be the issue, it has to simply be a lack of will and that will can and should be changed. Pentax doesn't have to re-invent the wheel here. If they can't afford to engineer a more modern flash system themselves they can just steal the "flashy" wheels off of any number of bodies the competition left on the side of the road years ago. Everything I'm asking for is basic stuff that has been integrated into budget DSLR's for a long time.

Imagine if Canon or Nikon tried to introduce a new high end camera with the limitations of the Pentax flash system we are still plagued with on the K-7 (1/180 sync, 1/90 trailing curtain, dead hot shoe above sync speed which among other things makes it impossible for manufacturers like Pocket Wizard and Radio Popper to fully support them even if they wanted to, etc.). They would hear a lot of rants!

The Pentax flash system lacks, and it needs to grow, but it probably won't unless the photographers who use the system let them know where they want to see improvements.

All I can figure is that Pentax hasn't had enough feedback to see the need to bring their flash system current, because they certainly have capable enough engineers and none of these things are budget breakers to match the competition on. The competition beats most of the K-7's basic flash support on their budget DSLR's.

Pentax does a lot of things right and they do it at a bargain price. Flash support is not one of them. Several people have commented to the effect that, "it's just not going to happen with Pentax." I don't buy it. The K-7 incorporates a lot of , "not going to happen with Pentax" improvements. It just took a few rants and a little Pentax will to get there.

Changing systems is not all that difficult but I didn't start this thread to justify such a decision, even if it comes to that. I think I share a common desire with many Pentax rant posters who decided to try to help change Pentax's will rather than their lens mount. Nikon has plenty of customers. In my case, I would rather see them end up with a more formidable competitor.
07-05-2009, 05:28 PM   #64
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QuoteOriginally posted by cpopham Quote
Side Note

Unless I'm mistaken, it would be possible to produce the same effect the OP demonstrated with a video link with any camera brand, an ND filter, and a couple of pieces of cardboard to blank out part of your flash's beam....
Unless I'm mistaken, you are mistaken, unless of course your flash is kicking a few more watt seconds than mine to overpower the ND filter. Photoshop on the other hand... it can definitely be done in Photoshop. It can also be done with just about any current DSLR from either Canon or Nikon, no ND filter, cardboard, studio strobe or photoshop required.

07-05-2009, 10:18 PM   #65
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
Again, I don't need rear sync above 1/90, I need to not have to dig into a menu and change it several times during an event.
How about saving your shooting mode to USER and shooting from there until you need a faster shutter and simply switch to X mode? It is only one twist away from USER mode and can be switched by feel.

Thank you
Russell
07-06-2009, 05:01 AM   #66
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QuoteOriginally posted by Russell-Evans Quote
How about saving your shooting mode to USER and shooting from there until you need a faster shutter and simply switch to X mode? It is only one twist away from USER mode and can be switched by feel.

Thank you
Russell
Hey, not a bad idea. It's not quite as intuitive as the front and rear dials but that might be a reasonable work around for this particular situation. Thanks for the idea.

On a side note, I just read Rice High's latest list of all the reasons not to buy a K-7 and I've got to say I'm really feeling left out in left field now. Even he doesn't mention most of my ongoing frustrations with the Pentax flash system, and ya know, he wouldn't have missed the opportunity if it had occurred to him.

Maybe I am the only one...
07-06-2009, 05:42 AM   #67
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
Hey, not a bad idea. It's not quite as intuitive as the front and rear dials but that might be a reasonable work around for this particular situation. Thanks for the idea.
Oops thats what i was trying to say earlier
07-06-2009, 07:41 AM   #68
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QuoteOriginally posted by writeswithlightphoto Quote
my advice?

stop using a pentax

i switched from my nikon to a k10d and am very happy with it so far, the 1/180 sync thing can be annoying on very fast moving objects, but for the most part, works fine for me

i agree..if you are not happy with your equipment what's the point in using it?
i use pentax , probably thi year i'l add nikon d3 or d700 for pj and con cert photos and most of all to use pocket wizard the new model. Every system is better for some kind of photography. pentax for me is the best for street and travel photography and i'll use it for those fields.
by the way if you want to underexpose the sky in that way and you have the 1/180 and you want to keep using pentax u need a porwerful flash. Elinchrom has made
a new portable flash that seem a joy to use and has 400 watt. wih this flash you can produce far better results thant the one you have published. It costs 1500 euro the double kit, expensive but probabl less than changing system.

07-06-2009, 11:22 AM   #69
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QuoteOriginally posted by bentax Quote
Oops thats what i was trying to say earlier
I see that now, thank you as well.
07-06-2009, 01:54 PM   #70
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
The 50D and a the D300 both fire their flash in rear curtain sync at their regular front curtain sync speed and you can freely exceed that speed and still get an uneven flash exposure if you want to, and by George, I want to . I don't know if they just auto switch to front curtain above a certain speed or what but the flash fires and nobody has to access a menu and change a setting to make it happen.

I've read on the blogs of several of the top professionals in both brands that they recommend setting the flash to rear curtain and leaving it there. Not a recommendation I can follow as a Pentax shooter.
No, that because Pentax doesnt work the same way.

