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

Started Apr 26, 2007 | Discussions
philzucker
philzucker Veteran Member • Posts: 9,385
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:

http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/flash_technique.html

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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Phil

GMT +1

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

Hi Phil!

Sorry to hear about your problems.

The issue is well-documented - for the 3701 adapter. Richard Day informed us that the 3702 adapter works flawlessly with his 54MZ3 and K100D/K10D.

Either one of your (Phil's / Richard's) tests was faulty, or, likely, there is a difference between the adapters and the flashes. That means:
40MZ-x (SCA 3000 series) --- does never work when tilted
54MZ-3 (SCA 3002 series) --- does only work with a 3702 adapter

Maybe someone can clarify further - Richard? Alan?

Cheers
Jens

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'I only trust those photos I have faked myself.' (Me, 2007)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

philzucker
OP philzucker Veteran Member • Posts: 9,385
Re: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

JensR wrote:

Hi Phil!

Sorry to hear about your problems.
The issue is well-documented - for the 3701 adapter. Richard Day
informed us that the 3702 adapter works flawlessly with his 54MZ3
and K100D/K10D.
Either one of your (Phil's / Richard's) tests was faulty, or,
likely, there is a difference between the adapters and the
flashes. That means:
40MZ-x (SCA 3000 series) --- does never work when tilted
54MZ-3 (SCA 3002 series) --- does only work with a 3702 adapter

Thanks for the Info, Jens. No sense in downgrading to a 3701 then ...

Maybe the 3702 M2 fixes this. Hope never dies!

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Phil

GMT +1

awaldram
awaldram Forum Pro • Posts: 13,271
Re: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

Hi tried it for you

K10d -> 54mz3 -> 3702

Set Av mode f11

shows F11 camera and distance

twist bounce upwards

shows F11 on camera and no distance

So at least for the 54mz3 smart auto is smart enough

 awaldram's gear list:awaldram's gear list
Pentax K-x Pentax Q Olympus PEN E-PM2 Pentax Q7 Pentax K-3 +17 more
philzucker
OP philzucker Veteran Member • Posts: 9,385
Re: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

awaldram wrote:

Hi tried it for you

K10d -> 54mz3 -> 3702

Set Av mode f11

shows F11 camera and distance

twist bounce upwards

shows F11 on camera and no distance

So at least for the 54mz3 smart auto is smart enough

Thanks for trying that out and confirming that it works with an 54 MZ-3! Now where do I get on?!

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Phil

GMT +1

(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 6,759
So obviously

40MZ-1i/2/3i with either 3701 or 3702 won't work correctly on Pentax DSLRs (some of the MZ & later cameras too). Maybe the simplest solution is to fall back to plain vanilla A flash which is always predictable, and quite accurate for indoor, bounce or not. Sometimes when one is busy trying to figure out the magic combination with the latest technology, the solution might have been with us all along.
--
Alan Chan
http://www.pbase.com/wlachan

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: So obviously

Hi Alan!

Sometimes when one is busy trying to figure out the magic
combination with the latest technology, the solution might have
been with us all along.

Yes, but it's a step back, with less functionality. Stuff like that does not make engineers happy. Especially, if the "Smart Auto Flash" was already a workaround for the missing TTL-flash support.

I have changed my flash page to include the new findings.

Cheers
Jens

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'I only trust those photos I have faked myself.' (Me, 2007)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

blink_too_fast Regular Member • Posts: 187
Works fine on my DS

wlachan wrote:

40MZ-1i/2/3i with either 3701 or 3702 won't work correctly on
Pentax DSLRs (some of the MZ & later cameras too).

I have
ist DS
K100D
3701
3702
3803 x2
40MZ1i
40MZ2 x3

Absolutely any combination works fine on the DS in any mode

One of the combinations does not work on the K100D in A mode, but I forget which, and of course no combination works in TTL mode

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Works fine on my DS

I have
ist DS
K100D
3701
3702
3803 x2
40MZ1i
40MZ2 x3

Absolutely any combination works fine on the DS in any mode

Did you test bounced? At which aperture(s) and ISO?

One of the combinations does not work on the K100D in A mode,

Interesting. Would be interesting to know which combination that is and what the error was/is.

Cheers
Jens

-- hide signature --

'I only trust those photos I have faked myself.' (Me, 2007)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

blink_too_fast Regular Member • Posts: 187
DS K100 40MZ1i 40MZ2 3071 3072 3083 tests

JensR wrote:

I have
ist DS
K100D
SCA3701
SCA3702
SCA3083 x2
40MZ1i
40MZ2 x3

Absolutely any combination works fine on the DS in any mode

Did you test bounced? At which aperture(s) and ISO?

