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Old Feb 15, 2008, 11:10 AM   #1
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Can the AF540 be used wirelessly in manual mode?

How well does the AF540 work wirelessly while on a flash bracket? Will sunlight make it really unreliable?

Any info would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 15, 2008, 1:38 PM   #2
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pcfranchina wrote:
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Can the AF540 be used wirelessly in manual mode?

How well does the AF540 work wirelessly while on a flash bracket? Will sunlight make it really unreliable?

Any info would be really appreciated. Thanks in advance!
Hi pcfranchina,

The AF540 will work wirelessly with the camera in Manual Mode (you choose the shutter speed and aperture), but the shutter speed has to be 1/180 or slower to synch unless you choose High Speed Synch where you can choose any shutter speed available. It must be in P-TTL mode on the flash to give you TTL wireless. Manual Mode on the flash can only be fired remotely in "dumb" slave mode where it reacts to another flash. This won't work with any of the Pentax DSLRs since they all use P-TTL for the popup flash, and the slave would fire on the preflash, with no contribution to the exposure. There is an exception, and that is when you are using a fully manual lens on the body. The flash defaults to full power and only flashes once (I think), so that should work with a dumb slave.

It will work on a flash bracket, but to fire it with the popup flash, you need to have an *istD, a K10, or a K20. For the other models, you'd need another wireless compatible external flash on the camera to make it work. Generally, IMO, it's better to use a P-TTL cord to fire the flash on a bracket. You'd use less power in both the body and flash, eliminating the communication preflashes, and it would be theoretically more reliable in brighter situations where communication between the flashes becomes trickier.

Wireless TTL flash relies on a series of preflashes on both the onboard flash and the remote flash to communicate. Sunlight might interfere, but I don't know how much since I haven't used it much in daylight.

Scott
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Old Feb 16, 2008, 1:05 AM   #3
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Bright, directsunlight does interfere with the the camera and flash communicating wirelessly, I think. The only time I've tried it in those conditions, I don't think the flash fired, but I still ended up with a properly exposed picture. I've used mine often in the shade without any trouble at all, but always well off-camera, either to the side, above, or (in this case) below/under the subject. I would think Scott is right that it would be better to use a cord if you want to use it on a bracket in bright sunlight.

P.S. I give up - when I look at this picture in Photoshop, it's a really lovely green. I post it here and it looks muddy, almost no color at all. Guess whatever shade it is, it doesn't show up at all well here. I tried three different compression factors and converting the file sRBG from Adobe, and it still didn't make a difference. Oh well...
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