Intermittent AF540FGZ problem

Charles Robinson charlesr at
Wed Oct 7 16:44:55 EDT 2009

I was trying to take pictures of my grandson a few days ago... and all  
of my flash shots were turning out black.

Taking my eye away from the camera, I could see that it was almost  
doing what it did almost a year ago (which I paid to repair) - the pre- 
flash was going off when it should... a very dim pre-flash.  And NO  
flash when the actual exposure was being made.  (Original fault was a  
dim pre-flash, which would make the camera think that the subject was  
very dark, which meant that the final flash was usually full-power,  

The flash worked FINE if I would put it in "A" mode (where, sometimes,  
I think I would just like it to stick - much more reliable in that  
position.  I hate P-TTL).

After some fiddling and changing the batteries out to be sure that  
wasn't it (it wasn't) it started exposing OK again - but then the zoom  
mechanism wasn't doing anything.  It would just blink the zoom  
position on the rear display.

Switching the zoom position to "manual" and cycling through the zoom  
positions would have NO effect on the position of the zoom.  It would  
blink the zoom positions, cycling through all of the zoom levels on  
the back display, but I never heard the zoom motor going.

No - it was not the diffuser/reflector pulled out on top - when you do  
that it sticks in the "manual mode - 13mm" (when it's working).

Disappointed... I found the receipt from my mid-November-2008 repair  
and noted the 1-year warranty indicated on that sheet.  I popped the  
flash into my camera/computer bag and brought it to work, prepared to  
ship it back to Pentax.

As I took it out of the bag at work, prepared to give them a detailed  
write-up of what works and what doesn't.... it works perfectly.

Now - since I have a month until the repair warranty runs out, I'd  
really like to have it checked out.  But what do I tell them?  "It  
works sometimes, but sometimes it does x,y,z"?  Basically I'm  
wondering what is the most sure-fire way to ensure that the people at  
Pentax Colorado (or wherever this flash ends up being repaired - sigh)  
take note of what I tell 'em and really get it sorted out.. before I'm  
on the hook for paying to repair it (again).


Charles Robinson - charlesr at
Minneapolis, MN

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