Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Jul 29, 2006, 3:31 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Well, let's begin The Flash Thread-

Lesson 1

As the title and sub titlesay, we will will be doing this in small easy to understand posts. I have a DS on hand to work with now, and should have a DL and a K100Dto work within thenext week to two weeks. In that way, we will be able to cover all of the current Pentax DSLR cameras on the market today.

While we will focus this thread on Pentax DSLR cameras only, you can logically see that a lot of the information will be be discussing will be transferable in some ways to other cameras and flash units. I plan to move slowly and want to encourage as many questions as you might desire to ask on the Pentax DSLR/Flash topic. So please keep your questions on topic. There are plenty of other threads on the Pentax forum/folder to ask non-flash questions. Or you can begin a total new thread to seek an answer to your question if it does not concern Pentax Flashes

The DSbuilt-in flash is our logical starting point, because the new buyer will soon after his or her camera purchase face the need to use the camera's built-in flash. For the record, the built-in flash on the DS, DL, and the K100D works just about the same.

For those who use the "Auto Pict"selection on the theMode Selector, or those who use the "P", TV", or "AV" selection on the Mode Selector but never change to ISO from the minimum setting of ISO 200, you must keep this important fact in mind.

The Flash Range, which is defined as the distance from the camera's flash to your subject, measured in feet will be limited to certain fixed distances.The camera's built-in flash will over expose (creating a very washed out, white-ish looking looking image) when used at a distance of .7 meters, or about 2 feet or less. The camera's built-in flash will alsounder expose (creating a dark, blackish looking photo, where your subject can not be clearly seen due to heavy shadowing and darkening in the photo) when the flash to subject distance exceeds 12 feet.

Note also that there is also anotherissue to contend with when using the camera's built-in flash. That is lens compatibility. Naturally, the camera will work, as advertised, with the two so called "kit" lenses, the 18-55mm lens and the 50-200mm lens. However, if you are using an older lens you will want to check the lens compatibility chart located on page 151 of the DS manual (if you have a DL or the K100D camera, the compatibility list may be on a different page in your camera's manual), as the lens you are usingmight not function in the way you are expecting. So please sure to check if you are using an older lens. Generally speaking, when you are using non A lenses, the built-in flash will fire at full power. That might cause over exposure.

The final issue we must deal with before beginning to use the camera's built-in flash is that it is recommended that any lens hood be removed. The is done to achieve an even light distribution throughout your photo.

Is you have selected "Auto Pict" on the Mode Selector Dial, the camera's built-in flash will automatically pop up when needed for a photo. However, you must be careful not to be fooled by the flash. In the "Auto Pict" mode you have no choice, the flash is going to fire not once but TWICE. Yes, that is correct. The flash fires the first time for red eye reduction, and then second time to take the photo. Therefore if you seethe firstflash in the viewfinder,and lower the camera, you will take a picture of your foot when the camera's built-in flash fires the SECOND flash that takes the actual photo.

If you have selected P on the Mode Selector Dial, you will have FIVE different flash options. The word AUTO with the lighting bolt (meaning flash) through it, will give you straight automatic flash. The camera's built in flash will fire onlyONCE, not TWICE. The camera (when you push the Shutter release) will measure the surrounding or ambient light in your photo scene, the built-in flash will automatically pop up, and the camera will discharge only the amount of light needed for your photo situation.If the flash is already raised or deployed, the camera will not fire the camera's built-in flash when the camera's light measurement indicated thatthe built-in flash wasnot needed due there being sufficient light in your proposed photo scene.

But you must understand that the auto flash can be fooled. If there is backlighting (light that hits the side or back of your subject's head, leaving their face shadowed and not clearly visible) there will be sufficient light so that the camera's light measurement will signal the built-in flash, and it will NOT fire. The result is that the camera has computed everything based the harsh side or backlighting and your subject's faces will be heavily shadowed or just not visible at all. So it is up to you to identify your photo's lighting when using auto flash. Therefore, I will say this: You have been warned.

The next flash mode that your flash is capable of is indicated by just a single lighting bolt alone, or all by itself (remember that the lighting bolt is a symbol for flash). This mode has three or more names. Some call it the "Flash On" position. The camera manual calls it the "Manual Discharge Mode" positio. And finally a lot of folks, refer to this mode as "Fill Flash." No matter what the name, they are all the same thing.

The camera's manual nomenclature is probably the best description. When your camera's built-in flash is in the Manual Discharge Mode, it will not pop up automatically, and if the camera's built-in flash is not manually poped up, or if it is subsequently retracted, the flash will not fire in the Manual Discharge Mode.

The last three built-in flash modes available only in the P, Tv, and Av modes are easily understood. The first simply addsa preliminary red eye reduction flash to the auto flash. The second simply adds the preliminary red eye reduction flash to the manual discharge mode. The third is the Flash off mode. This is indicated by the flash symbol (the lightening bolt) with a diaoginal line through the lightening bolt.

