Flash Trouble
  • Bigfoot1966
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    Flash Trouble

    by Bigfoot1966 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 1:43 pm

    I have a Pentax ist ds
    I am having trouble with my external flash.(Sigma EF-500 ST)
    Most of the pictures I am taking are over extremely exposed.
    I have tried bouncing the flash off the ceiling. Some times works.
    Tried adjusting the camera back half a stop. Sometimes works.
    Tried pulling out the de fuser - Sometimes works.
    I have found one of the problems is the ISO can not be left on Auto as it chooses 400 - 800 at random and then the pic is VERY over exposed.
    So leaving it on 200 seems to have the better results.
    When I look at the properties of the over exposed pictures, it appears that the camera does not know there is an external flash ...
    As in the properties it says flash did not fire automatically.. When it did..
    Is there a secret to using this flash ?
    Is there a rule of thumb manual setting I should use ?
    Thanks for any help!

    Bigfoot.
  • Robert
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    Re: Flash Trouble

    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 3:12 pm

    Bigfoot1966 wrote:I have a Pentax ist ds
    I am having trouble with my external flash.(Sigma EF-500 ST)
    Most of the pictures I am taking are over extremely exposed.
    I have tried bouncing the flash off the ceiling. Some times works.
    Tried adjusting the camera back half a stop. Sometimes works.
    Tried pulling out the de fuser - Sometimes works.
    I have found one of the problems is the ISO can not be left on Auto as it chooses 400 - 800 at random and then the pic is VERY over exposed.
    So leaving it on 200 seems to have the better results.
    When I look at the properties of the over exposed pictures, it appears that the camera does not know there is an external flash ...
    As in the properties it says flash did not fire automatically.. When it did..
    Is there a secret to using this flash ?
    Is there a rule of thumb manual setting I should use ?
    Thanks for any help!

    Bigfoot.


    Hi just a few questions to help diagnose the problem.

    1. Did it ever work? If yes maybe Big Red might be able to offer more insight as the resident Pentax expert.

    2. If it never worked correctly? Is it new or secondhand?

    3. Have you tried resetting the flash and the camera to default?

    4. Is your Sigma EF-500ST the right version for the Pentax? ie. Sigma flashes are made to be compatible with one third party vendor. The Sigma DG-500 ST version for Nikon will not work correctly for Pentax P-TTL.

    5. How old is the flash? I used to have a Sigma DG-500 Super for my Nikon D100 and I got it before the D70 came out so it had to reference to I-TTL. When I sold the D100 I gave the flash to a mate who had a D70 and the flash did not work on I-TTL mode.

    PS: My thoughts on why it works sometimes it that it more to do with the light conditions not the fact it is correctly talking to the camera.

    Ie. You say "when you bounce the flash" it sometimes works. This might be that when you bounce the flash the diffusion effect is close to the correct exposure and not that the flash have "controlled" the light output.
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
  • Robert
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    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 3:21 pm

    One more thing? Is the flash Hotshoe connection lose?
    Is it dirty? is so a good rub with a pencil eraser might help.

    Don't know where Quins Rock is? Is there a shop or a repair centre you could take the flash to test on another body?
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
  • Bigfoot1966
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    by Bigfoot1966 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 4:34 pm

    I bought the Flash Brand new,
    Cr Kennedy (Leederville) Perth Suggested I buy that one...
    Talked to them about the problems.
    He suggested pointing the flash straight up to bounce off the ceiling.
    Or put a tissue over the flash to calm it down a bit..
    A lame way to fix my problem.
    The connection is clean and tight.
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    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:05 pm

    Bigfoot1966 wrote:I bought the Flash Brand new,
    Cr Kennedy (Leederville) Perth Suggested I buy that one...
    Talked to them about the problems.
    He suggested pointing the flash straight up to bounce off the ceiling.
    Or put a tissue over the flash to calm it down a bit..
    A lame way to fix my problem.
    The connection is clean and tight.


    I would tell them what they suggest is ridiculus, bordering on moronic, unless you have the flash set up all wrong.

    That is like saying to you after you bought a new car "since the headlights don't work correctly why not carry a spotlight!"

    CR Kennedy are the distrubuters for both Sigma and Pentax in Aus I believe.

    I would take it back and ask for a full refund/exchange or get them to show you how it works. My dealing with CRK have been good and what they told you is not the usual response I would expect from them.

    Is it possble for you to upload a pic or two?
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
  • Bigfoot1966
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    by Bigfoot1966 » Tue Dec 26, 2006 5:58 pm

    Two Pics here
    First one taken normal, Looks Over exposed.
    Image

    And This one Taken -1.7exp
    Image
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    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 6:56 pm

    opps double post :oops:
    Last edited by Robert on Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
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    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:00 pm

    Pretty little lady, you have.

    Can I also presume

    1. that the light was off in the room but it was not too dark?
    2. that the flash was pointed directly at the child
    3. the child was about 2 meters from you


    others in these forum would be better at understanding the issues.

    looking at your exif data.

    On the first shot used focal length of 45mm 1/60 iso200 f14 EV0
    How close was she to you? I presume about 2 meters?

    On the second shot used focal length of 45mm 1/60 iso200 f16 EV-1.7



    What happens if you set the flash to FILL?

    What Flash setting are you using (on the flash itself)? The Exif data does not sure this.