Sync mode is set on camera with Nikon/Canon bodies and flashes. Thats why its not supported on the Sigma flash either. Most Nikon and Canon bodies have a default "Auto HS" feature which automatically switches to HS mode if you exceed the sync speed.

Hence you can indeed set the camera to Rear Sync, and leave it there, but only because it will automatically switch to HS. So the pros advice is correct - if you use a Nikon or Canon in auto HS mode.

With Pentax, if you use a Pentax flash you can set sync mode ON THE FLASH. This makes is much easier to change (one slider click) and if you set it to HSS, it will automatically revert to normal sync when you drop the speed below 1/180. So the advice is simply different, but the effect is the same. If you really want trailing curtain, its a single click away.

With a dedicated flash, you would have the SAME RESTRICTION with any system. The camera will sense the flash type and switch it accordingly at the appropriate speed. (I believe this is indeed HALF the speed for rear sync for reasons explained above on any system).

However in your friends video, he used a non-dedicated Quantaray flash and a wireless transmitter. The camera cannot communicate with the flash (one pin) so does not know its restricted. However because Auto HS is set on the camera, you can set the shutter speed as high as you like with a radio trigger - the camera will probably assume its in HSS mode and simply fire anyway, triggering the radio transmitter. However it will fire once in Leading Sync mode because there are no pins to detect the trailing curtain or HS command.

This would be really annoying in a studio with no ambient. Thankyou Pentax.

On the K7 HSS is not supported on camera, so the hotshoe is cold above 1/180. Might work on an *istD though.

As for the 40D, this is pure luck I would say. A happy list of circumstances rather than a design feature, and it does not work on Pentax and I have no idea if it works on any other Canon or even a Nikon. You'd have to ask.

I really cannot get excited about that. For a wedding I simply set the flash to HSS and let it do its stuff. Besides, if you DO have HSS mode (the Quantaray does not) you dont really NEED to do this, at least not in the circumstances described in the video. A second HSS flash will do pretty well too placed near the model. You will get very similar effects with wide angle lenses.

Nor quite frankly would I ever use Trailing Curtain sync flash to freeze motion. Slow sync modes never were for freezing motion.

If I want to freeze motion and its very bright, the ambient will be so strong the flash will have limited effect and you may as well use a fast shutter and HSS to provide fill. If its very dark, the flash will freeze it even if the shutter speed is quite low.

1/180 is hardly a serious restriction if the only other option is 1/250. You should also commiserate with Canon 5D users (and mk2) who are limited to 1/200.

Pentax dont work quite the same way as Nikon or Canon (nor do Sony or Oly BTW) so instead of slavishly following pro advice aimed at the wrong camera, you will just have to work it out for yourself.
07-06-2009, 03:17 PM   #71
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That was a great explanation isteve, and I appreciate you taking the time to sort that out for me. You make a lot of sense, the HSS in body is the trick for the Canon and Nikons. I was under the impression that they just unlocked the hot shoe in regular mode but now I'm beginning to see how the HSS signal is being used to trigger non-HSS devices like the Quantum and other studio strobes. The Radio Poppers and Pocket wizards are being tricked into firing those lights above the sync speed before the first curtain is even fully open. Those strobes effectively become a continuous light source at sync speeds faster than their T.1 times, which opens a ton of options for high shutter speeds with flash.

Now you have me thinking, hoping even. Since the HSS in the Pentax system is flash dependent, not body dependent, a radio trigger could be designed that would fool the Pentax system into thinking it had an HSS flash attached unlocking the hot shoe above synch speed and pulling the same stunt with high speed studio strobes that the Canon and Nikon crowds get to play with. I withdraw my point that Radio Popper and Pocket Wizard could not fully support the Pentax system even if they wanted to. It would probably be a lot more expensive for them to include the HSS circuitry but they could do it if they wanted to. I hope some day they will because tripping studio strobes at 1/2000 without a hint of curtains in the image is just something I'm going to have to find a way to do.

Your last point is also quite true and I've got to admit I kind of had that coming. I'm always experimenting so I have, and I will continue to find a way to get the shots I want. I've been leaving HSS enabled the last couple of days and figuring out how to make it work the way I want it to and to be honest it's winning me over. It's become my new go-to setting to leave the flash in.
07-06-2009, 04:48 PM   #72
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
That was a great explanation isteve, and I appreciate you taking the time to sort that out for me. You make a lot of sense, the HSS in body is the trick for the Canon and Nikons. I was under the impression that they just unlocked the hot shoe in regular mode but now I'm beginning to see how the HSS signal is being used to trigger non-HSS devices like the Quantum and other studio strobes. The Radio Poppers and Pocket wizards are being tricked into firing those lights above the sync speed before the first curtain is even fully open. Those strobes effectively become a continuous light source at sync speeds faster than their T.1 times, which opens a ton of options for high shutter speeds with flash.

