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04-29-2018, 08:02 AM   #1
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Pentax AF-200FG Flash provide TTL on Super A/Super Program?

Is the Pentax AF-200FG Flash compatible with the Pentax Super A/Super Program camera?

Will it provide TTL flash?

The flash is P-TTL so in theory not, but some have said the other P-TLL flashes seem to work on the older bodies.


Last edited by Theov39; 04-29-2018 at 08:33 PM.
04-29-2018, 09:14 AM   #2
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The manual for the AF 200 FG says it supports both P-TTL and TTL (on cameras that support TTL). But that TTL will only work when the aperture is set to a position other than A and importantly for you not on bodies before the SF series.
04-29-2018, 10:49 AM   #3
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What is the behavior with DA lenses? I've used af200+super program successfully w/ DA40 in dark conditions where other light was negligible, was it just metering/shooting wide open?
04-29-2018, 11:02 AM - 1 Like   #4
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I have used my AF201FG on a Super A with HD DA 40mm with good results. The top dial was set to 1/125 sec, flash on auto.

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04-29-2018, 11:22 AM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
Will it provide TTL flash?
It depends on the camera. Some of the FG flashes (designed for AF bodies supporting the digital TTL protocol...i.e. those having the data contact on the hot shoe) will provide backward compatibility to the LX, Super Program and other manual focus models that use the analog TTL protocol (no data contact). Unfortunately the manual is no help other than a cryptic comment hinting that it works only with later bodies. I would not put money down without a solid verification that it works with the Super Program in other than M mode.

Addendum: A good test for legacy TTL support would be to turn on the flash when mounted to the Super Program. The display on the back of the flash should indicate TTL if a supporting camera is detected.


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Last edited by stevebrot; 04-29-2018 at 11:45 AM.
04-29-2018, 11:38 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin B123 Quote
I have used my AF201FG on a Super A with HD DA 40mm with good results. The top dial was set to 1/125 sec, flash on auto.
The AF 201 FG is a completely different unit than the AF 200 FG and not spec'd as supporting other then P-TTL and M modes. Fail-over is usually to M mode on a non-supporting body. Undocumented legacy analog TTL support is highly unlikely. This is easily tested by doing a test exposure with the flash on camera in other than M mode in a bright room or in daylight with the lens uncapped and again with the lens capped. The flash duration when capped should be visibly longer than when uncapped if any form of TTL is being used.

That being said, your flash may well offer a good degree of backward support for dedication. Usually that consists of signalling the body through the "ready" contact that the flash is charged. M-series and newer bodies will respond by setting the shutter to the X-sync speed in some modes. This happens even with the flash in M mode.


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04-29-2018, 11:53 AM - 1 Like   #7
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I’ve noticed that some flash/camera combinations will put the camera in the ‘right’ aperture when they are ready, then the flash will meter its output.

I have the 200 and can verify it works on the newer TTL of my ZX-L, but my Super Program is long gone...

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04-29-2018, 12:25 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The AF 201 FG is a completely different unit than the AF 200 FG and not spec'd as supporting other then P-TTL and M modes
Ugh!, sorry I didn't know that, I assumed there was more similarity, I should have checked .

04-29-2018, 01:12 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
But that TTL will only work when the aperture is set to a position other than A
This is an understandable misreading of the AF 200 FG and Super Program manuals. Legacy (analog) TTL is supported in all modes (P, Av, Tv, and M) with the Super Program. (I just tested mine with the AF 280 T.) The AF 200 FG will preferentially use P-TTL over TTL on cameras that support both (think *istD) but switching over to TTL on those cameras when the body is not in control of the aperture setting. Bodies such as the PZ-1 support digital protocol TTL with the AF 200 FG regardless of exposure mode (no hands on...just book learning).


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04-29-2018, 01:13 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kevin B123 Quote
Ugh!, sorry I didn't know that, I assumed there was more similarity, I should have checked .
You are not alone. When the AF 201 FG first came out there was disappointment at the loss of other than P-TTL and manual.


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04-29-2018, 04:56 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Found this manual: http://www.pentax-manuals.com/literature/super_program_us.pdf

On page 7 of the pdf, it says the super program does both TTL and P-TTL . For the former, they say to set the lens away from A (so Av), for latter to set the lens to A and the camera to P. So for a lens without an aperture ring, it will work fine . Again, in my experience it's been fine with the super program, af200 flash, and DA 40, but the little flash is underpowered for some situations with slower film.

