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Old Jun 29, 2005, 10:27 PM   #1
igo
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After taking pictures for 30 years, I just bought my first flash. It's supposed to be a learning flash. It would have to. There are no contacts at the place it connects to the Hot Shoe. I think I'm fallowing directions but I get nothing. Funny, though there are no contacts, the Pentax knows there is something going on because it won't offer up it's built in flash. Wassup with this?
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 12:19 AM   #2
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OK, what you have is an optical slave flash. This means that the flash is triggered by the light from the cameras flash. The learning part is that the flash can count how many pre-flashes the camera uses before the main flash. The camera uses the smaller pre-flashes to determine how much light from the flash that it will need to use. This is called P-TTL.With a optical flash that doesn't have someway to do this the slave will go off with the pre-flash and make the camera think it has a lot of light and put out less light from it's camera flash making the photo darker, not lighter. This means that, 1) you don't have any contacts on the shoe mount 2) you have to use some flash to trigger the flash, like the one on the camera. This means also that (with some exceptions) you can't have the slave on the camera or the built in flash can't deploy. On the Pentax *ist DS if you look from the back under the left hot shoe rail you will see a very small white pin. This pin tells the camera that something is on the hot shoe and not to deploy its flash. If you take the flash off the camera and just hold it with it in the detect mode. Deploy the cameras flash and take a photo. Make sure the camera flashes. The detect light on the flash should go on. This means the flash has learned the camera. Switch back to 2/N. The flash is ready to use. All of this in on page 3-4 of the flash manual. I hope this all helps. Flash away.


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Old Jun 30, 2005, 6:58 AM   #3
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I seriously appreciate that! I'll try it. I had all indicators that the camera was seeing the flash mounted on top but could not find the means of for communicating that information to the camera.

Let me sak something else: Is this a prefered way to use flash? For the most part, I was hoping to put some distance between my camera and the flash, that is why I bought a remote flash. I'd like to cast some shadows for depth in portait attempts and the like. What think yea?
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 7:09 AM   #4
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Oh well. I took the flash off the hot shoe, set it over to detect but the detect light came on as soon as I went from OFF to DETECT. I shoot a couple flash shots from my camera a set the remote to 2/n. I shot again but no life from the remote flash. It hasn't flashed yet. Seems I remember a test botton on these from when I was a kids but mine don't have one. I'm not sure it works at all.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 7:14 AM   #5
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Let me ask one last question if I might. (all this is probably in the two books I just bought...LOL)

Is there such a thing as remote positioning flash that can be controlled directly by wire from the pentax hot shoe? I don't need a bunch of fancy stuff but I'd like to position a flash on another tri-pod for different projects.
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Old Jun 30, 2005, 12:45 PM   #6
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Remember the pin on the camera hot shoe. All this is telling the camera is that something is on the hot shoe and it may be in the way of the cameras flash so it should not pop up the cameras flash and risk hitting whatever is on the hot shoe.



It looks to me that when you where handling the flash you pressed the hold button. This puts the flash in a mode so that it will not go off if there are other flashes in use around you. You need to push the hold button again to get the flash to work. Also every time you turn off the flash it will need to learn the camera all over again. The flash also should have a test button, I just don't know where it is. You have purchased a somewhat sophisticated flash and you really need to read the manual. There is a lot more to this flash then just getting it to go off. The books will give you info on using flashes in general but only the manual will tell you the specifics on your flash. That is were I am getting the info from about your flash.



Now you can get a mount so that you can use the flash at the camera with out having to hold it. Some photographers like to hold it so that they can get it away from the camera and still move about. This can help with red eye and shadow contrast control. That kind of stuff should be in any good book on using a flash. You can also mount the flash on a tripod. It came with some hardware to do this with.



You can get from Pentax a hot shoe adapter so that you can wire other flash units together. You can even get a system that uses radio to control the other flash units. But all of that are a lot more money and much more complicated. Ones you learn how to use what you have it should allow you to do what you said you would like to do.



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Old Jun 30, 2005, 8:47 PM   #7
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I build websites with html. I'm A+ certified. I even set the time on my VCR but I let the hold button stump me. LOL.

I've never cared about portrait photography as a hobby before. I'm almost strictly into nature photography as I have been for many years but I'm using a setup I put together to take top rate photos of blue-prints to send back to Dallas while engineers here in Vegas are in conference call. The cameras flash is grossly reflective at 11 inches and I wanted to see if I could supliment the flouersent ligt to perfect the 1/4 second shutter speed just a little. In experimenting I was inspired to try many other things I've not formerly had interest in. I think the fact that I've only even shot with fully manual 35mm until now and the vast degree of things this camera will do compared to my old k1000s has inspired me to try many new things. You can bet I'll have a fine education in flash photography as well as many other new aproaches to photography. I was just trying to get the flash to work. Now I'll learn about my flash and truly expand my knowledge base in flash photography.

Thanks a million for your attention. I really appreciate it.
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