So keep in mind one other little built-in glitch. If you manually deploy the flash rather than letting the flash pop up by itself in the"Auto Pict",P, TV, or Av Modes, the flash will fire at full power with out and reduction created through measuring the ambient light in your proposed photo.

So there is your first installment. Let me know if it is clear enough, and whatever questions that you have about just the camera's built-in flash, as we add more lessons, the possible questions will naturally also increase.

MT/Sarah
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Jul 29, 2006, 4:21 PM   #2
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

So keep in mind one other little built-in glitch. If you manually deploy the flash rather than letting the flash pop up by itself in the"Auto Pict",P, TV, or Av Modes, the flash will fire at full power with out and reduction created through measuring the ambient light in your proposed photo.


not quite right sarah. at least on the DS. if i'm using an 'A' lens or newer, the flash will revert to TTL and expose correctly up to it's distance limits. i have many macros shot with the onboard flash from asclose as6'' away.. with off camera flash the ds will work in TTL even with manual lenses.

roy
edit: oops, i meant to say the flash will revert to P-TTL.. it will tell the flash to turn off when enough light has been provided to make the exposure correct..
  Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 4:58 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Roy-

Thanks very much for your kind input. However, I refer you to the bottom of page 49 in the DS camera manual.

"Manual Discharge Mode is used regardless of the flash mode settings if the flash is manuallydeployed." (a lighting bolt with the up arrow is shown in the manual in place of the my words 'if the flash is manually deployed.' However, being unable to type that symbol on my computer, I have described it, I hope that you will understand.)

Roy, I spent over two hours putting Lesson 1 together. Then I had three people read it to cross check it, all with the camera manual in hand.

MT/Sarah
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 5:14 PM   #4
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
Default

Help...If I have my camera set on AV or P I don't have the choice of auto flash. Am I doing something wrong? I have the DL...

Okay looked in my manual and auto is not available on these settings. It does pay to read the Manual (smiles)
Marjorie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 6:14 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

Marjporie-

I am glad that you are enjoying things here in our little forum. Thanks for reading Lesson 1 of the flash thread.

MT/Sarah
mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 6:18 PM   #6
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

sarah, my manual is ???. i'll have to d/l it from pentax.
anyway, i don't know a thing about any of the auto modes except Av. i've also never seen an 'up arrow' anywhere. i've got my onboard flash set to the arrow just to the right of the 'auto' arrow. when i manually deploy it it works as a TTL flash with all lenses 'A' and newer.. am i missing something.. please don't take me wrong. i am in no way trying to be controvearsial..

roy
  Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 6:28 PM   #7
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

mtclimber wrote:
Quote:
Marjporie-

I am glad that you are enjoying things here in our little forum. Thanks for reading Lesson 1 of the flash thread.

MT/Sarah
marj,
set the camera on Av,press the F button, press the 4 way controller down to select the flash mode, you'll probably get two choices, select the arrow down mode to the right of the 'auto' mode, hit ok a couple times to get back to Av, select an aperture, take picture... the cam should take the flash picture with the right amount of flash to expose the scene correctly..

sarah, is this incorrect?? this is thru the lens metering, TTL. maybe i'm not seeing where you mean about the flash firing at max power..

roy
  Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 6:37 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
mtclimber's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 18,143
Default

No, you are correct, Roy-

However, that might be a little more complex than some newbies want to do. I really don't know ifthese flash lessonwill work but I designed these lessons to be very simple, and very straight forward, without using any multi step maneuvers.

Primarily, we are looking to help the newcomers who are struggling to get a handle on the DSLR world. I sincerely believe that will haelp this forum in the long run if folks know that they can learn a bit about their camera on each and every visit, they will come more often and contribute to the Pentax Forum as well. I think being friendly and helpful is important.

However, this is time consuming, and recruiting extra, knowledgeable folks to proof read and cross check each lesson does take even more time. So, to the readers of this thread: if you feel that it is not worth the effort, I will personally be able to save a whole lot of time. Actually just about 5 hours per lesson. So please give your feedback, whether it is positive or negative.

If nobody is interested, please let us know. I have plenty of things I can be doing for my upcoming contracts.

MT/Sarah

mtclimber is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 6:54 PM   #9
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 5
Default

Thank you Sarah and we newbies are appreciating it...I'm a struggling newbie in the pure sense of the word.

Roy...I assume I'll manually pop my flash before doing these steps right. Cause if I don't it doesn't come up...see how NEW I really am...*smiles*
Marjorie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Jul 29, 2006, 6:59 PM   #10
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

sarah, i think the thread is great.. i don't use the onboard flash very much and just wanted to ease my mind.. flash is a tough subject and i hope you continue the thread. my responses and your replies will hopefully get people thinking and experimenting with their flash.. i applaud you for taking this on.. what's great is that you can experiment and the failed images just go to the delete key. aint digital great?? the sigma flash i just got has probably taken 200 pix and i'm not sure if i've kept any of them. this thread will get people experimenting, i'm sure.

roy

roy
  Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 7:27 AM.