Now you have me thinking, hoping even. Since the HSS in the Pentax system is flash dependent, not body dependent, a radio trigger could be designed that would fool the Pentax system into thinking it had an HSS flash attached unlocking the hot shoe above synch speed and pulling the same stunt with high speed studio strobes that the Canon and Nikon crowds get to play with. I withdraw my point that Radio Popper and Pocket Wizard could not fully support the Pentax system even if they wanted to. It would probably be a lot more expensive for them to include the HSS circuitry but they could do it if they wanted to. I hope some day they will because tripping studio strobes at 1/2000 without a hint of curtains in the image is just something I'm going to have to find a way to do.

Your last point is also quite true and I've got to admit I kind of had that coming. I'm always experimenting so I have, and I will continue to find a way to get the shots I want. I've been leaving HSS enabled the last couple of days and figuring out how to make it work the way I want it to and to be honest it's winning me over. It's become my new go-to setting to leave the flash in.
Pentax could make a simple firmware fix to enable hotshoe above sync speed (manually set on a menu). No harm in asking I suppose.

I was wondering if you could use an HSS flash (like your Sigma) to trigger a manual flash (like the Quantaray) with a light trigger. The only possible issue will be whether the PTTL pre-flash will set it off, but quite a few flashes have a built in feature to trigger on the second flash. On the other hand, what happens if you use a flash on camera set to HSS, and one off camera set to LCS? I will give this a try when I can find enough batteries.

Glad you have taken this on as a challenge. Your "voyage of discovery" could end up being a useful source of knowledge for all of us and its great you have so much determination to try new stuff. I look forward to seeing the results.

One GOOD thing about the K7 - LanceB has reported that the new metering system does a much much better job in PTTL mode. Worth buying for that alone I would say
07-06-2009, 09:45 PM   #73
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
Pentax could make a simple firmware fix to enable hotshoe above sync speed (manually set on a menu). No harm in asking I suppose.

I was wondering if you could use an HSS flash (like your Sigma) to trigger a manual flash (like the Quantaray) with a light trigger. The only possible issue will be whether the PTTL pre-flash will set it off, but quite a few flashes have a built in feature to trigger on the second flash. On the other hand, what happens if you use a flash on camera set to HSS, and one off camera set to LCS? I will give this a try when I can find enough batteries.

Glad you have taken this on as a challenge. Your "voyage of discovery" could end up being a useful source of knowledge for all of us and its great you have so much determination to try new stuff. I look forward to seeing the results.

One GOOD thing about the K7 - LanceB has reported that the new metering system does a much much better job in PTTL mode. Worth buying for that alone I would say
I have asked but I probably haven't asked fervently enough. One of the motives for this thread was that I was kind of hoping to get a lot of requests for it sent Pentax's way.

I had actually started toying with your optical trigger idea before you posted and it's showing some limited promise. I'll keep you posted and look forward to hearing what you come up with too.
07-07-2009, 01:04 AM   #74
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Darn interesting... subscribing to this thread really pays.
07-07-2009, 02:36 AM   #75
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Some additional observations

QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
That was a great explanation isteve, and I appreciate you taking the time to sort that out for me. You make a lot of sense, the HSS in body is the trick for the Canon and Nikons. I was under the impression that they just unlocked the hot shoe in regular mode but now I'm beginning to see how the HSS signal is being used to trigger non-HSS devices like the Quantum and other studio strobes. The Radio Poppers and Pocket wizards are being tricked into firing those lights above the sync speed before the first curtain is even fully open. Those strobes effectively become a continuous light source at sync speeds faster than their T.1 times, which opens a ton of options for high shutter speeds with flash.
Actually no I dont think this is quite the case. On any flash, the centre pin will send a pulse when the front curtain is fully open. The difference is what the other pins tell the flash to do.

If you have the other pins connected, the flash will know if its in HS mode (start when leading curtain moves, stop when trailing curtain closes) but this signal is ignored by a radio trigger, just as the trailing curtain signal for TCS is also ignored.

I think on Pentax the centre pin is disabled above the sync speed to prevent blackout in studio shots unless it detects an HS flash on the shoe. I think this is the difference.

However I dont know why you think the light source is continuous. Its as long as the single flash duration. Several milleseconds perhaps but no more. You will still get the trailing curtain blocking part of the image and this will look worse depending on relative flash/ambient exposure and flash duration.

QuoteQuote:
Now you have me thinking, hoping even. Since the HSS in the Pentax system is flash dependent, not body dependent, a radio trigger could be designed that would fool the Pentax system into thinking it had an HSS flash attached unlocking the hot shoe above synch speed and pulling the same stunt with high speed studio strobes that the Canon and Nikon crowds get to play with. I withdraw my point that Radio Popper and Pocket Wizard could not fully support the Pentax system even if they wanted to. It would probably be a lot more expensive for them to include the HSS circuitry but they could do it if they wanted to.
PWs now come with a dedicated controller with all the pins (for Canon and Nikon). There is no reason you could not get them to "fool" the camera I guess.

QuoteQuote:
I hope some day they will because tripping studio strobes at 1/2000 without a hint of curtains in the image is just something I'm going to have to find a way to do.
This is a shutter limitation on SLRs. Without a leaf or electronic shutter you cannot do this using a single flash pop.
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