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View Full Version : Which flash to buy?


Floribunda
4th August 2011, 07:18 AM
Having just purchased a 35mm Macro lens (possibly one of my less than good decisions! :D) I have decided that I need an external flash, mainly for Macro work.
Any suggestions as to what I should buy? Not prepared to mortgage the house as I am not sure I will take to Macro.
I made a post a little while ago complaining that the inbuilt flash on the E-520 hit the barrel of the 12-60mm lens, casting a shadow. It was suggested an external flash would solve this problem.
Could the same flash be used for both situations? And if so, which one

Danny
4th August 2011, 09:15 AM
Well I'm no expert on macro, but I use the FL35R with the 35mm macro lens, as it has enough power for the working distance of the lens. I use a combo of off-camera on a bracket, on camera, and off camera held in my other hand while shooting macro stuff.

Seems to work for me, and I never have the flash set any higher than fill flash!

Thansk

D

Wee man
4th August 2011, 10:09 AM
Expensive; but I find the Mecablitz 15 MS-1 ring flash works well for macro, with differing adaptor plates it can be used with other lenses. I did try a LED ring but could not get the results I wanted (might have been pilot error).

Swordfish
4th August 2011, 10:37 AM
I find the FL35R pretty good for macro and most other uses; it also works well with my 12-60mm on an E620.

It is clearly not the most powerful, but it is reliable, fast to recycle and compact. Picked mine up on e-bay.

Martin

Floribunda
6th August 2011, 01:31 AM
Expensive; but I find the Mecablitz 15 MS-1 ring flash works well for macro, with differing adaptor plates it can be used with other lenses. I did try a LED ring but could not get the results I wanted (might have been pilot error).

Thanks Ed - went looking yesterday and found a "Ring Light" which was LED.The guy I spoke to seemed to be leading me in that direction as he said it eliminates shadows that you can get with the external flash units. I am presuming that your Mecablitz is superior because of the cost, but will look at some Ring lights now, this is all new to me! :confused:

Floribunda
6th August 2011, 01:37 AM
Thanks Danny & Martin.
I can only find the FL36R so far, and haven't explored it fully - I am guessing it is just a newer model - perhaps it doesn't fit the E-520?
The appeal for the FL35R would be that I could use it on the 12-60mm lens as well.
More research to be done. :(

Any comments on the ring flashes v the external model?

IainMacD
6th August 2011, 09:42 AM
I think the 35 was a typo, there has only ever been the FL36R as far as I know. I have one of the LED rings and found it quite good if somewhat of a pain to set up - pricewise it can't really be faulted so it it just depends how serious you are. I also have the Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-40 for Olympus and this works great on both my cameras with the 12-60mm - it tilts but doesn't swivel and I haven't found this to be a problem. Now I have the E-620 I wish that I had bought the FL36R for the remote triggering capability (the cable link is a nuisance), but I don't use flash often enough to worry too much.
I also have the 35mm and really like it, it is compact and light and gives great results for the money, although I have to admit it is currently with Olympus to fix an intermittant autofocus problem (hopefully under warrenty).

Roberta
6th August 2011, 11:15 AM
Lyn, I live down under and bought a Olympus packaged FL50R for half what is was to purchase in OZ on e...ay from HK free postage. chinaarts. I have not done much macro other than textiles ie embroidery or quilts but managed good light. If not drop by and borrow mine................
Roberta

Ross the fiddler
7th August 2011, 06:58 AM
Hi Lyn.
I've tried the LED ring light on the 35mm lens but with a make shift mounting ring on the lens to get the LED ring light back enough to cover the close working distance & really it is underpowered to give a nice photo.

I sometimes use 2 X FL36Rs RC triggered but with a diffuser (from ebay) on each, but one either RC triggered or by cable would probably work OK for you. At 1:1 with that lens, it becomes rather close & that is the difficulty for lighting with that lens to minimise shadowing from the side (or top).
The Metz mecablitz 15 MS-1 digital Macro Ring Flash http://digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod7737.htm
can be useful as an RC triggered twin/ring flash but not necessarily cheap.

If you get a flash cable, don't buy the Olympus specific ones as they are usually at a higher price & maybe just plastic mounting, but get the Canon combatable versions as they usually have metal fittings, more of them & cheaper to buy (off ebay) as their pin connections will work with the Olympus flash system connections (not the Canon flash, just the cable).

If you can buy an FL50R at a good price, I would highly recommend it as it will serve you for most of your needs with enough power to cater for various uses (including bounce flash use in larger rooms etc.).

Floribunda
7th August 2011, 07:15 AM
Lyn, I live down under and bought a Olympus packaged FL50R for half what is was to purchase in OZ on e...ay from HK free postage. chinaarts. I have not done much macro other than textiles ie embroidery or quilts but managed good light. If not drop by and borrow mine................
Roberta

Thanks Roberta - bit far from Hahndorf to Gippsland to drop by, but a nice thought! :)

Will certainly check out your chinaarts. Thanks for replying.

Floribunda
7th August 2011, 07:22 AM
I think the 35 was a typo, there has only ever been the FL36R as far as I know. I have one of the LED rings and found it quite good if somewhat of a pain to set up - pricewise it can't really be faulted so it it just depends how serious you are. I also have the Metz Mecablitz 36 AF-40 for Olympus and this works great on both my cameras with the 12-60mm - it tilts but doesn't swivel and I haven't found this to be a problem. Now I have the E-620 I wish that I had bought the FL36R for the remote triggering capability (the cable link is a nuisance), but I don't use flash often enough to worry too much.
I also have the 35mm and really like it, it is compact and light and gives great results for the money, although I have to admit it is currently with Olympus to fix an intermittant autofocus problem (hopefully under warrenty).