Yes, bounced, rotated, one or two remotes, TTL, Easy, A, in-camera flash compensation. Take your pick. Oh, I cannot do both auto mode AND in camera compensation, nor can I reliably dial-in compensation on the flash unless I use the plain single pin adapter (SCA301?). But why would I when TTL works?

With the SCA3702 & 40MZ1i, suitable ISO & f ranges are approximately as follows if aimed straight-on. If bounced, the maximum aperture size does not seem to be an issue. I have not been as thorough with other combinations.

ISO200 f1.4 and any size smaller until the flash maxes out and runs out of power to light the scene

ISO400 f2.0 and any size smaller until the flash maxes out and runs out of power to light the scene

ISO800 f2.8 and any size smaller until the flash maxes out and runs out of power to light the scene

Curiously ISO 1600 & 3200 overexpose whatever I do unless I match the aperture to the max output of the flash, which is pretty silly at 1600 & 3200.

One of the combinations does not work on the K100D in A mode,

Interesting. Would be interesting to know which combination that is
and what the error was/is.

Just had a testing session. Both SCA3701 and SCA3702 work the same.
The 40MZ1i works fine bounced, swivelled or straight.

The 40MZ2 works bounced or swivelled, but overexposes when straight. Seems to fire full power.

All combinations control the SCA3083s with more 40MZs attached. As I have remote flashes, I never aim the on-camera unit straight at the subject anyway, so the limitation above does not affect me.

I always run flashes in 2nd curtain mode. They'll function in 1st curtain but in higher ambient light situations the extra light available after the flash metering (TTL or A) has finished can sometimes be noticeable.

Metz specify 1/60s as the fastest usable shutter speed with remote flash, but I find I can ignore this rule without any negative effect and run at the camera's maximum 2ndC sync speed of 1/90.

There IS one combination of body + adapter + flash unit + orientation that does not fire the SCA3083 adapters, but I cannot find it tonight.

With 2 bodies, two adapters, four flashes, and three orientations that is 2x2x4x3=48 combinations, so please don't feel too aggrieved that I am lazy. I tried.

Let us assume that one of the 40MZ2's behaves slightly differently to the others (depending on the 40MZ2 serial number, it makes a difference to some Canons as well, I think), and that it is one of those.

blink_too_fast Regular Member • Posts: 187
3702M2 now listed on Metz website

Go to the SCA selector part and pick K10D and some or other flash. The recommended SCA adapter is now the 3702M2 (in prep). That's new.

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: DS K100 40MZ1i 40MZ2 3071 3072 3083 tests

Very interesting and slightly confusing at the same time.

blink_too_fast wrote:

Yes, bounced, rotated, one or two remotes, TTL, Easy, A, in-camera
flash compensation. Take your pick. Oh, I cannot do both auto mode
AND in camera compensation,

Not? I can do so. 40MZ-3 + 3701 + DS - this is getting weirder and weirder.

nor can I reliably dial-in compensation
on the flash unless I use the plain single pin adapter (SCA301?).

Umm. I have no idea how I set exp. comp. on the 40MZ, unless I am dialing in a "wrong" aperture, but the flash doesn't remember. Do you mean the same problem?

But why would I when TTL works?

True.

Curiously ISO 1600 & 3200 overexpose whatever I do unless I match
the aperture to the max output of the flash, which is pretty silly
at 1600 & 3200.

This happens in (smart) Auto flash? Weird. It happens for TTL, too, starting at ISO 800.

The 40MZ1i works fine bounced, swivelled or straight.
The 40MZ2 works bounced or swivelled, but overexposes when
straight. Seems to fire full power.

Argh, so, not only do we have differences between the SCA 3000 and 3002 flashes, even the 40MZ series is inconsistent?!

All combinations control the SCA3083s with more 40MZs attached.

At last something that works as expected!

Let us assume that one of the 40MZ2's behaves slightly differently
to the others (depending on the 40MZ2 serial number, it makes a
difference to some Canons as well, I think), and that it is one of
those.

Thanks for all your work. But I think I'm dizzy now

Seriously, I'm just thinking of what I should write on my flash info page that does not sound like "Hey, maybe it works, maybe it doesn't!" :-/

Our combined tests seem to show that there is a lot of variation in the Metz system, which I wasn't aware of :-/

-- hide signature --

'I only trust those photos I have faked myself.' (Me, 2007)
http://www.jensroesner.de/
--=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

blink_too_fast Regular Member • Posts: 187
Re: DS K100 40MZ1i 40MZ2 3071 3072 3083 tests

Yes, bounced, rotated, one or two remotes, TTL, Easy, A, in-camera
flash compensation. Take your pick. Oh, I cannot do both auto mode
AND in camera compensation,

Not? I can do so. 40MZ-3 + 3701 + DS - this is getting weirder and
weirder.

