Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

Started Apr 26, 2007 | Discussions thread
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philzucker Forum Pro • Posts: 10,086
Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

I've previously used my Metz 40 MZ-flashes only in manual mode on my K10D. Yesterday I decided to try out "Smart Auto Flash" - as described by Jens on his page here:

For testing I used the K10D, a Metz 40 MZ-2 with a SCA 3702M. I set the camera to P mode, flash to "A" mode and looking straight to the front, and checked that the camera settings were reflected on the display of the flash. Aperture and ISO were shown correctly, so I fired away - no problems, and pretty accurate exposures were the result.

Then I directed the flash towards the ceiling for some bounce flash - and unexpectedly got severely overexposed images. With about two EVs exposure compensation dialed in exposure was okay again - as long as the flash was bounced ...

Experimenting further I discovered something really weird: The moment I swivled or tilted the flash reflector out of the standard position two things happened: 1) on the display of the flash the range indication (distance range for good exposure) vanished and was replaced by hyphens, as expected - no flash can predict in which range a good exposure will be possible if the flash is bounced; 2) at the same time the aperture value dropped by two EVs (e.g. from 11 to 5.6) on the displays - not only on the flash, but also on both K10D displays, viewfinder and top! Rotating the flash reflector back to the normal position made the aperture reading on all displays return to the original value.

So obviously there is not only the "flash ready" signal communicated back from the flash to the K10D, but also the information that the reflector is swiveld or tilted; not only that, sadly it seems to be misinterpreted by at least my combination of flash, SCA-adapter and camera leading to overexposure if the flash is not used straight on. BTW: A quick test on my Ds - I used the flashes only in TTL mode with it before - showed identical behaviour when used in "Smart Auto" mode.

The same flash in standard "A" mode - used with a standard SCA 300 foot transmitting nothing but the trigger signal - worked perfectly with the K10D. But aperture had to be set manually on both camera and flash, and of course the zoom of the flash had also to be set manually, which is quite a nuisance IMO.

Anybody else can confirm or explain this behaviour? Maybe the 3702 M is too intelligent, transmitting too much data for "Smart Auto Flash" to work flawlessly? My options would then to wait for the 3702 M2 - or to downgrade to a 3701?

Any input on this really appreciated!

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