I have a Pentax IST DL 2.
I've put fresh, high-capacity batteries in it.
However, when I pop the flash up, it doesn't work - and the battery meter suddenly says the batteries are empty.
It's always previously worked with these batteries. Any advice?
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Have you tried cleaning the battery terminals with a bit of alcohol on a Q-tip? Make sure the terminals are completely dry before inserting new batteries. I am not sure if this is your problem as it may be a lose connection between the battery unit and the camera. Best of luck.
its seems to me that the alignment of your flash setting in its cubicle has been disturbed, possibly by the camera being pressed in your bag. if you cant get it to operate normally, I suggest that you get it done professionally by Pentax.
The reason I am saying this, is cause firstly Pentax is good and branded camera. The settings and all teh mechanism's of this camera are very delicate and you will only damage something within it by forcing your flash out everytime you want to use it.
pentax istDL does not support TTL flash metering unlike most of the other pentax DSLRs. You need a flash that is P-TTL. How annoying hey? I was pretty bummed, but it made me learn to shoot fully manual...
i think that there is only one P-TTL flash on the market at present. (AF540 or something)