Well, I can do it, but it has no effect.

nor can I reliably dial-in compensation
on the flash unless I use the plain single pin adapter (SCA301?).

Umm. I have no idea how I set exp. comp. on the 40MZ, unless I am
dialing in a "wrong" aperture, but the flash doesn't remember. Do
you mean the same problem?

Yes, that's what I mean.

Curiously ISO 1600 & 3200 overexpose whatever I do unless I match
the aperture to the max output of the flash, which is pretty silly
at 1600 & 3200.

This happens in (smart) Auto flash? Weird. It happens for TTL, too,
starting at ISO 800.

Yes, any mode.

The 40MZ1i works fine bounced, swivelled or straight.
The 40MZ2 works bounced or swivelled, but overexposes when
straight. Seems to fire full power.

Argh, so, not only do we have differences between the SCA 3000 and
3002 flashes, even the 40MZ series is inconsistent?!

Yes, but at least I've come out with nearly everything working, so I'm pretty happy !

All combinations control the SCA3083s with more 40MZs attached.

At last something that works as expected!

And I love it. Been continuing testing this morning. I can run the slave units at 1/180s in 1stC without any problems, despite Metz's specification of 1/60s or slower.
So not only does it work as expected, but it works better than expected.

BTW, the secondary fill-in flashes cannot be used in remote modes, either on the controller or on the slave units. This is detailed by Metz so is as expected.

Seriously, I'm just thinking of what I should write on my flash
info page that does not sound like "Hey, maybe it works, maybe it
doesn't!" :-/

It probably needs breaking down to the level of flash serial number ranges vs. camera firmware versions, which becomes nearly unmanageable.

Our combined tests seem to show that there is a lot of variation in
the Metz system, which I wasn't aware of

One rainy day I'll do a thorough spreadsheet of all my combinations body v adapter v flash unit v serial no. v ISO v aperture v curtain v orientation v slave. It'll be sunny this weekend, so I'm going out.

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=! Condemning proprietary batteries since 1976 !=--

I love this !
Investigate a La Crosse BC900 charger on Google...

ckoch77 New Member • Posts: 1
Solution: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

Hi all!

philzucker wrote:

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:

http://www.jr-worldwi.de/photo/flash_technique.html

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 ...

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?

I ran into the same problem with my K100D, 40 MZ-3i and SCA 3702 M2.
Yesterday I found a solution to this problem. Try this after tilting the main
reflector of the flash:

1) press "Prog." key at the flash
2) press "+" four times, so that "Prog. 4" shows up in the upper right corner
of the display
3) press "P" to recall this user program 4

After going through this procedure I get accurate exposures with the bounced
flash. You have to go through this procedure when you switch on the second
reflector.

HTH,
Christian.

JensR Forum Pro • Posts: 17,971
Re: Solution: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

Hi Christain,

once again thanks for letting us know. I've updated my flash-info page with your findings.

Interesting that the "programmes" outlined underneath the flash head are useful finally - I had seen them before prior to your mail, but I didn't pay any attention.

Cheers
Jens

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blink_too_fast Regular Member • Posts: 187
3702M2, P-TTL, erratic exposures & everything Metz !

I finally have a 3702M2, so I guess you want to know how it works.

I have also worked out why the flashes sometimes overexpose and how to fix it immediately and perfectly. Short answer is leave your adaptor in rear sync.

I have…

(OK, there’s an underlying eBay obsession going on here…)

*istDS
K100D

32CT3i
32CT4
40MZ1i
40MZ2 (several of these)
40MZ3i
44MZ2
54MZ3
54MZ4

28CS2

301 (several of these)
372
3701
3702M
3702M2 (finally - only took 4 months!)

3083 x2

307A (these are cool)
305A (so are these, but you'll be lucky to find one)
305S (and if you do, you'll need one or two of these)

G16
3002A
Bracket

So, what combination does and does not work?

The only P-TTL combination is the 3702M2 & 54MZ4. Nothing else works as P-TTL. Not the 40MZ1i/3i. Not the 54MZ3. Not the 44MZ2. Nothing. Got it?

P-TTL also works in rear sync mode.

