AF540FGZ - floppy head syndrome and repair

Started Jul 4, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Lars Holte
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AF540FGZ - floppy head syndrome and repair
Jul 4, 2012

I will just say that I found this thread: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=26174027 very helpful when my AF540FGZ developed another fault the other day, viz. the "floppy head syndrome". The indents that keep the flash head tilted at 90, 75, 60 or 45 degrees could suddenly hardly be felt.

I opened the flash head and found that the plastic disc (the horseshoe shaped disc on the side without the button) with the two sprung pins that correspond to the indents, was broken in several pieces. I glued the pieces back together again with cyanoacrylate glue (this plastic disc reacts very well with this type of glue). To be on the safe side, I also strengthened the flat side of the disc with a piece of very thin glass fibre, glued on with a few drops of cyanoacrylate glue. I then reassembled the flash head.

I was a bit anxious when I opened the flash head, but the photos in the above thread helped me a lot - especially at the reassembly stage. I'm sorry that I took no photos myself, but dismantling/reassembly was pretty straightforward with the photos in this thread.

The floppy head syndrome is gone (for now - keeping my fingers crossed).

Why this disc broke, I cannot say, but I remember hearing distinct click when putting my photo bag with camera and several lenses plus the flash down on the floor the other day. It is a padded photo bag, and the flash lay in its own original Pentax padded bag, but it seems that the flash couldn't survive such manhandling from me. However, I think that this is a fault that has developed gradually over time. The slight bump was just the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

I am very pleased with the quality of my Pentax cameras, but a little bit disappointed with the (build) quality of the Pentax flashes. Hopefully, the next generation of Pentax flashes will be improved.

The Pentax AF540FGZ flash isn't cheap, but current Canon and Nikon flashes seem to be of better build quality and (for the most part) cost less.
--
Lars H

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