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Forum: Sold Items 02-21-2011, 05:40 PM  
For Sale - Sold: Pentax AF 540 FGZ Flash (US/CAN)Free shipping
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 8
Views: 3,576
I'm the "friend" Bob bought the flash from. I used it sparingly (as I preferred natural light and using my FA 35 and FA 50/1.4) from around the Summer of 2007 until I sold it to Bob around February of 2008.

I can DEFINITELY vouch for Bob as well. I know he takes good care of his equipment. (and I just sold him my 100-400L ;) )

Good luck with the sale!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-08-2011, 07:56 PM  
K-7 Manual Mode... What the hell just happened?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 30
Views: 3,513
You DO realize that an exposure is made up of ISO, f/stop, and shutter speed? Just like in film days (except you were stuck with one ISO for the entire role of film)

Just telling us that the ISO was 100 and the shot was dark tells us NOTHING.

You could easily get a dark shot at ISO100 outdoors too! (ISO100, f/22, 1/8000s would probably do it)
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 01-08-2011, 07:54 PM  
K-7 Manual Mode... What the hell just happened?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 30
Views: 3,513
Like other folks have already mentioned, exposure works the same as it did with film. The physical properties of light/optics have not changed.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 01-07-2011, 11:53 AM  
Flash Settings Using M Series Lenses On The K X
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 9
Views: 3,068
You just need to stop down the aperture enough so that the picture is properly exposed.

Flash exposure is governed by flash power, ISO, aperture, and distance from the light source to the subject. Since flash power is fixed to 1/1 with M lenses, you are limited to adjusting the other parameters.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-09-2010, 10:20 AM  
Image Size
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 6
Views: 1,794
And that's pretty much what you get when you downsize your image (in Photoshop or whatever) to 1000-pixels wide, the noise doesn't appear to be "as noisy" :)

The camera most certainly uses a similar process (software algorithm) to downsize the image prior to saving it on the card.
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-09-2010, 09:26 AM  
Flash usage, and TaV or manual mode.
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 5
Views: 2,855
Replace ETTL with PTTL if you're using a Pentax PTTL flash, and note that the sync speed of your camera is 1/180s, not 1/250s. This was originally written for Canon, but light is light so most of the principles still apply.



Basically, with flash, the FLASH exposure is solely determined by flash power (actually duration, how long the bulb is actually firing for), aperture and ISO. Ambient exposure is determined by ISO, shutter speed, and aperture (just like without any flash), so the trick is balancing the two. If I'm indoors in a smallish room (such as in someone's house), I usually just forget about ambient since the flash is powerful enough to light up the entire room (hence the 1/200s below, if the flash didn't fire, I'd have a more or less black picture) Now although you're shooting MANUAL Mode, that's only for the ambient exposure (the exposure needle in the viewfinder will blink warning you about underexposure, but ignore that). The camera's E-TTL metering will determine the needed flash output for a proper exposure.

Here's something I wrote on another forum -
"Easy" recipe for great E-TTL flash shots -
1)Point flash at ceiling/wall (to the side or behind you, experimentation is the key!)
2)Put camera in MANUAL mode on the mode dial
3)Set FEC to +1 on the flash head

4)Shoot RAW (this allows you to recover some highlights that might get blown as a result of #3 above)

5)Set ISO to 200 (to start)
6)Set shutter speed to 1/200s
7)Set f-stop to whatever DOF you want


Now if the flash runs out of "power" because of high ceilings, you can raise the ISO or open up the f-stop to compensate. Or you can slow down the shutter to bring more ambient light into the exposure (in addition to adjusting ISO/f-stop) If the ceiling is REALLY high (like in a church), you may need a reflector to throw some of the light forward (I use the Joe Demb Flip-it).

Quick and dirty outdoor fill flash tutorial -
Basically, if your subject is in shade and the background is bright (ie under a tree) or majorly backlit, fill flash is your friend. Think of those times when you got a properly exposed background, but the subject was almost pitch black.

Put camera into Av mode, metering will set the shutter speed to expose the overall shot (which in the situations that call for fill-flash will generally be the background) based on your selected aperture/ISO.
Make sure flash is set to HSS (in case your shutter speed go faster than 1/200s) and E-TTL. Fire away! The shutter speed/f-stop/ISO will expose the background, and the flash should output enough power to light up the foreground.

Now to control the background exposure, you use exposure compensation on the camera body (which would adjust the shutter speed), to adjust how much fill for the flash exposure, you use Flash exposure compensation. The trick is balancing the two (as it is with indoor work), and that comes with experience/experimentation.

