Help with a flash problem on a Pentax *ist DL

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by hafner, Aug 6, 2006.

  1. hafner

    hafner Guest

    Hello all,

    I've had my Pentax *ist DL for about a month now and love it; but I hit
    a strange problem today and would love to have any help possible with
    it.

    Basically, if the camera needs a flash for the shot - either I'm in
    Auto Flash mode and the camera thinks the flash needs to fire, or if
    I'm in Manual Flash mode and have specified that the flash needs to
    fire - then the flash will pop up and then ... nothing happens. Not
    only does the flash not fire, it doesn't sound as if it's charging, and
    the shutter button becomes non-responsive.

    It becomes a stand-off - the camera wants the flash to fire, the flash
    isn't responding in any way, and my attempts to tell the camera to
    shoot the photo go for naught.

    If the camera doesn't need the flash to fire, it will shoot as normal.
    The problem hit out of nowhere today in the middle of me shooting
    photos of my daughter, and I can't think of a possible cause.

    I've swapped out batteries, I've turned the camera off and on
    repeatedly, I've even reset all of my options back to the defaults. I'm
    now a bit lost as what to do; Pentax user support isn't open on the
    weekends; and my daughter's first birthday party is tomorrow, and while
    I'll the best I can sans flash, this obviously isn't the ideal
    situation.

    I've wondered if perhaps I need a firmware update (my DL appears to be
    running v.1.00) but on the Pentax site I've only seen updates for the D
    and DS.

    Anybody run into this before and get it resolved? Any help would be
    hugely appreciated.

    Cheers,
    Chris Hafner
     
    hafner, Aug 6, 2006
    #1
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  2. hafner

    John Francis Guest

    That sounds like a hardware problem - a defective flash.
    Basically, if you (or the camera) decide the flash is needed, then
    you're not going to be able to trip the shutter until the flash
    reports that it is charged. That appears not to be happening.

    I'd recommend either not using flash, or getting an external flash.
    That's about your only choice for this weekend.
    After that, return the camera for repair.
     
    John Francis, Aug 6, 2006
    #2
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  3. hafner

    ASAAR Guest

    I'm not familiar with Pentax cameras, but the non-Pentax cameras
    I've worked with all start charging the flash if it's manually
    extended, whether you intend to use it or not. If you extend the
    flash for more than enough time to charge the flash's capacitor
    (say, 10 to 15 seconds) and then close it, when you try to take a
    shot, will the camera still pop up the flash and fail to fire it?
     
    ASAAR, Aug 6, 2006
    #3
  4. hafner

    Jeff R. Guest

    I can't hear the flash on my *1st charging even when it *is*! I can't hear
    much above 15kHz, so I asked my daughter to check, and she can't hear it
    either - she has perfect 19y.o. hearing. So don't use the sound of the
    flash as a guide.

    Have you pressed the LH "thumb" button to raise the flash? Mine won't
    charge if it is retracted.
    Is the flash "lightning" symbol in the VF blinking (indicating "I need flash
    and its not charged")?

    I'm not sure from your post if you raised the flash and waited...
     
    Jeff R., Aug 6, 2006
    #4
  5. : : > Hello all,
    : >
    : > I've had my Pentax *ist DL for about a month now and love it; but I
    : > hit a strange problem today and would love to have any help possible
    : > with it.
    : >
    : > Basically, if the camera needs a flash for the shot - either I'm in
    : > Auto Flash mode and the camera thinks the flash needs to fire, or if
    : > I'm in Manual Flash mode and have specified that the flash needs to
    : > fire - then the flash will pop up and then ... nothing happens. Not
    : > only does the flash not fire, it doesn't sound as if it's charging,
    : > and the shutter button becomes non-responsive.

    : I can't hear the flash on my *1st charging even when it *is*! I can't
    : hear much above 15kHz, so I asked my daughter to check, and she can't
    : hear it either - she has perfect 19y.o. hearing. So don't use the
    : sound of the flash as a guide.

    : Have you pressed the LH "thumb" button to raise the flash? Mine won't
    : charge if it is retracted.
    : Is the flash "lightning" symbol in the VF blinking (indicating "I need
    : flash and its not charged")?

    : I'm not sure from your post if you raised the flash and waited...

    Also there is a menu item that allows the camera to take an image even if
    the flash is not fully charged. When it is on, and the flash is active
    (up) but not fully charged, the camera will refuse to take an image. But
    if the menu item is off you can snap an image even if the flash isn't
    charged. Of course if you are using auto and the latter happens you will
    get a very long exposure time. You may want to try it both ways.

