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Old Dec 29, 2006, 1:00 PM   #1
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Have the opportunity to purchase a used Pentax AF500 FTZ flash at a good price. Question is will the focus assist beam work with the DS. I believe the TTL will work fine. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 1:33 PM   #2
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That is a very good question. I never tried it on my camera. I have a DS and an AF-500 FTZ but I only got it about 6 months ago. Before that I was using a cheap pocket laser for focus assist. That works so well that I never tried the SB. So I pulled the camera and flash out with the manual to make sure I was doing it correctly. The short answer is I can't get it to work so probably no.

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Old Dec 29, 2006, 2:00 PM   #3
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Hi DMJJR,

I have a DS and 500FTZ, and the focus assist works as expected in low light situations in TTL. Perhaps the light wasn't dim enough when DAZ did his test.

Scott

BTW, I also have an AF540 FGZ that I got to match my new K10, but like using TTL and the 500 FTZ with the DS. Haven't done any side to side comparisons though. . . maybe another winter project. . .

Scott
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 2:18 PM   #4
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Scott, if it works for you then what is wrong with me. I went into a room picked a target that was about 10 feet from me. Stated turning off lights till the camera would not focus. It got very dark before the camera would not focus. Then I turned on the flash to SB and the power on that is not SL. It will not focus. The camera talks to the flash for all the auto zoom and TTL stuff. Now you got me thinking that there is something wrong with my flash.

DAZ
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 2:33 PM   #5
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Does it fire when you press the shutter?

Make sure you're shooting at 1/180 or slower...
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 2:46 PM   #6
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No the flash part works fine. The book says the to use the AF Spotbeam you have to put it in SB. In SB the book says that the flash will not fire. Only that an infrared spotbeam will turn on to assist with AF. It is infrared so I don't know if I can see it with my eyes if it did turn on.

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Old Dec 29, 2006, 2:50 PM   #7
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Hi DAZ,

The AF assist isn't really bright, on the 500FTZ, it projects a red oval patterned with vertical dark stripes. It activates only when the scene gets pretty dim, but it definitely helps some. I think that your workaround with the pocket laser will probably work better in most situations where it's needed, and if the feature doesn't work on your flash, then I wouldn't sweat it much if all the other features work as expected. I'd just keep using the laser and save the money potentially spent on a repair on other goodies (there are so many!!!!:-))

Unfortunately, this great flash will apparently be obsoleted by the lack of support of TTL in future Pentax DSLRs (if the present K-series bodies are any indication). That's why I went ahead and got the 540 FGZ for the K10. If the 500 FTZ had an Auto Mode, I wouldn't have spent the extra money.

Scott
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Old Dec 29, 2006, 2:57 PM   #8
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If you can see yours them my SB is definitely not working. As for the rest you are probably right and that is what I will do. Thanks

DAZ

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Old Dec 29, 2006, 3:42 PM   #9
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So I guess I will buy it-probably can't return it-still a lot cheaper than the newer Pentax flashes-I am so happy with the DS I am not planning on upgrading anytime soon. Thanks for all the input.
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