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Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 6 Days Ago  
Faster Flash
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 7
Views: 486
I modified the battery compartment a bit to accept 7 Ni-MH AA cells. Works great.

But the current version (II) of the Pentax AF-540FGZ does not have provision for high voltage input. This and the elimination of A mode is a huge step backward.
Forum: Visitors' Center 10-10-2017, 01:55 PM  
Pentax AF-540fgz Not Flashing
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 7
Views: 463
Assumption: the model flash unit in question is AF-540FGZ, not AF-540FGZ II.

Before sending it out for service, make sure the charging mode is set to "PP2" and try again.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-30-2017, 05:51 PM  
Question about trigger voltage and using older flashes with Pentax DSLR's
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 33
Views: 1,234

- How much is a multimeter?

$6. And it can be used for many things around the house and the car.

7 Function Digital Multimeter.

- How long does it take to measure the trigger voltage?

3 minutes, including 2.5 minutes to look for the multimeter.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-19-2017, 06:16 PM  
Taping up everything except centre pin - safe?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 946
I'm a "junk collector" when it comes to flash guns. I currently have no less than 2 dozens of them.

I've used my Pentax bodies (K10D, K-7, K-3) with flashes dedicated to Olympus, Minolta, Canon, Nikon, Leica, and of course Pentax without any problem.

No need to tape anything.

Of course the trigger voltage needs to be safe (to me, that means "under 24V").
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-13-2017, 12:30 PM  
Ring flash weight issues?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 14
Views: 670
I've been using my Sunpak DX-8R and Sunpak DX-12R with Pentax 50mm macro and 100mm macro (WR version). I don't notice any problem with autofocus.

This is not related to the thread, but it may help somebody: Ring flash quick release.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 12-14-2016, 02:49 PM  
Filter Ring Dent?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 13
Views: 616
If you can screw a filter on to the lens, why not a 52mm "empty" filter (a filter with the glass removed)? You can still use the (outside) thread of the filter to mount other things if needed.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 12-13-2016, 04:32 PM  
Off Brand Flash for Pentax
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 18
Views: 1,239
See my (partial) list of flash units in the signature below (last line). They are all "compatible" with Pentax camera bodies, some more, some less.

Currently I'm using a Sunpak 444D with PT-2D module and a Lumedyne Minicycler high voltage battery pack. They are probably 25 - 30 years old (the battery pack has been recelled with Eneloops).
Forum: Pentax Price Watch 12-07-2016, 03:07 PM  
Eneloops BQ-CC55 at Costco
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 2
Views: 787
$19.99 for either (1) 8 AAs + 4 AAAs + charger, or (2) 10 AAs.

Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Battery Kit

I needed 20 cells to build a battery pack for my accordion.

I planed to pick up 3 packages (1), but when seeing (2), picked up 2 packages (2) instead.
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 12-05-2016, 02:47 PM  
Replacement diffuser panel for AF540 FGZ II?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 8
Views: 600
Can you drill a small hole and use epoxy glue to attach a piece of wire?

See this thread.

I'm sorry I lost all the intermediate photos. The one at a end of the thread shows the panel after being repaired.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 11-10-2016, 11:32 PM  
External battery pack for AF540FGZ / AF 500FTZ flashes
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 1,041
There are two kinds of external power pack: high voltage (330V) and low voltage (6V). The main purpose of high voltage pack is to shorten the recycle time. It also lengthens the time between battery charge or battery replacement. The main purpose of low voltage pack is to lengthen the time between battery charge or battery replacement.

The current version of Pentax 540 does NOT accept external high voltage. The original 540 version and the 500 do.

A 330V shock from a high voltage pack can be nasty, but it should not happen if you know what you're doing.

Please tell me what you'd like to do. I used to mess around with high voltage packs a bit. I may be able to help.