    But having said that I would suspect from your description that there is a
    mechanical fault in the charge circuit or to the flash capacitor (possibly
    due to a bump or jerk that caused something to come unconnected inside).
    You will have to have someone open the camera up and fix the fault. If it
    is done by anyone but a Pentax authorized repair facility the warranty
    would be voided. One possible solution is to simply use a hotshoe mounted
    external flash. This does not require the internal flash charging circuit
    and capacitor at all.

    Good luck

    Randy

    ==========
    Randy Berbaum
    Champaign, IL
     
    Randy Berbaum, Aug 6, 2006
    #5
  6. hafner

    Chris Hafner Guest

    Thanks, John - that's what I was afraid of.

    Cheers,
    Chris Hafner
     
    Chris Hafner, Aug 6, 2006
    #6
  7. hafner

    Chris Hafner Guest

    Yep - I've tried working with the flash constantly up. Same pattern, if
    it thinks it needs the flash, the whole thing locks up.

    Cheers,
    Chris Hafner
     
    Chris Hafner, Aug 6, 2006
    #7
  8. hafner

    Chris Hafner Guest

    Good point, Jeff - now that you mention it, I don't know that I ever
    did either. I've only had it a short time, so it's not really burned
    into my mind.
    For about a half-hour I just kept the flash up, hoping for it to
    charge.
    I found and tried that after my initial post - it does now allow me to
    shoot, but the flash is still unresponsive.
    Thanks, Randy. It does sound increasingly as if it' s a hardware
    problem, which is a shame since I've only used the camera four times in
    the month I've owned it, and the flash has fired perhaps 80 times.

    Cheers,
    Chris Hafner
     
    Chris Hafner, Aug 6, 2006
    #8
  9. hafner

    Kenneth Bell Guest

    After reading through the posts I agree with everyone that you have a
    defective flash. I also have the DL and I think you should send it in
    for service first chance you get. While your waiting for it to be
    serviced my advice would be to order an external flash, you won't be
    disappointed.

    While there are times I use the internal flash, it isn't often and
    ussually when I don't have the external flash with me. Depending on your
    needs I'd suggest either the Sigma EF-500 DG ST or the Sigma EF-500
    Super.

    The main difference between the two Sigma flashes is that the Super
    allows for multiple flash setups. Both cost less than the Pentax AF360.
     
    Kenneth Bell, Aug 6, 2006
    #9
  10. hafner

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Hummm. In my experience, most teens these days have listened to loud
    music so long their hearing is worse than MINE, at 63. Or maybe it is
    just that their brains have developed selective hearing.... or both.
     
    Ron Hunter, Aug 6, 2006
    #10
  11. hafner

    John Francis Guest

    One word of caution about Sigma flashes - Sigma appear to reverse-
    engineer the Pentax interface, rather than licensing from Pentax.
    As such, the flashes you mention will not work with the latest
    Pentax body (the K100D & K110D). Sigma have offered to upgrade
    at least one of the models at no charge to the end user; be sure
    that anything you buy can be upgraded.

    Another concern is that the latest Pentax flash was, according to
    rumours, delayed so that it could be updated to work with the next
    Pentax body (the K10D, due to be announced in a little over a month).
    That raises doubts as to whether the Sigma flashes will need yet
    another update, even assuming any such update is possible.
     
    John Francis, Aug 6, 2006
    #11
  12. hafner

    Pete D Guest

    I have the DG Super with a DS and it is a very good flash, getting a K10D as
    soon as they become available and it is sad to hear that there is a problem
    with that flash.
     
    Pete D, Aug 7, 2006
    #12
  13. hafner

    no_name Guest

    Randy Berbaum wrote:

    There is on the *ist-D, is it on the DL?
     
    no_name, Aug 9, 2006
    #13
  14. hafner

    Paul Mitchum Guest

    All the *ist cameras.
     
    Paul Mitchum, Aug 10, 2006
    #14
  15. hafner

    Tiru Guest

    Hello Chris,

    I bought Pentax *ist DL two months back, I have exactly same problem as
    you explained. This problem case suddenly in the middle of shooting, I
    thought it is battery problem. I tried with all kind of batteries. It
    works good with external FLash
    & without Flash, but it will not respond when internal flash is
    enabled.

    How did you got this problem fixed?

    Regards,
    Tirumal.
     
    Tiru, Aug 27, 2006
    #15
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