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04-22-2010, 12:39 AM   #1
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What is the point of "X" exposure mode?

What is the point of X exposure mode?

Apparently it locks the shutter speed at 1/180th sec. And apparently it has something to do with flash. But I don't see why X is necessary at all, since you can lock the exposure at 1/180th sec in M mode just as well. What am I missing here?

Will

04-22-2010, 12:53 AM   #2
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I may be mistaken, but if you plan to use a flash off of the hot shoe (wireless) you must be in X mode to do this and be sync'ed with the camera itself.

Jason
04-22-2010, 01:04 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jasvox Quote
I may be mistaken, but if you plan to use a flash off of the hot shoe (wireless) you must be in X mode to do this and be sync'ed with the camera itself.
Jason,

Not sure I understand. By wireless, I take it you mean Pentax's optically-triggered wireless system, not radio triggers, right?

But I've used flash wirelessly for a long time. Never used X before. It works in every other mode I've tried, including P (hyperprogram) and M. I put the camera into wireless flash mode, identify which flash is master and which are slaves, and I shoot away. What does "synced with the camera" mean?

Will

p.s. Thanks for the quick reply from the other side of the world. One of the funny things about being up at 3am is that you get to see what's happening elsewhere in the world while it is happening. I should call my sister in Australia....
04-22-2010, 01:31 AM   #4
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It is useful for studio works.
In M mode you can accidently change shutter speed to say 1/250 and would get bad photos.
In X mode it is just locked to 1/180 or 1/90 and you can't change it accidently.

04-22-2010, 02:21 AM   #5
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Indeed Will, it's one of those modes Zebooka has explained its application well - a fixed Flash-sync shutter speed mode for when you hook up external lights and you just want to be concerned with Av and ISO alone.
04-22-2010, 08:42 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
Indeed Will, it's one of those modes Zebooka has explained its application well - a fixed Flash-sync shutter speed mode for when you hook up external lights and you just want to be concerned with Av and ISO alone.
I feel like you guys must be kidding me, that there must be more to it than that. But I won't insist because it doesn't say more than this in the manual and because I can't find more info about this anywhere else.

So that's one more notch on the mode dial that we can get rid of when Pentax accepts my advice about redesigning the mode dial. I'm down to

Green (and I'd be happy to chuck this)
P (hyperprogram—replaces Av and Tv)
M (with auto-ISO as an option, eliminating the need for TAv)
B

Seriously, I don't see the point of a whole mode that (a) sets the flash sync speed for you and (b) prevents you from changing the shutter speed. What prevents you from accidentally changing the mode dial? I shoot in M mode all the time. Generally speaking, when I set the shutter speed, it stays where I set it.

Thanks, guys.

Will
04-22-2010, 09:21 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zebooka Quote
It is useful for studio works.
In M mode you can accidently change shutter speed to say 1/250 and would get bad photos.
In X mode it is just locked to 1/180 or 1/90 and you can't change it accidently.
+1

I can't count the times I've set up my flashes off-camera, stuck the radio transmitter in the hot-shoe, gone to M, fired a shot, got an awful black bar in the frame. DOAH!

WITH a flash in the hot-shoe, the camera is smart enough to not allow you to exceed the sync speed, but when you just have a dumb radio trigger in the hot-shoe, the camera allows you to go beyond the sync speed.
04-22-2010, 10:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Seriously, I don't see the point of a whole mode that (a) sets the flash sync speed for you and (b) prevents you from changing the shutter speed. What prevents you from accidentally changing the mode dial? I shoot in M mode all the time. Generally speaking, when I set the shutter speed, it stays where I set it.
Will, if u don't use it, it doesn't mean it is useless
For example, I don't use P, TAv and Sv.

But I hate to handle Nikon cams, where B is just shutter speed in M mode - this is awful and not practical. While shooting lightings and storm I need sometimes shutter speed 4" and some times bulb. With Pentax I need just to turn mode dial.

Same for flash - X for just flash highlighting scene, M for both flash and ambient light and Av for slow sync. Just 1 turn of dial and I can change the way I shoot photos. And I don't have to turn several other dial and press lots of buttons each time I need another effect.

