Pentax K3 / K3 II - Metz 52 AF-1 - flash does not fire randomly

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  • edited April 2018
    Testing with Canon / Olympus produced several black images in between, although the flash fired. So there has to be a synchronization issue as I assumed and you state right now. All tests done with 1/160s and somewhat around f9-f11 and lowest ISO possible.

    After switching back to Pentax firmware, I've tested with 1/100s, f9, ISO100 and there were no black images anymore. I've attached another series of images.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/9h8fvfu5v68vjb3/chriswilson_cactusv6ii_test.rar?dl=0

    I have no idea why there are no pitch black images anymore as I had tested lowering the shutter speed before.

    This is tested with one pair so far. I'm going to test other combinations at the weekend.
  • Testing with Canon / Olympus produced several black images in between, although the flash fired. So there has to be a synchronization issue as I assumed and you state right now. All tests done with 1/160s and somewhat around f9-f11 and lowest ISO possible.

    1. I suppose you are using Multi-brand HSS firmware, 1.1.013, when you were testing Canon and Olympus gear?
    2. Were both camera and flash auto-detected?
    3. Just to be sure, you are not triggering your Pentax flash with a Canon / Olympus camera, right? :wink:
    Instead of just trying 1/160s, could you try two shutter speed tests?
    1. 1/60s (surely x-sync)
    2. 1/1250s (surely HSS)


    After switching back to Pentax firmware, I've tested with 1/100s, f9, ISO100 and there were no black images anymore. I've attached another series of images.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/9h8fvfu5v68vjb3/chriswilson_cactusv6ii_test.rar?dl=0

    I would appreciate if the original JPG were uploaded as I don't see EXIF data.



    But looking at the uneven shades of shadow, I haven't such patterns before. Checking with R&D now.
    1. What flash modes were used for the off-camera flash groups? (i.e. TTL or M)
    2. What camera shooting mode? (i.e. M, Av, Tv, P...etc)
    3. Were all V6 II units running on PEN.A.001?
    4. What flash unit(s) were used in this setup? Same Metz flash or other models your friend lend you? If the flash is not Metz P-TTL flash, did V6 II auto-detect the flash and applied an Auto flash profile?
    5. If you were manually adjusting flash power output, what was the power level?
    6. Have you tried HSS, such as 1/2000s?

    As soon as R&D hit back with follow up questions I will post back.

    (FYI tomorrow is a public holiday so we might respond later on Wednesday)

    Thank you very much for your understanding.
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "NIK.A.001", "v.103", or "A06".

    TTL or HSS not working on Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs? Be sure to check hot shoe connectivity by doing the <CAMERA INFO> check.

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • Canon / Olympus:

    1. Yes.

    2. Yes.

    3. No, we did not try that.


    Shutter speed:

    I can't test that with Canon / Olympus gear as my friend needs those for his daily business, but I will have that in mind for further tests with my own equipment.


    Original JPG:

    My bad. Daily routine to exclude such information.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/6fvxj4vg9sqqk7r/chriswilson_cactusv6ii_test.rar?dl=0


    Cloth series:

    1. This was a quick TTL test.

    2. M.

    3. Yes.

    4. My Metz 52.

    5. See 1.

    6. Nope. But I will try to find the time today for further testing.



  • Thanks for the quick reply and new upload with EXIF data.

    I have already forwarded the latest info to R&D and will get back once I hear back from them.

    One thing to note is that we do not have the Metz 52 AF-1 (P-TTL) flash so we may not have what it takes to properly decode the rare problems you encountered to date.

    Considering previous beta testing exercise we took with a number of Pentax users using an array of Pentax camera models and flashes, we have yet to come across such issues. So maybe it lies with the particular flash that you are using. If that's indeed the case, and also what R&D suggests, we will have to try and find one locally if we were to pursue further.

    FYI the benchmark we use for P-TTL portable flashes are the factory Pentax original flashes. With all our respect to Metz, each team of engineering for each product may differ slightly so there may be bit and bobs that is different from the original flashes that the current firmware simply cannot cater to.

    We appreciate your patience over the course of these weeks and I truly hope we can find a solution for you as soon as we can.

    Thank you.
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "NIK.A.001", "v.103", or "A06".

    TTL or HSS not working on Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs? Be sure to check hot shoe connectivity by doing the <CAMERA INFO> check.

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • edited April 2018
    Antonio said:


    But looking at the uneven shades of shadow, I haven't such patterns before. Checking with R&D now.

    It may be completely unrelated but recently mcgregni has mentioned inconsistent power levels in a post at pentaxforums.com when using PEN.A.001. as well.

    They only appeared with the RF60X (not the RF60) and only when a manual lens was mounted on the camera. In these circumstances, even "M" groups apparently had inconsistent power levels. I suggested to him to report the issue and he said he'd do it but I guess he hasn't got around doing it yet. Perhaps he wants to double check before reporting, I don't know.

    Mcgregni's experience could very well be unrelated to chriswilson's, but I thought I mention it just in case there is some commonality.

    @chriswilson You are not using a manual lens, are you?

  • edited April 2018
    Thanks for your answers, guys :)

    No, I generally don't use manual lenses as I mainly shoot documentary and events (e.g. concerts) beside my portrait stuff.
  • edited May 2018
    My testing took a little longer. I simply couldn't find the time.

    These are my findings:

    - I have one v6ii that sits kind of sloppy in the mount and produces incorrect exposures. I put that thing aside and didn't touch it. Luckily, this is one of those which I sent back to the retailer by today.

    - It seems like I have a serious sync issue.

    I've heavily tested at 1/160s (e.g. with Canon / Olympus gear) as I thought this would be around the sync time of the camera and should work best. Now I followed your instructions to test at 1/60 and 1/1250s each. No problems at all, neither in M mode nor in TTL mode. But as soon as I am at 1/160s or 1/125s my known issues occure, I see the flash being triggered, but get pitch black pictures. 1/200s+ and 1/100s- seems to work just fine.

    I took a series of pictures (almost 400 images) and swapped the three v6ii that I trust and my cameras. The behaviour is repeatable. All v6ii behave in the same way.

    I've reset the v6ii once again before testing and all run on Pentax firmware as you can conclude by having mentioned TTL.

    (Btw.: I don't know why, but at this point all v6ii display ISO changes. Maybe the further reset did the job.)

    Any suggestions regarding that "sync issue"? This seems to be the last remaining problem.
  • We have never encountered such problems before, nor any of our other Pentax users and beta testers, and I think you have spent well more time than you should on trying to troubleshoot your setup with V6 II.

    I reckon it's either the particular Metz flash model you use is actually not fully compatible with the V6 II or your transceivers are defective. So either you switch to another flash model, or send your remaining units to the dealer for replacements.

    Thank you very much!
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "NIK.A.001", "v.103", or "A06".

    TTL or HSS not working on Cactus V6 II and V6 IIs? Be sure to check hot shoe connectivity by doing the <CAMERA INFO> check.

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
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