Last edited by aaacb; 04-30-2018 at 04:59 AM. Reason: edit: crossed out innacuracies, see other posts in the thread
04-29-2018, 08:39 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is an understandable misreading of the AF 200 FG and Super Program manuals. Legacy (analog) TTL is supported in all modes (P, Av, Tv, and M) with the Super Program. (I just tested mine with the AF 280 T.) The AF 200 FG will preferentially use P-TTL over TTL on cameras that support both (think *istD) but switching over to TTL on those cameras when the body is not in control of the aperture setting. Bodies such as the PZ-1 support digital protocol TTL with the AF 200 FG regardless of exposure mode (no hands on...just book learning).


Steve
Thanks Steve. Very helpful. If that is correct than it should provide TTL on the Super A.

---------- Post added 04-29-18 at 08:41 PM ----------

Thank you everybody, for the very helpful replies. I was going to buy a dedicated Pentax flash (for the Super A) like the Pentax 200T or 280 but as I already have the AF 200FG it would be great if that can also do analog TTL. I love film but with questions like this it is great to have the instant feedback of digital.

I noticed the Super A hots shoe has three contact points while the AF200FG flash has five, so obviously there must be some limitations. Are there any diagrams that set out what each contact point does?

Last edited by Theov39; 04-29-2018 at 09:00 PM.
04-29-2018, 11:08 PM - 2 Likes   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
On page 7 of the pdf, it says the super program does both TTL and P-TTL.
Nope. P-TTL debuted in 2001. That brochure dates to about 1983. The Super Program supports first generation (analog protocol) TTL. That is the TTL mentioned the brochure. Cameras designed for analog TTL have three contacts on the hot shoe face. Likewise, flash designed for those cameras have three pins on the foot and have the "T" designation after the number part of the name.

QuoteOriginally posted by aaacb Quote
Again, in my experience it's been fine with the super program, af200 flash, and DA 40, but the little flash is underpowered for some situations with slower film.
See the note below how to test for TTL...

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
This is easily tested by doing a test exposure with the flash on camera in other than M mode in a bright room or in daylight with the lens uncapped and again with the lens capped. The flash duration when capped should be visibly longer than when uncapped if any form of TTL or P-TTL is being used.
Put the flash in Auto mode and the camera in P, Tv, or Av (not B or X) ( per the Super Program manual) and try the above test. The AF200FG manual says it won't work. The translation of the last paragraph of page 11 of the manual is missing some punctuation and should read...

QuoteQuote:
With SLR cameras (film cameras) other than Pentax digital SLR cameras, you can perform auto flash shooting if they support TTL Auto (However, the 645 medium format, cameras before SF-series, and of the early type TTL bodies will not support the TTL Auto.)
(Italicized words and bolding added for clarity. Ditto for struck-out words.)

Early type TTL is the first generation (analog protocol) Pentax TTL used by the LX, Super Program, and P-series 35mm film SLRs prior to the being replaced with digital protocol TTL (4-contacts on hot shoe face) on SF-series autofocus cameras in 1989. As far as I have been able to determine, the AF360FGZ and AF540FGZ are the only recent model Pentax flash that support analog TTL.

If one desires TTL on a Super Program, the best bets would the AF280T or AF200T* (pages 29,30 in the linked PDF), either of which is available for fairly reasonable money. I own the AF280T.


Steve

* very different from the AF200FG
04-29-2018, 11:23 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Theov39 Quote
I noticed the Super A hots shoe has three contact points while the AF200FG flash has five, so obviously there must be some limitations. Are there any diagrams that set out what each contact point does?
Good work! The difference indicates different protocols. The Super A supports the so-called analog control TTL protocol (1981) with a 3-contact (trigger + ready + mode) hot shoe. The AF200FG has four pins (trigger + ready + mode + digital) on the foot to support the newer (1989) digital TTL and (2001) digital P-TTL control protocols. Some newer flashes with the four-pin foot support both analog and digital TTL (e.g. AF360FGZ and AF540FGZ), but most do not. I am 99% certain the AF200FG falls into that second category with digital protocol support only.

For more information including diagrams:

Flash Systems Evolution, Features and Operation | The K-Mount Page
Pentax Flashes and Flash Accessories | The K-Mount Page

Unfortunately, the flash/feature matrix at the site above is not up-to-date. Also unfortunate is the absence of a comprehensive camera/flash compatibility matrix for Pentax.


Steve
04-30-2018, 05:01 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Nope. P-TTL debuted in 2001
Thanks for the clarification, I didn't think "Programed Auto Flash" in the brochure and P-TTL are actually different things.
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