IF the flash is providing all the illumination (which it generally is in a small-ish room with you bouncing it off the ceiling), the shutter speed AND how dark it is do NOT matter AT ALL.

Try this - Pick a room in your house at night. Have a bunch of lights on. Set the shutter speed to 1/200s, aperture to f/5.6, ISO400. Point the flash straight up towards the ceiling (make sure the flash is in ETTL). Shoot.

Then turn off ALL THE LIGHTS, so it's pitch black. Do not change any settings. Take a picture. The picture should turn out the same, AND the flash wouldn't even have to work any harder. Basically, the flash is hitting the ceiling, and turning the ceiling into a large light source. THIS light source is providing all the illumination to the picture. How much flash power you need depends on the aperture, the ISO, and the distance from the light source to the subject. How dark the room is has NO affect on how much flash power is needed.

Now if you went with ISO400, 1/200,s f/5.6, and did NOT turn the flash on, the shot should be pretty dark, even with the lights on.

Now turn the flash back on, but adjust the shutter speed to 1/100s. The shot will probably look VERY close to the first two shots (you can turn the room lights back on now ) Then try 1/50s, 1/25s....Eventually you'll see the room lights "creeping" into the picture. This leads into the next paragraph...

A "flash picture" is made up of TWO distinct exposures. The "ambient" exposure if comprised of shutter speed, ISO, and f/stop. The "flash" exposure is comprised of ISO, f/stop, and flash power (and of course the distance from the light source to the subject) In the above example, the ambient exposure is essentially nil, so the picture is completely made up by the flash "components".

Once you nail using the flash to provide ALL the illumination, you can move onto more advanced topics such as balancing flash and ambient exposures.


You need to decide the CAMERA mode (Av or M, forget about using Tv/P auto modes) and the FLASH mode (Manual or E-TTL).

Indoors if the ambient light is fairly low and I'm using the flash to provide all of the illumination, I'll use M mode on the camera (and generally set the shutter speed to 1/250s to just get an ambient exposure) Outdoors where I'm using flash as fill (or indoors if it's bright, but this happens rarely) I'll use Av as I can rely on the camera to set a good general exposure WITHOUT flash, and then the flash can fill-in.

Now as for the FLASH mode, E-TTL works great if the flash is ON camera and you are constantly changing the distance between the light source and the subject. Now keep in mind what when you're bouncing, the bounce surface (ceiling or wall) actually becomes the light source. If you try to go Manual flash, you'll be adjusting the flash power for pretty much every shot, and this just isn't practical. E-TTL will get your flash power "in the ballpark"

Now once you get the flash OFF-CAMERA (on a light stand and shooting into/through an umbrella), Manual flash makes sense because although YOU can change the camera position, the light source is NOT moving (unless you move the stand of course), and as long as the subject(s) stay in the same general area, the subject-light source distance is constant. I'm talking portait/formals setups here.

Hope that helps!
Forum: Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 11-02-2010, 09:03 AM  
Date & Time Issue
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 8
Views: 2,412
Just add 12 hours to whatever time it's set to right now.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-30-2010, 01:46 PM  
K-m max shutter spees with flash???
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 24
Views: 4,463
If you are using an external hotshoe flash (like the Pentax 360 or 530), you can put the flash in MANUAL mode (rather than PTTL) and there will be no preflash. If you set the power really low (1/64), you might still be able to trip the slave flash and not have the hotshoe flash contribute (much) to the exposure.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-29-2010, 06:21 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
Oops, I forgot you're talking about MANUAL focus....

I had the SMC-A 50mm f/1.7 and I loved the lens, I just hated having to focus it myself. Maybe if I had a proper focusing screen. :(
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-29-2010, 06:06 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
Sigma makes a 20mm f/1.8 I believe. Might be worth looking into.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-29-2010, 06:04 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
I have no problems focusing with my Sigma 10-20mm (even at 10mm) on close objects. Obviously you have to be within the MFD of the lens.

What kind of problems are you having?
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-28-2010, 10:52 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
In theory, yes. Because f/2.4 is brighter than f/2.8.

A 50mm f/1.4 is brighter than a 400mm f/2.8, even though the 400mm f/2.8's front element is much bigger.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-28-2010, 09:55 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
I agree. He just prefers shooting with a short telephoto. Not sure why he needs to rant about it....


