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Z1P flash query

Discussion in 'Pentax Chat' started by PentaxManiac, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    I upgraded to the Z1P from the SFXn, and I'm more than happy with the transition in all ways but one. As the vast majority of my pictures are taken outdoors, flash is not my highest priority, but I find the Z1P flash system slightly frustrating and I can't seem to find a way round my difficulty in the manual.

    On the SFXn, the guide number of the built-in flash is 14, as it is on the Z1P. With the earlier camera, using the built-in flash in program would set a shutter speed of 1/125 (the maximum sync speed) or 1/60, depending on the available light, and an aperture to suit the available light with flash in use. If the built-in flash was used in aperture priority, the shutter would fire at 1/125 every time and any aperture could be set on the lens itself. How long the flash took to recharge would depend on which aperture was set, with a smaller aperture taking a longer time. All this was with TTL flash metering.

    The Z1P has a maximum sync speed of 1/250 rather than 1/125. In program, however, even with a very fast film loaded it will only set something like 1/30 at F4. Switching to aperture priority will let me set any aperture, but again only 1/30 or 1/45 as shutter speeds. Likewise, in shutter priority I can set 1/250 but this will only be matched with the lens being wide open. What I want is flash sync at 1/250 matched with a middling aperture like F8. It seems odd that the SFXn has a more flexible flash system than the Z1P that superceded it six years later, but unless I'm missing something that seems to be the case.

    Of course, what I could do is put on a non-Pentax, non-dedicated external flash, set the shutter at 1/250 manually, set an apereture on the lens itself according to the table or screen on the back of the flash and fire away relying on the sensor on the front of the flash. But this will lose me the advantage of TTL flash. Does anyone know a way around this?
  2. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Morning P_M,

    I am guessing here, as I only had the PZ-1 and never ventured up to
    the Z1-P but, if memory serves, there was a Pentax/Custom Function in
    the camerea that had something to do with "flash sync speed and focal
    length" ..ie: the shorter the focal length the lower the shutter speed
    selected. Also, again I believe, there were a few Pentax/Custom Functions
    that dealt with the flash but I am trying to remember from (more than) a
    few years back and I don't have an instruction manual handy :(

    I would try find an intstruction manual to see what it says unless, of course,
    you already have one :rolleyes:

    As for a non-dedicated Pentax flash, I used a Vivitar 285 on my PZ-1's and still
    do on my IST*Ds (occasionally) and I aways used Shutter Priority (usually around 1/250 during the day) or Manual (usually 1/60 at night)and got quite acceptable results :)

    Hope this helps a little.


  3. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    I own a Z1-P, but recently gave my old camera bag to the jumble not realising my camera's manual was in one of the pockets. I'm stuck for an answer, sorry.

    I have fould a supplier of (photcopied) manuals, so will have to order one.

    What a dumbo!!
  4. EdtheEdgehog

    EdtheEdgehog Member

  5. Monobod

    Monobod Phantom of the forum

    Got the new manual now. I also cannot set more than 1/30th in Aperture priority mode. In shutter priority mode I can dial in 1/250th and the camera chooses the aperture.
  6. PentaxManiac

    PentaxManiac Well-Known Member

    David, Jack and Ed: thanks for all the replies.

    The manual I already had, and for those who require manuals for Pentax items there is an unofficial site which has colour copies of some (though not the Z1P) to download, at;

    I find these much easier to follow than the black and white copies on the Pentax site.

    With regard to the question of TTL flash on the Z1P, it would appear that for indoor flash at least we can have either faster speeds like 1/125 or 1/250 or apertures like F8, F11 or F16 - but not both together. The 1/250 sync speed appears to be there primarily to allow flexibility when using fill-in flash outdoors.

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