Thanks Iain. I will check out the FL36R to make sure it will fit the E-520. I have since been in contact with another forumer who does a lot of macro and he thinks I should steer away from the ring flashes until I get more comfortable with Macro, which is probably good advice. Also, I think the Mecablitz is out of budget until I work out if I like Macro and just how much I want to do with it.
Hope the problem with the 35mm resolves itself OK.

Floribunda
7th August 2011, 07:30 AM
Hi Lyn.
I've tried the LED ring light on the 35mm lens but with a make shift mounting ring on the lens to get the LED ring light back enough to cover the close working distance & really it is underpowered to give a nice photo.

I sometimes use 2 X FL36Rs RC triggered but with a diffuser (from ebay) on each, but one either RC triggered or by cable would probably work OK for you. At 1:1 with that lens, it becomes rather close & that is the difficulty for lighting with that lens to minimise shadowing from the side (or top).
The Metz mecablitz 15 MS-1 digital Macro Ring Flash http://digitalcamerawarehouse.com.au/prod7737.htm
can be useful as an RC triggered twin/ring flash but not necessarily cheap.

If you get a flash cable, don't buy the Olympus specific ones as they are usually at a higher price & maybe just plastic mounting, but get the Canon combatable versions as they usually have metal fittings, more of them & cheaper to buy (off ebay) as their pin connections will work with the Olympus flash system connections (not the Canon flash, just the cable).

If you can buy an FL50R at a good price, I would highly recommend it as it will serve you for most of your needs with enough power to cater for various uses (including bounce flash use in larger rooms etc.).

Hi Ross - Thanks for taking the time to reply. It is beginning to look as if the the FL36R is the way to go, and I will also check out the FL50R.
As you have an E-520, I am presuming the FL36R fits OK?
Have noted about the cables.
This Macro stuff is still all a bit gobbledee-gook to me, but I think a clearer picture is starting to emerge through the fog! :confused:

Ross the fiddler
7th August 2011, 08:09 AM
Hi Ross - Thanks for taking the time to reply. It is beginning to look as if the the FL36R is the way to go, and I will also check out the FL50R.
As you have an E-520, I am presuming the FL36R fits OK?
Have noted about the cables.
This Macro stuff is still all a bit gobbledee-gook to me, but I think a clearer picture is starting to emerge through the fog! :confused:

Yes, the FL36R works perfectly with the E520, but best in smaller rooms for normal & bounce flash use & the FL50R just handles it better with 4 batteries instead of 2 & will allow bounce flashing in a larger hall (with a plain white ceiling). I found the FL36R a little underpowered for normal use but had plenty of power for macro use. You will be able to use the RC function on the E520 with these flashes as well.

Here are a couple of ebayers selling the Canon cable I was refering to.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Off-Camera-TTL-Sync-Cord-Flash-gun-cable-1-8m-Canon-/220813786790?pt=AU_Cameras_Photographic_Accessorie s&hash=item336986fea6

or
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/1-8m-TTL-Off-Camera-Flash-Shoe-Sync-Cord-Cable-4-Canon-/180637841513?pt=Camera_Flash_Accessories&hash=item2a0edab869

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
*chr

Floribunda
8th August 2011, 01:00 AM
Hi all - Just to let you know that I decided to purchase the FL36R.
Not a great outlay and I'm sure it will do the job for me at the stage I am at with my level of photography.
Thank you all for your input and help. *chr

DekHog
8th August 2011, 07:24 AM
If it's for macro, you won't be in a hurry (no snap n' run shots), so why bother with the expense of dedicated flash? Just get a manual flash and spend the extra 10-20 seconds getting the exposure correct and save quite a lot of money until you see if you actually use it enough to justify spending more on a dedicated flash?

You'll soon get very good at judging distance/aperture/flash power and the 10-20 seconds will be a thing of the past. I use a couple of Yungnuo YN-460's and am usually within half a stop on my first 'pop.'

They also have an optical slave, so you can use the pop up flash on the camera on lowest power to trigger them, which means you can get them off camera to give a bit of depth rather than nuke things will full frontal flash.

If you can stretch to a FL-36R, the Metz 48 AF-1 is a much better option for the same money..... unless you like making tea while waiting on your flash to recycle (although not applicable to macro work).... :rolleyes:

EDIT: Too late, you've went and bought one anyway..... :)

Floribunda
10th August 2011, 12:38 AM
If it's for macro, you won't be in a hurry (no snap n' run shots), so why bother with the expense of dedicated flash? Just get a manual flash and spend the extra 10-20 seconds getting the exposure correct and save quite a lot of money until you see if you actually use it enough to justify spending more on a dedicated flash?

You'll soon get very good at judging distance/aperture/flash power and the 10-20 seconds will be a thing of the past. I use a couple of Yungnuo YN-460's and am usually within half a stop on my first 'pop.'

They also have an optical slave, so you can use the pop up flash on the camera on lowest power to trigger them, which means you can get them off camera to give a bit of depth rather than nuke things will full frontal flash.

If you can stretch to a FL-36R, the Metz 48 AF-1 is a much better option for the same money..... unless you like making tea while waiting on your flash to recycle (although not applicable to macro work).... :rolleyes:

EDIT: Too late, you've went and bought one anyway..... :)

Thanks anyway Derek for taking the time to post some advice. Like most ventures into things unknown - time will tell about the wisdom of the purchase!