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cariadus
23rd February 2013, 02:45 PM
I purchased a Nissin Di466 flash from Wex last week and I can't get it to work fully with my E-M5. It works fine on the E-1, TTL and the power zoom operate flawlessly. On the E-M5, though, it works in manual mode but neither TTL or power zoom work. The camera doesn't recognise the flash at all.

It's not completely a surprise, I had read some (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3185753) posts (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3271862) on dpreview.com giving mixed reports, some saying it works and some saying it doesn't. It might have something to do with whether the flash has the latest Nissin firmware. Unfortunately it's not possible to upgrade the firmware yourself, you have to send it to Nissin.

Still, it works in manual just fine and it also works with my wireless flash trigger so I think I'm going to keep it, despite it not working properly with the E-M5. I would mostly use it to bounce off ceilings or with the built-in bounce reflector and it's very easy to adjust it manually so I don't think I'll lose too much by not having TTL.

The other day I took it for its first outing. I was driving the Mayor of Bridgend on a visit to the factory of Dunraven Windows. On these sorts of visits I usually double as event photographer. Sometimes companies arrange for their own photographer to cover the visit and on arrival I was told that this would be the case. Usually in this situation I feel inferior to large Canikon touting 'pro' photographers, but in this case the 'photographer' turned out to be a young blonde with a tiny pink Sony compact. So for once it was my turn to try not to feel superior due to size! :)

Now I have to confess that I am well out of my comfort zone with this type of photography. I'm much more comfortable shooting landscapes and things that don't move. Before the acquisition of the flash I would have used the E-M5 with the 20mm/1.8 and just shot using a wide aperture with whatever light was available and upped the ISO if needed. But in this case I thought a zoom would give me more flexibility in the type of shot and the flash would enable me to keep the ISO reasonably low whilst using a smallish aperture to keep as much as possible in focus.

There were a few things that made this quite challenging. For one thing the light levels in the factory varied quite a bit - some parts were quite bright and some quite dim. Also, it was certainly a whistle stop tour, they breezed through at quite a rate of knots, so I had to be quick to get any reasonable shots.

Anyway, I was quite pleased with how the flash performed. Of course, in such a large building and using the flash with the bounce reflector only, the flash isn't going to be very powerful and probably didn't give much more brightness than if I hadn't used a flash at all. But if I had shot without flash I would have had to do a lot more lifting of shadows, and of course you really want flash shots to look as though flash hadn't been used.

My method was to initially set the ISO to 200, the flash on full power pointing upwards with the built-in bounce reflector, shutter priority with a shutter speed of 1/60th. That wasn't quite bright enough so I had to increase the ISO to 400 (which of course is no problem for the E-M5) lower the shutter speed a tad to 1/50th. That turned out to be near perfect, although I did have to increase the exposure a touch in Lightroom for some of the shots.

Anyway, here are the results. Nothing really artistic about these, they are purely record shots.

Surveying the scene:
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2210009-1_800x600.jpg

I almost had to run to get a ahead of them for this shot, they were going at such a rate:
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2210016-1_800x600.jpg

A brief pause for something or other to be explained:
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2210022-1_800x600.jpg

A few times she stopped to speak to the factory workers and just as I was about to take a shot she turned to walk away. I got myself in position early for this one though. I must train her to pause a bit longer in this kind of situation to give me more time to get a shot!
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2210029-1_800x600.jpg

I love how the guy operating the machine is completely oblivious to the audience:
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2210024-1_800x600.jpg

And of course the inevitable group shot:
http://www.e-group.uk.net/gallery/data/500/P2210032-1_800x600.jpg

If anyone has any criticism or advice about shooting this kind of even, though, I would be very grateful. As I say, I'm well out of my comfort zone with this kind of stuff.

snaarman
27th February 2013, 11:17 AM
Awful job to tackle, as difficult as a wedding IMO..

I sometimes use off camera flashes with wireless triggers, but usually on slow or static subjects. These are old fashioned units that know nothing of DSLRs. I find the strobist (http://strobist.blogspot.co.uk/)web site a great source of information if you are using your flash in manual or non TTL mode.


I can see why the pro solution is to buy the most expensive Nikon flash to go on your Nikon camera and let the gear sort out the problem when you're under pressure. :)

Pete

cariadus
27th February 2013, 01:05 PM
Haha, yes I can see the attraction of that. Makes me wonder whether I should go for an FL600R - but it's a lot of money and I'd rather put that kind of money towards more glass rather than a flash. And I'm quite happy shooting in manual. I have an old Jessops flash too which works well with a wireless trigger - as you say, better for static subjects, though.

Thanks for the stobist link.

Silly question about TTL flashes - if you're using the flash with a bounce reflector does the camera still calculate the correct exposure? How does it know how much light the reflector will generate and how much will bounce back from the ceiling (if there is one)?

The Mayor did another business visit this morning. Slightly different scale this time, it was a small shop. Anyway, there was a pro photographer in attendance with huge Canon and huge flash. Back to feeling inferior again....

snaarman
27th February 2013, 01:10 PM
TTL flash. Well in the old days it was simpler. You opened the shutter, set the flash off, and metered the light coming back off the film. When it had enough you quenched the flash and all was well.

Can't do that these days, perhaps because sensors don't reflect light in the way that film did. So, they send a preflash of known brightness before the proper exposure and the camera meters this to work out what the actual flash power will be. Clever, but needs two flashes, and this is what confuses your old style flashgun..

Pete

cariadus
27th February 2013, 01:14 PM
Ah I see. That makes sense, thanks.

snaarman
27th February 2013, 01:38 PM
I don't have a TTL flash, and I find working flash in full manual satisfying but slow.

Therefore I often adopt a compromise. I set the camera to manual, say 125th second at f5.6 and set the flash to Auto - say f5.6 - and the same ISO as the camera. Hopefully the flash will do it's best to compensate for distance or bounce or filters. Now I tweak the shutter to adjust the non flashed part and the aperture to adjust the flashed part.

Pete

cariadus
27th February 2013, 03:08 PM
Working in manual with the Nissin is dead easy as it has a range of power buttons on the control panel. So I can set the exposure roughly on the camera and then adjust the power on the flash. Works quite well and I'm not sure that I'm missing too much by not having full TTL.

Ian
27th February 2013, 03:29 PM
Interesting thread - I have added this info to the FTU Wiki:

http://fourthirds-user.com/wiki/Nissin_Di466_flash

Ian

Bikie John
27th February 2013, 07:13 PM
Working in manual with the Nissin is dead easy as it has a range of power buttons on the control panel. So I can set the exposure roughly on the camera and then adjust the power on the flash. Works quite well and I'm not sure that I'm missing too much by not having full TTL.

That pretty much bears out my experience of TTL flash. It ought to work and it appeals to my rather OCD-ish sense of order but somehow it never quite does.

Ciao ... John

GShooter
25th March 2014, 09:37 PM
I have just bought a E-M10 and am having exactly the same experience with the Nissin; no ETTL. It works fine on my Panny GH3. I guess I will just have to get used to manual flash operation. I use it for insect macro work so ETTL is good as insects don't generally hang around while you get the flash level sorted.

Jim Gordon
29th August 2014, 08:48 PM
Bugger - just ordered this flash, and have an e-m10. If I had known it would only be useful as a manual flash, would have ordered a cheaper one! (not that the nissin was expensive)

MrMagica
21st December 2014, 01:21 PM
Have to say I was about to buy this flash FOR ttl specifically. I already own better, manual flashes but sometimes you don't have time to fiddle on every shot.