"Ughhhhhhhhh, I hate hot dogs. I prefer hamburgers...Why can't they make a hot dog taste like a hamburger? I was measuing the length of the hot dog, and it's too long....They should be flat and patty-like"

"Uh, just go and order a hamburger?"
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-28-2010, 09:52 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
No, you shouldn't need to disect anything. Just go out and shoot! Concentrate on the lighting, composition, and exposure, and not any teeny tiny differences in "rendering"/whatever.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-28-2010, 09:49 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
But they SHOULD be close. Otherwise external (incident) light meters would NOT work.

Using the f/ notation takes the focal length out of the "equation". Otherwise you would just use absolute aperture. "Yeah, I'm shooting my 50mm at an aperture of 25mm. To retain my exposure with my 30mm, I'll need to shoot at an aperture of 15mm."

Using f/2 makes much more sense when talking about aperture in regards to exposure.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-28-2010, 09:47 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
Changing your position changes the perspective, which changes the "look" of the image.

The general "thought" that yields "Full frame has shallower depth-of-field" has to do with requiring a LONGER focal length on FF to achieve the same framing AND perspective compared to crop.

As an example, I love my Sigma 30mm f/1.4 on my crop bodies. I get very shallow DOF @ f/1.4. Now I want even shallower DOF, but want to retain the same framing and perspective. I mount a 45mm f/1.4 on a FILM camera (or digital FF, whatever...) and retain my position. The DOF is shallower because the absolute aperture is bigger with the 45mm compared to the 30mm, even though both are f/1.4.
Forum: Pentax SLR Lens Discussion 10-28-2010, 09:43 AM  
Is the 50mm A1.7 faster than F1.7?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 109
Views: 10,258
Not the SMC-A 50mm f/1.7 as I doubt it casts a large enough image circle for medium format film.
Forum: Pentax K-r 10-28-2010, 05:27 AM  
K-r problem: Failed to adjust appropriate shutter for flash shooting
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 17
Views: 5,934
Except Tv would set the aperture wide enough to expose for the ambient. In low light situations, this is probably going to be wide open unless you have the ISO jacked up or a low-light prime.

I guess if you don't care about DOF, you could use Tv set to 1/180s.

I prefer to control shutter speed, aperture and ISO myself, and let ETTL figure out the flash power when I have the flash on the hotshoe (off-camera I set the flash power manually)
Forum: Pentax K-r 10-27-2010, 12:56 PM  
K-r problem: Failed to adjust appropriate shutter for flash shooting
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 17
Views: 5,934
I remember "X" mode from my K10D. It seemed like a waste of space on the dial. M mode with the shutter set to 1/180s would accomplish the same thing, PLUS let you quickly use a slower shutter if you desired.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-27-2010, 12:55 PM  
P-TTL flash - is it necessary ?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 35
Views: 10,161
I remember that thread fondly! :p
Forum: Pentax K-r 10-27-2010, 12:02 PM  
K-r problem: Failed to adjust appropriate shutter for flash shooting
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 17
Views: 5,934
You're missing the point. You don't need to "cope" with ANYTHING you don't want. If you need a faster shutter speed to accomplish the image you have in mind, go into M and use a faster shutter speed!
Forum: Pentax K-r 10-27-2010, 11:45 AM  
K-r problem: Failed to adjust appropriate shutter for flash shooting
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 17
Views: 5,934
My two Canon bodies work like this in Av mode. I can assure you (as can all my clients) that the cameras are absolutely usable for "flash indoor photographing"
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-27-2010, 11:44 AM  
P-TTL flash - is it necessary ?
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 35
Views: 10,161
Absolutely incorrect. All the "pre-flash" based systems (Canon's ETTL, Nikon's iTTL, and Pentax's PTTL) all work "perfectly" when bounced. They even work when mounted OFF the camera.

If you understand what actually is happening regarding the pre-flash and the camera's regular exposure meter, you'll understand why it works when bouncing.
Forum: Pentax K-r 10-27-2010, 11:39 AM  
K-r problem: Failed to adjust appropriate shutter for flash shooting
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 17
Views: 5,934
This is not a bug. The metering is just exposing for the ambient light. If you want a faster shutter speed, go into manual and set a faster shutter speed.

You are smarter than the camera.
Forum: Pentax DSLR Discussion 10-27-2010, 11:34 AM  
Equivalent FoV
Posted By egordon99
Replies: 42
Views: 6,330
Nope. All lenses are marked according to the ACTUAL physical focal length of the lens, not according to "35mm film standards".
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