This was one of my threads about the Pentax TR.
Forum: Film Processing, Scanning, and Darkroom 10-07-2016, 03:13 PM  
Digitizing Film, any Suggestions?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 23
Views: 1,859
A few years back, I tried to digitize about 30K family film frames. Some were 35mm negatives, some 35mm slides, some APS.

I tried macro lenses, I tries slider copiers, I tries slide projectors (still have some of the equipment from this exercise).

None of them work decently, even just for family photos. I didn't want to send the them out because of the risk of losing them.

I ended up buying a Nikon scanner (Coolscan V ED I think). It was one of the best decision I've ever made. Unfortunately that good decision was followed by a bad one: I sold the scanner after the project was completed.

My advice: if you don't have to, don't bother with taking photos with film and then scanning them. The result is never, never as good as starting with digital photos in the first place.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 07-19-2016, 03:15 PM  
Metz Megablitz 26 AF-1 any good?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 19
Views: 2,671
I seriously doubt the 26 AF-1 can do p-TTL remote and high speed sync. But let's for now assume that it can do both.

I think you will be disappointed.

Fill flash requires a lot of power from the flash, especially when the distance is more than a few feet. Note that in most cases in which fill flash is needed, the flash has to compete with the light from the sun.

So does high speed sync.

When you combine fill flash and high speed sync, the need for power is even greater.

Frankly, I don't think even the AF360FGZ helps very much.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 05-06-2016, 04:21 PM  
Good flash
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 9
Views: 743
I wrote this post almost 5 years ago. I think it's still valid.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 03-21-2016, 02:34 PM  
Question about a Metz flash.
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 2
Views: 537
I'm not sure what you mean by "to be red." If you mean whether it is supposed to light up, the answer is no.

It's a light sensor. It's supposed to receive light reflected from the scene and tell the flash if there has been sufficient light to quench the flash bulb ("auto" mode). As a receiver, it does not emit anything (light in this case).
Forum: Repairs and Warranty Service 03-08-2016, 01:57 PM  
Cracked rear LCD on K-3 - Repair cost?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 16
Views: 1,372
If the crack doesn't impede with the ability to take photos, I wouldn't spend the money to repair the camera. Sooner or later, you'll replace the camera. The crack may be annoying now, but it's just the appearance. You'll soon get used to it and won't notice it anymore.

I would just buy a glass protector to prevent further damage to the screen. I'm using this one.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 03-07-2016, 03:30 PM  
Lightweight Camera Strap with Tripod Mount Attachment Recommendation
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 10
Views: 704
I use OP/TECH USA 3401002 Compact Sling for my GXR, even with A16 lens.
Forum: General Photography 02-23-2016, 04:08 PM  
Some people...
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 39
Views: 3,129
Sometimes it works to you advantage.

A few years back, I called to inquire about a CL ad selling "a box of camera equipment."

- What are there in the box?
- A bunch of stuffs: cameras, lenses, and other things I don't know.
- How many cameras are there?
- Two.
- Can you tell me the wordings on the cameras?
- Yeah....see.... one says... pentax.... s... f... one, the other.... says.... Pentax... i... i... x.
- How about lenses? How many are there?
- Oh.... four.... oh no.... five.... yes, five of them.
- Can you tell me the wordings on the lenses?
- Uhm..... pentax... a.... one colon... one dot four... eight five mm...uhm....
- OK. How much do you want for it?

At the end, I paid $400 for, among other things, a Pentax LX body, a Pentax-A* 1:1.4 85mm, a Pentax-A* 1:4 300mm, and a Pentax 1.7X AF adapter.
Forum: Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 02-23-2016, 12:47 PM  
Quick release solution for tripod legs + head?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 8
Views: 596
I'm sure if you try, you can get a set of Arca-Swiss clamp & plate and make it to work between the tripod & head.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-23-2016, 12:40 PM  
Camera Battery got a little Wet....what to do?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 15
Views: 1,535
I wouldn't worry about it. If I'm extra careful, I'll leave the battery outside for a few days (covered with uncooked rice?) to make sure it's completely dry before using it.