    If I remember correctly, they is balace fill option and full automatic option and manual - On the EF 500 DG.

    Also what happens if you use the on board flash - on AUTO?


    I will pull out my Nikon and see if i could replicate it? I have yet to try f16 1/60 iso 200. Well I don't think I have.

    I thing your flash is DUMPing the full load every time the flash goes off.
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
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    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:45 pm

    Well on a D200 + SB800

    setting Manual iso200 1/60 f16 or F11 (I don't have a f14) using 35mm prime

    I needed to UP the EV compensation 3 stops (on the flash (on Auto Mode)) to blow the white towel at 1 meters. and it was still "less" blown then your pix compared to the white shirt?

    On Manual Flash mode on full load flash it was worse so I tried 1/4 and it was blown about the same as your pix.

    As I suspected on my combo Nikon d100 + SB800 set on auto flash I-ttl (P-ttl equivalent) f16 1/60 iso200 it was underexposed.

    I am stumped.

    All I can say to you is that - either the flash is not working correctly and it is letting off a set load. ie 1/2 or you have it set on manual mode or non ttl mode?

    I think a full reset to default on the flash and trying it again?

    Also been boxing day there are not as many people here to help you.
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
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    by Ivanerrol » Tue Dec 26, 2006 7:57 pm

    Two things that may help you or muddy the waters further.

    I got this reply from Big Red regarding which flash to use on a K100d

    You need a Sigma EF500DG Super or pentax 360FGZ or pentax 540FGZ to work on the K10D or K100D but the *istDS can use ttl flashes.

    In the menu structure of the D70 and D80 Nikons, there is a section that enables alternatives for what type of external flash working is too be used - either manual or TTL. There may be a similar section in the Pentax menu.
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    by Robert » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:06 pm

    Ivanerrol wrote:Two things that may help you or muddy the waters further.

    I got this reply from Big Red regarding which flash to use on a K100d

    You need a Sigma EF500DG Super or pentax 360FGZ or pentax 540FGZ to work on the K10D or K100D but the *istDS can use ttl flashes.

    In the menu structure of the D70 and D80 Nikons, there is a section that enables alternatives for what type of external flash working is too be used - either manual or TTL. There may be a similar section in the Pentax menu.


    :D You agree - as my first post indicate we need Big Red's expertise on all thing Pentax.

    Yeah I have a sneaking suspicion there is a setting that is not right. Though Bigfoots writing that sometimes the Flash is not indicated on the exif data is worry.
    D3s D700 D200
    SB-900
    SB-800 x2
    SB-600 x4
  • Big Red

    by Big Red » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:29 pm

    i am certainly no expert with these things but have sorted a few problems with mine.

    The DS should be ok for a TTL flash
    the Sigma shouldn't need a rechip to work on the DS

    My flash was the DG Super [which is a PTTL flash] and i have mine set to FP to get it to work.

    The first problem i had with mine was EG:
    took a pic with the 28-70 at 28 and worked fine ... zoomed to 70 and it would overexpose severely.
    had it repaired and worked fine.
    bought the K100D and it would not work
    Had it rechipped and it worked fine.
    bought K10D and it worked in green mode but not in AV mode
    set to FP and it works fine.

    dunno if this helps or not but i haven't taken very many pics with mine so haven't had much of a chance to get to know it.
  • Big Red

    by Big Red » Tue Dec 26, 2006 8:37 pm

    check the in camera flash exposure compensation is set to 00 ?
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    by Bigfoot1966 » Wed Dec 27, 2006 12:11 pm

    Robert wrote:Pretty little lady, you have.

    Can I also presume

    1. that the light was off in the room but it was not too dark?
    2. that the flash was pointed directly at the child
    3. the child was about 2 meters from you


    others in these forum would be better at understanding the issues.

    looking at your exif data.

    On the first shot used focal length of 45mm 1/60 iso200 f14 EV0
    How close was she to you? I presume about 2 meters?

    On the second shot used focal length of 45mm 1/60 iso200 f16 EV-1.7



    What happens if you set the flash to FILL?

    What Flash setting are you using (on the flash itself)? The Exif data does not sure this.

    If I remember correctly, they is balace fill option and full automatic option and manual - On the EF 500 DG.

    Also what happens if you use the on board flash - on AUTO?


    I will pull out my Nikon and see if i could replicate it? I have yet to try f16 1/60 iso 200. Well I don't think I have.

    I thing your flash is DUMPing the full load every time the flash goes off.


    Spot on,
    You presumed correct.

    1. that the light was off in the room but it was not too dark?
    2. that the flash was pointed directly at the child
    3. the child was about 2 meters from me.

    My flash is set to TTL
    It does not seem to make any difference if on Mh or Ml or TTL
    Everything is still over exposed.

    Is there a setting on the camera to tell it that there is an external flash attached..????

    Yes camera flash exposure compensation is set to 00.!
  • Big Red

    by Big Red » Wed Dec 27, 2006 8:34 pm

    it automatically detects when the flash is turned on and the little flash symbol in the viewfinder stops flashing when its charged. i think there is a little switch in the hotshoe to tell the camera not to open the internal flash when there is an external flash mounted.

    you can set the flash to manual fire in percentages [ 1/64th, 1/4 etc ] ... its not set to that is it?

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