04-22-2010, 12:01 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by egordon99 Quote
+1

I can't count the times I've set up my flashes off-camera, stuck the radio transmitter in the hot-shoe, gone to M, fired a shot, got an awful black bar in the frame. DOAH!

WITH a flash in the hot-shoe, the camera is smart enough to not allow you to exceed the sync speed, but when you just have a dumb radio trigger in the hot-shoe, the camera allows you to go beyond the sync speed.

You must be using a non -Pentax body. I know that some canon's will. Even with wireless triggers, Pentax bodies won't let you fire the flash above the sync speed (unless the K7 does).

To the OP: I have thoght the same thing about the x mode. But, I have in M mode with flash accidently changed the front dial while reviewing shots going above the sync speed and thus the next shot is black because the flashes fail to fire.
04-22-2010, 12:18 PM   #10
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hi everybody, i have k20, tried to sync the flash faster than 1/180 but no success. still my film body can go faster (it just doesn't care). i still don't understand why put this limitation on a such good digital body. why just don't care as old days? anyone have solve this sync problem? anyone tried to sync with pc cord?

however. i rarely use x-mode. i need to control the ambient when using flash, x-mode may be useful in studio.
04-22-2010, 01:18 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
To the OP: I have thoght the same thing about the x mode. But, I have in M mode with flash accidently changed the front dial while reviewing shots going above the sync speed and thus the next shot is black because the flashes fail to fire.
Well, yes, I admit that I have occasionally moved the front dial myself by accident. But it doesn't happen very often, probably far less than 1 in a 1000 shots. And I've also once or twice accidentally turned the MODE dial when I didn't mean to. But I don't think my very rare cases of clumsiness warrant a special exposure mode. And when I'm shooting portraits, at least with the camera on a tripod, I get my light (or lights) set, take a test shot and confirm everything's as I want, and after that I don't really touch the camera—I use a cable release instead.

So to me, X seems a bit like TAv, a mode that isn't really necessary. But it's obvious that some folks find it useful and that's fine.

I sometimes wish there were a way to lock the exposure dials—not the settings (I am aware of the AE-L button) but the dials themselves. Could perhaps be done with the AE-L button, but you'd have to hold it down for, say, 3 seconds, then you'd hear 2 beeps, and after that, turning either the front or rear e-dial would have no effect at all, until you held the AE-L button down for 3 seconds again.

Pentax: This great idea is definitely available for purchase. You know where to find me. :-)

Will
04-22-2010, 03:24 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
hi everybody, i have k20, tried to sync the flash faster than 1/180 but no success. still my film body can go faster (it just doesn't care). i still don't understand why put this limitation on a such good digital body. why just don't care as old days? anyone have solve this sync problem? anyone tried to sync with pc cord?

however. i rarely use x-mode. i need to control the ambient when using flash, x-mode may be useful in studio.
That's just the way Pentax decided to do it, and there isn't a work-around. The camera simply will not trigger a flash above 1/180th unless you are using HSS.
04-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by alohadave Quote
That's just the way Pentax decided to do it, and there isn't a work-around. The camera simply will not trigger a flash above 1/180th unless you are using HSS.
That raises a question. Does every camera have an X mode like my K10D and K20D? Or is this a Pentax thing? I wasn't able to find a lot of info about X mode and perhaps that's the reason.

Will
04-22-2010, 05:02 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
You must be using a non -Pentax body. I know that some canon's will. Even with wireless triggers, Pentax bodies won't let you fire the flash above the sync speed (unless the K7 does).

To the OP: I have thoght the same thing about the x mode. But, I have in M mode with flash accidently changed the front dial while reviewing shots going above the sync speed and thus the next shot is black because the flashes fail to fire.
Guilty as charged

Canon 40D and Rebel Xsi (450D)...I used to own an *ist DS and K10D though..good times!
04-22-2010, 05:41 PM   #15
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Wanna know what "X" stands for? Check here:

Flash synchronization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jack
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