A bad battery will not produce sufficient voltage/current. In that case, the camera will let you know immediately.
Forum: General Talk 02-18-2016, 07:33 PM  
Do you play a musical instrument?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 41
Views: 1,592
I started with piano accordion, then moved to C-griff chromatic button accordion.

Here's part of my collection, just added a Roland FR-2b and a Victoria Ac425SF.

A bad thing about accordions, compared to photography gears, is that they take up too much space (and thus is noticeable to the lady of the house!).
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-16-2016, 12:41 AM  
Is it legal to sell or trade Photoshop bundled software?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 14
Views: 2,773
Strictly speaking, it's not legal to separately sell the copy of the software what is bundled with a piece of hardware. That particular copy of the software is licensed to use only with that particular piece of hardware.

But if you sell it on, say, Craigslist, will the software company to go after you? Unlikely.

Is it illegal to drive 65.5 mph on a freeway that has the sign "Max Speed: 65 mph"? Of course it is illegal. Will the cop be after you for driving 65.5 mph? Unlikely.

As stated in this thread three years ago, if you can sell it, it will be not much money any way!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 02-16-2016, 12:05 AM  
K-3, 5, 7 is flagship or pro consumer?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 23
Views: 1,695
According to Merriam-Webster:

  1. the ship that carries the commander of a fleet or subdivision of a fleet and flies the commander's flag

  2. the finest, largest, or most important one of a series, network, or chain

By (2), K10D, K20D, K-7, K-5, K-3, and K-3II are Pentax's flagship DSLRs. Note that "flagship" and "pro-consumer" are NOT mutually exclusive. The question "such and such is flagship or pro-consumer" is meaningless.

Having said that, who cares whether they are flagships, who even care D7000 or D500 is Nikon's flagship. If you like a camera, buy it; if you don't like it, don't buy it. Why getting hung up on semantics?
Added after reading dcshooter's post below and after checking out rlatjsrud's old posts:

I'm sorry for feeding the tr0ll.

Request to Admin: Please give us a way to "thumb down" a post.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-15-2016, 08:39 PM  
K5ii off camera flash non-exposure
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 24
Views: 1,251
That's not correct.

I tested just now with Pentax 540 (Mk I), K-3, and K-7. 540 was in SL1. It was triggered by the main strobe, NOT by the pre-flash strobe from the camera's built-in flash. I tested the flash in p-TTL, A, and M mode.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-15-2016, 07:07 PM  
K5ii off camera flash non-exposure
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 24
Views: 1,251
My posts (#4 and #8) in this thread explains the symptoms, including why there is sufficient light when the 540 is set at lower power ratio.

There is a very important detail but is still unknown: the OP has never replied whether his 540 is in SL1 or SL2 mode. I bet it is in SL2 mode.

OP, the simplest thing to check is set the camera at 2 sec timer. You'll see the pre-flash strobe from the built-in flash trigger the remote 540.
Forum: Flashes, Lighting, and Studio 02-09-2016, 07:43 PM  
Using a metz 54 mz-4 on my K5?
Posted By SOldBear
Replies: 6
Views: 695
Some rough calculations:

Assuming the flash and the subject are located at 5 ft down from the ceiling, if the light is bounced off the ceiling, it has to travel 14 ft from the flash to the subject.

Assuming the flash head is at 28mm, the guide number then is 102 ft. The f-stop before adjustment for reflectivity of the ceiling is 102 / 14 = 7.3.

Bouncing off a popcorn ceiling can lose as much as 3x of light (only 1/4 of the light from the flash reaches the subject). In this case, the (rounded off) f-stop has to be: 7.3 / 2 = 3.5.

This explains the underexposure at ISO 100, f/5.6.

Most flashes (even your car's headlights), when old, become less efficient. Thus the guide number with the head at 28mm can be less than 102 ft.

A flash lightmeter is very helpful to debug exposure issues.
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