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Old Mar 18, 2005, 12:19 AM   #1
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Hi,

I have an old Sigma EF-430 ST flash that I'm trying unsuccessfully to use with my *istD. Does anyone know if and how this flash should work with the dSLR? I'm really struggling...

Thanks in advance,

Quang
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 12:27 AM   #2
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G'day Quang! I have exactly the same flash and have absolutely no problem with my *istDS! What exactly you experiencing?
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 7:39 AM   #3
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Hi KSV,

When I turn the flash on, the focal length setting goes crazy, adjusting up and down between 28-80mm without stabilising. This is the same whether the flash is set to TTL, MH or ML. There doesn't seem any way to control it. The flash can't seem to recognise the lens focal length.

It's a bit strange because even though the flash seems to fire off at random focal length settings, the exposure from the shots look quite good. I can even use the AF assist beam on the flash to focus in almost total darkness. However, I can never get the thing to stabilise before firing off!

Quang

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Old Mar 18, 2005, 9:48 AM   #4
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Have you tried cleaning off the contacts of the flash and shoe? It sounds like a contact problem.
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 10:18 AM   #5
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snagglepuss31 wrote:
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Have you tried cleaning off the contacts of the flash and shoe? It sounds like a contact problem.
Hmm... yeah, unfortunately that was one of the first things I checked. The shoe is virtually brand new and the flash looked pretty clean. I also figured the flash wouldn't fire if there was a problem with the contacts.

Hehehe, but just in case you were right I just gave both awipe-over with some lens cleaning fluid ;-)... just in case. No luck :-(

I read somewhere that the flash might need to support E-TLL to register the correct focal length through the lens on a Pentax dSLR. Have you heard of anything like this? Then again, KSV said that his EF-430 ST work fine onthe DS and I wouldn't think there would be much difference between that andthe D. My flash also has "PA" marked next to the model number. I wonder if Sigma made different versions of their EF-430 ST?

The contact problem was a nice simple idea though - the sort of solution that I like...
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Old Mar 18, 2005, 11:35 AM   #6
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This is not true for Pentax brand TTL (only) flashes so I would expect the Sigma to behave correctly too.

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Then again, KSV said that his EF-430 ST work fine onthe DS and I wouldn't think there would be much difference between that andthe D. My flash also has "PA" marked next to the model number. I wonder if Sigma made different versions of their EF-430 ST?
Sigma made other versions of the EF-430 ST, but you probably have the Pentax version....

Does the flash work ok on a different body?

What lens are you trying the flash with? If it is an older lens the zoom infomation might not be transfered to the camera (i.e., non-A contacts). If it is a Sigma lens this might be true too since there are some incompatabilities with the Sigmachips and the Pentax.





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Old Mar 18, 2005, 8:15 PM   #7
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Hi Perry,

From what you're saying my Sigma flash should work (presumably you're using a Pentax TTL only flash on your D).

Before the D I'd been using this flash on my MZ-50 with no problems. It only works in TTL when using my AF lenses: Tokina 19-35mm, Tamron 28-200mm, Sigma 28-28mm and marginally on my Sigma 100-300mm (outside focal range - just sets to max). To test your suggestion that it might be the new Sigma kit lens from the D, I put this lens (Sigma 18-125mm DC) on the MZ-50 and the flash worked ok too even though the lensimage circle is too small for for the 35mm MZ-50 viewfinder. I don't usually use the flash on Manual high or low.

As you mentioned, could it be an incompatibility between the lens chips (Sigma, Tamron and Tokina) and the Pentax *istD? Something that is not an issue with some earlier Pentax AF bodies? I'm really hoping that it's not a problem with my *ist D body... Maybe if I upgrade to firmware 1.12 it might fix any bugs alongside the >4GB CF issue.

Thanks for the ideas. Keepthem coming :-)Troubleshooting is often frustrating but definitely make life more interesting.

Quang


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Old Mar 18, 2005, 9:47 PM   #8
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Quang,

My comments on zoom/TTL flash come from what I have read about the Pentax AF400FTZ and AF500FTZ units. I do not have either. I have is a Sunpak ring flash and it gives correct TTLexposure but of course does not have the zoom head.

I have an 20 year old Achiver 260 that I used with a SF-10. This flash does not work on the *istD. The flash does not go into auto/TTL mode, nor does the AF-assist light go on. It will trigger, but at full power. Ido not have the SF-10 anymore to test but I just got a ZX-10 so I might try it on that.It looks like it is not compatible with the *istD, so maybe we are seeing something similar.

Can you take the camera to a shop and trya different flash to see ifthat behaves that same way?

Based on your tests so far I would have to conclude thatyou might have something wrong withyour *istD. However, I would like to see another flash do the same thing beforeI blamed the camera.

BTW, If you are looking for a new flash, I understand that the Sigma EF500Super DG is a good choice. It can do both TTL and PTTL, has more power than the Pentax AF360FGZ and can tilt and swivel. I have been thinking about getting one but I only rarely use flash. I have been using either my Sunpak 383 or Vivitar 283hv in auto mode with pretty good results.


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Old Mar 19, 2005, 12:58 AM   #9
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I just bought the sigma ef-500ST flash and i find it to be really really bright, and like the other flashes wont work at shutters higher than 1/180. Works ok when i bounce it off the roof though
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Old Mar 20, 2005, 10:03 AM   #10
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Ok, now the problem's worse than before! Firmware 1.12 is suppose to "add" functionality to 1.11, right? Well I've just updated my *istD to 1.12 and all seemed to go well. EXCEPT now the Sigma EF-430 ST barely works. Where before I only had problems with the flash zoom, now the flash fires erratically and the AF assist beam no longer works when used with my updated *istD. When the flash does fire using TTL the exposures are ok, but firing seems to be random now.

Is it possible to backdate the firmware? If so HOw safe would this be?
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