With the 3701/3702/3702M2 & 40s/44/54s set in A-mode, I can set the 40s/44/54s to act as a controller to control the 3083s. They respond appropriately with the 40s, the 44, and the 54.

With the 301/372 & 40s/44/54s set in A-mode, I can set the 40s/44/54s to act as a controller to control the 3083s. They respond appropriately with the 40s, the 44, and the 54. Smart-A does not work, so need to dial in the ISO & aperture manually

With the 372/3701/3702/3702M2 & 40s/44/54s set in TTL-mode, I can set the 40s/44/54s to act as a controller to control the 3083s. They respond appropriately with the 40s, the 44, and the 54.

With the 3702M2 & 54MZ4 set in P-TTL mode, I can set the 54MZ4 to act as a controller to control the 3083s. They do not respond. THEY DO NOT WORK. NOTHING. Use A mode (above) or force TTL mode, below.

I cannot select the 3702M2 & 54MZ4 to basic TTL mode, but I can force it by knocking the lens off of A on the aperture, or in the case of some lenses, twisting the whole lens on the mounting plate of the camera so the contacts do not line up. Be careful your lens does not fall off if repeating this trick. It's alright as long as you don't forget it and walk off with it unlocked.

The 305 & 307 only work with the 301 & 372. They do not work with the 3701 or 3702s

When using the 305 and/or 307, flash behaviour is exactly the same as the 301 or 372 alone.

The 32s only work with the 301 & 372. They do not work with the 3701, 3702s or 3083
The 40s/44/54s and G16/3002 work with any of the adaptors
When using the G16/3002, flash behaviour is the same as with the adaptor alone.

The 372 only works in first curtain / front sync

The 3701 & 3702s work in both front and rear syncs, but only expose reliably in rear sync. In front sync the flash can fire at both the front and rear curtains. This happens if the first discharge is small enough, your batteries are fast enough and the shutter speed is slow enough for the flash to recharge between the two events. In this case the shot will be overexposed. In TTL mode the second discharge seems to be a full load for everexposure is extreme. In A mode the second discharge is a second correct dose so overexposure is about +1eV and not always noticed, especially if the flash exposure is set to -1eV. However, this is an inconsistent bodge based on frame by frame exposure settings and battery condition. Because the flash must recharge between the two events, it happens most often when firing directly or in higher ISO or larger apertures when less flash is initially needed. It does not tend to happen when bouncing the flash as the initial blast is larger and the flash tends not to recover. Set the camera to M, 1 second, 1st sync, and you'll see what I mean.

The 3702M2 & 54MZ4 does expose reliably in first sync. I reiterate: Only the 372+anything or 3702M2+54MZ4 expose reliably in first sync.

The 301 adaptors can be wired together with 2.5mm jacks and two core cable to synchronise them.

I have never tried using the 305A&S to make multiple controller units to see how the 3083s respond. But there's no point. Just make one of them the controller and leave the others in A or TTL.

The istDS does everything above
The K100D does not support TTL, so only does the A & P-TTL things above

If you try to use P-TTL on any combination other than the 3702M2 & 54MZ4 the flash discharges fully (Same as M set to 1/1)

Using K100D & A mode on the flashes is just as good as TTL mode anyway (unless using a filter) (remember to set to rear sync to avoid double flashes andoverexposure)

28CS2 works perfectly as it should.

In summary, everything works as it should except non P-TTL flashes on P-TTL cameras sometimes overexpose in first sync. Leave them in rear sync.

I might create a diagram / table / figure showing all this. Or I might not. Depends if it rains this week.

Of course, my battery usage is pretty high. I recommend Googling BC900 battery chargers. They're great.

philzucker
OP philzucker Veteran Member • Posts: 9,385
Re: Solution: Problems with Smart Auto Flash - Metz MZ40-x and K10D

Hi Christain,

I second everything Jens already said ;-). Thanks for the heads up on this - I'll try it with my K10D soon!

Phil

JensR wrote:

Hi Christain,

once again thanks for letting us know. I've updated my flash-info
page with your findings.
Interesting that the "programmes" outlined underneath the flash head
are useful finally - I had seen them before prior to your mail, but I
didn't pay any attention.

Cheers
Jens

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philzucker
OP philzucker Veteran Member • Posts: 9,385
Re: 3702M2, P-TTL, erratic exposures & everything Metz !

blink_too_fast wrote:

The 32s only work with the 301 & 372. They do not work with the 3701,
3702s or 3083

Thanks a lot for sharing your extensive findings! A lot to digest!

Wanted only to add that the 32CTs you listed may not work with the 3702, but that the 32-Z/MZs do - within their limits.

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